Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: TOP 10 PLAYERS IN FANTASY FOOTBALL THAT WILL GIVE YOU AN ULCER


by DMtShooter, Five Tool Tool

10. Willis McGahee, RB, Baltimore Ravens. Here's a quick SAT question -- which of these three things does not belong? (1) Knee surgery in August, (2) Full strength starter in September, (3) Confident first round draft pick. Buyer beware...

9. Plaxico Burress, WR, New York Giants. Plax has an ankle that just won't get healthy, contract demands that just haven't been satisfied, and a Super Bowl ring on his finger that probably isn't making him any easier to deal with. Last year's 12 TDs and 1,025 yards seems a long time ago, doesn't it?

8. Jeff Garcia, QB, Tampa Bay Bucs. He's probably not high on your list anyway, but consider this... if the public flirtation with He Who Shall Remain Nameless don't undermine his Steve DeBerg-like confidence, the other 15 quarterbacks on the roster definitely will. And if he goes flush, Ernest Graham and Joey Galloway follow with speed, because there isn't anyone else on the roster that can move the sticks.

7. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle Seahawks. Last year's sneaky good second tier play gets a better running game and loses wideouts by the bushel (Deion Branch is hurt, Bobby Engram just cracked a bone in his shoulder, and DJ Hackett signed with Carolina). Can he make chicken salad out of Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu? Not on my team, he won't.

6. Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina Panthers.
Now, here's a trendy sleeper pick... or at least he was until Steve Smith had to go Michael Westbrook upside Ken Lucas's nose. Elbow surgery is a dicey thing for anyone, let alone a 33-year-old QB with an up and down career, but if you believe Hackett can stay healthy and Moose Muhammad has anything left in the tank, he's still a quality second tier option. So long as Smith doesn't pull a Carruth.

5. Willie Parker, RB, Pittsburgh. If you owned him last year, you watched him pound out 1400 yards the very hard way, with trivial touchdown production and a playoff crushing injury. Now with rookie Rashard Mendenhall starting with Najeh Davenport's vulture role and just going up from there, he's well on his way to going back to the dread change of pace role that he probably should have had all along. Reality sucks.

4. Marvin Harrison, WR, Indianapolis. Everyone's favorite candidate for Fading Star may not be high on your draft board, but he's a hand grenade to the hopes of Anthony Gonzalez, and any resurgence would also take Dallas Clark down a few pegs from his top three TE status. Peyton Manning will get his numbers no matter what, but how he gets them is another matter entirely, and a good last hurrah year could even steal some yards from true #1 Reggie Wayne. That's three high picks that could all get sidetracked by a 35-year-old wideout, but also a first ballot Hall of Famer.

3. Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City. He's one of the few remaining feature backs in the league. In the last three years, he's put up 2,093 yards with 21 TDs, 2,199 yards with 19 TDs... and 745 yards with 4 TDs. At 28, he's still got a bounce-back year in him, doesn't he? Not with this line and QB, but even if you just split the difference, you're looking at 1,500 yards and 10 TDs, which is to say, more than you'll probably get from all but a half dozen backs. No matter where you draft him, assuming that your league doesn't entirely whiff and let him go to the third round, you're going to twitch a lot.

2. Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Minnesota. Sure, you aren't going to draft him, but he might be the only man in the NFL who can stop Adrian "Purple Jesus" Peterson, who you might draft #1 overall. Jackson's working with what should be a dynamite defense, the most explosive RB in the game, an upgraded receiving corps and a strong homefield advantage. He's also got a coach that needs to make the playoffs to keep his job, and immortals like Brooks Bollinger and Gus Frerotte backing him up, so it's entirely on his shoulders. He won't be throwing into a lot of multiple defensive back sets, but that might not matter... and if he can't execute, neither will Peterson. At least not enough for where you'll draft him.

1. Chad Johnson, WR, Cincinnati Bengals. Is he the latest passenger on the Drew Rosenhaus Underground Railroad, a misunderstood man-child who has never had a significant off-field incident on a team of convicts, or a candidate for Operation Shutdown after the Bengals stumble with a bad defense and a tough schedule? Probably all of the above, but all of that discounts a surprisingly consistent 1400 yards and 8 touchdowns, and cringing horror when you see him on the news. Remember, last year, this went by the name of Randy Moss... but it also left town first.

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