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3 Fantasy Football Players I'm Not Drafting in 2024: Justin Fields, Alvin Kamara and Mike Williams

Like Taylor Swift said, "We are never ever ever drafting him in fantasy." Maybe I'm getting that quote wrong, but these are three players to avoid entirely in all your fantasy football leagues.

Matt De Lima May 20th 8:16 AM EDT.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 29: New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara (41) carries during the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts on October 29, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 29: New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara (41) carries during the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts on October 29, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire)

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

"Learning never exhausts the mind." - Leonardo da Vinci

"Never say never." - Justin Bieber

Don't mind me. I googled "never" quotes. Do you ever do that to find some inspiration? Just so I'm clear, the Bieber quote inclusion is a joke. Relax, folks.

I don't have a "never" quote as interesting as the aforementioned ones. But you should never enter a fantasy football draft and consider any healthy player off-limits. Based on average draft position (ADP), even the worst overvalued player can become valuable if they fall far enough.

And another bit of "never" for you. A friendly reminder to you, my beloved readers: Never reach for quarterbacks. In 1QB leagues, you want to avoid being the guy who is the first to draft a quarterback.

For example, last year, Patrick Mahomes had an ADP of 11, followed by Josh Allen (ADP 18), Jalen Hurts (ADP 20), Joe Burrow (ADP 39) and Lamar Jackson (ADP 40).

Those same quarterbacks finished QB12, QB1, QB2, QB26 and QB4 when ranked by points per game. Quarterbacks like Jordan Love and Brock Purdy emerge every year; I'll roll the dice at least seven rounds later rather than reach for a top quarterback.

I usually like to wait and then double up on the quarterback position in consecutive rounds. I can't tell you how many times I've drafted four RBs and four WRs in the first eight rounds then gone QB-TE-QB-TE in the next four rounds. 

So if you're not supposed to ever consider a player off the table, why am I about to specify four quarterbacks I won't be drafting in 2024? Because, as Bieber said, never say never. Trust your gut. There are bound to be players you don't like, so instead, raise the bar to qualify for such harsh criticism. Dig into the numbers. Watch more than highlights. 

If you think the offseason is slow, rewatch games. Find YouTube videos and deep-dive articles about players that aren't just highlights or fans making hype videos. Listen to what other people have to say. Challenge your preconceived notions. My goal is to show you where I've set that bar.

With all that fantasy football strategy out of the way, let's move on to the "meat and potatoes" of the article - or maybe the "rice and beans" if you're a vegetarian. Or "potatoes and potatoes" if you love carbs like me.

Justin Fields, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Back in 2021, I wrote a Dynasty Stock Watch article series over at Sports Illustrated. In this specific article, I put Zach Wilson and Fields in the same SELL tier. I caught a crazy amount of flak for it. No big deal. I was right about both and I stand by my position.

Long story short, Fields had ups and downs, but here we are about 2.5 years later with his dynasty value circling the drain at QB25. In redraft, he's even lower at QB32.

Look, there have been moments. Fields will certainly get an opportunity at redemption. But I'm not buying it. Fields won't even be drafted unless you play in a 14-team or larger redraft league. That's all well and good. I'm just suggesting that Fields isn't even worth the flier. I'll take a crack on Drake Maye or Bo Nix at QB31 and QB32, respectively. I'll even take a swing with Sam Darnold if they let J.J. McCarthy marinade on the bench.

Fields? Hard pass. There's a video on YouTube where a guy outlines all these advanced stats about how Justin Fields had a terrible offensive line that allowed so many pressures, and compared to other lines around the league, Fields actually did well, considering how often he was pressured. "The offensive line never gave him a chance!"

I'm here to blow up the entire 24-minute video. Do you know why he was pressured so much? 'Cause he held the ball too long! As this tweet highlights, even though it's dated information, Fields had taken 79 sacks after having held the ball for 4+ seconds, 16 more than any other QB, at the time of the tweet anyway.

Sure, he's on a new team. New offensive line. New offensive coordinator. New, new, new… Yet the same inability to see the field and make decisive throws. Watch Brock Purdy make anticipatory throw after anticipatory throw, then watch Fields pull a "confused math lady gif" in the pocket and scramble into a sack and then try to tell me I'm wrong.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

Buoyed by 75 receptions in 2023, Kamara managed to be the RB3 in PPR points scored per game at 17.9. Why, then, am I moving on from a running back that outperformed Breece Hall on a per-game basis?

Well, Kamara doesn't have the spark anymore. In the last three seasons, he has one rush for 30 or more yards. That's 643 carries. His longest rush last year? 17 yards. Bruh.

And look, we, as fantasy fans, know what's up. Kamara is ranked RB19. His ADP is 67 overall. We sense it's over. A great running back doesn't fall that far. Last year's RB3 by PPG shouldn't fall that far. Maybe it's not all his fault. The Saints have been up to a whole lot of nothing over these last few years. Since head coach Dennis Allen has arrived (and Drew Brees left), it's been a hot mess.

The problem is that if we see even a slight decline in targets for Kamara, the wheels could really fall off. We anticipated a larger role for Kendre Miller, but he didn't capitalize. The opportunity share heavily favored Kamara last year, and that could change with Miller and Jamaal Williams on the depth chart.

Mike Williams, WR, New York Jets

Pointing out that Williams is entering his age-30 season with a still-healing torn ACL should be enough said. But I'll say a little more.

The former Clemson star has never been a speed demon, but he was certainly fast for his size. Williams excelled for most of his career thanks to a huge catch radius. He's a guy who can come down with 50-50 balls or post-up defenders in the red zone. 

Having a healthy Aaron Rodgers at his disposal should keep Williams' fantasy value afloat. But MetLife Stadium has a reputation for claiming many souls - ligaments and tendons, too. I would never make a recommendation based on being "injury-prone." It's more just an ominous tone for a player who seems to play through his weekly "questionable" tag throughout his career.

As you might expect, my biggest concern is how well Williams can separate from defenders at this stage of his career. You can get away with being big and strong as a receiver, but only up to a certain point. Remember Kelvin Benjamin? In his first couple of seasons, he was a beast, but eventually, the lack of explosion caught up to him. 

That's where I fear Williams will be this year. Even though the risk is already baked into his ADP, I will be passing on him in 2024, especially as I plan to have at least four WRs already drafted by the time his draft range approaches around pick No. 100.

#2024-fantasy-football

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