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Knowing When It’s Time to Break Up

Have you ever had a girlfriend (or boyfriend), that you thought was “the one,” but after you got to know her/him better, you saw enough flaws that made you question whether or not you could ever see yourself with her/him for the long haul? And yet sometimes, we are so smitten that we don’t see the things our friends see … or maybe you’ve been the friend, wondering what the heck your buddy sees in that girl/boy. And though we might use our brains and figure things out before we make a mistake, far too often we let other parts of our body dictate our actions (like our hearts, right?).


So why is it that we often make the same mistakes in fantasy football? Admit it – you’ve drafted a player that you had the previous year because he’s “your guy.” And maybe you got decent value for where you drafted him, but I’ll bet some of you have reached a little to get “your guy” because he did so well for you last year… but herein lies the problem – it isn’t last year anymore.


One of the biggest mistakes you can make on draft day is overly committing to a player that you had last year (or even the last few years) when there are signs telling you that things may be different now. Here are eight players that might cause you to put blinders on when you only think about what they did for you last year:


Donald Driver

Even though Driver and Greg Jennings finished 2009 with similar fantasy numbers,

was drafted much earlier and, thus, was viewed as a disappointment, while Driver was considered a great value for where he was drafted. But don’t get too excited about Driver for 2010. His age (35) and health (two knee scopes) are good reasons to steer clear. And with the emergence of Jermichael Finley at the end of last year, there’s even more reason to suspect a decline in Driver’s numbers.


DeSean Jackson

Entering his third season,

has put himself in the conversation of being a Top 10 wide receiver. However, there is reason to expect his numbers to fall this year. First, home run hitters like

are very inconsistent. If he doesn’t connect on a long bomb, he’s very pedestrian. In fact, in nine of the 16 games he played in, he had four or fewer catches. Second, Kevin Kolb replaces Donovan McNabb, and though we suspect it won’t have a significant impact on the Eagles’ offense, it does present another risk for

. Lastly, the Eagles spread the ball around a lot and have nice weapons in the passing game (Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin). Despite the potential Top 10 status, he makes a better WR2.


Brandon Marshall


is like the smoking hot chick that eventually cheats on you. You stick with her because, well, she’s fantastic, but you just know she’s eventually going to break your heart. With his move to

is definitely not a guarantee to extend his 100-catch season streak. For one, he’s leaving a very pass-friendly offense for a much more run-oriented team. And when you consider

’s potential health risks having hip surgery on each hip in the last two years, it’s clear his talent comes at a steep price.

’s schedule is not kind either. And then there’s the fact that

finally got his payday, which is scary when dealing with a head case wide receiver. He’s a top 5 WR talent, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a top 5 WR pick.


Jerome Harrison


’s fantastic finish to the 2009 fantasy season may have helped you win a championship. But look at everything that has changed since then – Mike Holmgren has been brought in as general manager, the quarterback position has been entirely revamped, and the Browns moved up in Round 2 of the NFL Draft to select Montario Hardesty. Hardesty has impressed the coaches thus far, and it’s clear he’ll get significant touches. You’ll be disappointed if you draft him expecting reliable RB2 numbers.


Ricky Williams

Last season was a trip down memory lane for Williams’ owners, as he turned in almost 1,400 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He was the beneficiary of Ronnie Brown’s season-ending injury in week 10, and even though Brown is coming off of a serious injury and may not be 100 percent by the start of the season, let’s remember that Williams is 33 years old and started to fade at the end of last season from his heavy workload. He’s kind of like that girl that looks good with the right mix of makeup and when the room is dimly lit, but you realize she’s not quite as attractive when you get your first really good look at her.


Philip Rivers

Before you declare me officially insane for putting Rivers on this list, understand that he is only on this list for two reasons. First, all signs point to Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill holding out through the first half of the season due to unhappiness with their respective contracts. And second, Antonio Gates’ foot issues are surfacing again, and with his offseason diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, it is reasonable to expect the issues to linger throughout the year and potentially limit Gates’ productivity. So with the potential of not having his two biggest weapons in the passing game (at least at full health) as well as the stud left tackle protecting his blind side, there is some risk in just assuming that Rivers is guaranteed for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.


Vernon Davis

Of all of the top tight ends in the NFL, Davis scares me the most. He’s like that girl that flirts like crazy but doesn’t let you get past second base … Well last year we got past second base, but it doesn’t mean we don’t remember all the teasing it took before we got there. So there’s reason to be skeptical about the guy, but maybe he’s officially rounded the corner in his career. Of course, his ability to put up numbers also depends on Alex Smith having rounded that same corner. Given the fantastic numbers that Davis put up, there’s reason to be excited about his prospects, but let someone else take on the risk, however slight, and nab a better value later in the draft (i.e. Heath Miller, Jermichael Finley).

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