10 players I hate more than you
Greg Jennings(notes) – He wasn’t even a top-30 wide receiver when Jermichael Finley(notes) wore pads last year. Expect him to be the streak component in the Packers’ spread this year. Numbers reminiscent of 2009 (68-1113-4), when he was the 23rd-best wideout, are in the offing. Don’t overpay.
Michael Turner(notes) – The Burner, for the most part, returned to his scorching ways last year. However, at an ancient 29-years-old (for RBs) and coming off groin surgery, he’s brimming with risk. Yes, the Falcons offense is terrific, but in the back half of Round 1, there are better, safer options (e.g. teammate Roddy White(notes)).
Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) – Investing in a player off major knee surgery is akin to wrestling a full-sized Komodo Dragon in the nude, a very risky proposition. With MJD sidelined last year, backup Rashad Jennings(notes) proved he could handle the load if pressed into action, which prompted Jack Del Rio to contemplate expanding his role this year, possibly wresting away 10-12 touches per game from MoJo. Similar to Turner, the Oompah Loompah’s downside outweighs his potential.
Antonio Gates(notes) – Already on the PUP list due to lingering toe problems, Gates, despite his stellar output when healthy, is a headache to avoid. Dreaded game-time decision tags will be persistent. Given the incredible depth at TE this year, he’s easily avoidable in Rounds 3-4.
Ryan Mathews(notes) – Let’s see, the Chargers retained goal-line gremlin Mike Tolbert(notes), Mathews failed a conditioning test and he’s an injury waiting to happen. Naive owners who believe he’ll finally live up to lofty RB1, or even RB2, expectations are sorely mistaken. Tolbert is the true Chargers back to own.
Brandon Marshall(notes) – Sensational talent, awful situation. ‘Fins’ fans demands for a competent quarterback are completely justified. Chad Henne(notes) couldn’t hit a 20-story skyscraper from 10 yards out. Provided Marshall doesn’t slip on another random object, expect more of the same for the former All-Pro – excellent reception/yard totals, few TDs. The 14th WR off the board in average drafts, he’s grossly overvalued.
Joe Flacco(notes) – A perennial staple on “breakout” lists, Flacco is quite possibly the most misperceived passer in the league. Yes, he’s physically gifted, but his missteps in reads and constant check-downs have limited him. So have his lackluster yardage performances. Face it, folks, Flacco will never be QB1 material in 12-team leagues. Keep in mind, despite a 25-TD campaign last year, he was only the 21st-best QB in fantasy.
Mark Ingram(notes) – At first glance, New Orleans appears to be an enriching place for RBs – superb passing offense, stout offensive line. But Sean Payton is shady. His rotating RB strategy says exercise caution. Ingram is unquestionably talented, but there are no guarantees he will be the guy in critical situations (e.g. at the goal line). Daniel Thomas(notes) is this year’s fantasy ROY.
Steve Smith (CAR) – In a far worse situation than Marshall, Smith is trapped in fantasy hell. Carolina’s revamped offense is expected to resemble an Air Coryell system. Under normal circumstances that would be promising news. However, with green QBs Jimmy Clausen(notes) and Cam Newton on roster, plenty of misconnections are in the forecast, banishing the multi-time Pro Bowler to the WR4 ranks. What an incredible waste of talent.
Matt Schaub(notes) – He’s an above-average quarterback with arguably the deadliest wideout in the league, but as long as Arian Foster(notes) runs wild, his QB1 status will be kept under wraps. Recall last year that Schaub was the 13th-best signal caller in fantasy. The eighth passer off the board in average drafts, his production will likely mirror ’10. Matt Ryan(notes), Josh Freeman(notes), Eli Manning(notes), Sam Bradford(notes) or Kevin Kolb(notes), going some one to five rounds later than Schaub, are more attractive.
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