Fantasy Football: Five Overrated Players for the 2010 Season
Some cases aren't as cut and dried. Trying to decipher who this year's fantasy busts will be in August is always difficult, but we'll hand out some help here.
Don't get too hung up on the word "bust," either. A player doesn't have to fall flat on his face to be a fantasy football bust. Grabbing someone in the fifth round when they should have gone in the eighth falls into the category of poor drafting. If Reggie Bush were to be drafted in the fifth round, that could easily turn out to be a bust pick. In the eighth round, Bush is a solid find. In the 11th round, Bush is a steal. See how this is all relative?
That said, here are five players who are currently being drafted too high, according to average draft position data.
Felix Jones, Cowboys | Average Draft Position 44.21 - I realize that Jones has all the athletic ability in the world, and that he's just a cut or a bounce away from breaking the next big play. But he's got a number of things working against him. He's injury prone, for starters. When the main goal for a 23-year-old back in the preseason is to stay healthy -- not progress as a runner, or move up the depth chart -- something is wrong. Add to that the fact that the Cowboys have a three-headed monster of a running back system in place and touches will be hard to come by. Finally, Jones -- as well as the Cowboys running attack -- has been shut down, for the most part, in two preseason games. Amassing 15 yards on six carries in two games is not what you want to see from a guy like Jones. I think it's a stretch to grab him in the fourth round.
Percy Harvin, Vikings | Average Draft Position 57.36 - Harvin is another player with a boat-load of talent. When healthy, he's an incredible option for Brett Favre and the Vikings. The problem is that Harvin's health is a huge concern right now. Harvin has an ongoing problem with migraines, which have caused the receiver to miss a good portion of training camp. When he finally made it to camp, he collapsed at practice and was rushed to the hospital. Harvin was the 2009 Rookie of the Year but his health concerns scare me too much to use a fifth-round pick on him.
Hines Ward, Steelers | Average Draft Position 63.33 - There are two major issues with Ward as you head into your fantasy football draft; age and the absence of a big-time quarterback. Ward turned 34 years old in the offseason and while he enjoyed one of the most productive seasons of his career in 2009, age has to be a consideration. His quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger -- who's thrown him so many of those passes over the years -- will be sitting out during a suspension for at least four games. This may cripple Ward's production, and four games is 25 percent of the season. Ward won't be reduced to zero production while Roethlisberger is away, but he likely won't look like an early sixth-round draft pick. I'd shoot for Ward more towards the eighth round.
Robert Meachem, Saints | Average Draft Position 73.82 - It's hard to look at those nine touchdown catches in 2009 and not drool over what Meachem can bring to the table this season. But, when he returned for a Saints offseason workout program Meachem found that his injured toe -- a nagging injury he dealt with for the majority of the 2009 season -- would require surgery. He had the procedure in May and has recently been cleared for workouts. If that toe causes him problems in any way this year, he may not play through the pain like he did in 2009. The seventh round of fantasy drafts is a place you can take a risk, but this move may be a little over the top. Also consider that Meachem only caught 45 passes last year. If he isn't fully capable because of that toe, his touches could fall off.
Lee Evans, Bills | Average Draft Position 109.25 - Yes, Evans is a WR1 and should get a little respect, but not on fantasy draft day. Evans caught 44 passes last year and scored seven touchdowns. That, however, was with Terrell Owens on the opposite side of the field distracting defenses. Evans doesn't have T.O. any longer, heck he barely has another wide receiver threat to speak of. That means opposing defenses will be able to focus on Evans in the passing game and shut him down. The Bills play the New York Jets twice and Green Bay once, meaning that's three games that Lee will have to battle two of the best shut-down corners in the game -- Darrelle Revis and Charles Woodson (of course I believe that Revis will play in 2010). Take three games of production away from Lee and downgrade the rest of the season because of the way defenses will play him and it should be a long season for the top option in Buffalo. There is no way I'd use a late ninth or early 10th round pick on Evans.