Avoid Drafting Potential Pitfalls and Landmines (Part 2 of 2)
Posted by funsammy (2552 days ago)
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by Sam Kline, AKA the Human Fantasy Hintbook
WR – Eddie Royal (Den) – The downgrade at quarterback from Jay Cutler to Kyle Orton will surely dispel any hopes of a repeat 90-catch season for Royal. Factor in that WR1 Brandon Marshall was acquitted of criminal charges, won't get traded this seasonm, and won’t face a suspension. Once "Baby T.O." (a fitting nickname on many levels) learns the new playbook, Royal won’t get many regular season snaps as Denver’s go-to wideout. Historically, very few rookie WR’s have experienced continued success in their second year in the NFL after a monster rookie campaign, and given the switch at QB for Denver, Royal figures to be more of the rule (i.e. Terry Glenn) than the exception (i.e. Randy Moss) in 2009.
WR – Bernard Berrian (Min) – In order for Berrian to have a monster season, three things need to happen: 1) Brett Favre, with all of three weeks to prepare for Week 1, needs to play better than he did for the Jets last year. 2) Berrian, who was seen limping on the sidelines with a tender hamstring after his first preseason game needs to stay healthy the entire season, something he hasn’t done even when he was playing on natural turf in Chicago. 3) Super-hyped rookie Percy Harvin needs to establish himself as a presence in the receiving game without completely cutting into Berrian’s anticipated production. Given these three factors, you should let someone else take a flier on Berrian as their WR3/WR4.
WR – Antonio Bryant (TB) – Last season’s fantasy football playoff MVP (yep, I traded him in early November thinking Joey Galloway’s impending return would send him back to the Tampa Bay bench, and the team I traded him to won the Super Bowl…sigh) probably couldn’t tell you who his starting QB will be in 2009. While Bryant is a supreme talent, defenses can be expected to key on him more with the departure of Galloway, and while he established a great chemistry with since-departed Jeff Garcia under center last year, it would be optimistic to assume he’ll pick up right where he left off in 2008 given that he'll miss the entire preseason as he recovers from meniscus surgery. Bryant won’t be a bust of a pick, but he may be valued too high given that he probably played over his head in the three most important weeks in the fantasy football season last year.
WR – Torry Holt (Jax) – “Touchdown” Torry Holt has had a hall-of-fame career, but his best days as a can’t-miss WR1 are long gone. Furthermore, the Jaguars’ offense has traditionally been more of the smash-mouth, ball control variety, and that figures to continue with Maurice Jones-Drew starting at tailback in 2009. As Jacksonville hasn’t boasted a WR stud since Jimmy Smith retired, you should let someone else who rode Holt to the playoffs 3-5 years ago reminisce about the old days when he played with Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk, and take him.
TE – Kellen Winslow (TB) He left Cleveland, a sub-.500 club with constant quarterback controversies, for Tampa Bay, a slightly better squad with an even worse situation at QB. Best case scenario, his starting QB is Byron Leftwich. Hard to blame Winslow for wanting out of Cleveland, but given his extensive (and unusual) injury history and sometimes disruptive presence in the locker room, you should avoid Winslow, and grab someone like Owen Daniels or Dallas Clark with a mid-round pick this year instead.
TE – Tony Scheffler (Den) – One of the bigger teases in fantasy football, Scheffler looks absolutely awesome when he is healthy and productive. His speed, leaping and catching ability make him look more like a beefed-up wideout than a tight end. However, Kyle Orton (or, possibly, Chris Simms) is now taking snaps in Denver, and Scheffler probably won’t be catching the occasional bomb like he did when Cutler was throwing him the pigskin.
TE – Alge Crumpler (Ten) – Weighing in at 300 pounds, Crumpler will now be a blocking tight-end for the Titans, and now probably has slightly more value than retired TE Carlester Crumpler. Bo Scaife and rookie Jared Cook have established themselves as the playmaking TE's in Tennessee, and unless it’s Chris Johnson we’re discussing, I’d just as well avoid all Titans altogether.
TE – Todd Heap (Bal) – Similarly to Scheffler, Heap has been a bit of a tease showing flashes of acrobatic catches mixed with injury-riddled seasons his entire eight-year career in Baltimore. The Ravens have a three-headed rushing attack with Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and LeRon McClain sharing red zone scoring opportunities, Heap is expected to play a larger role in the newly installed "chip" blocking game. Given that Joe Flacco has not impressed anyone this preseason, it’s better to save yourself a, ahem, heap of frustration by finding a different tight end in 2009.
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