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The Feeding Frenzy: 5 Fantasy Headaches to Avoid

There’s nothing worse than a player who ends up being a headache all season long. It’s the death knell to fantasy owners. I’m not talking about Jamaal Charles. I mean you draft Charles in Round 2 and he tears his ACL slipping on a yard marker, that’s just bad luck. You accept it and move on with your life.
No, I’m talking about the players or situations that give fantasy owners gray hair all year long. Whether it’s because they’re always injured, on a bad offense or part of a committee, it’s the players we’re trying to decide whether or not to put in our starting lineups every week that can ultimately be the difference between winning and losing.
While fantasy football is an inexact science, I try to limit the amount of headaches I’m going to have before the season starts. Below are five player(s) I’m avoiding this year because to be honest, I’m 39 and I don’t need Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells giving me anymore gray hair.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota

I’m a huge Peterson fan, but for this season I’m not interested in having him on my fantasy roster. This has nothing to do with his recent arrest that we all know won’t materialize into anything. It has more to do with the Vikings organization being in shambles and Peterson returning from a knee injury.

I know knee injuries are like a flesh wound these days, but I still think it will take Peterson about a month to get back to normal. I expect Toby Gerhart to be involved heavily on passing downs, and that simply hurts Peterson’s overall value too much for me to pay a mid-second round price tag in a points per reception format. Plus, Peterson isn’t going to be a workhorse early in the season like he has been in previous years while he gets back into football shape.
Peterson has never been a huge receiving threat. He caught a career-best 43 balls in 2009, but I don’t expect him to come close to that total this season after Gerhart looked good in that role last year. After struggling as a rookie, Gerhart caught 23 passes in his second season and averaged a strong 4.9 yards per carry, so you can expect to see a lot more of him in 2012, regardless of Peterson’s health.

When you add in the current state of the Vikings franchise, Peterson coming back from a knee injury and Gerhart getting more playing time, Peterson is a second-round headache fantasy owners don’t need this season.

Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells, RB, Arizona

I’m pretty sure the term “game-time decision” was created many years ago, but a part of me thinks it was invented once Beanie Wells came into the NFL. The king of the game-time decision, no player in recent memory has been a bigger headache to fantasy owners than Wells.

I actually saw this coming and warned people about Wells when he was in college. I noticed that when Wells was at Ohio State he spent way too much time on the sidelines with minor injuries. Now sometimes Wells is really hurt, but the bottom line is the guy doesn’t like to play through pain. He’s out much longer with injuries that tougher guys play through. That’s just a fact.
Now Wells is talented, I’ve never denied that. But he’s the kind of guy I never want on my fantasy squad. I despise a player who is always a game-time decision. In my opinion, a guy like Wells kills a fantasy team. To make things worse, he plays in Arizona, so most of the time owners have to make a decision early in the day without knowing Wells’ status. However, if you know his tolerance for pain, you can make an educated guess that he won’t be on the field.

I wrote in my last Feeding Frenzy that I’m really high on Ryan Williams. I would strongly suggest taking a shot on him three rounds later in your draft instead of rolling the dice on Wells. If there’s one player in the NFL fantasy owners can’t trust, it’s Beanie Wells. If you draft him, don’t complain in Week 3 when he’s a game-time decision.

Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego

If Wells is the most untrustworthy player in fantasy football, Floyd is a solid No. 2. Do you know how many times I’ve seen Floyd walk off the field and said, “Oh, he’s OK.” Then I don’t see him again for a month-and-a-half.

I mentioned the word headache in this article. Floyd is a walking, or should I say, limping, headache. When he’s healthy, Floyd is productive. But who knows when he’ll be healthy? It’s always something with this guy. It’s either a pulled groin or a pulled quadricep or a pulled hamstring, and, then, when he’s out, he’s really out. Floyd never misses just one game.

Heck, last year when Floyd got hurt, coach Norv Turner didn’t even bother blowing smoke. He just said we wouldn’t see him for a while. I guess after being there for so long Turner is familiar with Floyd’s slow recovery time.

Here’s my question with Floyd – can you tell me what weeks he’s going to miss? I like to trade a lot and build my team as the season goes on. Is Floyd going to play more early in the season or later? If it’s early, I would much rather take a chance on him, but we don’t know. Let’s say Floyd pulls something in Week 8 when you have another injury at receiver. That kills your fantasy team right when you’re starting to build for the playoffs.

You can argue that can happen with any player, but history suggests there’s a much better chance of Floyd missing time than someone like Reggie Wayne. The bottom line is Floyd has only played 16 games once in seven years and he’s never caught 50 balls in a season. So why bother taking a risk on this guy? He simply isn’t worth it.

Floyd is the epitome of a fantasy headache. I swear he could pull a hamstring blowing his nose.

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