Inside the Drafter's Beware segment well cover players coming back from Season ending injuries that are now "injury prone" tagged, players that have lost offensive weapons/threats or coaches and new additions to the team that threaten players weekly productivity. Im NOT stating these players are expected to BUST, Im just saying Beware.
1. J.Flacco (Bal) : Flacco has been on a "pitch count" since coming into the league, Flacco has thrown 35+ pass attempts in only 18 games in his last 3 seasons which has lead to only 18 Multiple TD games in his last 3 seasons. With Rice getting the ball more and more and the Ravens Defense being able to shut teams down weekly it allows the Ravens to ground and pound and reduce turnovers through the air. Flacco only threw 13 Ints last season but he still has a problem holding onto the ball to long in the pocket which lead to 6 LOST fumbles last year, tied for 4th among QBs. Last season was the 1st year Flacco broke over 4,000 yards passing in his career and he should continue to be looked at as a No. 2 QB with 3,800yard and 22-25 TD potential.
2. M.Sanchez (NYJ) : Sanchez is expected to remain the Jets starter after the signing of T.Tebow but there's now someone ready to replace him in the event he struggles, something the Jets didn't really have last season. Sanchez's numbers -- 3,474 yards on a career-best 56.7 pct. passing with 26 TDs and 18 Ints and 8 fumbles lost with 6 rushing TDs-- were the best he's ever had. But if Tebow gets involved in the offense, and why wouldn't he after the Jets dealt for him, then Sanchez will be hard-pressed to duplicate those numbers so he'll remain a No. 2 option worth a late pick in drafts.
3. S.Bradford (STL) : I have high expectations for Bradford heading into 2012, with new Rams coach Jeff Fisher and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. He still remains just a No. 2 Fantasy QB in allleagues. The Rams need to give Bradford some weapons, but he is someone to draft with a late-round pick with the hope he can develop into a Weekly Fantasy producer.
Running Backs :
1. D.McFadden (Oak) : Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said he expects running back Darren McFadden to not only be ready for the start of the season, but to participate in the team's upcoming offseason program which is great for McFadden. Wish M.Bush signing with the Bears it opens up McFadden to alot of work as the Raiders are thin at RB. Then why have him as a "Beware" you ask? McFadden missed 7 games last year due to a Lisfranc sprain and even though he is expected to be back, he is a high risk for this happening again. He could re-aggrivate the problem without even putting pressure on the foot and the Raiders have been aware of that and have taken extra care with McFadden. McFadden could very well see 20+ carries ah week but he's also been very injury prone over his career never playing more than 13 games in a season. It's OK to draft McFadden with a Top 30-35 pick, but in doing so you must also commit to drafting his backup as a handcuff for when (not if) McFadden gets hurt.
2. B.Wells (Ari) : Despite the knee problem, Wells played well in 2011. He ran for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns through 14 games. Beanie underwent surgery which was expected to be on his troublesome knee but Wells did not specify the nature of his operation. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Wells played most of the year on "one leg." He should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy RB heading into the season, and hopefully he can hold off RB Ryan Williams for the starting job all year. Williams (knee) missed his rookie campaign, but he will likely compete with Wells for carries next season.
3. A.Peterson (Min) : Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier said the team will invest in another running back before the season starts. Peterson tore his left ACL and MCL last Christmas Eve and underwent (ACL,MCL,meniscus surgery) so being ready for the start of the season is a very lofty goal for Frazier. That might mean he would go without training camp and preseason work. For now Fantasy owners should expect Peterson to be a question mark for the start of the season and Fraizer has said that Peterson will be on a light carry count once he starts playing but a potential No. 1 Fantasy rusher once he shows he's 100% healthy. I see him being taken in the middle of Round 2 in most drafts, though whoever takes him must also pick his current handcuff, Toby Gerhart, with a pick as soon as Round 9. Peterson has the chance to end up on the PUP list and would be forced to miss the 1st-6 weeks of regular season making Gerhart a potential steal for the 1st-half of the season.
4. M.Forte (Chi) : He has totaled at least 1,400 yards every season, something he'll have some trouble doing with Bush sharing the workload. And we've seen Forte get at least 9 total TDs in 2 of his 4 seasons; that's probably out the window with Bush in Chicago now. The potential for his touches to drop a little along with him potentially holding out of training camp casts a dark shadow on his Fantasy production for 2012. For now drop him to a borderline No. 1/No. 2 Fantasy running back worth a pick in Round 2 in standard formats and late Round 1 in PPR formats.
5. D. Williams (Car) : Williams might be good for about 12 touches per week, but with Stewart AND Tolbert AND Newton in Carolina he might become a non-factor near the goal line. Williams came on at the end of last season (6TDs and 312yards) just in time for the playoffs but still being apart of the Panthers 3-headed running attack he was still worrisome to start. Williams had atleast 60yards in 5 of his last 6 games of the Fantasy season (Weeks 11-16) and showed he could still break off long runs if giving the ability. He's no better than a No. 3 Fantasy rusher worth a mid-round pick at best UNLESS the Panthers can move J.Stewart then Williams work load would increase.
Wide Receivers :
1. A.Boldin (Balt) : Boldin only had 4TDs last season which was due to Flacco only throwing 24TDs and the emergence of WR Torrey Smith and TE's E.Dickson and D.Pitta. I expect Smith to take over the No. 1 Receiver spot for the Ravens, Smith ended with 54receptions for 932yards and 8TDs on 104 targets from Flacco. Boldin has put up atleast 1,000 yards or 7TDs in every year since 2005 as he continues to be a big-play receiver. Boldin is worth drafting as a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 Fantasy WR heading into 2012.
2. N.Burleson (Det) : Burleson got a lot of looks during the regular season, but Titus Young came on late in the year for Detroit. He did catch a career-high 77receptions for 807yards but only 3TDs on 115targets with Stafford throwing 41 during the regular season. Young ended with 52receptions, 640yards with 6TDs on 94targets and I totally expect T.Young to take the No.2 WR job away from Burleson this year. Young will most likely still line up in the slot but will see alot more work from Stafford then he did last year. In 8 games after the Lions Bye-Week T.Young brought in 5 of his 6 TDs as Stafford starting finding him much more often. Pettigrew as well took alot of looks away from Burleson especially in the redzone. If he serves a role similar to this season he'd be worth using as a low-end No.4 WR option and T.Young I would draft higher as a No.3 receiver.
3. N.Washington (Ten) : Washington finished the season strong, scoring 5TDs over the last 7 games, and he also exceeded 90yards 3-times over that span. Washington HAD to step up for the Titans when K.Britt tore his ACL in Week 3 and did just that. IF Washington could continue to produce at the level he did this year as the Titans No. 2 WR Washington could be a late round steal. Also have to continue to monitor Britts health which could play a big part of Washingtons draft position. With the Titans making improvements to their Offensive line it should give more time for Hasselbeck/Locker to view the field finding open receivers. Washington is worth taking in the later rounds as he could see a main role IF Britt cant get 100%.
4. S.Holmes (NYJ) : Holmes caught just 51receptions for 654 yards (a career-worst 12.8 avg.) and 8TDs last year, posting 10 or more Fantasy points (standard scoring) in just 5 games. Holmes hasn't been a stud since arriving in New York and with more guaranteed coin in his piggy bank, he might not ever reach the numbers he had in Pittsburgh in 2009 (1,248 yards). I see Holmes as no better than a No. 3 Fantasy WR, he's only had 1-1,000 yard season in his last 5 years and has continued to speak out by saying he wants to be the "go-to guy". Back with the Steelers Big Ben would reach back and sling it Holmes way early and often but Sanchez is hesitant and needs to get over that because Holmes can be a extremely useful weapon.
5. L.Robinson (Jac) : Robinson reverts back to almost no Fantasy value joining the Jags in this offseason for 5 years with B.Gabbert throwing him the football. After surpassing his 5 year career stats in 10 games with the Cowboys last year where Robinson ended with 54receptions on 84 targets for 858yards with 11TDs over those 10 games. Robinson was taking advantage of man/man coverage but now being the Jags No.1 WR he will see defenses best CBs and all the double coverage being the only real weapon downfield for the Jags. He is worth a late round pick and could be viewed in my opinion as a boarderline No.3/No.4 WR being the Jags No.1 he could still be in line for 130-140 targets.
Tight Ends :
1. J.Ballard (NYG) : Ballard was having a nice emerging season for the Giants until his torn ACL in Superbowl XLVI. Now the Giants expect Ballard to start off the regular season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list and the Giants have brought in TE M.Bennett. Ballard ended the season with 43receptions for 647yards with 4TDs on 75targets. With E.Manning stepping up last year throwing 6,152yards and 38TDs last year makes the Giants receiving core that much more appealing, I would avoid Ballard in all Drafts but Bennett could serve as a viable No.2 thats worth a mid-late round pick.
2. J.Dreessen (Den) : Dreessen was a nice signing for the Broncos once they acquired P.Manning but youngTE J.Tamme was signed shortly after and I would think with past rapport with Manning will be the TE that gets more involved in the passing game. Dreessen is a BIG redzone target standing 6'4" with good hands and good blocking ability but Tamme is the faster better receiving TE. Tamme has alot of sleeper appeal to me this year and could serve very well as a No.1 TE weekly as a late round steal and Dreessen would be a No.2 that is a even later round grab. Id start to target Tamme around Rounds 7 or 8 and Dreessen in 11 or 12.