I’m writing this article directly after finishing my corresponding article about IDP sleepers, and I’m going to be honest, this one is far harder to write. It’s a lot easier to talk optimistically about what can go right for a guy, and identify someone who hasn’t performed well to break out than it is to plant your flag on someone who has established production, and say that said production will halt. I don’t explicitly dislike any of the players mentioned in this article; I simply can’t endorse drafting them based on a multitude of factors. I’ll be naming off one player per position and explaining why I won’t be drafting them, as well as giving some other players who were considered.
2018 Rank: LB15
The problem here isn’t so much that I think Kiko Alonso will be substantially worse in 2019. Rather, I’m worried about how much better the group around him has gotten. Fellow linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker already showed themselves to be spectacular run stoppers in their first seasons last year, and now have a full season of development under their belts. They should only continue to improve and only continue to get more playing time. Additionally, the Dolphins interior defensive line, which most closely resembled a block of Swiss cheese in a hole punch factory, now looks pretty darn good. 13th overall pick Christian Wilkins was an elite run stopper in college, and will immediately slide into a starting role for the Fins. Third-year DT Davon Godchaux also graded out as an elite run defender last season when on the field, and should be locked in as a full time player in 2019. Given how much the front seven has improved around him, it’s hard to be optimistic about Kiko Alonso’s prospects in 2019, especially considering 2018 was his best seasons since 2013.
Also Considered: Kwon Alexander, Jarrad Davis, Tahir Whitehead
2018 Rank: DL15
This one hurts me a lot, because Damon Harrison still has plenty left in the tank, and Snacks is among the best nicknames in the NFL. However, the Lions complicated his fantasy outlook a little over two weeks ago (of course, right after I dropped my DL rankings) by signing Pro Bowl DT Mike Daniels, after his sudden release from the Packers. This wouldn’t necessarily be a huge issue on most teams, but the Lions happened to already have two elite DT’s in Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson, creating a playing time issue. Robinson is far too good to waste away on the bench, as are Harrison and Daniels obviously. This likely means that all three will rotate around on a per series basis, and sadly making all three hard to recommend drafting. It’s not at all unfathomable to think Harrison could still finish inside the Top 40, but it’s really hard to project him coming close to as good as he’s been in recent years. Without an injury to Daniels or Robinson in preseason, you can leave Snacks on the board for someone else to burn a pick on.
Also Considered: Chris Jones, Everson Griffen
2018 Rank: DB33
While his 2018 was poor, Reshad Jones still has plenty of name value, and a handful of #1 DB seasons in recent years. This excellent production and name value should keep Jones high in IDP drafts, but you should absolutely avoid him at his price if at all possible. The first issue is his injury, which is unknown in severity, and it’s entirely possible he misses the Dolphins’ season opener. I’m generally not a fan of guys who I know are already hurt, but Reshad has a bigger, and much more severe problem hindering his 2019 outlook. The Dolphins are also rostering 2018 first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, as well as six-year veteran T.J. McDonald, coming off the best season of his career. The Dolphins’ (and Minkah’s) desire to play Minkah primarily at safety in 2019 is a huge problem for Reshad, whose relationship with management is already tense at best after he requested a trade in the offseason. If he gets said trade wish fulfilled, it’s possible he lands somewhere where he can be an every-down player, but betting on that happening (especially with Jones’ massive contract) is a fools errand. As it stands, the Dolphins will likely let the already disgruntled Jones stew even more as they continue to develop Minkah Fitzpatrick, waiting for Reshad to resign himself to a backup role or for a trade partner to come knocking. If Reshad somehow does end up being an every-down player in Miami, this bust tag would be lifted from him for sure, and he could very well be a Top 3 option at the position. Too many stars have to align for that to happen though, and he who waits for stars to align in fantasy football is he who finishes in twelfth place.
Also Considered: Kevin Byard, Jessie Bates III
Hopefully this article lights on your draft day a bit, making you laugh maniacally as you watch Ron from accounting make a disastrous pick that will sink his season, while you grab instead some of the sleepers mentioned in my Potential IDP Sleeper article, which dropped earlier this morning. If you haven’t read that yet, I would highly recommend doing so. If you have any questions for me, or just want to talk fantasy football, feel free to hit me up on Twitter, @Quack2Back. Happy reading!
(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)