Published on April 15th, 2013 | by Ryan Bozeman1
5 Players to Stay Away From in 2013
As much as fantasy football is about picking the right players, many championship teams are built by knowing which players to avoid with your high round picks. Recognizing the signs that lead up to a player being overhyped is crucial, and is what separates average players from true fantasy “guru’s.” Perhaps the best example of this in recent years was in 2010, the year following Chris Johnson’s 2,000 season. He did manage to rack up 1,300 yards and more than 10 touchdowns, but finished 8th in points in PPR leagues, despite being picked first or second in almost all drafts. Unfortunately for owners that year, there were multiple signs that things could go south including openly bitter contract negotiations and an adjustment in Johnson’s character. He has never been as exciting since, although albeit still a top 10 back. Five players that you should look to avoid in 2013 include;
5) Matt Forte
Forte has been considered to be a coveted back in most PPR leagues in recent years. Much of the Bears lackluster offense has been run through Forte, but with the regime change in Chicago, Forte’s future is even less certain than it had been before. On one hand Trestman, a renowned quarterback guru, did use his running backs to some degree coaching in the CFL, but the fields are wider and cater to a lot more creative play in the flats.
On top of the doubts regarding what role Trestman sees Forte in, his production slipped last year. Forte posted 1,094 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns, with 4.4 yards per carry. He did catch 44 balls, but only mustered 340 yards, far below the 500 yard seasons that Bears’ fans have come to expect. Forte is still a solid back, but should be no higher than the 10th RB on your list in most formats given his uncertainty.
4) Reggie Bush
The one thing that Reggie Bush always wanted was to be a trusted every down back. He got that in his 2 years at Miami, posting around 1,000 yards and six rushing touchdowns both seasons. Bush is often coveted in PPR formats because of his famed receiving skills. Bush easily could have been converted into a WR upon entering the league and likely would have seen similar success.
Now in Detroit, Bush looks to fill a void in Detroit that has troubled them since the arrival of Stafford. With a new weapon out of the backfield, and the prospect of Bush being involved in Detroit’s pass happy system, many fantasy owners have been left salivating at the thought. In my opinion, Bush will have an average showing in Detroit, putting up numbers similar to those that we have seen in his last two years in Miami.
Bush’s rushing ceiling is apparent. He will never be a 1,500 yard back, and probably will never be a team’s consistent goal line choice, limiting his touchdown numbers. It has always been his receiving potential that has intrigued owners. In Miami, Reggie benefited from playing with rookie QB Tannehill, who was checkdown-happy and looking to minimize risk. Stafford does check down on occasion, but is generally more willing to risk tight throws down field, leaving less opportunity for Bush. I expect Bush to put up 1,000 yards rushing, 5 rushing touchdowns, and 300 yards receiving on 35 catches. If Bush was going to snap in the receiving game we would have seen it in New Orleans.
3) BenJarvus Green-Ellis
BenJarvus Green-Ellis had arguably the 2nd best year of his career last year, rushing for 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns in the much improved Bengals offense. Unfortunately he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry. in 2010, Green-Ellis had more than 1,000 yards and 13 TD’s. It was a great season, but the Patriots inevitably realized that he is best served to be in a platoon and not the feature back. I believe that is the conclusion the Bengals will ultimately come to, and I would look for them to address the running back position in the draft. Green-Ellis is best utilized in goal line situations. In some ways, he reminds me of Michael Bush. Green-Ellis might match or even exceed his touchdown output of last year, but won’t come close to matching the yardage. Put him well out of your top 10 RBs.
2) Josh Freeman
This one hurts, because I really like Freeman as a quarterback and have always felt that he had the potential for serious success in the league. However, it has become clear that the Tampa Bay front office is not completely sold on Freeman. There have been numerous rumors attached to the team bringing in competition this offseason, or even looking to spend an early round pick on a young quarterback to challenge. Freeman did throw for 4,000 yards and 27 Touchdowns last year, which many saw as his breakout season. However, in Freeman’s four years in the league he has thrown 10, 25, 16 and 27 touchdowns. His numbers are wildly inconsistent, and with Vincent Jackson getting a year older, and Doug Martin certain to be the centerpiece of the offense, I would push Freeman out of my top 10 QBs for next season.
1) Brian Hartline
Brian Hartline surprised everyone last year when he was on the receiving end of passes totaling more than 1,000 yards. It was especially surprising given 3 500 yard receiving seasons and underwhelming target numbers. Hartline received twice as many targets last year (128) than he had the year previous (67). Hartline has caught one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. Even with 128 targets, he was rarely targeted in the red zone, and when he was the Dolphins were unsuccessful a disproportionate amount of the time. Hartline’s wild success will probably be a flash in the pan, with Mike Wallace joining the Dolphins’ receiving corps. Avoid Hartline with anything but very late round picks.