I realize that because of the blasphemy I’m about to commit, this may be the last fantasy football article I ever write. After consulting with my family and a team of lawyers, I have made the fateful decision to write this article, knowing full well that I may be excommunicated from all fantasy leagues and heavily fined for my remarks.
Nevertheless, I’m here today to caution owners thinking of drafting this season’s Number One “Sleeper,” Devin Aromashodu. I know what you’re thinking, “Who the hell does this guy think he is questioning, The Golden Child, Waiver Wire Hall of Famer Devin Aromashodu?”
Well, before I get excommunicated and banished from the Island, let’s take a hard look at the situation. First, we’ll start with the good. I mean, there has to be some reason for all this hype, right?
Aromashodu Had an Unbelievable Four-Game Stretch
He had 282 yards and four touchdowns in four games. Pretty impressive. One of those games, Aromashodu had seven receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown. He recorded that stat line against Minnesota, none other than the second-best team in the conference last year. It’s very likely that Aromashodu led quite a few teams to a championship because his late-season heroics happened when most leagues were having their playoffs.
Add in new Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who is apparently smitten with Aromashodu, according to a Bears’ beat writer in Chicago. It’s easy to see why The Chosen One has become such a huge sleeper. Even Jay Cutler has gotten involved in the lovefest.
Most importantly, nearly every fantasy football writer has developed an enormous man crush on Aromashodu. If you don’t believe me, you can read about the Chosen One as the Number One Sleeper by picking up any fantasy football magazine, go to any fantasy football website, or attend church on Sunday and hear the preacher add in at the end of his homily that he received a divine message last night and he’s now totally convinced that Aromashodu will be the greatest sleeper ever.
So What’s the Problem Then?
The problem is that it was
just a four-game stretch. There’s several red flags that come up if you look deeper into The Chosen One’s famous month long turn. Each red Flag gets us closer to fluke territory.
Red Flag No. 1: Aromashodu Isn’t Even a Starter on the Bears
Let’s clarify something first. For better or worse, Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are the starting wide receivers for the Bears. Furthermore, unless something changes in training camp or the preseason, which is possible, this has been the status quo since last year and will continue to be until further notice.
Aromashodu is the fourth option in the Bears’ offense if you include Matt Forte. In many mock drafts, Aromashodu is going in the seventh round, sometimes even the latter half of the fifth. This is No. 3 receiver territory, possibly a No. 2 for some teams. That’s ridonkulous! He’s not even the starter!
Red Flag No. 2 He Did it All While Hester was Injured (well, at least most of it)
Hester was injured for three out of the four games Aromashodu played. It’s doubtful that Aromashodu would’ve been able to have perform like he did if Hester had been healthy. Here’s a newsflash: Hester’s healthy again. That’s why he’s starting.
But I don’t want to turn this into an inappropriate Hester lovefest. I’m not necessarily saying draft Hester instead of Aromashodu. Hester is a better deal as a late round flyer in the 9-11 round range. I think he may turn out to be a better value than Aromashodu, while not necessarily a better player.
Red Flag No. 3: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Minnesota
If we’re committed to drinking the ‘Haterade,’ why don’t we just go all the way with this one? The crucial performance that started the Aromashodu hype is the Minnesota game. Aromashodu first got on the fantasy radar against Green Bay with a very solid eight-reception, 76-yard, one-touchdown performance. He followed that gem with a stinker against the Baltimore Ravens with two receptions for 10 yards. Look, I know it’s the Ravens. But two receptions for 10 yards? Seriously?
So he was looking like a fluke at this point. He was the classic waiver wire pickup, a random great performance followed by obscurity a week or two later. But after the Ravens game, he more than made up for it with his seven-reception, 150-yard, one-touchdown performance against Minnesota. He was now a waiver wire wonder.
The only problem is, if you look deeper into the Bears’ lineup that day, you’ll notice that both Hester and Knox were injured. Aromashodu was the only receiver on the field. Are you going to count Earl Bennett? I’m not. Of course, Aromashodu had a huge day. Cutler had nobody else to throw to!
Red Flag No. 4: Aromashodu’s Been Around for a While … A Long While
This will be Aromashodu’s fourth year coming up. He’s been unable to crack the starting lineup the entire four years he’s been with the Bears. It’s not like Aromashodu had that much competition either. Bernard Berrian, Desmond Clark, Hester, Bennett – just to name a few of the guys Aromashodu hasn’t been able to overtake.
I have to trust that the Bears coaches know more about Aromashodu’s true value than the hordes of fantasy experts, who have proclaimed Aromashodu as the Chosen One. He only was able to start when both Hester and Knox got injured. Now he’s back to the bench, where he’s always been. Again, things could still change in training camp and the preseason … but it hasn’t yet.
Final Analysis: Avoid Aromashodu
I’m not necessarily saying Aromashodu is a fluke. I’m not even saying he’s going to have a bad year. Cutler recently said that Aromashodu’s going to have a breakout season. So there are encouraging signs. He was great in that four-game stretch even if there are a lot of asterisks by each game.
The problem is that he’s massively overvalued and being drafted as a No. 3 receiver is crazy talk. And don’t get me started on those that are drafting him as a weak No. 2 receiver. He’s a No. 4 Receiver with a lot of upside, but not much of a resume. He’s not even close to being a reliable starter on your fantasy team.
I’d rather have Johnny Knox in the ninth or 10th round as a solid No. 4. Instead of wasting an early pick on Aromashodu, it would be wiser to draft another runningback instead. Build some depth. Mistakes like overdrafting a sleeper pick can ruin your roster and leave you vulnerable to injuries.
There will be someone in your league who will reach for Aromashodu. If you laugh at him, he’ll show you his magazine that says Aromashodu is the second coming. That doesn’t matter though. Don’t buy the hype. He’s not worth it for the price he’s going for. He’s no longer a sleeper anymore. He’s just overrated.