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Jul 29

2013 Fantasy Football Busts: Players to avoid on Draft Day

I remember reading this type of piece when I was new to fantasy football and feeling shocked to see writers put Pro-Bowlers on their Bust Lists… what were they thinking!? Some years later,  here I am about to do the same. As I came to learn, what you have to remember is that it’s all about getting the right value for a selection and maximizing your draft. Naturally, I would draft some of the guys on this list – but not at their current average draft position – no way, Jose! With that in mind, let’s take a look at my list of 2013 Draft Busts:

Alfred Morris - Redskins RB

Now, I’m not saying that Alfred Morris is going to be a monumental bust, but I’m confident that he will have a tough time performing at the level that he did last season. One of the biggest reasons I anticipate a decline in Morris’ output is the return to action of RGIII from his reconstructed knee. Although everything points to Griffin playing week one, the lingering question is whether he will be the same RGIII we saw in 2012? In the event he’s not, we may quickly find out how much Morris benefited from the running threat that Griffin posed. Looking at the amazing statistics Willis McGahee had while everyone was watching Tim Tebow a couple years ago is indicative of the focus an opposing defense puts on a Quarterback while the read option is in full swing. It’s worth noting that in the one game he was without Griffin last season, Morris rushed the ball 27 times for 87 yards (for an average of 3.2ypc, his worst output the entire season). Combine that concern with the fact that he doesn’t pose a significant threat to catch the ball out of the backfield and the Shanihanigans that go on with Mike Shanihan’s Running Backs (which I expressed concerns about while reviewing our draft ranks). All these issues have left me concerned that he won’t be able to live up to where he currently is going in most drafts. He’s presently being picked right around 10th overall and went 9th in our mock; too rich for my blood.

Many drafters are bending over backwards to select David Wilson. Mike Omelan says buyer beware (Photo: Robert Sabo/New York Daily News).

Many drafters are bending over backwards to select David Wilson. Mike Omelan says buyer beware (Photo: Robert Sabo/New York Daily News).

David Wilson – Giants RB

I know people love to draft running backs early and often, but let me tell you, there are some pretty darn good receivers out there too! I’d rather take a steady wideout instead of trying to hit a home-run in the third round with a RB like David Wilson, where he’s currently going in early mock drafts. While Wilson indeed has the speed to have big gains, reliability issues concern me when considering drafting Wilson that high. Let’s not forget, he’s got a Head Coach in Tom Coughlin who gives his backs a very short leash when it comes to pass blocking and fumbling issues, which have been issues for Wilson in the past. If Wilson misses a couple assignments as a pass blocker and puts the ball on the ground early like he did last year, he very likely will take a seat in the dog house again as the Giants have a back in Andre Brown who is pretty good too. Brown already seems likely to get the bulk of goal-line carries, which limits Wilson’s fantasy ceiling a bit too much to take him as high as he’s going in drafts. For more on the Wilson v. Brown debate, check Jon Collins’ early July article.

Montee Ball and Eddie Lacy (The Rooks) – Denver and Green Bay RBs

Everyone wants to pick that rookie stud and hit gold, like those who drafted Alfred Morris last year, but don’t kid yourselves folks – this group ain’t like rookie draft classes from years past. In many drafts, these kids are being selected as high as the fourth round and if you ask me that price tag is a little risky considering the fact that they’ve never taken a snap in the NFL, and neither is a clear cut starter. Ronnie Hillman is currently first on the depth chart in Denver, and the Packers may be looking at a time share with incumbent DuJuan Harris and fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin taking away carries. While both teams boast strong offenses, let’s not forget that these two teams have Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers at the helm, both of whom will rely on their arm and throw the ball a ton. If I’m hunting for a rookie back gold mine, I’ll go ahead and take Giovanni Bernard of the Bengals who was actually the first back selected in this years draft. Best part? You’ll get him a full round later, maybe more!

Mike Wallace - Dolphins WR

Now it’s time for me to start giving some receivers some hate, and Mike Wallace is the guy. When people see a big contract they expect big things, and I’m not convinced in this situation Wallace can live up to the hype. Last season he posted four games with one (or zero!) fantasy points. Um, no thanks! His yardage totals have dropped in the last three seasons dropping from 1,257 in 2010 to 836 last year. While the offensive situation in Miami is certainly different than it was in Pittsburgh, and sometimes a change of scenery is good, this is change that might not be all good. The biggest and most notable difference is the fact that he’s going to be receiving the ball from Ryan Tannehill who is still a downgrade from Big Ben (despite projected improvements). What does this all this equal? An outside-the-top-20 finish for Wallace.

Eric Decker - Broncos WR

Did the NFL start playing with more than one ball? Or am I missing something here? Eric Decker, seen in most mock drafts going around the 19th-20th receiver, is simply way too expensive for me. Time to look away from those 13 Touchdowns he grabbed last season because that’s not happening again. Although he may still be Denver’s primary redzone target, there are more mouths to feed this year so we should expect a slight downturn in his scores and a significant downturn in receptions/yardage. Wes Welker is in town and he’s a better option between the 20s than Decker. Eric finished with 85 receptions last year, good for second on the Broncos, while Jacob Tamme was third with 52. Welker will be taking plenty of balls away, presumably he’ll snag more than Tamme’s 52, and Dem Thomas will continue to do special things as the team’s outside receiver. If Decker doesn’t get in the end zone in any given week – which you can’t bank on – I can see a lot of 40 yard games and disappointed fantasy owners. Don’t make a mistake and draft him ahead of players like Antonio Brown and Steve Smith who are number one options in their offense.

Percy Harvin -  Seahawks WR

Not much to say here. He is already injured, is he not?  I’m not trusting him one bit either way and neither is my buddy Jon – check his July 26 article on Harvin’s status. Definitely not spending the pick required on Percy this year (prior to his injury he was being drafted as very close to a top-10 WR) to see him banged up on my bench. Even if he doesn’t require surgery it feels like this may be a season long guessing game with Harvin, wondering if he’s going to be available to suit up or give 100% on any given Sunday. While options like Cobb, Johnson, and Cruz are still hanging around on the list, they’re safer options than the already dinged up Harvin.

6 comments

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  1. mike allan

    Thanks for the feedback guys, i am thinking that the really smart play might be to keep both CK and Luck this year at 8 and 10 , if they both finish in the top 5(possible) i will have a great trade chip and the option of keeping them in 2014 at 6 and 8 which would still be great value,and if Eric Decker’s ADP slips i can always pick him up again in the redraft.
    PS don;t like the Carolina Panthers new OC Schula ,look at his record it is terrible ,i will be avoiding that offence completely ..

  2. Mike Omelan

    Hey, thanks again for the response Mike. I would definitely go with Andrew Luck. Especially with the better value play. You get Luck in the10th round? Compared to CK in the 8th? It really is a toss up who will have a better season between Luck or CK this year, so I’d go with Luck who has the higher ceiling in my mind. I think he’s on the verge of fantasy stardom. With most likely becoming a star in 2014/15 season. This year I think he’ll be just fine as well. He’ll have some familiarity with Pep Hamilton coming in and one more year of experience. Luck faced more pressure while throwing than any other QB (caused some inaccuracy) and that’s sure to improve a bit. One more year experience may do wonders for him and don’t forget he’s got some wheels on him too! Good luck…no pun intended ;)

  3. mike allan

    I can keep David Wilson for a 5th round pick and Eric Decker for a 7th round pick which seems like pretty good value to me then load up on RB/WR early in the draft, my big choice for my 3rd and last keeper comes down to Colin Kaepernick in the 8th round or Andrew Luck in the 10th round, any insight welcome…

    1. Jon Collins

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks for coming by.

      I think you’re right re: assessing relative value. Wilson is a much safer play in round five than he is in round two. With Decker going around round five in a typical draft you’re saving a few spots here, too… For me, I’ve got Kaepernick ranked ahead of Luck straight up, as does Chris, and Kap ranks just one spot ahead of Luck on our cumulative rankings.

      I face the same question in a keeper league, actually, and am keeping Kaepernick, though, the gap between draft rounds is bigger. Short answer: CK is coming into the season driven, all offseason reports are glowing, and though he’s lost Michael Crabtree he has a number of weapons to work with… not the least of which is hopefully maximizing Vernon Davis. Luck has options, too, but he’s learning a second offense (yes, he knows Pep Hamilton already) and change can’t help a young QB.

      Both should post good seasons, but, Kap is cheaper for you and he’s a runner. To me, choice is easy.

      I’m traveling today, but, if you want to follow up further, shoot an email to info@lockerroomfantasysports.com and we’ll see if we can make a bigger discussion of it.

      Thanks again

  4. EMac

    Agree on your receivers entirely. Wallace’s only value seems to be in the deep ball, and if Tanny can’t get it to him down there then he’s almost useless.

    I loved Decker last year and that’s why I questioned Denver getting Welker. Three great receivers, one ball, they’ll all suffer.

    Especially agree on Harvin, it’s absurd to me how high he’s being ranked and taken.

    Could have tossed Julio in there too. Love his potential, but he’s going way too high for my liking. May certainly be worth the risk, but even Roddy White is more reliable, and a safer pick.

    1. Jon Collins

      I agree with Mike on Wallace, too… but I guess it’s worth pointing out that Tannehill overthrew him twice early in Training Camp. He may have the arm to get it done, the time behind the line and vision in his second year are still questions…

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