All good things must come to an end, including stud football players that have put up big numbers for the last five years. One of the most difficult parts of fantasy sports is predicting the decline of great players. It has to happen, and in the NFL, it usually comes out of no where. Here are a couple of players that are going to take a step back this year and one young player that may play like an old man…
Ray Rice – A lot of fantasy football owners got burned last year by Rice’s paltry 3.1 yards per carry average. And with that kind of awful performance, I’ve still seen him ranked in the top-40 for the upcoming season. That tells you how important running backs are to fantasy leagues. Do NOT take him that high. My guess is he will slide several rounds this year because of last year’s performance, and, oh by the way, he’s got some more off the field issues. Someone one in your league will fall in love with his name and grab him early. Don’t be that guy.
Doug Martin – Last year we were all in love with Doug Martin and what was supposed to be an incredible sophomore season for him in 2013. Not only was he hurt most of the year, when he did play he only averaged 3.6 yards per carry. One thing I’ve learned about RBs in the NFL, many of them are kind of like your ex-girlfriend… no matter how bad you want them “play” every week, some of them just aren’t going to. Martin may bust out and have a 1200-yard season, but with a new coach and a bad shoulder, I think he’s trouble. Let someone else waste a high pick on him.
Andre Johnson – Even after a monster year last year for Johnson, something has to give this season. He’s going to have a new QB throwing to him, a rookie head coach drawing up the offense, and he’s starting to get a few miles on those wheels. Johnson will be a good PPR player, but I wouldn’t draft him thinking he’s going to get you 1000 yards and 7 or 8 TDs. I’m worried he’s going to pull a Michael Irvin. Irvin put up ungodly numbers for several years, and then suddenly it was over. There was no decline, just done.
With the draft looming ahead next week, it will be time to start looking at some 2014 rookies. Maybe look back at a few 2013 rookies that didn’t quite cut the mustard. After everything shakes out, I’ll let you know if Johnny Manziel will be worth picking up. He just might be the first QB to put up decent numbers for the Browns since Kosar in the ’80s.
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