SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – So you were the top dog in your fantasy league last year and your planning on trying to run it back with the same squad? Good luck. Many of the leagues most reliable performers from last year find themselves in dramatically different circumstances heading into this campaign. For the most part, the fantasy pundits have priced in the new situation to each player’s projected value, but event at a discount, some once-reliable players may not be worth adding to your roster. Here are our picks for players headed for a slide with alternates you could probably get in the same draft spot.
Eric Decker, WR – Jets
This one’s obvious – take a top ten receiver catching Peyton Manning bombs for the league’s number one offense and send him out running patterns for Geno Smith and the Jets, who scored fewer than half the points last year. It’s pretty unlikely he’ll hit the 1,000 plus yards and 10 plus TD’s you saw the last two years. Alternate Pick – Riley Cooper
Knowshon Moreno, Miami
Knowshon was mostly a disappointment during his first four seasons in Denver, but his 10 trips to the end zone and 1,038 yards were a nice return for owners who took a flyer on him during your draft last year. Don’t go back to that well. Like Decker, Moreno is leaving the league’s top offense and he’s headed for a team that featured an offensive line better known for sending bullying texts that blocking last year. The Dolphins also have speedy Lamar Miller in the mix, so it’s not clear how close Knowshon can come to last year’s stats. Alternate Pick – Darren Sproles
Harry Douglass, WR – Atlanta
Nobody drafted this guy last year, but by week seven he was racking up enough yards each week to merit strong consideration for your starting lineup. This year, freakishly talented Julio Jones returns and is sure to eat into Douglass’ 85 target 1,000 yard production. Alternate Pick – Eddie Royal? maybe just add a second TE at this point.
DeSean Jackson, WR – Washington
The 3-time Pro Bowler was cut loose after piling up more than 6,000 yards and 32 TD’s in Philly. But the fantasy top 10 WR in Chip Kelly’s system is moving to Washington, where RGII already has favorite target – Pierre Garcon – who was the leagues busiest widout last year. DeSean will draw a ton of downfield attention from defenses, opening things up even more for young TE Jordan Reed and Garcon, who is the safer fantasy pick and is getting picked around the same spot in most leagues. Another Alternate Pick – Keenan Allen
Danny Woodhead, RB – Chargers
Woodhead was an afterthought leading into the fantasy football season last year, but emerged as one of the top receiving RB’s in the league, and a value in PPR leagues. But the Chargers brought in Donald Brown during the offseason, presumably to pick up some of his workload. Still, he’ll be worth picking up though if Ryan Matthews gets hurt (and he always does). Alternate Pick – Bernard Pierce
Josh Gordon, WR – Browns
Gordon’s doesn’t have any of the typical red flags that would land you on this list (age, scheme change, supporting cast struggles), instead, the talented receiver is facing pending suspension for substance abuse violations. Pair that with a recent DWI arrest and the leagues top fantasy wideout in many formats last year has serious off the field issues that will be a huge distraction, if he even gets to play at all. But look at the bright side, at least Johnny football is drawing most of the media attention during camp. Alternate Pick (note: Gordon isn’t being picked with the suspension looming) – Alshon Jeffery
DeAngelo Williams, RB – Carolina
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, after proving to be an OK fantasy option last year DeAngelo now faces potential competition from Johathan Stewart. That’s bad news for a guy who depends on a lot of touches to get his points since most of the goal line work is going elswhere. You don’t want to end draft day with Williams among your top two RB options. Alternate Pick – take a flyer on Khirley Robinson