Headed into the 2023 fantasy football draft I'm crossing draft bust off my cheat sheet because of their inflated ADP. Avoiding draft busts is a major key to draft success. Winning your fantasy league is about ensuring your early draft picks are reliable and not a liability. I'm looking for weekly consistency in the early rounds. If possible, I avoid players on teams with coaching changes or personnel changes that could impact dynamics on the field. In the early rounds I like to limit risk while in the mid to late rounds I look for value and upside picks
Below are my top 10 players to avoid and below to give you their current ADP and where i would be willing to draft them as a value pick.
The Top 10 Players to Avoid In 2023
- Chris Godwin: (Current ADP: 4.02 | Value Pick ADP: 6.01) Godwin has experienced significant success in PPR leagues, primarily due to the high number of receptions he averages per game. However, it's important to consider that this success could be attributed to the quarterbacks Tampa Bay has had in recent years. For instance, Tom Brady attempted 733 passes last year and 719 in 2022, both of which were the highest in the NFL by a longshot. In Godwin's best year, Jameis Winston attempted 626 passes and threw for 5,109 yards. With Tampa's offense now being run by a young Baker Mayfield, who may not possess the same arm talent or vision as Winston or Brady, it is likely to impact Godwin's production.
- Kenneth Walker: (Current ADP: 3.05 | Value Pick ADP: 5.08) Walker had a breakout season in 2022, averaging 13.5 points per game in PPR leagues. However, his value in PPR leagues is diminished when you consider his target share of 7.4%. Additionally, Seattle drafting Zach Cabernet 52nd overall indicates that they don't anticipate Walker having a heavy workload or being heavily involved in the passing game.
- Deebo Samuel: (Current ADP: 3.07 | Value Pick ADP: 5.11) San Francisco's struggles at the quarterback position, combined with increased competition in the wide receiver room, don't bode well for Deebo Samuel. Brandon Aiyuk demonstrated last year that he is a talented player and poised to become the top-scoring wide receiver on the team. The coaching staff has praised Aiyuk, stating that he has looked like the best player on the field in recent weeks.
- Dameon Pierce: (Current ADP: 4.04 | Value Pick ADP: 6.01) Pierce is a talented running back, and on a great offense with a competent coaching staff, he could thrive. However, he currently plays for the Texans, which is a limiting factor. The Texans brought in several weapons during the offseason, including Devin Singletary, who played a significant role in the Bills' offense last year and is likely to take snaps away from Pierce. Furthermore, Pierce's performance may be affected by his season-ending ankle injury from last year. Additionally, his below-average catching ability, having caught only 30 balls in 13 games with a 64% snap share, is a factor to consider.
- Alvin Kamara: (Current Pick ADP: 5.09 | Value Pick ADP: 6.08) Recent seasons have shown that Kamara isn't the same player he used to be. In 2020, Kamara scored 21 touchdowns, compared to a combined 13 touchdowns in the last two seasons. The Saints' selection of Kendre Miller, a running back from TCU, in the 3rd round raises questions about how much the team truly trusts Kamara and his abilities. Additionally, Kamara turning 28 before the season begins is a significant factor, considering his heavy workload throughout his career, and raises concerns about when he might experience a decline.
- Tyler Allgeier: (Current ADP: 7.12 | Value Pick ADP: 9.10) With Allgeier battling against one of the best RB prospects in the last ten years (Bijan Robinson); he is going to struggle to find good enough value to be picked up in earlier rounds. Allgeier and Bijan have the same rushing stats in college but Bijan played in higher level competition, was younger while he did it, and caught the ball out the air a significant more amount than Allgeier.
- Josh Jacobs: (Current ADP: 1.11 | Value Pick ADP: 2.12) Following his best season in 2022, leading the NFL in touches and rushing for 1653 yards. Everything seems fine until you look at running backs the following year of leading the league in rushing touches. Most get hurt or have a bust season and don't look like themselves anymore.
- Breece Hall: (Current ADP: 2.10 | Value Pick ADP: 4.01) Breece went out last year with an ACL tear. Before that he was one of the most impressive in his class and showed some insane speed feats. Did that really convince the jets though? All off season and during the draft, it seemed the Jets were looking for an RB. Jets showed interest in Jamyr Gibbs in the draft and have also showed interest in free agent Dalvin Cook. Breece brings a risk reward factor to your team and that's one way to lose the draft.
- Adam Theilen: (Current ADP: 11.01 | Value Pick ADP: 13.01) Adam Thielen's stock is plummeting faster than a dragon's dive. Thielen's performance took a nosedive, posting his worst fantasy points per game since 2015, ranking poorly in receiving grade and yards per route run. With declining targets and advancing age, Thielen's once-elite play-making ability has faded into the shadows, making him a major avoid for savvy fantasy managers.
- Calvin Ridley: (Current ADP: 9.06 | Value Pick ADP:11.01) Calvin Ridley's prolonged absence from the field and subsequent suspension raise serious concerns for fantasy managers. While joining an improving offense, the 28-year-old wide receiver carries significant risk as a top-20 draft pick, requiring chemistry-building with a rookie quarterback and outperforming a crowded receiving corps. Proceed with caution, as the potential upside must be weighed against the uncertainties surrounding Ridley's return to form.
Now I know a lot of seasoned pro's will read this article and think I'm crazy. You'll knock my criteria or have a bullish stance on some of the players I'm avoiding in 2023. But my goal isn't to get all my predictions correct. My goal is to limit risk so I have a better chance to win coming out of the draft. For custom cheat sheets and my personal sleeper list please take a look at my 2023 draft guide. I created that cheat sheet system 10 years ago to help me during my drafts and we've been helping people like you ever since.