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Faceoff: Some Top 100 Players to Avoid

August 28th

Clayton Gray: Name a player in the Top 100 you still wouldn't draft two rounds (24 picks) after his current ADP. Why are you avoiding him?

Andy Hicks: I'm going with Vincent Jackson. He will be an obvious boost to the Tampa Bay receiving corp, but what kind of situation is he walking into?

At San Diego, Jackson developed a rapport with Philip Rivers and had consistency of coaching and a very strong running game. In Tampa, the coaching staff has been almost fully turned over and a rookie NFL coach put in charge. One who hasn't been in the NFL in any capacity for over 10 years. The playing roster has been decimated and there are new players at just about every offensive position. The key question will be: How long will it take this unit to be cohesive, especially considering Josh Freemans struggles last year? How effective will the running game be? It's easier to assume that the rookie will solve all the problems, but history kind of spits in the face of that argument. There are so many things that have to come together for Jackson to be worth his draft slot, that it is easier for me to bypass him altogether and wait and see how he and the Buccanneers offense plays.

Jeff Haseley: Honestly, I am staying away from Ahmad Bradshaw. He has always been a trooper, playing through nagging injuries to both feet and ankles. In recent years he has seen a spike in receptions with 21, 47, and 34 over the last three years respectively. In that same time span, his touchdowns increased (7, 8, 9). He has only reached 1,000+ yards once in his career (2010) and now he has some stiff competition in rookie David Wilson, who can easily come in and steal some of his thunder, including his receiving numbers. Bradshaw is being drafted as a RB2, which is safer than an RB1, but I believe the Giants will fall in love with what the younger, healthier and quicker David Wilson can bring to the table. Bradshaw would be a good candidate to start in the early part of the season and then trade halfway through. I do believe Wilson will make a bigger splash in the league than we already anticipate.

Ryan Hester: I'm reaching kind of high for this one, but the player I wouldn't touch is Frank Gore. Currently, Gore is going 38th at FBG's Average Draft Position chart. After the 62nd pick (24 picks, two full rounds later), I'd rather take chances on the following players:

  • Steve Johnson (WR24)
  • Isaac Redman (RB24)
  • Jermichael Finley (TE7)
  • Antonio Brown (WR26)
  • Willis McGahee (RB25)
  • Eric Decker (WR27)
  • Jonathan Stewart (RB28)

A guy like Stewart may not end up outscoring Gore, but the upside provided if his backfield mate goes down is far more than any upside Gore provides. Gore wasn't even a two-way threat last season as he only caught 17 passes, compared to the 51 receptions he averaged over the previous five seasons. I'd rather jump off the party bus too early and pass up the good times than stay on too late and be there when it crashes.

Sigmund Bloom: Shonn Greene. I wouldn't even take him in the top 100 at all. We've seen that he is a thoroughly mediocre talent. No matter how much opportunity he gets, there is no assurance that he will give you more than 60-70 yards, even with 20 carries. The Jets offense also seems completely uninspiring. Greene has had his chance to take the lead back job and run with it, and has instead looked like he is stuck in wet cement.

Heath Cummings: Michael Vick's current ADP is 38 and there's no way I'm touching Vick in the first five rounds. The reason is twofold:

1. Vick has talked a lot about playing it safer this season and trying to avoid injury. It's hard to believe he can hold true to that, but if he does it definitely limits his fantasy production. Either he plays his style, putting up 2-3 amazing performances and putting himself at a high risk for injury or he's Michael Vick, pocket passer. Either way, he's not worth a pick in the first five rounds because...

2. We've talked a lot about the depth at receiver, and it is outstanding, but look at the quarterbacks currently being drafted in round six or later:

  • Matt Ryan (6.09)
  • Robert Griffin III (7.06)
  • Ben Roethlisberger (7.10)
  • Matt Schaub (8.08)
  • Jay Cutler (8.09)
  • Josh Freeman (10.02)

Those guys may not have the upside of Vick, but the value there is too good for me to spend an early pick on Vick.

Jeff Pasquino: You can have Michael Turner. The only thing keeping him from falling off a cliff is that he's too slow to get over the edge. He's ancient, way overpriced as a Top 20 RB, and has a youngster in Jacquizz Rodgers pushing for playing time. Turner's even less valuable in PPR leagues because he is rarely used out of the backfield. With Atlanta moving to a faster paced, pass-happy offensive scheme, Turner will be of minimal value at best and worth even less as the season wears on - not a recipe for winning your fantasy playoffs (should you even get there with Turner).

Will Grant: DeSean Jackson and Roy Helu are probably two guys that I won't draft, no matter how far they fell beyond their ADP. Both are going somewhere in the 6th round (DJAX ADP is 64, Helu 71). If DJAX was around in 10, I might consider taking him. Helu no way. Jackson is better suited for a best-ball format - where his 16 points one week and then 2 points the next will have less of an impact. When you're trying to pick a WR, even a WR2-3 for your fantasy team, you want a guy who is consistent. Jackson will win a game for you one week then break your heart the next. You'll spend more time trying to guess which week he will go off. No thanks.

Helu has just never impressed me as a RB that I wanted on my roster. The Washington running back situation is a complete mess and I would avoid it like the plague. I won't even get into Mike Shanahan's coaching antics. That's just icing on the 'Don't draft Washington running backs' for me anyway.

Mark Wimer: I'm with Will on Roy Helu/Evan Royster/Tim Hightower - good luck guessing which of these guys get the most carries on any given Thursday/Sunday/Monday during 2012. There is no clarity here and even if one guy emerges by the third week of preseason, that guy is one fumble away from being benched for an extended period. The punitive manner in which the Shanahans handle Washington's stable of running backs makes any of them highly variable from week to week.

Steve Holloway: I am not going to be owning Robert Meachem this season. I watched him when he first joined the Saints and he has always been the type player to have a good game every now and then and disappear for long stretches at a time. In my opinion, he was outplayed by several wide receivers for the Saints and now finds himself as a free agent signee on a team that doesn't have one go-to wide receiver. I think that besides Antonio Gates, the Chargers are going to have a revolving door as the favorite wide receiver target varies on a weekly basis.