NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 24:  Mark Ingram #22 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 24, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

5 Players to Absolutely Avoid in Fantasy Football This Year

There's no way around it. It simply wouldn't be Fantasy Football without the inevitable draft busts that single-handedly sink someone's Fantasy ship every year. Here's how to make sure that person isn't you. 

5. Jerick McKinnon (RB) 49ers

Jerick McKinnon suffered a calf sprain in the last week of practice before his pre-season debut in San Fransisco, which will keep him sidelined until Week 1 of the regular season at best. An unproven back with an early calf injury is a rocky start for a running back projected to finish Top-15 at the position. 

Here's a pretty simple stat to help you understand Jerick McKinnon: He rushed for 538 yards in his 2014 rookie season, and he rushed for 570 yards in his fourth NFL season last year. The only thing truly separating this marginal improvement is three mere touchdowns in 2017.

I wasn't sold on McKinnon he was the perpetual backup to guys like Latavious Murray when he was in Minnesota, so I am sure not sold on McKinnon breaking out as 'the guy' in San Francisco. 

4. Philip Rivers (QB) Chargers

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has proven those worried about his age wrong year after year, but I finally think it's time to say 2017-18 will most likely prove the end of the line. You can only beat the ever-increasing odds Father Time mounts against you so many times. With five consecutive seasons of more than 4,200 yards and 28 touchdowns, the 36-year-old can't keep this up forever, unless your name is Tom Brady, of course. 

Additionally, tight end Hunter Henry's ACL tear means Rivers will be without his favorite red-zone target, and the recipient of 12 (of his 28 total) passing touchdowns from the last year. 

3. Kelvin Benjamin (WR) Bills

Benjamin was a stud during his time in Carolina with Cam Newton throwing him the ball, but that came to an abrupt ending last season when the Panthers dished him to the Bills in October. His production drastically decreased in Buffalo with Tyrod Taylor as his new quarterback. 

And now with Taylor out of the picture in Cleveland, Benjamin's next three options for feeding him the ball in 2018-19 are between career backup A.J. McCarron, who is injured, rookie project Josh Allen and second-year Nathan Peterman. Nothing about any of those three screams 'big year' for Benjamin. 

2. Mark Ingram II (RB) Saints

Stop and think about how much you've heard Alvin Kamara's name this offseason. Now, take a second to think about the last time you heard Ingram's name that wasn't in relation to his four-game suspension to start the season. The second-year star, Kamara, is going to have quite a bit more usage from the start. 

It's tough seeing  Ingram finishing anywhere near where he did in 2017-18. Statistically, it was the best the 28-year-old has had in the NFL to date by a considerable amount. And the fact that it came this late in his career on the back of a steady climb in production over the past four seasons, there's a lot of writing on the wall suggesting a massive drop in performance this year lined up next to the younger Kamara. 

1. Josh Gordon (WR) Browns

Josh Gordon is such an 'Avoidable Player' on this year's list that he may not even be draft-able, literally. 

Gordon's past issues of unreliability and suspensions speak for themselves. But the latest situation is messy to say the least. Gordon is currently battling a child-support case over his 3-year-old daughter, and recently went missing for a period of time dating all the way back to the first day of Browns training camp. 

Even if Gordon is in the league and rostered by the time your fantasy draft rolls around, avoid him.