Gregg Rosenthal: The most overvalued players in the 2009 fantasy draft
Two undeniable problems with T.O. in Buffalo: 1. He's playing with the most unproven quarterback of his career. 2. He's guaranteed to see far fewer targets. Even if Owens plays well, he could still see his numbers decline dramatically. If his skills continue to erode, it could get ugly.
A recipe for bad value: Take a career year, add a rookie quarterback and sprinkle in a highly drafted backfield partner, Shonn Greene. Jones has defied the traditional laws of aging (he's turning 31), but there's only one way to go after last season.
He will produce when he plays, but we're not doubling down on another full 16-game schedule from Warner at age 38. The risk isn't worth the reward when players like Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb will get taken after him.
Norv Turner doesn't like to throw much, so Rivers is overly reliant on touchdowns and a sky-high yards-per-attempt average. He'll be solid, but not worth his top-five price tag.
It's not just that Turner had 377 carries last year, which is just a cautionary red flag rather than an absolute. It's the total lack of a receiving game, combined with a boom or bust tendency (6 games under 65 yards), and a much harder schedule. Throw in the injury risk, and Turner is overheated inside the top five picks.
Avery is a game-breaker, but he is still very raw in learning the nuances of route running. (For example: doing anything but running straight past people.) Now he'll get the attention of a number one receiver on a lame passing attack, and a learning curve is to be expected. 2010 is more likely to be his breakout year.
Last season was a miracle sent from the Fantasy Gods. But not that much has changed in the last year, when Williams fell out of the top 60 picks. He still has the most talented backup in football ready to swipe goal-line carries. Williams performed like a decent RB2 for the first half of last season before his late explosion. That's a more reasonable expectation for him rather than his top-10 price tag.
No website has unabashedly loved Cutler from day one more than Rotoworld, so this hurts. But it's hard to imagine downgrading more in personnel and coaching than Cutler did with his move to Chicago. He can be successful in NFL terms, but let's see how it affects his numbers before investing an early pick again.
If we say Gonzo will fall off every year, we're bound to be right eventually. Right? While we think the Falcons did well to acquire him, but Gonzalez is going from an offense that finished ninth in pass attempts to one that was 31st. He will block more. He's changing teams for the first time at age 33, which rarely happens without some speed bumps. Mid-round tight ends are bad bets this season.
In an era without many 300-carry backs, we want to like Grant more. But his talent is ordinary, he struggles in short-yardage situations and he has little receiving value. He ranked outside the top 20 backs last season despite getting 312 carries. What if that workload starts to fall?
LeRon McClain/Willis McGahee
Baltimore's unpredictable backfield makes it very difficult to handicap in a given week. Save yourself the trouble; Ray Rice is the horse to ride for value this year. McClain is expected to block more, while McGahee is coming off yet another surgery. He would have been cut by now if it didn't cost so much.
Moss is a volatile stock that buyers never get right. We buy him high coming off a strong year, then he tanks. We get him for cheap the year later, and he's a pleasant surprise. He won't come cheaply this year; look for the bubble to burst once again.
Even Jamal Lewis has broken a run over 32 yards in the last two years; Portis hasn't. Portis is now a grinder, and he's grinding to diminishing results as his career mileage increases. There is a chance for a clash with his coaching staff, and Washington's offensive line is aging fast. Portis is showing signs that he might too.
NFL Scouts often talk about the difficulties of "projecting" a college player to a new position or scheme. This year, fantasy owners are projecting Williams to be a monster success despite any proof that he fits in Dallas. The situation and talent looks good on paper, but that's always where Williams has looked best.
Don't call him Sarge. And don't draft him in the middle rounds because of questions about his chronic knee problems and Tampa's chronic quarterback problems.