Phillip Rivers QB, San Diego Chargers
This comes from a place of hurt, anger and 2 fantasy points, oh and maybe a little reasoning too. I admit, I was hurt by Phillip Rivers last year, in a tie game of a critical matchup, only to see that tie slip away when Rivers fumbled the ball late in the 4th quarter against Kansas City. It wasn’t just that one snap however, it was a season of disappointment for San Diego fans, Rivers fantasy owner, and even Rivers himself. When you compare Rivers numbers from 2010 to 2011, it becomes evident just what went wrong for Rivers last season
Phillip Rivers TD’s INT’s Yards
2010: 30 13 4,710
2011: 27 20 4,624
While Rivers fell only 3 TD’s short of his 2010 total, and still managed to put up a respectable 4,624 yards, his career worst 20 interceptions was devastating for the Chargers and fantasy owners. Heading into 2012, while it seems unlikely Rivers will be as inaccurate as he was in 2011, he also will be without the services of Vincent Jackson, who has long been Rivers’ top target. Meanwhile, Malcolm Floyd is now the Chargers No.1 WR and former New Orleans WR Robert Meachem slotting in as the No.2 guy. There is no doubt Rivers is talented, but with the departure of Jackson, and coming off an ugly year, I just don’t trust Rivers to put him among my Top 15 QB’s.
Steven Jackson RB, St. Louis Cardinals
When you think of a reliable, workhorse one of the names that comes to mind is Steven Jackson. Jackson has been the St. Louis Rams entire offense for the past 6 years. As great of a career Jackson has had, signs are apparent that the end is near. At age 29, Jackson is nearing 30, considered the death age for RB’s in the NFL. At 2,138 carries Jackson’s has felt the wears and tears of the NFL RB position. Jackson’s knees have taken the brunt of the damage, and the same speed and power we saw from S-Jax in earlier years is now gone. Jackson still has another year or two left in the tank, but behind the worst offensive line in the NFL, and the Rams bringing in Isaiah Pead as their back of the future, everything is going in the wrong direction for Jackson. As the 12th RB off the board in drafts, fantasy owners will find themselves disappointed when they look back on their drafts at the end of the year. If it were my decision, don’t be afraid to take guys like Ryan Matthews or Fred Jackson ahead of Steven Jackson.
Michael Turner RB, Atlanta Falcons
If I were to pick 1 player from this list who I would absolutely, under no circumstances draft in any league, no matter the scoring, it would be Michael Turner. Turner has been a great RB, while Atltanta went with the ground and pound game “Turner the Burner” was a bowling ball in the lanes, rolling over defenders and sprinting towards the end zone. Unfortunately for Turner, both his body and the Falcons playbook has passed him by. Gone are the days where Turner could handle a 20+ per carry workload, and gone are the days when the Falcons want to give Turner the ball 20 times. THe Falcons are primed for a big year with QB Matt Ryan and his plethora of weapons. WR’s Roddy White and Julio Jones both have the chance to eclipse 1,000 yards and 10 TD’s apiece. There is no doubt there is gold in Atlanta, you just won’t find it with Michael Turner. Even as the 14th RB off the board, I would feel much more comfortable with the likes of Ahmad Bradshaw, Darren Sprolles, Willis McGahee, or Ahmad Bradshaw.
Andre Johnson WR, Houston Texans
How quickly can a player go from heralded fantasy start to one of the biggest question marks in fantasy drafts, well just take a look at Andre Johnson. I’m not here to make a case for not drafting him because of a decline in stats, or uncertainty of his skill set. My fear for Johnson all deals with his hamstring. Andre missed 9 games last season because of his hamstring, and while reports continue to say he has been cleared, there still has to be a major red flag. Johnson has been cleared before, then once he got back on the field he reaggravated it. Heading into 2012, you still find him with a 15 Average Draft Position, or 3rd among WR’s. As an early round pick the risk of taking Andre Johnson that early, when the WR position is so deep, and someone like Matt Forte or Rob Gronkowski is still on the board, it is just an extreme reach for me.
Wes Welker WR, New England Patriots
If you are in a PPR league, then don’t worry about this. However, if you are in a standard league, I hope you sit back and take notice. Wes Welker has been a fantastic WR in new England, and was even more spectacular last season. It isn’t often you have someone go for 1,569 yards and 9 TD’s, but that is just what Welker did. 2012 is a different year however, and with New England bringing in Brandon Lloyd and the progression of TE Aaron Hernandez, I expect a steep drop in both yards and TD’s. Lloyd is building chemistry with Tom Brady, and is already considered to have some of the best hands in the game. What this means for Welker is less targets, and with less targets comes fewer chances to pick up yards. While some will say Lloyd may help draw attention away from Welker from opposing defense’s, it also means Lloyd is just one more player to divide targets among. As for Hernandez, he is more of the touchdown threat. After pulling out of the shadows of Rob Gronkowski, Hernandez has quickly become a favorite in this New England offense. All it comes down to is names. Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and it will be Tom Brady’s job to make everyone happy. In the end I expect Welker to finish near his 100 receptions, but a drop from 9 TD’s to 6, and 1,500 yards to 1,100 is more than reasonable. When you add everything up, Welker isn’t worth being the 6th WR off the board in standard leagues, especially when guys like Julio Jones or A.J Green offer far more upside.
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