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Fantasy football 2019: 10 bust candidates to avoid in your draft

Fantasy football 2019: 10 bust candidates to avoid in your draft

In fantasy football, who you don't draft is just as important than who you do draft.

In other words, wasting a pick in the early rounds on a player who fails to live up to expectations can derail your entire fantasy football season. Just ask last year's Le'Veon Bell and Leonard Fournette owners. 

With that in mind, you're going to want to know which big-name players aren't worth taking around their average draft position. That's where we come in.

Here are 10 potential busts to avoid in your draft this year:

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

Here's a reminder that real-life football ability doesn't always translate to fantasy football. Brees isn't the elite fantasy QB he once was now that the Saints have transformed into a more balanced offense. The 40-year-old's pass attempts should continue to decrease, thus limiting his upside.

Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

The No.1 running back in fantasy last year cannot be counted on to duplicate his production in 2019. Gurley has arthritis in his left knee, so the Rams should take it easy with his workload. Draft him if he slips, but don't expect RB1 numbers.

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

If you drafted Conner as a handcuff for Bell last year, you were a happy camper. You may want to let someone else take him this season, though, as there's a strong chance he'll split carries with Jaylen Samuels. Plus, Pittsburgh's offense isn't nearly as fearsome with Antonio Brown gone.

Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Listen, I get it. You lucked out by grabbing Williams off the waiver wire last season, and he helped you out big-time down the stretch. But you shouldn't let that trick you into drafting him way too early this year. The bust potential is strong here for multiple reasons. For one, he hasn't been able to stay healthy in camp. Secondly, his track record is virtually non-existent other than last season's outlier. Don't fall for his alarmingly high 2.01 ADP.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

This isn't a knock on Mixon's obvious talent. It's an acknowledgment that Cincinnati's offensive line is in shambles and teams are going to stack the box like crazy to limit the 23-year-old running back.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

It's mind-blowing Cook is being taken at the top of the second round in drafts. As with Mixon, the talent clearly is there, but there are far too many red flags here to take the former Florida State star so early. The 23-year-old has yet to complete a full season due to injuries.

Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders

Brown is 31, has a downgrade at quarterback, and dealt with foot and helmet issues during camp. Let someone else snag him with a way-too-early pick.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

If you're in a PPR league, disregard this. If you're in a standard league, stay away from Landry. His upside is extremely limited due to his inability to rack up touchdowns. 

Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Ebron was a touchdown machine in 2018, reaching the end zone 13 times. But it'd be foolish to believe he can keep up that ridiculous pace next year. That's especially the case with Jack Doyle healthy and back in the mix.

Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

The veteran tight end is coming off a season-ending injury and soon will turn 35 years old. Plus, he has 23-year-old Jonnu Smith breathing down his neck on the depth chart following an impressive 2018 campaign at Florida International.

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Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

It's not about how you start the fantasy football season. It's how you finish.

If you're reading this, chances are your squad is loaded enough to roll through your league's playoffs to the championship round.

But there's always room for improvement, and the Week 16 waiver wire includes a couple players who should be legitimate starters in any fantasy lineup, regardless of depth.

Want to win the whole thing? Start by doing your due diligence on the waiver wire. Here are our top free-agent pickups at each position entering Week 16.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We hope you have a better QB1 option than Fitzpatrick if you've reached your league's championship. But if you're in a two-QB league, the ageless, bearded wonder is a fine pickup: He's attempted 37 or more passes in five consecutive games and gets a beatable Cincinnati Bengals defense.

Other quarterbacks to target: Jacoby Brissett (IND), Mitchell Trubisky (CHI), Gardner Minshew (JAX)

RUNNING BACK

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (39 percent owned): It's still unclear if Dalvin Cook will play in Week 16 after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday. If he doesn't, that's a massive opportunity for either Mattison or Mike Boone, who found the end zone twice in Week 15 with Cook and Mattison both sidelined. If Mattison is healthy, he should be your top waiver wire priority against the Green Bay Packers' Swiss cheese run defense.

Other running backs to target: Mike Boone (MIN), Chris Thompson (WAS), Wes Hills (DET)

WIDE RECEIVER

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent owned): This one's a no-brainer. Perriman had produced double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive weeks before going off for three touchdowns last Sunday in Mike Evans' absence. With Chris Godwin also on the shelf, Perriman suddenly is the No. 1 wideout for Jameis Winston and the pass-happy Bucs.

Other wide receivers to target: Anthony Miller (CHI), Chris Conley (JAX), James Washington (PIT)

TIGHT END

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41 percent owned): Perriman isn't the only Bucs pass-catcher who should benefit from Evans and Godwin being out. Howard has at least four catches in three consecutive games, and the Houston Texans have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends over their last seven contests.

Other tight ends to target: Jonnu Smith (TEN), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Denver Broncos (25 percent owned): David Blough's stats through three games as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback -- five interceptions, one fumble, nine sacks -- are all the evidence you need to pick up the Broncos ahead of this matchup in Denver.

Other defenses to target: Indianapolis (vs. CAR), Atlanta (vs. JAX)

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Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

You didn't come this far just to come this far.

Week 15 of the NFL season means it's the semifinal round of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues.

If you're reading this, congrats on still being alive. But you're not interested in a runner-up trophy, and we're not interested in providing runner-up advice.

Below are the top players at each position who are widely available on fantasy football waiver wires and are worth adding for Week 15 as you seek fantasy glory.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We'll continue to put Tannehill on this list until he's owned in more than half of leagues. The Titans gunslinger was the sixth-best quarterback in fantasy last week and faces a Houston Texans defense that just allowed 309 passing yards and three touchdowns to Drew Lock. He's your guy again this week.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Kyle Allen (CAR)

RUNNING BACK

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins (40 percent owned): News that Derrius Guice has a sprained MCL means Peterson is the clear-cut workhorse on a team that loves to run the ball. The ageless veteran has touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and should see north of 20 touches against the Philadelphia Eagles, making him the safest waiver wire pickup among running backs.

Other running backs to target: DeAndre Washington (OAK), Patrick Laird (MIA), Boston Scott (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (27 percent owned): The rookie wide receiver has become Tannehill's go-to deep threat, with 333 receiving yards over his last three games. Brown's low catch total makes him a bit of a boom-or-bust play, but it's the playoffs. Gotta take shots to make shots.

Other wide receivers to target: Zach Pascal (IND), Darius Slayton (NYG), Justin Watson (TB)

TIGHT END

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned): Njoku caught just one pass for four yards in his first game since Week 2, but has a dream matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that's given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. He's a high-risk breakout candidate.

Other tight ends to target: Gerald Everett (LAR), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Kansas City Chiefs (32 percent owned): Is the Chiefs defense ... good? Kansas City has held each of its last opponents (including the New England Patriots) to 16 points or fewer. The Denver Broncos are riding high after upsetting the Texans, but we're sensing a turnover-filled letdown game in KC.

Other defenses to target: Oakland (vs. JAX), Seattle (at CAR)

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