The Shy-Away Top 40Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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11. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (ADP: Late 4th round) -- A theory has made the rounds that Green-Ellis will be getting Cedric Benson carries in Cincinnati, but the Bengals have made it clear that won't be the case. They're going to use Bernard Scott as a 10-12 touch-per-game changeup, and Brian Leonard on passing downs. Outside of Foxboro, Green-Ellis' scoring will dwindle just as his subpar talent is exposed. And similar to 2011 LeGarrette Blount, Law Firm will singlehandedly kill your week when the Bengals don't grab an early lead. Be sure to let someone else draft him.
12. Robert Meachem (ADP: Late 7th round) -- Meachem seemed like a strong schematic fit when the Chargers signed him in March. Coach Norv Turner's offense is vertical in nature, and Meachem is actually an upgrade on Vincent Jackson when it comes to running past coverage. I can't say I'm surprised Meachem and Philip Rivers have experienced training-camp chemistry woes, though. Rivers doesn't throw the long ball like he used to, and Meachem is a deep threat.
13. Shonn Greene (ADP: Late 5th round) -- Greene seems ticketed for a heavy workload in Tony Sparano's prehistoric Ground 'N Pound offense, and that sounds great. He’s a total zero in the passing game and in danger of losing goal-line work to Tim Tebow's Wildcat package. Our 2011 game reviews exposed Greene as a poor back; he was so unimpressive that we don't even believe he should be an NFL starter. On a Jets team that quietly threatens to be among the worst in football, Greene will be a drain on 2012 fantasy squads. He will hurt you if you draft him.
14. Beanie Wells (ADP: Early 7th round) -- While Ryan Williams has avoided setbacks from his own knee injury and looked better than expected in Arizona's third preseason game, Wells has recovered maddeningly slowly from an alleged January knee "scope." He's struggling to make cuts in practice and donning a brace at club headquarters. With a more reasonable mid-eighth-round ADP, Williams is the guy to target if you're keen to roll dice on the Cardinals' backfield.
15. Santonio Holmes (ADP: Early 10th round) -- The cost seems reasonable; getting a big-time talent at the price of a WR4. But is there really any hope? An early-camp rib injury has led to tightness in Holmes' back, and he's spent little to no time in new OC Tony Sparano's offense. Meanwhile, New York's bush-league passing "attack" has been bumbling in preseason games and training camp practices. You think Holmes is gonna be cool with that when he gets back?
16. Matt Schaub (ADP: Late 9th round) -- Schaub has quieted health concerns with a polished preseason. He went 11-of-14 for 128 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers' starting defense on Saturday night. Unfortunately, Schaub plays in the NFL's run-heaviest offense and has no shot at rediscovering 2008-10 fantasy form. It's a scheme thing. He's a low-upside QB2.
17. Isaac Redman (ADP: Late 6th round) -- Redman's ADP needs to start dropping fast. Shelved by groin and hip injuries at Steelers camp, Redman has stood idly by while Jonathan Dwyer (10 carries, 83 yards) and rookie Chris Rainey (14 touches, 89 yards) have made strong cases for early-season roles. Redman is staring at three games of lead-back-in-a-committee work, before Rashard Mendenhall returns. The Steelers' backfield is a fantasy situation to avoid.
18. C.J. Spiller (ADP: Late 7th round) -- Spiller played well enough late last season that he deserves an increased role. I'm not sure he's going to get it. Fred Jackson has been Buffalo's clear lead back so far in August, much as he was pre-2011 injury. He's just so superior to Spiller running between the tackles. Spiller is a better player than his to-date statistics suggest, but he'll almost certainly need another F-Jax injury to be fantasy viable. A seventh-round ADP is rich for a guy you can't even feel good about as a flex.
19. Anquan Boldin (ADP: Late 8th round) -- Boldin turns 32 in a month, and he hasn't cleared 900 yards in either of the past two seasons. His final fantasy receiver ranking has fallen in four straight years. Slower than ever and moving behind Torrey Smith in Baltimore's pass-game pecking order, Boldin is no longer on the WR3 radar and offers limited upside even for a WR4.
20. Jacob Tamme (ADP: Late 7th round) -- I hope you're not passing on Gronkowski, Graham, Gates, and Hernandez because you "can get Tamme late." His out-of-control ADP has already made him overvalued, and Tamme may end up splitting production with Joel Dreessen, who's a fine pass catcher in his own right. Tamme will be a poor standard-league tight end starter.
21. LeGarrette Blount (ADP: Early 9th round) -- Blount ran hard behind effective blocking in the preseason opener. He showed his true colors in the second exhibition game (eight carries, 11 yards) before getting hurt. A complete passing-game non-factor and embarrassment in short yardage for a power back, Blount is a flawed and inefficient player. Doug Martin has been running circles around him all August. Blount will be a useless early-down pace-change back by October.
22. Felix Jones (ADP: Mid 13th round) -- ADP isn't the problem. DeMarco Murray has run away with Dallas' starting job, while the incumbent has exhibited decreased explosiveness with 17 total yards on six preseason touches. Jones isn't even a strong handcuff anymore. If pressed into significant duty, Jones would be a virtual lock to struggle behind the Cowboys' woebegone O-Line.
23. Josh Freeman (ADP: Early 12th round) -- Freeman might be a more effective on-field player than he was last season, but he doesn't offer the qualities we should pursue in QB2s. Greg Schiano's brand of offense is smashmouth and run-based, crushing the statistical ceiling of his quarterback. Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jake Locker are higher-upside fantasy backups.
24. Donald Brown (ADP: Early 6th round) -- Brown sits atop Indianapolis' depth chart and that may not change, but the Colts are headed for RBBC. Rookie Vick Ballard and third-down specialist Mewelde Moore have been heavily involved with the first-team offense, while Delone Carter has gotten goal-line looks. Brown does not possess the talent to live up to his sixth-round Average Draft Position. He's an RB3. You’re in trouble if you get stuck with him as a starter.
25. Mikel Leshoure (ADP: Late 10th round) -- Leshoure missed virtually all of OTAs and early camp with ankle and hamstring injuries. He did resume practicing in 11-on-11s this week. Keep an eye on Leshoure in the Lions' third preseason game, but there's typically little hope for running backs coming off Achilles' tendon tears to stay healthy and/or effective the following year. With Jahvid Best out for the foreseeable future, Kevin Smith is the fantasy back to own in Detroit.