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Faceoff: Avoid At All Costs

June 20th

Clayton Gray: Is there a player or team that you are avoiding this year? Why?

Matt Waldman: I think it's way too early to avoid a player or a team with one exception: rookie quarterbacks. I don't know how anyone would seriously consider a rookie quarterback in a re-draft league. Even Sam Bradford was no better than a decent to high-end No.2 fantasy QB, and you could get him off most waiver wires. However, I'm guessing that Clayton is talking about players most people would draft in 2011. So if I were to take a stab at that, I'd say Ryan Torain isn't a player I'm terribly interested in adding to a roster. I might take a chance on some of the late-round rookie backs, but I just don't see Torain taking the job and holding onto it long enough to be a value for a roster.

Jeff Pasquino: At ALL costs? Most players that I don't consider are based on ADP decisions. The only reason I would scratch a player completely off of my list is because of injury or injury potential. For me the only player I see that I wouldn't be drafting right now for both reasons is Austin Collie. He is just going too soon for my taste as usually some owner takes him in the Top 24 WRs off of the board. While some are looking at the glass half full and seeing his numbers on a per-game basis from last year (they were fantastic), I cannot see a repeat performance of that again in 2011. The fear factor for me is that one more hit on him at the wrong angle might end his career. I would consider him as a moderate WR3, but I expect most will take him way earlier than that.

Jason Wood: I have to couch this question against ADP values, because I think it's more helpful to fantasy owners. Theoretically there are few if any players I wouldn't roster at the right price. But realistically a LOT of players will be drafted higher than I would comfortably take them. And a few will go so high that I can be 100% sure they won't end up on any of my rosters.

Peyton Manning (ADP: 20th Overall) I love Manning, and think he's one of the best to ever play the position. But with the neck surgery, and the availability of a few other elite QBs, there's no way I would take him in the 2nd round per his ADP. I would much rather take Brees, Brady, Rivers or even Romo (a round or two later) than Manning in the mid 2nd.

Maurice Jones-Drew and Frank Gore (ADP: 6th and 13th Overall) Their injuries scare me and in the first round I think discretion if the better part of valor. MJD is going 5th or 6th consistently and I would much rather opt for either LeSean McCoy (in PPR leagues) or Andre Johnson at that spot. Would I take him if he fell to 9th or 10th? Probably but I don't see that choice happening in too many leagues. Gore is in a similar situation, although I think he recovery is more of a question mark and so once reports surface about whether he can practice (if we have training camp), I could see his ADP falling. But if he stays up toward the top of the 2nd round, he won't be on any of my rosters.

Mark Wimer: Right now I have been avoiding Peyton Hillis, who had a great 2010 effort but enters the 2011 season with the following strikes against him:

  1. A new coaching staff that hasn't had a chance to install their new offense due to the labor stoppage in the NFL.
  2. A competing player that the incoming staff likes in Montario Hardesty, who will significantly cut into the work load that Hillis sees if early indications of a running back by committee are true when regular season begins.

The situation in Cleveland and the specter of a RBBC make me leery of drafting Hillis, even at a steeply discounted draft position. He may be one of the biggest fantasy busts of 2011.