40 Players To Avoid When Drafting Your Fantasy Football Team
1. Trent Richardson (ADP: Early 3rd round) — I loved watching Richardson run in college, and I initially loved his fantasy landing spot as a projected 350-touch workhorse behind an underrated Cleveland offensive line. Recurring knee woes led to a second surgery in six months, however, and missing all of preseason and a huge chunk of camp erases Richardson’s chances of being an early-season bellcow back. Montario Hardesty has earned a sizable role, and Brandon Jackson can handle all passing downs. I wouldn’t draft Richardson before the fifth round.
2. Philip Rivers (ADP: Early 7th round) — Rivers’ Average Draft Position isn’t grossly out of whack, but you don’t want him as your fantasy starter. The 2011 tape showed Rivers lacking velocity on throws, leading to a career high in interceptions, and his pick-prone preseason has only furthered those concerns. It’s not that Rivers isn’t still capable of throwing 20-25 touchdown passes and winning some games. It’s that you’ll be at a weekly disadvantage if he’s your fantasy football QB1.
3. Maurice Jones-Drew (ADP: Early 2nd round) — Adam Levitan has broken down the history of training-camp holdouts, and the on-field production subsequent to them. The falloff is downright scary. The Jaguars won’t cave on this one, and Jones-Drew may not report until just before Week 1. In the interim, Rashad Jennings has held down the fort effectively enough to at least create a regular-season timeshare. It’s shocking that people are still drafting MJD in the first two rounds.
4. Michael Turner (ADP: Late 3rd round) — There are some hard-headed Turner believers out there, but you won’t find any of them at Rotoworld. In Atlanta’s new up-tempo offense, the cement-footed 30-year-old will lose significant field time to passing-game contributors Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling while morphing into a clock-killing role player who makes his biggest impact at the end of blowouts. Turner’s performance is in decline, and he no longer fits what Atlanta wants to do schematically. He could fall to the fifth round and you still shouldn’t draft him.
5. Frank Gore (ADP: Early 4th round) — Once among the league’s most versatile backs, Gore’s passing-game role has evaporated in Jim Harbaugh’s run-heavy attack, and he’s sure to lose short-yardage duties to Brandon Jacobs. It’s also fair to wonder whether impressive second-year runner Kendall Hunter will overtake Gore as the 49ers’ top tailback by midseason. Gore is no more than a low-upside, low-end RB2 who will catch few passes and score very few touchdowns.