Aug 13, 2023

Fantasy Football 'Do Not Draft' List: Avoid Jameson Williams, Josh Jacobs, More in 2023

Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Jacobs (left) and Jameson Williams.

We all have those players who you go into your fantasy draft saying, "This is my guy. I'm going to draft him no matter what."

So, right here, this is the opposite of that.

Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon are updating their fantasy rankings every day, and they've identified the players you will not find on their rosters this season. They range from unproven (and suspended) receivers to a running back coming off a huge workload and more.

Check out our experts' "Do Not Draft" list below for 2023.

Koerner: I still can’t figure out why Jameson Williams is being drafted as the WR48. Are people aware that he’s suspended for the first six games?

I’m high on Williams as a prospect and can usually make a case as to why you should draft/stash a player who is expected to miss a handful of games, but people are drafting him closer to where I would have him ranked if he was eligible for all 17 games this season.

Raybon: That Williams is still going as a borderline top-50 WR is egregious. He never exceeded a 25% snap rate in six games as a rookie while catching only 1-of-9 targets, but that can be chalked up to missing the entire offseason and the first three months of his inaugural season recovering from a torn ACL.

If he was behind the eight-ball entering Year 2, he hasn’t made up much ground: He played into the first quarter of the first preseason game, catching only 2-of-7 targets for 18 yards (plus a 2-point conversion) before sustaining a hamstring injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the preseason. Also, Williams will miss the first six regular-season games due to a gambling suspension.

So we not only have zero evidence that Williams has developed into a plus NFL receiver, but we also know he won’t have any opportunity to make any gains behind the scenes due to the injury and suspension, making it all the more likely that he’ll once again be nothing more than a rotational player upon his return.

The Lions have Josh Reynolds, Marvin Jones Jr. and the newly extended Kalif Raymond behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, so they’ll have the luxury of bringing Williams along slowly. It’s a real possibility that Williams doesn’t crack the starting lineup until 2024.

Raybon: Last year was the year to buy in on Jacobs. This season, history is working against him, as the handful of backs since 2013 to carry 320-plus times in a season have combined to average 7.0 missed games in the next season, with each experiencing a dip of at least 1.0 yards per carry.

That Jacobs is still not under contract after refusing to sign the franchise tag adds another layer of risk. The longer he remains unsigned, the more his early-season availability, conditioning, and workload will come into question.

Raybon: Hall is being drafted as the RB16 despite the signing of Dalvin Cook, which is a massive risk at that point in the draft. Even if Hall makes it back from a torn ACL suffered last October and suits up in Week 1, RBs coming off torn ACLs typically carry higher re-injury risk and don’t return to full strength until Year 2.

The Jets giving Cook – who averages 17.6 carries per game in his career and has never averaged fewer than 12.1 – nearly $6 million guaranteed shows that they are serious about protecting Hall from himself by limiting his workload. There’s also the fact that 21% of Hall’s yardage came on two touches last season, which speaks to his immense skill set (which may be compromised due to injury), but also begs the question of whether or not he would be getting drafted this high if those two touches were removed (my guess is no).

In a best-case scenario, Hall would be the Aaron Jones to Cook’s A.J. Dillon in terms of usage, but Jones was RB16 and RB12 in half-PPR points per game over the past two seasons. That means even in a best-case scenario, Hall is still being drafted close to his ceiling and would be hard-pressed to beat his ADP.

There are other risk factors beyond Hall’s health and usage split, as well, such as a Jets offensive line that ranked 32nd in Adjusted Line Yards, and the fact that while this is a familiar scheme for Aaron Rodgers and the other Packer transplants, it’s a new one for the rest of the offense, including Hall.

I think Hall will be a far better fantasy pick in 2024 than 2023.

Raybon: Robinson is an early-down back who offers nothing in the passing game on a team with a shaky offensive line and one of the NFL’s lowest win totals. The second-year runner faces competition for snaps not only from Antonio Gibson, who Ron Rivera has said he wants to get “more tries”, but also rookie Chris Rodriguez Jr., who has had a strong preseason after new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy advocated for the team to select him with its sixth-round pick.

Robinson was one of the least efficient backs in the league last season, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 2.60 yards after contact, which was 50th of 60 qualified RBs according to PFF.

Robinson’s floor is undoubtedly low, but his lack of passing-game involvement also makes him a low-ceiling bet at a point in the draft where we should be targeting upside.

Raybon: McKinnon is going in the RB40 range off the strength of a five-game stretch in Weeks 13-17 that saw him score eight TDs, but we should expect the regression monster to catch up to him in short order. Save for those five games, McKinnon failed to crack 9.0 half-PPR points in any other contest. He only logged 128 touches (7.5 per game) last season and isn’t likely to exceed that total as a 31-year-old back who has missed 36 games over the past five seasons.

With Isiah Pacheco seeing an uptick in passing-down usage over the second half of last season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire still around and Deneric Prince potentially waiting in the wings, McKinnon simply doesn’t have enough upside volume-wise to warrant a selection in this range.

Raybon: Early in the offseason, Toney was thought to be the leading candidate to be Patrick Mahomes’ new WR1 with the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster, but that seems like a pipe dream after Toney suffered a torn meniscus that required surgery on the first day of camp. Betting on Toney to put up anything close to top-50 WR numbers means banking on a player who has missed 15 of a possible 34 career regular-season games and logged at least 60% of his team’s offensive snaps only three times – including none with the Chiefs, with whom his snap rate topped out at 44% last season.

Ultimately, I expect Toney to settle into a role similar to that of Mecole Hardman over the past few years in K.C.

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