The 2011 fantasy football season is just around the corner and 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. We’re not saying the players on this list won’t have fantasy value, they’re just players not to draft too high, or avoid completely, for your 2011 fantasy football draft.
Sure, Ingram has a ton of things going for him: First back taken off the board, playing for a great offense, and had a monster career at Alabama but even with that great resume we believe he will be over drafted in this year’s fantasy draft. The Saints are known for sharing the ball when it comes to the receiving corps, but head coach Sean Payton also loves to split carries between his backs to keep them fresh. Ingram might be the starter, but it is doubtful he gets over 200 touches this season making his average draft position a little too high for us to like. Grabbing one of our rookie sleepers 30 picks later is just better value.
John Fox is the new head coach out in Denver and he certainly loves to control the clock with his running attack. One would think this is a good thing for Knowshon but Mr. Fox has said repeatedly he is looking to bolster his running back position. It also just so happens that his old lead back DeAngelo Williams is most likely available this off-season. We believe that Williams or another back will end up in Denver really hurting Moreno’s overall value.
Torain was a bit of surprise last season for the fantasy community finishing the year with 742 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games. Heading into this season Torain does have some upside but at best we feel he will be splitting carries with Helu really hurting his value. When he took over the starting job in Washington it was because pretty much because every other back was hurt and therefore he got a ton of work.
Palmer had a decent year in 2010 but he has made it very clear he wants out of Cincinnati. He is more then likely going to land somewhere and be a starter, but our expectations are very low. He is going to have to learn a new offense very quickly, and he probably will not have as many weapons as he had with the Bengals.
Newton is a very special athlete but we don’t think his situation will allow for instant success. The Panthers don’t have that many weapons, and their offense last year averaged only 12 points per game. We think the Panthers offense will be better with Newton, but TD’s could be few and far between.
Cutler has been ok during his 2 years with the Bears, but he hasn’t been able to put together an amazing year like he did in 2008 in Denver. The potential is still there, but we would be surprised if he greatly improves from his numbers a year ago. Cutler was by far the most sacked quarterback last year, and we think he will be on his back a lot this year as well.
We like the upside of Stafford this year, but some experts have him ranked a little too high. We have seen him ranked over Eli Manning and Matt Ryan in some cases, and we don’t think thats a good gamble. Ryan and Eli are both coming off years were they had about 4,000 yards and 30 TD’s. While it’s possible that Stafford could hit these numbers, we don’t see the need to take the gamble.
We are big fans of Mike Thomas, but not really big fans of Sims-Walker. We believe Sims-Walker is the second option for the Jags and anyone that has owned him in the past knows he can drive a fantasy owner crazy. He is a very hit or miss kind of player with limited upside so instead of grabbing him in the later rounds go with his teammate Thomas.
Bowe had a stretch last season where he went on a crazy tear and it seemed like he was winning weeks all by himself. With that said he had a very easy schedule and really beat up on the teams that had a weak secondary. Once the playoffs came around, not only did the Ravens shut him down but, he did not even get open to get targeted for a single pass. We are not saying Bowe is going to have a a terrible year but we would take either Mike Wallace or Reggie Wayne over him (both of their ADPs are below Bowe)
We cannot take away what Lloyd did last season, it was a monster year however, we just don’t see him repeating those numbers. It is rare that a player will breakout in his eighth season (yep he has been in the league that long) with no fantasy relevance prior. To have to take Lloyd in the fourth round is just too rich for our blood this year.
After a career year in 2009 Miller came crashing back down to earth last season. With the emergence of Mike Wallace, Miller once again becomes the Steelers #3 option. Miller will more then likely get drafted too early because of his name, so we wouldn’t touch him on draft day unless it’s in the last few rounds.
Kellen Winslow Jr.
Winslow has had some decent seasons, but at this point we think his name is better than his fantasy value. He has never had more then 5 TD’s in a season, and his reception total and yards were down for 2010. We think he could have another solid season, but we aren’t expecting much.
The 35 year old Gonzalez does have enough left in the tank to have a productive season, but the problem is he will be drafted too early in most drafts. His yards and reception totals have gone down each of the last 4 years, and we expect another decline in 2011. With the arrival of Jones to Atlanta Gonzalez is now the 3rd option, and we don’t think there will be enough balls to go around.