(CBS SF) -They could dominate or blow up your chances of even sniffing the playoffs, but if you’re an owner who likes to roll the dice, you’ve thought about picking someone from from this list:
Johnny Manziel, Cleveland
Whoever drafts Johnny football is going to hear some sniggering from the rest of the league, after all the guy doesn’t even have the starting job yet. But can you take a complete pass on one of the most prolific offensive players in college football? He’s going to get picked in your draft at some point, and Manziel could end up making someone look really smart, particularly in keeper leagues.
Knowshon Moreno, Miami
Last year he was the featured back for the best offense in football. This year he lines up behind an offensive line better known for a culture of bullying than blocking. But this is Knowshon. He has been written off before. Should he really drop from a top ten running back in 2013 all the way to an average draft position in round 12? That’s for you to decide.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland
He was the number one wide receiver in many formats last year and the quality of the QB play in Cleveland is expected to improve with Johnny Football in town. However Gordon may not benefit one bit because he’s likely to be sitting out a suspension for most or all of the season (he’s waiting to hear about his appeal). Still, if he gets the green light to play at all he’ll be worth starting immediately. This one’s completely in the hands of the league office.
Rob Gronkowski, New England
Nobody’s doctor visits got more air time on ESPN last year than Gronk, and you can understand why. Even a banged-up Gronk is better than almost every tight end in the league. He posted double digit point totals in five of the seven games he played last year, but it was too little too late for most fantasy owners, who had used an early pick on a guy that wasn’t around to start the year and was already gone come playoff time.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
‘Beast Mode’ was nothing less than an animal for the eventual Super Bowl champs last year, scoring 12 TDs and pummeling defenses for over 1,200 yards. What will he do for an encore? So far he’s demanded more money and now reportedly faces an assault investigation. Add to that the heavy workload he’s carried the last few years, a really tough set of defenses in his division and some talented young backups and the red flags start piling up.
Robert Griffin III
RGIII was an instant sensation during his rookie campaign, then injuries and coaching controversy cast a shadow over the end of his freshman year. Things only got worse in year two. Now, under new head coach Jay Gruden, fantasy owners are left to wonder if they’re getting the guy with a 4/1 touchdown to interception ratio in year one or the guy who had 4-3 TD to INT rate last year.
Montee Ball, Broncos
The second-year back is going anywhere from the first round to the third in drafts this season and the reasoning is simple: Ball is scheduled to take over where Knowshon left off in Denver, but the much hearalded back out of college failed to impress at many points in his rookie year. If he stumbles at all, his coach – noted fantasy owner infuriator John Fox – will find someone else to play, the same way he always did with his backs in Carolina. If he’s still having trouble blocking for Peyton like he did last year, you could see him land in the dog house for good.