The season is almost here, and I am just itching to set my lineups. I still have two drafts left to go as Labor Day weekend approaches. Like many of you, I have already had several drafts and some of the players on those rosters have changed in my eyes since I selected them in late July and early August. With preseason games yet to be played, players are still getting hurt, and nothing kills me more at this time of year then seeing one of my early-round players go down and I can’t pick up a replacement until after Week 1.
Right now, all the Le’Veon Bell owners are sick with the news that Bell will miss 6-8 weeks, and if the foot doesn’t heal right, he could be dealing with this issue all season. Bell has been drafted in the late third round so typically owners drafting in the 9-12 spot have taken Bell as their RB2 on average. Some owners have even skipped running backs for their first two picks and have Bell as their RB1.
That is a tough break to start the fantasy season with. Those owners who took Arian Foster No. 3 on average are starting to panic as well, but news that he is off the Physically Unable to Perform List is better news than those that have Bell.
Every year there are teams you draft that will have players go down early and will leave a big hole in your roster. These are the pitfalls of fantasy drafts. When you draft a player and they get hurt or are done for the season before you even set your Week 1 lineup, you are already behind the 8-ball. Since I started playing fantasy football 10 years ago, it seems that every year for whatever reason, I have a team where I lose a player early. These pitfalls in most instances usually happen in Round 3 for me. I don’t know why, but it always seems as if that is the round where I draft a player that is a bust or gets injured. It happens in the first round as well, as I have been burned by players such as Deuce McAllister in 2005, Tom Brady in 2008 (the only year I decided to draft a quarterback in the first round) and Jamaal Charles in 2011.
I say Round 3 is my pitfall because it is the round in which I usually grab a running back and that player just falls off the map due to injury or poor play. You may cringe at some of these names, but, back when these drafts happened these guys were players everyone was targeting. In the past I’ve drafted players such as Charlie Garner, William Green, Kevin Barlow, Domanick Davis, Travis Henry, Lamont Jordan, Laurence Maroney, Steve Slaton, Tatum Bell, J.J. Arrington and Brandon Jacobs. For you new guys, some of these names might now sound familiar, but for you veterans, I know you are smiling at some of these names because you too have drafted these guys in the third or fourth round and know my pain.
So right now, I look at the drafts I’ve done and the ones I’m getting ready for and I’m trying to see who are the players that will be my pitfall this season. As I mentioned earlier, those who took Bell at 3.09 on average are kicking themselves. Don’t beat yourself up, though, you drafted him thinking he would help you win a championship.
DeAngelo Williams – Williams has shot up draft boards ever since news of Jonathan Stewart potentially starting the season on the Physically Unable to Perform List. I don’t know why, because even when Stewart was out in recent years, Williams has failed to do anything. Cam Newton has more red zone carries and they have Mike Tolbert. Williams is not used in the passing game much, averaging about 15 catches a season over the past four years. His monster season in 2008 was five years ago when he was 25. He is now the dreaded running back age of 30.
Chris Ivory – Ivory played in just six games last year and was hurt for six others. He was hurt for nine games in 2011 and now he’s been hurt with a hamstring injury in preseason. The New York Jets have been talking him up, but if Geno Smith wins the starting job you can expect goal line carry opportunities to go down. I don’t think a running back that was third on the depth charts and couldn’t stay healthy in New Orleans can carry a full season load in New York.