Did you pick any of these guys in your fantasy draft? Well they, and you, suck. Here’s why. (Note: players ranked using ESPN.com’s fantasy rankings.)
1. Adrian Peterson – Adrian Peterson ran for 2,097 yards last year. Awesome! Unfortunately, this isn’t last year. This is this year and Peterson is in for a huuuuuuuge drop-off in production. Before Peterson eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark last season, six other running backs in NFL history had done so. Not one of them came close to 2,000 yards the next season. Not even in the same zip code. In fact, the average — average — drop in yards the next season was 968 yards. NINE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT YARDS. So, let’s do this math here.
2,097 – 968 = 1,129 yards.
Congratulations. You just used your first pick on a guy who will run for about 1,100 yards this year. You just used your first pick on BenJarvus Green-Peterson.
2. Arian Foster – Foster’s yards per carry have dropped precipitously the last three years — from 4.9 to 4.4 to 4.1 — while his carries per game have gone up each year. And he has missed all of the preseason with calf and back injuries. Yeah, all of this totally does NOT sound like obvious signs of a running back who is breaking down … if you are a moron.
3. Marshawn Lynch – Hey, if you want to use a 1st Round pick on a guy with a history of police issues and whose training table is just a bowl of Skittles, by all means. Just please join my fantasy league first.
4. Ray Rice – Rice’s touches have declined each of the past two years, he’s pretty much the only offensive weapon the Ravens have left, so defenses will be keying only on him, and Bernard Pierce is going to take most of Rice’s carries near the goal line. What’s not to love here???
5. Doug Martin – Doug Martin had more than 1,000 yards rushing as a rookie last year. Neat! Remember when Cadillac Williams had a 1,000-yard season as a rookie in Tampa Bay in 2005? He never had another one. Remember when LeGarrette Blount had a 1,000-yard season as a rookie in Tampa Bay in 2010? He never had another one. This is what Buccaneers running backs do. But apparently you forgot that. Apparently you are dumb.
6. Jamaal Charles – Who knows when Charles will be completely healthy. But when/if he does get healthy, he’ll get to be underutilized out of the backfield by Andy Reid, so that’s exciting. A nice lose-lose scenario for you.
7. C.J. Spiller – C.J. Spiller says he wants to run this year “until he throws up,” which is exactly how you should feel because you just drafted a BUFFALO BILL IN FANTASY FOOTBALL. Good god, man. Get someone to hold your hair.
8. Trent Richardson – Trent Richardson is rocketing up fantasy draft boards. Is it his 3.6 yards per carry as a rookie? Is it the injury concerns? Is it the stunning NFL success of fellow Alabama running back Mark Ingram? Is it having Brandon Weeden around softening up the defense for him? Is it playing for the Browns? Stop me when I get to the reason.
9. Alfred Morris – Alfred Morris could have another really good season in 2013. Or Mike Shanahan could suddenly just throw Roy Helu or someone in to take half or all the carries because this is what Mike Shanahan does with running backs. Do you really want to trust Shanahan? RG3’s knee ligaments think you should not.
10. Calvin Johnson – If you have to take a receiver early, you definitely want to go with a guy who had 5 TDs last year; a guy whose quarterback is always a good bet to miss games due to random injury or not being able to fit a game jersey over his fat face; a guy who still has the full weight of the Madden curse coming to him plus interest. Oh, you don’t believe in the Madden curse or think that Johnson avoided it last year? Fine. Then there’s this: the Detroit Lions.