Fantasy football drafts will soon be just around the corner, and we’re continuing our 2018 All-Fantasy teams with a look at the riskiest players this season. These guys can certainly have big seasons and make a huge fantasy impact, but they are considered among the riskiest selections in drafts. For the All-Safe Team, you can check that out here. This is for standard scoring with a lineup consisting of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, and one FLEX (RB, WR, or TE).
QB: Andrew Luck, Colts
Not many fantasy quarterbacks look like very risky selections based on expected production this year, so it comes down to one of the guys coming off of injury: Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, or Sam Bradford. Luck is the choice because he was a great fantasy QB1 for a longer period of time, and he’s been off the field longer than Watson and Wentz. Also, Luck dealt with a throwing shoulder injury as opposed to the knee issues for the four other quarterbacks. And fantasy owners might be expecting top-five production if they draft Luck, which is no lock.
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Raiders
There are a number of reasons why Marshawn Lynch appears to be a risky fantasy selection in 2018. One, he’s 32 years old and has had 2,351 carries in his career; we’ve seen his body break down in the past. Two, he has some legit competition in the backfield from fellow veteran running back Doug Martin. Three, there’s a new coaching staff in place, and there’s a chance Jon Gruden and Lynch just don’t see eye-to-eye. And finally, Lynch’s attitude could lead to him not caring, or even a sudden retirement—especially if things aren’t going well for him.
RB: LeSean McCoy, Bills
LeSean McCoy is a young 30, but he also has a lot of tread on his tires with 2,185 career carries—including at least 240 touches every season since his rookie year. He’s been able to avoid hits better than most backs, but his unique athleticism could start to decline at a quicker-than-expected pace. Perhaps even more risky, especially with most fantasy drafts still a few weeks away, is McCoy’s uncertain off-field situation. He might be suspended or out of the league if he’s guilty of what he’s been accused of.
WR: Josh Gordon, Browns
This one is pretty simple. Josh Gordon is currently away from the team as he tries to get his mind right. The Browns expect him to return to them, but it’s far from a sure thing for the start of the regular season. Even if Gordon does return, a potential relapse is always a concern, making him a major risk despite his talent.
WR: Martavis Bryant, Raiders
Martavis Bryant is a similar situation to Josh Gordon. There were rumors that Bryant was on the verge of being suspended indefinitely by the NFL again, but he’s at Raiders camp with no word of a suspension. Still, he’s just a strike away from missing the entire year, so there’s a chance spending a mid-round choice on him turns out to be a wasted pick.
TE: Tyler Eifert, Bengals
Unfortunately, Tyler Eifert has played in just 39 games through five NFL seasons, including just ten in the last two seasons. He showed in 2015 that he has double-digit touchdown upside, but he’s been about as unlucky as it gets when it comes to injuries. There’s upside in selecting Eifert, but there’s also obvious risk.
FLEX: Isaiah Crowell, Jets
The Jets paid Isaiah Crowell to be their lead back this season, but there are some red flags for him as a fantasy selection. While Crowell might lead the backfield, it’s expected to be a committee in which touches could be inconsistent from week to week. Crowell has had similar opportunities in his four seasons with the Browns, but he never quite seized the backfield to become a 250-carry back. It’s risky to think he’ll do it this season.