Fantasy Football: 10 Guys Who Could Kill Your Season from the Start
You can't win your fantasy football league on draft day. You could snag that late-round sleeper, but if you don't make the right pickups and start the right guys during the season, you won't win.
You can, however, lose your league on draft day. Spending an early-round pick on someone who ends up being a complete bust can torpedo even the best of teams.
You will see a lot of big names on this list, but I also included some middle-round guys as well.
Enjoy, and remember, avoid these guys if possible come draft day.
Austin Collie put up nearly identical numbers in his first two seasons, only he played seven less games in 2010 than 2009.
When Collie played last season, he was unstoppable. Prorate his numbers to a 16-game season and he would have had 103 receptions, 1,153 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those are probably unattainable numbers, but they're still impressive. So why could Collie kill your fantasy season?
Simple: injuries. He suffered three concussions last season. He simply can't be trusted. If he suffers one more concussion, he is guaranteed to go on injured reserve. I started him in my playoff matchup last season after he came back from his second concussion and was worried sick he would get hurt, and sure enough, he did. Granted, he had two touchdowns before that happened, but the risk still lingers.
Every time he goes over the middle he is at risk of suffering a concussion. You don't want that on your fantasy team.
Michael Turner managed to play in all 16 games last season, but played with an injured groin that ultimately required surgery. The 29-year-old running back has now lead the league in carries two of the past three seasons and is coming off a groin surgery.
Also add in that the Falcons are expected to open up the offense and pass more this season, which would cut into Turner's carries. All of these factors indicate Turner is due for a decline this season.
He is even riskier in PPR leagues.
Fantasy football is an impossible game to predict. Part of the reason is that touchdowns are so volatile and thus, impossible to predict.
Dwayne Bowe scored 15 of them last year. The odds of his replicating that are next to impossible. With second-year tight end Tony Moeaki improving and the addition of Steve Breaston, Bowe will see less red-zone targets.
Also, Charlie Weis is gone as offensive coordinator, and in the playoffs when it was known Weis would be gone, the Ravens kept Bowe completely off of the box score.
Maurice Jones-Drew has been a regular in fantasy football lineups for the past five years. His reign at the top may be coming to an abrupt end.
Jones-Drew only managed seven touchdowns last season, untypical for a guy who perennially has double-digit touchdowns. More importantly, he had offseason surgery to correct a bone-on-bone condition in his meniscus. Bone-on-bone is never a phrase you want to hear.
Add in the fact that the Jaguars have no receivers that defenses have to game-plan against, and the possibility of a rookie taking over at quarterback sometime during the season, and the negatives keep stacking up.
I'm a huge MJD fan, but even in one of my drafts, I passed him up in the second round. Let someone else gamble on him this season.
In case you didn't learn your lesson when Roy Williams was with the Cowboys, learn it now before it's too late.
Changing teams is going to do nothing for Roy Williams. He still can't beat press coverage, create separation from defenders or hold on to the football.
He's a big name and because of that he gets a lot of attention he doesn't deserve. He's already been put on notice by the Bears for reporting to camp out of shape and is in danger of losing the starting job that was given to him.
Michael Vick is the ultimate risk/reward player in fantasy football. If he's on his game and stays healthy, he's the best player in fantasy, hands down. That's a enormous "if," though.
He has only played 16 games once in his career. His running ability, while great fantasy-wise, also lends himself more prone to injuries. While he was dominant last season, he struggled in the last two games he played.
Don't forget that coming into last season, no team expected to see Vick. Now they know he is on the schedule; thus, they will be prepared and throw the kitchen sink at him.
I'm not hating on Vick. I'm just acknowledging he comes with a ton of question marks.
Peyton Hillis made a lot of fantasy football owners happy last season. That might be the case this season.
Hillis slowed down big time late last season, failing to cross the goal line in the final five games. Heading into this season, Hillis carries some serious risk. The Browns have a new coaching staff, added Brandon Jackson and still have Montario Hardesty.
Wearing down last late season casted some serious doubts about whether Hillis can be a feature back. Couple that with a new coaching staff and Hillis could be in line to share more carries than fantasy owners would like.
Josh Freeman had a remarkable second season. It was an enormous improvement from his rookie season and one no one saw coming. I mean, he raised his passer rating by 36 points.
Don't get too caught up with his numbers, though, as they're bound to decrease. Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger were the only quarterbacks to throw less interceptions than Freeman, and Big Ben only played in 12 games. His 25 touchdowns passes were heavily skewed by a five-touchdown performance against a Swiss cheese Seattle Seahawks secondary. He also failed to throw for over 300 yards in any game.
I've seen a few guys wait on taking a quarterback and then snag Freeman as their starter. Avoid the temptation and select him as a backup.
Dez Bryant has the potential to be one of the best receivers in the game and I believe that will happen, just not this year.
There are too many heads to feed in Dallas for Dez to become an elite fantasy player—like many owners are drafting him to be. He will get his, but he's the third option in the offense behind Miles Austin and Jason Witten.
You can't discount Felix Jones, who I think is prime to have a monster year, and regardless, will be a factor in the passing game. He will be a starter for your team, just not what you're hoping for based on where you drafted him.
You aren't spending as high of a pick to get Thomas as you are with others, but that doesn't mean he can't hurt you. The rookie running back hasn't looked great in camp and isn't impressing anyone with his power.
The Dolphins have basically anointed Reggie Bush their starter and while Bush isn't getting 20-25 touches a game, Thomas won't be getting the ball regularly. Even if Bush were to go down, he would probably split carries with Lex Hilliard.
It can't be a good sign about his progression when the team goes out and signs Larry Johnson.