Very rarely is there a wrong choice of who to take with your first pick. Your first pick builds the foundation for your team and the following picks should follow suit with the same intent. However, the late to middle rounds are made up of players with gigantic question marks on their performance outlook. These are players who not only fall short of their predicted performance but flat out fall on their faces and leave fantasy managers with a loss — for both words and on their record. These are a few players who carry extreme “proceed with caution” tags this season.
Last season, Deshaun Watson was a mainstay on each owner’s roster who drafted/traded for him. The Texans graced Watson by trading for a would-be All Pro left tackle in Laremy Tunsil. Prior to the trade, Watson was easily the most under duress quarterback in the NFL. Poised for a return to the playoffs and the AFC South Championship, the Texans were ready for this season…until Bill O’Brien happened. The decision to trade away Watson’s favorite target in Deandre Hopkins blindsided the NFL and left Will Fuller as Watson’s new #1 receiver, as long as he can stay healthy anyways. The addition of Brandin Cooks helps the situation slightly, however the receiving game is going to strongly miss the presence of Hopkins.
We are going with back-to-back Texans. David Johnson has had a question mark over his head for the last two seasons (fantasy owners can nod their heads in agreement). Now with a new team, Johnson looks to turn his fortune around. With injuries having been a bit of a problem for Johnson in combination with his low performance, he saw his duties in Arizona taken away by Kenyan Drake. Now Johnson is ranked in the 30s – 40s (depending on which list you look at) of players to draft off the board. However, for a guy who was drafted in the top 10 in many fantasy drafts last year, this is an uphill climb on a slippery slope to get back to the David Johnson of old.
It is apparent the Washington Football Team cannot depend on Guice to stay healthy, and they showed it by drafting rookie Bryce Love. Once looked at as the man to take over the Washington backfield, Guice has shown flashes of potential. Those flashes soon fizzled out, Adrian Peterson received the lion’s share of the carries for the team, and Guice found his way to the IR. Washington added Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic to the picture and Guice suddenly finds himself in a running back melting pot. Each back is looking to take over the lead in Washington under a new team name.
Ask yourself, can you honestly say in a brand new offense that there is complete faith in Ekeler to succeed the way he has in LA the last two seasons? No Melvin Gordon to play behind and draw attention away from. No Philip Rivers to catch underneath or check down passes from. This offense lost its cornerstone in Rivers. There is a slim chance Tyrod Taylor can pick it back up, but in no way can it be the same. Ekeler may have a decent season, but fantasy owners beware of disappointment.
It is safe to say teams have figured out the Sean McVey offense. With that, Jared Goff struggles. In turn, Robert Woods struggles. With the departures of Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley, the weights they carried have shifted to the backs of other players. Cooper Kupp has shown to be a force or a thorn in your side (depending upon if you have him or are playing against him – especially in PPR formats). Woods has shown spots where he can succeed, but can he step it up and be the number one guy for his team? For that to happen, there needs to be consistency. With all things considered, it lands him on this list gift wrapped in caution tape.