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Beware of the Bust

     Despite investing many hours into research and analysis, it still seems to happen every year.

  A knowledgeable and experienced fantasy manager makes his first round selection with hopes that this player will fulfill the duty of leading his fantasy team to greatness.

  However, this player does not just fall short, but actually becomes a burden!


Questions run through a manager’s head like “How long should I hold on to this player?” “Will he have an explosive second half?” “How long until he is completely healthy again?”



     These questions run through a manager’s mind as they attempt to keep their team’s head above water.

  One may feel that dropping a first round pick is equivalent to tapping out or raising a white flag.

  If this is beginning to sound familiar, then you and I have been in the same boat, my friend.

  In the 2006 fantasy draft, I chose Edgerrin James.

  With recent success in Indy and a strong aerial attack in

Arizona, I was confident in my pick.

  James managed to rush for 72 yards per game and only six touchdowns.

  With a first round selection, I held much higher hopes for him.

  Last year I experienced this disappointment yet again.

  Despite being injured the previous season, I felt that Shaun Alexander would be the spark to ignite my fantasy team.

  After breaking his foot, Alexander ended 2006 rushing for over 700 yards in the final seven games, including a 200-yard explosion against

Green Bay. My team suffered as Alexander had a pitiful season last year.

  One could excuse this by blaming the poor performance on Alexander playing injured or rushing behind a sub-par offensive line.

  The Seahawks running back ran for only 224 yards in the final five games of the season.

  Other first round flops from last season included Rudi Johnson, Larry Johnson, and Reggie Bush.

 Steven Jackson did not have an ideal year for the Rams last season; however, I would attribute his low numbers to injury.


Jackson was consistent in the second half of the season and posted fairly decent numbers so I would not consider him a bust.



     Who will be a flop in 2008?

  This may be harder to predict than who the next president will be.

  I am going to call out Larry Johnson and Frank Gore as this year’s first round busts.

  I am certainly not doubting the talents of these proven backs.

  However, there are other variables that will hinder these players reaching their full potential.

  Allow me to explain why Larry Johnson is a risky first round pick. First of all, his foot injury completely shut him down last year.

  This injury turned out to be much more serious than initially reported, which is why his health is definitely a concern for me.

  Also, the quarterback situation in

Kansas City is not favorable.

  Brodie Croyle still needs time to mature before

Kansas City can hope for a potent offense.

  Both Croyle and Johnson’s success will be affected by the strength of

Kansas City’s offensive line.

  Last year, the O-line tied for last in sacks allowed and the Chiefs were the worst rushing team in the NFL.

  Larry Johnson has potential, but it will not be displayed this year in

Kansas City.


     It is difficult to name Frank Gore as my second flop.

  I believe Gore has enormous potential, especially with his mix of rushing and receiving abilities.

  While Alex Young seems to be the favorite to start at QB, backup Shaun Hill has played well during his stint.

  I expect Mike Martz to ignite the 49ers offense similarly to his success with

St Louis and


  However, I still believe this team’s offense will struggle in 2008. Without the presence of a solid QB or receiving core, defenses will focus on locking down Gore.

  I still expect Gore to finish the year with over 1000 rushing yards, but I do not anticipate a touchdown total in double digits.



     Whether I have helped you or angered you with my predictions, I hope that neither of our teams selects a bust.

  These can result in increased stress levels, frustration, second-guessing, and a false sense of hope throughout the season.

  I hope that Gore and Johnson have exceptional seasons, but I will not be selecting them in the first round.



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