10 Fantasy Football Players To Avoid In 2016

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As we keep marching headlong toward football season, many sites are already publishing their picks for the top fantasy performers of the upcoming year. For me, this draws up memories of selecting Tim Tebow in 2012, Larry Johnson in 2009, Jay Cutler almost any year… the list goes on. Making so many bad picks over the years has allowed me to refine my instincts and predictions for who will underperform, and this year I have come up with a list of players that will be highly overrated in leagues across America.

Quarterbacks

Jameis Winston

Winston had a pretty solid rookie campaign, amassing 22 touchdown passes and breaking 4,000 passing yards. I have him on sophomore slump watch, though, as his main targets are either aging (Vincent Jackson), drop-prone (Mike Evans), or behind on learning Dirk Koetter’s offense (Austin Seferian-Jenkins). The defenses of the NFC South have had a full offseason to key in on his play, and now know exactly what to expect out of him.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

While it’s true that Fitzpatrick put up the most touchdown passes in Jets franchise history with 31 (seriously), he has been inconsistent throughout his journeyman career. Plus, he’s never topped 4,000 passing yards. He still has Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, but I’m starting to think that his current contract stalemate will actually be detrimental to his play this year. It’s certainly not good for a mid-level starter to be missing out on this many reps, however early it may be.

Robert Griffin III

Obviously you aren’t going to be giving Griffin a look in the early rounds, but I wouldn’t even look at him as a backup option. He has a history of inconsistent play and injuries, and there is no guarantee that he even secures the starting job this year. After all, the Browns do have the stellar options of Josh McCown and Cody Kessler at their disposal.

Running Backs

Doug Martin

Martin enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2015, running for 1402 yards and trailing only Adrian Peterson in the race for the rushing title. However, he’s only had two really good years since being drafted in 2012. The rest of the time, he’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistency. He was just signed for a gigantic 5-year contract, but I’m apprehensive as to whether he’ll deliver on all the promises this year.

Darren McFadden

This one should be obvious due to the number of factors at work here. For one, last season marked the first time since 2010 that McFadden rushed for over 1,000 yards. Add in his extensive injury history as well as the additions of Alfred Morris and Ezekiel Elliot to Dallas’ backfield, and you get the idea. Stay away.

Jamaal Charles

Charles has been a weapon for the Chiefs for the better part of a decade, but has also had significant injury problems in that time. Couple that with the fact that Charles is turning 30 this year, and it’s very possible that we see a decline in his production.

Receivers/Tight Ends

Larry Fitzgerald

I’m not saying that Fitzgerald will see much of a decline in 2016, but this is more about the fact that the Cardinals have plenty of other talent to whom the ball can be thrown. They won’t have to rely on Fitz so much now that their receiving corps features Michael Floyd, John Brown, Jaron Brown, and J.J. Nelson. It’s hard to see him recreating his stellar 2015 numbers.

Benjamin Watson

Despite great numbers from Ben Watson in 2015, the reality is that he turned 35 this year. This only makes him the second-oldest target in Baltimore, but don’t expect him to put up 74 catches again this year.

Bonus

Stay clear of the Bills defense. Although they have a solid secondary and one of the best front 4 lineups in the NFL on paper, the Bills dramatically underperformed last year on the defensive side of the ball.

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