Photos: 2015 fantasy football busts
Photos: 2015 Fantasy football - Busts
Fantasy football winners don't just draft standouts - they also know which players to avoid. CSNwashington's fantasy expert Ben Standig shares his list of potential busts and overvalued players entering 2015 draft season.
Joique Bell, RB, Lions
If your sense is that Bell produced the past two seasons despite the presence of other viable running backs, you're right. If you assume he posted a healthy yards per carry average over that span, you're wrong (3.9 each year). That he's a legit pass catcher adds to his value. That he's dealing with knee and Achilles woes does not. Neither does the fact that explosive rookie Ameer Abdullah is taking advantage of Bell's absence in training camp. Think twice about drafting him as one your two starting running backs in the first 5-6 rounds.
Marques Colston, WR, Saints
There's a natural inclination among some fantasy owners to think Colston's value rises in a post-Jimmy Graham world. Even if true in a technical sense, don't buy into the hype -- or pay a premium for a declining asset. Colston had only 59 receptions last season, his fewest in any campaign where he played at least 14 games. Except some potent games here and there, but with plenty of duds in between. Skip Colston and target upside options like John Brown or steadier targets like Anquan Boldin in that same range instead.
Larry Donnell, TE, Giants
The final numbers -- 63 receptions for 623 yards and six touchdowns - seem reasonable enough. But note three of those touchdowns were in one game. Now realize the Giants added pass-catching running back Shane Vereen and should have Victor Cruz back after an injury-plagued 2014. That's all in addition to the wonder that is Odell Beckham Jr.. Factor in Donnell is still dealing with an Achilles injury and he's a potential TE1 to avoid.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
This isn't about questioning whether the former Georgia standout can return from a serious knee injury or if he can produce in the NFL. It's whether the rookie power back with Week 1 in jeopardy is worth a late fourth round pick. That's Gurley's current ADP and around 10-15 picks too early for me right now. Tre Mason is more than just a backup, so the Rams can and probably will ease their prized rookie into the mix.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
Love the talent, but there remains little around him. Hopkins provides elite talent and skills, enough to warrant borderline WR1 status as No. 12 in my current rankings. However, Houston's quarterback situation is beyond suspect; Arian Foster is out for some time with a groin injury; and Andre Johnson isn't around anymore to help take some of the defensive focus. The fear for too many subpar weeks probably isn't worth the likely overall value of a top 25-30 selection.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
The former Eagle caught 10 touchdown passes last season -- or 10 more than the Chiefs' wide receivers combined. Maclin trumps all those players in terms of talent, but he's not sniffing double-digit scores in Kansas City's conservative system with Alex Smith at quarterback. Go ahead and draft Maclin at the right price, which is after the top 30 wide receivers are off the board.
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
We won't question his health after getting burned before, but injuries certainly limited his production at the end of last season. Now he'll play in new coach Gary Kubiak's run-heavy scheme. Basically, it's better to get out a year early than a year late. Manning won't fall off a cliff or anything, but he's no longer a true difference-maker among quarterbacks as his top 30 ADP suggests. Pass on Manning and grab Matt Ryan, Tony Romo or Cam Newton three rounds later.
Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins
This one goes out to standard league owners, because those in points-per-reception formats already steer clear of the non-pass-catching back. The pro-Morris argument, which does include three straight 1,000 yard seasons, involves new offensive line coach Bill Callahan improving the run-blocking. That's a legit take. So is the one noting Morris' stats have gone down each of his pro seasons, along with the Redskins' record. No winning - no running the ball to salt away wins. There's also Matt Jones, whose physical style puts him in position to siphon off work over time, especially around the goal line. Morris is solid and makes for a decent RB2, but his position ADP of 12 is high considering all the angles. There is a difference between value and interest. This situation is a prime example.
Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars
Targeting Thomas in the top three rounds last season didn't just make sense, but was part of a logical plan. It's not anymore - not with Blake Bortles throwing the ball in place of Peyton Manning. That means fewer touchdown opportunities, which served as a healthy part of his overall production. Jacksonville will lose more than it wins, which means plenty of throwing in the second half of games. That's good for Thomas, but the move from Manning isn't. Let your fellow owners pay for past performance.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
The league's worst quarterback situation lives in Buffalo, which is where running back LeSean McCoy, defense-oriented head coach Rex Ryan, and conservative play-caller Greg Roman all call home. All of which is a bummer for those wanting to buy up all the Watkins stock possible after an impressive rookie season. Oh, and let's not forget the former Clemson product is coming off hip surgery. If he were healthy, his quarterback's name didn't rhyme with Splat Hassle, and his offensive coordinator loved volume passing, then a late fourth or early fifth round position works. Since we live in the real world, it doesn't.