There's no better way to ruin your fantasy football enjoyment from September through December than with a misstep in the first few rounds of your August draft. Fantasy football success is all about mitigating risk and hoarding superstars. All too often fantasy owners are blinded by upside in the first few rounds of their draft, instead of focusing on the most valuable asset a top pick brings to the table: a high floor. The first two or three picks isn't the time to screw around with upside. It's hard enough to win a fantasy football league, with the vagaries of injuries and scheduling. It becomes damn near impossible if you misfire with one or more of your first three or four picks.
While that's a simple concept around which to wrap your head, it's much more challenging to actually spot those land mines before the fact. After all, going into 2011, Michael Vick, Rashard Mendenhall and Reggie Wayne all looked like bankable stars. Identifying the players who will go in the early rounds of every single fantasy draft but won't provide the return on investment could be the difference between a fantasy championship and turning your mental calendar to 2013 before Halloween.
To be clear, there comes a time when I would take each and every one of these guys, and it might not be that much later than their average draft position. I just wouldn't expect any of them to be available at a time when I'm comfortable calling their names. Let's take a look at the players you'll want to sidestep...
Tennessee looks like an offense in flux, especially if Jake Locker takes over as the starter. While fantasy owners shouldn't put too much stock into strength of schedule, the Titans do play the NFC North and AFC East this year, two divisions that should feature strong defenses. There are just too many question marks to take Johnson over McFadden, Forte, Larry Fitzgerald, Trent Richardson, Drew Brees or Tom Brady.
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