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Overvalued WRs

Read the introduction to this series if you haven't yet.

Marques Colston - NO ADP: 46 overall, WR 16 9 votes

Mike Brown - There are a number of players around Colston's tier, none of whom carry as many red flags. Colston has been through too many knee injuries in such a short timeframe, so his upside is not worth drafting him considering his floor is much lower than those around him. Even if Colston stays healthy all year, will his stats be THAT much better than guys like Wes Welker, Santonio Holmes, and Anquan Boldin? Not likely to be a huge amount, if at all. But those guys are all much more solid and safer options to perform as adequate number two receiver options, and offer just as much or more upside than Colston. None of those guys had microfracture knee surgery this past offseason, and all three are number on targets on an every week basis for their teams. The Saints don't force the ball to Colston since they have so many other weapons, so if he isn't healthy and isn't open, he isn't getting the ball.

David Dodds - I look for the Saints to run a much more balanced run/pass attack that severely limits the passing yards that we are used to seeing with this unit. The addition of rookie RB Mark Ingram (in addition to the building of a strong defense) should allow the Saints to play ahead in many contests. Marques Colston, who always seems to be battling knee injuries, represents a lot of downside at his current ADP.

Will Grant - Can this guy EVER stay healthy? He's already missing time in the pre-season. The Saints re-signed Lance Moore, essentially keeping the passing came intact from last season. Colston nearly fell out of the top 20 last year and with Mark Ingram solidifying the running game, expect Colston to fall even further.

Ryan Hester - Despite being the one wide receiver on the high-octane New Orleans offense that has been fantasy-dependable the last few years, Marques Colston still finds himself in this section as an overvalued player. His overall stats last year don't look bad (84 rec / 1,023 yds / 7 TDs), but his first TD didn't come until the team's seventh game. And he only scored a touchdown in five games all year. When drafting a player at this position, consistency provides value. Players who put up spotty statistics like this are typically considered "bye-week replacements" and should be picked later in drafts. Colston also has irritation and swelling in his surgically-repaired right knee, and although he has just begun practicing, there's no telling how long he can go without complication.

Steve Holloway - Colston has been a very steady performer for the Saints, when he stays on the field. However, he has missed games in three of his five seasons. His knees are always a concern and he had his latest microfracture surgery this past May. He has already been sidelined in early practices. Another consideration is the number of receiving options available to Drew Brees. There are three good receiving RBs, at least three other WRs (besides Colston), a rising star at TE in Graham and a competent backup TE.

Jeff Pasquino - New Orleans has an elite passing game built around Drew Brees, but it is also hinges upon distribution of the ball to whoever gets open. Colston is an injury risk with yet more knee problems, while Lance Moore has re-signed and TE Jimmy Graham is getting quite the fantasy hype. Adding in Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem means that Colston may not be getting quite as many chances this year. Also do not minimize the impact of rookie RB Mark Ingram who could lower the passing numbers overall for the Saints.

Chris Smith - Here is an interesting player because if healthy, he could be put on the 'value' column instead. However, the knee simply is not right and who knows how he'll hold up. He is pretty risky for where he is being selected in the draft.

Mark Wimer - Colston has missed a lot of practices due to complications/swelling in his microfractured/surgically repaired right knee. Though he recently got back on the field, I think that the unstable knee will rear its ugly head sooner rather than later. I'm passing at his #1 WR ADP.

Jason Wood - Last year I was defending Colston as undervalued, but now that he's had surgeries on BOTH knees, I just have to wonder how much longer he can maintain his style of play. Colston is a WR that makes his living using his strength and timing to gain separation -- even a modest slip in his ability to plant, turn on a dime, or overpower defensive backs on a jump ball could render him pedestrian. Colston is still in my top 25 -- given his pedigree, but I wouldn't feel comfortable targeting him as my WR2 right now.

Michael Crabtree - SF ADP: 95 overall, WR 35 6 votes

Sigmund Bloom - The foot that kept Crabtree out of pre-draft workouts in 2009 is a problem again, and it will sideline him for at least all of training camp and preseason, if not longer. The 49ers signed Braylon Edwards in anticipation of being without Crabtree, which is a terrible sign for his 2011 prospects. Crabtree struggled because he had no chemistry with Alex Smith last year, and he won't have a chance to get on the same page with Smith this year before the season. He's only worth a very late-round flier, not an 8th round pick.

Will Grant - Crabtree has the potential to be a BIG disappointment this season. Alex Smith is back at QB, competing with rookie Colin Kaepernick for the starting job. Add in the addition of Braylon Edwards and some early injury concerns and you have the potential for a flame-out. Approach Crabtree with caution.

Ryan Hester - For a guy as highly-touted as he was coming out of college, Michael Crabtree is well on his way to becoming a draft bust. About to miss his third preseason in three years due to an injured foot, Crabtree shouldn't be anywhere near a fantasy starting lineup until he can show that he's healthy. Even then, he's still very risky -- as proven by last season when he put up just 55 catches for 741 yards and 6 touchdowns in a year he was predicted by many to blossom.

Aaron Rudnicki - Earlier reports suggested that Crabtree could start out the season on the PUP list while recovering from a foot injury. While there are some more positive signs coming out lately, it's still a concern that he's not healthy enough to get some experience working in the new offense during the preseason. This looks like the third straight preseason he will miss, and the team also went out and signed a potential #1 target in Braylon Edwards. With Edwards and Vernon Davis around plus the always reliable Frank Gore working out of the backfield, the 49ers have enough weapons to get by without a huge contribution from Crabtree. He's an interesting talent with the potential to outperform his ADP, but the 49ers QB situation doesn't sound promising and the injury risk seems like a big enough red flag to steer clear at this ADP.

Chris Smith - Crabtree is a talented player that has not put it all together yet. With him missing his third training camp in a row, I have very little faith he will figure it all out this season and I see him being a pretty major fantasy bust in 2011.

Matt Waldman - He's hurt, missing reps with his quarterback Alex Smith, and there's a reasonable possibility that the starting quarterback cedes time to rookie Colin Kaepernick. He's valued a spot higher than Chad Ochocinco, who is healthy, on a great passing offense, and won't be potentially catching passes from a rookie unless to very good quarterbacks get hurt.

Jeremy Maclin - PHI ADP: 49 overall, WR 18 6 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Maclin the fourth round is laughable, he might even be overvalued in the eighth or ninth round. He has returned to St. Louis to try to find out the nature of a mystery illness that had him sidelined for the start of training camp. Head coach Andy Reid has admitted that the team doesn't know what is wrong with Maclin, so they can't say when he will return. Consider him fantasy kryptonite to be avoided at all costs until we find out more.

David Dodds - The team is not disclosing too much, but this "phantom" illness has now sent Maclin back to St. Louis to be near his family. That seems just a slight bit odd when some of the best doctors / hospitals in the world reside close to Philadelphia. I won't speculate what this illness is, but I think the fact that the team signed an injured Steve Smith from the Giants says a lot about how severe the team thinks this could be.

Jeff Haseley - I don't know everything that is going on with Maclin's mystery illness, but I do know, every day that he misses in camp and preseason is stacking the odds further against him. Not only is his body still recovery, but he's not conditioning himself the way he should. It's possible that he will put this behind him, but it's also possible that it will affect his game. I'm staying away unless the risk is minimal.

Chris Smith - An explosive, young receiver, he is currently suffering from an undisclosed illness and no time table has been made for his return. Add to this the signing of Steve Smith, formerly of the Giants and Maclin's value is plummeting fast.

Matt Waldman - A terrific young player, but the signing of Steve Smith from the Giants is a sign that something might be amiss with Jeremy Maclin's recovery. He's lost weight, he's not practicing, and he's still a third-round value in 12-team leagues. I can't get with that.

Jason Wood - I begged people to draft Maclin last year, arguing that he would have numbers much closer to his teammate DeSean Jackson than most expected. While that proved prescient, it doesn't help this year's situation. Maclin hasn't practiced at all in camp, and has been dealing with a mystery illness that has cost him 10-15 pounds and most of camp. If Maclin doesn't get on the practice field, he's simply far too risky to draft as your WR2. All of this becomes moot if he gets back into camp before your draft, but right now that looks unlikely.

Pierre Garcon - IND ADP: 73 overall, WR 27 4 votes

Steve Holloway - Garcon has finished as the 38th and 32nd ranked WR in the past two seasons. When you consider that last year Dallas Clark missed ten games and Austin Collie missed seven, Garcon's WR 32 ranking seems disappointing. For him to be ranked at WR 27, folks are either predicting a drastic fall for Reggie Wayne or more injuries to Collie. If neither happens, look for Garcon to remain the third best WR on the Colts and at best the fourth receiving option for Peyton Manning.

Dave Larkin - It is easy to get lost in the shuffle of a Peyton Manning-led passing attack. Garcon is a fine receiver, but the return to health of Austin Collie should severely downgrade his outlook. Dallas Clark will also return to the Colts offense after a long layoff due to injury. If Manning -- assuming he is healthy to start -- has two of his most trusted targets in Collie and Clark back, Garcon's targets and hence catches will inevitably go down. Garcon may explode once every few weeks, but do you really want to play that game every week when you set your lineup?

Jeff Tefertiller - Garcon is too inconsistent for fantasy owners to be worth an early seventh round pick. He finished as WR31 last season and we have little reason to expect a marked improvement. Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark are all healthy, pushing Garcon to an overpriced fantasy receiver. Let someone else reach for inconsistent wideout, while you nab Mario Manningham or Carolina Steve Smith. Plus, fantasy owners need to consider the neck injury of Peyton Manning and whether or not Garcon would do as well with Dan Orlovsky under center.

Jason Wood - Garcon has shown flashes, but he's dealing with a crowded lineup especially with a healthy Austin Collie. Putting aside how awful the offense will look if Peyton Manning is slow to return from neck surgery, Garcon is arguably the 4th option in the passing tree -- at best. That could be good enough for 800 yards and 6-8 TDs if all the dominoes fall the right way, but realistically it won't. When I see Mario Manningham, Steve Smith, Chad Ochocinco, A.J. Green and Santana Moss going AFTER Garcon, that screams overvalued.

DeSean Jackson - PHI ADP: 31 overall, WR 11 4 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Jackson is a boom/bust player week-to-week, hurting your team as often as he puts you over the top with a massive play or two. He also didn't look quite the same after taking one of the biggest hits of the year mid-season. The Eagles will work in new addition Steve Smith once he is healthy, and Brent Celek should be back to his 2009 heavier role in the passing game this year. Jackson is a nice luxury, but not the kind of core player you take in the first 3-4 rounds.

Jene Bramel - I made the same argument last year. I don't want a 115 target, 60 catch, deep threat as my WR1. Though he had six huge fantasy games last year, 50% of his games last year were brutal fantasy performances (fewer than 6 pts in FBG standard scoring). I'd be very happy with that boom-bust profile as my WR2 or WR3, but I'm not risking it with my anchor WR.

Steve Holloway - Jackson is an unbelievably talented athlete, but his number of targets have decreased every year since he has been in the league. At 5'-9" and 170 pounds, his body seems more susceptible to injury. In Vick's miracle season a year ago, Jackson managed only 47 receptions, but his 22.5 ypc was a career high. The Eagles added a very reliable possession receiver in Steve Smith (NYG) and depending on when he sees the field, Jackson's targets could be diverted further. Jackson's potential for limited opportunities is not a good prescription for him to finish in the top ten.

Jeff Tefertiller - Jackson is a reach at pick 30, ahead of proven players like Miles Austin, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, and other star receivers. He finished as WR14 last year and is now a pick in the middle of the third round. Way too pricey. Can you rely on Michael Vick to consistently hit Jackson on big plays every week? The answer is NO WAY!

Plaxico Burress - NYJ ADP: 122 overall, WR 45 3 votes

Anthony Borbely - While Plax was a great receiver prior to his prison stay, the fact is that he has not played a down of football since 2008. That would be a long layoff for any player let alone one that is 34 years old. Mark Sanchez has been very inconsistent and the Jets are a run-first team. Burress has an ADP of 119 and that is just too high for a 34-year-old that hasn't played in two years.

David Dodds - Before going to prison two years ago, Burress was a difference maker. But two years away from football is a long time. He's already battling injuries and is 34 years old. Let someone else take a shot with this player. I suspect he won't be on the field enough to be the redzone threat they envisioned when they signed him.

Jeff Pasquino - Burress has not played any level of professional football since 2008 and the Jets are more about the run game than a passing attack on offense. Burress was being overdrafted even before Derrick Mason was signed, but there is no question that this impacts the fragile veteran who has already had ankle issues. Taking Burress inside of the Top 50 WRs in a draft is just asking for trouble.

Brandon Marshall - MIA ADP: 42 overall, WR 15 3 votes

Jeff Haseley - Last year, Marshall finished the season as the 28th best WR. Miami didn't do much to upgrade their QB situation. He may have a few good games, but I don't see him being a consistent force. He had 3 TDs last year. If that continues he won't be a Top 20 WR, much less a the 15th best WR, which is where he is being drafted.

Ryan Hester - In his first season with the Miami Dolphins, Brandon Marshall had his lowest reception, yardage, and touchdown totals since his rookie year. With the same quarterback and fewer weapons around him due to the losses of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, those low totals may continue to be the norm for Marshall. The man throwing to Marshall spent all offseason hearing about his team was going to acquire another quarterback because he wasn't good enough. That doesn't exactly do wonders for the confidence of the player at the game's most important and confidence-based position. Draft Marshall with caution. There are higher-ceiling players available later.

Mark Wimer - Marshall is grappling with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that makes him extremely unpredictable and difficult to work with. He and Chad Henne haven't developed a good chemistry yet, and they'll be forced to work together again this year as Matt Moore isn't mounting much of a challenge in Miami for the top QB job. I just don't see Henne-to-Marshall becoming a storied tandem.

Sidney Rice - SEA ADP: 66 overall, WR 24 3 votes

Will Grant - The QB situation in Seattle makes any WR from this team a liability at this point. Rice had a great 2009, but looked very average when he returned in 2010 after being on the PUP due to poor QB play. Seattle is going to have a lot of question marks on offense this year. People drafting Rice hoping for 2009 are going to be disappointed.

Aaron Rudnicki - During his 4 years in the league, Rice has really only been a productive fantasy WR in one of them, and that came during Favre's miracle season of 2009. Rice missed most of last season and didn't look that impressive when he returned. Now he's moving to Seattle where he will be reunited with QB Tarvaris Jackson in a new offense, but he'll also have to compete with some similar players in Mike Williams and Zach Miller for opportunities. As things stand, I'd expect Rice to wind up facing the best corners and getting the most defensive attention, which will probably open things up more for the other guys. Bottom line is I just don't think the Seattle passing offense will be that productive this year and I'd rather take a chance on Williams since he can be drafted at a much cheaper cost with similar upside.

Mark Wimer - Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst? Arsenic or Cyanide? Rice landed in a good spot for his bank account, but a bad one for fantasy owners.

Mike Wallace - PIT ADP: 25 overall, WR 7 3 votes

Sigmund Bloom - Everyone seems to want to pencil in a quantum leap for Wallace's numbers in his third season, but he is what he is - a great deep threat who does most of his damage in bunches. That is, Wallace will give you a handful of weeks in the top 5, but he'll also give you weeks outside of the top 30, especially in PPR leagues. He is a fine WR2 if you have a very strong WR1, but he is being drafted as a WR1 right now. He doesn't have the all-around skillset to become a true #1 receiver in the Steelers offense and he will disappoint at his current ADP.

Jene Bramel - For Wallace to return to elite WR status, he'll have to see 30-40 more targets than last year, hold his yards per reception over 19.0, again catch ten or more touchdown passes or some combination of the three. There's no doubt that Wallace is talented and that he's likely to take over as his team's WR1. But drafting him as the WR7 is drafting him at his ceiling. I'll wait and take another receiver in his tier a round or more later.

Aaron Rudnicki - Over the first two years of his career, Mike Wallace has averaged an incredible 20.3 yards per reception. He's clearly one of the elite deep threats in the league, and he likely benefits from playing on a team like the Steelers that normally have a strong defense and running game. Given the damage he did last year and the apparent slowdown we're starting to see from Hines Ward, however, I think Wallace is going to be seeing a steady diet of double teams with a safety over the top. While it's nice that he doesn't need a lot of targets or catches to be productive, he also is more at risk of having some really low scoring weeks when he doesn't hit on a big play or two. Looks like another regression candidate and his current ADP is too high for me.

Reggie Wayne - IND ADP: 27 overall, WR 9 3 votes

Mike Brown - Wayne was arguably the second-best wide receiver on his own team a year ago, with Austin Collie claiming the role before multiple concussions shelved him. Wayne is now 33 years old, which means he's still young enough to be a very good receiver but also trending the wrong way. His yards per reception have dropped each year since 2006, and last year's stats were heavily padded by two huge games in which he totaled 396 receiving yards on 29 receptions. Granted, you can't just throw out those games. But it does show that Wayne was not his usual consistent self.

David Dodds - He has slowed considerably and now rarely gets separation when double-teamed. Despite finishing as the 7th best WR in 2010, there are signs the wheels are starting to come off. His yards per catch has declined the last 4 seasons from a career high of 15.2 ypc in 2006 to a below average 12.2 in 2010. Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon both look like better options in this passing game to me.

Ryan Hester - When selecting as early in fantasy drafts as Reggie Wayne's current position, most owners don't want to take a risky player. While being the model of consistency for the last five seasons, Wayne presents just that. The trigger man behind every one of Wayne's big seasons comes into this year with a neck injury which could lead to a slow start for the Colts. The NFL is becoming a young man's game more and more -- especially at the skill positions in fantasy. With young receivers like Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, and DeSean Jackson emerging as high-ceiling, low-floor stars, taking Wayne as a top-10 receiver this season at 33 years old with an injured quarterback seems risky.

Roddy White - ATL ADP: 13 overall, WR 3 2 votes

Steve Holloway - White led all WRs in targets in 2010, but the Falcons traded their first, second, and fourth round picks this year AND their first and fourth round picks next year for Julio Jones. The rookie will play and will definitely be more involved in the passing game than Jenkins ever was. Tony Gonzalez is still in Atlanta and he will also stay involved. The Falcons also retained Jason Snelling and drafted Jacquizz Rodgers, so the team will not be forced to depend so heavily on Roddy White. Expect a good season and maybe even a great season, just not a top five WR ranking.

Jeff Pasquino - Roddy White is being drafted like it is 2010, not 2011. White is still the top target in Atlanta, but the addition of Julio Jones is nothing to be sneezed at. Jones is much, much better than any WR2 that the Falcons have put on the field in several seasons. While that may sound good at first for drawing coverage away from White, targets will also head in Jones' direction. White will get solid numbers, but Top 5-7 WR status is unlikely. That means drafters are overpaying for White right now and should be looking at other options for a better WR1.

Miles Austin - DAL ADP: 30 overall, WR 10 1 vote

Jeff Pasquino - There is no question in my mind that the passing game will be better in Dallas this year with a healthy Tony Romo, but there are several mouths to feed for the Cowboys. Romo loves TE Jason Witten and Dez Bryant is now entering the starting lineup. Bryant scored six touchdowns last year despite being the WR3 to start the year, so targets will likely increase. Austin will still put up solid fantasy numbers, just not as high as a true fantasy WR1.

Dwayne Bowe - KC ADP: 33 overall, WR 12 1 vote

Jeff Haseley - Bowe had a career year in 2010, however now he will have competition among targets with the acquisition of Steve Breaston and the draft selection of Jonathan Baldwin. It will be difficult to think he'll be able to match last year's 15 TD performance or even come close to it. To make matters worse, the Chiefs lost OC Charlie Weis and replaced him with the more conservative Bill Muir. He can still be a good top end WR2, but I doubt he comes close to the numbers he amassed last year.

Austin Collie - IND ADP: 68 overall, WR 25 1 vote

Anthony Borbely - Collie had not one, not two, but three concussions last year. That is a huge red flag to me. The Colts have a potent passing attack and Collie should put up solid numbers if healthy, but that is a huge if. His ADP of 67 is much too high considering the concussion issues. I am staying far away from Collie for that reason. It is simply too risky to draft him in the 6th round.

Vincent Jackson - SD ADP: 26 overall, WR 8 1 vote

Mark Wimer - Jackson pouted away 2010 in a contract dispute, and then threatened to derail the new CBA by demanding a $10 million payout before he'd settle the anti-trust lawsuit up in Minnesota. He puts himself over his team mates and league mates. Also, he's been busted twice for DUI and is one more drunken night away from a long NFL suspension. No thanks. Too risky for my blood at his current ADP.

Greg Jennings - GB ADP: 21 overall, WR 6 1 vote

Mike Brown - There were a ton of weapons in the Green Bay passing attack last season, and that was BEFORE the emergence of Jordy Nelson late in the year. And BEFORE the draft pick of Randall Cobb. And BEFORE the return of Jermichael Finley from a knee injury. Jennings is going to disappoint owners who select him as a WR1 this year, especially when guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Vincent Jackson (true number one wideouts for their respective teams) are still on the board several picks later.

Andre Johnson - HOU ADP: 7 overall, WR 1 1 vote

Mike Brown - This is no knock on Andre Johnson. I think he's the first or second best receiver in the game this upcoming season. It's just that you need to spend a first round pick on him, and I don't think that should be the case. The difference between Johnson and the other players in the top tier is not so significant that you should have to grab him a full round ahead of them, and it almost seems like he's being taken in the first round by default. As in, there HAS to be a wide receiver taken in the first round and so he's the guy. But in reality, I'd much rather grab a RB or QB in the first round and snag a guy like Roddy White, Calvin Johnson, or even Larry Fitzgerald in Round 2.

Steve Johnson - BUF ADP: 57 overall, WR 21 1 vote

Anthony Borbely - Johnson had a great 2010 season, but I am not convinced that he can repeat that success. I think Johnson's talent is marginal at best and I am generally very skeptical of players like that. The loss of Lee Evans will hurt Johnson because there are no other receivers on the Bills that can force safeties to play deep. Johnson is also not going to surprise anyone this year and with Evans gone, I expect him to get much more attention from defenses. His ADP is 58 and I think that is much too high for a player with marginal talent and a poor supporting cast.

Johnny Knox - CHI ADP: 88 overall, WR 34 1 vote

Jason Wood - I thought Knox would handily outperform his current ADP of WR32, but am now calling him overvalued. What gives? Mad Mike Martz it seems. Martz is either trying hard to send Knox a message, or he's simply not as impressed with him as the box score (51 receptions for 960 yards, 5 TDs) might otherwise indicate. Roy Williams is getting all the 1st team reps as the X receiver, and Martz demoted Knox to 4th citing his "inconsistency." The Bears passing game appears set up to be a WR-by-committee situation, and that means Knox is a risky bet as your 3rd WR.

Wes Welker - NE ADP: 47 overall, WR 17 1 vote

Matt Waldman - Admittedly, this is a risky choice. Welker scored 7 touchdowns last year and caught 800 yards of passes less than a year back from an ACL tear. However, the Patriots lacked a true intermediate-deep threat on the outside for most of the year and the offense was playing with two rookie tight ends and a veteran receiver traded back to the team. Welker needed to be leaned on more. This year I think Ochocinco, Gronkowski, and Hernandez provide enough upside and versatility that Welker will actually remain in the 700-800 yard range and lose some of those touchdowns. Currently he's higher than the likes of Lloyd, Collie, and Holmes. I can't buy that.

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