Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: 5 Most Overrated RBs in This Year's Draft
In fantasy football, the running back position is like the hottest new toy on the market. You basically do everything in your power to be the first person to get the brightest and shiniest toy.
Well, in the world of toys, fantasy running backs and awesome analogies, sometimes that toy breaks and lets you down. You eventually find out the toy wasn't even all it was hyped up to be.
That's exactly how fantasy football players work, too, and it's up to me to help you figure out which ones are overrated, over-drafted and just downright not worth taking a shot on if you don't have to.
Here are the five most overrated fantasy football currently going in drafts right now.
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
ESPN Fantasy Football rankings currently have Darren McFadden as the No. 11 running back going into the 2012 NFL season, and he's currently going in the second round of most of ESPN-run fantasy drafts.
Now, don't get me wrong, McFadden has a ton of talent and he's got the fact that he's only 25 years old entering his fifth year in the league going for him.
But he's never played a full season in the NFL because of various injuries, most notably the foot injury that derailed his season after only seven games a year ago.
Run-DMC is a fantasy owner's nightmare because he gets you so excited at the beginning of the year only to leave you heartbroken down the stretch.
There are better options out there with a lot less risk.
Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Like Darren McFadden, Ryan Mathews has a serious problem with staying healthy. And as we all know, a hurt stud does no help to your fantasy team.
That's why I have Mathews on my overrated list.
A year ago he compiled just north of 1,500 total yards from scrimmage and just six touchdowns in 14 games on the field. Now, while some may argue that the departure of Mike Tolbert will boost Mathews' touchdown output, I don't believe that it's enough to make him a top-10 running back in fantasy football.
Not to mention this particular injury he's trying to return from could spell major disaster down the road. If he happens to get hit wrong one time on that clavicle, he could be lost for the year.
I'm staying far, far away from Mathews.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
I just don't see Brandon Jacobs leaving for San Francisco being that big of a difference when it comes to how good of a running back Ahmad Bradshaw is.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if at some point during this season we see him lose his starting spot to rookie David Wilson.
I understand that may be a bit of a bold prediction, but what exactly does Bradshaw give you?
All I see is a foot problem that held him out of four games in the middle of last year, in an offense that LOVES to throw the football.
If you need a second running back badly, then I guess it's OK to take him, but remember, there are better options at No. 2.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray offers a very small sample size to have ESPN ranking him as the No. 8 running back headed into this season.
For me, he's too much of an injury risk to be a solid No. 1 running back in fantasy football. I'd honestly feel safer with Chris Johnson over Murray heading into this season.
If you haven't caught a theme with me yet, it's that I tend to stay away from guys who have a history of chronic injury to the same part of their body.
Murray shined when handed the starting role last season but remember this when drafting him: While good, over a quarter of his rushing yards came in one game last season (253 of 897) and it was against the league's worst defense.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
I don't know what Maurice Jones-Drew is doing, or what exactly he's thinking right now but what I can guarantee is that it's not pleasing his fantasy owners one bit.
And unlike the other guys on this list, he's not on here because of injury.
It's a heck of a risk to take a guy with clear top-five value in the top five because of what's going on right now. It's unclear how long his holdout is going to last, and even if it ends today, it's not likely he'll be ready for Week 1 of the season.
All I'm saying here is consider what's going on around him this season when you draft. You could be better off with guys like LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte or even Chris Johnson.
Remember this, too, he was basically run into the ground last season with a league- and career-high of 343 carries. He showed a little bit of wear near the end of the season last year, and who knows if it will spill over into this season?