Fantasy Football – Round by Round – Gems & Busts

23 08 2008

by Michael DeLuca

Getting ready for the big draft this weekend?  While many people will obsess over who their first round pick may be, I challange anyone to name me a single league which was won as a result of a first round pick.  No, often times it’s those sleepers, the value picks, that get the job done.  For example, last year Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, and Randy Moss were universally drafted in rounds 3-5 last year, yet I’ll bet their names can be found on a large majority of 2007 fantasy league championship rosters.  What I’ve decided to do is put together a list of round by round gems and busts based on a ten team league, one gem and one bust per round.  I’ll be using the comprehensive ADP list we had published earlier.  Away we go…


1 Tomlinson, LaDainian RB SD
2 Peterson, Adrian RB MIN
3 Jackson, Steven RB STL
4 Westbrook, Brian RB PHI
5 Addai, Joseph RB IND
6 Brady, Tom QB NE
7 Gore, Frank RB SF
8 Moss, Randy WR NE
9 Barber, Marion RB DAL
10 Portis, Clinton RB WAS

ROUND 1 GEM – Marion Barber – Barber is set to take over as the primary back for the Cowboys this year and though Felix Jones will get his share of touches, they will not be at Barber’s expense.  Barber will handle all goal-line duties for an explosive offense and could be in store for a 20+ touchdown season and his first 1000+ yard rushing season.

ROUND 1 BUST – Steven Jackson – He’s already starting to fall down a lot of draft boards as a result of his pro-longed holdout.  It appears he’s now back in the fold, but Jackson’s fantasy owners shouldn’t breathe a sighe of relief just yet.  Getting into game shape and being a productive back are no guarantees after an extended holdout and history has told us that a significant injury is more likely than a Pro-Bowl performance.


11 Lynch, Marshawn RB BUF
12 Wayne, Reggie WR IND
13 Manning, Peyton QB IND * 
14 Johnson, Larry RB KC
15 Owens, Terrell WR DAL
16 McGahee, Willis RB BAL * 
17 Jones-Drew, Maurice RB JAC
18 Edwards, Braylon WR CLE
19 Fitzgerald, Larry WR ARI
20 Grant, Ryan RB GB

ROUND 2 GEM – Braylon Edwards – Edwards is an absolute stud and began to show flashes of his brilliance during a spectacular 07-08 campaign.  Edwards also has the luxury of having two solid quarterbacks in the Browns organization so an injury at that position shouldn’t slow him down.

ROUND 2 BUST – Ryan Grant – Grant’s become everybody’s fantasy darling, but despite having a productive 2008 season, look for a sophomore slump of massive proportions for Grant.  Brandon Jackson will be the third down back and defenses will be able to focus on the run with Aaron Rodgers taking over the QB reigns.


21 Johnson, Andre WR HOU
22 Romo, Tony QB DAL
23 Bush, Reggie RB NO
24 Colston, Marques WR NO
25 Smith, Steve WR CAR
26 Houshmandzadeh, T.J. WR CIN
27 Lewis, Jamal RB CLE
28 Johnson, Chad WR CIN
29 Maroney, Laurence RB NE
30 Brees, Drew QB NO

ROUND 3 GEM – Drew Brees – Brees has quietly been among the most productive fantasy quarterbacks for four years running.  This year may be his best yet as Marques Colston enters his third year and Jeremy Shockey gets added to the mix.

ROUND 3 BUST – Steve Smith – Already suspended for the first two games of the season, Smith doesn’t warrant round three consideration, yet is still being selected here on a consistant basis.  His production has slid over the past several years and the lack of a reliable #2 allows teams to consistantly double him.  Muhsin Muhammad and DJ Hackett will do little to keep opposing secondaries from focusing on Smith.

Round 4

31 Holt, Torry WR STL
32 Boldin, Anquan WR ARI
33 Burress, Plaxico WR NYG
34 Welker, Wes WR NE
35 Jacobs, Brandon RB NYG
36 Brown, Ronnie RB MIA * 
37 Turner, Michael RB ATL
38 Marshall, Brandon WR DEN
39 Palmer, Carson QB CIN
40 Graham, Earnest RB TB

ROUND 4 GEM – Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs is a gem in what could turn out to be a round full of busts.  He’s had problems staying on the field, but if he can, he’s a beast who should push 15 touchdowns.

ROUND 4 BUST – Ronnie Brown – Brown is coming off a significant injury and judging from his preseason performance, it might take another full year until he is back to 100%.  Add to that the resurgance of Ricky Williams and it could be a very disapointing season for Brown owners.

Round 5

41 Williams, Roy WR DET * 
42 Parker, Willie RB PIT
43 Witten, Jason TE DAL
44 Holmes, Santonio WR PIT
45 Jones, Thomas RB NYJ
46 Roethlisberger, Ben QB PIT * 
47 Johnson, Calvin WR DET
48 Gates, Antonio TE SD
49 Jennings, Greg WR GB
50 Johnson, Rudi RB CIN

ROUND 5 GEM – Calvin Johnson – Every report on this guy screams the same thing…watch out!  He’s scorching opposing defenders in preseason, has all the physical tools, and Roy Williams himself has annointed him as the team’s #1 receiver.

ROUND 5 BUST – Willie Parker – Alan Faneca is a Jet.  Reshard Mendenhall is a Steeler.

Round 6

51 James, Edgerrin RB ARI
52 McFadden, Darren RB OAK * 
53 Winslow, Kellen TE CLE
54 Jones, Julius RB SEA
55 Harrison, Marvin WR IND
56 Anderson, Derek QB CLE
57 Evans, Lee WR BUF
58 Bowe, Dwayne WR KC
59 White, LenDale RB TEN
60 Stewart, Jonathan RB CAR * 

ROUND 6 GEM – Marvin Harrison – For the first time in years, Harrison will not be a top 15 pick.  When the offseason began, I wouldn’t have touched him with a ten foot pole, but Harrison has been burning db’s all preseason and looks like his old self.  Look for fantasy owners in your league to be scavaging fantasy mags written in May allowing you to swoop in and steal Harrison in round 6!

ROUND 6 BUST – Julius Jones – He’s stuck in a timeshare with Maurice Morris behind a below average run blocking line.

Round 7

61 Gonzalez, Tony TE KC
62 McNabb, Donovan QB PHI
63 Young, Selvin RB DEN
64 White, Roddy WR ATL
65 Hasselbeck, Matt QB SEA
66 Chambers, Chris WR SD
67 Ward, Hines WR PIT
68 Clark, Dallas TE IND
69 Cooley, Chris TE WAS
70 Smith, Kevin RB DET * 

ROUND 7 GEM – Chris Chambers – After a full offseason to learn the playbook and become acclimated with the offense, Chambers should flourish in the prolific Chargers offense.

ROUND 7 BUST – Matt Hasselbeck – Who’s he going to throw to?

Round 8

71 Cotchery, Jerricho WR NYJ
72 Forte, Matt RB CHI * 
73 Coles, Laveranues WR NYJ * 
74 Taylor, Fred RB JAC
75 Driver, Donald WR GB
76 Curtis, Kevin WR PHI
77 Bulger, Marc QB STL
78 Cutler, Jay QB DEN
79 Moss, Santana WR WAS * 
80 Williams, DeAngelo RB CAR

ROUND 8 GEM – Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery somehow managed to emerge as a viable fantasy player with a myriad of a below avergae quarterbacks chucking him the ball.  Brett Favre has made stars of players with much less ability than Cotchery.

ROUND 8 BUST – Matt Forte – Talentless rookie running backs, that play on terrible teams that are forced to throw the ball for three quarters, rarley succeed.

Round 9

81 Shockey, Jeremy TE NO * 
82 Berrian, Bernard WR MIN
83 Taylor, Chester RB MIN
84 Engram, Bobby WR SEA
85 Gonzalez, Anthony WR IND
86 Heap, Todd TE BAL
87 Galloway, Joey WR TB
88 Garrard, David QB JAC
89 Manning, Eli QB NYG
90 Chargers, DST DST SD

ROUND 9 GEM – Jeremy Shockey – Drew Brees knows how to find his tight end and Shockey’s most productive season in New York was with Sean Payton as offensive co-ordinator.

ROUND 9 BUST – Bobby Engram- Engram will turn 104 during the course of this season, yet is being selected in drafts higher than he ever has before.  He’s already dealing with injuries and is nothing more than a possession receiver.

Round 10

91 Davis, Vernon TE SF
92 Vikings, DST DST MIN
93 Walker, Javon WR OAK
94 Mendenhall, Rashard RB PIT * 
95 McAllister, Deuce RB NO * 
96 Green, Ahman RB HOU
97 Fargas, Justin RB OAK
98 Burleson, Nate WR SEA
99 Rivers, Philip QB SD
100 Jackson, Vincent WR SD

ROUND 10 GEM – Vincent Jackson – Jackson has been labeled a sleeper by the fantasy pugnits for several year’s now.  This year, the expectations finally come to fruition.

ROUND 10 BUST – Ahman Green- To beat out Javon Walker for fantasy bust is a tough feat, but something tells me Green will be without a team when the regular season begins and there’s a long list of veteran running backs still looking for a team.




8 responses

20 08 2008
Michael Gill

Funny The Bears guy from ESPN 1000 had this to say about the talentless rookie Matt Forte ;

One guy they are excited about on offense, is rookie running back Matt Forte. “He has looked spectacular, Dickerson said. “He has shown power, speed and good hands.”

How did he look when you were at Bears camp ?

21 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

Yeah, I heard that guy say the same thing. Let me ask you quickly, taking a look at that offense, who would you be excited about? Kyle Orton? Marty Booker? Maybe it’s “the other” Adrian Peterson. In that case, mediocrity might be something to get excited about. My biggest problem with Forte is that he’s supposed to be a straight ahead runner, who lacks speed, but is patient and waits for the hole to open. You tell me, does this seem like an offense that’s going to allow him that opportunity?

21 08 2008
Michael Gill

I am not saying I want him, they have way to many holes in their O-line, no weapons and no QB. But you called him “talentless”, all I am saying is a guy who sees him daily said he looked “spectacular” and that he has shown power, speed and good hands, seems like if he didnt play for the Bears he would be a “sleeper”

21 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

True, in a different system I could see him having marginal success. Anybody that makes it to the NFL level ovbiously “isn’t” completely talentless, but the comment was more of a tongue in cheek attempt at humor than a full on indictment of Forte’s overall abilities.

21 08 2008
Michael Gill

Sleeper Alert – Steve Slaton….you heard it here first.

21 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

I’m on board with you on that one brother. Slaton is being drafted number 217 overall, he’d undoubtedly be a steal in the 22nd round of any draft. I’ve got a feeling he ends up getting the bulk of the carries for the Texans.

23 08 2008

Brees is gonna be a monster this year. 40 touchdowns. I think you both might be right about Slaton, he seems to really fit that offense well and is the most talented of their backs.

23 08 2008
Michael Gill

Grabbed Slaton late in the draft as my #4 RB…Lets hope he ends up being the starter.

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