Fantasy Smack Talk - Fantasy Sports Advice for Football, Baseball, and Basketball

2013 Fantasy Football: NFL Busts and Overvalued

By Dustin Barkley

Fantasy Analyst

(photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Mathews is talented, but there are too many question marks in San Diego to feel confident about him as a fantasy starter. (photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Everyone loves to think about drafting the top sleepers, however not drafting the busts, or avoiding paying too high for a player can go a long way towards helping you build a championship roster. Let’s take a look at several players not to draft too high, or avoid completely, for your 2013 fantasy football draft.

Martellus Bennett CHI | TE

I don’t know about you but I am starting to get tired of hearing how this is the year that Bennett will breakout. He had his chances with the Cowboys and wasn’t very impressive and he had a great shot with the Giants last year but he didn’t take advantage. At this point I don’t see him doing much with the Bears and I have seen him getting a decent amount of love in other expert rankings. He might slightly improve upon his numbers from 2012, but I am not expecting him to be a top 10 tight end this year.

Tavon Austin STL | WR

In recent history there have been some rookie wide receivers that have had fantasy value, but in almost all of those cases these players were on solid offenses. The Rams offense was one of the worst in the league last year when it came to points and yards per game and I don’t think they will be much better this year. They currently have a lot of young talent at wide receiver and running back, but there are a ton of question marks on that offense and not much proven talent to speak of. Austin is a talented young player and I think he will show flashes of greatness this year, but overall I don’t think it’s a situation in which a rookie receiver can have a huge fantasy impact.

Vernon Davis SF | TE

It’s easy to look at what Davis did in the playoffs and think he will pickup right where he left off, but let’s not forget how he ended the year. In the last 6 games of the regular season Davis only had 6 catches during that span. The 49ers aren’t consistent when it comes to getting Davis involved in the offense and this makes us weary about drafting him. You might think that with Crabtree being out that Davis might get more targets, but we still don’t trust him enough to rank him any higher than 9 in our tight end rankings this year.

Darren McFadden OAK | RB

I know the argument for McFadden this year is that he is slipping in drafts so he can’t really be called overvalued. I disagree, because I am still seeing him ranked in the top 20 in most other expert rankings. I don’t think he should go much later than that, but I would much rather take a gamble on a David Wilson or Larmar Miller type player at that point of the draft. The Raiders offense looks terrible on paper and when you combine that with the McFadden injury history, I say you leave him alone unless he slips to about the 25th running back taken off the board.

Santonio Holmes NYJ | WR

There are too many question marks on the Jets offense for me to get excited about Holmes this year. His career has taken a nosedive since leaving the Steelers and I don’t think Sanchez or Geno Smith is capable of putting Holmes back on the fantasy map. The upside of Holmes in my opinion isn’t that high and for that reason I would leave him alone on draft day and go after higher risk, but higher reward type receivers.

Eric Decker DEN | WR

I think the arrival of Welker to Denver will hurt the overall value of Thomas and Decker, but I think it will hurt Decker just a little bit more. There are now just too many mouths to feed in Denver and it’s going to be really hard for all three of these guys to have huge years. I think Decker will still have some great games, but I just don’t think he can match his numbers from a year ago.

Ryan Mathews SD | RB

All of the potential and upside is still there for Mathews, but at this point you have to ask yourself if it’s time to give up on him. The Chargers have given him every chance to produce and he just hasn’t come through. Another thing to consider is that they brought in Danny Woodhead who could steal touches away from Mathews, both in the running and passing game. I think Mathews will still get plenty of touches, but unless he slips a bit in your draft I say you let someone draft him.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN | RB

The Law Firm is going to have a hard time holding on to this starting job this year with the arrival of Giovani Bernard. Green-Ellis is a slightly above average player, but he isn’t a very exciting runner and the Bengals know he isn’t the future running back for them. Bernard was the first running back off the board in this years draft and I fully expect the Bengals to give this guy a chance to start. Green-Ellis might start the year as the man getting most of the carries, but I don’t think it will take long for Bernard to take over the majority of the workload.

Chris Ivory NYJ | RB

Ivory is certainly a talented running back and he has show flashes of what he is capable of, but there are still some question marks with him. He has yet to show that he can handle a full workload and be the man for an entire season and the main issue that I have is he went to the Jets. Their offense lacks weapons and they could have a hard time putting points on the board. I could certainly see Ivory having a decent year, but he has been on a lot of people’s cheat sheets so just make sure you don’t over draft him on draft day.

Joe Flacco BAL | QB

The Ravens had a nice run last year to a Super Bowl title and Flacco was a big part of their success. A lot of people are going to remember that and this could make Flacco a little overvalued come draft day. He is a good NFL quarterback, but he isn’t that great of a fantasy quarterback. The Ravens do find a way to put points on the board, but I wouldn’t consider their offense high powered. I think Flacco is still worth a look as a low end QB2, just don’t let his super bowl ring cloud your judgement.

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