As hard as it is, you can’t avoid drafting busts when playing fantasy football. However, knowing who is due for a course correction is always a good way to safeguard yourself from drafting a disappointment.
In what is sure to outrage their fans and supporters, I will try to tackle some studs who may disappoint in 2013 after having successful campaigns in years past. It’s not easy to label a player as a bust—especially the five mentioned in this slideshow—since the following players listed here are terrific players in their own right.
But either by logic or from a basic, gut instinct, the following players listed may not live up to their lofty expectations in 2013.
Call it a hunch or what have you, but a coaching change in Kansas City could have an adverse effect on Jamaal Charles’ fantasy value heading into 2013.
New Chiefs coach Andy Reid will do all in his power to revamp the Chiefs’ pathetic passing game, and in the process limit Charles’ touches a tad. Whoever is the next Chiefs' quarterback, Reid will likely open up the playbook, pass more often and rely less on Charles and the running game.
Admittedly, Charles is still the best weapon on the Chiefs and will still be heavily involved, but he may have stats more in line with a No. 2 running back than a No.1.
Charles is also almost two years removed from a torn ACL. How will his body hold up, and can he make it through full two seasons without any nagging recurring injuries?
Again, Charles is a fine player, but he may be asked to do less next year.
I always fancied myself a huge White supporter, but the changing of the guard in Atlanta is unfolding, as Julio Jones is set to take his game to a whole new level while leaving White in his wake.
Of course, White will make for a serviceable wide receiver, but relying on him as anything better than a No. 2 wide receiver could get dicey. White will turn 32 in November and is on a path to let Jones lead the way in Atlanta. And with Tony Gonzalez not likely around anymore, White will see more coverage than usual.
This is more about Jones becoming the main man than White being a nonfactor. Just don’t go expecting 100-plus receptions and 1,200-plus receiving yards from White anymore.
Granted, he is making progress from his injury and hopes to start in Week 1, but there should still be reservations about banking on a lot from RGIII in 2013.
Sure, Adrian Peterson miraculously recovered from a torn ACL and thrived. Now many people think RGIII will recover like he did. That may be a possibility, but playing quarterback as opposed to playing running back is a big difference.
The wear-and-tear his body will be under next year will take its toll on Griffin. As a result, Griffin may look a little off his game, even if he is back for Week 1.
Even if he is healthy, RGIII could still be due for a sophomore slump (see Cam Newton at the beginning of 2012).
Griffin makes for a great backup selection in the hopes that he bounces back from injury. And anything that he gives you is a bonus. However, if you are relying on RGIII as a starter, you are playing with fire.
The rigors of being the lead-back for the 49ers in their quest for the championship will likely have an effect on Gore going forward. While Gore was great in the postseason, he has to break down at some point.
Gore is about to turn 30, and all of the carries (1,911) he has amassed throughout the years could eventually take its toll on his body. With Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James also on the depth chart, expect Jim Harbaugh to divvy up the carries in San Francisco next year.
For Gore to be effective and fresh for another playoff run, Gore will have to concede carries to Hunter and James. Expect that to be the case in 2013.
Jackson is another running back approaching the dangerous age of 30, and his time in St. Louis seems set to expire.
Although he would like to retire with the Rams, St. Louis and Jackson are expected to part ways, with the Rams likely to hand the reigns over to Daryl Richardson in 2013.
Jackson has also amassed a staggering amount of carries in his career (2,395), and depending on which team he ultimately signs him, expect Jackson to have a reduced role next season.
The chances of Jackson remaining a lead-back appear to be slim as he figures to be in timeshare wherever he goes. Jackson could make for a good goal-line back, but gone are the days of him being a reliable starting running back for fantasy purposes.