Driver has been one of the most consistent WRs over the past 6 years averaging 1140.8 yards and 5.8 TDs per season. It’s nice to be able to plug in that kind of production without many worries.

 

Only this year, there are worries. For starters, Driver turned 36 in February. He takes good care of his body, but eventually Father Time catches up with you. Having both of his knees scoped earlier this year is evidence of that truth.

 

Age and injuries aren’t his only concerns though. He clearly is behind Greg Jennings in the pecking order, but it may not stop there. There is tight end Jermichael Finley, who outproduced Driver 34 receptions for 496 yards and 4 TDs to 21 catches for 269 yards and 1 TD over the past five regular season games and their playoff loss to Arizona. There is also the presence of James Jones, 26, who has been impressive in OTAs while Driver has been recovering from his surgeries.

 

Even if he does have a down year, why should you worry about it? You should because his ADP is 68 (26th WR) ahead of guys like Santonio Holmes and Wes Welker  (it’s how you finish, not how you start) and youngsters Mike Wallace, Robert Meachem, and Kenny Britt, who have considerably more upside. There are also QBs like Matt Ryan, Kevin Kolb, Eli Manning, Brett Favre, and Joe Flacco; RBs like Ricky Williams, Fred Jackson, Reggie Bush, Thomas Jones, and Clinton Portis; and TEs like Brent Celek, Owen Daniels, Visanthe Shianceo, Zach Miller, and Kellen Winslow, who on average are being selected after Driver. I would rather secure of legitmate QB/TE or add to my RB depth than gamble on an aging WR with question marks.

 

Prediction:  65 catches, 800 yards, 4 TDs

 

What kind of production do you expect out of Driver this year?

 

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We’re kicking off a new series called the Fourth & 1 Debate in which one fantasy football writer posts a question to a panel of fantasy football writers from some of the top fantasy football sites.

Our friend Eric Stashin, the Rotoprofessor, kicked things off.  Click here to see the full article

Here’s my response:

While it is difficult to make any rash decisions after one game, the fact of the matter is that some players are to good to drop, but too bad to play.  Sometimes those players snap out of their funk.  Other times they just continue to struggle and when you finally do cut them, you missed out on all of the early season surprises.

One player I would consider cutting is Laveranues Coles.  In his debut with the Bengals he caught just one pass for 11 yards. He wasn’t facing the mighty Pittsburgh defense, rather the lowly Denver Broncos, who ranked 26th against the pass last year.  He was targeted just five times, and managed to drop three passes.  Chad Ochocinco was clearly Carso Palmer’s go-to-guy, and second-year WR Andre Caldwell looked good with 6 receptions.  Preseason superstar Chris Henry played a limited role because of a thigh injury, but his role should expand going forward.

Aside from having a lot of competition for touches, Coles is playing in a offense that could struggle to put points on the board.  Palmer is going to take some time to work off the rust.  At this point, I’m not that confident he’ll do it anytime soon.  With a bye and four games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the next eight weeks, there wouldn’t be many opportunities to even give Coles a shot.  At this point, I think it would be best to cut ties with Coles and pick up someone with more upside.

Panelists
Junkyard Jake of www.junkyardjake.com
Ryan Lester of www.lesterslegends.com
Paul Greco of www.fantasypros911.com
Bryce McRae of www.kffl.com
Kurt Turner of www.top-fantasy-football.com
Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com
Lee of www.footballjabber.com
Smitty of www.fantasyfootballxtreme.com

You’ve seen the Sleepers.  Now it’s time to explore the players who I feel will be disappointments to fantasy football owners.  Here are the Tight Ends I’d avoid.

Donald Lee - Lee is another Packer that is going to miss Brett Favre.  He had 575 yards and 6 TDs a season ago.  I’d be shocked if he came close to those lofty numbers.

Chris Baker – Let’s see, Favre is reunited with Bubba Franks and the Jets took Dustin Keller in the first round out of Purdue.  He missed eleven days of camp with a bad back, as well as some offseason programs as he was mad about his contract.  Those negatives are beginning to add up.

Desmond Clark – With the emergence of Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark won’t be leaned on as much.  I don’t see another 545 yards from him this year.

You’ve seen the Sleepers.  Now it’s time to explore the players who I feel will be disappointments to fantasy football owners.  Here are the Wide Receivers I’d avoid.

Anquan Boldin – Boldin isn’t happy about his contract.  He has also had a hamsting issues thus far.  That’s a recipe for disaster in my book. 

Santana Moss – The Redskins brought in a couple of high-profile rookie WRs in Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly.  I wouldn’t be too keen on that if I were a Santana Moss owner.

Javon Walker – He nearly retired.  Extreme Buyer Beware!

Derrick Mason – There is no way he can match last season numbers.  No way.

Greg Jennings – No way do I see him coming close to matching 2007 production with Aaron Rodgers instead of Brett Favre.

Reggie Williams – He won’t come close to 10 TDs like he had last year.  Look elsewhere.

You’ve seen the Sleepers.  Now it’s time to explore the players who I feel will be disappointments to fantasy football owners.  Here are the Running Backs I’d avoid.

Steven Jackson – Up until a couple weeks ago I would have said S-Jax is in line for a big turnaround.  His holdout scares me though.  After being burned by Larry Johnson last year, I have little faith in RBs who hold out.   They don’t get in game shape and then they get hurt.  I won’t be party to that again this year.

Brandon Jacobs – He’s big.  Real big.  Shouldn’t he be the one hurting DBs and LBs?  He’s also in a crowded backfield.  Ward and Bradshaw both looked good last year.  I’m afraid there will be too much sharing for the G-Men.

Ryan Grant – Take Brett Farve out of the mix.  Add basically a rookie QB.  Can you say “eight men in the box”?  That’s what I’d do until Aaron Rodgers proves he can handle the load.  Taking away Brett Favre from the mix leaves a lot of questions.  Until they are answered I’ll be taking a comparable back.

Ricky Williams – If you are taking Ricky because you think he may still have “it”, then I’d say you’ve been using the very stuff that got Ricky in trouble in the first place.  He hasn’t played in the NFL (besides 6 carries last year) since 2005.  That’s a long time, especially in Running Back years.  I’d rather take someone with a little more upside than Ricky.  Not to mention the constant threat his season goes “Up in Smoke”.

You’ve seen the Sleepers.  Now it’s time to explore the players who I feel will be disappointments to fantasy football owners.  I’ll start with the Quarterbacks.

Ben Roethlisberger – Will he have a good year?  Probably.  Will he have a great year?  Not likely.  I don’t put Big Ben on another 32 TD, 11 INT year.  Sorry.  He was 3rd in TD Passes last year and 14th in Passing Yards.  That bothers me a little.  Pittsburgh is traditionally a Run First team.  WIth the addition of Rashard Mendenhall to compliment Willie Parker, I think you’ll see a deeper running attack next year.  As for the flurry of TD passes?  I’m just not buying it.  He still should be a good QB next year, but don’t expect him in the Top 6 again.

David Garrard – I like Garrard a lot.  I really do.  I think he does what it takes to win in this league.  There will be owners taking him ahead of Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, and several others.  The problem is, Jacksonville is a Run First team as well.  He averaged 209 yards passing and 1.5 TDs per game last year.  What saved him was the low INT total (3).  Do I see another 6-1 TD:INT ration from Garrard again?  Nope.  Sure don’t.

Tom Brady – Brady will have another fantastic year, but if you are expecting even 4500 yards and 40 TDs you may come away disappointed.  A more realistic season for Brady would be 4200 yards & 36 TDs.  If you can live with that from a late-first/early-second round pick, then by all means take him.

Derek Anderson – I like Anderson, but I need to see proof that it wasn’t a fluke before I invest an early pick in him.  I know this.  He (or Cleveland) won’t be sneaking up on anybody this year.  They will be better equipped to deal with what’s coming.  Just looking at his splits is enough of a reason to raise some red flags for me.
Games 1-8:  91.7 rating, 2108 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT
Games 9-16:  73.7 rating, 1679 yards, 12 TD, 10 INT

How about his performance in the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16)?  He averaged 191 yards, 1.3 TDs, and 1.7 INTs.  Are those numbers that are going to bring you fantasy glory?  I didn’t think so.  What’s worse is they came against the Jets, Buffalo, and Cincinnati.  Not exactly your Powerhouses last year.  One contributing factor is the weather.  Cleveland is cold.  They get a lot of wind and snow.  Next year they play in Philly Week 15 and at home against Cincy Week 16.  You think they could have some weather to deal with?  Yeah, me too.


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