The 2012 Fantasy Football season is fully upon us, as drafts are being scheduled, lists are being comprised, and nicknames are being cleverly considered. While I hope that the majority of you are smart enough to not start a draft this early in the preseason, many leagues are already holding their selections already.
The only good thing about that is that it – along with the millions and millions of mock drafts you can check out by all of the self-proclaimed experts out there – serves as a comparison tool. Mock drafts are good to see where many players are being drafted on average, which is referred to as a players average draft position, or ADP.
It is quite early, so keep that in mind when checking out ADPs as well as this article. Players get hurt, as we already saw with San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews. They also slide down depth charts and even get released. But with what we have seen thus far, here is a look at 5 players who are being drafted too high based on their early 2012 ADP in fantasy football drafts.
1. Ryan Matthews, RB, San Diego Chargers (ADP 12 overall): We hear it every year. Matthews is going to get more carries. Matthews is going to score more touchdowns. Matthews is going to be a first round talent. And then what almost always happens? Matthews gets hurt and misses multiple games. All it took was one carry in his first preseason game to further prove that. He will miss 4-6 weeks, meaning he will probably miss at least the first game of the regular season. Draft him if you feel great about his return and odds that he will stay healthy, but consider yourself forewarned. He is simply not a late first or early second round pick.
2. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (ADP 9): We have heard it all when it comes to CJ2K. Many people feel as if he will return to the form that helped him rush for 2,006 yards in 2009. I happen to believe otherwise. Will he rush for more than he did last season? Barring an unforeseen injury, he certainly should. But he is being drafted in the late first rounds of most drafts, and he simply isn’t worthy of being taken that high any more. He could have a huge season. But at No. 9 overall, let someone else take that risk.
3. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (ADP 13): Gronk is a beast. No one can deny that. He set records last season that even he may be unable to break. I am not saying you should avoid him by any stretch of the imagination. I would love to have him on my team… but not with my first pick in the second round. That is just too high. Aaron Hernandez will get many looks in the red zone as the other featured tight end. Brandon Lloyd will take away some looks. So will Wes Welker and Deion Branch. Tom Brady spreads the ball around as well as any quarterback in the game today. So while I love Gronk and his potential, I would let someone else take him that high.
4. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans (ADP 15): How many times do you need to see the same player suffer from injuries that seem to take him out of a handful of games every season before you decide that you will avoid him going forward, despite the fact that he is one of the best players at his position? For me, I have already reached that point when it comes to Johnson. He goes down at inopportune times every season. I will avoid him altogether, unless by some fluke he fell into my hands in the fifth round or later. He is simply not worth the risk, especially around the middle of the second round.
5. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (ADP 16): Have you ever heard of a sophomore slump? It can often happen to a player who excels in his rookie season and exceeds all expectations. Newton may be able to avoid that. Then again, he may not. Between defenses having an entire offseason to plan better against him, as well as the fact that he lacks the weapons at wide receiver and will always carry the risk factor due to his style of play, and I just would not feel comfortable drafting Newton that high. He would not be my No. 4 ranked QB at that point.