Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Draft Prep: Can these breakouts do it again?

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Not every player you'll consider in Fantasy is as safe as Peyton Manning or a lock to put up nice numbers like Adrian Peterson. Like it or not, some guys you'll look at on Draft Day will carry some risk. Some more than others, and perhaps the guys with the most risk are the ones coming off a big year without any previous success.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Football.

Granted, everyone who ultimately becomes "safe" has to have a great first year sometime. Guys like Reggie Wayne, DeAngelo Williams, Wes Welker and Drew Brees needed a few years in the league before finally breaking out and showing some stability. Now Fantasy owners are grabbing for them with little hesitation.

Every year players pop out of the woodwork and help us win Fantasy games and league titles, and then the next year they disappoint us. Not all of them, obviously, but a fair share. Wouldn't it be cool if we could pinpoint the guys who might keep up their totals from last year before the season started while pumping the brakes on the players that might disappoint us?

Let's give it a try.

Running backs

Arian Foster, Texans
Before 2010: The Texans sort of buried Foster until they needed him, and even then they buried him. His first NFL start, in 2009, was marred by a first quarter fumble that led to his benching. He ended his rookie year on a productive note -- 242 total yards and three scores in his last two games, giving some optimism about his future until the Texans spent a second-round pick on Ben Tate last April.
In 2010: Foster went from unlikely starter to matchup-busting Fantasy superstar, giving the Texans the stud rusher they've missed since Steve Slaton.
One-year wonder? The Texans have historically had trouble finding stability at running back -- the likes of Domanick Davis and Steve Slaton flamed out after two productive seasons. If Foster follows suit, then he'll at least be productive this season. If he breaks from that pack, then he'll be strong for a long time. Either way, we know he has the talent to be a stat monster and the opportunity will be there for him in 2011.

Peyton Hillis, Browns
Before 2010: Hillis was a beefy afterthought. Part-time fullback, part-time third-down back and part-time bruising rusher. He never really had much of a chance to play regularly in Denver and wasn't handed the opportunity to play regularly when he arrived in Cleveland last spring.
In 2010: Injuries forced Hillis into action, and he shined. He mowed down every defense not named the Steelers he saw and went one game without a touchdown until December, when all the wear and tear caught up with him and he slowed down.
One-year wonder? There's no doubt that he's a bigger piece of the Browns offense now than he was a year ago, but at the same time the team knows they cannot possibly count on him as much as they did in 2010. His running style lends itself to injuries, and that's never a good thing. His receiving skills are great for Cleveland's new offense and he'll still be a bulldozer at the goal line, but everything else -- mainly his reps -- remain question marks. We suspect his total yardage will decline thanks to assists from Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson, but his touchdown production might not fall far. That means he won't match his totals from a year ago and therefore might be perceived as a bust.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead, Patriots
Before 2010: Green-Ellis was a backup with the Pats and Woodhead was a Jets practice squadder and occasional benchwarmer. Neither player was drafted into the NFL.
In 2010: Injuries kicked down the door for Green-Ellis to start seeing playing time, and he never gave up his role thanks to not fumbling and scoring plenty of short-yardage touchdowns (13 total). The Pats picked up Woodhead off of the Jets' trash heap and he served as a great change-of-pace rusher and short-area receiver, filling in for Kevin Faulk for most of the year (six total touchdowns).
One-year wonder? Despite the success of this one-two combo, the Patriots spent a second-round pick on Shane Vereen and a third-round pick on Stevan Ridley. Granted, they effectively took the roster spots of Faulk and Fred Taylor, but they're young hungry rushers that will push Green-Ellis and Woodhead. But that said, Bill Belichick has never taken a good player off the field, and neither Green-Ellis nor Woodhead have done anything to warrant benching. So long as that continues, the impact by the Pats' rookies will be small. Green-Ellis is the safer pick to avoid being a bust of the two.

Mike Tolbert, Chargers
Before 2010: Tolbert spent two seasons toiling on the Chargers bench, mainly as a fullback. He had 38 carries, 30 catches and five touchdowns over two seasons.
In 2010: Ryan Mathews' ankle injury led to Tolbert taking on much more of the rushing workload for the Chargers. He didn't disappoint, scoring 11 touchdowns on 182 carries (735 yards) while flashing some soft hands (25 catches for 216 yards).
One-year wonder? Chances are that Tolbert will have a reduced role -- perhaps a part-time back and possible goal-line guy -- while Mathews takes the starting job. Unless Mathews gets hurt again, Tolbert's touches will sink like a rock. He could still sneak into the end zone six or seven times while picking up carries and catches here and there, but it's hard to expect Tolbert to put up numbers like he did last season given Mathews' presence.

LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers
Before 2010: Blount was in college, known for a well-publicized post-game incident while with the Oregon Ducks. That incident overshadowed his abilities and led to him not getting drafted.
In 2010: Blount initially latched on with the Titans but was cut just before the start of the season (Tennessee tried to sneak him on to its practice squad). The Bucs jumped on him and Blount ultimately got a chance to rumble in the Bay. Despite starting only the Bucs' final seven games, Blount totaled 1,007 yards (on 201 carries!) with six touchdowns.
One-year wonder? Blount has reportedly slimmed down in an effort to be in top shape, and that can't hurt things. But the offensive line he'll run behind won't be quite as good as the one he had last season, and the passing game in Tampa Bay is expected to improve, thus taking some opportunities away. But let's put it this way: The Bucs will have some real problems if Blount doesn't deliver some stats. They're thin at running back, which suggests that Blount will have many chances to be the primary ball carrier there. That commitment is enough to appease Fantasy owners on Draft Day, but a challenging schedule (at least to start the year) could bring some headaches.

Wide receivers

Brandon Lloyd, Broncos
Before 2010: Lloyd was considered a massive bust, an underachiever. He was blessed with solid hands but he found himself getting booted from every opportunity he had for various reasons. In seven seasons he had 164 catches for 2,370 yards and 15 touchdowns.
In 2010: According to Lloyd, he was told by then-head coach Josh McDaniels that he was a special talent. McDaniels apparently loved Lloyd coming out of Illinois back in 2003. So McDaniels gave Lloyd a chance to play and Lloyd came through with one of the best receiving seasons in Broncos history: 77 grabs for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns, dwarfing all of his previous career-highs. Not bad for a receiver in his eighth NFL season.
One-year wonder? Most of what's happened to Lloyd since last season suggests that he will struggle in 2011. For starters, McDaniels' pass-heavy attack is gone and the coaching staff in Denver, led by the conservative John Fox, might opt to play closer to the vest. That could limit Lloyd's targets a bit and deep balls a lot. There is also the potential for Kyle Orton, the quarterback who helped establish Lloyd, to get moved and for Tim Tebow to start. Tebow isn't as good as Orton, and that means the passes to Lloyd might not be as sharp (though it is worth noting here that Tebow and Lloyd connected for two touchdowns and 263 yards in three games late last season). But Lloyd's track record is what might make him the most untrustworthy of all, and the potential of spending a fourth- or fifth-round pick on a receiver who might deliver 700 yards and five touchdowns is enough to scare owners into another direction. And finally, defensive coordinators spent time this spring and summer going over Lloyd's film and finding his weaknesses (they had plenty of time to do it!). So despite him being in a contract year and motivated to prove people like us wrong, Fantasy owners shouldn't stand in line to draft Lloyd.

Steve Johnson, Bills
Before 2010: Johnson wasn't on the map in Buffalo, even with their receiving corps pretty much as thin as it's always been. In 16 games he had 12 catches for 112 yards and two scores, both coming late in his rookie season.
In 2010: Chan Gailey showed up in Buffalo and liked what he saw in Johnson. Though it took all of the preseason and a couple of weeks into the regular season for him to show up, Johnson caught fire starting in Week 3 and caught touchdowns in five consecutive games. He finished 2010 with 10 scores, and it could have been more if not for some ill-timed drops or a poor finish. Tacking on 1,073 yards on a whopping 82 grabs didn't hurt his cause either. Johnson became popular not only for his play, but for his charismatic style off the field too.
One-year wonder? If Johnson falters in 2011, it won't be because of a change in offensive philosophy or change in quarterback. Everything's the same in Buffalo in that regard. Perhaps defenses will catch up with Johnson, just as they did in 2010 when he finished his last six games with one touchdown and no outings with more than 75 yards. He could very easily become a pedestrian receiver just as he could explode again, and that volatility should make owners think twice before drafting him.

Mike Williams, Buccaneers
Before 2010: Williams was a suspended collegiate athlete, taken off the field in Syracuse for improper violations. That knocked his NFL Draft stock down some; the Bucs swiped him in the fourth round.
In 2010: With a ton of hype surrounding him in the preseason, Williams instantly became a sensation for the Tampa Bay offense, establishing himself as a dynamic threat for Josh Freeman to latch onto. He scored in all but six games and finished with touchdowns in three straight.
One-year wonder? The last Bucs receiver to play big as a rookie was Michael Clayton, and now he's out of the league. But Williams has looked the part of a top-flight receiver since he stepped on the field at training camp last year. The Tampa Bay offense made strides last season and should continue to thanks to young talent like Williams and Freeman. We think Williams might become a special receiver in the pros and wouldn't hesitate on him this season.

Mike Williams, Seahawks
Before 2010: Where to begin? He was a former first-round pick that wore out his welcome in numerous NFL cities thanks to weight issues and effort. He was out of the league until head coach Pete Carroll brought him back and got him in shape.
In 2010: Williams met some of the potential he had when he was drafted out of USC back in 2005. He caught 65 passes for 751 yards and two touchdowns, though that was on 110 targets. That was enough to make him the Seahawks' top receiving threat.
One-year wonder? Chances are he will struggle. The Seahawks added Sidney Rice this summer to give a boost to their passing game, which as of now will be commanded by either Charlie Whitehurst or Tarvaris Jackson. That's a double dose of bad news for Williams. Owners shouldn't invest much, if anything, in him on Draft Day.

Tight ends

Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez, Patriots
Before 2010: Both were in college: Gronkowski at Arizona and Hernandez in Florida. Gronkowski was a second-round pick of the Patriots while Hernandez was a fourth-round choice.
In 2010: Hernandez burst onto the scene first with some nice outings, then Gronkowski settled in and started to carve out a regular role for himself in the Patriots offense. Gronkowski finished with 10 touchdowns, Hernandez with six.
One-year wonder? Hernandez has the bigger chance of being a bust than Gronkowski, but both could underwhelm in the wake of Chad Ochocinco's arrival in New England. With another pair of very good hands for Tom Brady to throw to in Ochocinco, the targets for both Gronkowski and Hernandez could dip. Hernandez's playing time might especially drop since he typically lined up as a receiver and that's a spot Ochocinco could take over. Gronkowski, however, is a do-it-all tight end that worked as a goal-line threat off of play-action and also converted plenty of third downs. He didn't come off the field much for New England late last season, and the belief here is that he'll continue to play a lot in 2011 -- which means he should still see a fair amount of passes come his way.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Report: Packers' Andrew Quarless arrested on gun charges
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2:07 pm ET) Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was arrested for firing a gun twice in Miami on Saturday, per the Miami New Times.

Quarless was involved in a fight at South Beach and fired the gun into the ground. 


Titans receivers can thrive in YAC with Marcus Mariota's accuracy
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) The Titans wide receiving corps could gain more yards after the catch this season because of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and his accurate throws, per ESPN.com.

The Titans were 24th in the league in yards after the catch last season, but with Mariota under center that can all change.

“If you have an accurate quarterback, it allows us to get more yards after that catch,” wide receiver Harry Douglas said. “And that’s one thing that makes a receiver dynamic -- first being able to catch the ball and then being able to do some things with it after you catch it. I feel like [to this point] Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers.”


Saints RB Khiry Robinson doesn't feel he's on outside looking in
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) Saints running back Khiry Robinson might be the least known of his backfield counterparts, but he doesn't feel like the off man out, per ESPN.com.

Robinson knows the team is heavily invested in the likes of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, but he's still confident he can thrive in whatever role the Saints put him in.

“I’m the type of person, I’m gonna get what I get and do what I do with it. So whether it’s 20 carries or one carry, I’m gonna do the best of my ability every play,” Robinson said.

Robinson has shown flashes of success during his three years in the league. Injuries played a key role against him last season, which can ultimately put him as the third back on the depth chart. He will use the offseason to continue to improve and challenge his counterparts for playing time.

“I just gotta keep working,” Robinson. “It’s all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it’s a good thing we’ve got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we’ve got another player right up there to do the same thing.”


Browns OL Michael Bowie itching to compete for starting spot
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Browns offensive lineman Michael Bowie is not required to report to training camp until the end of July. But never mind that - he's heading out after the last Independence Day firework explodes in the sky.

Bowie is itching to get started. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury after starting for Seattle on its Super Bowl title team in 2013. He is seeking to stay in tip-top shape in an attempt to land a starting spot on a Cleveland line that is the strength of the team.

"It's up to them to decide who is the best five," Bowie told the team website. "All I can do is take care of my business. Hopefully I can get a shot. That's what I'm working for."

Bowie participated fully in the offseason program, working mostly with the second team at right tackle. That will likely be the spot at which he competes for a starting job. Incumbent Mitchell Schwartz has not performed particularly well there and Mike Pettine has vowed there will be competition all over the field in camp.


Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan nearly recovered from knee surgery
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan appears to be on target to join the team for training camp after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that prevented him from participating in earlier offseason activities.

Kerrigan, who registered a career-high 13 1/2 sacks a year ago, had the operation to alleviate pain in the area.

"My leg feels really good and I'm glad I got the surgery - not just for football but it makes my everyday life feel better so I'm glad I got it done," he told CSN Washington. "Now it's just a matter of getting stronger and getting into shape."

Kerrigan added that he's been running and now only needs to regain strength to insure his place at training camp.


Texans waive DT Brandon Ivory
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Texans waived rookie defensive tackle Brandon Ivory on Thursday, according to ESPN.com

Ivory was arrested on first degree burglary charges in Tuscaloosa, Ala. just one day ago. Ivory's agent Jeff Guerriero said Ivory is not guilty of the charge. 

"I spoke to Brandon he is not guilty and his name will be cleared of all charges," Guerriero said. 


Chargers TE Antonio Gates suspended 4 games for PED use
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy, the team announced. 

It's unknown at this time what drug Gates tested positive for. Gates, in a statement, said he was unaware that he took a banned substance

"In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails," Gates said. "I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from this past season, I used supplements and holistic medicines, and unfortunately, I have now learned that those substances always present a risk because they may contain banned substances even if the ingredient list doesn’t reflect them.

"As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me."

With Gates out for four games, the Chargers will turn to Ladarius Green as the team's top tight end, though it was expected for Green to continue getting more looks in the passing game. Green is entering the final season of his rookie contract. 

The Chargers expressed disappointment in Gates for his suspension but plans to stick with the longtime veteran through the suspension. 

"We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself," the Chargers stated. "Antonio is a member of the Chargers' family and we will continue to support him 100-percent. We have the utmost confidence he will stay in excellent shape for the season and be ready to go when he returns in Week 5. While it's unfortunate to not have him to start the season, we have complete confidence our tight end group will continue to play at a high level."  


Packers' Datone Jones out 1 game for substance-abuse violation
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones will be suspended for one game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to NFL.com. 

Jones will miss Green Bay's season-opener against the Bears. In 2014, Jones totaled 22 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in 13 games played. 


Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended four games for 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Cowboys announced that linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season due to violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

McClain hasn't been able to participate much in offseason workouts due to going under offseason knee surgery. McClain will be eligible to practice in training camp and is expected to be healthy by then. 

"I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake. I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error," McClain said in a statement, via CSN Bay Area. "I look forward to returning to the field on week 5, when I hope to help my team beat the Patriots.

In 2014, McClain, who had previously retired twice before being traded from the Ravens to the Cowboys, totaled 81 tackles and a sack in 13 games played.


Jets DL Sheldon Richardson suspended four games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, the NFL announced Thursday.

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans," Richardson said in a statement via the Jets, per Fox Sports. "However, words aren't enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don't want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won't be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I'm able to return to the field.”

Richardson, who was a 2013 first-round pick, is entering his third season in the NFL. He was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2014.

He has totaled 84 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks in 32 career games. He also has one safety.


 
 
 
Rankings