by Michael Nazarek (UPDATED 8/19/2019)
Editor's Note: Below you will find a portion of our Fantasy Football Creepers for 2019. If you'd like to read about all 19 creepers, please click HERE
to order our 2019 Pre-Season Draft Guide.
Were you one of those fantasy owners who drafted Jimmy Garoppolo, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Allen Robinson, Cooper Kupp, or Delanie Walker last year? Unfortunately, these players were some of the many disappointments due to injuries or other unfortunate circumstances. Just because they didn’t perform last year, doesn’t mean they will fail again in 2019, but I want to make sure to point out some of the warning signs which may cause certain players to produce poor fantasy numbers this year. I remind everyone that the players on the forthcoming list may produce good fantasy numbers this coming season, but I recommend you think twice before drafting them for your team this year. Let the buyer beware!
Eric Ebron (Indianapolis) - OVERRATED. Ebron is very talented, and played even better as a Colts in 2018 than he ever played as a Lion. In fact, he scored a whopping 13 times last season! Why is he listed here as an overrated creeper? First, TE Jack Doyle missed most of last season with a hip injury. He underwent surgery in February and is expected to be fine come week #1. Doyle is a favorite target of QB Andrew Luck. Secondly, the early ADP for Ebron is the 6th round (non-FFPC leagues), which is too soon for a player that will be sharing the pass-catching TE duties in Indianapolis. Don't get me wrong. I like Ebron, but there will be games where he will not be involved in the passing game. Remember, he was not targeted in week #11 and caught just one pass in week #15 on 2018. I prefer my starter to always be a primary part of the game plan in that respect. That is why he's overrated. Update 8/19: No change here. Ebron has been solid this summer, but other TEs will steal targets from him, and the fact that QB Andrew Luck (calf) is not practicing makes it all the more reason to avoid him in your fantasy draft. Update 8/29: With Luck retired, all bets are off, unless your name is Jack Doyle. Simply put, we have no idea how much QB Jacoby Brissett will target Ebron in this offense.
Jimmy Graham (Green Bay) - Graham can still get the job done in the red zone, as evidenced by his 6 scores in 2018, but he only caught for 636 yards, and averaged barely 11.5 yards per catch. Graham will be 33 years old in November, and is playing on a bum knee (pattella injury from a few years back). Yes, he still has QB Aaron Rodgers targeting him, but if you think that fact means he will improve on his 2018 numbers another year older, I have a bridge I want to sell you in Brooklyn. In fact, it's more likely that Graham remains an inconsistent red zone force in 2019 and not much else. Update 8/19: No change here. Graham is not getting any younger, and there is no indication the team plans to target him more. Simply put, I'd look elswhere when looking for my fantasy backup later in my draft this summer. Update 8/29: No change here other than the fact that Graham has an injured finger. That is just another reason to avoid him.
Greg Olsen (Carolina) - Oh, I hate to list Olsen here, since he's helped win me a lot of titles over the years, but the fact remains in the past two seasons, foot injuries have really restricted his playing time to only a handful of games. Although he plans to play in 2019, there is no real timetable for the full recovery of his foot, so there is that concern as well. Bottom Line: When healthy, Olsen can be a real force for fantasy, but his health is a guessing game right now, so if you draft him, take him only as a backup (and pray he will be ready come week #1). In early ADP, Olsen is going in the 13th round area (non-FFPC leagues), so at least he has that going for him. That said, do not be surprised if another foot injury ends his career before his 2019 season even gets underway. Frankly, I hope I'm wrong. Update 8/19: I so want to remove this guy from my list, but there is no real reason to do so. He is as healthy as he will get, but that foot remains a very big concern. Draft him if you want, as your fantasy backup later in your draft, but don't come crying to me if he goes down with another injury. You have been warned! Update 8/29: No change here.
Jordan Reed (Washington) - The talent of Reed has never been in question, but his health always has been a major issue. Guess what? He once again missed some time this spring with toe issues. Yup, more of the same. In addition, the Redskins are likely to start either veteran QB Case Keenum or rookie QB Dwayne Haskins come week #1. Reed must develop chemistry with both of them. Like TE Greg Olsen, at least the early ADP for Reed is reasonable, sitting early in the 14th round (non-FFPC leagues). That said, I have taken a chance on Reed in the past and it didn't work out, so he's firnly on my creeper list for 2019. I'd much rather take a younger and healthier player with upside that late in my draft like TE Chris Herndon. Get my drift? Update 8/19: No change here. Hey! Reed has looked as great as he's ever looked in camp! Where have I heard this before? Nope, not believing it. The QB situation is a mess right now, so where does Reed fit in? Good question. It's just one of the many reasons he's on this list and I'm avoiding him in drafts this summer. Update 8/29: Reed suffered his 7th concussion last week, and yet the team expects him to play in week #1. Good luck with that!
Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati) - In his heyday, Eifert scored a whopping 13 times in 2015, but the past three seasons have been nothing more than injury after injury. The guy just can't stay healthy. He missed all of the 2017 season due to a back issue, and now he's rehabbing from a broken ankle. In fact, he watched the entire offseason (OTAs and minicamp) from the sidelines. Simply put, we do not know how healthy he is, and when he will be cleared to play. His early ADP is the 17th round, but that really doesn't matter. When he's healthy, he will play and should play relatively well, but how long will it be before another injury strikes? He was my deep creeper last summer, and remains in this slot in 2019. Update 8/19: No change here. Eifert is so talented, but injuries have killed him for fantasy. Draft him if you want, but I'm staying away for the simple fact that I do not believe he can play anywhere close to 16 games in 2019. Update 8/29: No change here. He's healthy now, but who knows how long that will last.
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