Preseason has wrapped up, and the 2022 NFL season is right around the corner, which means fantasy football draft season is in full swing.
Here’s a quick look at five players to avoid during your fantasy draft this year.
WR Kenny Golladay, New York Giants
Golladay’s time with the Giants has not gone well, and the receiver shouldn’t be going 145th overall. Golladay is set to turn 29 this season, and he caught only 37 passes for 521 yards with no touchdowns in 14 games last year. Even with a change of scenery, Golladay should not be counted on as a reliable WR in fantasy this year.
QB Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Watson is not being picked early (180th overall), because everyone knows he has to serve an 11-game suspension. Unless you’re in a deep two-QB league, Watson shouldn’t be picked at all. The QB will remain available in most leagues until closer to when his suspension is lifted, at which time you can make him a waiver wire target. There’s no need to draft him, though, because even when he does return from suspension, Watson might need a few weeks to get up to speed with his new teammates.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy managers drafting Hopkins in 2022 are selecting the name, not the production. First of all, Hopkins will have to begin the year with a six-game suspension. After that, the 30-year-old receiver will aim to stay healthy after missing six games last season with hamstring and MCL injuries. An aging receiver coming off an injury and who’s only available for at most 11 games this year shouldn’t be going 92nd overall in fantasy drafts.
WR Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns
From 2020 to 2021, Cooper’s numbers dropped from 92 catches to 68 catches and from 1,114 yards to 865 yards (and he only missed one game). His touchdown total did increase last year (up to eight after five in 2020), but that was with Dak Prescott as his quarterback. Cooper is now set to play with Jacoby Brissett for the first 11 games of the 2022 season, and while he is Cleveland’s No. 1 receiver, Cooper’s 64th overall ADP is simply too high.
RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Harris revealed after the Steelers’ preseason finale that he’s been dealing with a Lisfranc injury. The running back was apparently deemed healthy enough to play in Pittsburgh’s final preseason game as he rushed four times for 10 yards. It’s possible that Harris might be fully recovered and ready to go when Week 1 arrives, but it’s also possible that the injury could be aggravated this season. Is it really worth taking that kind of chance on a player going seventh overall in the draft? There are other players without injury concerns who should jump Harris on your big board.