"Youth is wasted on the young."
That quote, which is attributed to George Bernard Shaw, may find an exception in the NFL.
The most productive players in the NFL are typically those in their second, third and fourth years. While wide receivers and star quarterbacks can maintain productivity far longer, production is generally both stronger and more consistent among younger players than veterans.
And among veterans, there are productive vets and unproductive vets.
Then, among the unproductive vets, there are those who still have gas left in the tank and those for whom we should start digging their fantasy graves.
So are there any disappointing veterans worth targeting for fantasy football in 2012?
Yes, as you'll see shortly.
But before we begin, a couple clarifications are in order.
First, I defined "veteran" as a player who will be entering at least their seventh season in 2012. I realize "seven" was an arbitrary decision to use as the floor. But I wanted a number that would exclude players like Calvin Johnson (going into his sixth season) and DeSean Jackson (going into his fifth season), since they still strike me as fairly young players.
Also, I did not include veteran players who had both excellent seasons in 2011—like Wes Welker and Marques Colston—and are expected to return to their elite offenses for 2012. After all, fantasy owners aren't exactly bailing on these guys.
Instead, I'll focus on vets who either disappointed in 2011 or who may appear on the surface to be risky picks for 2012.
Who are the players not yet ready for AARP?