Wide receivers carry a lot of baggage.

That’s why I’m a major proponent in skipping the position in the first two rounds in fantasy football. It’s tough for a wide receiver to be a consistently high producer in fantasy football. To be competent, the wide receiver generally needs a good quarterback, a scheme that focuses mainly on him and a game flow that keeps the ball in the air.

That’s a lot that has to go right each week.

Once again, I’ll be skipping the wide receivers early in the draft. If you’re thinking of hitching your wagon to an early wide receiver, be careful of these three likely wide receiver busts in the 2018 fantasy football draft.

Keenan Allen has plenty of talent, but the risk is high for injury. Flickr

Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Of all my picks last season, this may have been my favorite.

I was all over Allen in the preseason, thanks to his low average draft position and ability to garner a high level of targets. He averaged 9.9 targets per game in 2017 and after a slow start, was one of the most productive fantasy football wide receivers late in the year.

However, with an ADP that is hovering around the 16th overall pick in this year’s fantasy football draft, I’m fading Allen. Even with a high number of targets, Allen was not a productive option during the first half of last season. He tallied just two double-digit fantasy scoring games in the first nine weeks of the season, and was ignored in the red zone.

It’s not just that red flag that has me a bit concerned. The reason he was rated so low last year had nothing to do with his on-field exploits. His injury history scared away owners. So we shouldn’t completely forget that heading into this season.

In 2015 and 2016, he played in nine total games. That’s a risk that has to be evaluated, even with a healthy season in 2017. The risk is too much to consider him a mid-second round option in 2018.

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

There’s nothing to say that Thielen won’t be a high-producing wide receiver in the NFL for years to come.

But do you really want to be on the hook with him on your team to find out?

Thielen was a surprising star in 2017 for the Vikings, racking up more than 1,200 yards and notching 91 receptions. It goes in line with an improvement from 2016, where he tallied just under 1,000 yards and 61 receptions.

So maybe he is going to be a highly targeted wide receiver, capable of putting up top-10 wide receiver numbers. Or maybe he’s going to take a step back with a new quarterback and a healthy Dalvin Cook occupying more of the offense.

With the risk presented by Thielen, who is not a touchdown threat, you would have to risk the 30th overall pick, according to ADP, which ranks 10th among wide receivers. That puts him in line to be a team’s No. 1 wide receiver if they follow the strategy to grab two running backs early in the draft.

I’m just not comfortable yet with Thielen as my No. 1 on my fantasy team, especially with his lack of touchdown production, even with 142 targets in 2017. Be careful employing Thielen as your No. 1 option in 2018.

Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

I don’t see the Gordon experiment going anywhere other than two ways — he’s a top-five fantasy football wide receiver or he’s a complete bust.

Talent-wise, Gordon is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. It’s tough to see that talent when he’s not on the field, and with the recent story that he’s taking some time off, that doesn’t exactly generated much confidence that he’ll be a weekly option in 2018 as a fantasy wide receiver.

And if his ADP wasn’t so high, he’d probably be worth the risk. Currently, he’s going off at 43rd overall, 17th among wide receivers, so that’s still risking decent draft capital on such a volatile player.

If his ADP sinks, then it would be wise to consider Gordon, based on his potential. However, at this level, it’s not worth the risk of having to lose your team’s likely WR2.

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