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NFL fantasy football: 10 players to avoid

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  • By Marcas Grant NFL.com
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Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams: The Rams have done a lot to upgrade their offense from past years and Bradford will have the same offensive coordinator (Brian Schottenheimer) for consecutive seasons for the first time in his career. That's good. But he plays in arguably the toughest division in the NFL -- a division that only got stronger in the offseason. Plus, the Rams have the most difficult schedule for fantasy QBs in 2013. That's bad.

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James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers: Jones came from seemingly nowhere to surpass Jordy Nelson as Green Bay's No. 2 receiver. The veteran caught a career-high 14 touchdown passes, doubling his previous best. That won't happen again. As Nelson gets healthy and Randall Cobb continues to develop, Jones will likely fall back in the pecking order.

Greg Jennings, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Jennings moves to Minnesota, where he'll be the undisputed top target for Christian Ponder. But his quarterback will be Christian Ponder, which is a big step down from Aaron Rodgers. Besides, this offense is still built around Adrian Peterson. With Jennings' injury issues in recent seasons, he'll be hard pressed to find his previous form.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Green-Ellis was a fantasy frustration last season. He failed to top the 100-yard mark until Week 10 and scored just six touchdowns all season. This season, he'll have Bernard Scott and rookie Giovani Bernard lurking behind him, seeking carries. Oh, and his schedule? Fourth-toughest for fantasy running backs.

Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos: It's getting crowded in the Denver passing game since the addition of Wes Welker. This isn't to say Decker will be worthless to fantasy owners. But if anyone is likely to lose targets with a new guy in town, it's going to be Decker rather than Demaryius Thomas.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: You're probably thinking, "Duh, of course he'll be a bust". Still, it's worse than you might be thinking. Despite his inconsistency, Johnson has averaged more than 1,200 yards per season since his 2,000-yard campaign. But he has a relatively unfriendly schedule and a backfield mate in Shonn Greene that's likely to steal some of his short-yardage and goal-line touches this year.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have had rumblings to suggest they could add more backfield help because of Murray's growing injury history. So even if there's no one on the roster there to immediately steal his carries, Murray's inability to stay on the field means Dallas is less likely to count on him -- which will impact fantasy owners.

The downgrade from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder is bad news for Greg Jennings’ draft value.
The downgrade from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder is bad news for Greg Jennings’ draft value. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports/)

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens: Flacco's postseason was phenomenal. His regular season was mediocre. Now he enters 2013 with a schedule that will do him no favors and a major loss at wide receiver with Anquan Boldin in San Francisco. Sure, Jacoby Jones shows promise ... but is it enough to make Flacco anything more than an average fantasy QB? I wouldn't bet on it.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings: Rudolph personified inconsistency in 2012, yet still landed in the top 10 at his position. That speaks volumes about the lack of depth at the position last year. This year, he'll lose some of those targets to Greg Jennings and possibly to first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson.

Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings: Did I include a kicker on this list? Yes. Yes, I did. Walsh was a revelation last season, thanks in part to booting 10 field goals from 50-plus yards. It's hard to imagine him even seeing 10 attempts from that distance this year, let alone having 10 conversions. Consider him less of a "bust" and more of a "temper your expectations".

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. You can find him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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