Fantasy Football 2013: Le'Veon Bell, RGIII and Riskiest Players to Draft
Risk is not always a bad thing in fantasy football, but it is usually a good idea to avoid it if possible.
Drafting a player who struggles to stay on the field due to injuries, or simply struggles once on the field, could set you back dramatically during the course of the season.
Obviously, you could end up looking like a genius if you grab a key player in the late rounds who exceeds expectations. However, it might be better to avoid these players entirely on draft day with so many better options available.
No matter what, make sure you leave yourself other options at each position.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming into the year, Le'Veon Bell might have been considered one of the best sleepers on the board. A rookie selected in the second round who has a chance to start and make an impact is always appreciated in fantasy.
Unfortunately, he has had a real problem staying healthy to start his career.
After missing the first preseason game due to a knee injury, Bell excited fans by finally getting onto the field against the Washington Redskins. Unfortunately, he only lasted four carries before coming out of the game.
According to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, Bell suffered a foot injury after gaining nine yards on the day.
Many people are already completing their fantasy football drafts, which forces you to assume that a player will be healthy in Week 1. Based on what we have seen from Bell so far, you cannot say that with absolute certainty.
Bell already has a lot of mileage on his legs after totaling 382 rushing attempts last season with Michigan State. Until we see him go a week without getting hurt, fantasy owners should avoid him and go with fellow rookie Eddie Lacy instead.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Last season, Robert Griffin III took the league by storm and became one of the top options in fantasy football due to his ability to excel through the air and on the ground. He finished the year tied for fifth among quarterbacks in points in standard leagues.
This ability has kept him high on draft boards this season as well, and he has been selected eighth at the position in average drafts on ESPN.
The problem is the quarterback tore his ACL in the playoffs last year and is far from guaranteed from playing at the start of the season.
Adam Schefter reported that Dr. James Andrews will make the final decision:
Dr. Andrews told Redskins before camp that he and team would not make any decisions about RGIII’s status until after last preseason game.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 19, 2013
Considering he will not play in a single preseason game, Griffin will already be rusty when the season begins. Of course, this assumes that he will actually step on the field.
Andrews is likely to be extra cautious with the second-year quarterback after failing to clear him in the playoff game before the injury.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
If you are going to draft a player to be your No. 1 fantasy quarterback, you better make sure that he is going to be the starting quarterback on his own team throughout the year.
Vick was formally named the Eagles' starting quarterback on Tuesday, according to Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com. Still, that doesn't ensure he'll keep the job all season long.
There are plenty of people who think Vick has the ability for a bounce-back year under a new administration. Even he believes he can rush for over 1,000 yards this season with Chip Kelly as the coach. He's also had a strong preseason so far.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to tell just how successful Vick will be once the regular season begins. In that sense, if he begins to struggle in the new offense, Kelly could always turn to the younger Nick Foles.
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Victor Cruz is currently dealing with a heel contusion that has put him on crutches and a walking boot, according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports.
Additionally, the receiver's inconsistent production is another concerning for anyone selecting him in the early rounds.
Cruz played in every game last season, but he had six contests where he failed to top five fantasy points. He also seemed to struggle more toward the end of the season, totaling only two 100-yard games in his final nine.
In the other seven games, Cruz only averaged only 34.3 receiving yards. This is not going to get it done from a fantasy perspective.
His biggest problem was that defenses started to limit his big plays. In 2011, he was tied for third in the league with 18.7 yards per reception and had 25 catches of over 20 yards. In 2012, he ranked 56th in the NFL with an average of 12.7 yards per catch, thanks in part to only 12 plays of that distance.
Cruz was still able to get a handful of big plays, but defenses have clearly caught up to him after only one year. Things could end up getting worse this time around.
Fans would be better off grabbing a safer target like Reggie Wayne or Marques Colston, two players with good quarterbacks who have proven the ability to succeed year after year.
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