2023 Fantasy Football Shy-Away Players: Richardson, Stevenson

We're just days away from September and regular season NFL action. It's time to get excited! Fantasy matchups are on the horizon with the season's kick-off less than two weeks away, which means it's time to ensure you're fully prepared for making your picks. The last few weeks of summer typically see fluctuating player values, depth chart shake-ups and unexpected injuries. Your own rankings or draft targets may have changed in the last few days, which is why we're highlighting several of our writer's fades for the upcoming season.

Our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Guide is packed with industry expert analysis, positional tiers, mock drafts, player profiles, rankings for multiple scoring formats, and so much more. The array of tools at your disposal will surely help you dominate your fantasy drafts this year, and our experts will continue to provide insight on crucial topics ahead of the season. If you’re looking for that additional edge on draft day, you’ve come to the right place.

Don’t miss any of our 2023 Draft Guide previews! Follow along throughout the summer and see all of them here.

This isn’t necessarily a “do-not-draft” list. Every player becomes a value at some point. The problem is, these 10 selections are marked up. Whether it is too much injury optimism, too little committee skepticism or simply too much hype, they have red flags that suggest they will not return proper value on their ADPs. Will they automatically hurt your team? No. Will taking too many of them in the wrong rounds harm your championship odds? Almost certainly. With that being said, let's dive into 10 players our writers are fading this year.

QB Anthony Richardson - IND

To be fantasy-relevant as a rookie, Richardson is going to have to run. A lot. That would make him an historical outlier. Robert Griffin III is the only rookie signal caller to reach 800 yards on the ground. Cam Newton is the only other to reach 700. Just four have reached 600. That is a lot to ask of a 21-year-old, especially since he is expected to be brought along slowly as a passer. It can be done. But is it the most likely outcome? A QB1 all summer on Underdog, Richardson’s ADP has remained more reasonable on services like Yahoo and ESPN, but you are still best off letting someone else take the gamble that Richardson will nail his narrow avenue to QB1 status. — Patrick Daugherty

RB Rhamondre Stevenson - NE

I’m not saying I won’t draft Stevenson, why wouldn’t I? It’s clear the Patriots want to lean heavily on the run. The problem is, no matter what Stevenson does, he’ll be losing out on 7-10 touchdowns gobbled up by Ezekiel Elliott. No matter how you slice it, Elliott will keep Stevenson from reaching his statistical ceiling. Stevenson was efficient in the run game and he saw great volume in the receiving department, so I’m not suggesting he’s worse than an RB2. I’m saying that his top-five upside is on life support. I would be saying the same thing about Tony Pollard had Elliott returned to Dallas. — Lawrence Jackson

RB Aaron Jones - GB

Jones hasn’t shown any signs of decline yet, but we want to be wary of 28-year-old backs. We want to be even more wary when they’re committee backs losing their four-time MVP quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is not only taking his point-scoring potential with him to New York, he’s also taking his usage of the running back position. Rodgers has historically peppered his running backs with targets and the Green Bay offenses under him have gotten in the paint often. Now he’ll have a quarterback with one start in three years and Jones saw fewer carries inside the five-yard line than AJ Dillon last year. The downside scenario for Jones doesn’t seem to be priced in this year. — Kyle Dvorchak

RB Dalvin Cook - NYJ

Jets general manager Aaron Rodgers could make me want to delete this entry. It’s Rodgers, after all, who wanted the Jets to sign his former Vikings rival. That could mean solid volume throughout the season for Cook. But his declining efficiency and the presence of Breece Hall — recovering from his 2022 ACL injury — should be enough to tank anything close to a ceiling outcome for Cook. Though he could have some fantasy usefulness in positive game script for what should be a balanced Jets offense, I’ll bet on Hall eventually emerging as the guy in the New York backfield. — Denny Carter

WR Jaylen Waddle - MIA

The metrics make it clear that Waddle was a bit over his skis in the efficiency department in 2022. His re-draft ADP does not reflect it as much. He’s being taken ahead of DeVonta Smith, Chris Olave and Tee Higgins, amongst other notable wideouts. Waddle’s average depth of target (12.3, well above his 2021 aDOT) suggests a volatile wideout profile that could give fantasy managers fits. Mike McDaniel has largely moved Waddle out of the slot, where he got so many valuable short looks in 2021. I can’t take Waddle in the second round of 12-team leagues. — Denny Carter

WR Gabe Davis - BUF

Some people might be back in on Davis, but I’m attempting to save you from making such a blind move in fantasy. Many will point to the ankle issue to explain why he had a career-year going 48-836-7 on 93 targets (see what I did there). What remains the same is Davis’s catch percentage. In his first two seasons he caught 56.5% and 55.6% of his passes, respectively. In 2022 that number dipped to 51.6%, and if that small dip from an already low number was caused by an ankle issue, you can have him. Donovan Peoples-Jones is a better player who gets drafted four or five rounds later, if at all. In that range, I’d rather have one of the Ravens’ wideouts (Odell Beckham, Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman) or Kadarius Toney, who are also better players than Davis. — Lawrence Jackson

WR Jordan Addison - MIN

The thing about Addison is I think we look at Justin Jefferson’s rookie season and compare it to that, which is fair, but it’s not that simple. Jefferson had come in as the clear replacement for Stefon Diggs and was historic as a rookie. Addison comes in as the guy replacing Adam Thielen who was already being upstaged by K.J. Osborn down the stretch in 2022. Now if Osborn was that good, the Vikings wouldn’t have felt the need to take Addison in round one, but he’s there, and he and his 6.3 receptions and 87.5 yards per game on 8.3 targets over his last four games of 2022 exist. Addison probably has the correct ADP of WR40 for now. — Lawrence Jackson

WR Odell Beckham - BAL

Beckham is a solid addition for the Ravens, but I don’t plan on getting him in my fantasy lineups much this year. He hasn’t hit 600 yards in a season since 2019 and will turn 31 years old in November. His yards per route run have fallen in three straight campaigns, even if you include his playoff run with the Rams. His target share sat at 19%. Now he joins a Baltimore offense with two first-round receivers and Mark Andrews all locked in for strong roles. I want to target the Ravens’ passing game, but I’ll be doing it through the younger pass catchers. — Kyle Dvorchak

TE Kyle Pitts - ATL

It is year three and the price still isn’t right. The Falcons seem committed to upping their passing volume under Desmond Ridder, but the second-year signal-caller has yet to provide a single indication he will reward their trust. If — when? — Ridder fails, there is a rather obvious backup plan: Heap even more volume on No. 8 overall pick Bijan Robinson. Out-alpha’d by Drake London last season, Pitts is going to have a difficult time carving out the requisite volume or red-zone targets in this run-first offense. He remains an extremely intriguing player in a highly unintriguing situation, one whose No. 1 selling point remains his pre-draft profile. That is a tough way to make a living as a top 6-7 tight end. — Patrick Daugherty

TE Dalton Schultz - DAL

Schultz falls into the category of tight ends who get propped up based on supposed opportunities but ultimately fail every year. The backend TE1 ranks of previous drafts have been a minefield. Schultz has never reached 1.5 yards per route run, a mark 13 tight ends managed to hit last year alone. He hasn’t been a YAC producer or a consistent red-zone weapon, either. Now he gets a devastating downgrade in quarterback play after signing with the Texans in free agency. Schultz looks like a modest-floor, no-upside bet this season. — Kyle Dvorchak

If you want to see the full shy away 25 for the 2023-24 NFL season, click here and use code BERRY20 for 20% off.