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As we approach the peak season for 2013 fantasy football drafts, I wanted to discuss a handful of NFL players who I think have more to prove before they can be completely trusted on your fantasy teams. I am going to list a few guys at each position who need to show a little more before I can wholeheartedly endorse them as fantasy studs.
Remember, I'm not saying these guys can't or won't be fantasy football contributors in 2013. But if we are talking about the fantasy elite, there may be some red flags on certain players - and I'm pointing these out before you go spending big draft day dollars on them.
2013 Fantasy Football Drafts - Players I Won’t Touch
Joe Flacco (BAL) – Big contract, big Super Bowl win and big pressure usually leads to a let down season. It doesn't help that Flacco’s receiving corps is limping into the season. There is an ongoing debate about whether Flacco is an elite quarterback, but one thing is for sure: he’s not an elite ‘fantasy’ quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick (SF) – Despite the exciting breakthrough in 2012, I can see how part of his success came from the fact that nobody had seen him before. I need to see what Kaepernick can do through a full season before I put my fantasy team in his hands. Let’s see what he can do when defenses know his capabilities before elevating him to stardom.
Tony Romo (DAL) – He’s won his fair share of fantasy games for me in years past, but this season I’m staying away. Dallas has wholeheartedly committed to the running game, and though that should help Romo statistically in the turnover department, it probably means fewer yards and TDs for the signal caller.
C.J. Spiller (BUF) – This guy is lightning in a bottle. I don’t mean any disrespect to his talent, but I can see him missing time this year. If I somehow become a C.J. Spiller owner, I WILL own Fred Jackson behind him. Running back is a position in which I demand consistency, and hand-cuffing takes up a valuable roster spot.
Alfred Morris (WAS) – Two words: "Freshman Phenom." Teams didn't know who Alfred Morris was and they certainly didn't expect the pistol offense from the Washington Redskins or Robert Griffin III to be so good. Defenses will be better prepared for Morris. I’m not saying I wouldn't own Morris, but I don’t believe he’s worth the top-10 pick he’s currently touted for.
Chris Johnson (TEN) – Do you trust him? In 2010, he was amazing-- he talked the talk and walked the walk. Fast forward to today and we have games with fewer than 25 yards gained and zero touchdowns, with an occasional explosion for 150+ yards and two scores. Like I said above, I love consistency and Johnson isn’t it.
Randall Cobb (GB) – Many sites and experts grade him out higher than teammate Jordy Nelson, as did I in the Top 150 Rankings, but I can’t help but think: what has he done to deserve this? Sure, the departure of Greg Jennings might boost his stock and he’ll see some snaps, but I would own Jordy Nelson before Cobb.
Eric Decker (DEN) – Decker is a superb receiver, one of the best route runners and very underrated in the NFL, but the addition of Wes Welker might hinder his fantasy presence. Decker used to be the better security blanket for Peyton Manning, which you have to assume Welker will become. Decker will most likely see fewer looks, but still be a productive fantasy receiver. I’m just not going to overpay for him.
Mike Wallace (MIA) – New wide receiver in a new location with a worse quarterback... sounds about right. Wallace is known for his deep-threat capabilities and getting down the field. My concern is if Ryan Tannehill will even have the time to wait for plays to develop enough to utilize the deep threat. I wouldn't touch Wallace in the first six-to-seven rounds of a fantasy draft.
Rob Gronkowski (NE) – What can I say-- I just don’t like partiers. He’s the best in the game when healthy, but when you've had 27 offseason surgeries (exaggeration?), more than just a red flag pops up in my mind. Someone else can use that second- or third-round pick on him, good luck to you.
Tyler Eifert (CIN) – The 2013 first-round pick out of Notre Dame has been highly touted, but I can confidently say he should go undrafted in fantasy. Jermaine Gresham is still the no. 1 in Cincinnati and with looks going to A.J. Green, Gresham and Mohammad Sanu, I see more of bye week material for Eifert’s potential in 2013.
Rob Housler (ARI) – He’s 35% owned in Yahoo! Leagues…no, I don’t even think Carson Palmer is going to change his production. If anything, Palmer will look to his receivers more than last year’s quarterbacks did. I’m not on this bandwagon until he proves something this year.
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