6 Player Andrew Erickson Will Never Draft Again (2022 Fantasy Football)

Let’s take a look at the players on Andrew Erickson’s 2022 do-not-draft list.

Rankings noted using FantasyPro’s half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.

Fantasy Football Re-Draft Draft Kit

6 Players You Should Avoid Drafting

Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL)

Ezekiel Elliott’s primary fantasy appeal is the touchdown opportunity he’ll see in a high-profile offense that ends another season with poor rushing efficiency scores. The Dallas Cowboys running backs ranked fifth-worst (25.0) in PFF’s elusive rating and averaged fewer fantasy points per game in a better offensive situation than they did in 2020 (14.6 vs. 15.4). There’s one caveat to Zeke’s inefficient rushing: he was reportedly playing with a torn cruciate ligament last season.

However, history doesn’t necessarily point to Elliott making a meaningful comeback in 2022 based on running backs with similar careers.

Steven Jackson, Walter Payton, and Clinton Portis are closest to Elliott because of their workloads and age, according to Stathead.com. Each running back totaled over 1,800 touches before their season at age 27.

However, feedback was negative as each running back saw a drop in average PPR points per game (1.34) and total fantasy points (-18). And that came with each of them still seeing more than 370 touches in the season.

Elliott hit a career low in total touches (284) and touches per game (16.7) last season — almost three down from 2020.

Dallas has every right to feed Zeke to his heart’s content when his contract expires at the end of the season. But they’re also in the business of winning games and understand that Elliott’s collapse at the end of last season didn’t help the offense.

Meanwhile, backup running back Tony Pollard averaged 11.3 touches — three up from the year before — and flashed an elite rushing ability as the PFF’s second-highest rusher.

I hate being the one to bury an older running back as washed, as last season with the likes of James Conner and Leonard Fournette burned me a bit. However, I’m not overly convinced that Elliott will be a volume monster in 2022 after the team has scaled back its use while Pollard continued to impress at every opportunity.

And even if Elliott’s efficiency picks up slightly after a lackluster season, the Cowboys’ offensive line could diminish any of those advantages if they take a step back with a plethora of moving parts.

If Zeke is following the same path as the previous defenders I mentioned, he’s looking at 235 fantasy points (low-end RB1 last season) over a full run of games. But his points per game falls within the back-end RB2 range at RB22, averaging 13.5 points per game.

Chances are Elliott will likely beat his ADP because he’s an Ironman and doesn’t miss games. He has only missed one game in his NFL career due to injury.

But even the biggest Zeke fans will admit he needs to finish the ride as RB10-12 will hardly feel smooth as it hangs in the mediocre RB2 production most weeks. He has finished as a top 12 fantasy RB1 in just 35% of his games over the past two seasons. Elliott isn’t going to be a real difference maker at this point in his career, and the cost of getting him in the middle rounds against league-winning WRs is something I can’t justify.

Remember that 13.5 PPR points per game matched last season’s WR29.

And if the only argument for drafting Zeke is touchdowns (valid argument), then why not just draft Josh Jacobs? Or the likes of Antonio Gibson, Elijah Mitchell, Damien Harris and David Montgomery, all of whom finished 2021 with a similar percentage (more than 32%) as RB1s?

David Montgomery (RB – CHI)

Despite being an established workhorse, David Montgomery finished as a top 24 running back in less than half of his competitions last season (46%). Former sixth-rounder Khalil Herbert was a top-12 running back in two of his five games last season when he earned at least a 50 percent snap share.

Just don’t draft David Montgomery. Projected volume is the only reason he’s going where his ADP is, but a new coaching staff could approach the backfield differently. In my heart of hearts I think Herbert is the better, more explosive defender. Monty finished outside the top 24 in more than half of his games last season. His 2022 ADP hits among the top 20 RBs. No thank you.

Sammy Watkins (WR – UK)

Sammy Watkins’ fantasy points per game over the last four seasons are as follows: 9.5, 8.0, 7.0 and 5.2. Not the direction you want to go after joining his third team in three seasons.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky said that because of the investment the Packers gave Watkins – a $350,000 signing bonus on a one-year contract – he has little chance of even making the week one list.

Amari Cooper (WR – CLE)

Deshaun Watson is likely to miss a significant part, if not all, of the 2022 season. Without Watson or Mayfield (who’s officially a Carolina Panther), Cooper is left with Jacoby Brissett. While Brissett has plenty of experience and can prove useful, he is a significant demotion compared to Dak Prescott. So when Cooper could only finish as a WR27 in 15 games with Prescott, it’s hard to be optimistic about him as Brown’s WR1 or your fantasy WR2.

DeVante Parker (WR – NE)

2021 was a typical season for DeVante Parker. The former first-round pick has had at least seven goals in seven of his nine games played, scoring double-digit fantasy points in more than half of those games. He averaged 12.9 expected fantasy points per game for 17 weeks (28th).

His acquisition by the Patriots helps shore up the need for a large-scale perimeter wide receiver who can play downfield. However, it remains to be seen how high Parker’s target share will be. If anything, he probably has the most touchdown advantage of the New England Patriots WRs.

Just don’t be too optimistic when he’s available all season as his injury history precedes him. His 1.48 yards per route was also his worst mark since 2018, as was his 55% catch percentage.

Adam Thielen (WR – MIN)

Fantasy football doesn’t have to be complicated. And so does the fading Adam Thielen, who failed to make it as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver in over half of his games for the second straight season.

The 32-year-old wideout has had the imaginations talking about his “ability” to find the end zone 24 times since early 2020, but that just doesn’t last long. Based on Thielen’s goals and yardage totals, his total TD count should be closer to 16.

Justin Jefferson is a rising rocketship who won’t see his TDs increase until year 3, most likely to Thielen’s detriment. Dalvin Cook is long overdue for a positive touchdown regression. Not to mention, AT’s age may finally be catching up to him after posting his lowest PFF rating and yards per distance run since first becoming a starter in 2016.

With a string of ankle injuries from last season also pointing to more potential troubles for Thielen in 2022, the Vikings wide receiver has a plethora of red flags suggesting he’s staying away completely.

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 rewrite of the fantasy football rankings

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