Fantasy Football 2011: The 5 Worst Values in Auction Drafts

Craig RondinoneCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2011

Fantasy Football 2011: The 5 Worst Values in Auction Drafts

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    Some fantasy football owners go into auctions looking for a bargain. Then there are those like yours truly who go into auctions looking for the players who other owners will overpay for so I can jack up the price on them. 

    So which players are the worst values in fantasy auction drafts this year?  Forget about defenses and kickers. No fantasy owner should be spending Daniel Snyder type money on those jokers.  And there are more great buys at tight end than bad buys. Yet at the other skilled positions, some players are a tad overpriced and in serious need of a price tag slash. 

    Here is the fivesome whose auction values seem to be a little high in the publications I have been checking. These are the average projected prices for these players that I have found during my investigations.    

Eli Manning, New York Giants ($8)

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    Manning threw for a league-high 25 interceptions last season, and contrary to reports that several were not his fault because they tipped off the slippery fingers of his receivers, many of the picks were indeed his fault and some of the ones his receivers turned into INTs happened because the passes were thrown too hard and high like Justin Verlander fastballs. 

    Manning’s favorite third-down and fourth-quarter target, Steve Smith, is in Philadelphia. His dependable tight end Kevin Boss is in Oakland. Neither were replaced by anyone anywhere near as talented as they are.  Less weapons probably equals less yardage and touchdowns for Manning. 


    Manning also has to deal with a revamped offensive line that will probably allow him to be hit more than he ever has in his career. This was not the year for Manning to come out during the preseason and proclaim that he was in the same class as Tom Brady, although it looks like he will be the best QB named Manning at least.   

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams ($21)

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    One of Jackson’s most attractive features since he entered the NFL was that he would be on the field for every play (when injury-free). St. Louis never had a backup tailback who could steal Jackson’s carries or vulture his touchdowns. But in the off-season the Rams acquired not one, but two solid reserve running backs who could cut into Jackson’s playing time.

    Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood will not only keep Jackson fresher, they may slice a couple hundred yards off his end-of-season totals. Jackson has had trouble staying healthy in the past, so getting a breather once in a while would not be a bad thing, yet you have to worry that the veteran Williams and the speedy Norwood will be taking touches away from St. Louis’ main man. 

    Jackson also needs to pull a Pinocchio and grow a nose for the end zone. His 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons does not cut it compared to other upper-echelon backs. He needs to summon the spirit of short-yardage specialists like Gerald Riggs when he gets near the goal line or else Cadillac will be the one driving the ball into the end zone down close.    

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals ($14)

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    Luckily Benson’s jail time did not interfere with his playing time, and hopefully the next time he assaults someone it will be in a celebrity boxing match or in a UFC octagon. But there are more factors going against Benson’s fantasy worth than his recent brushes with the law. 

    Benson is now the Bengals offense. There is no Carson Palmer to keep front sevens honest with the passing game, and no Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens to keep cornerbacks and safeties away from the line of scrimmage. Opposing defenses will be gearing their game plans around Benson week in and week out, and considering he is not Jim Brown, he should be shut down on a regular basis.
     
    With rookie Andy Dalton quarterbacking the team and fellow rookie A,J. Green as the No. 1 receiver, Benson and his 3.7 career yards per carry should find sledding tougher than Santa Claus does when he drops presents off in Alaska.

    And Cincy should be trailing in many of its games. Since Benson has averaged less than 10 receiving yards per game during his career, his playing time late in games will likely be minimal. Do not be shocked to see many 20-carry, 60-yard contests in Benson’s future

Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys ($11)

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    Every season fantasy owners hear how this is going to be the year Jones breaks out and becomes one of the biggest home run threats this side of Jose Bautista. And every season he lets us down harder than the girl at the bar who won’t fork over her phone number at the end of the evening.  

    Jones did a lot of tap dancing and tiptoeing in 2010. Too bad he did not do any of his fancy footwork in the end zone. One rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown. His 4.3 ypc were a career-low too. 

    Jones did suit up for all 16 games, though, which some fantasy experts would call a miracle. And playing full-time helped Jones set new career-highs in rushing yards (800) and receiving yards (450), but those numbers do not make you think he is the next Gale Sayers. 

    Marion Barber moving to Chicago should be good for Jones, right? Well, I think Tashard Choice and rookie DeMarco Murray will still tag in at tailback more than fantasy owners would like. And with Dallas releasing Pro Bowl linemen Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis, Jones will be running behind one of the most questionable lines in the league.

Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins ($15)

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    Marshall’s off-field personal problems are not the reason his auction value is as bloated as Beyonce right now. In fact, HE is not the problem at all. It is the person/ people throwing him the ball who are the issue. 

    Miami dropped the ball for the umpteenth time at the quarterback position. After sniffing around for someone to replace Chad Henne, the Dolphins ended up with, well, uh, Matt Moore. Yes, the same Matt Moore with the 5-to-10 TD-to-INT ratio and the 55.6 quarterback rating in 2010. The Dolphins should have brought back Pat White or coaxed Dan Marino out of retirement. In Washington, John Beck is chuckling.    
      
    It wasn’t as if Marshall was Charles Rogers bad last season when Henne was his guy. He finished tied for sixth in receptions and 16th in receiving yards. Yet it was the first time since his rookie season in 2006 that he did break the 100-catch barrier or score at least a half-dozen times. The number drop-off can almost solely be pinned on Henne, with some blame going to Miami’s old-fashioned play calling.         

    Give kudos to Marshall for putting up the fantasy numbers he did. He suffered through the same troubles Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald did with Derek Anderson and other scrubs sailing balls over his head all the time. With Henne and Moore as his quarterbacks this year, Marshall’s stats should stay about the same as they did in 2010, which means pretty good but not as wonderful as they could be.