Four players to avoid in your fantasy football draft


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You have your cheat sheet. You have your sleeper list and a tally of players who might be over- or under-valued. Bu here are four players to avoid at your fantasy football draft, because they are either overvalued at their position or have a high bust potential.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks

Lynch, 28, has been a workhorse the past few seasons, carrying the ball at least 300 times in each of the past two years. Over the past decade, just 17 running backs over the age of 28 have carried the ball 300 or more times, and of that group, only Edgerrin James, Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson did it at ages 26 and 27. If Lynch gets 250 carries, that could mean a 1,050 yard, nine-touchdown season. Add to that an emerging Christine Michael waiting in the wings and Lynch is not worth a first round pick.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles

The Eagles took the league by storm last year. Coach Chip Kelly used an up-tempo offense that kept defenses on their toes and the team scored the fourth-most points in the league. However, he also had DeSean Jackson to stretch the field.

Per Pro Football Focus, DJax did not drop a single pass when targeted over 20 yards last season, and racked up 553 yards (16.8 yards per target) and eight touchdowns on deep throws. His replacement, Jeremy Maclin, is coming off ACL surgery, fighting a hamstring injury and took a serious blow to the knee in the preseason. In Maclin’s last healthy season (2012), he averaged 2.2 yards on targets of 20 yards or more and 1.4 yards per route run. There are better wideout values in the sixth round.

Any Redskins WR

On paper, the Redskins have one of the best receiving corps in the league. Pierre Garcon led the league in receptions last season, DeSean Jackson was ninth in yards (1,332) and new head coach Jay Gruden turned the Bengals offense into a juggernaut. There is just one problem: Robert Griffin III is the quarterback, and he has not looked good in the preseason. His 46.0 passer rating is near the bottom of the list and Pro Football Focus has RGIII ranked 85 out of 90 preseason quarterbacks overall.

Hesitation in the pocket, poor footwork, not beating linebackers or defensive backs to the edge on scrambles and the inability to slide all add up to a season of disappointment.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills

No running back had a higher percentage of his yards on big plays (any runs of 15 yards or more) than Spiller (43.9 percent) last season. Unfortunately, the leaders don’t tend to repeat. Going back to 2007, which is the first year Pro Football Focus tracked the data, just one running back has increased his percentage from one year to the next: Darren McFadden. However, McFadden was limited to just seven games in 2011, so with a larger sample size we might have seen a downturn. Toby Gerhart, Ryan Matthews and Frank Gore should all be available in a similar draft slot and provide more upside.

 More Fantasy Football

2014 Fantasy Draft Home | Cheat Sheet | Mock Draft Analysis

Positional Rankings: Top 30 QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | Ks | DEF

Draft Talent Tiers: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs

Fancy Stats Value Players: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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