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We got together with the Footballguys staff members and asked a simple question: Which player -- generally taken in the first round -- do you least-like having on your team?
Here are their answers.
My 2020 drafting plan would not center around a wide receiver in Round 1, even in the latter part of the round due to the depth in the following rounds at the position. My avoid players are Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon at their cost, however, due to their profiles. For Cook, I doubt he holds out to miss actual games, but I do not trust his durability and would rather bet for a fraction of the cost on Alexander Mattison than Cook himself. For Mixon, he is three years into his career and still waiting on the big breakout and the 2020 cost already assumes it has happened and/or will happen this season. Giovani Bernard was neck and neck with Mixon in targets and I have doubts the Bengals offense with a rookie quarterback is enough of a touchdown producer to offset Mixon's likely lag in receiving numbers compared to the other top backs.
Tyreek Hill is the player that I am avoiding in the first round. The Chiefs continue to add more weapons to this team by adding Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round which should have them more focused on the running game this season. The main reason that I can't get behind Tyreek Hill at his value is a lack of consistency. If you are taking a wide receiver in the first round, you want consistent targets and Hill only had 10 or more targets in two games last season and only went over 80 yards twice last year.
While Hill is not a pure speed receiver, he heavily relies on his speed to account for being undersized. One concern is there is a video this offseason with Hill running with Terrell Owens in which he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash. We have seen players such as DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace start to lose production around age 26 and while Hill is a better receiver than those two it is a concern if you're paying top dollar for Hill.
The player I would be least excited to draft in the first round is DeAndre Hopkins. He should have another very good season but has some things going against him compared to most of the other guys in this range. First, Arizona projects to be a balanced offense that won't be overly reliant on passing the ball. With most of the time spent in three- or four-wide receiver sets, the ball also gets spread around more than in other offenses. Hopkins could have a hard time separating from the pack at the position if he doesn't see a huge number of targets.
The other reason it is hard to get excited about Hopkins in the first is the way positional values are shaping up this season. The well of high-upside three-down backs dries up pretty quickly and going to heavy on wide receivers early leaves you chasing running backs later in the draft. There is so much wide receiver talent available in the 3rd through 6th round, it makes more sense from a value perspective to double up at running back near the 1-2 turn. You can land two from the tier that includes Mixon, Nick Chubb, Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Miles Sanders, and Austin Ekeler and then be perfectly positioned to take advantage of all the wide receiver value in rounds 3-6.
The first-rounder that is least appealing is Derrick Henry. Henry had nine top-12 weekly finishes last season, and he's likely to approach that mark again. But when Henry didn't score a touchdown, he didn't sniff the top-12. In fact, over the last two seasons, Henry has 13 games in which he did not find paydirt. In those games, Henry's average fantasy point production was 5.9 points (6.7 in PPR formats). His average weekly ranking was RB37.
Even if that sample is cut down to exclude the first half of 2018 due to Henry's emergence being later in the year, it's a seven-game sample in which Henry averages 8.1 PPR points and an RB31 finish. First-round picks should have a volume-insulated floor. Scoring touchdowns should be the difference between them finishing in the 10-20 range and the top-5 each week. A first-rounder shouldn't be so touchdown-dependent that he's a non-factor in weeks he doesn't score.
DeAndre Hopkins. I have reservations about Hopkins' on a new team, with a new quarterback, on a new offense. Yes, he has performed well with much lesser quarterbacks, but I have a strange feeling that he could struggle with so many factors against him that weren't an issue before. I'd rather have Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, or Tyreek Hill ahead of Hopkins. Or, I skip wide receiver in the first round altogether because there are countless options at the position a round or two later.
Since I love drafting at the turn and I have written about him recently, I will roll with DeAndre Hopkins as my least favorite.
I love Hopkins as a player. He’s among the most physical and technically inventive receivers at defeating press coverage and he’s great at the catch point.
He has also been a target hog. For five years, Hopkins has earned at least 150 targets. I believe this will end in Arizona.
The Cardinals in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense showed a fairly even distribution of targets among its top two receivers. Larry Fitzgerald (107) and Christian Kirk (108) while the rest of the receivers on the depth chart earned a combined 134 targets.
Even if Hopkins earned every remaining target from the reserves last year, he would still be significantly below his lowest-targeted season in five years. This offense is designed to spread the field and when examining target distributions from Kingsbury at Texas Tech, it is apparent the even spread is part of the design. One difference is that the leading target getter often averaged over 15 yards per catch. This will be unlikely with Hopkins, whose career average is in the area of 13.
Put that together and while likely that Hopkins leads the team in receiving, his production will be well below pace with the past five seasons in Houston. Unless he has a career year as a touchdown scorer, he’s most likely the 15th-20th most productive receiver on the board this year—not top five as drafted.
As for the one player I'm skipping in Round 1, it is Davante Adams. I keep feeling that I am beating him up repeatedly in these campfire chats, but Green Bay is a run-first team with few players worthy of high involvement in the passing game aside from Adams. That's good for targets but bad for production as I expect Adams to see double-coverage every snap this year. Who else scares any defense when it comes to a receiving option in Green Bay? No one, so expect Adams to have a rough go of it this year.
My least favorite player on this list is DeAndre Hopkins. I like Hopkins, but as Matt points out, the target share reduction is concerning. Hopkins averaged 1.92 fantasy points per target playing with DeShaun Watson, which is exactly what Brandin Cooks has averaged in his career. The difference between Cooks -- who have four Top-12 (but not top-3) seasons and Hopkins has been targets. Cooks averages less than 120 targets while Hopkins is over 160 per season.
If there is one guy who has no business in Round 1, it's Hopkins. Once we account for Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, and Kenyan Drake when projecting Arizona's offense, it becomes difficult to find even 125 targets for Hopkins. He's also switching teams in the worst possible off-season to do so.
As for Davante Adams, the Packers have been building their receiving group and while the names Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Jake Kumerow and Equanimeous St. Brown aren’t seen as threats right now, Green Bay have kept the faith with them for three years and only brought in Devin Funchess for competition. That bears fruit this year or gets blown up. The opposing game plan is fairly easy for attacking the Green Bay passing game, put pressure on Aaron Rodgers, and stop Davante Adams. Another thing that concerns me with Adams is the forward-looking nature of the team. By drafting Jordan Love they are looking two or three years down the line. Adams has his contract expiring in 2021 and he will hit free agency as an upcoming 30-year-old. They could even move on from Adams after this year with a minimal cap hit and a cap saving of $13 million. In the current climate, teams may have to shift salary cap off their roster.
Ultimately though, there is no doubt Adams is up to the challenge and one of the best receivers in the league, but we need production and I’m not convinced his current asking price gets anywhere near his end of year stat line.
There are a few ways to answer this, so let me just answer it straight up first by saying my least favorite first-round player of those listed is DeAndre Hopkins. It's all about value and I'm just not buying into him as a first-round pick this year. I don't see a path to the volume he enjoyed as a Texan. The Cardinals may run more plays, but Kingsbury's offense has always been predicated on spreading the football around to several players. After five straight seasons of 150 targets or more, Hopkins may not even see 125 targets in 2020. The loss of targets will be offset, perhaps, by Kyler Murray's accuracy, but even if he improves his catch rate to 75% he's around 90-92 receptions. He's my WR5, which clearly isn't enough juice for a first-rounder, but I would gladly take him in the early-to-mid second round.
Looking at this question differently, I'd also say that drafting sixth or eighth are my least favorite spots. Sitting at 1.06 and you're envious of the five ahead of you gleefully taking McCaffrey, Barkley, Elliott, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara. Of course, if Dalvin Cook reports on time and stays healthy, that sixth pick is a blessing disguised. If you're 1.08, you can't even hope for Cook to fall and Derrick Henry falls to seven - just enough for you to get temporarily excited - but leaving you sorting through the Chubb, Mixon, Drake, Jacobs conundrum or foregoing those backs and taking Davante Adams or Julio Jones. I'd much rather have a back in the first round.
Joe Mixon is probably my least-favorite player in the first round. Entering his fourth year, there has been a consistent narrative Mixon has elite upside as a high-end running and receiving threat. To date, that simply hasn't been true. Mixon's best seasonal finish to date is RB10 and has failed to produce more than 296 receiving yards in a season. With a rookie quarterback and what should be negative game script, there are both safer picks throughout the first round and higher upside picks later in the draft.
I have to agree with the sentiment on DeAndre Hopkins as being my least favorite pick in the first round. As odd as this may sound, I don't even really want to gamble on Hopkins before the beginning of the third round. I've already chalked it up that I won't have Hopkins this year because he has too many hurdles to overcome. Elite wide receivers like Hopkins can overcome some of these, but if there are too many stacking up then it is smart to project him to take a hit to his numbers. One of Hopkins' best qualities in Houston was that they loved to force the ball to him and as several guys already noted, Arizona is less likely to do that. It isn't as if he'll suddenly be just "one of the guys", but lopping off 20 or 30 targets is entirely possible. At any rate, with so many moving parts for his new spot, I try not to take on that kind of risk in the first round