Avoid the temptation to overspend on Davante Adams in your fantasy football draft.
Adams was a breakout star last season, finishing ninth for fantasy points among wide receivers. With 12 touchdowns to his name, a feat only beaten by teammate Jordy Nelson (14 touchdowns), the fourth-year wideout is sought after in 2017 drafts.
As if often the case in fantasy, the previous year’s production is chased the following summer. Adams’ ADP (average draft position) is in the fourth round, the 21st wide receiver to be taken, according to Fantasy Football Calculator.
When a player has a breakout season out of nowhere like Adams, it is often leads to an overcorrection the following year. A waiver-wire sensation in 2016, Adams is now being trusted with WR1 or WR2 responsibilities.
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Packers fans should be excited for Adams’ fourth year; he’s become a red-zone threat in a potent offense. But in the fantasy arena, trusting the man out of Fresno State to produce on a consistent basis is risky business.
Targets likely to drop
Twenty-two players had more targets than Adams in 2016, and he finished just one ahead of Cardinals running back David Johnson. Aaron Rodgers has a number of mouths to feed, and it’s likely Adams’ tally of 121 targets last term will fall.
With the addition of tight end Martellus Bennett, the ascension of Ty Montgomery as a pass-catching running back, as well as a stronger commitment to the ground game, opportunities will be harder to come by for Adams.
Fewer targets means fewer opportunities. This is bad news particularly in PPR and half-point formats, and brings me on to my next point.
Don’t chase the touchdowns
Adams caught a stunning 12 touchdown passes last season, but don’t count on this trend continuing. Touchdowns are fickle beasts. Look no further than Randall Cobb.
Cobb hauled in 12 touchdowns in 2014, finishing as the league’s sixth-highest scoring receiver in fantasy. A year later he could only hit half that number with six touchdowns, and he dropped to No. 29 among receivers in fantasy as a result.
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Due to a breakout 2014 season, Cobb’s ADP in 2015 was as a low-end WR1 being taken in the second round. He didn’t suddenly become a bad player, but fewer touchdowns led to a big drop in fantasy production.
If you play in PPR or half-point leagues, chase the receivers with a ton of targets. That’s unlikely to be Adams. In standard leagues, don’t go after last year’s touchdown production.
Higher upside elsewhere
I strongly believe not to draft scared. If you like a player who is injury prone but believe in his upside, go for him. Being selected around the same spot as Adams are a host of high-upside receivers.
One name that sticks out is Keenan Allen. The Los Angeles Charger has been hit hard by injuries in recent times, but when healthy he’s one of the league’s very best. It’s also fair to say Allen has been unlucky the past two years; a lacerated kidney wiped out the end of his 2015 season, and a torn ACL suffered in Week 1 finished off his 2016 campaign.
Before getting hurt in 2015, Allen was averaging 90 yards per game (including the game he got injured) and had four touchdowns to his name.
The 25-year-old is entering his prime, and when healthy has WR1 upside. His ADP is slightly higher than Adams’, but his potential is through the roof.
Another fourth-round name to consider is Michael Crabtree. The 29-year-old has been a consistent target for Derek Carr, finishing with no fewer than 145 targets and 85 receptions in each of his two seasons in Oakland. For this reason, Crabtree has a safer floor than Adams.
The trio all finished inside the top-10 for receptions in 2016. Edelman has finished inside the top-10 three times in the past four years. The only exception was 2015, when he missed seven games through injury. In his three years with the Dolphins, Landry has averaged 96 receptions a season. Tate has finished inside the top-10 for receptions all three of his years in Detroit.
Selecting Adams in the fourth round is a roll of the dice. There are a mix of both higher upside receivers as well as those with safer floors available in the same range.