Fantasy Football Busts of 2015

Every year, fantasy owners are raving about how great they drafted, but every year the injury bug or the dreaded Bust happens. In 2014, we saw LeSean McCoy, who was a RB1 and a top 5 pick destroy fantasy owners hopes and dreams. However, the 2014 Poster Child of Busts Award goes to Montee Ball. Last season, Ball was all the hype and was selected in most leagues as an RB1. Ball missed 11 games and ran for only 172 yards on 55 carries with 1 touchdown. Also, A.J. Green and Vernon Davis were major disappointments to fantasy owners. In some cases, these players shattered the championship dreams of fantasy owners. We all study hard to find that player to avoid that will destroy the hopes and dreams of a fantasy owner. The key to any successful fantasy season is find the sleepers and avoid the busts. I used Fantasypros.com for the average draft position for each player. Here is the list of my Fantasy Busts of 2015!

Quarterbacks

Peyton Manning (QB3), ADP on Yahoo 32, ADP on ESPN 22, ADP on CBS 20

Manning is coming off of a late season slump and a terrible playoff run in 2014, yet he is still considered to be a top 5 QB’s coming into this season. He will have a new head coach in Gary Kubiak that loves to rely on the running game to set up the pass. Kubiak loves to get his running backs involved in the passing game and we will see a lot of C.J. Anderson. The big question is, when will Manning start to show his age?  At the end of last season he showed it. He will have his occasional Manning passing frenzy, but they will be more careful with him to make sure he is fresh for the playoffs.  As a result, he will suffer lows in yards and passing touchdowns this season. He has been a low 2nd or high 3rd round pick in most drafts and I would rather get my 1st or 2nd wide receiver or my 2nd running back in those spots. Let someone else roll the dice on a healthy youthful Peyton or a Peyton who will show his age and let you down when playoff time comes! If you really want a Manning, I would suggest Eli a few rounds later who will get the same (or close to it) points as Peyton enabling you to draft a quality wide receiver or running back here in Peyton’s spot.

Drew Brees(QB5), ADP  on Yahoo 33, ADP on ESPN 32, CBS on 33

Brees has been a fantasy stud for several years for the Saints. He will be drafted as the third or fourth QB off the board. In the past, Brees would be deserving of a possible 1st round or high 2nd round pick, but times are a changing. He lost Jimmy Graham in a trade to Seattle and is left with an aging Marcus Colston. Last season, 15 touchdowns out of 33 were to players that are no longer on the roster.  In addition, the offensive scheme has changed and the Saints will rely on the ground game more this season with Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller. The Saints did add center Max Unger who could help the offensive line but the line is average at best. Brees is 36 now and with his decrease in production over the last 3 years, teams are better understanding Sean Payton’s system. Sure, take your chances with Brees if you want, but I would let your opponents take a chance on the aging player with less weapons – you will be able to get the same value in later rounds. I would use his 2nd-early 3rd round value and draft your WR1, WR2 or RB2.

Players I would rather have over P. Manning and Brees:
Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Ryan Tannehill and even Teddy Bridgewater in later rounds

Running Back

DeMarco Murray(RB8), ADP on Yahoo 11, ADP on ESPN 8, ADP on CBS 12

Murray led the league in rushing yards last season for the Cowboys and he became the first NFL rushing champion to switch teams the following season. Murray is now with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he will be going high in most drafts based on last years performance. The big questions for Murray are, can he duplicate the same performance and can he stay healthy? The Eagles offensive line is good but not great. Unlike Dallas last season, he will share carries with Ryan Mathews. Head coach Chip Kelly enjoys not playing the odds and loves to keep teams off-balance. Fantasy owners of LeSean McCoy last season suffered watching Chris Polk (Now with the Texans) and Darren Sproles stealing goal line carries. Polk had three 1 yard touchdown runs in a game last season. Another obstacle is that Murray had 449 touches last season, and for a running back that is a lot of wear and tear. Thecurse of 370 is real. A running back that carries more than 370 times in a season always has a lack luster season the next year. Plus, Murray will always have injury concerns. My advice is to let another owner draft him and let them suffer through the ups and (mostly) downs.

Matt Forte (RB6), ADP 14 on  Yahoo, ADP 9 on ESPN, ADP on 8 CBS

Forte has been a consistent fantasy player for several years and is going off the board in the late 1st to early 2nd round in all drafts. With Marc Trestman gone to Baltimore, new head coach John Fox loves to use a running back by committee approach. The Bears have 2nd year player Ka’Deem Carey and rookie Jeremy Langford that will cut into Forte’s touches. The days of seeing Forte as an every down player are over. The offense is going to be more traditional and this will lower his touches this year. Last season Forte did touch the ball 367 times, 3 shy of the “curse of 370”. Also last season, he did have his lowest yards per carry average since 2009. The Bears have made some changes to the offensive line in the off-season. Many fantasy publications have the Bears O-line ranked around 26th. This does not sound good for a running back seeing his prime in the rear view mirror (he will turn 30 in December). Forte is a player that could be in consideration for the “Bust of the Year” Award. I would stay far away from him and select a top wide receiver at the draft position he is being selected.

Players I would rather have over Murray and Forte:
Latavius Murray, Lamar Miller and Mark Ingram

Wide Receivers

Calvin Johnson (WR6), ADP 17 on Yahoo, ADP 17 on ESPN, ADP 18 on CBS

Johnson has not played a complete season since 2012. He missed 3 games last season which resulted in Megatron having his lowest receiving yards total since 2009 with 1,077 yards. Johnson has not had a WR1 or first fantasy receiver off the board type of season since 2011. He is too highly rated and it looks like he is starting to break down as a player. Golden Tate was added last season and he will continue to take targets away and demote Johnson to a bottom tier WR1. Sure, Johnson will have his moments because of his size (6′ 5″ –  235 pounds), but his days as a top fantasy wide receiver are over. You would do yourself a big favor by looking at other viable fantasy receiver options and let your opponents play the “will he play this week or not game” all season.

Players I would rather have than Johnson:
T.Y. Hilton, Amari Cooper, Brandin Cooks and DeAndre Hopkins

Brandon Marshall (WR23), ADP on 49, ADP on 62 on ESPN, ADP 71 on CBS

Brandon Marshall is a Jet now, and they do not have a quarterback that will be able to get him the ball. After losing  QB Geno Smith to a broken jaw, he has to rely on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to get him the ball. Fitzpatrick does not have the best arm and is prone to mistakes. In addition, the presence of Eric Decker will mean reduced targets for Marshall.  He will be considered a WR3 due to the unknown that is called the Jets passing attack.  Plus, Marshall is 31 and his future television career is already underway with Inside The NFL. He would be better suited staying on the set of Inside the NFL and never look back.

Players I would rather have than Marshall:
Charles Johnson, Jarvis Landry, Steve Johnson and Terrance Williams

Tight Ends

Julius Thomas (TE6), ADP 83 on Yahoo, ADP 88 on ESPN, ADP 77 on CBS

Thomas decided to take his talents to Jacksonville, Florida. Denver is a beautiful place, but Jacksonville has better weather – and the beach. The thing that Thomas should have been concerned with is that Denver has a better football team and a hall of fame quarterback. Blake Bortles has a small resume so we will see if they can build any type of chemistry. On average, Thomas has been the 6th tight end off the board in fantasy drafts. The key stat that is amazing about tight ends is that only 6 have scored 6 or more touchdowns over the last two season. Of course, Thomas is one of them and he is only behind Jimmy Graham in that department during that span. Tight ends do not produce great numbers in general, and now Thomas is playing in an inexperienced offense; this will limit his production. Plus, injuries have always been a concern for Thomas.  Case in point, he is out for the remainder of the preseason with a fractured hand. Thomas has not played a full 16 game season in his career and this season will not be any different. I suggest looking at another tight end to fill that roster spot.

Jason Witten (TE7), ADP 64 on Yahoo, ADP 61 on ESPN, ADP 75 on CBS

Witten has been a solid tight end for his entire career. Last season he had a nice drop off in targets – his lowest since his rookie year. The main reason was the Cowboys running game was so dominate. Witten is getting older and the Cowboys have a lot of weapons to choose from. With receivers like Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, it is tough for Witten to receive targets. He does have a great relationship with Tony Romo and he will be a factor in the offense though. In addition, the Cowboys have an up and coming receiver in Devin Street and tight end Gavin Escobar, who is starting his 3rd season with the Cowboys. They both will start receiving more targets as the season goes along. Witten is a warrior, but his age and other Cowboy weapons will reduce his totals even more this season.

Players I would rather have than Thomas and Witten:
Delanie Walker, Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert

 

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Brian Hundley

Brian Hundley

A Fantasy sports junkie and a huge MetalHead \m/ playing fantasy football, basketball and baseball for the first time in 1992. No internet and stats were to be found in the newspaper. Glad to see a Hundley in the NFL but too bad, he will not be playing anytime soon.
Brian Hundley

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