Whether it's due to team personnel alterations or depth-chart movement, there are almost always a significant number of players who experience a decrease in value. As we close in on the start of the regular season and fantasy football drafts, let's take a look at the 20 players who have seen the greatest fall in value or could produce more inconsistent numbers.
David Carr, QB, Carolina: Carr went from Houston to Carolina in the offseason, and now he's behind Jake Delhomme on the depth chart. He spent most of his time in a Texans uniform on his back behind a bad offensive line, and now he'll spend a lot of time on the Panthers sidelines rather than on the field. Unless he takes over for Delhomme, Carr will have no draft value.
Daunte Culpepper, QB, Oakland: The holder of two of the top six most productive fantasy football seasons ever at his position, Culpepper is in a battle for the top spot on the depth chart with Josh McCown. With no real long-term potential in silver and black, Culpepper could be holding a clipboard more than he wears a helmet late this season.
Eli Manning, QB, N.Y. Giants: Manning was considered a surefire No. 1 fantasy quarterback headed into last season, but his value took a serious hit after his inconsistent performances and sudden proneness to interceptions. While he did throw 24 touchdown passes, Manning is now seen as more of a No. 2 fantasy quarterback headed into the 2007 season.
Chris Simms, QB, Tampa Bay: The son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, Chris has dropped to at least third on the Buccaneers' depth chart behind Jeff Garcia and Luke McCown. The former Texas standout was considered a viable No. 2 or 3 fantasy quarterback in most 2006 drafts, but now he won't even be on the radar.
Michael Vick, QB, Atlanta: Banned from Falcons training camp by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell due to serious off-the-field issues, Vick will now be forced to miss the entire 2007 season. The versatile but controversial quarterback finished in the top five in fantasy points at his position last season, but now he won't even be selected in most drafts.
Mike Bell, RB, Denver: When the Broncos traded Tatum Bell to Detroit in the Dré Bly deal, Bell's value shot through the roof. That situation was short-lived, however, as the team added Travis Henry as their new featured back a few days later. Bell now becomes insurance and will be worth a late-round choice for owners who draft Henry.
Reuben Droughns, RB, N.Y. Giants: A one-time fullback whose value exploded under head coach Mike Shanahan in Denver, Droughns now comes off a weak statistical season in Cleveland and a trade to the Giants. While he will see his share of carries, Droughns will open the season behind Brandon Jacobs and is worth no more than a late-round selection.
Warrick Dunn, RB, Atlanta: Dunn, 32, is recovered from surgical procedures on his shoulder and back but is no lock to start for the Falcons this season. New head coach Bobby Petrino wants to use more of a power rushing game and will use Jerious Norwood and rookie Jason Snelling, so Dunn could become more of a third-down or change-of-pace back.
Kevin Jones, RB, Detroit: Jones was in the midst of a breakout season for the Lions in 2006, but an injured foot caused him to miss the final three weeks. Even when he returns to action in the regular season (Week 7), Jones will share carries with Tatum Bell and could lose goal-line looks to T.J. Duckett, so he's no more than a No. 3 fantasy back.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville: Jones-Drew's rookie heroics led numerous owners to a fantasy football championship last season, but Fred Taylor's continued presence and Greg Jones' return from an injured knee have caused his value to slide. In fact, the UCLA product should now be considered no more than a No. 2 fantasy back.
LaMont Jordan, RB, Oakland: A surefire first-round selection in drafts last season, Jordan failed to meet statistical expectations in a porous Raiders offense and will now have to share the workload with Dominic Rhodes when Rhodes returns from suspension. With rookie Michael Bush possibly in the mix as well, Jordan's stock has taken an Enron-like fall in all formats.
Jamal Lewis, RB, Cleveland: The Browns have improved their offensive line with the addition of G Eric Steinbach and T Joe Thomas, but the wear and tear of 1,822 regular-season carries and the sixth-hardest run schedule makes Lewis a real risk for owners. Furthermore, almost 20 percent of his 7,801 career rushing yards have come against his new team.
Leon Washington, RB, N.Y. Jets: Washington appeared to be the favorite to start for head coach Eric Mangini in 2007, but the addition of Thomas Jones ended that speculation. While he will remain an important part of the offense, Washington won't see enough of the workload to be more than late-round insurance for owners who land Jones in drafts.
LenDale White, RB, Tennessee: White is still considered the favorite to start for head coach Jeff Fisher, but the addition of rookie Chris Henry and veteran Chris Brown have him in a heated battle for the top spot on the depth chart. Unless he shows motivation in training camp, White will be worth little more than a middle-to-late round choice.
Isaac Bruce, WR, St. Louis: Bruce, who will turn 35 in November, comes off one of the quietest 1,000-yard seasons of his career and could struggle to reach that mark again after the additions of Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael. With Torry Holt back to 100 percent and Bennett and McMichael in the mix, Bruce won't be more than a No. 4 fantasy wideout.
Mike Furrey, WR, Detroit: One the most productive sleepers in 2006, Furrey now has little chance to duplicate the 98 receptions and 1,086 yards he recorded after the first-round selection of rookie Calvin Johnson. Now penciled in to be the team's new slot receiver, Furrey still has draft value but can't be leaned on to produce on a consistent basis.
Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati: The talented but troubled Henry has been suspended for eight games due to off-field issues, so he won't be available to the Bengals until at least Nov. 11 (Week 10) at Baltimore. A touchdown machine in his first two NFL seasons, Henry is now little more than a late-round flier for owners who can stash him away on their bench.
Joe Horn, WR, Atlanta: Once considered a No. 1 fantasy receiver, Horn's proneness to injuries in recent seasons has caused him to fall from the elite. New head coach Bobby Petrino's penchant for passing is a positive, but the Falcons lack a reliable complement and it won't be so simple to improve a passing offense that was the worst in the NFL last season.
Tony Scheffler, TE, Denver: Once a terrific sleeper candidate, Scheffler's value tumbled when the Broncos signed Daniel Graham. It's hard to imagine that the team would spend so much money for a tight end to block and not be involved in the pass attack, so Scheffler's opportunities will be restricted. He's worth a late-round flier at best.
Lawrence Tynes, K, N.Y. Giants: Tynes has been a top-10 kicker on most fantasy football rank lists in recent seasons, but that won't be the case in 2007 after an offseason trade to the Giants. With weather and wind much more of an issue at the Meadowlands than at Arrowhead Stadium, Tynes is now much more of a No. 2 fantasy kicker in most formats.