While it can be argued winning a fantasy football league starts with knowing which players to target in the draft, the same can be said in regards to which players to completely avoid.
Wide receivers play important roles over the fantasy season, as they are capable of putting up some gaudy numbers. However, contrary to quarterbacks and running backs, solid wideouts are also readily available throughout the duration of the draft.
This can make things rather complicated, as sorting through these players in an effort to determine which to add to your fantasy roster can prove to be a daunting task.
Perhaps knowing who to avoid will make the process easier, so let's take a look at some pass-catchers to pass on in your fantasy drafts this year.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
Maclin has been rather disappointing to the Eagles and fantasy owners alike since being drafted 19th overall in 2009.
He's struggled with injuries throughout his NFL career, having only played a full 16-game season just once, and is coming off of a torn ACL which forced him to miss each of the Eagles' contests last year.
Not only has Maclin struggled with injury, but he hasn't exactly lit it up on the football field.
With DeSean Jackson formerly opposite him in Philadelphia, Maclin was unable to put up a 1,000-yard season in the NFL. That's concerning considering the amount of attention Jackson garnered from opposing defenses.
Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News broke down what Maclin offers on the field:
Maclin's a good, steady WR. Might not be a superstar. Want to see him in Kelly's offense. Caught 258 passes in 4 years, most in team history— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) July 22, 2014
While his receptions total is impressive, he's in a new role on a completely different team this year.
In the coming season, Maclin is the team's top threat at wide receiver, with Riley Cooper and young, unproven players behind him. Expect the sixth-year player to attract more attention and face each opposing team's most talented cornerback this year.
The acquisition of the speedy, pass-catching Darren Sproles in Chip Kelly's offense certainly doesn't help Maclin's opportunities to get the ball in his hands, either.
Things just don't appear favorable for the longtime Eagle this season.
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Over the past eight seasons, Colston has been a great target for quarterback Drew Brees. However, the receiver's production began to drop off last season, and more of the same can be expected this year.
Colston's never been a burner, but at 31 years of age, he'll find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the ever-growing athleticism of the NFL. There's also the issue of nagging injuries, as Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com points out:
@RumfordJohnny I love him as a player but “A healthy Colston” is a July phrase.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) July 15, 2014
Speaking of athleticism, Brees has plenty of highly skilled targets at his disposal on the Saints' high-octane offense. Jimmy Graham is arguably the best tight end in the league, the speedy Kenny Stills has a year of experience under his belt and rookie Brandin Cooks figures to get reps as a replacement for Sproles.
Those players will be key in an offense capable of producing a bevy of big plays, leaving a possession receiver like Colston the scraps of short, chain-moving catches.
Expect Colston to receive his fair share of targets this year, but it will prove difficult to get much of them due to his role in the offense. For fantasy owners, Colston's only value this season may be as a bye-week starter.
Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
Don't expect Boldin to produce a similar 1,179-yard, seven-touchdown stat line again this year. The veteran's 85-reception performance last season was the byproduct of Michael Crabtree's absence.
Boldin will be turning 34 this season, and while he is still a capable possession receiver, Crabtree will once again resume the privilege of being quarterback Colin Kaepernick's favorite target. After all, in 2012, Crabtree broke out for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns, and—now healthy—he should be poised to get back to that type of stat line.
Even Boldin expects Crabtree to get back to his old ways:
“You can expect to see the old Crab” - Anquan Boldin on deeper 49ers WR corps (plus a bunch of minicamp photos) http://t.co/nJgIWX9Rpd— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) June 24, 2014
The addition of Stevie Johnson from Buffalo also threatens to take some touches away from Boldin this season. This is a receiver capable of producing big numbers, as he put up three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons before playing just 12 games last year.
Add in the consistent threat of tight end Vernon Davis, and Boldin's opportunities will become increasingly limited this season—especially on a run-oriented team.
Like Colston, Boldin could be a bye-week starter this season for fantasy purposes. But there's plenty of other options with higher upside at receiver to look at in your upcoming draft.
Here's a look at some other receivers you may want to avoid in your fantasy draft this season.
|Danny Amendola||New England Patriots|
|Hakeem Nicks||Indianapolis Colts|
|Greg Jennings||Minnesota Vikings|
|James Jones||Oakland Raiders|
|Aaron Dobson||New England Patriots|