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AVOID THESE 4 BIG NAME PLAYERS IN FANTASY FOOTBALL 2024
Just four dudes who will disappoint those who draft them in fantasy football 2024. 👇
🏈 Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence was the QB10 this season, so why avoid him?
He is too overhyped. It hurts to say that because I used to be a big “Trevor Truther.”
When he was coming out of Clemson, many experts had him graded as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, and for good reason. He has all the tools to be an elite NFL quarterback.
In the NFL, Lawrence has been good, but not great. His rookie year in 2021 was one to forget. He’d finish the season as the QB22 with 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. Fortunately, he used his legs a bit and got 334 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. It was fairly easy to blame the season on poor coaching and getting acclimated to the NFL.
His second season would prove to be a big improvement and his best year as of now. 4,113 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions along with 291 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns would put him as the QB6. It appeared Lawrence’s ascension to stardom was happening.
But then Lawrence’s 2023 season was a bit of a step back, finishing as the QB10 with:
4,017 passing yards (10th in the league)
21 passing touchdowns (15th in the league)
14 interceptions (Tied for 4th most in the league)
333 rushing yards (8th among quarterbacks)
4 rushing touchdowns (Tied for 7th amongst quarterbacks)
Trevor is a good real-life quarterback but in fantasy football, you need greatness. QB10 isn’t that great, especially since most people spent a fairly early pick on him. You would have been better off waiting to draft a guy like Dak or Brock Purdy who were huge values and league winners.
Lawrence has a lot of potential, which is why people will still draft him high. But what exactly has to change for him to be an elite fantasy option? The Jags offense was pretty juiced with the addition of Calvin Ridley and the breakout of Travis Etienne, yet Lawrence still didn’t take the next level many expected.
When the draft season rolls around, either take one of the elite QBs or wait to take an unproven player with high-upside. There are better positional values in rounds 5-6 than Trevor Lawrence.
🏈 Najee Harris
Najee Harris had a very memorable rookie season in 2021, finishing as the RB3 in PPR leagues. He looked like a potential superstar, with his impressive hurdles and tackle-breaking. It’s crazy how quickly things can change in the NFL. Many fantasy managers have that rookie season still in the back of their minds. It's so easy to chase after that kind of season, thinking it's going to happen again. The sad truth is, it won’t. The stats show that Najee’s rookie season was an outlier year especially since he has declined every year since entering the league:
Yards Per Carry
What made Najee so valuable in 2021 was his role in the receiving game. He had 74 catches for 467 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2021 but hasn’t come close to that kind of receiving usage in 2022 or 2023. Everything other than his receiving work has essentially stayed the same or got worse. Following his RB3 finish in 2021, he finished as RB14 in 2022 and RB24 in 2023. He quickly went from a promising bell-cow running back to a touchdown-dependent volume play at best. Najee is not efficient with the ball in his hands, he’s part of an awful offense and will continue to split work with Jaylen Warren (who outscored Najee in PPR leagues this season.) As long as Warren is a part of the Pittsburgh backfield, Najee cannot be trusted in your starting lineup, especially with Warren being used as the preferred back in the passing game.
🏈 Christian Watson
The Christian Watson experiment has been a mess, to say the least. He looked like a star in the making in the second half of the 2022 NFL season. From weeks 10-18, he was the WR9. He battled injuries during the first part of the season but looked incredibly explosive and efficient when he returned. He was the alpha when he was on the field, which is why he was a breakout candidate for the 2023 season. He ended up doing everything but that. Injuries shortened Watson’s season for the second straight year and made it hard to build chemistry with Jordan Love. Even when he was on the field, he did next to nothing. In the 9 games he played, he averaged 3.1 catches on 5.8 targets and 46.8 receiving yards per game. In a young and crowded wide receiver room in Green Bay, Watson may be on the outside looking in once the 2024 season rolls around. The emergence of Jayden Reed is especially hurtful to Watson since LaFleur uses them very similarly. This situation is starting to look like what Kansas City has going on with Kadarius Toney: an explosive athlete with tons of potential who cannot stay on the field. Watson is pretty much off of my draft board in redraft leagues due to poor production but could be an interesting buy-low option in dynasty leagues since he is young and such an athletic freak.
🏈 Travis Kelce
Aside from Rob Gronkowski, Kelce has been the most dominant fantasy tight end in recent memory. Since entering the league in 2013, he’s finished outside of the top 3 fantasy tight ends only twice. For the longest time, getting Travis Kelce in the 2nd round was safe and a huge positional advantage. He has essentially been a wide receiver that you throw into the tight end slot for the last decade. But in football years, he’s ancient and we all know that Father Time is undefeated. Kelce will be 35 years old this next season and should start showing signs of decline, closing his window of production sooner rather than later. It's a huge risk to spend a premier pick on such an old player, especially when they’re are some young players making huge strides. This has been the season where the tight-end playing field has become more even. Travis Kelce finally blended in with the other tight ends of the NFL.
117 targets (5th among tight ends)
93 receptions (3rd among tight ends)
984 receiving yards (2nd among tight ends)
5 receiving touchdowns (tied for 7th among tight ends)
Many would consider this a good season for a tight end, and it was! It’s just not a good Travis Kelce season. This was a down year for him and the first time he hasn’t had 1,000 receiving yards since 2015. Kelce taking a step back in production and the emergence of other tight ends drops his value significantly. Maybe this season was a fluke and Travis Kelce will have another season with 1200 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, or maybe his age is catching up to him. Either way, it would be better to avoid him for the inevitable hefty cost during the draft season.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my content! Follow me on Twitter @aidenhauser for all things fantasy football!
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