Laquon Treadwell & 3 Other Rookies to Avoid in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

Laquon Treadwell & 3 Other Rookies to Avoid in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

By Kevin Zatloukal (4for4 Contributor), last updated Sep 12, 2016

Kevin Zatloukal's picture

Kevin is a Ph.D. computer scientist. His doctoral work at MIT was focused on quantum algorithms. During the fantasy offseason, he teaches computer science at the University of Washington, his alma mater.

Follow Kevin on Twitter: @kczat.

In my last article, I looked at rookies to consider drafting in the late rounds. In this article, I'll address the other end of the spectrum: rookies to avoid drafting at their current ADPs. Here, we will restrict our attention to rookies being drafted in the first 16 rounds. 

As noted last time, it is usually a good policy to be skeptical of rookie players as they rarely put up startable seasons in their first year. However, each of the rookies we will discuss below also have specific reasons that you should avoid them.


Running Backs

Derrick Henry, TEN

Henry is clearly a talented running back with a bright future in the NFL. His college production was so stellar that he was awarded the Heisman Trophy. He's also an athletic freak, running a 4.54 40-yard dash at nearly 250 lbs.

I only have one complaint about Henry: his price. Henry sits second on the Titans RB depth chart behind DeMarco Murray, whom the Titans are paying $6 million this year, fully guaranteed. While Henry has looked good in the preseason, so has Murray, and the preseason snaps make it clear that Murray is the lead back for the Titans while Henry is the backup.

Henry's ADP makes him one of the most expensive backup RBs in the league. He is currently being drafted before backups like Charles Sims, Tevin Coleman, and T.J. Yeldon. He is also being drafted before LeGarrette Blount, who will be the Patriots' starting back for around half the season. We have both Sims and Blount projected to outscore Henry by 40 points and both are available a round later.


Wide Receivers

Laquon Treadwell, MIN

Treadwell was perhaps the most highly-touted WR in this draft class. While his chances of being a successful NFL player are still good, his prospects for 2016 are not. Based on the snaps in preseason, Treadwell currently sits fourth on the WR depth chart behind Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson, and Jarius Wright. He would at least need to move into the second spot to become fantasy relevant this season.

Even that may not be enough, however. The Vikings had the fewest pass attempts in the league last season, as they leaned on an elite running back, Adrian Peterson, and an elite defense. Both of those elements remain in place for 2016, so we have reason to expect a low passing volume once again. Even Diggs, whom I rate very highly, is not a lock to put up startable numbers given the passing volume, so Treadwell, who sits fourth on the WR depth chart, has almost no chance. Let someone else draft him.

Continue reading for two more rookie wide receivers you should consider passing on come draft day.

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Filed Under: Preseason, 2016

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