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Fantasy Football: Players to avoid for every round in 2022 drafts

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball during warm ups against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

• Bet against the continuation of outlier efficiency by fading Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry and San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel in the first two rounds.

• If fantasy managers don’t select a tight end early, avoid falling for mid-round traps, such as the Detroit LionsT.J. Hockenson and Buffalo BillsDawson Knox.

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow is an outstanding “real-life” football player, but he should be avoided in the mid-rounds of fantasy drafts due to his lack of rushing production.


I’ve compiled the players I have been avoiding the most often in fantasy football drafts over the past couple weeks, separated by the round in which they’re most commonly drafted according to fantasy average draft position (ADP). 

These players' ADPs are pulled from a combination of half-PPR rankings at ESPN, Yahoo and Underdog Fantasy, which I contrasted with my half-PPR rankings to find the players with the least value in each round through Round 12.

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ROUND 1

TENNESSEE TITANS RB DERRICK HENRY

ADP ranking: 6 | My ranking: 9

Henry still has an overall RB1 ceiling after finishing first in points per game last season. Nonetheless, Henry has enough risk baked into his profile to fade him as a mid-first-round pick. Henry will always have limited usage in the passing game, meaning it’s a requirement that he maintains outlier rushing efficiency and volume just to compete with other top backs. I don’t think Henry is a bad pick but prefer others who have more complete profiles.


ROUND 2

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS WR DEEBO SAMUEL

ADP ranking: 18 | My ranking: 38

Samuel is another case of fading outlier efficiency. Samuel was the WR13 in expected fantasy points last season based on his usage yet finished as WR2. The 49ers’ dual threat was a touchdown-scoring machine, but from distances that don't tend to lead to so many scores. Samuel scored eight more touchdowns and accumulated 500 more yards than expected, numbers that are impossible to repeat. Mix in that the 49ers now have Trey Lance behind center, and the uncertainty is enough to pass on Samuel in the second round.


ROUND 3

LOS ANGELES RAMS RB CAM AKERS

ADP ranking: 34 | My ranking: 45

Picking Akers in the third round is mighty rich, especially when we don’t know his level of recovery from the Achilles injury he suffered before the 2021 season in addition to the fact his coach Sean McVay has declared the Rams have two starting running backs — Akers and Darrell Henderson. I have trouble believing Akers will end up a third-round pick in many fantasy drafts, but his listed ADP is easy to avoid.


ROUND 4

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