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Players to Avoid in Best Ball Fantasy Football Drafts (2024)

In my first article of the offseason, I highlighted four players to target in 2024 Best Ball leagues. In this article, I'll turn my attention to players you should avoid drafting in Best Ball leagues this season. There are lots of reasons to avoid a player in Best Ball, whether it's a new role, a new team, or their average draft position (ADP) is just too high.

Now remember, in Best Ball, you want players that score the most points. You want that in managed season-long leagues as well. However, in Best Ball, you want to identify those with huge ceilings. Subsequently, you might want to avoid players that have low ceilings. Some players are extremely consistent every game, with their weekly point totals having a low standard deviation for the season. Those players offer safety in a managed 10 or 12-team league, but won't help you much in a larger Best Ball tournament.

In this article, we'll look at early Underdog ADP to determine which players to avoid drafting in 2024 Best Ball leagues. Make sure you keep up to date with all your fantasy football needs by following RotoBaller on X and checking out RotoBaller.com. With that said, here are four players to avoid drafting in 2024 Best Ball leagues.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

2024 Best Ball Players to Avoid

DJ Moore, WR, Chicago Bears

Moore led all Bears receivers last season with 136 targets. That was good for a career-best 28.9% target share. However, that was playing alongside Darnell Mooney, Tyler Scott, Chase Claypool, Velus Jones, and Equanimeous St. Brown. Mooney was 2nd amongst the bunch with a target share of just 14.1%.

For the 2024 season, the Bears will add another elite receiver in Keenan Allen, an elite pass-catching back in D’Andre Swift, and a solid receiving tight end in Gerald Everett. Despite being nearly 32 years old, Allen posted a 32% target share in 2023. To date, the best wide receiver Moore has played with has been Curtis Samuel. Playing alongside Allen will almost assuredly mean fewer targets for DJM.

With Justin Fields now in Pittsburgh, the Bears will look toward the 2024 NFL Draft for their next quarterback. It’s overwhelmingly likely to be Caleb Williams, but a rookie quarterback always comes with a few question marks. Additionally, Shane Waldron takes over as the new offensive coordinator in Chicago. His Seahawks teams have been middle of the pack in terms of pass attempts per game the last two seasons (33.8). 

At his current ADP of 20.4 (WR11) on Underdog, I’ll be avoiding in 2024 Best Ball Leagues. Instead, I’ll be drafting more cost-effective options such as Drake London (23.0), Chris Olave (27.2), Tank Dell (29.7), and Michael Pittman Jr. (30.5).

 

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots

Stevenson went from 5.2 targets per game in 2022 to 4.3 targets per game in 2023. What made him so valuable two seasons ago was his 69 catches on 88 targets. Despite scoring just five touchdowns that year, he still finished as a back-end RB1 due to his role as a pass-catcher. That changed a bit last season and could change even more in 2024 with the Patriots signing Antonio Gibson. Gibson hasn’t been the best pure runner, but he excels as a pass-catcher. Mr. Clasgens agrees that the newest Patriot will cap Rhamondre's fantasy value:

Stevenson’s efficiency metrics also took a nosedive in 2023 as the Patriots became a much less competitive team. Per PlayerProfiler, he was 46th in true yards per carry (3.8), 38th in yards created per touch (3.15), and 29th in juke rate (18%). Comparatively, in 2022, Stevenson was 18th in true yards per carry (4.6), 6th in yards created per touch (3.43), and 3rd in juke rate (40.5%).

2024 probably won’t be much better for the Patriots. That is unless Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels comes in and tears it up. Their offense just isn’t that good and they don’t have any elite weapons. Expect this Patriots team to play from behind a lot, much like they did a season ago. And just like in 2023, they may not get a lot of scoring chances. Last season, Stevenson had just eight carries from inside the 10-yard line (0.67 per game) compared to 19 in 2022 (1.11 per game). 

Buying Rhamondre as RB20 with an early ADP of 77.8 doesn’t feel right after he declined in 2023 and with the addition of Gibson. I’d rather take my chances on younger, more explosive running backs in better situations such as Jaylen Warren (90.1), D’Andre Swift (91.0), and Tyjae Spears (97.4). 

 

Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Watson has dealt with hamstring injuries in his first two NFL seasons. He missed three games as a rookie and eight games a season ago. In his 23 games played, he’s only eclipsed 50 yards three times. People see Watson as a “better in Best Ball” option, but that just hasn’t been the case. 

With Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks in the fold in 2023, Watson caught three or fewer balls in nine of his 11 games played (including playoffs). He failed to hit 100 yards in any single game despite a 77.7% snap share. Per PlayerProfiler, his yards per route run decreased to just 1.58 from 2.40 as a rookie. The hamstring issues could have played a factor, but it’s also likely the play of Reed and Wicks also put a damper on Watson’s ceiling. 

So not only do you have the injury history, but you now have potentially three better and more reliable wide receiver options in Green Bay with Reed, Wicks, and Romeo Doubs. That doesn’t even account for tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft, who both showed solid pass-catching ability last season.

Avoid Watson with his early ADP of 80.8 (WR44) and instead consider Wicks as the upside play with an ADP of 142.0 (WR64).

 

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Many expected the Ohio State rookie to immediately overtake Tyler Lockett in the Seahawks’ passing attack in 2023. Unfortunately for those people, that did not happen. JSN was relegated to the WR3 role on his team and stayed there for most of the season. 

He saw just 93 targets in 17 games and posted an abysmal 1.33 yards per route run. That was 63rd among wide receivers. He also had an average depth of target (aDoT) of just 6.1, which was 95th among wide receivers. Unless he magically overtakes Lockett or DK Metcalf, he could be in for a similar role in 2024. Not the best company to be in as a rookie:

Don’t give up on JSN for the future (2025 and beyond), but don’t shoot for the moon this season. His value in 2024 appears contingent on surpassing Lockett or Metcalf in the pecking order, which doesn’t appear likely given the Seahawks’ willingness to restructure Lockett’s contract. Not only that, but it appears new Seattle head coach Mike Macdonald wants to establish the run much like Pete Carroll

Smith-Njigba’s early ADP 72.0 (WR39) feels hefty considering his role. Instead, take a look at Chris Godwin (72.5) and Diontae Johnson (79.1). Avoid drafting JSN in 2024 Best Ball leagues because of his low ceiling and current part-time role in the Seahawks’ offense.

 



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