Fantasy football, much like the NFL, is unforgiving by nature, and studs can easily turn into busts from one season to the next.
With injury concerns rampant and turnover high, that fantasy points goldmine may not have the same impact he did last year.
Here are some fantasy football studs—whether by performance or name—that have a lot going against them this year. You would be wise to avoid these players (for their high asking price) or approach them with serious caution.
Peyton Hillis was a deep sleeper last season but, chances are, he probably went undrafted in your league. For those who were able to pick him up off the waiver wire, he was absolute gold.
Now, Hillis is overvalued by a considerable margin, regularly being selected in the second and third rounds of most fantasy drafts.
With Montario Hardesty part of the mix—forcing Hillis into a timeshare—Hillis’ opportunities and touches will be limited to the extent that his status as a No. 2 running back is in jeopardy. While this can keep him fresher for later in the season—Hillis wore down near the end of last season—it also limits his upside.
Also, you can’t forget about the "Madden Curse." Buyers beware.
While Marques Colston is the top target in arguably the most prolific passing attack in the NFL, there are a number of factors going against him this year.
First and foremost is his yet again surgically repaired knee—this is the fifth of his career and his injury concerns are now at an all-time high.
Microfracture knee surgery is certainly no easy task to return from, and those doubting his health have every right to do so.
While Colston has been consistent in practice and preseason action lately, one should exercise caution when dealing with Colston.
On top of the medical concerns are the soon-to-be expanded roles of Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham—these two fantasy studs-in-the-making will eat into Colston’s workload.
Ahmad Bradshaw was a sleeper last season, and he certainly paid off for those willing to gamble on him.
Like most players coming off of a breakout season, Bradshaw saw his stock jump considerably leading up to drafts.
However, managers drafting—or those who may have already drafted—him must also be wary of touchdown vulture extraordinaire Brandon Jacobs. While Bradshaw will still get the lion’s share of carries, Jacobs will get plenty of opportunities to capitalize and ruin Bradshaw’s fantasy value. Expect to see close to a 60-40 split between the two backs.
Not to mention, the New York Giants’ offensive line has seen a noticeable shift, and they may not be able to open the same gaping holes they did last year.
You also can’t forget about the lingering issues Bradshaw has had with his feet over the last two seasons—an injury that should concern any running back and his fantasy owner.
Michael Turner has been an absolute workhorse for the Atlanta Falcons since signing with the team. While that type of guaranteed workload is great for one’s fantasy prospects, it can also be devastating to their future and career.
In the last three seasons, Turner has led the league in carries on two separate occasions. Football is a brutal game and that type of wear and tear can really take its toll on an athlete's body.
While you shouldn’t completely avoid him, taking him in the first round comes with plenty of risks. You shouldn’t be surprised if he succumbs to a major injury or wears down considerably as the season goes along.
Plus, with Julio Jones added to the mix and a much looser, vertically-oriented passing attack in place, it could siphon enough touches and opportunities to drop his value considerably.
Over the past couple of years, Maurice Jones-Drew was one of the few fantasy commodities capable of challenging Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson for fantasy supremacy at the running back position and on draft day.
However, with an offseason knee surgery, Jones-Drew’s fantasy future suddenly becomes cloudy.
The diminutive rusher from Jacksonville was banned from running for a considerable chunk of time, and he was held out of all preseason action until the finale, where he gained an extremely modest 14 yards on five carries.
With Deji Karim waiting in the wings and the Jaguars keeping the kid gloves on when handling Jones-Drew, his status as a stud running back is in serious jeopardy.
Jones-Drew is the ultimate high-risk, high-reward player. Just as the Jaguars are doing, approach him with caution. His workload is all but guaranteed to be reduced this season, and savvy owners would be wise to avoid him or handcuff him with Deji Karim.