3 Veteran Wide Receivers to Avoid

Source: USA Today

WRs With ADP Too High

Change is the only constant in fantasy football. Players change teams, coaches move on, and rosters take different forms. The passing of time also comes the gradual decline of veteran skill position players. Whether it’s a new situation, or declining skills, below are three veteran receivers you will want to avoid in 2023 for your fantasy team.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

This one's all over the internet, so I don't think I'm breaking a ton of new ground here, but Deebo Samuel remains an overrated fantasy player for 2023. Much of his built-in ADP is still trading off his massive 2021 and hot start to 2022, but circumstances have changed in San Francisco. Notably, the addition of Christian McCaffrey altered the receiving distribution and greater offensive game plan for the 49ers.

Samuel has previously been able to maintain his elite production through the combination of an insane target share on routes run (over 25%) and significant ground production. With both those dropping after the addition to McCaffrey, Samuel went from WR10 to start the season to WR59 while CMC was on the team.

This isn't to say he's a terrible option, but he will be significantly touchdown dependent in 2023, which makes his third and fourth-round ADP very risky. There's an upside here, but there's also a real downside that could put a hole in your receiving core if you're making him your WR1 in the third round. I'll be avoiding Deebo in redraft formats unless he has an ADP course correction.


Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans has been the model of consistency over his NFL career, something that fantasy football players covet. Evans has managed to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards and 68 catches in every single one of his illustrious nine years in the NFL. That's a floor you can count on. On top of that, he had at least 8 touchdowns in 6 of those 9 years. I still feel like he doesn't get the credit he deserves as an all-time great and is on a crash course with the Hall of Fame.

That being said, 2023 looks to be the year that the streak comes to a halt. Much of this has to do with the massive downgrade at quarterback as the Bucs are going from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield (if he even sticks.) This is going to be a downgrade in accuracy as well as how many deep balls Evans' receives, something that has been crucial to his production. With some of the worst quarterback play in the league, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Evans to replicate his 1,000-yard standard.

Additionally, Tampa Bay has a new offensive coordinator in town in Dave Canales. His philosophy is actually pretty similar to Byron Leftwich's with regards to tempo, but Canales uses a lot 12 personnel (two tight ends) and is significantly more balanced in play calling. The Buccaneers were the highest passing percentage team in the league, with the Seahawks running a much more balanced offense. That's not going to gut the passing game, but it does limit Evan's opportunities even more. With fewer targets and less quality, I'm fading Evans this year.

Mike Williams/Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Both these players have game-breaking ability and Keenan Allen is one of my favorite receivers of all time so this pains me a bit. And I do believe in what Kellen Moore could do for Justin Herbert as a passer. But, I'll be avoiding both of them in 2023.

This one is pretty straightforward, the major factor for both is injuries. At this point, Keenan Allen is 31 years old and has missed 11 games to injury over the past three seasons including seven last year which was a fantasy killer. He's getting a bit long in the tooth and just isn't as durable. I still think he represents a stable floor as a player, but using a fourth-round pick on a stable floor is just too rich for my blood.

Williams is the ultimate boom-bust player, which I hate. The inconsistency is maddening. The Chargers also brought in competition for his downfield targets in the form of Quentin Johnston. On top of that Williams has quietly been an injury worry as well. He's missed six games over the past three seasons but also left six other games early which is usually even more detrimental to your weekly score than if he had just sat out. His chaotic scoring and the downside are just too much for me when I can get higher-upside players Jerry Jeudy or more consistent floors like Tyler Lockett at the same ADP.

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