Players I'm happy to see taken off the board
I wrote about obvious picks at ADP, why not some obvious fades?
Round 1: Cooper Kupp, Travis Kelce, Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey — Maybe I’m becoming a nutless monkey in my old age, but I prefer safety in Round 1, and these picks are all high upside, high risk.
Kupp is already hurt, and at age 30, he was at higher risk to begin with. Kelce and Ekeler are great every year, but they’re older, and that alone presents a risk you don’t worry about with Bijan Robinson or CeeDee Lamb, for example.
Kelce has shown no sign of decline, and tight ends typically age better than most positions, but he’ll turn 34 on October 5. Are you really using your first pick on someone that age? Ekeler is a 28-YO back, with 423 (including post-season) carries the last two years, that goes 5-10, 200. He’s no longer the lower-risk 120-carry player from earlier in his career.
Finally, McCaffrey is a hard, between-the-tackles runner, coming off a 284-carry season including the playoffs. He’s 27, and, like Ekeler, has a low BMI for the position (5-11, 205.) People talk about Travis Etienne (5-10, 215) not being built for every-down work!
These are all great players whose usage and situations portend big production, and anyone, including Robinson and Lamb, can obviously get hurt in the NFL. But these are all early-to-mid first rounders with heightened risk of injury/decline. I’ll happily pick at the end of the round (especially in NFFC’s 3RR) and take the “safer” guys.
Round 2: All the QBs, Tony Pollard, Chris Olave — Call me stubborn, but I’m not taking a QB in Round 2. Especially Mahomes who doesn’t even run that much and has no receivers other than Kelce of which to speak. Give me a RB/WR every time, and let me grab Danny Dimes, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Anthony Richardson or Kirk Cousins 10 rounds later. One year does not a new paradigm make.
Pollard is in a great spot, but I don’t typically like the part-time guy graduating to full-time work, especially when it’s a low BMI (6-0, 209) speed back who thrived with fresh legs. He’s also 26, which is old-ish for a back. Hard pass in Round 2.
I see the case for Olave, but Michael Thomas is a problem if he stays healthy, and while Derek Carr is probably an upgrade over Andy Dalton, change isn’t great in Year 2. (I know this contradicts my stance on Garrett Wilson, who is in a similar boat, but the upgrade from what the Jets had to Rodgers is far more pronounced.)
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