I’m not a huge fan of naming fantasy football busts. Mostly because I don’t like the word. It’s misleading. Bust implies that they are going to fail miserably. And that only really happens because of injury or legal issues or playing for the Redskins. I haven’t once claimed to be a psychic, so I can’t accurately tell you which top 150 players are going to perform so dismally.
What I can provide for you are those players who will perform under expectations. I’m not saying that these guys will completely fail, I’m just saying that at the average draft positions (ADP) they are at right now, I would not take them. So here is my little list of the most overvalued players that you should avoid in your 2011 fantasy football draft.
Michael Vick, QB, ADP 6
Naturally this is the pick that is going to cause me the most grief. There will be comments, no doubt, but I stand by it. I won’t even take the “His playing style means that he will likely be injured” route.
Do you know what has never happened in the history of the NFL? No quarterback that has rushed for more than eight TDs one year has come back and rushed for more than five the next year. Vick was a pleasant surprise for a lot of fantasy owners last year, but defenses are going to learn and adapt and do whatever they can to keep him from taking off. He will not repeat his success.
ESPN’s Matthew Berry put out the 2011 Fantasy Football Manifesto just a little while ago and made an argument for drafting Vick. I’ll be getting to that argument this weekend.
Matt Ryan, QB, ADP 64
I had a mini-debate as to whether I should put Matt Ryan or Ben Roethlisberger for my second bust. Both are valued too highly, and fantasy owners would have greater or equal success drafting a sleeper quarterback in Freeman, Stafford, Kolb or Bradford in a much later round.
I’m not sure what the infatuation with Matt Ryan is. Apparently people are looking at Roddy White’s success from last season and adding in first round pick Julio Jones and jumping to the conclusion that Ryan will be fantasy gold. The only problem is that they are overlooking that he has never put up elite numbers. He had a great 2010 season in terms of only giving up 9 INTS, but his TDs were average, and his yardage was far from elite. He’s a good QB, and if he fell to round 9, I would be more than happy to pick him up. But round 5? No thank you.
Peyton Hillis, RB, ADP 24
I know that I’m not going to get any originality points having Hillis on my bust sheet. But no player’s 2010 performance screams fluke like Hillis’s. In his last five games he failed to find the end zone and only put up 270 yards in those games. That combined with a new Cleveland offense and a healthy, young Montario Hardesty mean that I will not be looking at Hillis in the top three rounds.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, ADP 65
His TD total has him this high, no doubt. Apparently people aren’t taking into account that New England’s roster is roughly 50% running backs. Perhaps once the preseason plays out we will have more of an idea as to how the Patriots are going to use all their RBs, but, even then, I’m hesitant to touch any of them. Green-Ellis frankly isn’t anything special in this league.
To make matter worse, the Patriots will most certainly switch pack to a more pass-centric offense as opposed to the run-heavy team of a year ago. They have added Chad Ochocinco, which means they have wide receiver talent outside of that adorable Wes Welker.
There’s a slew of other RBs that could be mentioned here. Beanie Wells is going at 74th overall which is a little crazy. Michael Turner has led the league in rushes in 2008 and 2010, when he has had big fantasy seasons, but likely won’t touch the ball nearly as often. James Starks is really high only because of his playoff performances despite the fact that he’s not even number one on the depth chart. Et cetera, et cetera.
Marques Colston, WR, ADP 44
This pick probably makes me the biggest hypocrite on the planet, because, for some reason, every year, no matter if I want him or not, I somehow end up with Colston on my fantasy football roster. He’ll perform well enough, better than any other New Orleans receiver, but I don’t think he is late third/early fourth round material this year. Colston has had five surgeries in as many years, so I’d rather go for Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall or Santonio Holmes.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, ADP 49
He finished at the top of the wide receiver rankings last year, so it would seem that being the 49th overall pick would be too low, but I still think people are reaching here. The Broncos got a new, far more conservative head coach and I still don’t believe that Tim Tebow won’t eventually get the nod at starting quarterback. The chances of Lloyd even being in the top 20 receivers this year seems like a stretch to me.
A couple other receivers stand out, Sidney Rice of the Seahawks is the main one. Something tells me that he won’t be able to pull off a solid season. As if having Tarvaris Jackson as his starting quarterback wasn’t enough of a reason, he’s rarely healthy.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, ADP 87
Gonzalez had his decade in the spotlight, but is fading fast. He could still see some stats, but they will be average. Let someone else jump on him in the 8th round. You can get better value by sticking around for another mid-tier tight end in the later rounds. Gonzalez is only up this high from name recognition and won’t be able to cut it this year.
You got a better bust? Or an argument to defend one of these guys. Go ahead and leave it in the comments. Without feedback, why write?