Identify players to stay far away from on draft day

Aug 28, 2012 3:04 AM

Last week we discussed the importance of identifying players who are currently being undervalued by the fantasy football market. These guys play a crucial role in the pursuit of fantasy glory because they are capable of delivering consistent production at an excellent price.

But there’s also a darker, more terrifying type of draft pick and that’s the one in which you spend a pretty penny to acquire a player who will come nowhere near justifying his price tag during the regular season.

These players can sink a fantasy team faster than Usain Bolt can run the 100 meters because owners are often reluctant to part ways with a guy they drafted in the second or third round.

With that in mind, let’s identify the players you should be staying far away from on draft day:

Frank Gore RB, 49ers: He’s 29 and has only played one full 16-game season in the last five years. Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James were added to a depth chart that already includes Kendall Hunter so the Niners have the ability to use a running back-by-committee approach this season. Between his injury history and predicted drop in rushing attempts, Gore isn’t worth the second or third round price tag.

Jordy Nelson WR, Packers: Nelson will put up solid numbers this year, but he won’t come close to the breakout season he posted in 2011. Remember, this guy scored five of his 15 touchdowns during the final two weeks of the 2011 season, which just so happened to coincide with Greg Jennings’ absence from the lineup. Owners are overpaying for Nelson this summer based on what he did last year, as opposed to looking ahead to what he will do this season.

Kenny Britt WR, Titans: He’s had eight run-ins with the law since joining the league in 2009 – his most recent of which will likely lead to a suspension during the 2012 regular season – and has undergone three knee surgeries in the last year. Does this sound like a guy with upside to you?

Steven Jackson RB, Rams: Like Frank Gore, Jackson is in the twilight of his career. Not only that, but the Pro Bowl running back watched new head coach Jeff Fisher spend a second round selection on Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead this past April. Throw in a detailed injury history and you can see why we feel a second round price tag is just too expensive for a player on a bad offense like Jackson.

Reggie Bush RB, Dolphins: The offense features a rookie quarterback and one of the most unimpressive wide receiving units in the league, so it won’t come as a surprise to anyone when the Dolphins struggle to score points this season. Bush has been in the NFL for six years and has eclipsed 580 rushing yards in a campaign just one time. He’s going to disappoint a lot of owners in 2012.

Sidney Rice WR, Seahawks: Let me ask you a question: If Pete Carroll and the Seahawks were so confident in their $41 million wideout, why did they spend the month of August kicking the tires on Braylon Edwards, Terrell Owens and Antonio Bryant? The nagging shoulder injuries make for another reason why you should just say no to Rice this year.

Joe Fortenbaugh, worked as an NFL Agent from 2003-2006 at JB Sports, Inc. Follow Joe on Twitter @joefortenbaugh,  and check out his website at NationalFootballPost.com. You can reach him at Joe­[email protected]