Yesterday we looked at the most reliable players to draft (Reliable draft picks) in fantasy football. Today we are going to do the opposite. Looking at all of the NFL players that are at the top of their respective positions, I’ve isolated the players who are near or at the top of the rankings, that I think won’t reach their potential this year. Maybe they will have a good season, but just won’t meet the expectations that their rankings garner, or perhaps they are liable to be injured. Either way here, is my list of players that are not reliable to trust this fantasy season:

QUARTERBACK – Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)

When looking at the top quarterbacks available in this year’s fantasy drafts, it is hard for me to deem anyone unreliable. However when breaking down player’s chances of success compared to their preseason rankings there is one quarterback in particular that I believe won’t do as well as his rankings would lead you to believe. That player is Peyton Manning.

I consider Peyton Manning to be the greatest quarterback to ever grace the NFL, but in all rankings he is sitting as either the number three or number four fantasy quarterback. Peyton should finish in the top-10 at quarterback, but I doubt he will break the top five like analysts have predicted. Peyton is going to be playing in an offense where the team’s primary objective will be to run the ball. The style of offense new head coach Gary Kubiak is running in Denver, and Peyton’s age hindering his ability to take damage, makes me think that he won’t hit the top five this season.

RUNNING BACK – LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills)

The choice for which running back is an unreliable pick was easier than other positions. The player I chose is LeSean McCoy. Even before McCoy suffered a minor injury this week, I thought McCoy wouldn’t meet the expectations analysts had for him. I’m in the minority in thinking that the Eagles got the WAY better end of the McCoy trade to the Bills. I’ll explain why.

McCoy plays on the Bills now, under head coach Rex Ryan, who loves to ground and pound the ball between the tackles. This is the worst possible style of offense for McCoy to enter. McCoy is a small running back, who is entering his 7th NFL season, and the wheels could come off at any point. If McCoy plays 10 games this season I would be surprised. When he does play, I expect really mixed results from him. I wouldn’t trust McCoy at all to start for my fantasy team, and would not draft him this season unless he’s somehow available in the 5th round or later.

WIDE RECEIVER – Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants)

There are a couple of candidates at the top of the wide receiver ladder for being unreliable this fantasy season. All of the top receivers actually have pretty reliable quarterbacks throwing them the football. So the wide receiver that is not going to fulfill analysts expectations is going to have to screw the pooch on his own. But for me the player that concerns me the most is Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham is ranked number four in most analysts fantasy rankings, and I just believe that is too high of a ranking for the sophomore pass-catcher. The sophomore slump is real for wide receivers, and I would be surprised if Beckham is immune to it. Beckham is going to be the go to player to defend when teams play the Giants, and there are a number of other weapons on the team. With other teams game-planning for Beckham, the sophomore slump, and possible injury concerns, I would not bet on Beckham reaching the expectations that have been laid out for him this season.

That being said, here’s a pretty strong argument from our own Terrence Kirker on why you need to draft Odell Beckham Jr. this year.

TIGHT END – Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)

This choice was a little obvious. I’m picking Rob Gronkowski here. Obviously Gronk has more potential than any tight end this season, and could finish with better numbers then the NFL’s top wide receiver’s, but the constant stream of injuries that he suffers from make him an unreliable fantasy football pick. Especially considering Gronk’s average draft position of 12.8. That is WAY too high to draft a player that hasn’t played a full season since 2011, and is missing his quarterback for a quarter of the season. Gronk has tons of potential but is nowhere near worth the price of admission.

DEFENSE – Houston Texans

As far as high ranked defenses go that I feel won’t live up to their rankings there is one clear cut team to choose. The Texans. The Texans do have a favourable schedule getting to play against Jacksonville and Tennessee twice, but the fact is that without JJ Watt this team’s defense wouldn’t be in the top 10. The fact that a single injury would plummet the teams defense value so much, makes them an unreliable pick to make. I’d way rather have a slightly lower ranked defense, like the Jets, that have more depth, and can afford to lose a star to injury and not lose that much of a step.

KICKER – Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens)

Kicker is a tough position to pick for this list, because who cares? Kickers are barely even football players after all, and we would all like fantasy football a little more if we didn’t have to draft kickers. But if I had to pick one of the top kickers who I think won’t be as reliable as analysts would have you believe, I’d say Justin Tucker is the guy. Tucker is looking to become the highest paid kicker in the league, but as far as fantasy kicking goes there are a couple of red-flags that make me dislike him. First of all Tucker was 4-9 last season when attempting field goals over 50 yards, and second of all Tucker plays in the AFC North which is one of the worst divisions to kick in. Tucker was flawless last season under 50 yards, but his lack of big leg, and potentially terrible field conditions to kick from, make him an easy option to avoid.

Well, let’s hear from you guys. Do you agree, or are there other high ranking players you are looking to avoid in this year’s draft? Let us know in the comments!

About The Author Joel Empey

Joel is a fantasy football champion and enthusiast who loves to analyze statistics and has an addiction to sports, film, and television. Joel can tame a lion with a single look and on 7 occasions Joel’s tried to read The Lord of the Rings, but has fallen asleep every time. Catch Joel on Twitter @EmpeyJoel