Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: Overrated Players to Avoid in Your Draft
As football nerds everywhere unite in preparation for the upcoming fantasy season, here is a list of highly-ranked players by Yahoo that are primed for a let down for your title run.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
The No. 8 ranked running back coming into this year, Johnson frustrated fantasy owners to their wits’ end last season. He had just four overall touchdowns and barely eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau. Since his monster year in 2009 where he rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, his numbers have been on the decline. In 2010, he totaled 1,364 on the ground with 11 scores.
His average draft position has been in the 10.1 range, but there is no way he should be taken in the first round. He is even a stretch for the second. If he’s still there in the third round and you need a decent running back, that might be good value there at best.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
There is no question that Fitzgerald it one of the best wideouts in all of football. He finished last season with 80 receptions for 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns, ranking him 25th overall.
However, with the quarterback-to-receiver relationship not being mutually exclusive, it would not be a surprise to see Fitzgerald have a down year.
The Cardinals have an ongoing battle for the No. 1 spot under center between an underachieving Kevin Kolb and little-known John Skelton. Kolb had just nine touchdown passes and eight picks in nine starts last year. His career QB rating is just 76.7. Skelton had 11 TD throws to 14 interceptions in nine games and his career QB rating is even lower that Kolb's at 66.9.
Without a quality signal caller to get Fitzgerald the pigskin this year, there are a number of better options at the wide receiver position for your fantasy team.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
For some reason the top rookie running back coming into his first season in the NFL is surrounded by a lot of hype in fantasy leagues. Richardson will be the next rookie RB not to live up to his fantasy expectations.
Let’s consider the last three rookie RBs taken first at their position in NFL Drafts from 2009-2011.
Knowshon Moreno in 2009 rushed for 947 yards and seven TDs. Not bad, but for your No. 1 running back, it’s relatively pedestrian.
In 2010, C.J. Spiller rushed for just 283 yards and zero touchdowns.
Last season, Mark Ingram gained 474 yards and scored five times.
Despite the trend, Richardson is still being drafted high in the second round in most leagues, despite having his knee scoped and his status uncertain for the opener of the regular season. You’re better off going with a reliable veteran at the RB post.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
The last three seasons for Forte have been pretty average.
He missed the final four games last year with an injury and racked up 997 yards and three scores. In 2010 he rushed for 1,069 yards and six TDs. In 2009, he totaled 929 yards and four touchdowns. Yet Forte still felt entitled to a new contract and the Bears gave it to him.
With the presence of Michael Bush (966 yards and seven TDs)–sign away from the Oakland Raiders—as his spell-back, the Bears are likely to protect their investment in Forte and limit his touches. Without a good enough resume and coming off of last season’s injury, stay away from Forte as your top RB.
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