The first few rounds of every fantasy football draft always seem to be filled with can’t miss, proven studs that anyone would be happy to have on their team. However, if you end up spending a high pick on a player that doesn’t produce, your team’s shot at the ‘ship could be sunk before it even sets out to sail. Here are a few potential land mines I suggest you think long and hard about before picking up or putting on your fantasy football cheat sheet.
Michael Vick QB Philadelphia Eagles
I know, I know. The feel good story of 2010 has everybody buzzing about what could be in store for this season. But a couple of excellent Monday Night Football performances does not a fantasy star make, and I’m going to have to play buzz kill on this one. Vick’s turnover-prone alter ego started to rear it’s ugly head towards the second half of the season, and it makes me wonder if the shock and awe factor defenses once felt when they played against him has worn off. MV7’s playing style also lends itself to increased injuries, evidenced by the brutal hit he suffered at the goal line against the Redskins, and I don’t like my starting QB to be on the bench. Ever. I’m not saying Vick won’t be solid, but some people seem to be awful antsy about grabbing him in the first round. I say wait a few rounds to grab a QB, and you will be much happier come playoff time.
Michael Turner RB Atlanta Falcons
It pains me to say this, but this might be the year “The Burner” ACTUALLY falls apart. Reports of his demise seem to have been greatly exaggerated the past few seasons, as he went on to post very solid numbers after a couple of slow starts. But with Turner coming off a season in which he carried the rock 334 times (the second time he has hit the 330 mark in the last three seasons), and with Falcon’s offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey looking like he is ready to finally let Matt Ryan carry the load, it seems like “Burner Turner” might finally be fading away.
Frank Gore RB San Francisco 49ers
There has never been any denying Gore’s talent, but I am from the school of thought that believes in getting a can’t miss player with my first round pick, rather than an injury plagued question mark. Gore hasn’t played a full 16 game season since 2006, and he is edging towards the dreaded age 30, which has claimed so many once-formidable running backs of yesteryear. An improved offensive line should help keep the injury bug away, but with the capable Anthony Dixon waiting in the wings, I’m holding off on Gore in the first couple of rounds.
Larry Fitzgerald WR Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald’s inclusion on this list is from a purely situational standpoint. Look, Fitz is probably one of the top three receivers in the league. Period. Unfortunately, without a real live NFL caliber quarterback to throw him the ball, his limitless potential will go under utilized. Such is life in the big leagues. We saw what Fitzgerald could do when he had a real pro like Kurt Warner throwing to him, and that player unquestionably warrants a first round pick. But you try catching passes from John Skelton and see how you do out there, buddy. The Cardinals passed on a QB in the first round of the NFL draft this year, giving Fitzgerald fans no relief, and even though they are actively exploring the possibility of trading for Kevin Kolb from the Eagles, it’s no guarantee he ends up in Phoenix. All I know is that there is no quality quarterback out there in the desert that can throw the ball downfield to Larry, and until there is, I’m going to have to pass on the Pitt product.
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