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“Ugly girlfriend.  No confidence.”  –Moneyball

Possibly my favorite sports movie quote of all time.  Check out the above picture.  That’s Matt Ryan and his fiance.  Now check out the picture below:

That’s Aaron Rodgers’ girlfriend, Tom Brady’s wife, and Drew Brees’ wife.  You see what I’m trying to get at here?  Matt Ryan will never be elite.  I don’t care if Julio Jones and Roddy White are great receivers.  The Falcons would have to clone Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, and trade for Megatron in order for Matt Ryan to be an elite Fantasy Football QB.  Until that happens, he’ll continue to put up OK (not great) numbers.

Matt Ryan finished last year as the 8th overall ranked Fantasy Football QB.  Granted Julio Jones missed 4 games, but he had Roddy White the entire year and Tony Gonzalez was a year younger than he is today.  Michael Turner was still fat and slow, but not as fat and slow as he’s been this pre-season.  I’m expecting a marginally better season in 2012, but he’s at best the #9 overall Fantasy QB.  The 3 guys with the hot WAGs, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Tony Romo, and both Mannings are better options this year.  Throw Ryan’s name in a hat with Michael Vick and Philip Rivers- whichever one you come out with shouldn’t matter.

Matt Ryan isn’t the only player that other “analysts” have a boner for leading into this year’s Fantasy Football season.  There are several names that these pundits have been touting as potential breakout players this season, but you shouldn’t buy all of them.  Leading off with Matty Ice, here’s my list of players other analysts love that you shouldn’t overpay for:

Matt Ryan, QB ATL- his ceiling is Tony Romo, but his basement is Matt Schaub.  With a current ADP of 54 he’s going in the middle of the 5th round.  Yikes.   I’d rather have Peyton Manning or Philip Rivers in the 6th.

Brandon Lloyd, WR NE- like his talent, love his QB, hate his situation.  Welker, Gronk, and Aaron Hernandez need their targets too.  Not to mention the Patriots playbook is more Da Vinci Code than Curious George.  Oddly enough, Lloyd’s ADP is 55, right behind Matt Ryan.  People drafting Lloyd in the 5th are hoping for 2nd round production.  I’m much more comfortable with him in the 6th.

Rob Gronkowski, TE NE– don’t get me wrong, The Gronk is a top tier TE.  While I favor Jimmy Graham, Gronk will be the 1st or 2nd TE off the board with an ADP of 14.  14!  That’s the 2nd pick in the 2nd round.  For a TE.  Even when Antonio Gates was the only TE worth using an early draft pick for a few years back, he was still going in the 3rd round.  Use a 2nd round pick on a TE and watch your team crash and burn.

Ryan Mathews, RB SD– before the car accident, some analysts had Mathews ranked as high as 4th overall.  Before he broke his clavicle on his first carry of the first pre-season game, he was ranked as high as 7th overall.  While he claims to be ahead of schedule, he’ll probably miss Week 1 and possibly Week 2.  With an ADP of 24 you’re taking a gamble if you pick Mathews before the 3rd round.  Even if he is the go-to-guy in San Diego, you can’t score any Fantasy Football points from the sideline.

Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN– I actually like Demaryius Thomas as a low-end WR2, high-end WR3.  With an ADP of 51 (a full 19 spots ahead of teammate Eric Decker), I hate the value you’re getting there at the beginning of the 5th round.  Eric Decker in the late 6th is great.  Thomas in the 5th, not so much.

Any Defense or Kicker before the last 2 rounds– Nothing will hurt your fantasy team more than drafting a defense or a kicker too early.  Pittsburgh was the pre-season 3rd overall ranked DEF last year.  They finished 15th.  Detroit was projected 13th and finished 2nd overall.  I can give a similar example with kickers, but you catch my drift.  Seriously, wait til the end of the draft no matter how much you like Patrick Willis’ K-Swiss commercials.

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