Ten players to avoid

Published August 31, 2005

Should these guys be on a fantasy football roster in your league? Yes. Should you value them where most cheat sheets have them listed? Not hardly. Move these guys down, don't make them a priority, find a reason to take a chance on someone else who's comparable.

1. LaMont Jordan, RB, Raiders: He averages 4.9 yards per carry for his career, but he has never had so much as 100 carries in a season. Don't take him in the first 60 picks.

2. Muhsin Muhammad, WR, Bears: He caught 16 touchdowns last season, but Chicago's offense is far from promising. He'll do well to finish with half as many scores in 2005.

3. Reuben Droughns, RB, Browns: No way he matches last season's insane numbers (1,240 yards, six TDs) as he splits time with Lee Suggs and William Green. A platoon backfield to avoid.

4. Todd Heap, TE, Ravens: He has eight TDs in his past 32 games, so he's not a top-five tight end, not until Baltimore shows itself to be a much more potent offense than right now.

5. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals: I'm a big fan, but I think the receivers around him are getting much better, so he'll be hard-pressed to match his yards (1,274) or TDs (nine) from 2004.

6. Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams: Faulk's days as a starting fantasy back may be done, with Steven Jackson becoming the focal point of the Rams offense. Draft him, but as a backup.

7. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: The kid's a winner, for sure, but not a fantasy star. He'll win 12 games but won't throw for 20 TDs, so he's not even a great pick as a backup.

8. Keenan McCardell, WR, Chargers: He had one TD in seven games last season, and San Diego has upgraded the position enough that even if he starts for them, he shouldn't be for you.

9. Alex Smith, QB, 49ers: Fantasy quarterbacks need to be reliable, and rookie passers just aren't. Take him late as a gamble, but to whom exactly is he going to throw touchdowns?

10. Kevan Barlow, RB, 49ers: Lost his job to an undrafted rookie last season, and it's hard to imagine him coming close to last year's 822 yards and seven touchdowns. Avoid him.