Last week on Twitter and Facebook, I asked you, the fantasy football enthusiast, to give me your "Frightening Five" for the 2012 NFL season. That is, the five players you are more scared to take in a fantasy draft. The response was enormous (and I thank you all for your submissions!) In fact, I went from the original "Frightening Five" and expanded list to what I'll now call the "Terrifying Ten."
So without further ado, here are the 10 players who scare you the most in 2012:
10. Michael Vick, QB, Eagles: This isn't a surprise, as Vick is uber-talented but also prone to injuries because of his style of play. You might even call him a bust last season, as Vick finished 11th in fantasy points at his position one year removed from being the top-scoring quarterback in fantasy land. Based on his potential to score, both as a passer and a runner, it will be tough to pass on Vick if he falls into the fourth or fifth round. But if you do land him, it's important to grab a No. 2 quarterback you can lean on should he go down with an injury once again.
9. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots: Gronkowski is coming off the best fantasy season ever for a tight end, posting 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and an NFL record 17 touchdown catches (18 total). It's those numbers that make him a bit scary from a fantasy perspective, because duplicating that high level of success in back to back seasons is going to be difficult. If you're in a draft with someone who believes in him, Gronkowski could come off the board as soon as Round 1 or 2. Personally, I won't be drafting a tight end that high -- I'll wait and land someone like Fred Davis.
8. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: I was surprised to see that on average, you were more scared of Johnson than other runners like Frank Gore, Michael Turner and Steven Jackson. But that's what happens when you're a top-five pick and fail to finish in the top 15 at your own position (based on fantasy points). While that's a good reason for some level of fear, I think CJ2K bounces back and has a solid season in 2012. There will be no lockout, no holdout and no distractions for the talented running back, so don't be afraid to grab him somewhere in the second round on draft day.
7. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Charles was a top-five pick in most 2011 fantasy drafts, so it was a crushing blow for owners when he went down with a torn ACL in the second week of the season. All seems to be going well in his recovery, but we all know that most runners coming off reconstructive knee surgery need at least one full season to get back to their previous level. When you factor that with the addition of Peyton Hillis, and there is cause for concern. When you consider the running back position as a whole, however, Charles is still a high-end No. 2 option this year.
T-6. Matt Forte, RB, Bears: See what the threat of a contractual holdout will do to a player's value? Forte was on pace to post a monster season in terms of receptions and yardage in 2011, but a knee injury cost him the final four games. Now entrenched in what could become an ugly battle over money with the Bears, Forte could turn into a risk-reward fantasy pick. Another reason to fear Forte is the presence of Michael Bush, who could steal carries and vulture touchdowns in the red zone. I still see him as a No. 1 fantasy back, but Forte's stock is dropping right now.