When the high wears off, there has to be a morning after. Now we examine the darker side of this Fantasy Football Draft Guide, the Players I’m Dry On. These are guys that I think are over-valued and only have pain in store for those foolhardy enough to believe the hype. I’m not saying these players won’t do anything of value for their owners—only that they’re not going to live up to their ADP.
Get hydrated and gird your loins, folks. The time is now to get dry.
Players I’m Dry On
Saquon Barkley, RB (NYG)
Oh dear! Not our draft darling! Look, I’m dry on rookie RB’s as a rule, and it’s not often that I come to regret that stance. Sure, there are occasional outliers who set the world on fire their rookie year, but those are seldom the rookies that so-called experts project to be studs.
Furthermore, the Giants have absolutely gutted their own offensive line for the sake of bringing in more and more skill players (and overpaying Odell Beckham Jr.). The modern NFL defense is going to have a fierce pass rush, without exception, and Eli Manning isn’t the picture of grace under fire.
Frankly, I’m dry on the entire Giants offense, but I think that the rookie is going to feel it the most since he’s likely to face a lot of crowded boxes and be forced into a pass-blocking role more often than he’d prefer. Barkley may be a big deal some-day, but if you’re drafting him in the first round this year, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Hou)
It hurts me to speak ill of Hopkins because the guy is an absolute physical beast who I’ve been hyping as underrated for the past three years and was a third-round steal for me last season. Unfortunately, he is no longer the only reliable weapon of an improved offense and he is already showing signs of cracking this preseason, getting into a fistfight with the 49ers second best corner, throwing closed-fist punches at his adversary’s helmet. Any time a “hands team” player is throwing punches, it’s obvious that he’s not making great decisions.
Hopkins does have a history of delivering less than stellar performances when his fantasy stock is high. Will Fuller V, Lamar Miller, and Deshaun Watson are all going to get their goodies this season (barring injury) and the Texans are going to do a lot less playing from behind. Hopkins is still a top 10 talent but drafting him as a top three receiver may leave you high and dry by playoff time.
Doug Baldwin, WR (Sea)
I’ve never been a big believer in Baldwin but at times he’s made me regret it. His size isn’t impressive, his speed is less than elite and he’s just not that exciting on paper—then he’ll flash down the sidelines and leave everybody wondering what happened. This season, however, the Seahawks have been largely stagnant in free agency, in a division where the other three teams are in an active arms race to beef up their secondaries.
Baldwin will face off against Patrick Peterson, Aqib Talib, and former teammate Richard Sherman in six of his sixteen chances this season. If you think those matchups favor the sideline-specialist, Baldwin, by all means, snatch him up—but if you ask me, that offense looks more like the Dry-hawks this year.
Tom Brady, QB (NE)
Unfair? Maybe. It’s certainly easy to be skeptical of a 40-year-old quarterback, even a living legend like Tommy Terrific. Hating on Brady has almost become a cottage industry for trendy sportswriters like myself and he’s been making us eat our carefully-crafted, almost poetic words year after year, but even the Mona Lisa is falling apart.
Yes, Time is still undefeated, and not even Belichick’s dark magic can halt the aging process. I have no doubt that Brady will still get his goodies, but the odds of him playing sixteen games are less than stellar and the quarterback pool is so deep this year, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go after Brady as early as you’ll have to. Risky picks are meant for round 8 and later. Again, I like Brady for top 10 at his position, but not the top three where he’s currently ranked.
That’s enough negativity for this year… now go rehydrate yourselves in the tears of your rivals!