2010 Fantasy Football: Players to Avoid

July 25, 2010.


This is a list of the top 12 players to avoid during your draft this fantasy season. The list goes from 12 to 1, with the No. 1 player being the riskiest.

12. Kenny Britt, WR, Titans.
I want to copy-paste what I wrote in my 2010 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock page:

Kenny Britt struggled against the Cardinals. Britt caught only one pass for eight yards, and drew a delay-of-game penalty by senselessly kicking the ball out of bounds. Based on what I’ve heard from a Titans source, Britt has spent far too much time partying it up this offseason, which was the reason why he was out of shape going into training camp. Stay away from Britt for the time being.

11. Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals.
Todd Haley is stupid. He’s playing Thomas Jones over Jamaal Charles because he’s stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Ken Whisenhunt is not stupid. He knows what he’s doing. There has to be a reason why he’s using Tim Hightower over Chris Wells, and it seems like he just doesn’t trust Wells as a receiver or someone in pass protection.

Even if Wells starts getting the majority of the carries, Arizona’s offense is so crappy that he’s not going to have much room to run. Goal-line opportunities will be scarce. Wells is simply going way too early in most fantasy football drafts because overzealous owners think Kurt Warner’s absence won’t have any effect on Wells’ numbers. It will.

10. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals.
Chad Ochocinco has had a miserable preseason thus far. His best game, his most recent one, he caught two passes for 29 yards, but was responsible for a pair of interceptions. In the other two contests, he was targeted just three times.

Ochocinco has spent way too much time concentrating on his $10 garbage reality TV shows this offseason. He’s definitely not focused on playing football.

9. Owen Daniels, TE, Texans.
There are a lot of worthy starting tight ends this year. I don’t see why someone would spend a pick in the first nine rounds on a player at that position coming off a torn ACL. Daniels should be ready for Week 1, but hasn’t practiced at all. I’d rather have someone safer.

8. Kellen Winslow Jr., TE, Buccaneers.
Kellen Winslow Jr. had 77 catches for 884 yards and five touchdowns in 2009. Could he match or even improve upon that production in 2010? Absolutely.

Unfortunately, there’s a ton of risk involving Winslow. He just had arthroscopic knee surgery, which marks the fifth time in six years that he’s had an operation on his knees. I’d rather draft a safer tight end.

7. Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals.
Carson Palmer has Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Jermaine Gresham and Cedric Benson at his disposal. Many project him to have a big year. I’m not. A multitude of injuries have sapped Palmer of his arm strength, and his passes no longer have any zip. To me, he’s just a borderline QB1. I’d rather have Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford or Ben Roethlisberger (with the four-game suspension) as my fantasy quarterback.

6. Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings.
You’ve drafted Percy Harvin. You’re happy. You’re salivating at the prospect of his potential to turn any play into a touchdown. Now, it’s Week 7. Harvin is having migraine problems again. It’s Sunday morning, and the Vikings have him listed as questionable. Now, it’s Week 8. Harvin didn’t play last week despite the fact that you started him. He’s questionable again. You don’t want to get burnt again, so you sit him. He goes off for 150 yards and two scores. You’re not happy anymore.

5. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams.
I’ve had a few people ask me how I could possibly have Steven Jackson so low in my 2010 Fantasy Football Rankings. My response? Hey, if you want to use a first-round pick on an injury-prone running back coming off back surgery, be my guest.

Make that injury-prone and overworked. Of the top 40 running backs (according to ESPN’s fantasy magazine) no player has more touches in the past four seasons than Jackson, and aside from Thomas Jones, no one else is even close:

Steven Jackson: 1,380
Thomas Jones: 1,337
Frank Gore: 1,250
Adrian Peterson: 999
Joseph Addai: 987

Jackson hasn’t played a full season since 2006, missing nine games in the past three years. He also has a rookie quarterback under center, meaning opposing defenses will once again place eight men in the box. Sam Bradford will likely struggle in his adjustment period this season, so Jackson won’t have many goal-line opportunities. All of the injuries the Rams’ weak offensive line has suffered thus far doesn’t help either.

4. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts.
I think it’s absurd that nearly every publication has Reggie Wayne as a top-four wideout. I have Wayne at No. 12 in my 2010 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings.

Wayne is another declining player. He turns 32 in November – the same age that Torry Holt fell off. Wayne’s knee issues are also a problem.

Meanwhile, the emergence of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie means that there will be less targets to go around. Just look at Wayne’s stat lines from Week 12 on:

at Texans: 3 catches, 19 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Titans: 4 catches, 48 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Broncos: 4 catches, 43 yards. 0 TDs.
at Jaguars: 5 catches, 132 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Jets (2 1/2 quarters): 3 catches, 33 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Ravens (playoffs): 8 catches, 63 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Jets (playoffs): 3 catches, 55 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Saints (Super Bowl): 5 catches, 46 yards. 0 TDs.

Could Wayne prove me wrong and have another big year? Sure – he’s a really talented receiver. However, there are just way too many risks here to warrant a second-round pick.

3. Donald Driver, WR, Packers.
There’s nothing but red flags here. Donald Driver turned 35 in February. Even worse, he had TWO knee surgeries this offseason. Driver has been in and out of practice, and was held out of Green Bay’s second preseason game (though he played well in the first).

Driver’s production was already slipping at the end of the 2009 season. Check out his final six stat lines:

vs. Ravens: 3 catches, 31 yards. 1 TD.
at Bears: 2 catches, 11 yards. 0 TDs.
at Steelers: 3 catches, 76 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Seahawks: 3 catches, 33 yards. 0 TDs.
at Cardinals: 6 catches, 65 yards. 0 TDs.
at Cardinals (playoffs): 4 catches, 43 yards. 0 TDs.

Driver’s troublesome knees helped explain that poor production, but the emergence of Jermichael Finley can’t be ignored as another reason for the late-season dropoff. And given the fact that he’s 35 and coming off two knee surgeries, there’s a good chance Driver will have similar problems toward the end of the 2010 campaign.

2. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots.
What I wrote about Julian Edelman in my recently updated 2010 Fantasy Football – High-Upside Late-Round Sleepers article adversely applies to Wes Welker:

Julian Edelman was awesome in the Patriots’ preseason opener, catching six balls for 90 yards. He stood on the sidelines as Wes Welker started the following week. However, I really feel like Welker is coming back way too early from the gruesome knee injury he suffered in the 2009 finale. I have to think that Welker will re-injure himself. If that happens, you’ll want Edelman in your fantasy lineup.

1. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks.
A sports hernia doesn’t sound as serious as a torn ACL, but they frequently reoccur if a player doesn’t rest as much as he should. We saw it ruin Donovan McNabb in 2005 and Jammal Brown last year.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh had sports hernia surgery in April, which is a major red flag. There’s a very good chance he’ll miss a ton of action in 2010. Oh, and don’t forget that he turns 33 in late September and still doesn’t have a reliable quarterback throwing to him.

Some are buying Houshmandzadeh low after his disappointing 2009 season. Don’t fall into that trap. “T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Championship!” – of the consolation bracket.

More 2010 Fantasy Football Articles:
2010 Fantasy Football: Home

2010 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2010 Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings - 1/5 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Week 17 Fantasy Rankings - 1/2 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 8/31 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 6/6 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/6 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 7/3 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/7 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 7/14 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/31 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 7/20 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/10 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/11 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Auction Values - 9/2 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Defensive Linemen - 8/3 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Linebackers - 8/7 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Defensive Backs - 8/14 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Team-by-Team - 6/7 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Dynasty Rookie Rankings - 4/30 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Rookie Rankings - 4/29 (Walt)

2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 Traditional - 9/6 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 PPR - 9/6 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 150 Touchdown League - 9/6 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Downloadable Spreadsheets - 9/7 (Walt)

2010 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2010 Fantasy Football Draft: WF.com Free League - 9/7 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real Traditional Draft - 9/1 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real PPR Draft - 8/26 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real PPR Draft - 8/18 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Real Experts PPR Draft - 8/12 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft - 8/12 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Pros vs. Joes - 7/28 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR Draft with AKA - 7/20 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Mocking ESPN's Fantasy Mock Draft - 7/7 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: The Four-Man PPR Fantasy Draft - 7/1 (Walt)

2010 Fantasy Football Articles:
2010 Fantasy Football Injury Reports: Week 17 - 1/2 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Start Em, Sit Em - 12/29 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Add/Drop - 12/20 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Stock Index - Week 8 - 10/29 (John)
2010 Fantasy Football Buffet: Week 8 - 10/28 (Steve)
2010 Fantasy Football Stock - 9/7 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 9/3 (Walt)
2010 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 9/3 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: High-Upside Late-Round Sleepers - 8/25 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Top 12 Players to Avoid - 8/25 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Undervalued Players - 8/13 (John)
2010 Fantasy Football: Buy Low - 8/6 (Walt)
ESPN's 2010 Fantasy Football Magazine Errors - 8/3 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Defense Strategy - 8/2 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: My Round-by-Round Strategy - 7/27 (Walt)
Lack of 2010 Fantasy Depth: Blame the 2008 NFL Draft Class - 7/26 (John)
2010 Fantasy Football: Why You Should Pass on Chris Johnson - 7/14 (John)
2010 Fantasy Football: Draft Strategies - 7/13 (John)
2010 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Scarcity - 6/30 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Late-Round) - 6/2 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Mid-Round) - 6/1 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Busts - 5/31 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football Mailbag - 5/29 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks with New Receivers - 5/1 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: 2010 NFL Draft Stock Up - 4/29 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: 2010 NFL Draft Stock Down - 4/29 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Free Agency Stock Up - 4/15 (Walt)
2010 Fantasy Football: Free Agency Stock Down - 4/12 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 4/10 (Walt)

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12