Fantasy Football Draft Prep: ‘Bust-Case Scenario’ for the second-round crop of players, what can go wrong

Draft prep season for Fantasy Soccer is meant to be when optimism reigns. Particularly on the subject of your early-round picks, who’re imagined to be the rocks upon which you construct your group. We spend quite a lot of time speaking about what a player’s best-case state of affairs seems like as a result of that is what in the end wins you your league — and oftentimes, it is so simple as simply pointing at what a player did in 2020.  

After all, whereas generally, gamers reside as much as and even surpass expectations, it is simply as doubtless that any given player would possibly underperform too. Final season, first-rounders like Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, Joe Mixon, Miles Sanders and Josh Jacobs all disenchanted us, and never all due to accidents. That is not as a lot enjoyable to speak about, however it’s nonetheless essential to have an concept in your head of how issues can go incorrect. 

As a result of it isn’t the identical for everybody. I imply, positive, everybody might simply get harm and wreck their season, however that is not the purpose of this train. The purpose of this train is to have a look at the non-injury methods a player’s season might get derailed. From some limitation in their very own recreation to some neglected flaw of their scenario, the purpose of this two-part collection — gamers ranked 1-12 in ADP are here — is to attempt to determine what it’d appear to be when issues go incorrect. Here is what that will appear to be for the most certainly second-round picks in 2021 drafts.

How issues might go incorrect: The offense round him regresses

You’ll be able to’t say all the things went proper for Chubb in a season the place he missed 4 video games, however … just about all the things else went proper for him. Whenever you rush for five.6 yards per carry and rating a landing as soon as each 15 carries, issues in all probability went best for you. The Browns offense began clicking after a sluggish begin, and it actually helped that their offensive line missed simply seven video games between them for the entire season. Are you able to rely on that once more? 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Chubb? Chubb’s profile is similar to Derrick Henry‘s in quite a lot of methods, which implies his margin for error is comparatively small. Even together with his outrageous effectivity in 2020, Chubb could not break the highest six in factors per recreation in the event you take out the sport he left early with damage. That was in all probability lots nearer to a best-case state of affairs than the rest, so I can simply see a state of affairs the place Chubb is a stable, regular contributor, however not essentially a famous person. It is also laborious to see how issues go too incorrect, although. There is a good excessive ground. 

How issues might go incorrect: Josh Allen takes an enormous step again

Diggs lastly obtained his alternative to be an alpha WR, and he proved greater than up for the duty. Nonetheless, he additionally benefited from Josh Allen taking an virtually unprecedented leap in manufacturing as a passer. And, anytime you see somebody take as large a step ahead as Allen did — his TD% was 69% larger than his first two seasons whereas he leaped from 3,089 passing yards to 4,544 — it is best to anticipate some pure regression. How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Diggs? One factor that helps Diggs’ case is that this was clearly a symbiotic relationship — Allen performed higher largely as a result of he had a dependable famous person receiver to lean on. I will guess he leans on Diggs once more, and whereas I do anticipate some regression for Allen, Diggs remains to be a top-three WR for me. 

How issues might go incorrect: The passing recreation position by no means materializes

Gibson ran the ball very nicely in 2020, however he is nonetheless studying a few of the finer nuances of the place. He ought to proceed to be the lead again, and it isn’t unreasonable to anticipate one thing like 250 carries for him this season. Nonetheless, except he can get into that 50-catch vary, his ceiling is probably going capped except he can have one other outlier landing season like he did as a rookie, and also you should not wager on that. Gibson must push J.D. McKissic for a stable share of the passing work to have the true breakout we’re hoping for. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Gibson? That is turning into extra of a priority for me, as Gibson has logged only one third down snap by means of two preseason video games. Clearly, you’ll be able to catch passes on first and second down, but when Gibson remains to be being seen as a two-down again, it will be laborious to get a a lot larger position than what he had as a rookie, when he caught 36 passes. It is too early to say definitively that he will not have that position, however I am actually much less positive of it now than I used to be earlier than preseason motion began up, as a result of I used to be largely simply assuming there was a considerably bigger passing recreation position coming. That will not be the case. 

How issues might go incorrect: The offense collapses round him

There’s all the time uncertainty round how rookies will play and the way they are going to be used, however we’re fairly assured Harris goes to be not less than fairly good whereas having a sizeable position. The issue is, this can be a revamped offensive scheme constructed round a 39-year-old quarterback who, frankly, regarded fairly completed the final time we noticed him. Operating again circumstances matter a lot, and there is a respectable likelihood Harris is moving into a fairly tough circumstance. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Harris? I am very involved about Roethlisberger at this level. He regarded hesitant to sit down within the pocket and threat getting hit to let performs develop final season, and if he continues to play that method, it will make issues simpler for the protection to play the run recreation and short-area passes extra aggressively. We have seen glimpses of Harris’ spectacular playmaking to this point in preseason, and so long as this offense is simply common, he ought to be a top-12 RB. However there’s an opportunity issues go actually, actually incorrect right here. 

How issues might go incorrect: The Cardinals unfold the ball round extra

Hopkins had a superb bounceback marketing campaign, and he did it on the energy of each improved effectivity and one more big goal share. Nonetheless, Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is designed to unfold the sector and make it harder for the protection to concentrate on anyone player. The additions of A.J. Green and Rondale Moore might give the Cardinals two extra viable choices within the passing recreation, limiting their have to lean so closely on Hopkins. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Hopkins? After all, each Inexperienced and Moore are type of hypothetical contributors at this level. Inexperienced was one of many least effectivity receivers within the NFL final season, whereas Moore has a ton of expertise however can be a rookie who struggled mightily to remain wholesome in school. I like Moore’s potential on this offense particularly, and I feel he might be good for the offense as a complete, however he is additionally no assure to be a menace to Hopkins’ dominance. 

Sony Michel was traded to the Rams. What does this imply for Darrell Henderson? And for Michel? Adam Aizer and the crew you coated on a Fantasy Football Right this moment emergency pod breaking down the commerce:

How issues might go incorrect: There is not sufficient quantity

Ridley is anticipated to step up because the true No. 1 WR for the Falcons, after serving as extra of a 1b final season, so how might quantity be a priority? Nicely, Ridley obtained his 143 targets on 628 go makes an attempt by the Falcons, so if new coach Arthur Smith brings in a extra run-heavy strategy and Kyle Pitts is the form of playmaker we expect he might be, possibly there is not that league-leading goal potential we’re hoping for. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Ridley? Although that also would not be sufficient to chase me off Ridley. The Falcons will doubtless nonetheless need to throw a ton, and Ridley is a confirmed elite playmaker who figures to see an unlimited share of air yards but once more — he led the NFL by over 200 yards final season. With a major, downfield-oriented position, Ridley looks as if a shoo-in for top-six manufacturing in my eyes. 

How issues might go incorrect: There aren’t sufficient large performs

We’re nonetheless not fairly positive what the Seahawks new-look offense will really appear to be, however the hints we have gotten counsel a quicker tempo and extra brief throws after a fairly deliberate, downfield-first strategy all through Metcalf’s profession. Metcalf has thrived as a big-play receiver, making up for a relative lack of quantity, but when there are going to be fewer deep photographs, will he get sufficient further targets or break sufficient lengthy catch-and-runs to make up for it? 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Metcalf? Metcalf is fairly able to taking a slant to the home, so he does not want to simply beat the protection excessive. He is not probably the most confirmed short- and intermediate-area goal, however he is so bodily dominant that it might be foolish to wager towards him at this level. And I am not really positive we will see a major discount in deep passes, as a result of Russell Wilson is so good at throwing them and Metcalf (and Tyler Lockett) are so good at making performs on them. It might be taking away one in every of their offense’s energy. If something, extra brief space targets would possibly make Metcalf extra constant, whereas he nonetheless has that big-play skill. 

20. Joe Mixon

How issues might go incorrect: The offense by no means comes collectively

For Mixon, it is by no means been a query of expertise. Actually, in case you are on the “#NeverMixon” practice, it is doubtless since you spent a number of too a few years betting his expertise might overcome his scenario. I am working underneath the idea his scenario has modified for the higher, particularly following the departure of Giovani Bernard this offseason. Nonetheless, the offensive line should still be a major drawback, and experiences out of Bengals camp counsel Joe Burrow hasn’t fairly hit his stride but. What if the scenario Mixon finds himself in simply is not any good — once more?

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Mixon? I am assured in Mixon as a result of I consider the passing recreation position will lastly be there. Nonetheless, that is actually not a assure, and if Samaje Perine or Chris Evans begin to get passing downs alternatives, it is going to severely hamper Mixon’s upside. You’ll be able to nonetheless be a superb Fantasy again in a nasty offense, but when he is not getting a major quantity of targets, you are counting on him to rack up yards and touchdowns in a nasty offense, which is a nasty wager. 

How issues might go incorrect: He loses too many goal-line and third down touches

So, what occurred in 2020, principally. Edwards-Helaire obtained these alternatives early on however simply wasn’t significantly efficient and ultimately began ceding these alternatives. It is laborious to know what to make of his playoff utilization on condition that he was coming off a fairly severe damage, however he was giving up quite a lot of priceless snaps to Darrel Williams, and now Jerick McKinnon is drawing robust reviews for his work within the passing recreation in coaching camp. Edwards-Helaire positive did not appear to be a difference-making expertise in 2020, however this may nonetheless be a difference-making alternative. It is simply not clear he is earned it. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Edwards-Helaire? I am larger on Edwards-Helaire in comparison with different operating backs than the consensus, however I hardly ever take him as a result of I am extra excited in regards to the extensive receivers or tight ends I can take on the similar level within the draft. So, as an instance I am cautiously optimistic, however not precisely prepared to wager on it based mostly on what I’ve seen. 

How issues might go incorrect: He has extra goal competitors

That is it? Waller has established himself as one of many premiere playmakers on the tight finish place, and an argument will be made that he belongs in his personal tier, under Kelce however above George Kittle. Nonetheless, that case will get lots tougher to make if Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards take the steps ahead the Raiders clearly consider they’re able to taking. Waller jumped from 117 to 145 targets final season, and whereas he can nonetheless be a distinction maker at tight finish with the decrease quantity, he would not be value this value. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Waller? I feel it is fairly unlikely — I am larger on all three of the highest tight ends than practically anybody else. They’re the most important potential edge you may get outdoors of the highest three operating backs, and I would not be against taking any of them within the high 15 picks. That being mentioned, the Raiders do not seem to be they ever wish to be a pass-heavy group, so if Ruggs and Edwards do take that step ahead, Waller’s possibilities take a success, for positive. 

How issues might go incorrect: Adam Thielen stays the go-to choice within the pink zone

The expectation is that Jefferson will take the lead throughout the board within the Vikings passing recreation. He in all probability will not have the ability to maintain final season’s 11.2 yards per goal quantity, but when he pushes up into the 140-target vary and scores greater than his seven touchdowns from 2020, he can greater than make up for it. Nonetheless, even down the stretch when it turned clear Jefferson was the higher player, Thielen scored three touchdowns on 32 targets over the ultimate 5 video games. What if there is a little bit of Julio Jones in Jefferson’s recreation. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Jefferson? I am not shopping for it. Jefferson is the higher player, and that ought to be the case between the 20s and within the pink zone. He will be one of many perfect extensive receivers within the NFL for a very long time, and he is an enormous cause why I am just about out on Thielen at this level. 

How issues might go incorrect: His knees simply aren’t proper

This one is beginning to grow to be an actual concern. Brown had offseason surgical procedure on each knees and has been held out of shape lately on account of an damage to one in every of them. That is a nasty signal, even when all indications are that the current knee damage is not something to be too involved about. Nonetheless, that it is already grow to be a problem with out even showing in a recreation is a reasonably large pink flag. 

How doubtless do I feel issues are to go incorrect for Gibson? I are typically much less involved about accidents than most Fantasy analysts, however that comes with a caveat: Current accidents are to be taken very significantly. We’re not excellent at quantifying and appearing on damage threat based mostly on previous accidents, however when a player is at present coping with one thing, it may be simple to simply dismiss it as one thing that will probably be advantageous come Week 1. I am not panicking about Brown, however I did transfer him behind Allen Robinson in my WR rankings this week. He’ll begin to slide down draft boards quickly. 

So which sleepers, breakouts and busts must you goal and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five efficiency? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen’s huge season, and discover out. | Fantasy Soccer Draft Prep: ‘Bust-Case Situation’ for the second-round crop of gamers, what can go incorrect


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