The last time we wrote about fantasy players to avoid, Wonder Woman hadn't hit theaters, Euron Greyjoy hadn't started dunking on Jamie Lannister and Anquan Boldin was still an active NFL player.
Colin Kaepernick was still unemployed though. Some things remain status quo.
Anyway, things have changed since James Koh penned his list of players to avoid at the end of May. Rookies have settled into roles, quarterbacks have gone through competitions and we've dealt with a slew of frustrating injuries. Now that we've reached The All-Important Third Week of the PreseasonTM, it's time to take stock of some notable NFL players. Some of the names have changed. Some haven't. Either way, I'll do my best to offer measured warnings as to why you should avoid adding them to your fake football team.
Y'know ... friendly, warm, uplifting analysis. Sigh. Let the sadness begin.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams: If you're looking for ways in which Watkins upgraded by being traded to the Rams ... there's the weather and that's about it. Jared Goff has played better this preseason but what we've seen of the Rams offense this summer still doesn't lend itself to a deep threat receiver being a consistent playmaker. With Cooper Kupp establishing himself as Goff's security blanket, Watkins is a best ball option who could offer fantasy successes and failures in equal doses. Why spend a fifth round pick for that uncertainty when you can wait a round or two and get DeSean Jackson?
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: No one believed that Blount was going to repeat his 18-touchdown performance from a season ago but few expected to see headlines suggesting Blount was on the bubble. Doug Pederson has given Blount a vote of confidence (is there any gesture that inspires less confidence?) and says that the big back will have a role in the offense. Blount's saving grace is that there isn't much depth behind him. But with an offensive line that struggled to run the ball in short yardage situations (PHI ranked 25th last year, per Football Outsiders), he'll need to approach the 250 carry mark to have anything close to the fantasy impact he had last year. Seems like a tall order for a running back who's only topped 200 carries twice in his career playing in an offense that still skews pass-heavy.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Nothing about the Seahawks backfield should give fantasy managers any level of confidence but Lacy is a particularly concerning case. He's shown nothing in preseason to suggest he could overtake a healthy Thomas Rawls for the starting job. The most compelling story about the former Packer has involved football fans gawking from afar to see if he hit his weight loss benchmarks during training camp. This blurb could be about the Seattle running backs as a whole but with Lacy commanding the highest draft price of the group, he ends up in the spotlight.
Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants: There are as many running backs in Giants camp as there are pizza places with the word "Ray's" in the title. That's a slight exaggeration but Perkins hasn't separated himself from his backfield competition -- notably erstwhile Tatooine refugee Orleans Darkwa. The reality is that Perkins is a part-time running back in a suspect offense that has de-emphasized the run despite having a quarterback whose arm strength was noticeably diminished at the end of last season. This has many of the earmarks Matt Harmon mentioned last year when warning against making Todd Gurley a top five pick. Except, yanno ... Perkins isn't quite as talented as Gurley.
Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Giants: Remember what I said about Eli Manning just a paragraph ago? That's going to have a direct impact on Marshall's production this year. Also having a direct impact on Marshall's production will be the number of targets in the offense already spoken for by Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard -- including 55 percent of Manning's red zone throws in 2016. Marshall is going to have to be touchdown-dependent to live up to the fifth round draft price.
Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that we have reached the end of the road with Frank Gore. After outrunning Father Time and continually spitting in the eye of fantasy fanatics who doubted him, it appears that Andrew Luck's shoulder will be the obstacle that Gore can not overcome. With no real indication of when Luck will back on the field and an offensive line that could possibly be worse than it was last season, Gore is in danger of facing an endless array of stacked fronts. To make matters worse, Robert Turbin is still around to snatch up all of the Colts goal line targets. Here lies a once great fantasy running back. We salute you, Mr. Gore. But it appears that your time has come.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots: Anyone who has drafted Edelman in non-PPR leagues has experienced the frustration that comes with a player whose yearly average targets don't match up to his yearly production. So what's going to happen when the target numbers start to decline? It won't be pretty, let's just say that. But it's also what's likely to happen with the additions of Brandin Cooks and Rex Burkhead to the offense as extra options for Tom Brady. NOTE: Julian Edelman has torn his ACL since the publication of this article and will miss the 2017 season.
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: In a cloudy battle to earn the majority of touches in the Bengals backfield, it's becoming increasingly clear that Hill might end up as the odd man out. The talk is that he could be the starter but that could end up being a symbolic title if he doesn't perform better than he has in the past two seasons. Giovani Bernard still has a well-defined role as a pass-catcher. Meanwhile, Joe Mixon offers a nice blend of the Bengals two incumbent backs and could push for a larger role by the end of the season. Hill would need to score a lot of touchdowns to maintain his fantasy relevance.
Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: At the start of the summer, it seemed assured that Ware was the undisputed starter in Kansas City. Now that we've reached late August, Ware still appears to be the starter though it's not nearly as undisputed as we once believed. Ware might not lose his spot atop the depth chart but Kareem Hunt seems intent on making life difficult for fantasy managers. If this ends up anything like the split we saw among Chiefs running backs last season, Ware will be downgraded to a flex option at best. NOTE: Spencer Ware suffered what is believed to be a torn PCL in the preseason and is likely to miss the entire 2017 season.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: It's all bad right now in Indy. As I mentioned earlier, Andrew Luck's potential absence is wreaking havoc with the fantasy potential of the players around him. Moncrief isn't being helped by a shoulder injury that has prevented him from having any contact. As a player in a make-or-break season with the Colts (and fantasy fans), none of this is ideal.
Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a dude who might just spend his entire afternoon listening to Beck's "Guero" on repeat and yelling "MICHAEL BOLTON!" during "Que Onda Guero." Tweet him your ridiculous musical reactions on Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. He also dishes out fantasy advice -- and life shenanigans -- on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).