Fantasy owners love to talk about sleepers and busts. You can find lists every year outlining popular busts, and some of them are obvious. Older running backs, brittle receivers, and quarterbacks with no offensive weapons all can be possible busts in a given year. Much like sleepers, I take into account draft position when I start making a list of possible busts. Antonio Gates, to me, wouldn’t be a bust if you took him in like the 12th round of your draft. If you took him in round 4, that’s a bust and a terrible move. Below are a few players who I think are being over drafted and have a strong chance at acquiring the dreaded “bust” label.
Danny Amendola-I have avoided him in all leagues this year, and there’s a chance I may end up being a fool for doing so. However, he defines the term injury risk and is fairly likely to miss multiple games. He may put up Welker-like numbers in New England, but he has been drafted like a top tier, can’t miss player and I simply don’t agree. He obviously has extra value in a PPR league, but I’ve seen him go as high as round 3 in standard leagues. You can have him at that price. I wouldn’t draft him until after round 6 because of his injury history. If he stays healthy, I will eat crow, but I expect him to play no more than 12 games this season.
Tony Gonzalez-Every year it seems like it will be the year where Gonzalez finally shows signs of age. He had a great first half of the season last year but faded down the stretch. This year, I think the wheels finally start to come off. I’ve seen him drafted right after Graham and Gronk, and I find that extremely risky. He has basically had no training camp, so it should be interesting to see how he does this year. I haven’t even considered drafting him this year because I think he will be quite disappointing. Of course, there is a good chance that he continues playing at a Pro Bowl level because he has seemed immune to Father Time. If that happens, so be it, I won’t be the one owning him.
DeAngelo Williams-Yes, he is the #1 back in Carolina. Yes, he should see more carries this year as they try to limit Cam Newtown’s rushing attempts. So why is he on this list? Because he just isn’t that good anymore. Even with Stewart out, Newton will still probably get most of the goal line carries, and Mike Tolbert is always lurking as well to poach touchdowns. Williams can still have a great game here and there, but there really isn’t much upside. If you’re going to draft a back later on and want a #1 back, take someone like Daryl Richardson; at least he has some upside.
Robert Griffin III-I think RG3 will be fine after his second ACL injury. I have him on this bust list because I think he is being over drafted. He took the NFL by storm last year and his lethal combination of rushing and passing was a fantasy gold mine. However, I think his rushing stats will decrease this year as they try to limit the rushing attempts in order to keep him healthy. If he learned to slide more and avoid big hits, he could probably run as much as he did last year without incident. Sometimes, it seems like the Redskins need to save him from himself. Again, I don’t think he will be terrible and I would certainly look to draft him, but in many of the mocks I’ve seen, he has come off the board in rounds 3 and 4. At that point, I would want a safer option, but if he dropped a few rounds, I would take him in a heartbeat. He could win you your league this year if you get proper value.
Marshawn Lynch-Another player where you are probably wondering if I am one step away from a psych evaluation. Beast Mode has lived up to the nickname, but I think his ADP is too high right now. Seattle has a potential stud on their hands in Christine Michael who almost certainly will take some carries from Lynch. Robert Turbin has also shown flashes in limited opportunities. When you also add in a troubling history of back problems, Lynch doesn’t seem like such a solid option. He probably will score 10-12 TDs if he stays healthy, but I have seen him go in the top 5 in some mocks, and he even went 5th overall in a PPR league I did even though he is almost a non-factor in the passing game. I would rather take someone like Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy over him. In the end, I think Lynch will be a solid second round pick, but having him in the top 8 is too rich for my taste. He’s had a fairly heavy workload over the course of his career, so you never know when the wheels may come off of the wagon. I doubt it’s this year, but I still think he is being over drafted.
DeMarco Murray-Another year, another injury. Murray getting injured is about as sure of a thing as the sun coming up tomorrow. He has had injury woes dating back to college, and he is someone I will never draft. His draft value has been all over the map-I’ve seen him go in round 4 or round 7. The only time I would draft him is if he fell to round 10 and I needed a back to be a bye week fill-in. Leaning on him to be one of your starting running backs is asking for disappointment. He has great talent but is unfortunately always injured. Almost all of the injuries are to his legs, and as a running back, that’s not a very good sign.
Those are a few of the draft day busts that I have been keeping an eye on this year. I have my final draft tonight, unless I decide to join another league just for fun. I will be drafting defensive players for the first time, so I have no idea how that will turn out.