Arian Foster and 5 Fantasy Football Risks You Should Avoid in 2012

Kenneth HicksCorrespondent IIMay 16, 2012

Arian Foster and 5 Fantasy Football Risks You Should Avoid in 2012

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    Before your 2012 fantasy football draft begins, it might be wise to look at some talented players that are too much of a risk and avoid these players at all costs in the world of fantasy football.

    The riskier players are injury prone, just landed new contracts, are holding out, or are just breaking down physically from too many reps.

    A great example would be Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans getting his big contract right before the 2011 season and just never getting it together, having by far one of his worst seasons in fantasy football.

    In years past it has been running backs that have 300 touches in consecutive years and their body beaks down over time. Within the blink of an eye in fantasy football, a running back can have a 1,500-yard, 20-plus-touchdown season, and then poof he's gone: Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. 

    Running quarterbacks have the same problem and might give you double fantasy football points as well as season-ending injuries. What good is a player that is a star that sits the bench on your fantasy football team because you can't get rid of him? Or he might be back in several weeks because of injuries. 

    Who will be this year's crop of players to avoid in the 2012 fantasy football season?

Why Arian Foster Will Take a Huge Step Back in the 2012 Fantasy Football Season

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    Arian Foster of the Houston Texans will be the No. 1 overall player taken in most fantasy football drafts in 2012.

    In 2010 he had 390-plus touches for 2,200 yards and 18 total touchdowns.

    Then in 2011, even with missing three games due to an anti-awesome hamstring injury, he put up 390 touches for 2,100 yards and 15 touchdowns through the regular and postseason.

    However, when will Arian Foster just breakdown?

    Foster just received a five-year, $43.5 million contract in March 2012, and fantasy football fans can only hope the money won't go to his head like it did with Chris Johnson back in 2011.

    That's a lot of pressure on a guy that is expected to touch the rock 390-plus times more in 2012. History shows running back durability fades over time and Foster will take a huge step back back in 2012.

    According to Livestrong.com, the shortest careers among NFL players tends to be those who hit and get hit the most during games and practice. Running backs have the shortest average careers of just 2.57 years.

    Foster will be entering his fourth NFL season in 2012, and when Foster does regress in 2012 you can bet that his backup Ben Tate will be waiting in the wings.

    I would stay clear of Arian Foster, but if you do manage to draft him in your fantasy football draft ,make sure you pick up his handcuff Ben Tate in the middle rounds.  

Why Michael Vick Should Be Avoided in the 2012 Fantasy Football Season

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    Michael Vick will be one of the first quarterbacks taken in most 2012 fantasy football drafts, right behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

    In Vick's last two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles he has put up an average of 3,000-plus yards passing, 500-plus-yards rushing and 20 total touchdowns.

    He is the ultimate dual threat in fantasy football.

    However, with all the great upside comes an even greater risk in fantasy football.

    Amazingly, those great numbers Vick put up were with missing seven games in two seasons. In fact, only once in his 10-year career has Vick played one full healthy season, and that was back in 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons.

    Moreover, I would put the 31-year-old Vick in the category of major risk and avoid him in the upcoming 2012 fantasy football season.  

Why Darren McFadden Should Be Avoided in the 2012 Fantasy Football Season

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    The fantasy football community knows Darren McFadden is a true Jekyll-and-Hyde player where one season he can miss nine games from an injury (2011) or put up 1,600 total yards and 10 touchdowns (2010).

    According to Sports Illustrated, in McFadden's four-year NFL career he has missed 19 games due to injuries.

    Still, McFadden will be one of the top-10 running backs taken in most fantasy football drafts in 2012 because of potential, and he will assume a larger role as backup Michael Bush went to the Chicago Bears in 2012 NFL free agency. 

    I would stay away from McFadden as he poses way too much of a risk in fantasy football, but if you do take a shot at him, make sure you draft whoever will emerge as his backup as a handcuff in the later rounds. 

The Curse of 300: Michael Turner Should Be Avoided in 2012 Fantasy Football

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    The curses of fantasy football exist everywhere: Madden video game, running backs over 30 and running backs with 300-plus carries.

    Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons just turned 30 a couple months ago and has had 300-plus carries in three out of his last four years.

    Of course, Turner has put up solid numbers in those 300-plus carry seasons to the tune of 1,300 yards and 10-plus touchdowns in each season.

    However, the curse of 300 will strike again in fantasy football and severely limit Turner's productivity in 2012.

    According to NBC Sports the Falcons plan to limit Turner's touches in 2012.

    "We want to keep [Michael] as our feature back, but we need to make sure we get some of the other guys carries as well," head coach Mike Smith of the Falcons said. "... I think the thing we have to do as Michael gets a little older is to start putting him on a pitch count in terms of the numbers of carries."

    Turner will more than likely be one of the top 15 running backs taken in most 2012 fantasy football drafts, but I would stay far away from him.

    In fact, I would take his backup, Jacquizz Rodgers, who could be on the verge of a breakout fantasy football season in 2012. 

Why Andre Johnson Is Past His Prime

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    Andre Johnson has been a model of consistency in fantasy football throughout his nine-year NFL career.

    His two most productive seasons were in 2008 and 2009 where he averaged more than 100 receptions, 1,500-plus yards and eight or more touchdowns.

    In 2010, he suffered a little drop off in the injury department only playing in 13 games, and in 2011, he was a major bust in fantasy football, only playing in seven games.

    The leg injuries have gotten the best of Johnson; however, he will still be one of the top wide receivers taken in the 2012 fantasy football draft.

    In reality, Johnson is 31 years old, and the leg injuries have plagued his production in recent seasons. And leg injuries concern me especially for wide receivers who use their speed and cutting on routes to create separation from the defense.

    In a pass-heavy league there really is no room for Johnson anymore as the young, healthy receivers like Calvin Johnson reign supreme in fantasy football.

    I would avoid Andre Johnson in the 2012 fantasy football season as he is past his prime and too injury prone. 

Why Mike Wallace Will Be the Second-Best WR on His Team in 2012

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    Fantasy football in recent seasons has been dominated by young wide receivers, and Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers has shown he is a top-10 wide receiver in fantasy football.

    Wallace has put up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with eight or more touchdowns in 2010 and 2011.

    However, because of Wallace's emergence as a deep threat, down the stretch in 2011 he faced a lot of double-teams and Ben Roethlisberger hooked up with Antonio Brown a lot more in the later part of the season.

    More reason as to why you should avoid Wallace in the 2012 fantasy football season is (according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter) because Wallace told some within the Steelers organization that he does not plan to sign his first-round tender "until he has to."

    This means that Wallace could wind up holding out for some or all of training camp.

    I would avoid taking Wallace right now in the upcoming 2012 fantasy football season because of his lack of production down the stretch in 2011, the double-teams prevent his deep-threat ability, and he still has not signed with the Steelers.

    Look for his counterpart, Antonio Brown, to have a better statistical season in 2012, and Brown should be the only Steelers receiver you take in your upcoming fantasy football draft.