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Looking for (and actually finding) value in a draft is just as essential as avoiding the busts. A majority of players do not even finish close to their average draft positions (ADP), and blindly trusting the majority of drafters is a recipe for failure. Some players are surprises and perform better than expected, while others will be your demise and are labeled as busts. Here are three surprises and demises heading into the 2012 NFL season.
Surprise: Davone Bess, WR, Miami (ADP of 187)
1. Chad Johnson is no longer on the Miami Dolphins.
2. Brandon Marshal is now in Chicago, and his 140 targets from 2011 will go elsewhere.
3. Head Coach Joe Philbin is the former offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers (2007-11), whose offense ranked in the Top 10 for total points scored and total yards each year.
4. Bess is now the WR1 for the Miami Dolphins. His best season was in 2010 when he had 79 catches for 820 yards and five touchdowns as the WR2.
5. Bess is going undrafted in 49.8 percent of points per reception leagues.
Surprise: Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis (ADP of 87)
1. Brown had a career-high of 4.8 yards per carry in 2011.
2. Mewelde Moore has been sidelined with a rib injury this preseason.
3. Delone Carter has been sidelined with a rib injury this preseason.
4. Brown was tied for fifth in yards after contact in 2011.
5. Drafting a running back with Brown’s expected workload is a steal in the eighth round.
Demise: Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver (ADP of 113)
1. On average, Willis McGahee has only missed one game per season.
2. John Fox does not start rookie running backs.
3. Lance Ball is the No. 2 running back on the depth chart.
4. Hillman has already sustained two hamstring injuries this preseason.
5. Hillman will never see the field on third down until his pass protection improves.
Demise: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia (ADP of 41)
1. Vick is 32 years old.
2. In nine NFL seasons, Vick has played 16 games only once.
3. The Philadelphia Eagles have the seventh-most difficult passing strength of schedule for the fantasy regular season in 2012.
4. Vick has been injured in the first two preseason games this year.
5. Despite only playing only 13 games, Vick still managed a career-high 14 interceptions in 2011.
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