The flip side of succeeding with value players is failing with overvalued players. These are players that will not put up stats commensurate to their draft spot, and avoiding them is another of the important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out these players, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should underperform their draft position.
Player Receiving 6 Votes
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville
Will Grant: After a promising rookie season, the expectations were sky-high for Fournette in 2018. Yet for a good chunk of the season, he couldn’t stay healthy and he clearly underperformed the 1st round pick it took to land him. He finished the season with six touchdowns, but never cracked the 100-yard rushing mark and posted less than 175 yards from scrimmage total over his final three games. The 3.3 yards per carry that he averaged for the entire season were downright depressing. While he has little competition in Jacksonville, the questions about his commitment to football are troubling. He won’t cost you a 1st rounder this season, but even at his discounted ADP, there are just too many other running backs available who have a better chance to shine.
Ryan Hester: It wasn’t long ago that Jacksonville and Fournette were headed for a messy divorce. Fournette was suspended in Week 13 last year, and the team told him that suspension voided some bonuses in his contract. There were also reports that Jacksonville would “blow up the roster” this offseason prior to Fournette meeting with team brass to clear the air. On the field, the situation isn’t great either. The offense should improve, but it won’t be a top-notch unit. And Fournette isn’t the greatest pass-catcher. The team also brought on Alfred Blue and drafted Ryquell Armstead. Let someone else draft the fantasy headache that comes with Fournette.
Andy Hicks: Leonard Fournette was not the back the Jaguars wanted him to be in 2018. Many questions come up when evaluating his prospects this year and beyond, but the number one concern is resilience. Does he want to play the game? Can he play injured? Can he get out of the coaches and admin staff doghouse? The team has assembled a veteran group behind Fournette, along with a fifth-round rookie should Fournette disappoint. Another concern of mine is his paltry rushing yards per attempt. Runners that fall backward in their second year don’t generally tend to come good. If there is evidence that 2018 was a blip, then we can adjust accordingly. Until then he becomes one of the biggest risks you can take in 2019.
Justin Howe: Fantasy players have struggled with Fournette over his two years in the league. He’s flashed as a volume producer and touchdown scorer, but the sheer week-to-week uncertainty can be crushing. Fournette has lost 11 games over his first two seasons to various injuries (as well as a team suspension in 2017), and he always feels like a roster risk not quite worth the investment. A true size/speed specimen coming out of LSU in 2017, Fournette has yet to show much explosiveness on the NFL field. Over 21 games, he sits at just 3.7 yards per carry, and he’s topped 4.0 in just 6 of those. He doesn’t break off big runs, and he plays in a shaky offense that doesn’t provide much touchdown opportunity. Fournette will need his health, focus, consistency, and team to all click at once, or he’ll struggle to produce the RB1 upside many drafters are expecting.