The start of the NFL regular season is right around the corner. Fantasy football owners are busy formulating their draft boards for the coming year. Every owner is trying to find those sleeper picks in order to help to get them to the promised land of a championship. While formulating your draft boards, it’s time to look at some players which I think are going to see their stock fall in 2012.
Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons-
The Falcons have a new offensive coordinator which brings a different philosophy to the Atlanta offense this season. The coaching staff has already suggested that the club is going to limit the carries for Turner this season in an attempt to help him avoid the late season slump which he has undergone the last few seasons. Look for Jason Snelling to play a larger role in the running game this season.
Shonn Greene, New York Jets-
It seems each year, fantasy football owners hear the same thing about Greene, this is going to be his year. Greene finally recorded his first 1,000-yard season last year, but he only found the endzone six times. Don’t look for those numbers to increase this season however. The Jets have bulked up newly acquired QB Tim Tebow to 250 pounds and plan to use him as the team’s Wildcat quarterback and in goal line situations. Why New York hasn’t signed Cedric Benson is curious to me.
Brandon Jacobs, San Francisco 49ers-
Jacobs posted seven scores last year with the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Jacobs would have taken less money in order to remain with the Giants, but New York declined. On the surface, the Niners appear a good fit for Jacobs, but this is Frank Gore’s team. I would be surprised if Jacobs records more than 5 scores this season.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-
Blount burst on to the scene two seasons ago and amazed NFL fans with his combination of agility and power by either running through or jumping over defenders. There is a new head coach in Tampa Bay this season and there is also another running back, Doug Martin. Rookie head coach Greg Schiano wants to implement a run oriented offense, but that should benefit Martin. Schiano has already compared Martin to Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice. Blount’s carries will decrease significantly this season.
Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-
The Buccaneers parted was with TE Kellen Winslow Jr this offseason and brought in Clark. The former Indianapolis Colts tight end received very little interest in the free market this offseason although there was speculation he might reunite with former team mate Peyton Manning in Denver this year. Clark’s best years are behind him. The tight end position is the deepest in the NFL currently than I can ever recall. Clark should go undrafted in most leagues.
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers-
Williams signed an insanely large contract at the start of last season. While he’ll be the Panthers primary ball carrier on the depth chart, everyone carries the ball in Carolina. Williams had 155 carries last year but Jonathan Stewart had 142 and QB Cam Newton had 126. The trio ranked third in the NFL with 150 yards per game. I expect Williams’ touchdown numbers to decrease this season, especially with the addition of RB Mike Tolbert. Williams had just two carries inside the five last year with Stewart and Newton getting the bulk of them. Through Mike Tolbert into the mix and unless Williams rips off some long carries this year, he won’t be posting north of seven scores this season.
Laurent Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars-
Robinson was one of my waiver wire success stories last season. This year, I’m not even considering drafting him. Robinson score just one less touchdowns than Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert threw all last season (11). Robinson, who is joining his fourth team in six seasons, posted a career year last season. However, he was surrounded by much better talent in Dallas. He won’t have that talent in Jacksonville.
Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions-
Burleson posted a career-high 73 receptions in 2011, but I am not looking at him repeating that production this season. I still expect the Lions offense to be explosive, but I am looking at WR Titus Young playing a larger role this season.
Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos-
McGahee rejuvenated his career last season with the Broncos, posting his first 1,000-yard season in four years, ranked eighth in the NFL with 1,199 yards. The Broncos did not bring QB Peyton Manning in to hand off to McGahee.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons-
White has already stated publicly that he expects a smaller role in the Falcons offense this season. With Julio Jones on the rise, a decrease in his production is to be expected.