2005 Fantasy Football IDP Busts
by Vin Sadicario
The following list is a collection of individual defensive players who will be overvalued in fantasy drafts and auctions in 2005. Some of the following players will be busts because of team changes, some due to position changes, and some due to injury concerns. These players will not live up to expectations in the 2005 season.
D.J. Williams, Linebacker, Denver
Rookie standout D.J. Williams will have a hard time improving upon or even matching his stats from last season. Williams is a promising young player, but a switch in positions will lead to a decline in tackles this season. Williams will be moving to strong-side linebacker with the signing of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ian Gold. Williams totaled 114 tackles last season as a rookie, but he will struggle to eclipse 100 this season on the strong-side. Many people will overrate Williams on draft day because of his age and ability, but you should let Williams slide due to the position change. Watch the situation closely as Williams value would be higher if Gold is injured or Williams is moved back to weak-side linebacker.
Takeo Spikes, Linebacker, Buffalo
Takeo Spikes is a big name linebacker who will not live up to high expectations this season. Last season was the first time in his seven year career that Spikes failed to reach 100 tackles, finishing with only 96, a drop off of 30 from 2003. Spikes finished last season with 96 tackles, 3 sacks, and a career high 5 interceptions. Spikes numbers should continue to decline, especially in the interception category where he had averaged only 1 in his first 6 seasons. Spikes' name is mentioned along with the leagues top linebackers, but his production is starting to fall off, and I would recommend avoiding him in your drafts.
Keith Brooking, Linebacker, Atlanta
Another big name linebacker who fell short of expectations last season was Keith Brooking. After averaging about 140 tackles per season from 2001-2003, Brooking finished with a disappointing 101 tackles. Even further diminishing his value this year is the addition of linebacker Edgerton Hartwell to the Atlanta Falcons. Hartwell will steal some of Brookings tackles, making it difficult for Brooking to reach 100 for the fifth straight season. Brooking will probably fail to record three interceptions as he did last season, making him a disappointment in 2005. Brooking is still a useful linebacker for fantasy teams, but he is no longer the top flight linebacker he was a few years ago.
Kendrell Bell, Linebacker, Kansas City
Kendrell Bell has a new home in Kansas City, but he will need to stay healthy to have an impact in 2005. Bell has tremendous potential, but has not been able to put his talents together on the field. Bell had a great rookie season in 2001, took a step back in 2002, returned to form in 2003, and had an injury plagued 2004 campaign. This season will see Bell with a new team and a new position. After spending three seasons with the Steelers, Bell signed a free agent deal with the Chiefs. The Chiefs plan to use Bell as an outside linebacker instead of in the middle because of his injury problems. The move to outside linebacker hurts Bell's chances at having a great season. The bigger problem for Bell is staying healthy. Bell played in only three games last season, and has already been held out of Chiefs minicamp with a groin injury. Kendrell has too many question marks surrounding him to make a big impact this season.
Simeon Rice, Defensive End, Tampa Bay
Simeon Rice is another big name player who is on the downside of a great career. Since joining the Bucs in 2001, Rice has been one of the top five defensive ends in football. Rice, however, saw a pretty big drop off in his numbers in 2004. Averaging 50 tackles, 15 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles from 2002-2003, Rice saw his numbers fall to 40 tackles, 12 sacks, and one forced fumble. Rice is entering his tenth NFL season and he may never have another year like 2002 or 2003. Rice will probably reach double digit sacks, and have around 40 tackles, but he is no longer a top defensive end. Rice may fall out of the top 10-15 defensive ends this season.
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2005 Fantasy Football WR Busts
by Chris Weeks
It's time to pull out those draft boards and move some of those wide receivers and tight ends down the list. Some of these guys had a pretty good year last season. Some of these guys are players people expect to have a really good season this year. I on the other hand think these guys will perform at or below the league average. If you can grab some of these guys late in the draft by all means go for it. Just don't make these guys your starters, as their numbers won't be good enough to carry your team to the super bowl.
Laveranues Coles, New York Jets
Coles is back for a second go with the Jets. In 2002 Coles had the best year of his career. I think it was because he was in a contract year and he needed to show the rest of the league what he could do. Since that time he's been on and off the injury list with a nagging toe. Playing along side Coles this year will be Justin McCareins. Many thought McCareins would be the Jets best receiver last year. While McCareins didn't have a bad season he isn't a threat. Because of that Coles will continue to draw double coverage and Pennington who can't throw the deep ball will have problems finding him.
Plaxico Burress, New York Giants
The newest addition to the Giants offense this off-season was Plaxico Burress. You're probably wondering how I can put Burress on this list. The reason is quite simple. Many believe Burress will return to his 2001 & 2002 form. I on the other hand believe his 2003 & 2004 stats are more in line with what we should expect. Part of the reason I think this is the case is Burress played with a young QB last year and only posted 700 yards and 5 TD's. Again this season he'll be playing with second year QB Eli Manning.
Nate Burleson, Minnesota
Nobody on the Vikings will miss Moss more than Nate Burleson. With Moss out of the picture Burleson moves in to number one. While Williamson may lighten the load a little it won't be enough. Williamson is a rookie and until he proves himself opposing defenses will double Burleson. To top it all off Burleson lost a lot of touches in the red zone last season to the bigger receivers Moss and Robinson. I'd expect much of the same this season. Williamson is a big your receiver with great hands and Robinson is the man over the middle. I don't think Burleson will have a terrible year, I just don't think he'll post numbers great numbers. In a 12-team league I'd have him on the bench as a bye week backup.
Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay
The sophomore jinx exists for a reason. It's not because Clayton's 2004 season was a fluke and he's coming back to earth in 2005. It's because Clayton was the most productive rookie receiver in 2004. Now that teams know what he's capable of they'll pay more attention to the guy. Drawing most of the double coverage this season and the lack of a quality QB are the reasons Clayton's numbers drop this year. Keep an eye on this guy though. He'll be back in 2006 as a top 10 receiver.
Peerless Price, Atlanta
This is going to be the year Price posts numbers like he did in 2002 with the Bills right? I don't think so. In 2003 Price played the majority of the season without Vick and that's why his numbers were down. If that was the excuse in 2003 then what's the excuse for the horrible numbers in 2004? Vick was there all year and Price had the worst year of his career next to his rookie season. The Falcons offense isn't built like Colts. They don't have a quarterback who likes to sit in the pocket and hit his receivers. Vick likes to get out in the open and create with his legs. Until Vick proves he can sit in the pocket and hit his receivers on a consistent basis I'd stay away from all Falcons receivers.
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2005 Fantasy Football TE Busts
by Chris Weeks
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta
The main reason I have Crumpler on this list is because he's coming off the best year of his career. Last season Alge caught 48 balls for 774 yards and 6 TD's. That's some pretty good numbers for a TE. This season I expect defenses to pay more attention to him and make Vick prove he can hit the receivers. This year I'd expect around 40 receptions for 500 yards and 4 TD's. While these aren't bad numbers they're just not as good as last year and that's why he's on the list.
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis
Finding a tight end that you think will have a down year is difficult. Clark didn't have a great year in 2004. With 25 receptions for 423 yards and 5 TD's his numbers were respectable for TE's. So how can I put him on this list? The reason I have him on the list is Payton Manning. Payton likes to open up the field. He likes to throw the deep ball and keep opposing defenses on their heels. Dropping the ball off to the TE isn't one of Manning's favorite things to do. While I don't expect his numbers to drop I also don't expect them to be great.
Doug Jolley, New York Jets
I started out with the Jets so I'm going to end with them. The Jets traded their first round draft pick this year for veteran TE Doug Jolley. What on earth were they thinking? They could have kept Becht and drafted Miller. Jolley is marginally better than Becht and in the long run will be nowhere near as good as Miller. Don't get me wrong I think Doug is a descent TE. But he's never going to be one of the leagues elite. If Jolley has 30 receptions for 400 yards and 2 TD's this season I'd be surprised.
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2005 Fantasy Football RB Busts
by Brian Murphy
Good fantasy running backs are like fancy sports cars: Getting one will cost you a pretty penny. And no matter if you are rolling on 22" rims with four monitors in the back, if those horses under the hood break down, you are screwed. So, I am here to help you spend your money (or draft picks) wisely. In no particular order, here are some stallions of the gridiron that you should shy away from on draft day.
Curtis Martin, NY Jets: To plainly state the extremely obvious, it is very unusual for any NFL running back to follow up the worst season of his decade-long career with his best season. Even more, these players are not supposed to set a personal record for carries in a season at the age of 31. But, this is exactly what Curtis Martin accomplished in 2004. For a guy who was selected in the third or fourth round of many drafts last year, it just goes to show how underrated this guy really is�and I am not going to change that at all. Part of me says that 2004 was a pretty big fluke year for Martin. I like to compare it to a devastating earthquake. It comes without warning and causes massive destruction. But, after a minute, it will stop and everything will begin to return to normal. Now at 32, I just do not see Martin putting up another awesome year, especially after he toted the rock a career-high 371 times. And that does not even include the 41 passes that Martin hauled in. This type of workload usually means bad things for the player in the following season and that brings up the following study: There were 24 occasions where a running back carried the ball at least 370 times in a single season up through 2003. In 14 of those cases, the player's production noticeably dropped off the next year. And one of those 24 cases was Ricky Williams' 392 carries in 2003 and we do not know what he did the following season because he "retired." Also, Eric Dickerson falls into his own category. He is responsible for four of those 24 seasons and in every one, he did the same or better in the following year. That is just not realistic. Without those five cases, that is a 74% chance (14/19) where Martin's numbers will see some sort of visible drop off in 2005. They say the numbers never lie.
Michael Bennett, Minnesota: By now, we should never be caught off guard by anything in Minnesota. As expected, on Tuesday, the NFL officially suspended Bennett's backup, Onterrio Smith, for the entire 2005 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy for the third time. As expected, head coach Mike Tice named Bennett as the Vikings' starting running back for the upcoming season. And in a few months, there will be another event that shouldn't shock you: Bennett limping off the Metrodome turf. Bennett has sprinter speed, but he seems to get injured just as quickly. Since his Pro Bowl season in 2002, Bennett has missed 13 games in two seasons with an assortment of knee and foot ailments. And in the rare occasion that he can play, Bennett is not worth the 3rd or 4th round pick he is being used for in most drafts. In those other 19 games, Bennett has gathered under 1,100 total yards with just four TDs. If/when Bennett does break another bone in his foot and has to have surgery, look for Mewelde Moore to fill in, a very good dual-purpose back. While he should not be picked before Bennett in drafts (Michael IS the starter right now, of course), I would not be surprised to see Mewelde put up the better numbers of the two RBs by the end of the season.
Chris Brown, Tennessee: Here is another running back who is as fragile as a spider's web. Brown began to make Titan fans forget about Eddie George quickly in 2004. In his first five games, the Colorado alum hit the 100-yard mark four times and also notched his first four career touchdowns. But, after the season's first half, Brown only played in three games for the rest of the year because of reoccurring bouts of turf toe. This came after struggling with a sprained ankle and a strained hamstring in his rookie year of 2003. And just a couple of weeks ago, Brown fractured his right hand on a teammate's helmet during a mini-camp drill. At this rate, the man will be in a body cast by 27. Scouts have worried that Brown's up-and-down running style would leave his body prone to big hits and consequently, big injuries. Well, nothing truly severe yet, but this could be a precursor to something worse. With the constant injuries and the rumors that the Titans are very interested in Travis Henry, I would much rather go with someone like LaMont Jordan or Tatum Bell as my second RB over this ticking time bomb.
Brian Westbrook, Eagles: Last preseason, as soon as Correll Buckhalter was lost for the entire season with a torn right patella tendon, Westbrook's value skyrocketed. Without Buckhalter, there would be no platoon. Brian would take all the carries. Thus, Westbrook became a very likable 2nd running back and he ended up rewarding his owners with a career-high in total yards. From weeks 10 through 15, Westbrook was arguably the best fantasy RB around. But, it is a new year, patella tendons do heal with surgery and Buckhalter is back in the mix in Philly. What does this mean? At 5'10", 205 pounds, Westbrook is not a prototypical NFL back. His small frame makes him vulnerable to injuries. Of course, the Eagles know this and that is where Buckhalter enters. Twenty pounds bigger than Westbrook, Buckhalter is a change of pace back that helps keep Westbrook fresh. Most importantly, Buckhalter will most likely handle the goal line touches, stealing all those valuable TDs from Westbrook. And this might be might be more than a two-man job. Offensive coordinator Brad Childress said earlier this week that rookie Ryan Moats may play a sizeable role in the offense, depending on how fast Moats learns the system. Brian is still a respectable 2nd back in most leagues because he is such an accomplished pass catcher, but the backfield is getting crowded quickly. I would not expect another 1,500 yard season from Brian and 9 TDs may be a little too much to ask for as well.
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville: I was reading some material on Freddie today and I was a little stunned to learn that he is only 29 years old. I do not think I am alone here. With as many injuries as Taylor has been though, I just assumed he was already in his mid-thirties. In the fall, there were certain events that we just wrote off as automatic. They were part of the universe's heartbeat. The foliage changes color. Schools re-open. Fred Taylor's body disintegrates. It was expected. But, to his credit, Taylor had been working off the "Fragile Freddy" moniker. In the past three seasons, Taylor played in all but two games and he was starting to look like a solid #2 fantasy back. Then, his touchdown total plummeted in 2004 and now it seems that Taylor is up to his old tricks. Back in January, Taylor underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to fix the left MCL that he tore at the end of last season. At first, he would be out a couple months. Then, we heard he wouldn't be back until June at the earliest. Now, there are whispers that Taylor's entire season may be in jeopardy. Knowing his history and his penchant for getting hurt, I have a really hard time figuring why people are still taking him in the 3rd round, on average, .in 12-team mock drafts, according to antsports.com. This is a guy that I would avoid at all costs. If anything else, take a look at LaBrandon Toefield later on in the draft. He would be Taylor's main back up and the Jags' offensive coordinator Carl Smith really likes him.
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Friday, June 10 2005 @ 05:07 PM CDT
2005 Fantasy Football QB Busts
by Daniel Kalles
Which Quarterback and when to draft one are always hard decisions to make. As I said in my article on Quarterback sleepers, I don't think there is a need to jump the gun and take a QB early, but if you must then here are a few that you might want to stay away from if you feel you need to draft one.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
If any QB has bust written all over him its Big Ben. Ben didn't start the season as the number #1 QB, but once he got the job he never looked back. He had a great season, with the Steelers being the surprise team of the year and finishing the regular season at 15-1. He took his team all the way to the conference championship game where he lost for the first time all year. While I think Ben will have a successful career and season, I think he will definitely come back to orbit and he will not be worth the high draft pick someone will spend on him. There are a couple of things going against him to start the year, #1 being the loss of Plaxico Buress. While Buress has been anything but consistent over his career, he seemed to have good chemistry with Ben, and he was the deep threat that helped open up the offense and make sure the defense couldn't double team Hines Ward. With Burress leaving for the Giants, Antwan Randel-El will have to pick up the slack and I'm not convinced he is an every down WR. The Pittsburgh offense has always been built around a strong running game, and I'm just not sure how good it will be this year. Duce Staley has had injuries problems all his career, and Jerome Bettis is a year older. If Duce goes down again this year (highly likely), and Bettis isn't the beast he was last year, defenses will be all over Ben. With all this said, I would look to get Ben late in the draft or let someone else make the mistake of taking him early.
Aaron Brooks, New Orleans
Aaron Brooks has all the talent to be a top notch QB; he just doesn't have the head. One game he looks like Donovan Mcnabb and the next he looks like a cross between Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith. Brooks will definitely put up some big games for you with his arm and legs, but will also have some really bad games. The problem is I don't think Brooks has been surrounded by very much talent. While Joe Horn and Deuce Mcallister are pro bowl players, they are lacking any depth behind Deuce and no other WR to help Horn. Horn isn't getting any younger, and while every year we think this is the one when he will finally take a step back he still plays well. I think his time has finally come. The Saints drafted Donte Stallworth in the first round to take over for Horn, but all he has been is a huge disappointment. Everyone keeps saying he will break out, but he has had very few productive games and far to many where he wasn't even noticed. After Stallworth it gets even worse. So if you add the lack of playmakers and depth with Brooks's inability to control a game, that leaves us with a QB who should not be drafted very high.
Dante Culpepper, Minnesota
I know many of you will be shocked to see this name on the list. I also know all about the numbers Culpepper put up when Randy Moss was injured last year. But after the year that he had last year and the numbers he put up, I think he will most definitely be chosen too early this year. While the Vikings made some great off-season moves to shore up their weak defense, they didn't do much to add to their offense. To start they lost Moss, the best and most dominate WR in football history this side of Jerry Rice. What he did for the offense wasn't only big catches and TD's, it was the attention he took away from other players. The big free agent WR acquisition to replace Moss was Travis Taylor? need I say more? While Nate Burleson emerged as a solid WR last year, no one is sure if he can carry the load of being a #1 WR. They drafted Troy Williamson with their #1 pick in this year's draft. While we all know how fast he is, no one knows what he is capable of in the NFL. To make matters worse, the running game is a mess, Michael Bennett hasn't regained the form that made him a 1000 yard rusher and Onterrio Smith is to busy figuring out how the Whizzanator works to be counted on (that's if he isn't suspended for the season). Despite all the talent the Vikings have in the backfield, it doesn't seem that they can find one back they can trust who can make it through the season without suspension or injury. All these things seem to me to be too much to draft Culpepper in the top 2 rounds.
Brett Favre, Green Bay
Now please everyone don't jump on my back at once. Let me begin by saying that the last time bust and Brett Favre were mentioned in the same sentence was sometime in 1991 while with the Falcons. Putting Favre in this category has very little to do with Brett himself, he is coming off a fantastic year where once again he played all 16 games and he passed for the 4th highest yardage total of his career. The reason I have placed him in the bust category is because of the team that surrounds him and where people think to draft him. The offensive line lost a couple of starters and center Mike Flanagan is coming off major surgery. Ahman Green wasn't the same RB he was 2 years ago, and the loss of O-lineman wont help. Javon Walker had an amazing season but he is a hold out. Donald Driver had a big season, but he has never put together 2 productive seasons in a row and he is not getting any younger. Speaking of age, Favre will be 36 by the time the season ends and at some point it will catch up to him. This might the season to let Favre pass you by and take a QB later on in the draft. (I hope I'm wrong about this one, because I know everyone loves watching him play ball)
Steve McNair, Tennessee
Steve McNair went into last season looking like a great pick, he not only get's good passing stats but he could put up some rushing stats on top of it. Well last year was a disaster for him. He was injured for most of the season and when he played he wasn't the same McNair we have come to know. This season should not be any better. They cut their top WR and a McNair go to guy, Derrick Mason, and didn't replace him with anyone. McNair can only hope that Drew Bennett can take off where he finished last year, but he is the only WR with any real experience on the roster. The team might have high hopes for Tyrone Calico, but he has had to sit out the last 2 years with major injuries. RB Chris Brown had a very productive first season as a starter, but was often injured and is now sitting out with a broken hand. If you think Steve is a late round steal you will be sadly mistaken.
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Re: Fantasy articles/news
I would take my chances with Ben, not 1st round but I would consider him in the 3rd. But thats they way I draft Fantasy.
For those of you who are going to try out our FFL and have never played. You should always consider taking a defense in the first round. Just trying to help. Your welcome! And No charge. :D :D
Re: Fantasy articles/news
I wouldnt take Ben just yet as my main starter. But if given the chance, he's gonna be on my team as my second QB, as insurance and if he continues the hot hand, u can start him at any time.
Most people dont pick defenses till mid rounds...but Im w/ cleve, I try and take a good defense early on if I can. Especially when you consider how many points they can generate w/ turnovers and points scored for ya.
Remember to, the obvious choices for players dont always give u the biggest stats, sometimes those mid round guys have great years or atleast great games in spot duty for you. if u do ur homework, u can make out good in the mid rounds.
Re: Fantasy articles/news
Actually I take a defense really late, but I figured I would play around with any rookies so that the good RBs don`t get eaten up.
Re: Fantasy articles/news
Having read the comments, as a new guy on the block, I'm looking for some help in working out my draft board or just general advice for the first few rounds.
At the moment I have 14 Running backs, 3 QB's, 3 WR as my Top 20 List. Am I making a big mistake with this thinking, please advise.
By the way, how many rounds will there be and how long would we have to select a player?
Are we selecting team defenses or individual players? Special Teams? Kickers/Punters?
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