As the 2013 NFL preseason continues to drag on, the fantasy football draft season is officially upon us once again. With the focus shifting to which players to select and where to pick them, there are certain former fantasy studs who will not replicate that success this year.
All of the following players should be avoided until the value is too good to pass on any longer.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Last year’s signing of BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the starting running back was the Cincinnati Bengals' answer to the lack of a running game, but it hasn’t panned out how the Law Firm and the team had thought it would.
After amassing 278 carries (the first time he had ever carried more than 230 times), Green-Ellis totaled 1,094 yards on the ground for a mediocre average of 3.9 yards per carry and six touchdowns.
Those numbers aren’t overly impressive.
Add in that the franchise drafted a very talented back in Giovani Bernard early in the second round, and the writing is on the wall for even less production from the New England Patriots’ former touchdown machine.
Predicted 2013 Stat Line: 220 carries for 1,100 yards and four touchdowns.
Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos
Whether you have a points-per-reception league or are part of a standard-scoring league, wide receiver Wes Welker has been an absolute beast over the last several seasons. While with the Patriots, Welker averaged 112 catches, 1,243 yards and six touchdowns per season.
As dangerous as the Denver Broncos offense will be with Peyton Manning under center, there are several big-time weapons in the Mile High City with whom Welker will have to contend for targets.
There is no questioning how much the team leaned on outside receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker last year (179 combined receptions and 23 touchdowns). While Welker will still receive a heavy dosage of targets, he will not come close to matching the numbers he put up in New England.
Predicted 2013 Stat Line: 70 receptions for 700 yards and four touchdowns.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are coming into the 2013 season with a healthy running back in Ryan Mathews, and the franchise would like to keep it that way. After suffering two broken clavicles in 2012, Mathews' injury history is alarming.
The history of injuries should be enough to keep fantasy owners away in the early rounds.
Not only have injuries and problems fumbling the ball plagued Mathews over his short career in the NFL, but the former fantasy stud has also lost his chances of playing on third downs with the signing of Danny Woodhead.
Unless you can get him in the sixth or seventh round, don’t reach for the risky player.
Predicted 2013 Stat Line: 200 carries for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns
All stats and information via ESPN.com.