Like the actual NFL season, your fantasy football campaign always begins with such promise. Taking a look at the prospective draft board, you can’t help but think that this year is going to be your year.
But look closely and be careful with your selections. There are some big names who could wreck your fantasy championship hopes. Here are a few that could prove poisonous to your roster.
Average Draft Position: 78th
Projected 2015 Stats: 3,525 passing yards, 22 TD, 14 INT, 560 rushing yards, 4 TD, 272.6 points
Looking at Newton’s skill set, it would be difficult to pass on him as your starting quarterback. He possesses a very strong arm and speed (4.59 40-yard dash) that ensures he’ll pick up some fantasy points on the ground as well.
Like CSN Philly’s John Boruk, you should think twice before making him your starting quarterback, though:
Newton is going to be without his No. 1 receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, who recorded over 1,000 yards in his rookie year in 2014. Though he has a viable target in tight end Greg Olsen, who had the same number of yards as Benjamin last season (1,008), the wide receiver depth is cause for concern for the Carolina Panthers.
For the second consecutive year, Newton will rely on a rookie in Devin Funchess to help carry the wide receivers. His secondary receivers, which include Jerricho Cotchery, Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown, have not quite proven themselves as big-time playmakers in the league.
With those limited options, there might be a spike in his rushing numbers, but I am always hesitant on taking a quarterback who will expose himself to a multitude of hits throughout the season.
He doesn’t warrant a sixth- or seventh-round selection in your draft. There are other viable options at QB1, such as Eli Manning and Matt Ryan, who should be available if you miss out on the elite-level players at this position.
That being said, Newton is still a good option as your backup quarterback—just don’t burn an earlier pick in order to get him.
Average Draft Position: 15th
Projected 2015 Stats: 1,370 rushing yards, 7 TD, 206.5 points
Here is another player I would not take at his average draft position. Don’t let the possibility of 300 touches and carrying much of the workload in Buffalo fool you; there will be better values around that portion of the draft.
His recent hamstring injury, as reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson, further solidifies this belief:
When healthy, McCoy is one of the most elusive, versatile backs in the league, with explosive moves and severe cuts. According to Yahoo Sports’ Brad Evans, though, McCoy’s play last season was alarming:
McCoy experienced a style transformation last fall. He displayed poorer vision, missed cut-back lanes, lacked aggressiveness and resembled more late-career Chris Johnson than the rush king from 2013. Specifically on designed stretch plays, he tried, very unsuccessfully, to hit the home run instead of taking what the defense gave him.
And if the hamstring issues become nagging, it could certainly take a little bit off of his game whenever he is able to return.
I’m not saying avoid McCoy at all costs. If he somehow drops into the third round of your draft, by all means, grab him as quickly as you can, but don’t rely on him as your RB1.
If you are looking for a running back at the end of the second round, look for Lamar Miller or Jeremy Hill as a solid option. They’ll be getting the bulk of the work in Cincinnati and Miami, respectively, and could score close to 10 touchdowns each this season.
Average Draft Position: 40th
Projected 2015 Stats: 95 receptions, 1,013 receiving yards, 7 TD, 150 points
If this is a points-per-reception league, you might want to take a chance on Edelman at his average draft position. If not, listen up.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jamey Eisenberg, Edelman was ranked No. 28 among receivers in standard leagues, and that was with a full season of Tom Brady under center. That would call for a selection in the seventh round, not so much the fourth.
Assume Edelman will be playing his first four games this season with backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has not been given much time with the first-string offense during the preseason.
This could mean plenty of mix-ups and limited receptions for Edelman to start the season, and a 95-reception season could turn into a 75-catch one awfully quick. That doesn’t necessarily warrant a fourth-round pick.
I would rather take a chance on the big-play makers like Golden Tate, Amari Cooper and even Davante Adams, who are going to see a lot more of the ball after Jordy Nelson‘s injury.
Like every year, there will be players who were picked toward the top of a draft who just won’t pan out. Selections like these can absolutely doom a franchise, especially in deeper leagues where there isn’t much help on the waiver wire. If you want to play it safe and look for consistent performances, it might be best to avoid these three for your fantasy team.
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