The 2018 NFL football season is closing in fast and fantasy GMs are taking a close look at who they want to target. They know that they need plenty of backup plans in case the players they are focusing on get scooped up before they get a chance to draft them. There will be a lot of fantasy GMs wanting to take Le’Veon Bell but your chances of landing him are slim if you are not drafting first. Todd Gurley II, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliot, and Kareem Hunt are likely to get drafted early as are Alvin Kamara, Leonard Fournette, and Melvin Gordon.
So, what are you supposed to do if you are picking late? What if all of those marquis names are off the board? Don’t fret. You might wind up with an inferior player but you’ll also likely be drafting high in the next round so you’ll need to choose wisely to make up for it. Let’s take a look at a few guys to avoid taking in early rounds. These players might be good picks to later place on your bench but don’t let your 2018 fantasy season depend on their performance. If you want to switch from Fan Duel and Draft Kings fantasy sports to sports betting then with the weekly betting help of NFL Picks Jon Price is handicapping and helping individuals just like you to make money betting on games against the spread each and every week of the season. He can be heard live on air and is the world’s most successful handicapper.
Carlos Hyde had a very productive 2017 in San Francisco where he rushed for 940 yards and scored 8 touchdowns. His receiving stats weren’t much of a factor but he still ended up racking up the 11th-most fantasy points at the running back position. He’s only 26 and looks like he might be a good pick to excel in Cleveland but there are much better options out there if you are looking for a high-pick running back to score steady points.
Last year, Hyde produced 10 or more points in just half of his games and he was downright disappointing from a fantasy angle in a few outings. Perhaps the thing that makes him such a gamble this year is that he’s going to be sharing carries with Duke Johnson. On top of that, don’t be surprised if rookie Nick Chubb also gets a look. Browns running back coach has said that they will play the hot hands which will likely cut into Hyde’s numbers.
The New York Giants wisely took Saquon Barkley in the first round of this year’s draft and there are plenty of indicators that suggest that this pick will pay off. However, it’s probably going to take the youngster a while to adjust. One of the biggest factors in play is that New York’s offensive line probably doesn’t have the strength and skill to give Barkley the running room he needs.
While Barkley is definitely looking like an upgrade over last year’s running backs, New York is a pass-first offense. Sure, they’re likely going to run more and more as the season progresses and everyone settles in, but don’t count on him being a big point producer early on. If you can pick him up in later rounds then go for it.
LeSean McCoy was very productive for Buffalo last year and is a big reason that the Bills shook off their centuries-old playoff drought. His 1,138 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns along with his 448 receiving yards and 2 touchdown passes gave him the 7th-highest fantasy point total among running backs. There are a few things about McCoy that indicate he might not be as effective in 2018. For starters, McCoy got an awful lot of touches last year but his 4 yards per carry was the lowest of his career. He is now 30-years-old and he will be missing a few key pieces on the offensive line.
Of course, there’s the whole domestic assault thing hanging over his head but it doesn’t look like anything is going to come out of that. However, with so many red flags, it would be wise to choose someone else.
You might look at Jordan Howard’s 2017 fantasy total and think that he’s a shoe-in to be a top-10 producer at running back once again. His 1,120 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns look appealing although he didn’t produce in the receiving department. With 178.5 fantasy points, Howard averaged 11.2 per game. That’s decent.
However, he racked up about 56 of those points in just two outings. Take away those two monster games and his average points per game falls below 9. In other words, Howard will get you points but he won’t do it at a steady pace. We can also expect to see more of Tarik Cohen, especially on passing downs.
Jordan Howard might be a good RB2 but he won’t make a very steady RB1.
Once quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson come off the board, filling the position can be tough. There’s always Big Ben, Matt Ryan, a steady Matt Stafford and you can always take a chance on Deshaun Watson. However, one guy that you will want to avoid making your number one QB is Kirk Cousins.
Yes, he’s good and his 4,093 passing yards and 27 touchdown throws made him the 4th-highest fantasy producer at his position. However, he is now playing for Minnesota and things will be a bit different for him. Forget that he has a very good set of receivers to throw to. There’s no doubt about it. It’s just that Minnesota is a team that will run the ball a lot. Along with a solid defense, it was the running game that was a big part of Minny’s success and they are unlikely to stray from that.
Cousins will put up passing yards and he’ll toss touchdowns but he’s not likely to be a top-10 fantasy points producer this year. There are definitely other quarterbacks that will outshine him.
The New Orleans quarterback has still got it at the age of 39 and he will likely be a popular pick in fantasy leagues. However, those GMs that make him their QB1 could be kicking themselves early and often. You might already know this but, unlike in previous years, New Orleans actually has a solid defense. This means that Brees won’t be forced to play catch up all the time.
Plus, they have a pair of stud running backs in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram who can also get the job done. The Saints no longer need to rely solely on Brees and this has already become apparent in the fact that he finished last year with the lowest number of passing yards and touchdowns in his time with New Orleans. That’s not old age, it’s a different game plan.
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