Back once again, like the renegade master, to share my thoughts on players you really should think about avoiding in fantasy football in 2016. This time, it is the turn of the NFC North to feel the force of my disapproval. Each of the four squads in this division are blessed with players that would be a credit to any fantasy team. They also have their fair share of duffers. It is the later group that I will focus on here.
(Note – Any Average Draft Position Data is courtesy of FantasyPros.com)
Chicago Bears – Jeremy Langford, RB
The Bears finished 6th in rushing attempts in the league last season under Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase, as they limited the damage Jay Cutler could do to them by ensuring 24 teams threw more passes than he could manage. Leading rusher, and solid receiver, Matt Forte is now a New York Jet, and who replaces him is a question fantasy owners will be keen to have answered. The heir presumptive is Jeremy Langford, who paced the team with six rushing scores in 2015. He only managed 537 yards rushing at 3.6 yards per carry, and as a receiver he caught just over half of his 42 targets (22) for 279 yards. Even this figure is somewhat skewed, thanks to an 83 yard play. The biggest danger for fantasy owners, aside from the worry that Langford is #BadAtFootball, is that the Bears will look to replace the production of Forte with a committee, and not nail their colours to a single back to carry the mail. This very real possibility makes Langford a player I will not take too high, and certainly not at his current ADP of RB22.
Detroit Lions – Ameer Abdullah RB
Like a few other names, Abdullah was a big beneficiary when Jim Bob Cooter became the Lions Offensive Coordinator in 2015. Through his first eight games as a pro, Abdullah was averaging less than eight rushing attempts a game, and only 28 rushing yards per contest. The second half of his season saw these numbers rise to 10 and 46, and he finished with a 4.2 YPC average. With Joique Bell no longer around, AA figures to be the lead back. But I’m not overwhelmed about his fantasy appeal. He scored only two rushing touchdowns last season, was entrusted with just 12 rushing attempts inside the opposition red zone, and saw only 38 targets in the passing game. With a big back like Zach Zenner set to see the goal line work, and the third down passing looks set to go to Theo Riddick, Abdullah will need to score his touchdowns from a long way out to have any real appeal. His current ADP has him being drafted as an RB3, but as of July 10th I’m yet to be impressed.
Green Bay Packers – Davante Adams, WR
Adams was given the opportunity to fill in for the injured Jordy Nelson for the Packers last season, and he was unable to grasp it with two hands. In fact, he struggled to grasp anything with two hands. He finished with just 50 catches on 99 targets, scoring just one touchdown. The RotoViz Fantasy Efficiency App recorded him as finishing with nearly MINUS 30 fantasy points under expectation, based on his workload. He was just bloody awful. With Nelson returning, Randall Cobb primed to bounce back, and the likes of Jared Cook, Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis pushing for playing time, Adams current ADP of WR75 is probably still too high. You’ve got to hand it to him…he’d drop it otherwise.
Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater, QB
Despite adding one of the best wide receiver prospects in the draft, the Vikings don’t strike me as a team that are suddenly about to throw out the ground game and start a bid to become the second incarnation of the Greatest Show on Turf. They attempted the fewest passes, amassed the second fewest passing yards and scored the fewest receiving touchdowns, while finishing 4th in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing scores and rushing yards per attempt. Teddy Bridgewater is a steady hand at the tiller of the Vikings offense, but he is not going to pull up any trees in fantasy football. He is currently being drafted as the QB21, bizarrely (in my opinion) ahead of Ryan Tannehill. This is a move that just baffles me.
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