Everyone has their own version of a “do not draft list” when they enter their own league drafts. These are players who have burned fantasy owners in the past and players they plan to avoid going forward. These are the players on my own list, listed as a whole “Never Again Team” to help in breaking it down. I’m not saying you should agree with me on these, but here are my own “do not draft” players and a little more about why I feel that way.
Deshaun Watson (QB – CLE)
Watson is a very polarizing player, both in the NFL and in fantasy. His off-the-field issues have seeped onto the field, causing him to miss time. To me, this makes him a very dangerous player to draft at the moment. Watson missed all of 2021 as the Texans decided to bench him rather than risk the PR nightmare of playing him.
The Browns could decide to do the same whether he gets suspended or not, but I doubt they will. All of this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, leading me to put him atop my “never again” list. He’s talented, sure, but I just don’t want the drama on my team. Let someone else worry about it week to week.
Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)
Sanders is a tricky one. He SHOULD be good. He’s talented and only 25 years old. He could have a bright future, but it just feels like the Eagles have other plans. They rotated in rookie Kenneth Gainwell a lot last year and signed UDFA Kennedy Brooks this year. They also still have a slew of older RBs crowding their backfield. Clearly, they don’t want Sanders to be a bellcow in their offense.
Sanders finished 2021 as RB45 overall in PPR leagues and RB41 in PPG. I had him on a couple of teams and even at his low ADP, I’m just out. There often seems to be someone else in my league willing to give him a chance, but I’d rather he clog their roster than my own. Never again, Mr. Sanders. Never again.
Chris Carson (RB – SEA)
I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair to rag on Carson too much since his entry on this list is more injury-related than most, but here we are anyway. Carson is one of those players that I was all-in on back in 2020 and was slightly burned by last year. Carson only played in four games but got three touchdowns on 54 carries and 232 yards. When he played he was good, but now it looks like he may never play again due to a neck injury, which means I’m out. Thanks for all you did for us, Chris, but we have to move on.
Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL)
This one almost hurts me to say, but Ridley has to be on my never again list. It’s pretty obvious why since he’s likely to miss the entire 2022 season at this point, but still. Ridley was one of those guys that I was all-in on as Julio Jones declined, but with his gambling issue, it’s hard to see me taking a chance on him even next season and beyond. Anytime there are off-the-field issues with a player, I tend to avoid them, making Ridley a sad but perfect addition to this list.
Julio Jones (WR – FA)
Speaking of Jones, he also makes my list. Jones played for the Falcons for years before getting signed by the Titans in 2021. I remember loving this move for him before last year, thinking he’ll do well working with Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. I was wrong.
Jones played in 10 games last season, amassing a meager 31 catches on 48 targets and a single touchdown. He finished as WR93 overall in PPR scoring and WR73 in PPG. Neither of which was worth rostering, and he was someone I clearly remember dropping in a redraft league. Now that he’s a free agent, his stock has dropped even further. Never again, Julio, which is sad. He was a stud, just not any longer.
Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG)
Last but not least on my WR list is a player that I had a lot of high hopes for in Kenny Golladay. His four years in Detroit were relatively solid for fantasy managers. However, once he went to the Giants, it felt like everything came apart at the seams. He went from a potential WR1 to not even being drafted in some leagues last year. This kind of decline isn’t something you can easily ignore, so I won’t be myself.
In his first year playing with Daniel Jones, Golladay was WR79 in PPR scoring over 14 games and an even worse WR94 in PPG. Fantasy managers who drafted Golladay probably had a hard time letting go, but heading into this year, the decision should be easier. It’s highly unlikely that Golladay finds his way onto my bench in any league, but if he actually puts up numbers early, I might be teased into spending some FAAB on him. I doubt it though. He’s just not someone I expect to do anything this year, unfortunately.
Darren Waller (TE – LV)
I really wanted to put Rob Gronkowski on this list, but that felt way too cheap since he just retired (again). Instead, I’m going with Waller. He was drafted as a top-five TE in almost every league last year but finished as TE17 overall and TE6 in PPG. He missed six games that really hurt his season-long finish, but to me, that tells me everything I need to know.
Waller wasn’t an injury risk until he was one last year. For me, with the addition of Davante Adams to the Raiders’ offense, Waller feels like the odd man out. If he misses time, he can’t be in my lineup, making him a riskier play than last year. I’m not saying he’s trash, but it definitely feels like other managers are higher on him than I am, making him a likely never-again player for me. If he’s there later in drafts, maybe, but I honestly doubt I’ll go back to the Waller well myself.
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Andrew Hall is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his profile and follow him @AndrewHallFF.