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Fantasy Football: Players to Avoid in the First 3 Rounds

Fantasy Football 2023

Welcome back for another attempt to scale the fantasy football mountain!  I am once again your fantasy football sherpa, Steve Lawson. This next series is going round by round and looking at players to avoid in your fantasy drafts! All ADPs are provided by FantasyPros!

So who are these players to avoid?  Well, we are going to get into that in a moment.  A quick word beforehand, the first four rounds are reserved for skill positions ONLY! So, along with the names below, I would also include any QB you would need to pick in the first three rounds.

Jonathan Taylor (ADP 1.0) (RB1)

Last Season: 332 carries, 1,811 yards, 18 TD, 40 receptions, 360 yardds, 2 TD (per ESPN)

This one is going to hurt. Jonathan Taylor is an absolute force of nature at the running back position, and it kills me that I have to include him here. The problem with Taylor is the receptions; they just aren’t there. Nyheim Hines is an excellent pass catcher, and a bizarre relegation to being a pure backup spurred a more significant role for Taylor last year.  With his return to form and head coach Frank Reich all but insisting he will be a large part of the offense, I just don’t see JT repeating as the RB1.

Instead of Jonathan Taylor, I would go away from the RB position this season at number one. Instead, go with the guy who may well break the receiving game this year. That man is Justin Jefferson. Primed to play the Cooper Kupp role for new head coach Kevin O’Connell I see big things in JJ’s future!

Travis Kelce (ADP 14.3) (TE1)

Last Season: 92 receptions, 1,125 yards, 9 TD (ESPN)

So, sometimes when it comes to projections, you must make the call without too much physical data coming back to support you. Sometimes it is just an eye test, gut feeling, a shift in stats, and a huge loss of talent around a player that causes people like me to fade a player.

However, I have told my loyal Twitter followers a few times that if you are making your projections and your reasoning is “That’s what they always do,” then you are not projecting; you’re remembering. Unfortunately, that is the case with Travis Kelce. At 32 years old and turning 33 early in the season, we saw a slight downtick in many stats for the future Hall-of-Fame player.

This year’s big problem with Kelce is the loss of defensive gameplan wrecker Tyreek Hill.  With Hill gone, that wide-open middle of the field that Kelce loved to settle into will no longer be so inviting.  When he is double-teamed on every play, look for the quality of his targets and overall production to drop. He is no longer the top tight end and is not in my Top 3.

At pick 14, you should be looking to get a guy like D’Andre Swift. If you let Swift go in favor of Kelce, I feel like you made a serious mistake.  Look for Swift to be a top option at the RB position and someone who really should be considered for the first round.

AJ Brown (ADP 28) (WR10)

Last Season: 63 receptions, 869 yards, 5 TD (ESPN)

A.J. Brown finds himself in a new home, the only one of the three guys on this list who aren’t with their old team. Unfortunately for Brown, he didn’t exactly go to a very good place for WR love.

I know that the fantasy community loves Jalen Hurts, but we love him for his legs moreso than his arm talent. Going from Tannehill to Hurts is almost a lateral move in terms of passing ability. However, I do understand that the Eagles paid a fortune to him and for him. That still doesn’t mean they can force Hurts to be a good thrower of the football.

AJB is currently being drafted as the WR10, which is too high for him. He will not be a good return on investment here.  That, plus the Eagles’ love for running at the goal line, which means touchdowns might be hard to find for Brown.

At the 28 spot, I think a guy like Antonio Gibson is a better pick. Don’t worry too much about JD McKissic and Brian Robinson. They are just there to help Gibson stay healthy.  This is Gibson’s bus to drive, and the Commanders know it. They win when he is heavily involved, he will be heavily involved.

So, there it is! The start of a new series for me here at Club Fantasy.  Be sure to check out the rest of the Look Inside articles on the site. My fellow writers here are immensely talented and knowledgeable!

Remember it’s never goodbye, it’s just ’til next time!  Until then, be good, be good to each other, and remember that fantasy football is a game about a game.  So don’t take it so seriously!  Have fun, everyone!

Be on the lookout next week, as Club Fantasy will release their first set of consensus Redraft Rankings!