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Ask the Experts

What player will you not have on any teams this year?

Gordon, Guice and Helmetgate

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Which player or players, if any, will you not have on any teams this year?

DAVID DOREY

I’d have to give two players. First, Melvin Gordon’s holdout appears real and potentially to last into the season. I would never touch any player that is currently holding out. There just is no reason to take the chance since you get to pick someone else instead and that person won’t carry team-killing risk. Secondarily, there are a lot of players that I would just never draft. The leader I guess is Damien Williams. He’d have to fall much too far before I would ever consider him and he’s going first or second round usually because he is a part of Kansas City's prolific offense. That is a good thing, but Williams defines “average back” with never more than 3.9 yards per carry in his four previous seasons or more than 46 carries. Now this average back is supposed to be a fantasy stud? Carlos Hyde doesn’t appear to be mounting a big challenge to Williams but Darwin Thompson has impressed. Williams ran for more than 51 yards in just one of his five games in Kansas City. While Andy Reid loves his workhorse backs, I’m not convinced that Williams is that guy. Nothing suggested that in his four seasons with Miami and he was just the next guy up in Kansas City last year.

Dorey has been dealing out all the rankings and projections for The Huddle since 1997 and wrote up a preview of every game for the last 21 years. His specialty is schedule strength and he’s been in countless magazines, podcasts, and radio shows. He is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level.

TONY HOLM

There are no shortage of risky picks this year with Ezekiel Elliott, Antonio Brown and Todd Gurley all with their issues but it's Melvin Gordon for me. Of all the contract situations that scare me the most, it's his. LeVeon Bell set the mold last year for what a holdout can look like in today's NFL. A running back with an injury history that is holding out that is still a third-round draft pick in fantasy just doesn't sit right with me.

Holm owns and operates Fantasy Sharks, a multi-awarded site that began disseminating fantasy football content in 2003. The site emphasizes not only accuracy but community as many enthusiasts now call it their fantasy home.

ALAN SATTERLEE

I keep dropping Antonio Brown on my board. It’s such a tricky situation. On the one hand, Brown has been one of the best receivers of our generation averaging an unreal 114 receptions, 1,524 yards and 11 touchdowns per season over the past six years. On the other hand, the antics are getting so old. There’s the old adage that says you can’t win your league in the first few rounds but you can lose it. With that, I’d hate to have my season turned to toast if Antonio Brown suddenly quits on his team (for a helmet or who knows what new issue), like he did to the Steelers last year -- maybe the Raiders are out of the playoff hunt and he will sit right when you need him in playoff fantasy weeks. Then there’s also the uncertainty of being on a new team with a new quarterback. I guess it depends how far he falls but I think I will pass. Hopefully Adam Thielen is sitting on the draft board there instead.

Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.

IAN ALLAN

I am intrigued by the run-pass potential of Kyler Murray, running an up-tempo offense. I would like to select him as a second quarterback who has some upside. But with where Murray is going in drafts, I’m confident I won’t be selecting him on any teams. His current ADP is 10th among quarterbacks. To get him in the top 10, you have to rank him ahead of guys like Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins. I’m not ready to go there.

Allan co-founded Fantasy Football Index in 1987. He and fellow journalism student Bruce Taylor launched the first newsstand fantasy football magazine as a class project at the University of Washington. For more than three decades, Allan has written and edited most of the content published in the magazines, newsletters and at www.fantasyindex.com. An exhaustive researcher, he may be the only person in the country who has watched at least some of every preseason football game played since the early 1990s. Allan is a member of the FSTA Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.

SCOTT SACHS

Bruce Arians may be a quarterback whisperer, but I just can't get behind Jameis Winston. He may finally have that breakout season we've all been waiting for, but I really don't care. His immaturity, poor decision-making, and general boneheadedness in his career have soured me. He may reach 35-plus TDs, but not on my team.

Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, offering LIVE Talk & Text consulting. He has multiple league championships including two perfect seasons. Sachs is a past winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll and a 2-time winner of the Experts Auction League.

JUSTIN ELEFF

Aaron Rodgers is probably still very good, but in year one in a new offense -- and without much in the way of new supporting personnel -- he's just not for me. Current ADP numbers have him coming off the board a round or more ahead of three quarterbacks I'd certainly take before him: Baker Mayfield, Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz. (Actually, now that we have the Zapruder footage to suggest Andrew Luck's anklebone is healing, make that four.) What people mean when they talk about the tremendous depth at quarterback is that it almost doesn't matter how great a guy is; there are going to be others hanging around his statistical neighborhood. It takes 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns to stand far out from the pack. Rodgers is probably still very good, but his one real Mahomes season came in 2011.

Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.

SAM HENDRICKS

There is no player i will not draft. Everyone has a price (draft spot) where I am willing to take a chance on them. No haters here! Not a fan of Andrew Luck with all his injury issues, but if he drops far enough...

Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.

MICHAEL NAZAREK

Patrick Mahomes, because I never take a quarterback very early in fantasy drafts.

Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its mobile-friendly web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won in excess of $20K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at miken@ffmastermind.com.

ANDY RICHARDSON

Part of me wants to just run a picture of a dolphin wearing a football helmet; I can't see myself drafting anyone from this train wreck. But instead I'm going to pick two running backs who likely won't be involved in the passing game, Derrick Henry and Derrius Guice. It's not that I don't think they're good players. With Henry, I think he'll be great in the few games where Tennessee is controlling things. But more often than not I think they'll be losing, and he'll be ceding snaps to Dion Lewis. With Guice, I can't trust him to be healthy, I'm not sure he'll earn early down work over the seemingly immortal Adrian Peterson, and I know he won't play when Washington is behind. Which will be really, really often.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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