For every Andrew Luck story in fantasy football, there is a Ryan Leaf. Or a Javon Walker. (Remember him as a Raider? Neither do we.)
The list goes on and on when it comes to highly touted players who don't perform to expectations -- despite preseason hype and immense potential. Whether it be a change in scenery, injuries -- or rookies having trouble adapting to the game -- there are already a few potential busts in the making for 2013.
Sometimes talent is not enough -- without the right supporting cast or environment. It is a continuing theme as we kick off the list:
Colin Kaepernick (QB - San Francisco 49ers): From backup quarterback to ESPN Magazine Body Issue coverboy, Kaepernick's rise to fame last season was nothing short of spectacular, considering he garnered a 98.3 quarterback rating en route to leading the Niners to the Super Bowl.
But while he was accurate, Kaepernick won many games with his legs (415 rushing yards, 5 TDs), rather than his arm (140 yards passing per game).
Consider that Michael Crabtree is out and still recovering from a torn ACL -- and that Anquan Boldin (though talented) is new to the team and must face the pressure of being the team's top receiver.
The rest of the WR corps is suspect, which all leads to question marks about whether Kaepernick can live up to his value for the 49ers. Remember, he is no longer the bargain he was last year. He will be priced like the star player he supposed to be.
Rashard Mendenhall (RB - Arizona Cardinals): Mr. Reliable -- at least when he was on the field, Mendenhall had a great run with the Pittsburgh Steelers, culminating in a weak finish last season due to injury.
More important here, however, is not Mendenhall's ability but the ability of Ryan Williams. Williams, a former 2nd round pick from Virginia Tech, is breathing down his neck on the Arizona Cardinals depth chart and arguably the more talented back. He will get his chances if Mendenhall fails.
One other note, it is starting to become a continuing theme with Arizona -- let's get the last little drop of talent from aging veterans before their time is up. Emmitt Smith. Edgerrin James. Rashard, the story is starting to look familiar.
Danny Amendola (WR - New England Patriots): Amendola, for the first time in his career, is in the spotlight and starting to be priced accordingly -- considering fantasy gods dream of Tom Brady pass receptions for touchdowns.
The talent is there, the speed is there, but will be the body be there? In other words, can he be consistent? When he is on the field, Amendola should have no problem putting up numbers, but after only seeing the field for 12 games in the past two seasons -- and seeing the hits Wes Welker took in this offense -- the odds are stacked against him.
Plug him in while he is healthy, but if you are in a league where it is tough to switch out injured players throughout the season, consider him a huge risk.
Mike Wallace (WR - Miami Dolphins): Oh, Mike Wallace -- he of immense talent and speed -- but maybe a guy who finds himself in a tough situation.
Wallace had a solid season with 836 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but as talented as he is, Ryan Tannehill is no Ben Roethlisberger just yet.
In addition, the hoopla around Wallace blankets the fact that the Dolphins already have an All-Pro level receiver in Brian Hartline, who managed 74 catches and almost 1,100 yards receiving from a rookie a year ago.