The NFL season is approaching fast! Mock and real Drafts are taking place nightly across the board. I’ve done a few mocks this year already and, like everyone else, am ready for the football season to get started. We all have guys circled on our draft boards that we are hoping fall onto our rosters come draft nights. This discussion will be pointing out 5 guys that you might want to avoid come draft night.
Colin Kaepernick is coming into his first full season as the starting quarterback for the 49ers, after he took over midway thru last year. Kaepernick is drawing attention across fantasy drafts like crazy, but I’m not sure he’s worth a high pick this year. He’s being drafted at an average of 7th best quarterback in ESPN leagues and I think you can find better value than Kapernick at those points. He’s got a very thin wide receiving core and he’s going to be without his best wideout from last year, Michael Crabtree. He’s got Anquan Boldin now, but I’m not sold Boldin can replace the production Keapernick got from Crabtree. Kaepernick does have his running skills and playmaking ability to keep him afloat in fantasy. I think you can avoid him however, and find better production in other players at the quarterback position.
Maurice Jones-Drew is coming off a Lisfranc injury. I’m not sold he can fully recover and return to the old MJD we all were accustomed to. The Jaguars offense is not that talented, so MJD will have to shoulder most of the load at running back. Drew is going off the board in the second round in some drafts now, and may even go higher if proven to be healthy when training camp starts. He’s not going to be that high on my draft board, as I’m not a believer in him being fully healthy at the start of the year. If I’m taking a running back around the 2nd round, I have to be looking for a guy who’s going to start all of my games but maybe 2. MJD is not that guy.
Rashard Mendenhall is on a new team, but don’t expect him to be a steal in the later rounds of the draft. Bruce Arians the head coach of the Cardinals now led the Colts last year. Arians called nearly 60% passing plays with the Colts and will do the same with Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald on his team now. Mendenhall should get the starting job, but look for the young running back, Ryan Williams, to take his spot as the starter at some point in the year. If Williams doesn’t, keep in mind the Cardinals also took two RB’s in the draft. Who knows what happens at RB for the Cardinals next year. I highly recommend when round 5 rolls around, if you see Rashard Mendenhall’s name there pass him over.
Wes Welker left the Patriots this year to join the Broncos. He will join an offense, led by Peyton Manning, that already includes WR of Demaryious Thomas and Eric Decker. Welker was the main WR in New England, and caught over 100 balls becoming a PPR machine for fantasy teams. Welker has already said that if he catches 100 plus balls this year, then something is wrong in the offense with all the guys around him. Welker is not a threat to catch many touchdowns, especially with Thomas and Decker on the field as well. If Welker falls to the 5th round, you might consider taking him, but don’t reach for him in the 2nd or 3rd rounds like some of the others will.
Trent Richardson is going into his 2nd year with the Cleveland Browns and is ranked in the top 10 on most fantasy sites. I’m not sold on him being a proven top 10 pick in this years draft. He’s coming off a rookie season where he averaged just 3.6 years per carry but he was able to produce 11 touchdowns. Many fans, including myself, think that T-rich is injured prone and not something you want in a top 10 draft pick. Richardson even went as far this offseason to state he’s not injured prone all the time, but I’m sorry Mr. Richardson you will have to prove to me otherwise.
There you have 5 guys that I won’t be picking at their average draft positions this year. I’m not saying they don’t have good value if they start to slip, but be careful where you draft these guys. Try to avoid them if at all possible.