2015 Fantasy Football Players to Avoid

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Matthew Stafford

Does anyone remember the 5,038 yard, 41 touchdown season that Stafford had in 2011? Probably not, because Stafford has somehow become worse than noodle-armed Andy Dalton. Really, look at the numbers the past few years, Dalton has been as good.

It’s hard to put a finger on what has gone wrong for Stafford. Is it because his receivers are too good or does Stafford want to help Joique Bell put up better numbers? I don’t know.

Here are Stafford’s numbers the past three years:

Year G Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Y/G Rate QBR Sk
2012 16 435 727 59.8 4967 20 17 310.4 79.8 57.14 29
2013 16 371 634 58.5 4650 29 19 290.6 84.2 52.64 23
2014* 16 363 602 60.3 4257 22 12 266.1 85.7 55.05 45
Career 77 1848 3099 59.6 21714 131 85 282.0 83.6 161
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/18/2015.

2013 was a nice year for Stafford, but 2012 and 2014 were large disappointments. Stafford has a huge arm, but it just doesn’t seem like he’s been making the big plays that he used to.

The weapons are there in Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Joique Bell, and now Ameer Abdullah.

Part of the reason seems to be the Lions commitment to the running game. In 2013 they ran the ball 445 times, and 396 times last year. Both years it was more times than they passed.

This trend should continue with the Lions drafting Laken Tomlinson and Ameer Abdullah, both of whom should bolster the running game.

It’s also surprising that the Lions ran so much last season considering Joe Lomardi is the offensive coordinator, and he came from a high octane offense with the New Orleans Saints.

I expect the Lions to continue to run the ball prominently, and for Stafford to underwhelm in the touchdown department. Even though the Lions have the receivers to support a big season from Stafford, he isn’t going to recreate his 2011 season.

Jeremy Hill

I like Jeremy Hill a lot. His running style, and the offense should all lead to a big season from Hill. I would really want to draft him, but there is one big concern. Giovanni Bernard.

Yes, Bernard is now the forgotten stepchild of the offense, and Hue Jacksons seems to have fallen in love with Hill. Bernard had 680 rushing yards on 168 carries, and 43 catches. I expect Bernard to be a big factor in the passing game, and if he gets hot, he could steal carries.

I still think that Hill is going to have a big season, but I think it’s going to feel like an empty 1,200 yard, eight touchdown season. I think he’s going to be a lot like Alfred Morris.

Morris puts up nice numbers, but at the end of the year it’s always like, ‘okay, so what?’ He doesn’t do anything in the passing game, 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns are nice, but their are guys that can do a lot more. You also probably going to have to draft Hill in the first round or early second.

Again, I like Hill, but when a team has two competent running backs it makes me nervous.

Sammy Watkins

Watkins had a disappointing rookie season, but only because Odell Beckham Jr., and Mike Evans had such huge season. However, Watkins is just as good, but had to deal with EJ Manuel and Kyle Orton.

Unfortunately, Watkins still may have to deal with EJ Manuel, and potentially Matt Cassel. However, if Tyrod Taylor wins the starting job I think he would make the offense a lot better.

I like Taylor a lot, but we don’t know who is going to be quarterbacking the Bills. Also, the Bills retooled their offense this offense, and LeSean McCoy is going to be the focal point.

Greg Roman is going to be running the ball a lot, and I fully expect something around 350 total touches for McCoy. The offense is going to be designed around preventing the quarterback from making plays, and that really hurts Watkins value.

In addition to getting McCoy, the Bills also went out and got Percy Harvin and Charles Clay. Both legitimate options that could take targets away from Watkins.

This is another similar situation to Jeremy Hill where I like the player, but no the situation. There are better receivers on the table in better offenses with better quarterbacks that you can take instead of Watkins.

Vincent Jackson

Jackson has been a great fantasy receiver for the past seven years, he’s been about as accountable as they make them, but sadly his candle has begun to flicker.

The Buccaneers drafted Mike Evans, who had a huge year, and it severely cut into Jackson’s production. Jackson’s 2014 numbers were 70 catches, 1002 yards, and only two touchdowns. The catchers were nice, but everything else was down.

One factor was the Buccaneers were terrible at quarterback, but even with Jameis Winston I expect Jackson’s role to continue to trend downward.

The Buccaneers have a top receiver in Mike Evans, and they are surely going to want to make him an even bigger part of the offense. They also drafted Austin Sefarian-Jenkins in 2014, but he had an injury plagued season, but he should have a nice role in the offense. Then in the most recent draft, the Bucs drafted Kenny Bell, a speedster that is unlike any receiver they have so I expect him to seem playing time.

I like this offense a lot, but I’m not willing to draft a number two receiver in Jackson when there are better weapons available.

The Bucs were also horrible in the run game last year, and drafted two offensive line that figure to start right away that should create better running games. I expect a bigger focus on the run game.

Jackson was a great weapon for fantasy owners, but he is at the end of the road.

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Written by Chris

Creator of Bigfoot Sports. When I’m not hunting for Bigfoot I’m usually checking my fantasy team.

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