10 Fantasy Football Greats Who Are Fading

Michael JakubowskiCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2012

10 Fantasy Football Greats Who Are Fading

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    This week—and a few days next week—is the pinnacle of fantasy football drafts in 2012.

    Friends against friends, co-workers against co-workers, strangers against strangers... regardless of the type of draft you are involved in, there is an inherent stress that sits in the pit of your stomach leading up to your draft time.

    My following series of articles will hopefully assist you in those moments when you have nine seconds left for your pick and you are scrambling to make a decision.

    The fourth segment of this series will focus on names that intrigue you in fantasy drafts, but are slowly fading from normal draft positions and will negatively affect your team overall.

    Nothing says that these players won't perform. This is just a warning of what is most likely to come.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

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    I love Adrian Peterson. I have for years, and it doesn't help when commercials play on TV where someone says, "Don't be silly, Adrian Peterson" to an imaginary Peterson.

    Seriously, the guy tore his ACL and MCL last season, and gives all fantasy owners in 2012 a legitimate concern for picking him. It doesn't help when other Vikings are warned not to touch him in training camp.

    The Vikings offense is dismal without Peterson, so one would imagine the Minnesota Vikings are still heavily relying on him for their offensive production. Peterson will put up good numbers (not Peterson numbers) as long as he stays healthy.

Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons

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    Michael Turner is on the downside of his career (30 years old). In six of his last seven games of the 2011 season, Turner averaged 3.2 yards per carry with three TDs.

    Jacquizz Rodgers is knocking, and if Turner doesn't show he still has gas in the engine, we may be seeing more of Rodgers.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The leading rusher in 2011 has nothing wrong with his engine. What will hurt him is his lack of practice in training camp, and possibly missing the first week of the regular season (if not more).

    Rashad Jennings has been averaging almost five yards per carry in his absence, and the Jaguars will have no trouble starting him in the place of Jones-Drew.

    No one should expect Jones-Drew to produce 2011 numbers this season.

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

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    Don't get me wrong, Roddy White is still a solid pick in fantasy drafts. What is the focus is that the Falcons are high on Julio Jones right now, and Jones is going to steal receptions from  White.

    White will still put up good numbers this season, but no one should expect the 100 receptions and close to 1,300 yards he put up in 2011.

Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets

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    Something to be said about Santonio Holmes is that he has only topped 1,000 receiving yards once in his six-year career. This doesn't show a lot of promise as the Jets' WR1 (where he hasn't topped 750 yards).

    Holmes is slowly approaching 30 and is dealing with a quarterback struggle between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Neither of these quarterbacks should be starters, and either will hurt Holmes as a legitimate starting WR.

Laurent Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Steer clear of Laurent Robinson.

    Robinson had a career year last season with 11 TDs, and he took advantage of injuries to Dallas Cowboys wide receivers. He also had Tony Romo throwing to him.

    Robinson now has Blaine Gabbert throwing to him, which doesn't look promising at all. Expect Robinson to digress, more so to his levels of production prior to the Cowboys (four TDs over four seasons). 

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

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    Peyton Manning may be my favorite QB of all time, as I am a Colts fan. I was deeply saddened when the Colts let him go at the end of the 2011 season, but I understood why.

    Manning is returning in 2012 after having four surgeries on his neck, bringing many questions whether he could return to starting form. The 2012 preseason showed what he is capable of, but it is nothing close to what fans are used to from his time in Indianapolis.

    Fantasy owners also have to be concerned to the easy possibility of further injury.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Michael Vick is fragile. He is going to break at any moment, and only he is to blame based on his style of play. Any quarterback who depends on the run as much as Vick is bound to be injury prone.

    Vick had to leave two preseason games this year due to sustained injuries. What positive outlook could that show for the start of the real season where Vick will play against teams with all their starters? Vick is a good QB, but he will get injured this season, furthering the dismal value of his fantasy worth.

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers

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    The 49ers are high on last year's performance of quarterback Alex Smith. What they aren't looking at is his career stats as a whole.

    Since 2005, Smith has only played a full season twice, and only once has he topped 3,000 passing yards. Touchdowns? He has never had more than 18.

    Smith is destined to fall back on his normal career stats in 2012 as the Seahawks and Cardinals work to knock the 49ers out of playoff contention. 

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

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    A lot is dependent upon Jason Witten. Miles Austin has a nagging hamstring issue and Dez Bryant has knee issues and off-field issues.

    That leaves Witten for Tony Romo's target in the offense. It didn't help Romo that Witten suffered an injury in a lacerated spleen. It will take time for Witten to recover, and even when he is ready to play, expect Witten's play to be a bit cautious.