Teams to Avoid in Fantasy

Are there teams you should generally avoid in fantasy? I’m not talking just bad teams, although that is a consideration. There are other things…

  1. 49ers: At this point, the only 49er I might consider is George Kittle, but even he usually requires too much fantasy draft capital for his age (29 this October) and injury history. Aside from him, Kyle Shanahan’s capriciousness makes every player a question mark. Will Trey Lance be the starting QB? Probably, but why did they draft Brock Purdy? Will Trey Sermon ever play? Who knows? Is Brandon Aiyuk starting this season? Maybe. The 49ers are the only team where invested draft capital is meaningless. Shanahan is gonna be Shanahan. Even with Deebo, who knows if he can stay healthy long enough, especially with them running him? Can Elijah Mitchell stay healthy? Again, question marks all over, and with Shanahan running the show, anything is possible. Fantasy train wreck. Save yourself the headaches.

  2. Lions: After D’Andre Swift, things get questionable. Even Swift has some question marks of his own, but he is worth taking a shot. Amon Ra St. Brown is a great WR, but will he see the same targets he got last year when the team was a MASH unit? And how much do we really trust Jared Goff to get it done? Don’t even talk about Jameson Williams, who is likely to miss much of the season.

  3. Giants: As long as Daniel Jones is the QB, avoid this mess. Saquon Barkley hasn’t been great since Eli Manning retired, as he goes thru injury after injury. Even Kadarius Toney was trade -bait this year (What was that about?!). The rest of the roster is a bunch of non-names and wannabes. Walk away. Walk FAR away!

  4. Commanders: Carson Wentz? Really? If he can’t win with the Colts, it ain’t happening in DC. Antonio Gibson had his shot last year, and looked ok, but not great. Unless Gibson ends up on the Rams, don’t expect much, especially with Bryan Robinson arriving in town to scarf some goal line rushes, assuming there are any under the Commander Carson-led offense. Forget Terry McLaurin, unless he can maybe develop some chemistry with Carson. But considering it wasn’t happening for Michael Pittman, don’t expect much from the lesser McLaurin. Dotson? Rookie Jahan Dotson has his work cut out for him. Another mess of a team, thanks to idiot owner Dan Snyder.

  5. Bears: We can forgive the Bears for the failed Matt Nagy years. But look at what they did in the draft this year? Justin Fields now has Darnell Mooney and…Velus Jones? Clearly, the Bears scouts were enjoying Vegas a little too much during the draft this year. An aging David Montgomery isn’t selling me on this offense. Khalil Herbert is an intriguing player here, but he might still be a year away from significant touches, unless Montgomery gets hurt. Herbert and Mooney are the only plays in this mess, and I won’t spend much draft capital to get them.

  6. Titans: What happens if Derrick Henry gets hurt again this season? It gets ugly, like it did last year. Ryan Tannehill is a decent game manager QB, but he won’t make anyone mistake him for Justin Herbert. If they have to throw to set up the run without Henry, this team is a beached whale. Speaking of Henry, his tread is looking a little threadbare. Can Hassan Haskins carry the load? It may be worth a late flyer, or is a “must-draft” if you have Henry. Otherwise, avoid this mess.

Honorable mention: The Chiefs. This is just my own personal preference, and not something I recommend to anyone else. Admittedly, I’m a Raider fan, and this is completely personal. Once Andy Reid is retired and Mahomes goes back to being the most overrated QB in NFL history, I may decide to return the Chiefs to insignificance in my mind. Until then, I won’t touch them.

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Niners: Mostly agree. Lance has a lot of potential, but certainly also carries a lot of risk. And even if he will be as good as I hope, the rest of the offense is too random to invest here. It may be worth holding on to players you already have. Also, TDP is a risk/reward pick I’d make if he is available towards the end of the second round. Ambiguous backfields can produce league winners, but of course, it’s quite a bit of a lottery.

Lions: agree.

Giants: not necessarily. Saquon is a risky investment, but if he can stay healthy this year, he could actually have a good season. He could be involved in the passing game quite a bit. And the ACL he tore in 2020 should be fully healed by now. If I can get him cheap, I’ll take my chances. Same for Danny Dimes, who is getting this one last chance, and I wouldn’t fully write him off yet. He could be available for scraps, even in 2QB/SFLEX formats, so why not?

Commanders - agree. Robinson could be worth a try, but his upside is limited, even if Gibson should get injured. And the best hope for Dotson is that the Commanders will draft a competent QB next year. That’s not the basis I like to make investments on, though. Their only player who is on my watch list is 2nd year TE John Bates, who looked good at times last year. I might grab him off waivers in TE needy leagues during this season, especially if Logan Thomas struggles.

Bears - no argument here.

Same for the Titans. Hassan Haskins was on my draft list earlier on, but after watching some more tape, I’d rather take my chances on TDP now. If Haskins is still on the board in round 3, I might be tempted to buy into that lottery. But other than that, my fantasy rosters will likely remain Titans-free.

And the Chiefs… Mahomes has delivered four top 5 finishes in a row, has won a Super Bowl, and has shown last year that he is capable of adjusting his play when he runs into troubles. He did not stop performing after he got paid big time (also known as the Brock Osweiler syndrome). Yet still, you keep calling him overrated, and will probably still do so if he adds another ten top 5 years.

Personal likes or dislikes are rarely good guides for fantasy football. All Mahomes did so far is producing. Now, he does carry some risks in 2022, so in redraft formats, I’m probably not ready to pay his ADP price. But in dynasty, I’ll be happy to test the waters with the MVS owners and see if I can get a cheap lottery ticket. After this season, we will know if it was Tyreek Hill who made Mahomes great, or if it was the other way around.

A team that should definitely be on the “stay away” list this season are the Seahawks. They project to be among the 3 worst offenses in 2022, and right now, there is not a single player on their roster who might be a value target at his current ADP.

And my personal “avoid” tag goes to the Philadelphia Eagles. Maybe Jalen Hurts will finally prove me wrong and show that all he was missing was a player like AJ Brown. I won’t bet on it, though, which pretty much devalues all Philly pass catchers except Dallas Goedert. Add a messy backfield that sees a good chunk of ground work being taken away by Hurts, and you have a team I would not like to be invested in. Hurts is a solid risk/reward pick in redraft formats, because as long as he keeps the job, he will produce great fantasy numbers. But I expect him to be out of a job after this season, so I’ll definitely not invest into him in dynasty.

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I actually like their running game for this year. The only question is whether it will be Penny or Walker producing, or maybe both? But yes, their passing game is a must-avoid.

Agreed. I like Hurts for redraft. Nothing else there to like.

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I expect them to play from behind a lot, which could limit the rushing volume. And indeed, we don’t know who the pass catching RB will be. Ambiguous backfields have some potential, but for dynasty purposes, Penny is too injury prone for me to make any offers for him, and Walker would require the 1.02 in rookie drafts, which I’d rather spend on London or Burks (whom I’d exempt from the “no Titans” rule).

In redraft formats, Penny and Walker would make for nice late-round targets, if they fall far enough in the draft.

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Oh, and as for:

I still expect the Niners to trade Jimmy G away, so the answer to your question is probably “to give Nate Sudfeld some competition for the backup job”.

There are some valid reasons to remain sceptical about Lance, but the addition of a low-tier QB with one of the last picks in the draft certainly isn’t one of them.

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