The following guys are players who I believe are going way above where they should be. All ADP's have been referenced from Antsports.com 12 team leagues. In no particular order:
1. Larry Johnson
I'm curious. Has there ever been a handcuff go consistently higher than Larry Johnson is going this yr? His current ADP is 5.09. Wow. Without Priest, Larry is a beast. I don't deny this, in fact without Priest Larry could be the MVP in fantasy land. What I don't get is why people are spending such a pick on someone who will ONLY be a factor if someone else gets injured?
We could have a whole debate as to the chances of Priest getting hurt this year, I personally believe he's got the same chance as anyone else. Don't buy the whole age thing, he didnt become a fulltime starter till relatively late in his career. Anyway, I think spending a 5th round pick on a guy who won't be a factor on your team unless someone else gets injured is wasteful. I understand the whole "i'll hapilly spend a 1st and 5th round pick to secure 25 rushing TDs" argument. I just think there are other guys available on the board available at that time that can help your team a lot more than a handcuff. Heck, if you don't like the players on the board in the 5th round, take the Baltimore DEF, they singlehandedly won me a number of games last yr.
I have a feeling 95% of people that are taking Larry around the 5th round are those that selected Priest in the 1st round, and are shaking in their boots at the thought of Holmes getting injured. I doubt the guys without Priest are taking him that early. Chances are if you do take Priest, Larry will still be available a couple of rounds later if you don't take him in the 5th. The teams without Priest are not going to waste a 5th round pick on someone elses handcuff. Wait a little while and get your insurance then.
2. Hines Ward
Don't get me wrong, I love Ward. He could easily be considered the best all round WR in the league. Excellent team player. For fantasy purposes I think he is going way too early in drafts. Hines finished as the 26th best WR last yr, so why is he currently being drafted as a top 10WR going into this yr? Hines got 346 of his total 1004 yards and 2 of his 4 total TDs in the first 3 games of the season. After that, he was mediocre at best fantasy wise. Pittsburgh are a running team. Once the weather sets in, don't expect their WR to put up fantasy starter worthy numbers. Over the second half of the season Hines totaled 29 receptions for 383 yards and 1TD, and you wanna spend a late 3rd round pick on this guy? Please, don't.
The loss of Plax is not going to make too much of a difference, Randle-El will easily pick up the slack. The Steelers will continue to pound the ball and only pass when necessary. Hines is clearly going so high on reputation. Don't buy it. Take a Darrell Jackson or Nate Burleson instead.
3. Antonio Gates
I love Gates, I was one of the fortunate guys who drafted him last year and reaped massive rewards. However there's no way I'm gonna have him on any of my teams this year. Why? Well i'm not gonna spend a 3rd pick to take him, which is what it takes if you want this former bball player. Gates will still be good, just not 3rd round TE good. I think it's interesting to note that Gates production over his final 4 games was limited once opposing teams put their #1 corner on him. Averaged just over 40ypg and totalled 2TDs in those last 4 games. Like I said, still good, just not 3rd round TE good. Wait a couple of rounds and take Jason Witten instead.
4. Drew Bennett
I think this has been discussed quite a bit, but anyway, nearly half of Bennet's 2004 total yardage came in weeks 13-15. They were against, Indiana, KC and Oakland. Bennett was a fantasy non-factor when Mcnair was QB. Not only is the QB this yr McNair, Bennett also will have to deal with the opposing teams top corner. No way, i'm spending a fifth rounder on this guy. Wait till later in your draft and take Calico.
5. Ahman Green
Currently being drafted on average early in the second round, I suspect mostly by those that are rigid in their RB-RB strategy belief. There is no way that Green will prove that ADP to be value. Green rushed for 1163 yards last yr, with 308 of those yards coming in two games. I'm always wary when players put up figures like that, those two monster games masked the overall mediocre season Green put up, especially consdering he was a pretty much consensus top 3 pick last yr. Green's numbers in 2003 were way out of the norm for him. Last season he returned to close to what he's been putting up for most of his career (a little worse). With the loss of a couple of key lineman, GBs horrid defense, age, and the continual holdout of Walker, I can see Ahman being a bust for those who draft him that early this yr.
There's simply too much doubt surrounding Green this year. Tiki, Rudi, Corey, JJ are all going at virtually the same spot as Ahman this year. Take one of those other guys instead.
Comments? Agreements/Disagreements all will be appreciated.
LJ--You hit the arguement on the head. What's 20+TD production worth to you? I do think him going in the 5th rd. is nuts, but the production he is capable of is worth more than just about anybody else that you could get at that point. There are pages on this all in this section.
Ward--Last year was a down year with a rookie QB at the helm and one of the largest # of carries by RBs in NFL history. Methinks that this year the wraps come off Big Ben a bit more. He's not an offensive caretaker of the Trent Dilfer/Balt. ilk, he's far more talented than that. As his #s improve, so will Ward's. That ADP surprises me as after spending a couple hours today in the Sporting News mocks, Ward was consistently being grabbed in the 5th rd. or later in every mock that I participated in. I was able to grab him once at 5.6 and saw him drop to the 7th in one draft. If he falls like this in a draft that I'm in, well, let's just say he won't.
Green--Okay, so I'm an optimist. Last year was his worst year as a starter (he only started 11/16 in 2000) as he never hit rhythm. I think you point out a valuable tidbit in that 2003 was a career year for him and probably raised expectations to an unreasonable level. I like where I've been seeing him drafted recently, mid to late 2nd in 10 teamers. At that spot he's value. I believe that he will turn it around this year and be good for his career average #s. I saw this guy slide to the mid 3rd rd. in one of these mocks today.
I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That's just me.
Gates -- Teams put their #1 corner on him down the stretch? I sure don't remember that. Those numbers are really misleading and don't necessarily mean that he had a #1 cb on him. Really he had 2 bad weeks in those 4, which you expect out of any TE. His last 4 regular season weeks were:
31yds 0 TDs
17yds 0 TDs
72yds 1 TD
49yds 1 TD
Even Gonzo put up 5 weeks last year with fewer than 50yds and 0 TDs, you can't expect a TE not to do that a handful of times. Really Gates just didn't put up huge numbers in weeks 13 and 14, no big deal, he also put up similar numbers in weeks 3 and 4, but that doesn't mean teams had figured him out then obviously since he was a monster most of the rest of the year.
And lets not forget he went 6-89 and a TD in his playoff game.
LJ -- Ok, you're spending a 5th round pick on a backup, so what? How many other 5th round picks turn into backups? How many other 5th round picks end up on your bench all year? Most of them. The difference is that none of them have the upside of LJ. If you get a guy who ends up as the KC starting RB (27ppg) in the 5th round, you should cakewalk your way to a championship. No other guy that late can provide you with that kind of potential to win it all, and half of them are just as likely to end up on your bench for even longer than LJ.
Disagree on Gates. I certainly don't remember anyone putting a #1 corner on him..And to be honest..How could they? Most top corners aren't over 6'2. Thats a whole 3 inches shorter and 50 some pounds lighter than Gates is..and what TE doesn't go on a bad streak? 2 TDs in 4 games would be impressive for most TE's. I don't see why it's a problem.
aussieboy wrote: I have a feeling 95% of people that are taking Larry around the 5th round are those that selected Priest in the 1st round, and are shaking in their boots at the thought of Holmes getting injured. I doubt the guys without Priest are taking him that early. Chances are if you do take Priest, Larry will still be available a couple of rounds later if you don't take him in the 5th.
In the 6 Sporting News mocks I've done, LJ is going in the fifth or sixth and in NONE of them was he taken as the handcuff for Priest. Makes no sense to me unless people are gambling Priest will get injured.
In a way you have to know who you're drafting against - probably few of us here at the Cafe would draft LJ in the 5th except as a handcuff but Joe Blow out there might well do so, possibly screwing up the Priest owner's strategy. I hope I don't end up with Priest for that reason, you basically are using a high first and fifth for what amounts to one (really good) RB.
I agree that both will probably be drafted too high in many leagues. But, at the risk of sounding stupid, their relative values do somewhat depend on scoring rules. I assume you are looking at fairly standard rules, but we give a point for each reception in our league. Gates was one of the top 20 FF point producers in our league last year with that scoring system. Ward was high because he is was a possession receiver and was good for 5-7 catches a game even if no TD. I expect that both Gates and Gonzo will be taken by the end of the 3rd round in our league because of our scoring system. Ward may go later, but not much.