NESN.com’s fantasy football writers have spent the past month previewing all 32 NFL teams, with an eye toward which players you should draft, avoid or peg as sleepers this season. Consider this the Sparknotes version.
Here are 10 players our Pat Bradley and Cameron McDonough believe you should avoid in your fantasy draft, listed in no particular order:
Jason Witten, Tight End, Dallas Cowboys
Witten’s days as a reliable No. 1 fantasy tight end might be over. Sure, he had Tony Romo’s backups throwing to him for most of last season, but he still managed just three touchdown catches. — Pat Bradley
Victor Cruz, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
Cruz finally appears to be healthy, but where he fits into the Giants’ receiving pecking order is a big question. Odell Beckham Jr. is the clear No. 1 receiver, and rookie Sterling Shepard likely will be Eli Manning’s No. 2 option. Cruz might be worth a flyer in one of the later rounds but definitely not before that. — Cameron McDonough
Ted Ginn Jr., Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
With Kelvin Benjamin back, Ginn’s targets will significantly decrease. He played well for the Panthers, but he’s not a reliable starter. He’s being taken in the 14th round, and even that might be too high. — P.B.
Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots
Amendola is a borderline draft-worthy/avoid fantasy player. If he’s healthy, he likely will be first in line for reps as the Patriots’ No. 2 receiver, but there’s a plethora of other options for coach Bill Belichick to turn to, including newcomer Chris Hogan. Amendola also has never had more than three receiving touchdowns in a season, which should give fantasy owners pause. — C.M.
Alex Smith, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
That Smith was the 15th-highest scoring fantasy quarterback last season is really more of an insult to quarterbacks as a whole last season. There are better players available, even as backups. — P.B.
Chris Johnson, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals brought him back, but he will be behind David Johnson on the depth chart. And, as another word of caution, Chris Johnson played in just 11 games last season because of injuries. He might be worth a very late pick, but if someone else wants to reach for him, let them. — C.M.
Jimmy Graham, Tight End, Seattle Seahawks
This is weird to write, but we’re not sure we trust Graham. With Graham coming off a major knee injury and returning to a team that seemingly had no clue how to use him in its offense last season, we aren’t ready to rely on him as a starter. He’s being taken 106th as the 11th tight end off the board, so it seems drafters agree with us. Take him as a backup, especially if you can use tight ends at the flex, and hope for the best. — P.B.
DeSean Jackson, Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins
Gone are the days when fantasy owners would fight each other to draft Jackson as their No. 1 receiver. The trend line for Jackson certainly is pointing down, as he had just 528 yards and four touchdowns in 2015. He’s at best an option for your last wideout spot or flex player at this point in his career. — C.M.
Jay Cutler, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
He’s going undrafted in most leagues. Don’t be the one to change that. He has lost his best weapons, his numbers were down last season, and he’s injury prone. He’s a last-resort, injury-induced, midseason waiver-wire grab. — P.B.
Jordan Cameron, Tight End, Miami Dolphins
Cameron played in every game for the Dolphins in 2015, yet he ranked 29th among NFL tight ends with 386 yards. Yikes. Definitely avoid him as your No. 1 tight end. Better yet, just avoid him all together. — C.M.
Thumbnail photo via Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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