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Pass on these three early-round wide receivers

Let your leaguemates draft these guys destined to disappoint.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone’s looking for sleepers and busts and for good reason. This is not a list of busts, per-say. This is more a list of a few folks I just can’t bring myself to pick at the current ADP.

Round 1: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Before everyone gets all up in arms, I’m not saying Mike Evans is a bad football player. But this year, Big Mike is just going too high to pay off his price. I heard this stat on the Harris Football Podcast (must listen material), and of course, being the sophisticated journo I am, I confirmed:

Evans had 101 targets in his first 8 games of 2016.

Now, full disclosure, Evans finished the year with 171 total targets. So it’s not as if he was ignored by Winston in the 2nd half of the season. The important note here is the Tampa Bay coaching staff made a concerted effort to reign in Winston and his interceptions in the second half of the season. That effort worked.

After winning 3 of their first 8 games, the Buccaneers went 6-2 in their last 8. The team was much better when they did not rely solely on the Winston to Evans connection.

Evans’ targets will come down, making me pass on him at his current ADP of 8 overall (ADP courtesy RotoViz’s Best Ball ADP app). With guys like LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon, and Jordy Nelson coming off the board behind Evans, one of my league-mates will end up with Evans this year.

Round 3: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

After a disaster of a year catching passes from Brock Osweiler, Hopkins’ ADP hasn’t fallen quite enough. I love Hopkins’ talent (full disclosure, again, I grew up in Houston), but what we saw with the Brian Hoyer Texans is not coming back for at least a few years.

Bill O’Brien has done a tremendous job getting the Texans to 9-7 three years running with no QB. While hopes are high for Deshaun Watson, the Texans will lean on a strong defense, force a run game regardless of how painful it looks, and look to eek out another 9 wins in a soft division.

The opportunity will not be there for DeAndre this year. If Watson comes in and plays well, even plays well ‘for a rookie’, I may have to abandon this not-so-hot take. Otherwise, Demaryius Thomas, Brandin Cooks, and Sammy Watkins are all going after DeAndre. Look to pick up anyone from that trio and avoid the week-to-week heartbreak.

Round 4: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

After burning excited drafters looking to capitalize on Jordy Nelson’s torn ACL in 2015, Adams had a great season playing second fiddle to Jordy in 2016. The problem with Adams is so much of his production coming from touchdowns. Despite playing in 16 games, and not reaching 1,000 yards, Adams scored 12 TDs. There will be plenty of touchdowns to go around again this year in Green Bay, but Adams will not repeat his 12 TD effort. Adams is a middle-of-the-road receiver in an explosive offense.

I expect Randall Cobb to bounce back from his injury riddled 2016, and we can go ahead and pencil in Martellus Bennett for 8 touchdowns. With receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Tyreek Hill, and Emmanuel Sanders going behind Adams, ole Devante won’t end up on any of my rosters this year.

Drafts are upon us! Hit me up on Twitter @NFLClark, or in the comments below with all your keeper, how does my mock look, and draft strategy questions!


Who would you pass on?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Mike Evans
    (26 votes)
  • 41%
    DeAndre Hopkins
    (63 votes)
  • 33%
    Davante Adams
    (52 votes)
  • 7%
    Other (leave answer in the comments)
    (12 votes)
153 votes total Vote Now