Wednesday, June 27, 2012

9 Receivers to Avoid Like the Plague

There is a notable difference between being a good football player and a good fantasy football player. Some of these receivers are good football players, but their success on the field does not mean success in fantasy land; on the other hand, some of these players are neither. This post is a big risky because any receiver can have a miraculously good season at any time (see Steve Smith from last season), and some of these players might end up being top-20 fantasy receivers this season. The goal of this list is to warn owners against their instinct of drafting big-name fantasy receivers late in the draft, when they could be drafting rising stars instead. The trend is that big-name players are overvalued, while no-name players are undervalued. If you see a player like Randy Moss or Santonio Holmes available in the 10th round, there is probably a very good reason for that.

Any 49ers Receiver (ranked 100th, 117th, and 152nd overall) - Respectively, those rankings go to Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, and Randy Moss on a list of all fantasy players. Alex Smith had a good season last year, but definitely NOT for fantasy owners. He accumulated a paltry 3,144 passing yards and 17 passing touchdowns. Spreading those numbers out over 3 receivers and an elite tight end (Vernon Davis), even if you ignore every other player on the team, still means that no one on this team will have fantasy relevance. Vernon Davis is almost certainly worth 750 yards and 5 touchdowns by himself, meaning that the odds of having any of these receivers getting more than 900 yards is nearly unimaginable. Do yourself a favor and don't draft any of these receivers, especially not before the 12th round. Even then, there are much much better options with far less competition.

Laurent Robinson (ranked 130th overall) - Robinson couldn't get 1,000 receiving yards when he was playing with Tony Romo, there is no way he does it with Blaine Gabbert throwing him the ball. Furthermore, he had 4 total touchdowns in the four years before his 11 touchdowns last season. If the Cowboys thought his performance was anything more than an aberration, they would have kept him on their team. I would honeslty be surprised if he did better than 500 yards and 3 touchdowns. There were exactly 0 Jags receivers with over 500 yards last season and no one had more than 3 receiving touchdowns. Expect absolutely nothing from Laurent Robinson this season.

Kevin Walter (ranked 186th overall) - Kevin Walter had his last decent season in 2008, when he had 899 yards and 8 touchdowns (the highest of either statistical category in his career). The 30 year-old could do absolutely nothing last season, and hasn't been fantasy relevant for the past 3 seasons. A computer might end up drafting him, or maybe it will be a Texans fan who doesn't read my blog, but make sure that you aren't the fool drafting this old receiver who wasn't very good at his best.

Steven Breaston (ranked 189th) - Breaston is one of the players who could work his way off this list, but he just doesn't score touchdowns. In the last three seasons, each with over 700 receiving yards, Breaston has only had 6 receiving touchdowns. There is no way he can make a fantasy impact without at least 6 total touchdowns and 900 yards, and I cannot imagine him reaching those numbers. I know he is a big-name guy who has gotten a lot of good press, but he just doesn't improve your fantasy roster. You can do much, much better than Breaston except for in the deepest of leagues.

Nate Washington (ranked 107th overall) - It is almost guaranteed that someone in your league will draft Washington because of his stats last season. Before last season, Washington had never had more than 700 receiving yards in a season, and had never had more than 6 touchdown receptions. Unless Kenny Britt is injured again, don't consider Washington a viable WR for your team. Washington had five consecutive seasons between 400 and 700 receiving yards before becoming borderline-relevant last season. Don't believe anyone who tells you he will have another great season. There is absolutely no reason to believe them, at least not from a statistical perspective.

Anquan Boldin (ranked 91st overall) - I have talked extensively about how consistent Joe Flacco is. I like Boldin as a person and a player, and I believe that he fits the Ravens' scheme perfectly, but he just isn't a good fantasy player. The positives about Boldin are extensive, considering that he is on a streak of 7 consecutive 800+ yard seasons, but he is averaging only 5 touchdowns per season in Baltimore. Boldin is going to be 32 in October, and there is very little upside left for him. The Ravens have been bolstering their receiving corps, and I don't think 850 yards and 5 touchdowns is a good enough projection for a 9th round pick, especially considering that he doesn't seem able to do much better.

Santonio Holmes (ranked 90th overall) - Now this is a complete mystery. At least Boldin has a history of success, but Holmes has only had one good season in his career (1,248 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2009). His two season with the Jets have been an absolute joke, and there is now way he gets more looks with Steven Hill and Tim Tebow on the roster. There is absolutely no reason to draft Holmes. The fact that he is 90th overall is ridiculous. He gets a lot of publicity because he catches the ball to win the game, but that might be the only ball he catches all game. The Jets are not a passing team and Holmes is a possession receiver. He needs more than 50 balls per season to be fantasy relevant.

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