As the dog days of summer bleed away and September rears its head, the final days to get your fantasy football rosters resolved are quickly approaching. Whether you’re looking to tighten up your draft board or just need a quick piece of advice on who to build your team around, it’s always important to make your top picks count for what they’re worth.
Beyond the plethora of fantasy superstars, rounds three through six can be league-defining if you swing on the right complementary player. On the other side of the coin, if you're not careful, it’s easy to fall into a trap and blindly stick with the groupthink of ADP, whiffing on an overvalued player in the process.
Here are three players that might be worth thinking twice about when your slot comes up in the early rounds of your upcoming draft.
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders
A few players come into every fantasy season with high expectations, but in a tough spot with their projected usage. This year, Antonio Gibson appears to be the victim of those circumstances, set to primarily see his touches “between the 20s,” which doesn’t bode well for his prospects as a top-24 RB.
Gibson, for all his talent, will be in tough in a crowded Commanders backfield, even if he comes in as their top back. Based on the lengths the club took to retain J.D. McKissic, it seems the team’s passing-down yards will be accounted for, despite Gibson’s success in the passing game during his time at Memphis.
Take last season for example — McKissic and Gibson nearly equalled each other in targets and receptions, however, McKissic picked up over 100 more receiving yards, which could only further serve to diminish Gibson’s touches via the air.
As for his equity as a goal-line option, the third-year back looks like he’ll get chances early in the season due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Brian Robinson. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, however, shared earlier this week the team expects Robinson to play this season, which would presumably turn Gibson into a secondary goal line option given the rookie running back’s power game in the trenches.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins
There’s no doubting the talent Jaylen Waddle showcased during his breakout rookie season with the Dolphins. Waddle is an explosive athlete, capable of winning big down the field with his dynamic speed and ability to snap up 50-50 balls.
His expansive tool kit makes for a player worth betting the house on in a vacuum, but when looking at the WR14, it’s imperative to also consider the role Waddle projects to be battling for.
The Dolphins' seismic offseason addition of Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs will muddy the water in Miami, as the six-time Pro Bowler projects to justifiably demand an enormous share of this season’s targets.
That means Waddle is now the No. 2 receiver on a team with a lot of questions at quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, and a head coach in Mike McDaniel with a history of utilizing the run. Those don’t exactly sound like the most fertile grounds for Waddle to elevate his game, even coming off the strongest rookie receiving season in Dolphins history.
With other skill position players with clearer paths to touches projecting to be available in the early fourth round alongside Waddle, he just might not be worth the gamble.
Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since coming into the NFL out of Penn State, Chris Godwin has done nothing but impress as one of the Bucs' most important wideouts. The 26-year-old was as strong as ever for Tampa in 2021, notching over 1,000 yards before a torn ACL ended his season during Week 15.
Despite that, Godwin has remained in the mix as a top-24 wideout in most drafts. Given the risk of regression, that doesn’t bake in enough caution, according to some experts.
Part of the reason Godwin has remained relatively high on draft boards could be due to the Buccaneers' decision to keep him off the PUP list to start the season. By all accounts, however, that appears to have more to do with their plans to keep him involved in drills rather than rehabbing away from the team.
Combined with the real chance we don’t see Godwin at 100 percent until mid-to-late October, you could be left waiting a long time for one of your top wide receivers to bear fruit. That’s not even to mention the potential risk that he simply doesn’t return to form once back to full strength this fall.
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