Beware of Internet Icons

I have to give credit where credit is due with the subject title: my boy Caplan came up with the term “Internet Icon” when talking about players who become over-hyped on the Net in the month of August.

Hey, I’ve been guilty of over-hyping some players in the past, and I’ll likely do it again, but one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t talk yourself into a player just because you like his talent and you’re looking to catch lightening in a bottle. Sometimes, people get overly enamored with players, and they ignore some facts, and, quite frankly, reality.

I see that happening again this summer, so I thought covering some of them would make for a good post.

Here are the guys I see emerging this year as Internet Icons, and are getting too much love in fantasy drafts.

Matt Schaub – I’ve been on the bandwagon since day one, and he’s definitely shown flashes. I’m thinking this could be the year, too, but that doesn’t mean he’s worth taking in the 7th round, which is where he’s going. The guy is still very injury-prone, so after calling him a value for the last two years, I think he’s kind of overvalued.

Ray Rice – This is going to be fascinating to watch develop when the season starts because he remains atop the depth chart and is getting more and more love. But you know what? When the season begins and everything is for real, I expect the Ravens to emphasize a power running game, which is not conducive to Rice’s skills, He’s not very big, and he’s not very fast or explosive, so this guy to me has limitations. If veteran Willis McGahee is healthy, McGahee will play plenty, plus LeRon McClain is also there. Rice’s role is definitely increasing, but I would be careful not to overrate him. He’s not a guy I’m avoiding, but since his draft stock is too high for my tastes, I don’t expect to be taking him.

LeSean McCoy – The kid’s the real deal, but if Brian Westbrook is healthy for 85% of the season, those who took him in the 7th round are going to feel pretty dumb because McCoy’s not going to get a lot of touches – maybe 5-6 a game if he’s lucky. Now, if Westbrook goes down, he’s a stud, so if people are taking him just for that reason, I’m down with that thinking. But 7th round is a little early for a guy who could easily do very little for you for most of the season.

Darren McFadden – I am warming up to him a little, but I still don’t think I’ll be taking him because he’s going too high. He looks good this summer, and he’s healthy, but it’s still an RBBC, and it’s still a bad OL and a poor team.

Ronnie Brown – I’ve covered this before, and we do have him somewhat high because I do value the solid RBs a lot this year. Brown’s a good player, and he should get more touches than last year. But some people still seem to expect Brown to get like 300 carries this year, and it’s not going to happen. He’s never truly carried the load, and he won’t this year. I do think he’s a solid enough #2, but I don’t think he’s a really good #2, like Ryan Grant, who will be “the guy.” I remember someone posting on this blog that Ricky Williams is done, and that dude needs to make an appointment to see the eye doctor because Ricky still looks like Ricky. He looked great from what I saw Monday night.

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29 Responses

  1. Wax Man says:

    I think this is a good topic for many of us right around draft time. Ray Rice has been the biggest one I’ve been hearing so far. I almost feel that LT should be on this list too. John, I know you are high on him but I just have a sense that he should not be ranked 6th or 7th for RB’s this year. I hope to get Pierre Thomas this year, but he has been getting talked about alot lately too.

  2. JB says:

    John, in Schaub’s case, i think some guys are just drafting not based on consensus ADP, but rather on gut calls/own personal rankings.

    in regards to Ronnie Brown/McFadden, I think guys are becoming more aware that the top-10 RBs in consensus ADP/rankings wont be in the top-10 in the final standings and therefore looking for the top 11-20 RB in the rankings that may get into the top-10…..along the lines of the mispriced players article.

  3. Law Firm says:

    With you on everyone but Schaub. Unless you’re in a league experienced fantasy geeks, QBs are getting poached early. Schaub in the 7th round actually seems a bit late to me. His general ADP is the 6th round in most mocks, especially in the GURU hosted mocks. He’s going before Big Ben, and Palmer (who’s an injury risk as well).

    Again, I think he would be a value (with some risk) in the 7th round.

  4. eric kalish says:

    I am thinking about taking Pierre thomas to be my 3rd rb(ppr keeper league keeping forte/turnter/fitz) and in doing so I may be passing on players like westbrook/portis/grant/jennings. Is this falling into the trap of overhype, or is it smart to do because of the upside and minimal risk (versus the higher risk with westbrook or portis???

  5. Burton says:

    John/anyone,
    -I like L.White and even T.Jones better than both K.Smith and R.Brown this year?
    -I’m scared of T.Brady and K.Warner this year, injuries and pre-season performances — thinking D.McNabb in the 5th or even M.Schaub in the 7th are the better play this year? Got to get a decent back-up though.
    -If McCoy falls to say the 10th round, then I’m grabbing him(9th at the earliest) although Westbrook may really need a year to heal after repeated injuries and carrying the team on his shoulders for so many years? One setback and that may just be the case.
    -Westbrook – unless he plays in a preseason game, I am really scared to draft him. John & Adam, how is he looking???

    -Westbrook/McNabb Side Note: Did anyone see the game last year where McNabb seemed to be blaming Westbrook for something? I know that’s pretty vague, but I noticed a real tiff between the two on the sideline. No one seemed to write about it at the time. I know it’s football, an emotional game and all, but my intuition is that Westbrook was tired of McNabb’s B.S. (i.e. trying to assert himself as the leader when Westbrook quietly leads the team by his performance on the field year-in and year-out). I like McNabb and I think he is better than even John and Adam characterized him on the recent podcast, but let’s face it Westbrook has carried this offense over the years.

  6. Burton says:

    Correction: Podcast was John and Greg Cossell (not Adam)

  7. JBeau says:

    All these make sense, but I am targeting Schaub and Palmer late, or as late as I can get them. Totally agree with Rice. McGahee is still the guy there, and I hope people still hop on him. Ricky isn’t even getting drafted in some mocks, and that makes me happy. I could snatch him up real late at a nice little value. He looked darn good to me.

  8. Phil says:

    McCoy in the 7th is too early, unless of course you’re the westbook owner, then maybe the reach makes sense.

    rice, brown, mcfadden — agreed

    as far as schuab, I agree with Law Firm when he mentions the “QBs are getting poached early.” Most mocks I’ve seen, schaub is taken after mcnabb, romo, cutler which is still to be as early as the 7th round. Qb’s are flying faster and faster each week.

  9. Spicoli says:

    This is a great topic.

    How about TJH? I love the guy, but receivers are always risky when they are switching teams. Throw in a brittle Matt Hasselbeck and he screams bust in the third round, which is where I see him going. Not to mention Houshmandzadeh’s host of beat up body parts. That dude has taken a beating over the years. The end of the 3rd seems high.

    Another guy is Roy Williams (ADP of 45), who, despite his upside, is way too risky for me to touch in round four, which is where I’ve seen him going in performance leagues.

  10. steely says:

    Gotta say I like Schaub in the 7th as well. There are many questions at QB once you get past Rivers/Rodgers. There is only McNabb. Is Cutler and/or Palmer/Big Ben really better than Schaub? Don’t think so. He puts up digits when he is on the field. Much higher upside, no?

  11. steve benton says:

    I am not sure why the lack of love for Schaub. In my scoring system, you get 5 points for 250+ yards additional, and my stats tell me Schaub was over 250 yards 8 times last year in 11 games. That’s as many as Manning and Rivers. And they had full seasons.I think Schaub overcomes the injury bug, and absolutely has a career year. And as proud owner of him in the 5th round in a 14 team league, I will bet you he will be a 2nd round pick next year.

  12. PackFan says:

    I’ve never been in love with the Texan passing game myself, but one reason Matt Schaub is getting drafted somewhat early this year is probably due to his association with one Andre Johnson. With Johnson rated as the second or third best receiver on many fantasy cheat sheets this summer, owners are probably figuring the guy throwing him the ball can’t be all that bad.

    If Johnson continues to get his numbers, and Schaub can pad his stats by finding ADDITIONAL SUCCESS with a tight end, back, or another receiver, then maybe his value as a starting QB will warrant a higher pick. It really hasn’t happened yet on a full-season basis, so for me … I’m thinking 7th is a somewhat awkward round to select this guy when you’re still drafting for depth … but for those of you who believe – best wishes.

  13. Austin says:

    John great article. I grabbed Schaub in the 10th round in a 10 team league and I think he finishes top 5. I get your point though about him being risky if you take him in the 5th. All depends on how your draft unfolds. I think he is on par with Rivers and Rodgers who are going much higher in drafts I’ve seen.

    John do your thoughts on Rice change in a ppr league? I think he could go for 700 yds rushing and catch 60 for 550 yards out of the backfield which could make for a nice flex play in that scoring format. Are those predictions way off base?

    Keep up the great work!

  14. TommyMac says:

    Hey John/guys–I’m in a distance-scoring league where all TD’s (pass, rush, receive) are worth anywhere from 4 all the way up to 9 points each. Also, pass/rush/rec yards yield very low points in this league. Obviously, QB’s and WR’s are worth more than RB’s here, but I’m not sure how to adjust the rankings or ADP data provided on this site. I’ve entered in my scoring system to get the custom cheat-sheet, but that still doesn’t tell me how much emphasis to place on drafting my WR’s vs. RB’s, for example, or when to take my QB. Any suggestions from anyone will be greatly appreciated.

  15. John Hansen says:

    Schaub’s issue is mainly his durability, obviously. And while I appreciate his excellent timing and anticipation, the guy’s not as good as Rivers or Rodgers, no way, and those guys are much more durable. He has bad pocket presence, so it’s probably unrealistic to say this is his year to stay healthy. It seems that way, but it’s still unrealistic to say that.

    I would say Rice is a great flex option in a PPR, for sure.

    Tommy, not much to say other than to simply always consider the guys who tend to make the bigger plays. I wouldn’t adjust too much but it should be clear if you follow stuff who does. For example, the Panthers throw deep to Steve Smith all the time. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, not so much.

  16. Austin says:

    I meant that fantasy wise Schaub can put up similar numbers in that offense. I agree that as a qb he isn’t as good as those guys mentioned.

    Initially I disagreed with Dmac but I think you may be right. Bush looks really solid and Fargas will still get some touches.

    Again great work buddy, its greatly appreciated.

  17. steely says:

    John, Schaub may not be as good as those two, but my point was that he IS as good as Cutler and maybe even McNabb. Also better than Palmer and Big Ben as well. So if McNabb goes off the board in the 5th or 6th round, wouldn’t Schaub in the seventh be legit?

  18. steely says:

    Obviously I speak Fantasy Wise when I say he is better than those guys, not Football wise.

  19. MDS says:

    since when has Oakland had a bad o-line?

  20. [...] Sometimes the internet flow of the summer has a way of turning a potential NFL sleeper into an overhyped property. John Hansen blogs about buzz gone haywire. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  21. [...] Sometimes the internet flow of the summer has a way of turning a potential NFL sleeper into an overhyped property. John Hansen blogs about buzz gone haywire. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  22. [...] Sometimes the internet flow of the summer has a way of turning a potential NFL sleeper into an overhyped property. John Hansen blogs about buzz gone haywire. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  23. Jayson says:

    Hey John,

    Is E. James going to be worth anything in Seattle? I drafted T.J. Duckett last week with one of my last picks. Should I dump Duckett (I heard he’s going to get cut) and grab James? Would a Greg Jones be a better “wait and see” RB in Jacksonville?

    Thanks,

  24. EshInPennsyltucky says:

    The Seahawks confirmed Duckett’s been released. So, snag James and listen to MJD when John asks him who his handcuff’ll be and how (much) the Jags plan to use Jones

  25. Jayson says:

    Thanks EshlinPennsyltucky.

  26. Bobby says:

    I like your article a lot…If I read this prior to my money league, I might have put some of this advise into consideration. In my money league, I drafted everyone on your list except Shuab and McCoy. I got Rice in the 15th so he dosen’t count, but R Brown in the third and McFadden in the 4th. McFadden was a stretch, I know, and I aslo drafted him 5th last year. But I think Ronnie Brown is the lastest rb you can draft that has top 5 potential. Sure they all do, but Brown I think is the safest. I don’t think Brown is over hyped, alot of people don’t like him claiming Ricky is back, he was inconsistent last year, the wildcat myabee just a fluke, etc. Miami is now a decent team, and you know in order for their offence to succeed Ronnie Brown must produce. Contract year. Oh one thing Oakland has been able to do last couple years decently is run the ball. Their offence, although terrible, has to go through McFadden in order to be successful

  27. austin says:

    I think the only guy I disagree with is Rice. It looks like Rice is going to be the guy and in a ppr league he could produce #2 numbers even if McGahee gets his carries and McClain vultures some td’s. Rice to me just looks different this year and I wasn’t that impressed with him last year. I think he worked hard on his weaknesses and will be a very good ppr guy this year and possible finish in 12-20 range which would be a mid level #2. But I do agree with you that as the preseason rolls on people will probably reach for him. Anyways keep up the solid work. Easily the best site on the net!

  28. Anthony says:

    I am biased because I’m a big Ronnie Brown fan. John, does your opinion of him (e.g. nowhere near 300 carries) take into account PPR leagues? Could they finally realize his receiving potential (probably could play wideout on that team)? Also, I think if you can get Ricky Williams much later in the draft, if one or the other gets hurt, you’re probably going to have a stud. RBBC’s are a pain in the ass, but I think if one is going much later than the other, they can be a good value as a tandem if you can’t get the stud RBs who get all the carries, what few there are left. Again, I’m trying to justify to myself taking Brown since I’m a fan and I actually think he could really surprise this year, but there’s a realistic side that’s afraid of the Wildcat offense and spreading the ball around too much. As a Dolphin fan, I actually think they need to make Brown the focal point to win consistently, but that’s another story.

  29. Britt says:

    I can’t believe Robert Meachem wasn’t in your original post. He is the absolute king of August Hype. This guy hasn’t caught so much as a meaningful cold in the regular season. I’ve never seen Fantasy Guru’s put so much hype on a guy who can’t even land the #3 job on a team. Back home we call that a “buster”.

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