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The Untouchables

For most leagues, the deadline to make trades is coming up in the next couple weeks. As the deadline nears, you can expect a flurry of activity as owners desperately try to hammer out a deal. Owners can expect tons of trade offers; some good, some bad and some that are just plain offensive.

I’ve put together a list of Untouchables, players that if you see them offered in a trade, you should be concerned that you’re about to get hosed. Remember, there’s a reason many of these players are “Buy Low” candidates and certainly not all Buy Low candidates are created equal. This article’s solely about the players you want to stay away from. It seems only fitting that we start with the biggest and riskiest “Buy Low” candidate of them all, Chris Johnson.

Chris Johnson

Don’t you dare accept any trade for Chris Johnson. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even look at his highlight reel from previous years. It’s over. If you can’t rush for more than 37 yards against the Colts…IT’S OVER. CJ has been historically putrid this year and is deep in the running for Biggest Bust of the Decade.

All of CJ’s owners spent a 1st round pick on him so you know they’re going to want something at least mildly sexy in return. I don’t care how good the offer is, stay away. Let him be someone else’s problem. You don’t need that kind of heartache, my friends. I shouldn’t even have to mention that he’s going to be sharing the rock with Javon Ringer the rest of the season or the fact that he’s not even in the Top 30 of fantasy running backs. I shouldn’t even have to mention that!

Matt Ryan

This one hurts a lot, my friends. It’s no secret that I’m a Huge Falcons fan and to include any Falcon on this list, let alone our leader and savior Matt Ryan…pains me to no end. Still, truth be told, Ryan has been a big disappointment this year. Drafted as a Top 8 QB with “tons of promise” heading into the season, Ryan has played more like a Top 20 fantasy QB this season.

The Atlanta Falcons offense is ranked in the middle of the pack (17th) in almost every statistical category. When you trade for a quarterback, it has to be an upgrade from your current QB. I just don’t see how trading for a QB whose in the bottom half of the Top 20 fantasy Quarterbacks is an upgrade. Ryan had a lot of hype going into the season and with the addition of Julio Jones, this was supposed to become a pass-first offense. Unfortunately, this just never happened. The only thing Ryan has is a well known “name” in fantasy football and he’s a player to avoid in trades.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis

The Law Firm BenJarvus Green-Ellis might be this year’s best “One Week Wonder Sell High” candidate of the year. He’s done absolutely nothing since his 136-yard, two touchdown performance against the Jets’ suspect run defense. I hope if you own the Law Firm that you traded him a long time ago because his value sinks with each subpar week. His five carry, nine rushing yard performance against Pittsburgh last week was an eye opener.

The Patriots only seem to use the Law Firm when they’re leading, which makes him more of a situational player and thus a risky start each week. With the return of Kevin Faulk to the already crowded Patriots’ backfield, the Law Firm’s value plummets even further. If you see the Law Firm in a trade offer, run in the opposite direction. It’s been nearly a month since he produced anything worth getting excited about it.

Peyton Hillis

I don’t care that Montario Hardesty is going to be out for at least two weeks. I don’t care that he’s still the feature back in a run oriented offense. In the era of the endangered species feature back, owners constantly overrate running backs just because they are the lead back. Remember, it’s also important to be good and Hillis has been far from good when he’s played this season. His 3.5 yards per carry and super putrid two touchdowns on the season are awful. Blame it on all his injuries or even blame it on the Madden Curse but either way, Hillis is one of the biggest Untouchables out there.

Felix Jones

Felix Jones has been one of fantasy football’s biggest busts this season. With Marion Barber finally gone and no longer stealing goal line touches, owners were confident that this season would finally be Jones’ breakout year. Not so much. Heading into Week 9, Jones has really only had one solid game the entire season, his 115 rushing yard performance against the awful Redskins.

Besides that one game against the Deadskins, Jones has been absolutely putrid, barely making the Top 40 rankings for running backs. He’s also missed the last two games and doesn’t look likely to play this week. With the emergence of DeMarco Murray, Jones will be entering into a RBBC when he returns, whenever that may be. We’re talking about a number three running back, best case scenario. He’s not someone you want on your squad because even if he gets healthy some day, he will no longer be the feature back. Avoid at all costs.

DeAngelo Williams

Big Name. Big Contract. Big Disappointment. Unless you own Williams, you probably have no idea how absolutely awful he’s become. He’s splitting carries with Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton, with Newton getting the bulk of the goal line touches. He’s averaging 45.4 rushing yards a game and only has one touchdown for the entire season. In his last game against the Vikings, he had only seven carries for 26 yards. This is a player that’s an RB4, bye week fill-in for your team. Nothing more. His glory days are far behind him and he can do nothing for owners in the crucial final month of the season.

The Jackson Brothers (Vincent and DeSean)

We talked about both Vincent and Desean Jackson and earlier in the week in my “End of the Stud Receiver Era” article, so I’m leery of repeating myself here. Still, any article about name players you want to avoid in trades has to include these two overrated stars. Vincent Jackson has been hampered by poor QB play from Philip Rivers and has had three games where he had under 35 receiving yards. Over seven games he has only three touchdowns and two of those TDs came in the same game.

DeSean Jackson has been similarly unreliable not because of his quarterback like V-Jax but mostly because he has a long standing tendency to disappear in games. He’s had three games this season where he’s had under 31 receiving yards. With the regular season almost finished, he’s not the kind of player owners can rely on to give them consistent production. Both Vincent and DeSean Jackson (not related) are as inconsistent as they come and owners should shy away from them if they are included in trade offers.

Good Hunting!

Ed Bonfanti

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