Last night's Colts-Redskins game marked the official opening of the football season, which to millions out there it means it is time to start preparing for our annual fantasy-football draft.
Whether your draft takes place in your parent's basement or the company boardroom, one rule remains consistent: DON'T PICK THE BUST.
Every year there are a multitude of busts, and at some point, in everyone's fantasy-football career, they have been unlucky enough to draft that bust. Michael Vick in 2003 (broken leg during the preseason), Shaun Alexander in 2006 (1,000 less rushing yards and 20 less TDs than a year before), and Thomas Jones last year (1 Rushing TD over the course of the season,) all serve as painful reminders of top picks being wasted on talent that doesn't pan out.
So, as draft day approaches, I am here to provide America with my Top-five players to avoid come draft day.
1. Larry Johnson
L.J. is my No. 1 bust for the 2008 season. However, this is not due to his own shortcomings, but to the short comings of the team that surrounds him. An offseason that saw the Chiefs bring in only three new linemen, none of which are notable, does not bode well for Johnson's YPC.
The Chiefs' O-line will get bullied around by stronger and more experienced defensive units in the AFC, which will mean less yardage and TD's for L.J.
A weak offensive-line can sometimes be counter-balanced by a veteran QB and a talented receiving corps, two things that the Chiefs also do not have.
Brodie Croyle will struggle in his first full season as the starting QB and with Jeff Webb (I'll pause for you to research who the hell Jeff Webb is) being the leading candidate for the No. 2 receiver position, do not look for many AFC teams to stack their secondary against the Chiefs.
L.J. will constantly see teams stack eight in the box against them, and while he has the talent to carry for 1,700+ yards and 10+ TDs, his team does not.
2. Tom Brady
This will be quick and simple. Tom Brady will have a good season and will throw for around 30 TDs, but people who are using a top-three pick on Brady because he posted 50 TDs last year will be disappointed to see him not get near those numbers again.
One of the most important things to take into account while drafting is the marginal point differential among players at each position. The difference in total points between the No. 1 QB and the No. 10 QB is more likely to be smaller than the difference in total points between the No. 1 and No. 10 RB.
Getting a stud RB early and a solid QB in round four is a much safer option than taking Brady with your top pick and praying that Michael Turner or some later round RB will come through.
3. Willis McGahee
Same reasons as Larry Johnson, only I feel that Baltimore has slightly better receivers, as well as a superior defense, which will result in the Raven's offense getting more time with the ball than the Chiefs.
4. Marques Colston
Bust may not be the right word, but the signing of Jeremy Shockey, as well as what I feel will finally be the year Reggie Bush bursts through, will hamper Colston's boisterous numbers from previous years.
Shockey has averaged approximately 62 catches a year, and with the Saints pass-happy offense, that number will most likely go up. Look for Shockey to pull in around 70 catches this year, a 22 catch increase over Eric Johnson's total from last year. More catches for Shockey means less catches for Colston and fewer opportunities to score.
Also, Colston having his knee drained is a fairly standard procedure, but anything involving a WR and his knee makes me uneasy. I don't think Colston will have a awful year, but I do not feel he will live up the second or third-round pick many people give up for him.
5. Donovan McNabb
Over the past three seasons, McNabb has played nine, 10, and 14 games respectively. While some will say last year showed that McNabb can still play for the majority of the year, I say that McNabb is entering his 10th year in the league and will celebrate his 32nd birthday come November, two things that do not bode well for a QB.
Add in the fact that he is playing in the toughest division in the NFC, if not the entire NFL, and in front of some of least forgiving fans in the league, and I see McNabb going down again with injury and the Kevin Kolb era beginning in Philadelphia. Buyer beware of McNabb come draft day.