While the fantasy football 2011 may be over, the 2012 season is right around the corner. It is never too early to start looking ahead at next year’s draft, especially if you have keeper concerns. While it is always important to identify studs and sleepers, it may be even more important to identify the busts.
Look I’ll be frank and tell you that looking at next season in February before the draft and free agency is entirely premature. However, there are some situations that already have given me cause for concern. Yet what I wanted to do today is take a look at five fantasy football players at different positions that will likely be taken in the early rounds of your draft. Drafting a bust with your first or second pick is something hard to recover from. That is why I want you to think hard before you draft any of these five highly ranked players.
Cam Newton, Quarterback – Like just about everyone on this list but Murray, I owned Newton in multiple leagues last season. The kid was tremendous and helped win me a championship. I have one keeper in that league and as enticing as it is to keep him, I am throwing him back. See Michael Vick 2010 and 2011. I find it hard to believe that Newton will score anywhere close to 13 rushing TDs. I also think that defenses have an entire offseason to prepare for him based on last year’s video. I would love to own Cam Newton again but not at the cost of my first or second pick in the draft. Unfortunately if you want him, that is where you will have to grab him, and I think there are QBs that you can take in the mid-rounds that will give you better or equivalent numbers.
Fred Jackson, Running Back – I was one of the lucky ones that drafted Jackson in two of my fantasy leagues last season. Jackson is coming off a monster year that surprised even the biggest Buffalo Bills fans. Someone in your draft will grab this guy much higher than where he should be drafted and pay the price for it later. I am not worried as much about coming off the injury than the emergence of C.J. Spiller after Jackson went down. Spiller is the future and Jackson is in a contract year. The team will be doing everything they can to transition Spiller to feature back which will leave Jackson owners left out in the Buffalo cold.
Vernon Davis, Tight End – My hunch is that fantasy owners will be more likely to remember the Vernon Davis that went nuts in the playoffs as opposed to the guy who did almost nothing all season. This will likely result in Davis being one of the first tight ends taken in fantasy leagues, likely third after Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. I don’t believe for a second that Davis will repeat those kinds of numbers in the regular season simply because the 49ers aren’t built that way. Jim Harbaugh has a system and in that system Vernon Davis is not used as a receiving threat. I think he’ll have average numbers but nowhere near the kind of production you’d expect according to his A.DP.