Draft kit | Sleepers | Deep sleepers | Breakouts | Bargains | Strategies
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans: Remember when Schaub was a surefire No. 1 fantasy quarterback? Well, I don't think he's getting back to that level in 2012. The Texans are going to run the football with Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and their defense is so good that shootouts aren't going to happen. Draft Schaub as a No. 2 option, but don't consider him elite anymore.
Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: The Niners have Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs, LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon in their backfield mix heading into training camp. That is one heck of a crowded backfield. To add more fuel to the fire, Gore is coming off one of his heaviest career workloads (counting the postseason) -- he's also not getting any younger.
Roy Helu, RB, Redskins: Helu might be the most talented runner in Washington, but can you trust him? First, the 'Skins also boast a backfield that contains Tim Hightower, Evan Royster and rookie Alfred Morris. And second, do you really want to lean on a running back who is coached by Mike Shanahan? I'd pass on Helu unless he falls down in the draft.
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: I thought Ingram would be the best Saints running back from a fantasy perspective last season. Clearly, I was dead wrong. Now that he's coming off a disappointing rookie campaign, not to mention his third knee surgery in three offseasons, I've lost some faith in the Alabama product. Don't draft him to play in a prominent role.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks: Lynch is coming off the best fantasy season of his pro career, finishing fourth in points among runners. But will he post another 13 touchdowns, including at least one score in 11 straight games? Probably not. I also have at least some concern that he could lose his motivation after signing a big contract extension.
Michael Turner, RB, Falcons: Turner, who turned 30 during the offseason, has recorded 300-plus carries in three of the last four years and is a candidate to break down in 2012. Another reason to be worried about the veteran is that his rushing yards and touchdowns have decreased in each of his last three full seasons. The statistical cliff is coming soon.
Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets: Holmes is the No. 1 wideout for coach Rex Ryan, but he's not close to that level in fantasy land. Outside of his lone 1,000-yard season, Holmes has averaged an unimpressive 52 catches and 797 yards in his other five NFL seasons. When you also consider the Jets' move to more of a rushing offense, Holmes' stock drops further.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: While no one can dispute his playmaking skills, Jackson is overrated in fantasy football. Since 2009, his reception, yardage and touchdown totals have experienced a steady drop. In 2011, he was 27th in fantasy points among wide receivers. If you do draft him, it shouldn't be as more than a No. 3 wideout in the middle rounds.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers: Jackson was 10th in fantasy points at his position last season, but that was in a dynamic offense with a talented quarterback in Philip Rivers under center. Now in Tampa Bay, he'll be in more of a run-oriented offense with Josh Freeman, not Rivers, at the helm. I wouldn't consider him more than a low-end No. 2 in drafts.
Laurent Robinson, WR, Jaguars: What are the chances Robinson duplicates the 11 touchdowns he scored last season? Well, I have a better chance at a date with Kate Upton. Not only will Robinson be catching passes from Blaine Gabbert instead of Tony Romo, but he'll also see more defensive attention in 2012. I wouldn't touch him until the very late rounds.