Dobber calls 'em band-aid boys, but let's not be so nice. These ladies are virtually guaranteed trouble....
Raise your hand if you don’t know who Danger-Prone Daphne is. That’s what I thought – you all know she’s the fiery redhead from Scooby-Doo who was constantly needing Fred, his ascot, Velma, her ginormous Harry Caray glasses, Shaggy, his “snacks”, and Scooby to rescue her from imminent danger. Sorry Scrappy-Doo, you’re not included. You’re like the Cousin Oliver of Scooby-Doo, and if you don’t know who Cousin Oliver is, well then, that’s a whole other article.
Anyway, that’s enough old-school TV references. The point is that Daphne always dragged down the Mystery Squad because she wasn’t reliable. You see where I’m going here, right? There are a slew of Daphnes out there in the fantasy landscape and even though they may be sexy picks with lots of potential (like Daphne), they’re ultimately just going to take you down in the end because they are constantly getting injured or benched, or kidnapped in Daphne’s case. These aren’t the Blaine Gabberts of the world who you know are going to be bad. No, these are guys that make you think they’re going to be good because they have potential and/or have had some success in the past. These are guys you need to stay away from! With that being said, here are our 2013 Danger-Prone Daphne All-Stars:
Michael Vick, Philadelphia – We all know that Vick has tons of potential and of course at one time was perhaps the greatest fantasy QB of all-time. That guy is gone. He’s now 33 with reduced speed and two other guys competing for his job, not to mention a history of various injuries.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh – Big Ben has played all 16 games in a season exactly once in his nine years in the league and he’s not getting younger at 31. He also takes a ton of big hits and is probably due for a major season-ending injury in the near future. Granted, he’s played between 12 and 15 games every other season so he’s in there for the most part but I’ll let someone else draft Roethlisberger.
Darren McFadden, Oakland – 12, 7, 13, 12, 13. The first 12 is last year’s amount of games played and the rest are his games played in the seasons prior (the 7 is 2011, 13 is 2010, etc…). In five seasons in the league he’s missed at least three games in all of them! Yes, he’s perhaps the second-most talented back in the league but unless I can get him in the fourth or fifth round as a flex guy, I’m passing.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas – Murray’s missed a total of nine games in his two seasons in the league and is very McFadden-ish in that he’s super-talented but just can’t stay on the field for a full season. Granted, he has a shorter history than DMC but again, I’m not taking him unless he falls to where I’d be drafting a 2nd RB or Flex guy.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo – Jackson has only played 10 games in each of the last two seasons, he’s now 32 years old, and he’s not the best back on his team anymore. PASS.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia – Just call this one a hunch. McCoy’s gone from playing 16 games his rookie season in 2009, then 15, 15, and then just 12 last year. He’s in a great spot with the Chip Kelly offense this year but between the descending amount of games played and the 2012 emergence of Bryce Brown as a more-than-capable backup, McCoy could be a bit of a bust as a first-rounder.
Hakeem Nicks, N.Y. Giants – Nicks has top-five WR talent but he’s another guy who always misses a handful of games every year. His games played log starting with last year goes 13, 15, 13, 14 and Victor Cruz isn’t going away. He’s another guy who could be a value if you can get him as your third WR but I wouldn’t draft him as a #2 due to the unreliability.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia – Really, I don’t hate the Eagles, I promise. Maybe this is part of the reason Andy Reid isn’t the Eagles coach anymore. His top three (with apologies to Jeremy Maclin) weapons all missed at least four games each last year (11 games played for Jackson). Jackson’s problem is his size, which is generously listed at 5’10”, 175 lbs, and he hasn’t played a full season in five years. I’m sure in this offense at least one or two of these guys will have a career year but good luck guessing who it will be.
Kenny Britt, Tennessee – Britt’s issues are a combination of injury and attitude. Seemingly if he’s not hurt, he’s suspended and is yet another guy who could be an all-pro if he could just stay on the field. That’s the thing with this list – someone is going to take a chance on some of these guys and will either win or finish in last place. All of these guys COULD be huge values but I try to be as risk-averse as possible unless they fall to a value spot.
Danario Alexander, San Diego – Alexander was probably on many championship-winning teams last year as he was a top-3 WR the second-half of the season. He seemingly came out of nowhere for the Chargers to put up ridiculous numbers in November and December. There’s a reason he came out of nowhere though, and that’s because his knees are akin to swiss cheese. If you draft Alexander make sure you have plenty of depth at the position because there’s a better-than-average chance he’s going to miss some time due to those knees.
Rob Gronkowski, New England – Perhaps no player’s injuries have been more discussed than Gronk’s this summer. The release of Aaron Hernandez only added more importance to Gronk’s recovery for the Pats and it remains to be seen how this will all play out. If, and that’s a big if, Gronk is in the lineup then he should produce but he’ll see plenty of double-teams since the Patriots are rolling with a makeshift WR corps this season. Gronk won’t fall far enough to be a value so I’d look elsewhere for my TE this season.
Antonio Gates, San Diego – Age and wear-and-tear has caught up a bit with Gates, who will be 33 this season. Gates has missed a total of 10 games the last three seasons and his receiving yards total has regressed every year since 2009. If he’s the #10 TE off the board then that’s about the right place for him but I’m sure someone will go for the big-name guy before then. Just make sure it’s not you.