Midway through the season, owners are still thinking about trades. Offers are pouring in and schemes are being formed to improve owners’ teams. Here’s a list of the players that owners should be avoiding. I call them The Avoidables.
I never believed in him to begin with. I’ve owned Colston for years, stretching all the way back to his rookie season. I couldn’t do it this year though because he’s just way too inconsistent. We’re at the halfway point and Colston has yet to break 100 yards in a game and yet to score a touchdown. The New Orleans Saints’ offense is too spread out for Colston to become a consistent fantasy player. With Robert Meachem and Lance Moore stealing the spotlight in New Orleans, Colston’s the one Saint receiver you don’t want.
Brown‘s been a total bust. He’s still a big name but he’s still a bust. In the preseason, when I thought about Brown, I thought that the only way his season could go would be for him to have a great year and then promptly get injured in Week 9 or around there. I never considered that he would just be a mediocre running back, ranked 29th in standard scoring leagues, with only one touchdown and no 100-yard performances through five games. Miami’s upcoming slate of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore does not look like a recipe for success for Brown to make a second half comeback.
Don’t fall into the trap of seeing Spiller and fondly remembering the preseason hype surrounding him. It’s over. Fred Jackson‘s the lead running back in that backfield and on a team as ‘poopy’ as the Bills, you don’t start the backup running back for such an inept team. In Spiller’s last game against the unimpressive Jacksonville Jaguars, he only had five carries for 31 yards. Not worth starting. Not even as a bye week replacement.
I know he’s hurt so it seems a little too obvious to put him on this list, but here’s a couple things to remember. The fact that Dallas Clark is out indefinitely seemingly makes Collie even more valuable. Not so fast. Pierre Garcon seems to be taking over in the crowded Indianapolis receiving corps as evidenced by his four-catch, 100-yard, one-touchdown performance last week. Even Anthony Gonzalez has returned from whatever cave he’s been in the last couple years. To presume that whenever Collie returns, he’ll go back to how he was in the beginning of the season is a big risk that owners would be wise not to take.
Ochocinco has had one good game. That’s it. In the season opener he had 12 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. Since then it’s been ‘The T.O. Show,’ and Ochocinco has been a major disappointment, not even going above 60 yards receiving in any of the remaining games. Like many of the names on this list, Ochocinco is a big name and not much else at this point. He might have a few good games randomly down the road but he is not a consistent threat and shouldn’t be on your team.
I know that Moreno’s healthy again and he’s back in the starting lineup, but he should still be avoided. He’s injury prone and Denver’s become a passing team. In his triumphant return last week he had 48 yards rushing and a fumble. He might have a good game against Oakland this weekend because, let’s face it, everybody does, but don’t be fooled into trading for him, even if a lot of players are involved in the trade. It’s only a matter of time before he gets injured again.
Maurice Jones Drew*
The asterisk is there because he’s not an avoidable if you’re a solid team with a good record like 4-2 or better. I still believe Jones-Drew will pay dividends at the end of the season when he plays Oakland, Indianapolis and Washington in Weeks 14-16. On the other hand, for teams that need to win right now he’s an ongoing nightmare. He’s the big bust of the first round that haunts owners in their nightmares. For teams that need to win right now, he’s to be avoided at all costs. Jacksonville’s a hot mess and it’s going to take a while to fix this train wreck.
If I’m a Bowe owner, I’m moving heaven and earth to trade him this week. I firmly believe, based on how the Chiefs have been every single game besides the Houston game, that last Sunday’s Bowe blowout was a fluke. He’s been pretty putrid besides last weekend’s game because the Chiefs have become massively run-oriented and Matt Cassel just hasn’t been as good as he was that one season in relief of Tom Brady back in New England. Bowe has already had two historically horrendous games this year. In the season opener he had one catch for 13 yards. The other horrendous game was only two weeks ago where he had a measly two catches for 33 yards. Buyer beware, my friends.
All Oakland players until Jason Campbell is no longer the quarterback.
Campbell is so bad. I mean, he’s single handedly destroying the once promising seasons of Zach Miller, Michael Bush and Louis Murphy. I’d add Darren McFadden to that list but he’s been injury prone dating back to last season so I don’t know if I can really blame Campbell for that. Since Campbell is probably the most conservative and boring quarterback in the league, every fantasy star on the Raiders has suffered. Until Bruce Gradkowski returns, none of the Raiders are worth having.
With Floyd hurting and Vincent Jackson returning soon, the window for owning Floyd has closed. As an owner of Floyd, he’s led me to a lot of victories in the first half of the season but owners can’t expect him to repeat that performance in the second half of the fantasy season and the playoffs. He’s very similar to Austin Collie in that there’s a lot of competition for his position and he’s poised to disappoint you if you base his value on the stats he earned earlier in the year.
Marion Barber/Felix Jones
I’m not sold on either of these guys. Barber’s been a total disappointment (175 yards and one touchdown through five games) but Jones has played well the last couple games. The fact that Jones was vomiting at halftime and needed an IV shows me that he’s probably not ready to be a feature back yet. As always, Jones is a huge injury risk and this could be the first signs of a breakdown. I just don’t trust either of these players enough to want them on my team.
My final avoidable is the winner of this year’s prestigious “Jeremy Shockey Overrated” award. Witten’s another big name that hasn’t lived up to his hype. He’s not even a Top 10 tight end at this point. He continues to have problems scoring as he’s only had one touchdown so far with a mediocre 270 receiving yards through five games. Five games! That’s terrible! We all need to come to terms with the fact that Witten was good when Tony Romo didn’t have any other targets, but now that Miles Austin and Roy Williams have taken over, he just isn’t a crucial part of the Cowboys’ offense anymore. He’s the text book avoidable, a big name with a long, distinguished resume, who owners will try and throw into trades, basing his value solely on his name, not anything he’s done recently.
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