Fantasy Football Picks 2013: Riskiest Selections at Each Position

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIAugust 31, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 19:  Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins warms up left handed before the start of a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedExField on August 19, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

There are players in fantasy football like Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson that are always safe bets, but then there are players that could shine brighter than anyone or burn like a dumpster fire.

A risky pick doesn't always mean it's a bad pick. Some of these players could really live up to the hype and put up big numbers week after week. At the same time, these players could struggle or fail to stay healthy and leave you regretting drafting them so high for the rest of the season.

There are a few red flags at every position, but these are the riskiest players at every standard fantasy football position.

Note: Pre-draft fantasy football rankings provided by ESPN's Matthew Berry


QB: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (No. 8 QB, No. 48 Overall)

This was one of the easier choices.

When it comes to RGIII, we simply don't know what he's going to do. He proved he was an incredible quarterback in his rookie season, but the injury concerns will scare a number of fantasy owners. 

This isn't just about the torn ACL, is just about the way Griffin plays. He exposes his body to a large number of hits even when staying in the pocket, and any time missed will hurt owners, especially if he is drafted without a reliable option behind him.

It's a tough pick, but just remember the risk/reward of taking RGIII.


RB: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (No. 15 RB, No. 23 Overall)

CJ2K is a home run hitter, but at the same time he has been an incredibly inconsistent fantasy running back over the past couple of years.

There were some bad games from Johnson last year, picking up just 45 rushing yards in his first three games in 2012. At the same time, he could blow up at any time, like the Week 7 explosion against Buffalo when he ran for 195 yards and two scores.

Who knows what Johnson does this year, but some new faces on the offensive line could open the lanes for this up-and-down player.


WR: Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (No. 9 WR, No. 31 Overall)

He may have been able to play in all 16 games last season, but can Andre Johnson do it once again after back-to-back injury-plagued seasons in 2010 and 2011?

While Johnson can put up yards, he will struggle to put up a lot of touchdowns. Matt Schaub is a on-and-off quarterback and the Texans prefer to use the running game more in the red zone, giving Arian Foster the scores.

The addition of DeAndre Hopkins could also lessen the dominance of Johnson in the passing game, but that's an unknown. Johnson is a great player, but there are a number of reasons he could struggle this year.


TE: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (No. 2 TE, No. 54 Overall)

When he's healthy, he's the best tight end in football, but staying healthy is an issue for Rob Gronkowski.

Gronk missed six games last year with a broken arm, but he still had the second-most points for a tight end. There's also a chance he doesn't even start this season after getting back surgery.  

The odds are that Gronk misses some games this year, but the big question will be if he can stay once your league's playoffs begin. If not, you're going to be losing out on a lot of potential points.


K: Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings (No. 2 K, No. 151 Overall)

Blair Walsh had a phenomenal rookie year, but can he repeat?

It's always hard to guess who's going to be the best kicker fantasy-wise, but at the same time the point differential at kicker isn't big enough for it to make a major difference to your team.  

Walsh wins the riskiest pick simply because it's going to be hard for him to live up to expectations this year, especially with how high those expectations really are.


D/ST: Denver Broncos (No. 7 D/ST, No. 143 Overall)

At the end of last season, this would have seemed like a fantastic pick. Now, however, the Denver Broncos could be a big risk.

Losing Elvis Dumervil hurt enough, but losing Von Miller for the first six games due to a suspension makes the pass rush for the Broncos a lot less intimidating. Champ Bailey doesn't have much longer in the NFL, and the secondary has been under heavy criticism since the end of the AFC Championship Game.

The Broncos will still be good, but they're going to lose a lot of that pressure on the quarterback that generates points in fantasy football.