There will be many more 2012 Fantasy Football Rankings and features in the late spring and summer, including tons of 2012 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts and Player Rankings. I'll also have an extensive 2012 NFL Fantasy Football Preseason Stock Report.
2012 Fantasy Football - Busts (June 5):
This is a list of 2012 fantasy football busts - overrated players who won't perform up to expectations.
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos. Bye: 7.
Peyton Manning is a very risky fantasy player. On one hand, if he's close to 100 percent, he'll be a steal in Round 4 or 5, or wherever he goes. If he's not, he'll be a wasted, early-round pick.
I wouldn't trust Manning enough to take him in the first five rounds. He's had multiple neck procedures, and he already showed signs of erosion in 2010. He also has a brand-new supporting cast that he has to get used to.
QB Eagles No. 7, QB, Eagles. Bye: 7.
Philadelphia's quarterback is always very overrated. The Monday night game against the Redskins in 2010 caused everyone to overreact to what they witnessed on national TV. He predictably struggled in 2011, throwing nearly as many interceptions (14) as touchdowns (18).
I would not want this guy on my fantasy team - and not because I don't want to root for him. He's a lock to miss 3-4 games per year and be iffy for 3-4 other contests. Also, he'll be 32 in June, which would explain why he failed to carry the ball 100-plus times in a season in which he played in 12-plus games for the first time ever. His rushing numbers will continue to drop as his running ability erodes. Stay away.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars. Bye: 6.
I loved the grit and effort Maurice Jones-Drew showed in 2011 despite the glaring lack of talent he had surrounding him on offense. Unfortunately, it came at a price. Jones-Drew topped the NFL in carries last season. If you didn't know, running backs who lead the league in carries usually struggle the following year.
Making matters worse, Jones-Drew is holding out for a new contract. As you may have seen me write, players who hold out tend to disappoint. Not always, but more often than not.
Steven Jackson, RB, Rams. Bye: 9.
Steven Jackson is only 29 years old, but it's time to really start worrying about his durability. He has hit the 2,100-carry mark - the number in which most NFL running backs begin to rapidly decline. Jackson has been given 290-plus touches in six out of the past seven seasons. It's highly probable that he'll show major signs of regression in 2012.
Matt Forte, RB, Bears. Bye: 6.
Matt Forte is holding out for a contract after being franchised. That's not good news, considering that running backs have a dubious track record in such a situation. See Johnson, Chris. Also keep in mind that the Bears brought in Michael Bush to steal Forte's goal-line carries.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings. Bye: 11.
Some bad news for Adrian Peterson: Vikings' head athletic trainer Eric Sugerman told the media not to expect Peterson to be ready for Week 1. Peterson tore his ACL and MCL in the final game of the 2011 season, so it would be stunning to me if he were ready before October. Even if he does play, there's no guarantee that he'll be anywhere close to 100 percent. He may also try to come back earlier than recommended and re-injure himself. I'd avoid Peterson because he's likely to be overdrafted by an overeager fantasy owner willing to take a chance.
Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos. Bye: 7.
The good news for Willis McGahee is that Tim Tebow's absence will allow him to reclaim the role as the goal-line back. The bad news is that McGahee won't have as much running room without Tebow because opponents will no longer have to worry about the quarterback running around. Even worse, McGahee turns 31 in October, so he's not exactly the spry, young runner he once was. He'll probably be overvalued in drafts, so I would avoid him unless he fell to a reasonable round.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs. Bye: 7.
Dwayne Bowe somehow managed to catch 81 passes for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns despite the fact that Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton were throwing to him for half the year. Matt Cassel will be back, so that's a plus. The problem is that Bowe is threatening to hold out because he doesn't want to sign his franchise tender. Players who hold out usually struggle, so be careful.
Marques Colston, WR, Saints. Bye: 6.
Marques Colston just signed a 5-year, $40 million contract with $19 million guaranteed. Colston has exceeded the 1,000-yard mark in five of his six NFL seasons, so it was well deserved. Unfortunately, Colston, like all of the other Saint players, could have a down year because of the whole Bountygate scandal.
Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers. Bye: 4.
Mike Wallace is holding out for a long-term contract - he apparently wants Larry Fitzgerald-type money - which is definitely not a good sign, as I've noted already. Unless Wallace agrees to terms sometime soon, I'd stay away.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers. Bye: 5.
Like Sidney Rice a year ago, Vincent Jackson showed very little regard for his career and instead chased the money to a location with mediocre (or worse) quarterback play. I'd stay away from Jackson unless he somehow really falls in your fantasy draft. He doesn't care about football very much, so counting on him to win fantasy games would be a mistake.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles. Bye: 7.
DeSean Jackson suffered a monstrous hit in a Thursday night battle against the Texans during the 2010 season. Ever since then, he's had only three games in which he's topped 100 yards. Aside from being very overrated, Jackson is way too brittle. Let someone else spend an early pick on him.
Mario Manningham, WR, 49ers. Bye: 9.
Mario Manningham was a cheap signing for the 49ers, so he didn't exactly chase the money like some other free agents. However, he'll be in a new offense catching passes from a far inferior quarterback. It makes you wonder why he didn't just re-sign with the Giants.
Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers. Bye: 5.
We reported that Mike Williams slacked off in 2011. He didn't care about being in shape and often fell asleep in team meetings. Of course, you just had to watch him play to know that; he couldn't get any sort of separation. Williams clearly doesn't take football seriously, so I would not buy him as a bounce-back candidate.
Nate Washington, WR, Titans. Bye: 11.
Nate Washington somehow tallied 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns last year, but don't expect him to come close to that figure in 2012. Kenny Britt will be back, rookie Kendall Wright will command playing time, and young wideout Damian Williams will be on the field more often. Washington will probably be overdrafted in your league because of his 2011 numbers, so stay away unless he really falls.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Jaguars. Bye: 6.
Laurent Robinson has no aspirations to be a great football player. He could have stayed in Dallas and posted impressive numbers with Tony Romo. Instead, he chased a big signing bonus and will consequently rot in Jacksonville.
Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars. Bye: 6.
Marcedes Lewis devastated his fantasy owners last year, as he failed to find the end zone after scoring 10 times in 2010. This was not a coincidence; Lewis, a perennial underachiever, was happy with his new, big contract. It also didn't help that Blaine Gabbert was throwing the ball to him.