In dynasty football we’re always looking to fill our rosters with high potential young players before they breakout, thereby staying ahead of the curve and turning lower round picks into dynasty gold. Alas, for a variety of reasons these players don’t always pan out, becoming fool’s gold instead. Here is a list of four players who are fool’s gold, who have enticed dynasty owners for some time but will never pan out. One from each offensive position. Here we go…
- Knile Davis, RB KC – Tantalizing us with a few great games, Knile Davis is the epitome of fool’s gold. A backup to an elite runner, Jamaal Charles, who when called upon has performed well in a fantasy football sense. He has not performed well in an NFL sense though. In his entire career, spanning three years and 46 games he’s averaging a meager 3.3 yards per carry. He’s been a bit of a liability in the passing game. These are areas that NFL coaches are unforgiving about. You have to move the chains and you have to play well without the ball, Knile Davis does neither particularly well. You will say he’s only 24, he’s the perfect size at 5’10” and 227 lbs. with athleticism to be a lead dawg. That’s all true, but he lacks in instincts and desire which are critical to long-term NFL success. Nothing says it more than he’s been passed on the depth chart by a UDFA Charcandrick West and 6th round pick Spencer Ware. Davis may not make the KC roster this year, but I would not buy into him being more than a backup on any other team.
- Justin Hunter, WR TEN – a 2nd round pick in 2013 with the size and athleticism that projects success in the NFL, Hunter has oft been hunted (sorry, couldn’t help it) for dynasty rosters. He’s only 25 and just looks the part of an NFL WR. That’s where the positives end though. Two of his three seasons have been cut short by injury though the bigger issue for me has been a consistent lack of maturity and development in his mindset. He talks a lot about taking it to the next level but his actions (Google Justin Hunter locker room leap) say otherwise. He’s been passed on the depth chart by 7th rounder Rishard Matthews as well as Dorial Green-Beckham (which says a TON), Kendall Wright and even rookie Tajae Sharpe. Don’t by into Hunter, he’s young and athletic but is extremely hard to project to fantasy success at this point in his career.
- Larry Donnell, TE NYG – Donnell is a player that was undrafted and found his way to the starting gig, so’s he’s not your typical fool’s gold. He worked his way from Stony Brook to the NFL and started a solid amount of games over two seasons. The problem is that he’s coming off of a very tough neck injury. He’s is 100% at this point and free to play, though players that come back from neck injuries have a very poor record of success post injury. That along with a very deep (yet low round drafted) depth chart with Will Tye, rookie Jerrel Adams and Brice Williams makes it such that Donnell is no guarantee to start and more than likely will be on the bench to start the year. The best case scenario is a time share and you don’t need a 27 year old undrafted TE on your roster in a timeshare. Others considered here where Jace Amaro, Josh Hill, Virgil Green.
- Colin Kaepernick, QB SF – Kaep is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a conundrum. A second round pick who found success under Jim Harbaugh, he’s now being coached by Chip Kelly. Given Kaep’s strengths you’d think this was a wonderful thing. It’s not. SF and Kaep have been doing this strange dance all summer where both sides seem to beg each other off and then say they are not begging each other off. It’s confounding but also telling. Telling in that it’s not the love affair all successful teams have with their QB. Add the fact that Blaine Gabbert is now odds on favorite to start the year and Kelly chose Jeff Driskell in the draft to develop long term and the writing is on the wall here. Never an accurate passer, Kaep is much like RG3 where he just hasn’t developed the pocket passing acumen necessary to succeed in the NFL. At 28 he’s still young for a QB, but he’s yet to pass for more than 3,400 yards in a season or more than 21 TDs. That’s not good going into your 5th season.