Fantasy Football Do Not Draft List

Do Not Draft List

It’s really easy for you to figure out which players you love for the 2021 fantasy season. I’m sure you know by now which guys you want to ride with at the top of the draft board and you no doubt have some sleepers that you think could win you the league this season. But do you know who to avoid in 2021?

Having a list of players who are absolutely no-go’s is just as important as knowing who you want to pick up. Here are a couple of guys at every position you’re not going to want to have on your squads come September.

QB

Matt Ryan - Rank: QB16

JUICE Projections: 432-654 Passing, 66% Completion, 4534 Passing Yds., 27 TD, 12 INT; 84 Rushing Yds, 2 Rush TD

Ryan, 36, lost a little zip on his fastball in 2020, is entering a new offense and lost a Hall of Fame receiver in Jones. I don’t think Ryan is completely done here, especially considering the addition of Kyle Pitts and the likely emergence of Russell Gage. The Falcons will be playing from behind, so there is a chance Ryan puts up a ton of garbage time numbers. However, given players he’s being drafted around I wouldn’t take him. I would much rather have the upside of Matthew Stafford or the running floor of Daniel Jones.

Carson Wentz - Rank: QB21

JUICE Projections: 352-568 Passing, 62% Completion, 3732 Passing Yds., 28 TD, 14 INT; 202 Rushing Yds, 3 Rush TD

It looks as though Wentz will be ready closer to the beginning of the season that initially anticipated, but that still doesn’t make him a buy in fantasy. The Colts don’t have a ton of weapons for him, even though the offense in Indy should suit him better. Are we sure Wentz can stay healthy enough to be a productive fantasy piece? It just doesn’t add up for me. I would rather overpay for someone else in his range. 

Tua Tagovailoa - Rank: QB23

JUICE Projections: 402-628 Passing, 64% Completion, 3981 Passing Yds., 25 TD, 12 INT; 157 Rushing Yds, 1 Rush TD

It’s tough to be too hard on Tua Tagovailoa given his first year in Miami. He had Ryan Fitzpatrick looking over his shoulder half the time, he didn’t have a ton of great weapons, he was coming off of injury and the coaching staff clearly didn’t do him any favors. That being said, he certainly didn’t look like the QB we saw at Alabama. People are still drafting him in fantasy based on his name and maybe he could be sneaky in some deeper formats. But I would rather be taking a chance on Jared Goff and his garbage time potential than banking on Tua having some sort of breakout season.

RB

Ezekiel Elliott - Rank: RB9

JUICE Projections: 225 carries, 945 Rushing Yds, 11 Rush TD; 52 receptions, 347 Receiving Yds, 4 Rec. TD

If you have questions about Ezekiel Elliott, just know you’re not alone. Zeke’s production has declined pretty steadily over the past couple of seasons and he had issues finding the end zone last year when given red zone opportunities. 

While his red zone conversion rate will likely improve significantly, especially in this offense, it is worth monitoring how he’s used. I no longer believe he is a true bell cow RB and I find it hard to believe he’ll be used as such in this offense. Does that mean you shouldn’t draft him? Of course not. I just don’t believe he’s worthy of a top 5 pick anymore in traditional re-draft leagues. If you want to take him at the end of the first round, sure, but I wouldn’t take him with a top 6 pick. 

My hunch is Elliott gives way to Tony Pollard more than most would believe, while also being more productive in the red zone. 

Melvin Gordon - Rank: RB23

JUICE Projections: 215 carries, 989 Rushing Yds, 8 Rush TD; 27 receptions, 171 Receiving Yds, 2 Rec. TD

Gordon is still projected to have a good fantasy season in 2021. A lot depends on how quickly second-round draft pick Javonte Williams gets up to speed. 

The former Wisconsin star was productive in 2020 with the Broncos and should be the starter come Week 1. His receiving skills are decent and he’s still more than capable of scoring in the red zone. 

My hunch is that our projections are hair too high on Gordon and that Williams gets more volume than anticipated.

David Johnson - Rank: RB34

JUICE Projections: 119 carries, 500 Rushing Yds, 5 Rush TD; 35 receptions, 248 Receiving Yds, 2 Rec. TD

Look, someone is going to play running back for the Texans. Someone is going to score rushing touchdowns and catch the ball out of the backfield. Could it be David Johnson? Sure, he’s the lead back. But he’s not a reliable back anymore and would be a dicey RB2 on any roster. As a RB3, maybe he holds value, but wouldn’t you want to grab someone with bigger upside? I sure would.

WR

Michael Thomas - Rank: WR51

JUICE Projections: 55 receptions, 670 Receiving Yds, 5 Rec. TD

There’s a chance Michael Thomas doesn’t play this season. There’s a chance Thomas also plays this season, but not on the Saints. There’s just too much going on here for me to invest any pick in the top 8 rounds on the Saints’ star receiver. Even when Thomas was slated to play a full season I would have been fading him given the unknowns at QB. This just further cements the fade.

DJ Chark - Rank: WR45

JUICE Projections: 59 receptions, 716 Receiving Yds, 5 Rec. TD

Chark is another player I could see being dealt this season. The Jaguars only have so many passes to go around and it seems likely that Chark is the third banana in Jacksonville right now, and perhaps fourth if you include Travis Etienne. Laviska Shenault is coming on strong and had a great rookie campaign, while Marvin Jones is always underrated and should have a big role this season. Chark is the odd man out.

Kenny Golladay - Rank: WR27

JUICE Projections: 66 receptions, 769 Receiving Yds, 9 Rec. TD

All Day Golladay no longer. The newest New York Giants receiver should have a nice role with his new team, but given Daniel Jones’ issues and the amount of receivers already in town I find it hard to believe Golladay is going to be a top 20 receiver in 2021. I would rather take players like Brandon Aiyuk, Chris Godwin, Robby Anderson or Cooper Kupp in the same range that Golladay is going in. If Kenny G doesn’t find the end zone, Golladay drafters are going to be a bunch of sad sax. 

TE

Logan Thomas - Rank: TE10

JUICE Projections: 53 receptions, 584 Receiving Yds, 5 Rec. TD

It’s not that I don’t like Thomas. His breakout season was impressive in 2020. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick is in town and I think he’s going to target Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel above Thomas. Throw in the fact that Antonio Gibson is going to be utilized more in the red zone and in the passing game and it just limits the upside on Thomas, who is being drafted as a Top 10 TE. I would rather have Noah Fant in this range.

Robert Tonyan - Rank: TE13


JUICE Projections: 46 receptions, 523 Receiving Yds, 5 Rec. TD

Tonyan caught 88% of his passes and had a ridiculous TD% last season. That is just simply not going to continue, even if Aaron Rodgers plays out of his mind once again this season. Rodgers is not going to have TD percentage of 9.1% again. If Tonyan isn’t scoring TDs, his value isn’t that high.

Blake Jarwin - Rank: TE33

JUICE Projections: 33 receptions, 395 Receiving Yds, 1 Rec. TD

Blake Jarwin had a little bit of hype coming into last season and for good reason. Jason Witten was finally out of the way, the Cowboys had a ton of targets to go around and Jarwin had proven himself to be a downfield playmaker. Unfortunately, Jarwin tore his ACL in Week 1 and missed the rest of the season. Even worse for Jarwin believers, Dalton Schultz had a great season in 2020 and looks to be the lead tight end in Dallas. I would pass on Jarwin until we see more. He’s not worth the risk in normal re-draft leagues.