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Fantasy football players you're drafting too early: Kenny Golladay

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So you're about to have your fantasy draft. Or you're thinking about doing a fantasy draft. If you already had your draft, sorry 'bout your luck. You shoulda hit me up sooner to do this. Not that I would have ... but at least you would've asked. And that would have been nice. Sorry, where was I?

Right ... drafts. Anyway, when you're prepping for your upcoming leagues, there are probably more than a few players that you're considering adding to your board. I'm here to tell you that you might be doing it wrong. That's okay, no judgment. We've all been there. Allow me to offer some constructive criticism. Last week, I wrote about five undervalued players. This week, I'm serving up a few players that you're probably too high on. They might not kill your chances of winning a league but they might not help as much as you'd like. I'm just here to help.

Let's get started.

ADPs taken from Fantasy Football Calculator.


Kenny Golladay (WR18; ADP: 4.08)


There's nothing like a good nickname to help someone elevate beyond expectations.

I mean, really, JuJu Smith-Schuster is worth a late first-round or early second-round pick. Would you have the same level of excitement drafting John Smith? I don't think so. So when someone named Babytron shows up on your draft board, it's hard not to get a little excited. The idea of tweeting or texting "Babytron, transform!" every time Kenny Golladay makes a big play is tantalizing. Alas, the combination of Golladay's youth, athletic ability, and (maybe) nickname may have blinded fantasy managers to a situation that might be more transformative than anything the third-year receiver can do in uniform.

Last season, Golladay enjoyed a breakout campaign with 70 receptions, 1,063 yards, and five touchdowns. It was the beginning of what plenty of people thought he could be when his name appeared on the fantasy radar before his rookie season in 2017. This year, Golladay is aiming for bigger things, saying he "can be a 100-catch guy."

I agree. He can be a 100-catch guy. Just not in this Lions offense.

Golladay's talent came to the forefront last season, but he was also helped by circumstance. Detroit traded Golden Tate to Philadelphia after just seven games. Marvin Jones was lost to a knee injury after nine games. Kerryon Johnson succumbed to a knee injury of his own one game later. Both of those players are back this year with Jones earning positive reviews in practice and Johnson expected to have a bigger workload in the wake of Theo Riddick's release.

That alone makes it unlikely that Golladay can give fantasy managers much more than he produced last season. But there's another factor working against Babytron -- speed. Not his speed, exactly, although is 4.5 40 time didn't wow anyone coming out of Northern Illinois. The bigger factor is that the Lions took their sweet time getting plays off.

Per Football Outsiders, in situation-neutral moments, Detroit ranked 29th in the pace of play. When the Lions were within six points either way of an opponent, that ranking dropped to 31st. That's no bueno and doesn't figure to change much this season. Matt Patricia's persona doesn't lend to his team becoming a more uptempo outfit.

It's not all bad for Golladay. If he can repeat last season's 13.6-yard average target depth and 15.4 yards per reception, the opportunity is there for him to once again sneak inside the top 25. The problem is that he's currently being drafted with the aspirational belief generally accompanying talented, young wideouts entering their third NFL season. I get it. We all like to have hope.

Hope is a dangerous thing.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who is going to eventually get around to clearing out his email inbox. Right after he empties his voicemail box. Be patient. Send him your tales of avoiding communication or fantasy questions on Twitter @MarcasG.

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