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21 riskiest players in fantasy football drafts
Be aware of the following players as you draft. These risky choices have been ordered in relation to the typical average draft pick invested in the selection -- the later the pick, the less risk assumed. Scoring systems matter, so a standard, non-PPR setup was the baseline used. Calling a player "risky" doesn't mean they will be a bust. Every strong fantasy team is built with risk assessment in mind.
Inconsistencies have marred Akers through the years ... which version will show up in Hawaiian blue?
Making his debut after missing his entire rookie season. The opportunities should be there, but how will he perform on the NFL stage?
Head coach Mike McCarthy may be running out of patience with Crosby's terribly inaccurate ways of late.
A lot of new faces and missing familiar pass rushers could take time to adjust to. The bright side: Oakland and San Diego are on the schedule twice.
Ray Horton will make the defensive calls in Cleveland. Can he summon his ultra-aggressive ways from his two years in Arizona? The personnel has what it takes, but, alas, the Browns seem to be cursed.
The soon-to-be 35-year-old enjoyed a renaissance year in 2012, but that cannot be counted on as the norm. Barring injury -- his only real concern -- mild regression should be expected.
A career of failing to live up to expectations makes me skeptical that he can do it, despite a change of scenery and an offense that seemingly is a better fit. Don't spend too much on him, or somewhere Dennis Green will be slamming a podium screaming, ''He is who we thought he was!'' in a crazed manner.
Miller will be fine ... at some point. This one is for fantasy owners who don't keep up with the news: Miller is coming off a shredded knee and is not Adrian Peterson. In other words, he'll need some more time to get right.
I've learned to never doubt the man known as ''All Day,'' but I would be remiss if his name wasn't included. He is coming off a monster season and has encountered a myriad of injuries the past few seasons, ranging from not-worth-mentioning to catastrophic. He is the undisputed No. 1 pick, but you have to guard yourself with a deeper stable of backs than usual.
All of the talent in the world, coupled with a coaching staff that promotes tight end utilization, Cameron is in store for a big year. That big year could come using himself as a player on Madden 25 while sitting at home mending a new injured something, however. Be careful on draft day, because you don't want to inadvertently hurt Cameron.
Competition for touches, a pass-friendly offense, a metric ton of touches in college ... I don't feel comfortable drafting Ball as anything more than a third back. Someday he'll be a stud, but it's probably a year away.
Injury concerns of his own are overshadowed by those of his quarterback. Washington's offense was dangerous because it kept defenses off-balance due to the fear of Robert Griffin III's rushing ability. Garcon is hardly worth his midround ADP.
The poster boy for fragility (and early onset osteoporosis?), Mathews will yet again be given the chance to prove he can be the guy. San Diego has weapons to replace him, or at least supplement Mathews, so maybe -- just maybe -- he'll get it together this season. He is nothing more than a third fantasy back or a very weak RB2.
This should go without saying: Much like Mathews, injuries have derailed a promising career for J-Stew. To make matters worse, several running backs and powerhouse quarterback are in the mix for of touches. You have to be desperate in a bad way to draft Stewart, whose season is in doubt after being placed on the PUP list.
An injury of the magnitude of what he suffered last year, compounded by a miserable quarterback outlook, MJD should scare away every sensible drafter. Avoid him like the plague. I rarely say that about any player, because everyone has the right price. Fantasy football can be stressful enough ... I don't even want this headache anywhere near me.
How can one expect Brady to be anywhere near as good as he was after he lost as many weapons as the Pats have this offseason? At some point, even Tom Brady is not enough to carry a team. Looking back at the most successful Patriots teams during Brady's tenure reveals a memory jog: He was just an average fantasy passer during their three Super Bowl-winning seasons. It's crazy how much this year's squad resembles those teams.
Do not automatically assume this guy is the next Wes Welker. If healthy, Amendola should see a lot of balls come his way. He could be a PPR stalwart in 2013. He could live up to his draft placement. That sounds like a lot of praying, and you cannot spell Amendola without ''amen.''
Martin's sophomore season needs to be more consistent in order for him to live up to his draft placement. He is a head-to-head lineup nightmare, and not for your opponent! Martin is going inside the top five in all formats, and he managed 45.3 percent of his rushing yards in just four games, one of which was a meaningless Week 17 versus a resting Atlanta squad. Six of his 11 touchdowns came in two games!
Ugh ... Kaepernick's situation is rather ugly, yet owners continue to value him like he is a proven stud. I'll never understand why people can put on blinders to risk aversion for a player with half a season of slightly above average fantasy stats. He is missing his top weapon and is on a run-first team. Let someone else overvalue him.
A massive workload -- the league's most touches over the past three seasons -- may be contributing to a recent string of nagging injuries. Foster's value is largely dependent on his touchdown totals, something that always makes me nervous, since his peripheral stats have been on the decline. He should still be a top-three back if he plays every game, but I am not willing to invest that much in a PPR league with so many exciting options around him.
It doesn't get any riskier than drafting this guy ... four surgeries, including a back operation, for a physically dominant tight end. Gronk may miss at least the first six weeks if he remains on the PUP list into the regular season. Should he start the year on time, it seems suspect to believe he would be 100 percent ready to go. When he is on the field, we're talking about arguably the best in the business at his position. For now, he's an exceptionally risky top-three tight end.
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