Remember the hype for Ben Tate last year? Man, it was nearly as nauseating as Marshal Faulk's glowing words for Georgia Frontiere. And as soon as Tate went down, the fantasy world fell in love with Steve Slaton. How did that turn out? I don't want to be one of those guys who points and says, "I told you so," but I did. With that in mind, I am releasing my first list of Steve Slaton All-Stars -- the guys you would like to avoid heading into your fantasy football drafts this season. Let's get into this.
Diminutive running backs coming off knee injuries are kind of a red flag for me. Plus there has been talk of Rashard Jennings getting more carries -- even more worrisome is that they would be goal-line carries. You cannot whiff on your first-round pick, so be sure to avoid.
Seattle is the graveyard of fantasy production for receivers -- just ask anybody saddled with Deion Branch and T.J. Houshmanzadeh in recent years. But Rice could be much different when you consider that Branch and Houshmanzadeh played with Matt Hasselbeck and Rice will be playing with Tarvaris Jackson. So it could be different -- as in much worse.
And if it is not going to end well for Rice, how much worse is it going to get for Miller? Not only is John Carlson still on the team, just look at the dip in production for Seattle's tight ends last season in Pete Carroll's offense. You have to wonder, is playing for the Raiders really that bad? That is rhetorical.
Forte is like any movie that stars Will Ferrell: The promise is there but he is best when it comes in small doses. Or in fantasy football terms, Forte is great as a complementary piece to your fantasy football team, but when you are expecting him to carry the whole thing, you will just end up disappointed.
I have no proof of this, and this is merely conjecture, but I sincerely believe that Olin Kreutz fled to New Orleans because he could not stand Cutler. Again, I have no proof of this. I am not trying to start rumors, but it makes sense, right? But just as Kreutz chose Drew Brees over Cutler, you should do the same.
You are bound to have some Jets or USC honk in your draft who believes that this is the year that Sanchez starts winging the ball like Joe Namath. Let them think that. And more importantly, let them be stuck with Sanchez during your fantasy draft.
Nobody had better dare question the genius of Rex Ryan, but can somebody explain how going from a 28-year-old former No. 1 receiver (Braylon Edwards) to a guy coming off a two-year prison sentence is an upgrade? This would be Ryan's most questionable decision of the offseason, were it not for his leg tattoo.
The Broncos might have avoided potential disaster holding on to Kyle Orton and resisting the chance to start the Tim Tebow era. That is good. But having John Fox in charge, instead of pass-happy Josh McDaniels, will be the biggest ding to Lloyd's value.
I tend to view Jones' career much the same way that I approach every one Jason Alexander's post-Seinfeld projects -- everybody believes this is going to be the one to push him to superstardom, and yet every time we are disappointed. If Lonyae Miller is not the Cowboys' top runner this season, I will sit through one of Elliot Harrison's eight-hour lectures on the Cowboys.
Ochocinco is not going to have the same career rebound that Randy Moss had when he joined the Patriots -- that is not happening. Besides, I'm still skeptical of this Bill Belichick and Ochocinco relationship. This is the kind of thing that looks good from afar, but not so much when you are in the middle of it -- kind of like dating Jennifer Aniston.
Tim Hightower/Ryan Torain
Torain is an annual sleeper pick. Hightower could be the guy this year after coming over in a trade from Arizona. Or what about rookie Roy Helu? You know what -- (expletive) it -- avoid all Redskins running backs this year. Odds are, the star will be somebody that most of us have never heard of.
St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford had a pretty nice year for a rookie in 2010. That still did not translate to fantasy football. Factor in the lack of minicamps for these guys, and you would have a better chance of Cam Newton scoring you a good deal on a laptop, instead of scoring for your fantasy team.
Many fantasy enthusiasts have been waiting for Wells to finally take over the role as the Cardinals' lead back. Keep waiting. A few days into camp and Ryan Williams is already starting to look like the better pure running back.
Drafting a Saints receiver is a lot like watching a Judd Apatow movie -- sure it starts off promising, but three hours later you end up asking yourself what the hell happened. And nothing is more maddening than needing Colston to deliver in a big game, only to watch Bobby Meachem have six touchdown receptions instead.
This has become an annual tradition, but Manning is somebody to avoid very early in drafts. Manning is a terrific quarterback, but the neck injury and the seeming lack of commitment to get better players around him is rather disturbing. Have the Colts even made a blip since Manning took that "pay cut" to $19 million?