2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Busts 2.0 – CBSSports.com

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Cummings 2.0: Breakouts | Sleepers

It’s getting late in August and I’m getting antsy. Real football is close to two weeks away. Flags have been planted. Takes have been had. You know who I don’t like, so how can I make busts even better than it was before? You’re about to find out.

Anyone on the
Pittsburgh Steelers
not named
Antonio Brown

I know this is a tough pill to swallow, but at their current ADP, I could see virtually the entire
Pittsburgh Steelers
offense busting. Except for
Antonio Brown
, of course.

With the injury concerns for
Ladarius Green
and the suspension of
Martavis Bryant
, Roethlisberger is left with almost no weapons outside of Brown.
Markus Wheaton
is nothing special and
Sammie Coates
looks like he has lost whatever momentum he had from training camp. With Roethlisberger’s injury risk and limited upside, there’s no chance I’d take him as the fifth QB off the board.

You would think that the suspension reduction for
Le’Veon Bell
would help him, but not if I have to take him in the first round. The best case scenario is you get 10 weeks of the regular season and Bell stays healthy and performs at the same level as last year. That’s not worth a first-round pick to me and it’s no guarantee with a player coming off a significant injury.

At their current cost, I’d fade anyone in this offense not named Antonio Brown, who may have a record-breaking year.

The
Miami Dolphins
running game

To say this group has looked unimpressive in the preseason would be a colossal understatement. I’m not sure it’s fair to cast all the blame on the running backs, as the
Miami Dolphins
offensive line looks like a complete mess.

I was pretty excited about the prospect of getting
Arian Foster
in the ninth or 10th round as a flyer who could possibly get his upside back. He’s currently being drafted at the end of the sixth round. For a 30-year-old running back coming off a major injury behind a questionable offensive line, that is way too early. Even when I was optimistic about Foster, I was expecting there to be some type of timeshare.

At least with Foster, we know he’s good when he’s right. I’m not sure you can say the same for Ajayi. We’ve seen very little evidence that Ajayi’s talent translates at this level. What we have seen is the Dolphins add a running back through the draft and free agency since the new regime took over. That doesn’t scream confidence to me.

Anyone you draft based on last year’s unsustainable touchdown rate

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Touchdowns are the least predictable part of Fantasy. Sure, volume plays a huge part and so does role. Still, of the small sample size of a 16-game season, we can get some pretty wonky numbers, and boy did we last year.


Devonta Freeman
may have a huge role in Atlanta again, but it would be hard to imagine his leash is as long as it was last season. Freeman had a spectacular six-week stretch and then a terrible time running the ball in the second half. Despite seeing his efficiency crater, Freeman still scored four touchdowns in the second half. That’s about the pace I would project for 2016, which would be a drastic fall from 2015.

Just about the entire
New York Jets
passing game looks prime for regression.
Eric Decker
continued his amazing success in the red zone while
Brandon Marshall
and
Ryan Fitzpatrick
each set career highs in scores. I would expect Fitzpatrick in particular to regress, which is clearly going to have a negative impact on his receivers.

Finally,
Tyler Eifert
. Whew. Eifert was the first player in 30 years to score 13 touchdowns with less than 60 catches and less than 700 yards. In fact, he had the lowest yardage total for any player with 13 touchdowns since 1948. Basically, if something hasn’t happened in 30 years it’s probably not going to happen again next year. Eifert was less involved in his passing game than
Zach Ertz
, but he’s being drafted almost three rounds earlier. This is despite the fact that most of us don’t expect Eifert to play in Week 1.

The
Los Angeles Rams
passing game


You might think that no one involved in this passing game is being drafted anyway. Well,
Tavon Austin
is, in the 10th round. Austin could have easily been included in the section above, because he scored nine touchdowns on just 104 touches. I’m also not really that excited about counting on rushing production from my wide receiver.

While Austin is likely to be a bust even at his late ADP, you may be tempted in deeper leagues to draft another member of this passing game.
Kenny Britt
,
Tyler Higbee
and
Pharoh Cooper
could all be viewed as late-round keepers. Do yourself a favor and draft a receiver who won’t be catching passes from
Case Keenum
instead.

Most every quarterback at their current ADP

What is even happening? Current ADP shows
Cam Newton
in the first round and NINE (!) quarterbacks being selected in the first six rounds. I’m so disappointed.

I don’t think all of these quarterbacks are going to have a bad season, but they aren’t going to be worth this cost. So, instead of admonishing you for mistakes that have already been made, let’s talk about moving forward. What do you do if everyone in your league follows this path?

First, stock up on good players at every other position while your league mates chase quarterbacks. You should have the best running backs and receivers in the league, then you’re going to get a good quarterback at a more reasonable cost. My two favorite values according to current ADP are
Matthew Stafford
(ninth round) and
Tyrod Taylor
(11th). Both of these quarterbacks have top-eight upside without the exorbitant cost.

Kickers, anywhere but the last two rounds

First, if you haven’t had your draft yet, get on board and #BanKickers. Seriously. You don’t need them, you don’t enjoy them and they’re largely random. Drop the kicker and add a flex and make your league better.

If you don’t have that type of control, than please don’t be the guy taking a kicker in the mid-late rounds of your draft. If you want to take
Stephen Gostkowski
in the 13th, that’s fine. Drafting him at his current ADP (ninth round) is ridiculous.

The
Washington Redskins

I don’t believe in
Kirk Cousins
repeating what he did last year, which affects him and his receivers. That receiver situation is pretty messy right now anyway, with a mixture of veterans who may not be that good anymore and young receivers who aren’t 100 percent.
Jordan Reed
is the true star of this receiving corps, but he absolutely could have been in the touchdown regression section and has an extensive injury history.

At running back, we have to downgrade
Matt Jones
with his shoulder injury, and I didn’t like him very much in the first place. He’s fine if he falls to the eighth round or later but I can’t imagine he will, especially if the injury news is positive. Avoiding an entire team is kind of a silly strategy, but at their current ADPs, I’ll be staying away from Washington.


Blake Bortles

Yes, I could have fit Bortles into the touchdown regression section, but I thought he deserved his own section. I’ve written about Bortles several times this year and I’m proud to say he’s fallen to the 11th quarterback off the board. It’s still too high.

Bortles supporters seem to want to completely ignore his rookie year and focus solely on 2015. To his credit, Bortles’ 2015 numbers put him in the same class as
Eli Manning
and
Matt Ryan
as sophomores. On the other hand, those were two of only three quarterbacks to become good Fantasy quarterbacks after posting Year 2 percentages as bad as Bortles.

Maybe Bortles will be the fourth. I’m betting against him and the rest of these busts.

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