The following is an article describing some players who may not live up to media expectations or who may struggle to reproduce past efforts.
So, be cautious when it comes to these players in this year’s fantasy drafts.
Michael Vick (PHI) – Vick was stellar last year when he was active, coming second to only Arian Foster in fantasy points despite playing only 12 games. His week 10 effort against the Redskins showed how dominant of a player Vick can still be. All this hype has many people claiming Vick should be the #1 overall draft pick this year, something I won’t be doing.
Yes Vick has a huge upside, being able to score with his arm or his legs (21 pass td, 9 rush td last season), but there are also large potential downsides to drafting Michael Vick so early. By drafting Vick, I believe you put yourself in a position where you will need a decent back-up QB in case the injury bug bites, which is has so often before for Vick. His athleticism and risk-taking have put him in harm’s way more than once. It would be back-breaking for a fantasy roster that is say 10-2 and in the playoffs all of a sudden lose Vick for the rest of the year in week 13 or 14. Also this season other clubs will be increasingly focused on Michael Vick and limiting his effectiveness.
In NO way am I saying that you should AVOID Vick, but caution and planning needs to be taken into account when you do. He could be the piece that leads you to fantasy glory, or like the Eagles so often lately, a playoff loss.
DeSean Jackson (PHI) – DeSean Jackson is not the best fantasy WR on his team let alone in the league’s top 10. Not only has he not caught more than 62 balls in a season, he has also had problems with injuries. Last season he only caught 47 balls for 6 TDs, he did luckily get just over 1000 yards however. In my eyes, Jeremy Maclin is the much more consistent wide-out and should be considered the Eagles top Fantasy WR this season. Jeremy Maclin on the other hand was held to just under 1000 yards but reeled in 70 catches for 10 TD’s.
Yes Jackson is one of the game’s best deep threats who can score on almost any play, but his dependence on that deep ball is too risky for fantasy owners, too often he will have a week with 1-2 catches.
Currently, Jackson is often being drafted ahead of the likes of Reggie Wayne (111-1355-6) and Mike Wallace (60-1257-10) which is just wrong.
Peyton Hillis (CLE) – This is no secret, but I thought I would quickly cover it anyways. Peyton Hillis will not reproduce his 2010-2011 season. Hillis wore down as the season went on (54 ypg over final 6 weeks) which will force the coaching staff to mix up the touches more often in an effort to keep Hillis ready for the playoffs. Montario Hardesty will likely be the candidate to take those touches.
Another glaring factor is the QB situation in Cleveland. Colt McCoy has potential as a NFL starter, but does not induce fear into opposing defences who will stack 7-8 men in the box to stuff last year’s break out star. Without a passing game to help balance, Hillis will struggle greatly to be a #1 RB.
A.J. Green (CIN) – According to YAHOOSPORTS.com drafts, Rookie WR A.J. Green is being drafted inside the 10th round, ahead of Mario Manningham, Pierre Garcon and fellow rookie Julio Jones… this worries me. Green is an outstanding talent who will in all likelihood become a top wide-out in the NFL, but not in his rookie year, with an unproven QB.
I would certainly rather take Manningham or Garcon, who have proven they can have productive seasons and have solid QB’s throwing to them in the Manning Brothers. Julio Jones, another rookie WR also has more potential this season in my eyes due to another solid QB in Matt Ryan and a stud WR opposite him (Roddy White) to open up the field
Tony Gonzalez (ATL) – Gonzo is 35 years old and entering his 15th NFL season. He has had a dynamic career as an NFL tight end, some saying he is the best ever, but those days are far behind him. Though Gonzo is still a quality TE playing on a quality team, His numbers will only stay the same or decline from last season’s effort (70-656-6). The emergence of Roddy White has had an impact on his numbers and this season’s draft pick Julio Jones should continue that trend.
Gonzalez will still be a weapon for Matt Ryan and company, just not to the extent he has been.
TE’s such as Mercedes Lewis, Zach Miller, and Brandon Pettigrew all have higher ceilings when it comes to potential fantasy output this season, and are being drafting behind him.
Jermichael Finley (GB) – I had Finley last year as the TE I wanted most, he had bit of a injury history with his knee, but I thought the upside was well worth it, seeing as how he had top-3 TE potential. This year it seems to be very much the same situation, except the possibility for injury scares me much more. I don’t know if it is worth drafting Finley as a top-3 TE this season after seeing him go down in week 5 and watch his team win the Superbowl.
I look at it this way, Finley, if he can stay healthy, will likely be a top TE this season along with Gates and Clark. However, the risk involved forces me to drop his draft ranking down a few places. I would go with the safer picks of Jason Witten, Vernon Davis and maybe even Jimmy Graham. Do not pass him by though if he drops into a later round, his upside is too high.
Marques Colston (NO) – The New Orleans coaching staff plans on increasing the number of rush attempts per game this season, which will result in decreased passes attempted. Colston is coming of Microsurgery in his knee this off-season. He will be sharing targets with Devery Henderson, Lance Moore and Robert Meachem as well as up and coming star TE Jimmy Graham. Another 1000 yard season just might be out of reach for Colston this time around.
Ryan Mathews (SD) – Ryan Mathews showed signs of the explosive RB he can be in his rookie campaign, but those signs were often over shadowed by injury. He missed several games due to a high ankle sprain and an elbow injury and had surgery on his wrist this January. The time missed gave RB Mike Tolbert the opportunity to show how effective of a runner he can be using his size and power. Even if Mathews returns as the #1 RB for the chargers, he will still be sharing touches. A healthy Antonio Gates could also decrease the role of the speedster. I have heard many people recommend taking Mathews as early as the third round, I would definitely wait. His history with injury and lack of experience make it hard for me to want him as my teams feature RB. LaGarrette Blount of TB is being drafted behind Mathews in many drafts but is the much safer choice to me.
Sam Bradford (STL) – Sam Bradford looked excellent in his rookie campaign and has garnered a lot of attention, deservedly. In his rookie campaign he put up 3500 yards and 18 TD’s to go with 15 INT’s, great numbers for a rookie QB. There is almost no doubt that one day Bradford will be one of the NFL’s premier QB’s, but to expect that to happen this season is wishful thinking to say the least. Bradford has a solid receiving corps but lacks a true stud WR, and the focus of the Rams offence is still on power runner Steven Jackson who hasn’t gone under 1000 yards since 2004. Bradford’s 2011 stats will likely be similar to those posted in his rookie year.
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