Big Names, Small Production

Fantasy players have been overrating Frank Gore since 2007.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It happens every draft. It's your turn to make a selection and the owner just in front of you picks the guy you were targeting.

As the room complains about all the time you are taking and you're frantically flipping through pages and pages of notes, you select a well-known player who in the past has played well and is listed high on whatever draft rankings you brought to the table. But the minute the name comes out of your mouth, you know it's a mistake. Worse, you are still going to be thinking about who you should have picked later in the draft and it's going to effect those selections as well.

We've all done it in the past. Let's sidestep the situation this time by avoiding those highly ranked but ultimately "bad" selections. Below are eight guys to avoid in 2010.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco (RapidDraft ADP 6.1) - If you have the sixth pick in the draft and you wanted Andre Johnson who was picked at No.5 you might be tempted to select Gore. Don't. Fantasy players have been overrating Gore since 2007, expecting him to repeat his 2006 statistics of 2,180 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. He hasn't gotten close, yet continues to be one of the top five or six running backs off the board. In PPR leagues that's at least understandable based on his receiving ability, but in non-PPR leagues, that's simply too high. The team seems to be turning away from the ground game and the 49ers already had a 59-percent vs.41-percent split favoring the pass in 2009. They also recently signed Brian Westbrook, who if anywhere near healthy, could cut into Gore's carries.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City (ADP 8) - Sure he had a great finish to the 2009 season, but he did have a soft schedule for that output - playing Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Denver down the stretch. The Chiefs added Thomas Jones in the offseason (1,402 yards, 14 TDs in 2009). Do you really want to gamble that your first-round pick might be in a "shared situation?" Take a better option in Michael Turner (ADP 9.3).

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona (ADP 14.9) - The Kurt Warner-to-Fitzgerald hookup was very good, but Warner is retired and Matt Leinart will be in control of the Cardinals offense. There is only a small amount of data with which to analyze the "new" combination's ability to work together. There has been 14 games over the past four seasons in which Leinart was the starter and Fitzgerald played. In those games, Fitzgerald averaged 5.6 receptions for 78.1 yards and scored five times. Not exactly second-round pick statistics, but that's where you have to draft him to get him.

Wes Welker, WR, New England (ADP 41.5) - Welker makes his living by being quicker off the ball than the defender and making quick cuts and stops. Can you really expect that from a guy who suffered a major knee injury (ACL and MCL) in January? Worse, knowing that Bill Belichick keeps health information away from the public better than the CIA protects their secrets, do you want to use a fourth-round pick on him when you could get an Anquan Boldin or Michael Crabtree or Mike Sims-Walker at the same price?

Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami (ADP 68.9) - Did you know that Brown has only cracked the 1,000-yard mark once in his five-year career or that he's only scored more than eight touchdowns in a season one time? He's also only played 32 out of the last 48 Dolphins games.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants (ADP 82.5) - Jacobs is another running back, like Brown, who can't seem to put together a 16-game season due to injury. Even in his best season, 2008, when he scored 15 times, he still barely cracked 1,000 yards and shared the backfield with Derrick Ward. If you simply must take a Giants' running back, I think Ahmad Bradshaw is the better choice.

Clinton Portis, RB, Washington (ADP 112) - If this were 2005, I'd be all for selecting Portis. But it's 2010 and Portis hasn't been a good running back since the middle of 2008. It's been 19 games and numerous injuries since Portis had at least one touchdown and 100 yards in a game (Cleveland, Week 7 2008). He'll be running behind a weak offensive line and sharing time with Larry Johnson and Ryan Torain. I'd rather have Oakland running back Michael Bush than gamble on the situation in our nation's capitol.

Donovan McNabb, QB, Washington (ADP 135) - While the 2004 version of McNabb might be able to survive all the problems in Washington, the 2010 version could have a lot of problems. Lack of talent at wide receiver and the line's ability, or inability, to block the rush are two of the problems which will leave McNabb's fantasy owners struggling to find a better options. Don't be blinded by the "big name." I'd rather have Alex Smith (ADP 136) or Chad Henne (ADP 166).

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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