These are some of the players that I’m out on for the 2021 season. Looking at their ADP cost from Fantasypros.com, their 2021 stats, and the outlook for 2022 I give you my reasons for why I’m avoiding them at their cost. This doesn’t mean that I would never draft these players but they would have to fall much further down the draft board for me to grab them. I’ll also try to give you some other guys you can take later in drafts that might be similar in stats at the end of the year but will cost you a few rounds less in your draft
Cooper Kupp (ADP 5th overall, WR1)
Let me say that I have Cooper Kupp ranked as my WR6. I still think he will be good but I do not think he will be in the top 3 and is being drafted at his ceiling. He had a historic year in 2021. We all know that Kupp will have regression. How far he regresses is the question. The Rams brought in Allen Robinson to replace the Robert Woods/ Odell Beckham role and Van Jefferson is taking another step forward in that offense.
Scenario A. Matthew Stafford comes back to his career average of 27 touchdowns. that’s a big drop from the 41 he had in 2021. Kupp accounted for 39% of Stafford’s touchdowns. So if Stafford doesn’t throw as many and Kupp’s percentage stays the same then he would be in line for 10.5 touchdowns if Stafford throws 27 in 2022. If you take 5 touchdowns off Kupp’s totals that would lower his fantasy point by 30. If Stafford’s yards come down to more of a normal level then that also takes points away from Kupp. Stafford is a year older. He is already battling elbow issues.
Scenario B. What if Kupp’s percentage of the team’s passing comes down? What if his yardage, instead of being 39.8% of the team’s total yards is closer to 30%? If Stafford’s total yards remain at 4800, Kupp would only have 1440 yards for the season. Still a ton of yards but way off his 2021 pace. What if he gets less than the 31.8% of the team’s targets? What if that drops to 25%? He only sees 150 targets, not 191. Even if he still catches 75% of those targets as he did in ’21 he will have only 113 catches. That’s another 30-point drop.
It’s most likely a combination of both. I see Stafford throwing 30 touchdowns on 560 attempts for 4500 yards. I think Kupp’s share of that offense comes down to about 30% of the touchdowns, 24% of the team’s targets, and 30% of Stafford’s yards. He will catch closer to 73% of his targets. That gives Kupp a stat line of 135 targets, 100 receptions, 1350 yards, and 9 touchdowns. In PPR leagues that put him at 289 points. That would put him right above Stefon Diggs in 2021 who had 286 points. I have Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Davonte Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Ceedee Lamb all ranked above Kupp. He will be a WR1 but I think at to top of the draft you aren’t going to get that in return. I think towards the end of the 1st it’s okay taking him because he is so safe but I just can’t buy in at that draft price. At the end of the season, it won’t be a huge embarrassment like having to take a cardboard cut out of Heidi Kulm out on a date as a last-place punishment but you won’t feel great about how you or Kupp finished the season.
Breece Hall (ADP 39, RB20)
I get that Breece Hall was this major athletic talent coming out of college. But then he got drafted by the Jets who already had Michael Carter in the backfield. Breece hall was good in college but not great. He was 8th in yards and 4th in touchdowns and was outside the top 50 in yards per attempt at 5.8. I think he is a very solid talent but reports all through training camp and preseason were that Michael Carter was still the starter and hall were running with the twos. Some will say that this is normal and the rookie needs to earn his spot but it’s not like Carter is some veteran who had already earned that spot. He is going into his second year. Then you look at the Jet’s offense and I don’t see them being all that good in general and will probably be playing from behind most games. The Jets were dead last in rushing attempts per game with 22.4. Even if Hall is the starter I see this as a much closer split than the truthers want to believe. I see it is closer to 50/50 than anything else. So how many points is he going to get rushing the ball around 12 times a game? You can get legit lead backs much later like J.K. Dobbins (ADP 53) or even top-end 1b type handcuff like AJ Dillon (adp52). Everyone is bashing the Dameon Pierce (ADP 89, Rb36) hype because he is a rookie running back on a bad offense even though now he is the clear first and second down back. It seems like the same situation as Hall outside of we know for sure that Pierce is going to be out there for the first two downs. We don’t know that for sure with Hall. Zach Wilson will need to throw the ball more this year and the Jets set him up for that by drafting Garrett Wilson to go with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. That could mean fewer opportunities for Hall.
Dawson Knox (ADP 96 TE10)
This one pains me. As a Bills fan, I love everything about Dawson Knox. I love his energy on the field, his toughness, and his leadership on the team. As a fantasy analyst, I just can’t get behind Knox. He finished the season 6th in fantasy points which had put him as everyone breakout tight end who can ascend into the top 3 tight end group. He got to the sixth spot on the back on nine touchdowns which was tied with guys like Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce. What separates those guys from Knox is that they saw consistent volume. Andrews had 153 targets and Kelce had 134. Knox had only 71. That puts him 20th on the tightened target list. Knox truthers are believing that since Knox is on a top-tier offense he will get the targets. Those people also believe that Gabe Davis is set to soak up a ton of targets and that Stefon Diggs is still going to get him and don’t sleep on Isaiah McKenzie. Bad news, there aren’t enough targets to go around. The Bills and Josh Allen threw the ball 645 times in 2021. If Diggs still gets his 164 and Gabe Davis steps in and takes the 112 that Cole Beasley saw. Does McKenzie take Emmanuel Sanders’s 72 targets? Where does the increase come from for Knox? You can be encouraged by his 19 red zone targets which were tied for second among tight ends. But no one is excited for Cameron Brate who also saw 19 red zone targets. Knox caught 61.6% of his red zone targets compared to Brate at 52.6. Six of Knox’s touchdowns came in the red zone. Knox being 15th in yards among tight ends, with only 587, is worried some on top of his low target volume. Drafting him a TE10 you are betting on him to continue that very high touchdown rate. Some would say it’s a huge outlier historically. You can easily wait for another round to get Pat Freiermuth or Cole Kmet. Freiermuth had 20 red zone targets and converted on 66.7 of them. He saw 79 targets and had 497 yards. Cole Kmet finished 2021 with 12 red zone targets and converted 50% of them. He saw 93 targets and had 612 yards. Both could return a much better value than Knox. Knox looks to be at best the 3rd passing option on the Bills behind Diggs and Davis and could fall behind McKenzie. Kmet was second on the Bears last season and they got rid of Allen Robinson. Freiermuth is probably 3rd or 4th passing option on his team. In a position that you only need one of I think passing on Knox and waiting a few more rounds will bring you more value.
Trevor Lawrence (ADP 104 QB 13)
Trevor Lawrence is being taken in fantasy drafts much like he was in the NFL draft, on his potential. People will blame Urban Meyer for the train wreck that was Lawrence’s rookie season. He maybe didn’t design an offense that best fit his skills but I do not believe that the coach is the only issue. One thing a quarterback should be good at regardless of the system or plays called is complete passes. law finished the season with a 59.6 completion percentage. That puts him 29th on the list of all quarterbacks. He had 602 attempts which is 7th so it’s not like he didn’t have opportunities. He finished the season with only 12 touchdowns but also had 17 interceptions. That last number was tied for the league lead. He was 28th in QBR and 30th in Passer rating. It just wasn’t a good year at all for Lawrence. Now you can look at the team around him and there isn’t a lot to get excited for. The running game looks good with Travis Etienne and James Robinson. The passing game is just okay. Marvin Jones led the team in 2021 with 120 targets and Laviska Shenault had 100. The Jaguars traded Shenault and signed Christian Kirk to a massive contract. Kirk has had some decent years in Arizona but isn’t number 1 on a team. Neither is Marvin Jones. They also brought in Zay Jones who hasn’t had a good year since 2018 in Buffalo. The other name people are excited about is a tight end, Evan Engram. Engram caught only 63% of his passes last year with the Giants but hasn’t had more than 3 touchdowns since his rookie season in 2017. When you are counting on Marvin Jones and Christian Kirk to step up as wide receivers when they haven’t done it before even after years of opportunities seems like dreaming more than reality. People think that new coach Doug Peterson can turn things around and produce a great year out of Lawrence. Looking back at Petersons’ history, yes he won a super bowl with the Eagles where he had Carson Wentz who was playing great before his injury, and then Nick Foles took the league by storm. When you dig deeper into it a lot of the success came with now Colts head coach Frank Reich being there. After Reich left after the super bowl win the Eagles struggled. Also, there in Philly at the time was now first-time offensive coordinator Press Taylor. That inexperience at the OC coaching position doesn’t give me confidence. I think Press is a great guy but he is just now getting his first chance as an OC despite having all the credentials and connection to get one much sooner. Even if Peterson and Taylor are the coaching duo to turn a quarterback around does Lawrence have the skills? His low completion percentage and high interceptions give me pause. Later in the same round, you can draft a more consistent Qb in Matt Ryan or if you want the upside you can wait longer and get Mac Jones or Baker Mayfield.
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