This isn’t your cookie-cutter bust list that everyone already knows about. I am going out on a limb here and that means I may be wrong on some of these. Many are on other’s breakout list. Time will tell. What follows is a list of players I’m staying away from given their current price tag.
Jamaal Charles – ranked 11th among running backs with 15.4 points per game. I’ve seen him frequently go as high as 2nd overall, all because Andy Reid and Alex Smith have come to the rescue. Only three teams in the entire NFL managed to score fewer points than Reid’s Eagles a year ago. The Chiefs were one of those teams, hitting the bottom of the barrel by averaging just 13 points on Sundays. The 49er castoff under center strikes absolutely no fear into opposing secondaries. Smith makes his living on safe, short, conservative passes. That’s not going to empty the box. Sure, Charles in charge will command a lot of targets. Just remember that so did Darren McFadden in Oakland (5.25 per game). Throw in the fact that Jamaal looked less than 100 percent in his return from the foot injury and his floor is a lot lower than most people think.
Hakeem Nicks – In the 2012 version of The Fantasy Football Guide Professional Edition, I tabbed the Giants wideout as the wide receiver bust of the year. Now it’s 2013, and he’s still Hakeem Nicks. Even when “healthy” during his first three seasons, it seemed like he would miss a quarter or at least a drive with some physical malady. I have no faith that his feet and knee issues won’t return. There is upside here, but it is a low percentage play.
Jermichael Finley – I can see it now. The year is 2020 and the latest buzz from Packers training camp is a familiar refrain. “I think he’s finally starting to get it”, Aaron Rodgers said. “At some point during OTA’s, the light went on. The game is starting to slow down for him. He’s running better routes and he’s in the best shape of his life. It’s his 13th year as a Packer, but he’s still only 33. I really think this will be his year.”
Danny Amendola – He’s missed 20 of his last 32 games. His career high PPG average was 13.5 (2012). He’s being drafted in the third round, ahead of Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston and Jordy Nelson. Interesting. Faintly, in the background, I can hear Lionel Richie sing, “Oh, what a feeling, when you’re drafting at the ceiling.”
Shane Vereen – Last time I checked, Bill Belichick, aka Mike Shanahan lite, was still the head coach in New England. Stevan Ridley still tops the depth chart. So how is it that the sophomore backup out of California is being drafted in the 4th round? Yes, Danny Woodhead has departed for greener pastures. The Woodhead that had a career high in touches (131) and fantasy PPG (10.8) back in 2010. Ok, so perhaps Ridley gets injured and that opens up the door. I get that. I don’t get why that makes him an attractive target in the 4th round.
Ben Tate – Another player that conjures a sense of déjà vu. Arian Foster’s backup is one of the fantasy market’s favorite handcuffs that is perpetually overvalued and over drafted. It seems like cries of preseason injury issues foreboding woe to Foster owners has become an annual rite of fall, followed by Foster’s consistent high-end RB1 production just one month into each season. I can’t help but think Arian secretly relishes leading fantasy nation astray, but that’s a speculative topic for another day. Tate’s stats can be deceiving. If Foster is active, Tate is not even flex worthy unless you have psychic abilities. Otherwise, he’ll rattle off 15+ points on your bench one week and then post 2.8 the next week in your active lineup.