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Ask the Experts

Who is on your Do Not Draft list?

Waller, RoJo earn mentions

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: Who is on your Do Not Draft list?

SCOTT SACHS

I'm a bit wary of Darren Waller this season. I know I shouldn't be as new coach Josh McDaniels, has had a way with tight ends, like Gronk, through the years. However, as elite as Waller was in 2019, the last two seasons have been troublesome. Injury, age, and overcrowding are working against him in 2022. The Raiders have other skill players who are used to getting the ball a lot. Adams and Renfrow are both going to get well over 100 targets and Carr will probably be wanting to push the ball downfield more this year. If you add Josh Jacobs into the mix, running and receiving, how many opportunities are going to be left for Waller? They're saying Waller may work out of the backfield like Deebo, but in reality, how many touches will that actually translate to, if it happens at all? Can Waller even stay healthy enough to do both roles? I hope I'm wrong about him, but I'm not going to invest any draft capital to find out.

With 2 perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring LIVE Talk & Text Advice. He is a 3-time Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Auction League, as well as a previous Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll.

PAUL CHARCHIAN

I'm staying away from Cam Akers. No NFL running back has returned to his previous level when coming off a ruptured Achilles. The injury saps explosiveness and cutting ability, two critical components to any running back's success. Hopefully Akers will be the first, but I'm going to let someone else try to buck history.

Charchian is the CEO at GuillotineLeagues.com. Guillotine Leagues are a new way to play in which the lowest-scoring team each week gets chopped from the league, and all the players go to the waiver wire. Charchian was inducted into the Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

SAM HENDRICKS

No player. I do not believe in a "Do Not Draft" List. Every player is draft worthy at some point. Every player has value. I might drop a player down my rankings so low that I am the only person who drafts him that low and thus he is never on my team, but theoretically he is not on a Do Not Draft list. Even Deshaun Watson with his looming suspension is on my quarterback rankings somewhere. Now, Calvin Ridley and Tim Patrick are not on my redraft lists this year but for very different reasons.

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 30-year fantasy football veteran who participated 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 and 2018.

IAN ALLAN

There are a couple of tight ends that I don’t think will ever be considered for my teams: Darren Waller and Mike Gesicki. Both play for teams that obtained franchise receivers in the offseason, giving both of those rosters a pair of quality receivers. With that in mind, I don’t think those players are going to see enough balls. Especially Gesicki. With him being a liability as a blocker and the Miami’s new coaching staff wanting to get that running game going, I’m not sure Gesicki really fits for them at all. (I was surprised they put the franchise tag on him back in March.) With Waller, I will concede that he’s at least a remarkably talented player — a difference-maker. But when he was putting up his huge numbers a few years back, he was the focus of the offense, and those days have passed.

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.

MIKE NAZAREK

Running back Ronald Jones seems unlikely to make Kansas City's final roster. You will not see me drafting him this summer.

Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc, celebrating 25 years online! His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site, www.ffmastermind.com. 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 nearly $30K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. Nazarek can be reached via email at miken@ffmastermind.com.

DAVID DOREY

I'll give you two -- Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey. Both running backs were great in 2019 and now have gone two years flopping well short of expectations (and draft slot) that screwed fantasy owners that used a first-round pick on them in both 2020 and 2021. McCaffrey has been highly productive but unable to remain healthy. Barkley has had injury issues as well, and yet disappointed even when healthy behind the bad offensive line while playing in ineffective offenses that had coaching issues. Optimism is persistent for both and there is a chance that both turn in Top-5 stats this year. That early in a fantasy draft, I'm not willing to take a risk on either when there are so much safer and productive other options.

Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.

ANDY RICHARDSON

I'll give you one at each position. I have no interest in Justin Fields, who is being thrown to the wolves with a poor line and thin group of receivers to throw to. At running back, it's easy: Miles Sanders, who won't get opportunities in the passing game and won't score touchdowns; is he even clearly going to get more touches than Kenneth Gainwell? I want nothing to do with Patriots wideouts, since there are three legit possibilities to be the No. 1 (and as a result, three possibilities to be little-used No. 3s). And no Irv Smith on my team no matter the price; the guy clearly can't stay healthy.

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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