Fantasy football 2019: Players not worth drafting in the first round

Justin Leger

Buyer beware.

The first round may seem like the easiest round in your fantasy football draft. After all, you've been doing your research and studying the average draft position of players across 2019 draft boards. It's as easy as picking one of those big names and plugging them into your starting lineup, right?


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Round 1 is tricky, and those ADPs you're seeing on your favorite fantasy football websites are deceiving. There are a bunch of big-name players who may have helped you win your league in the past, but would be a mistake to pick in the first round this season.

Here's who you should avoid taking in Round 1 of your draft, no matter how tempting it may be to pull the trigger:

Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

There's just too much risk here to warrant a first-round selection. Gurley's knee is a major concern, and even if he's healthy you can bet on the Rams limiting his workload throughout the season. No thanks.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is the best available at his position, but don't be the guy who drafts a quarterback in the first round. There's just too much value in later rounds to waste your first pick on a QB.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

Bell apologized to his fantasy owners for last season's debacle and promised to bring home the trophies in 2019. Don't fall for it. Will he put up solid numbers? Sure. But his new head coach, Adam Gase, is not a friend of fantasy football owners and the Jets' offense is a significant downgrade from the Steelers'.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon still hasn't reported to the Chargers, and it appears his Week 1 status could be in jeopardy. Gordon reports to camp, disregard this one. Unless things change, you obviously can't take the risk of picking Gordon in the first round. Didn't Bell teach you this lesson last year?

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

See: Melvin Gordon.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

A change of scenery and an exciting quarterback make OBJ a tempting option, but do your best to wait for just one more round to take the former Giants wideout. He's going to rack up some big numbers if he stays healthy all season, but that's a big "if."

Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders

This one should be common sense, but some still may fall for Brown's big name and past production. The 31-year-old's numbers almost certainly will take a dip with Derek Carr throwing him the ball instead of Ben Roethlisberger. Brown should be taken no earlier than the third round, never mind the first.

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Fantasy football 2019: Players not worth drafting in the first round originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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