Welcome to the Love/Hate article. One guy I love and one guy I hate from each round for the first nine rounds. Starting round 10 and on, the ADP doesn’t matchup as closely with their actual picks, as it does in the beginning. Towards the end of your drafts owners are mostly selecting gut feeling guys and disregarding the ADP. So here are nine rounds of players I’m targeting and nine players I’m avoiding.
1st Round Love – David Johnson – RB – ARI: Get your groans out early. Yes, I’m selecting te best player in fantasy football as my first round love. I do very much love a couple other players being selected in the first round. But Johnson is a magician on the field and extremely eye catching to watch. He wrecks havoc on any and every defense that comes in his path. In PPR leagues or in standard David Johnson needs to be your first pick overall.
1st Round Hate – Jay Ajayi – RB – MIA: Out of the top 12 players being drafted off the board, they all have the potential to be stars this year. Be that as it may, I’m here to hate someone from the first round. Ajayi has some red flags that make me shy away from him. The obvious, Jay Cutler, is new to the team and it may take a little longer than they hope to get a rhythm going, which allows defenses to stack the box. Miami’s offensive line could be a weak spot. I’m avoiding Ajayi and reaching for someone going in the second round.
2nd Round Love – Rob Gronkowski – TE – NE: It’s no secret how in love I am with Rob Gronkowski. After always being on the Don’t draft Gronk train, it seems a lot more spacious now and I’m buying a ticket. I have confidence in his health for the 2017 season. Staying healthy will allow Gronk to catch over ten touchdowns and over 1,000 yards. Getting him near the bottom of the second round is amazing value.
2nd Round Hate – Leonard Fournette – RB – JAX: If Gronkowski does get drafted, please don’t panic and select an injury-prone, rookie running back on a team that has a quarterback who looks as good as a mediocre high schooler. Fournette will be stacked on the line and may see the end zone more than 5 times but won’t have nearly enough yards to make this a good pick.
3rd Round Love – DeAndre Hopkins – WR – HOU: Hopkins did not produce in fantasy terms last season. By no fault of his own and all the fault on Brock Osweiler. All of it. Tom Savage is now starting and has looked consistent and good in the preseason. I was impressed with every throw I saw. Another green light for Hopkins is the fact that Savage will throw the ball to Hopkins, often and accurately. I have big hopes for a major bounce back year from Nuk.
3rd Round Hate – Christian McCaffrey – RB – CAR: Another player that I’ve shared my comments on often throughout the offseason. I’m not buying McCaffrey to join a team that isn’t built for a scat back. McCaffrey will catch some passes and does always have the possibility to break it big, But Stewart is still there, Cam will run the ball, especially in the red zone. McCaffrey will have to break a big touchdown to find the end zone and that is not a game I’m trying to play week after week.
4th Round Love – Doug Martin – RB – TB: Yes you’ll have to play the first three weeks without someone you’re drafting in the fourth round. It’s alright, take a breath. Once Martin returns from suspension I expect him to take over the bell-cow role. After week 6 Tampa Bay’s schedule is very good for running backs. Martin could finish the season as a top 12 running back, even missing three games. I’m getting him late fourth round in many drafts.
4th Round Hate – Joe Mixon – RB – CIN: They wanted to make Mixon the number one guy from the beginning, Talks of him getting 20 carries a game whispered through the league. Then Hill got wind of that and did his best to stop the gossip. Hill hasn’t been productive since his rookie season but does have experience and I don’t see him going anywhere.The offensive line was poor last year and did not improve through the offseason. Mixon will be battling Bernard and Hill for touches and just doesn’t seem to be in a good fit for fantasy football.
5th Round Love – Mike Gillislee – RB – NE: Mike Gillislee looked great in his first and only preseason action of the season. 8 carries, 38 yards and a touchdown is about right where I want to see him. After a lingering injury held him out of the first twi games, I tried to ignore the noise and trust my gut has been right the entire time. I have big expectations from Gillislee this year. Maybe not 18 touchdowns, but he’ll be a top 10 running back.
5th Round Hate – Adrian Peterson – RB – NO: I’m not touching AP in any draft at any time. Going to a new team, that doesn’t run the ball as well as Minnesota. Joining a team who has one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. New Orleans isn’t going to run the ball down anyone’s throats. They have three running backs that are all very good. The volume won’t be there for Peterson to justify a 5th round pick.
6th Round Love – DeVante Parker – WR – MIA: Parker looks like he’ll slide right into the Alshon Jeffery role. Parker is big and ready to break out. His size is intimidating and Cutler needs a big guy to catch his errant throws. Parker being in his third season, is primed for big numbers. We all know the rule of three, if you don’t; it’s when a receive enters his third season, statistically saying the odds are good they break out. Everything points up for Parker.
6th Round Hate – Derrick Henry – RB – TEN: Henry looks stiff and slow on every run that I’ve seen in preseason. Henry will not be vulturing touches from a top tiered running back in the league. Murray will shine yet again and Henry will have another season battling to get over 500 yards. I have full confidence, drafting Henry in the 6th is a wasted pick.
7th Round Love – Willie Snead – WR – NO: The Saints will throw the ball. I promise you that. They will throw it often and after the departure of one of their most targeted receivers it’s time for the guys there to step up. Michael Thomas will be their number one receiver, but even as Thomas owners know. Being number 2 in the Saints offense is rival to being number one on most other teams. Snead will get his targets and if he produces like we know he can, with the amount of balls thrown to him, he will have an amazing season.
7th Round Hate – Frank Gore – RB – IND: The ageless wonder that is Frank Gore, has made my hate list for around the fourth season in a row. Andrew Luck still dealing with his injuries, an offensive line that is makeshift at best, signs point to Gore being hit quick. Now Gore can run through a lot of defenders, but it will prove to be too much for the veteran and I’ll be targeting his backup Marlon Mack later on in drafts.
8th Round Love – Pierre Garcon – WR – SF: Garcon is now the top receiver on a team that’s coached by his former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan. Who while coaching the offense at Washington saw Garcon break his career records in receptions and yards. Brian Hoyer was signed as the starting quarterback in San Francisco and loves to take chances deep, where Garcon can strive to success. A great mid round pick with very high potential.
8th Round Hate – Thomas Rawls – RB – SEA: Earlier in the offseason I was in love with Rawls. Being drafted very late or not at all. The value was undeniable. Now that Lacy has done all the running in the preseason and looked good while doing it, and seeing Lacy’s ADP fall back from the 5th to the 8th in comparison to Rawls’ ADP moving up from 14th round to the 8th, I’m avoiding Rawls at this position. It seems eerily similar to last year for Rawls and I don’t want to be the one owning him.
9th Round Love – Philip Rivers – QB – LAC: Had to wait eight rounds, but we’re finally talking signal callers. Rivers is consistently a top 10 quarterback, yet drafted outside of it year after year. Rivers will sling that ball all around this season. Rivers gets his top receiver Keenan Allen back from injury and still has Mike Williams, first round pick, on the shelf. Tyrell Williams broke out last season and built a great rapport with Rivers. Hunter Henry also made great strides last year and is ready to break out. I’ll gladly tke Rivers as my only quarterback to start this season.
9th Round Hate – Andrew Luck – QB – IND: Luck is falling fast. I have no clue, when we are expecting Luck to throw, let alone play in a game. Even when he does come back, if he does at all this season, he won’t be right for a couple games. Now we’re waiting half the season for him to start feeling at home. I’m not taking a ninth round flier on a guy who may not play. If he keeps dropping in ADP I’ll start thinking about stashing him. But, not in this round when I would rather try to stash a RB/WR 4.