Who Not to Keep
When putting together a keeper or a non keeper list one has to take into consideration the rules used for their league. When putting together this list I'm going by the simple rules used in one of the leagues I have organized. At the beginning of August each owner may select up to 2 players from their previous year's roster as keepers for the upcoming season. These players must not play the same position. This means an owner with 2 top 10 running backs has to let one player fall back into the draft. No owner may trade players at this point, so teams with 3 or 4 top 10 players (1 QB, 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE) will need to choose who they believe will be the best pair to keep. This means that some top 10 players will find their way back into the draft. Should an owner decide to keep only 1 player, the owner will receive an additional first round pick. For teams who had a horrible team the previous year, the better decision may be to keep 1 or no players and take the additional first round draft picks. Using these simple rules, I've put together a short list of players that some owner might consider keeping.
QB Josh Freeman, --- - Quality Backup
Currently we have Josh Freeman listed as the 12th best quarterback in the league for the 2011 season. If he continues to progress as expected then we believe he will be a starting quarterback for an owner in a 12 team league. If every other owner keeps a quarterback then Freeman would be the best available quarterback on the board. Seeing as every other team already has a quarterback, what is the likelihood one of these 11 owners would draft Freeman as a backup before you have a chance to select him as your starter? So unless you believe Freeman is going to be a top 5 quarterback, keeping him would likely be a bad decision.
QB Donovan McNabb, --- - Gamble (high risk)
This really should be a no brainer, but there are some McNabb diehards out there who want to keep him because at one point Donovan was a very good fantasy quarterback. I really like the risk / reward McNabb offers, but when you're talking keepers the word risk should never come to mind. The upside here would be a trade to somewhere like Arizona. When the new CBA is reached and Washington has a chance to trade McNabb, I'm sure they'll be taking offers. If Donovan is moved to Arizona he would be their starting quarterback; can you say McNabb to Fitzgerald for the TD? Should this occur then McNabb has the possiblilty of becoming fantasy relevant this season. However, as it stands now, McNabb is nothing more than a second string quarterback for the Redskins (which holds almost zero fantasy value).
RB Michael Turner, --- - Solid/Safe Pick
Keeping or cutting Turner could be a difficult decision for some fantasy owners. Obviously if your team has Turner and Foster, Peterson or Chris Johnson and you can only keep one then cutting Turner is an easy decision. On the other hand if Turner was your best running back last year then you may want to keep him for the up coming season. Some things to consider before deciding to keep Turner or not would be his age, recent production and the possibility of injury. Michael is 29 this year and we all know that running back production tends to decline the closer the player is to 30. In addition, Turner had the lowest average per carry (4.1) of his career last year. Not to say that 4.1 isn't a good number, but a .8 yard per carry drop again this year means 304 carries to reach 1,000 yards. As for injuries, I can't tell you for sure Turner will miss any games this year, but keep in mind that after carrying the ball 300+ times in 2008 Michael played in just 11 games in 2009. He is a big back and his body takes a beating. Maybe it's possible his body can't take that much punishment. With all that said, if Turner if the best option you have then by all means keep him. However, if you also have Roddy White and Aaron Rodgers then keeping Turner may not be the right decision.
RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT - Solid/Safe Pick
After back to back 1,000 yard season's and a 2008 career best year, DeAngelo Williams played in just 6 games carrying the ball 87 times for 361 yards in 2010. Once the new CBA is signed, Williams will be a free agent and about half the league will be soliciting for his services. Where he lands nobody knows, but one thing we can count on is that we won't see numbers in 2011 like we did in 2008. If Williams stays with Carolina he will continue to split time with Stewart. Another option for DeAngelo would be to sign with Arizona. The Cardinals were dead last in the run game last year and adding Williams would surely boost their numbers, but without a quality quarterback the running game will likely struggle once again. Right now there are just too many questions surrounding Williams, making him a poor choice as a keeper.
WR Santana Moss, --- - Quality Backup
Not that many owners are going to look at Santana Moss and think keeper, but in case you were thinking Moss has keeper potential; he doesn't. For starters, we don't even know who will be throwing the ball Moss' direction this season. Will Rex Grossman be the Redskins' starting quarterback or will we see Beck or could we possibly see McNabb under center again? If you don't know who will be throwing the ball, it's probably a good idea to stay away from a receiver. A couple of other things to consider about Moss would be his age and performance history. This year Moss will be 33 years old and while not 'old', 33 is getting up there for a receiver. I don't know how many more respectable seasons Moss has left in the tank. Speaking of respectable numbers, look at what Moss did last year. Santana had a career best 93 receptions totalling 1,115 yards and 6 touchdowns. Looking back at his career, when was the last time he put together back to back 1,000 yard seasons? I'll save you the time of looking it up, he never has. Again, not that many owners would consider keeping Moss, but in case you were you may want to reconsider.