2010 IDP Busts (Overvalued Players)

I always hesitate to use the word "bust" because readers often associate that word with players who will have absolutely horrible seasons. I prefer to use the word "overvalued" instead. As a drafter, this is what I am always looking for: value. If a player is going two rounds higher than I projected him at, I'm not going to draft him, no matter if I think he's going to have a good season or not.

In this article, I recommend three players at each of the 3 defensive positions (DL, LB, DB) who I believe will be significantly overvalued heading into the 2010 fantasy season.


Dwight Freeney 1. RDE Dwight Freeney (IND) - There are 3 things that are inevitable in life: death, taxes, and Dwight Freeney being taken way too early in fantasy drafts. He is usually a safe bet for double-digit sacks but that's all he's going to get you. He had six solo tackles last year (excluding solo tackles obtained by way of a sack) and put up a goose egg in three games. He never had more than three solo tackles in any one game. He could have 20 sacks and still not be a top 10 defensive lineman because of this fact. So, when the guy next to you at the draft thinks he's a genius for drafting Dwight Freeney with one of his early defensive picks, feel free to ridicule him.

Antwan Odom 2. RDE Antwan Odom (CIN) - Odom had eight sacks in his first five games last season. But five of those came against the GB Packers. And, at that point in the season,  my 78 year old grandma could have had a sack or two against their offensive line. I'm just not buying what Odom is selling. To me, it seemed like Odom's production was quite fluky and I'm not willing to spend anything but a late round draft pick on him.

Andre Carter 3. RDE/ROLB Andre Carter (WASH) - Washington's switch to a 3-4 defense is really going to hurt Carter's value. It's too old and slow to be a dominant standup pass-rusher or to drop back in coverage and cover receivers. Carter himself realizes this and has shown his displeasure with the team's decision to make this switch. Carter is a guy I will probably completely avoid in IDP leagues.


Brian Cushing 1. SLB Brian Cushing (HOU) - Don't get me wrong, Cushing was a beast in 2009. However, the fact remains that he is a SLB and I can count on one hand the number of fantasy-worthy strong side linebackers. Cushing is athletic enough to overcome the SLB stigma and be a solid fantasy linebacker. I just don't think he's a top 10 linebacker like many IDP owners do. I see him being a top level tier-3 linebacker. But, I guarantee some over- zealous IDP owner will take Cushing ahead of established fantasy linebackers like Barrett Ruud and David Harris. Plus, he's suspended for the first four games of the season for taking 'roids.

Brian Urlacher 2. MLB Brian Urlacher (CHI) – Urlacher remains one of the most overrated fantasy linebackers in the game. He started showing signs of wearing down in 2008 when he failed to register over 100 tackles and then he missed pretty much the entire 2009 season with a wrist injury. Lance Briggs is the best fantasy linebacker in Chicago. Don't be fooled by Urlacher's "big name" and draft him too early.

James Harrison 3. ROLB James Harrison (PIT) - During the last eight games of the 2009 season, it became apparent who the new IDP pass-rushing stud was in Pittsburgh and his name wasn't James Harrison. Over these last eight games, Harrison had just two sacks compared to teammate LaMarr Woodley's 11.5. Woodley's younger and more talented than Harrison so this transfer of productivity was inevitable. In addition, the Steelers drafted Jason Worlids this season as Harrison's eventual replacement. Many owners in leagues that reward heavily for sacks may still be tempted to Harrison with an early pick, don't.

David Hawthorne 4. MLB David Hawthorne (SEA) - Hawthorne's emergence is one of my favorite 2009 IDP stories. He went from relative obscurity to carrying many IDP teams to their respective championships. However, I'm a realist. The Seahawks paid a lot of money to MLB Lofa Tatupu and he will be starting in the middle next year. Aaron Curry will see increased playing time as well on the strong side as well which means reduced tackle opportunities for Hawthorne. Don't make the rookie mistake of drafting Hawthorne based on his production in 2009, rather focus on his role and situation in 2010 and wait to grab him as your LB3/4.

Elvis Dumervil 5. ROLB Elvis Dumervil (DEN) – Dumervil is a player that will be highly overvalued heading into the 2010 season. He was the sack leader was 17 sacks. However, he still only finished as the 31st total point scorer for linebackers in my scoring system, which actually has some big play slant to it. I don't expect Dumervil to have 17 sacks again next season and he doesn't produce enough tackles to warrant serious consideration as a top 35 linebacker.


Louis Delmas 1. FS Louis Delmas (DET) - I'm not saying that Delmas is going to be a "bust" per se. However, I do think he will be drafted too high next year. If you take away his two defensive touchdowns and his safety, Delmas' numbers are fairly mediocre. He had just 64 solo tackles and only 2 INTs. I think Delmas' tackle and interception numbers will improve next year but at the expense of his defensive touchdowns. With this being said, Delmas is a top 15 player next year NOT a top 5.

Troy Polamalu 2. SS Troy Polamalu (PIT) - Polamalu is overrated in the same way as SS Bob Sanders. He's a fantastic NFL player in real-life but when it comes to fantasy football, he's more of a tier-3 defensive back. "Mr. Head and Shoulders" does have a knack for finding the ball, however, and has top 20 value if he can manage to stay healthy for a full season. With all this in mind, don't be fooled by the big name and reach for Polamalu too early though (i.e. tier 1 or tier 2).

Darren Sharper 3. FS Darren Sharper (NO) - Sharper will come into the 2010 season being highly overvalued. Many IDP "newbies" will just look at Sharper's overall fantasy points (2nd most in my scoring system) and therefore draft him unreasonably high. I say unreasonably high because Sharper's overall fantasy numbers were highly inflated due to 4 defensive touchdowns. I'm willing to bet my left nut that Sharper doesn't have 4 defensive touchdowns again next year. And, he's not a good enough tackling point producer to retain even top 25 value. I see Sharper being on the outskirts of the top 20 defensive backs and that's only because he been somewhat consistent in coming up with turnovers. Avoid in tackle-heavy leagues.

Bob Sanders 4. SS Bob Sanders (IND) - Sanders reminds me a lot of Troy Polamalu. He is a great NFL player and solid fantasy defensive back when healthy. However, he is hardly ever healthy. Sanders is always the "if only" guy. If only he had played the whole season, if only he hadn't got hurt, etc. I've just accepted the fact that Sanders will probably never be fully healthy and you should probably do the same.

Kerry Rhodes 5. FS Kerry Rhodes (NYJ) - In my opinion, Rhodes is a highly overrated fantasy player. He really hasn't been a viable fantasy option since 2007 and he had the lowest tackle totals of his career last year. We keep waiting for him to bounce back and produce the type of fantasy numbers he did a couple of years ago, but I just don't think it's going to happen.

Last Updated: July 13, 2010

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