By Aaron Jackson
With fantasy football season just around the corner, now is the time to start looking at who you’ll be drafting this upcoming season. I’ll get to 5 sleeper picks in next week’s Jackson 5, but for this week I want to focus on perhaps the most important topic that is somewhat undervalued in fantasy circles; guys I’d avoid at all costs. These are players that you’ll have to take in your first few picks, and could absolutely ruin your fantasy season.
- LeSean McCoy, RB- Buffalo Bills: The Bills are now officially rebuilding, though really they were before their most recent deals. With no proven quarterback and very little talent on the roster, this team is a dumpster fire. And sure, McCoy has a ton of talent, is coming off a great year, and has no Mike Gillislee to steal touchdowns, but he’s also going to have nothing to play for by week 4. That’s not good news for a smaller back entering his 9th season in the league, about to hit 30 and already seems to always have a nagging injury to play through. Never mind the fact that he will be the only thing opposing defenses need to key on. He’s ranked 5th in Yahoo’s current rankings, and I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole. (Or any size pole really.)
- Jay Ajayi, RB- Miami Dolphins: As long as Jay Cutler is Miami’s quarterback, expect Ajayi to really struggle. Entering his 3rd year in the league, Ajayi was almost out of Miami entirely before injuries forced him into playing time, where he did well, but not as well as his end of season numbers suggest. Last year he had 3 games with over 200 yards rushing, which is great, but he also had 9 games with under 60 yards rushing. That speaks to some inconsistency that doesn’t necessarily bode well for his long term prospects. He also doesn’t do much in terms of catching the ball out of the backfield, something Cutler really likes in his running backs. Just ask Matt Forte. Ranked 9th overall, I wouldn’t take him until the 3rd round at the earliest. Let someone else get frustrated when he has 3 straight weeks of 4 points, then a week with 40 points on your bench.
- Michael Thomas, WR- New Orleans Saints: Every year Drew Brees and company put up video game like numbers on offense as they try and compensate for a terrible defense. Entering his age 38-39 season though, Brees is going to need a new favorite target with the trade of Brandin Cooks to New England, and many think Thomas will be that guy. The problems with that are: 1. Brees isn’t getting any younger and will be slowing down at some point (he might even be traded if they keep up their recent run of mediocrity), 2 Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman could also break out in a big way, and 3 Yahoo has calculated his huge breakout into his #14 overall draft position. While it’s cool to call him a sleeper, if you’re taking a guy in the 2nd round he no longer is one. You’re now paying full price on a guy that based on potential. That’s always a hard pill to swallow.
- T.Y. Hilton, WR- Indianapolis Colts: My first question here is this; what is going on with Andrew Luck? Will he be ready week one? Can we ensure he is going to be healthy all year? Without answers to either of those questions I’d stay away from Hilton. Hilton may have 4 straight seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving, but he doesn’t typically score many touchdowns, and he had a ton of inconsistencies last year, many of which were caused by Luck’s injuries and inconsistencies. I just have a feeling it’s going to be a bad year in Indy.
- Ty Montgomery, WR that plays RB instead- Green Bay: Trying to pick a running back these days for the Packers is like trying to win the lottery. It’s been a few years since any one back has had fantasy success with the cheeseheads. Ty Montgomery showed flashes last year, the first hint of him struggling will lead to someone else filling his shoes. The former wide receiver turned tailback also wasn’t nearly as good last year as people think, only topping 60 rushing yards once in the entire season. Considering he’s a 4th round pick you are paying for a ton of potential that may just not be there from a guy going through his first training camp as a running back.
Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.