When I go into my draft, I have names that I draft only if they fall considerably from their average draft position. I’ve compiled a list of five that I have as I go into my drafts, and you should take a long look before taking any of these players yourself.
5) Trent Richardson
In his first preseason game, Trent looked like he did a year ago, which was awful. Richardson was a top 10 fantasy back two seasons ago but last season was traded from Cleveland to Indianapolis for a first round pick. He is hesitant in his cuts between the tackles, injury prone and the Colts love to throw it in the red zone with their star QB Andrew Luck. I wouldn’t waste a fourth or fifth round pick on him.
4) Marshawn Lynch
His carries were over 400 last year, and backs that take that kind of toll usually don’t follow it up with a great season. I see them lessening his load this season, as they have a perfectly capable #2 in Christine Michael. The Seahawks are coming off a championship but play in a beast of a division that includes a Super Bowl favorite in San Francisco, an up and coming team with a veteran QB in the Cardinals and a team with a nasty defense in St. Louis. I’d pass on Lynch at his first or second round price.
3) Andre Johnson
The Texans QB is muddled, at best. Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to be the leader in the clubhouse to grab the starting reins, and that’s not a good thing. Johnson has been making noise about wanting out, but that’s unlikely at best. Think about it for a second – while an elite talent, he has just 11 combined TD’s the past three seasons due to injuries, bad QB, etc. I’d let someone else overpay for him on name recognition alone.
2) Cam Newton
Last year, everything came up roses for the Panthers.
This year, I’m not high on the prospect of them repeating their success. Even if rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State is a instant hit, their WR corps isn’t deep and has a pair of aging vets in Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery taking on decent sized roles.
All-pro tackle Jordan Gross has retired and their schedule is extremely difficult this season. I’ll pass for a QB like a Nick Foles or an Andrew Luck, both of whom you can get after he goes in your draft.
1) Rob Gronkowski
Don’t get me wrong – I love Gronkowski the player. Actually, Gronk the person is awesome too. Between the white lines, however, he’s only played 18 of the Patriots last 32 regular season games. He’s a TD machine, ranking in a tie for fourth for receiving TD’s the past three seasons even though he missed a ton of time, but there are too many red flags for me. I don’t trust Brady (who is starting to slow down just a tick) and he’s not even 100% to play week one. Pass on him for a Julius Thomas or a Vernon Davis after Graham goes off the board.