We got all this talk surrounding fantasy football sleepers, rankings and good old fashion fantasy football advice, but we've seemingly forgotten about those players and/or situations you should avoid in 2012. Knowing who to stay away from in fantasy is just as important as knowing who could potentially be the "next big thing", and while there is a bevy of obvious players no one is going to even consider, there are a few others that you might be on the fence with. Perhaps I have one of those players listed here today, but to find out, you're gonna have to read further.
Dwayne Bowe - WR - Kansas City: I don't see Bowe doing anything for fantasy owners this season, yet many still hope he can recapture his 2009 season where he caught 72 balls for 1,162 yards and 15 TDs—ain't gonna happen. I'd love to extend the olive branch here, but the fact is he's already up in arms about playing under the franchise tag, and it appears that the Chiefs are ready to move on after this season. WR Jon Baldwin has been absolutely spectacular thus far, and it is conceivable that Baldwin winds up the primary receiver in an offensive system that is also slated to use more two-TE lineups.
Projected Stats: 65 catches, 780 yards, 5 TDs - nothing more than decent TE numbers, not worth his current 5th round projection.
Greg Little - WR - Cleveland Browns: The Browns are simply a mess, and Greg Little is about as reliable as a Volkwagon Passat. Brandon Weeden was just abruptly given the keys to the offense with Colt McCoy relenting to the fact and the organization can't seem to get anyone signed—including Weeden who is expected to holdout...ya know the same guy who is supposed to be throwing the damn ball. Greg Little on the other hand was the third worst receiver in the league in regard to dropped balls, and if the apparent starting quarterback is expected to hold out, how does anyone figure this guy to improve? This is simply a situation to avoid altogether, and this is a player who is bound to be a bust in 2012.
Projected Stats: 60 catches, 652 yards, 2 TDs
Marshawn Lynch - RB - Seattle Seahawks: I really can't see Lynch putting in another season like he did in 2011, and for his price ( a projected third round selection????) I'll kindly say no thanks. I mean really, does anyone see lightning striking twice here? The other worry I have is the fact that the guy recently was arrested for DUI which is one of seven player arrests in just about a month (as it stands today 7/24) so I don't see the league turning the other cheek on this one either which could mean a possible suspension. Too much risk, too rich of an asking price with no guarantee. I smell a bust.
Projected Stats: 205 carries, 799.5 yards, 5 TD
20 receptions, 160 yards, 0 TDs
Blaine Gabbert - QB - Jacksonville Jaguars: Here's a piece of history for you. Almost ZERO QBs from Missouri wind up making it in the NFL, and I do not see Blaine Gabbert becoming the exception to the rule here. It isn't bad enough that the guy looked like a deer in headlights under center last season or that he only completed just above 50% of his passes, but the organization retooled the staff, and now the kid has to learn an entirely new system? I would've loved to have been in that board meeting. They're asking Gabbert to start over, and he failed miserably his first time around the May Pole—he was set up for a bust months ago.
Projected Stats: 271/521 (52.0%), 2,441 yards, 14 TDs, 14 INTs
The Oakland Raiders TE Situation
If there's anyone out there who winds up considering a TE out of Oakland at the tail end of their draft, look elsewhere. The Raiders are going to primarily feature a three wide set with some very talented receivers, and they are hoping to keep RB Darren McFadden healthy for 16 games because if they do, he'll prove he is that talented. The expected starting TE is Brandon Myers who is actually the team's blocking specialist. The Raiders are figured to use the TE more as extra protection for QB Carson Palmer than a passing weapon, and they are also expected to rotate up to three different TEs this season in any one given game. For what it's worth, the strategy is very sound, but the situation is one that fantasy owners shouldn't even remotely consider.
If you have a specific question regarding a player or situation that you're on the fence with, let me know below...it's OK, don't be shy.