Five players to avoid on Draft Day

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - On Draft Day it's important to get the most value from every selection. With that in mind I've listed five guys who will not perform up to fantasy owners' expectations.

Darren McFadden, Oakland (current fantasyfootballnerd.com ranking 12) -

McFadden finished a surprising fifth among running backs in 2010 with 250 fantasy points. So why is he on the list of those to avoid in 2011?

McFadden is being selected at the end of the first round which is a heavy price to pay for a guy who has started only 25 of 48 games in his first three seasons.

If you dissect his 2010 season, you'll find that he scored 40-percent of those points in two monster 50+ point weeks. In the other 11 games he averaged a bit over 13 ppg. If you are in a head-to-head league, that is not the consistency you are looking for in a late-first, early-second round pick.

McFadden also has a history of injury problems which even last season cost him three games. He is the Raiders' primary offensive weapon in a run-oriented offense which should be good until you consider how little the defense will pay attention to his team's passing game. It wasn't very good last year and they lost their No.1 pass catcher - tight end Zach Miller to Seattle.

For the same price you could select Roddy White, Calvin Johnson or Michael Turner all of whom have been better for a longer period of time than McFadden.

Peyton Hillis, Cleveland (25) -

Hillis is a solid running back who was forced to carry the load for the Browns last season. And while he did a good job at it, he clearly wore down by fantasy playoff time. In Cleveland's first 13 games, Hillis ran for 1,070 yard and caught 57 balls for another 446 yards. In the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16), Hillis could only manage 107 yards and four catches for 31 yards. In other words, if your goal was to get to the playoffs, he was good, but if you actually wanted to win your fantasy league he was no help at the most important point of the season.

And while the addition of former Green Bay running back Brandon Jackson and the return from injury of highly though of Montario Hardesty may help his stamina, they will vulture carries and yards. It's a "Catch-22" that will leave his fantasy owners wanting more.

Antonio Gates, San Diego (42) -

Gates is the best tight end in football when he is on the field and healthy. Unfortunately he's been injury-prone over the past few seasons - plantar fasciitis. Yes, he was magnificent through the first half of the season, but using a fourth-round on him is a high-risk maneuver.

With the tight end position overflowing with talent, using the fourth round pick at another position and selecting a tight end later in the draft should yield better production. Jason Witten, Dallas Clark and Vernon Davis will be available in the fifth round. Owen Daniels, Jimmy Graham, Kellen Winslow, Marcedes Lewis and Greg Olsen will still be out there in the seventh and eighth rounds.

Marques Colston, New Orleans (54) -

Colston is a great talent, but hasn't figured out how to start all 16 games in a season. In five years he's never started more than 14 games and averages 11.4 starts per season. Being Drew Brees' No.1 receiver has certainly been a boon to his fantasy totals, but it's also a curse in that Brees like to spread the ball around. Only once in five seasons has Colston caught more than 85 passes.

In addition, the Saints selected Mark Ingram in the first round of this year's NFL draft and along with Pierre Thomas and free agent Darren Sproles should help the Saints run a more balanced offense. That may be good for New Orleans' win total (they won the Super Bowl in the only year over the past four in which Brees threw less than 600 passes), but it will ultimately limit Colston's production.

For about the same price you could have Wes Welker, Steve Johnson or Jeremy Maclin.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis, New England (66) -

The two most difficult coaches to "read" are Mike Shanahan and Bill Belichick. Belichick always seems to feature different backs each week. While the "Law Firm" should still get the goal line carries the team has added young talent at the position in Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. Throw in Danny Woodhead as the third-down receiving back and Green-Ellis could lose a significant number of attempts.

Instead of Green-Ellis, you could choose Marshawn Lynch (69), Fred Jackson (70), Joseph Addai (71), Daniel Thomas (74) or Mike Tolbert (75).

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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