The risky picks: when a player with a big-time concern drops to you and you have to grit your teeth on if they’re worth your selection. In an age where we have Twitter alerts about an injury or behavior problems within seconds of any incidents, risks about each player are as obvious as ever. However, often when there is high risk, high reward accompanies it. With this article, I hope to give you some insight into some of these players so you can determine when the reward outweighs the risk. All ADPs are in PPR format from FantasyPros.
WR Antonio Brown, OAK
ADP: WR8 (21st Overall)
How could this list not start off with Antonio Brown? I mean, the guy gave himself frostbite. If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what else is. Solely focusing on the on-field performance, Brown should be top five, even with going from Ben Roethlisberger to Derek Carr. That’s not what everyone is scared about, though. His recklessness with his health and his constant headlines of pure insanity are what scares away fantasy owners. According to his ADP, Brown is going in the late-second to early-third, which is a good spot for a player on a new team with the insanity that undoubtedly follows him. But despite all of this risk, the ceiling of Brown is obvious. He has been the top receiver in the NFL over the past few seasons and has the potential to perform in the same fashion for the Raiders.
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
ADP: RB4 (4th Overall)
This is a $12 million game of chicken. Elliott’s desire for a new contract seems to be outweighed by the Cowboys front office’s desire to get Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper new contracts. Elliott has sat out of training camp, preseason and America. No, seriously, he’s been in another country this entire time. Elliott’s abilities are unquestionably one of the best in the NFL, but after Le’Veon Bell sat out all of last season, Zeke is threating the same thing. The chances of Elliott sitting out the entire season are seemingly unlikely, but taking him fourth overall would be a big risk. Elliott should be a late-first or an early-second as of right now. Obviously this situation is constantly changing, but as things sit right now, Zeke would be a risky early pick, but one that would likely pay off should he suit up Week 1.
RB Derrius Guice, WAS
ADP: RB31 (71st Overall)
Guice is in a sticky situation. By a sticky situation, I mean an RB corps consisting of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. Coming off an ACL tear a year ago Guice still isn’t cleared for contact and isn’t even the starting RB. I wouldn’t have the RB31 on this list if it wasn’t the fact that Peterson is the RB52 and Thompson is the RB61. Guice showed serious talent with LSU, averaging 6.5 yards per rush over his full career in the SEC. But with Peterson being drafted a few rounds later, it shows that has presence in the backfield is a threat, which makes Guice a big risk. Guice is a running back that is coming off an ACL tear, who’s still isn’t cleared for contact. There’s too many red flags in Washington.