[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e’ve all heard it before; the draft is the most important part of a fantasy football season. It can make or break your team. Whether you endorse this philosophy or are more partial to the waiver wire, the draft is crucial nonetheless.
A successful draft can give you bragging rights, a little extra spending money, and maybe even a trophy. An unsuccessful draft can result in at least six months of trash talk and banter.
Anyone who’s ever played fantasy football envisions that perfect draft/season. You get exactly who were planning on getting with every pick, your whole team stays healthy, and you go undefeated. On the other hand, there’s the season that unravels. The players you wanted get drafted a few picks before yours, the players you settled for get injured, and your team is a cellar dweller.
We’ve all had our share of fantasy football disappointments. I enjoy avoiding these types of cellar dwelling seasons, that’s why I will be avoiding the following “five” players in my drafts this year.
2013 Bust Candidates
The new surroundings are a nice change for Mendenhall, at least weather-wise, but I just don’t see him being successful this season. He’s coming off an injury-plagued year and will be running behind arguably the worst offensive line in the NFL. The Cardinals totaled an NFL-low 3.26 yards per carry in 2012.
Newly acquired quarterback Carson Palmer should be able to open up the field more for the Cardinals’ offense, but Mendenhall just doesn’t have the surrounding cast necessary to pound his way up the field.
Then there’s the fact that Arizona spent two draft picks on running backs, using their third round selection on Stepfan Taylor and their sixth round selection on Andre Ellington, not to mention Ryan Williams who is coming off a season ending injury himself. Mendenhall just has too many question marks for me to take a chance on drafting him.
Jackson’s receiving yards and receiving touchdowns have gone down every year each of the past four seasons. Even during those seasons his numbers weren’t anything to write home about from a fantasy standpoint. His career high in receiving touchdowns is nine and he has never exceeded 1,200 receiving yards.
With Chip Kelly as Philadelphia’s new head coach, Jackson is anticipated to go back to his role as a punt returner, a role he thrived in. That being said, his punt return duties could take away from his duties as a wide receiver. Even in Chip Kelly’s new up tempo offense, there’s no guarantee that Jackson will thrive. He’s learning a new play-book, as are his offensive counterparts. That takes time to get used to, although speed can make up for time.
Nevertheless, there are just too many questions surrounding D-Jack for me to draft him this year: new offense, inconsistency, durability, etc. He hasn’t even played a full season the last four years, playing in just 11 games last season due to fractured ribs. I understand that he has speed that kills, but I just can’t risk him killing my fantasy team.
There’s really just one reason why I’m staying away from Murray this year: durability. Teams have just started OTAs (organized team activities) and already Murray reportedly tweaked his hamstring. Let’s not forget he missed six games in 2012 because of a sprained foot. Even if Murray could stay healthy, it’s not like he has a good offensive line, an offensive line that fronted one of the worst yards per carry averages (3.78) in the NFL last season.
After a successful college career at Oklahoma and a promising rookie season in which he averaged 5.5 yards on 164 carries, the fact that I already want to avoid him in his third season is a tragedy. Murray has top 10 fantasy running back potential when healthy, but I just can’t trust a player with his fragility.
Any Jet not named Chris Ivory
New York Jets
This technically counts as more than five players, but I’m being honest. Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions in a practice. The rest of the offense is atrocious. The only other Jet I would minutely consider drafting is Santonio Holmes, but he doesn’t have a good quarterback and has been a disturbance in the locker room, so that settles that.
I couldn’t be less excited about a team than the Jets this season, both from a viewer’s perspective and a fantasy football perspective, save for maybe the Jaguars. As Mel Kiper Jr. said during the NFL Draft, the Jets are like a glorified expansion team.
Marcedes Lewis has played seven seasons in the NFL, one of them being productive; that being his 2010 Pro Bowl year when he caught 10 touchdown passes. In his other six seasons he has 11 touchdowns combined. Additionally, his targets have dropped every season the past three seasons, from 88 in 2010, to 85 in 2011, to 77 in 2012.
Lewis has been one of the most disappointing tight ends in fantasy football since that Pro Bowl season and I don’t see that changing in 2013. This is kind of the same situation with Santonio Holmes – he doesn’t have a good quarterback, among other things, so I won’t be drafting him.
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Zach hails from the bustling metropolis of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Three things Zach enjoys are football, food and water. Three things Zach doesn’t enjoy are kale, mushrooms and the company of those who enjoy either (except hobbits). Zach is a life-long Broncos fan and has been playing fantasy football longer than he hasn’t. He had top-five finishes in FantasyPros’ 2016 NFL DFAC competition and the 2016 SFB480.