Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: 7 Players to Avoid After This Preseason

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IIAugust 29, 2011

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: 7 Players to Avoid After This Preseason

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    Many people think that the NFL should rid themselves of the preseason, and in a sense, it's a very good idea. I mean, who really wants to watch fourth-string players play for half of a game.

    I know I don't.

    However, the argument should be made that preseason football is a very good helper for how fantasy owners should go about their drafts and free agent pickups.

    After three preseason games, starters are playing a majority of the game, and us fans are starting to get a good sense as to who put in their work in the offseason and who didn't.

    Here are seven players who fantasy owners should avoid after watching them in the preseason.

A.J. Green

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    The Cincinnati Bengals are a mess, and that doesn't bode well for highly touted rookie A.J. Green.

    Green is noted as one of the most athletic wide receivers to come out of college in the past few years, and that instantly put him on fantasy owners' radars.

    Unfortunately, Green went to the Bengals, and while he may have value in deep keeper leagues, his struggles to connect with fellow rookie Andy Dalton this preseason were rather prevalent and should keep you away from wasting a pick on him

    Green is going to be a stud, just not at this moment.

Chris Johnson

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    There are a million questions that surround Tennessee running back Chris Johnson due to his current contract dispute.

    That has to be unsettling to fantasy owners because of where he is being taken on average in most drafts.

    Chris Johnson is a top-five overall talent and should be taken there. I'm just not sure that, if I had the choice, I would take my chances on him.

    Ray Rice or Jamaal Charles have way fewer question marks and are going to put up the same numbers.

Arian Foster

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    Arian Foster is on here for the same reasons as Chris Johnson. He has a lot of questions surrounding him. However, for Foster, his are more injury related rather than financial.

    Since the end of the lockout, Foster has already injured his left hamstring twice. That's a very unsettling sign for owners who most likely used their No. 1 or 2 overall pick on the Texan RB.

    Now don't get me wrong. I wasn't high on Foster even before the injuries, but considering how running backs need their legs 100 percent of the time, this injury moves Foster even further down my list.

Frank Gore

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    Frank Gore is nearing the end of his run as a top-10 fantasy running back, if he hasn't already.

    Gore hasn't played a full season since 2006, and frankly, fantasy owners are getting fed up with it.

    He hasn't played much at all this preseason due to the fact he's in the middle of a contract dispute with the team, and rookie Kendall Hunter has looked very good playing in his absence.

    Frank Gore is very high on my "DO NOT DRAFT" list; he should be on yours.

Sidney Rice

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    Sidney Rice is a new face in a new place, and that new place isn't the most wide receiver-friendly city in the world. Simply put, there are most quarterback questions in Seattle than in the 20 Questions game.

    Rice is loaded with talent, and it showed two years ago when Brett Favre was tossing him the ball. Now that Tarvaris Jackson is at the helm, I'm fairly certain that Rice isn't going to have similar numbers.

    Jackson's incompetence as a starter in this league has shown brightly again this preseason, and that doesn't bode well for Rice.

    I'm keeping a red flag on Rice until there's a little bit clearer picture on Seattle's depth chart.

Kyle Orton

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    Kyle Orton is on here for people in two-quarterback leagues.

    It's been made clear by head coach John Fox that Kyle Orton is the Broncos' definitive starter come Week 1, but that doesn't mean he's not on thin ice.

    As I analyze the situation in Denver right now, I see something very telling. They have no idea what they're doing.

    At first, it's a race between Orton and Tim Tebow, who's the clear fan favorite. Then out of nowhere, Tebow becomes the third-stringer for Brady Quinn? Come on now.

    I just don't believe it, and it's that uncertainty that leads me to believe that one misstep could be the bench or the door for Kyle Orton.

Chicago Bears Receiving Corps

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    In the offseason the Chicago Bears went out and signed Roy Williams, Sam Hurd, as well as bringing in former Ohio State receiver Dane Sanzenbacher to bulk up one of the weaker corps from a year ago.

    While this may benefit the Bears as a team, it isn't going to help you win your fantasy league. Mike Martz's offense is designed to move the ball up field, no matter who it goes to. And with no definitive No. 1 receiver, it's design is going to play more as a wide receiver by committee kind of ordeal.

    Most Bears receivers aren't slated to be taken in the first eight or so rounds as it is and are really only there for deeper leagues. I think there are better late options for your team than Roy Williams and Johnny Knox.