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NFL Fantasy: Bust Candidates

A bust is a player that doesn’t perform to the level of the position they are being drafted in. This isn’t necessarily a knock on their talent as a player; it is more so due to the situations surrounding the player. These are players you should fade in your draft due to their high average draft position (ADP).


Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback; there is no doubt about it. The problem with him here is he is being drafted as the fourth quarterback in fantasy. He’s had injury concern the past few seasons and he is only getting older. On top of that, Rodgers has a brand head coach, offensive coordinator, and system to go with them. Too much uncertainty here with Rodgers to buy into his rich ADP.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Jan 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to pass during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers in a NFC Divisional round playoff game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Rodgers, Russell Wilson is a great quarterback in a questionable situation. Wilson last season was great and finished as a top 10 quarterback, but he had numbers that he has never had before. His touchdown percentage was the highest it has ever been in his career, so that is expected to regress a little. His career average is around 6.0% and last seasons was 8.2%. The quaterback in a run-first offense is not a quarterback you want to have especially at his current ADP as the eighth quarterback off the board.


Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry last season had some out of this world moments last season, but he also had some very poor moments as well. Henry exploded at the end of last season to finish as the 13th best runningback in fantasy. People see his finish and expect him to repeat, but they are forgetting that more than half of his rushing yards and rushing touchdowns came in only four games. Before his big week 14 game, Henry was averaging seven fantasy points a game and was outside of the top 30 runningbacks in fantasy.

Given his current ADP as the 18th runningback being selected, this is a bust. Henry has no receiving upside and will provide little consistency just as he did last season. Sure, he may provide a game of 200 rushing yards and four touchdowns, but others he will rush for 30 yards and no touchdowns.

Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

People have a little bit of a recency bias when it comes to Damien Williams. Same thing with Derrick Henry, people remember what he did recently which Williams performed awesome down the stretch and into the playoffs. There are a few reasons though that Williams is not worth is round two price tag in redraft leagues.

For starters, Williams has never once been a true workhorse back; he never even was a workhorse in college. How could he be a workhorse for all 16 games with no experience? Second, we only have a small sample size of what he can do. People did the same thing with Alex Collins last season and he lost his job to Gus Edwards. Lastly, he’s already hurt. Avoid injury prone players at all costs and he already has a hamstring issue keeping him out. He has bust written all over him.

Wide Receivers

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys

Aug 1, 2019; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) makes a catch during training camp at Marriott Residence Inn at River Ridge. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, Amari Cooper finishes with these awesome stats that make people go crazy. Amari Cooper is a big time boom-or-bust player though. Last season, Cooper went off in two games for the Cowboys for about 400 yards. Those two games along accounted for more than half of his total yards in Dallas which was around 725. The emergence of Michael Gallup and the additions of Jason Witten and Randall Cobb should also take some targets away from Amari Cooper at times. At his current ADP of wide receiver 13, his yearly stats may have a shot of reflecting that, but his stats won’t every single week.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton has always been the top dog in Indy. Not only was that because he was talented, but also because he was the only wide receiver option. With the addition of red zone threat Devin Funchess and draft pick Parris Campbell and the return of tight end Jack Doyle, T.Y. may see a decrease in targets. T.Y. has also never really been a high touchdown upside guy, and the addition of Funchess lowers his upside even more. T.Y. is being drafted inside the top 10 wide receivers, and he is more than likely going to bust with that ADP.

Tight Ends

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

T.J. Hockenson has the chance to be a very good tight end in the NFL and probably in fantasy as well. The problem here is that he is a rookie. Rookie tight ends are very questionable and take some time to develop. Even look at George Kittle, who is very similar to Hockenson. Kittle did a whole lot of nothing his rookie year from a fantasy perspective, but then exploded for almost 1400 yards his next season. Being drafted inside the top 12 fantasy tight ends at his current ADP, he is a bust being that he is a rookie.

Eric Ebron

Along with T.Y. Hilton, Ebron took advantage of being the only red zone threat in town. He exploded for 13 touchdowns his first season in Indianapolis and finished as a top 5 tight end. Devin Funchess, Jack Doyle, and even Mo Alie-Cox can take away red zone targets from Ebron. He is almost a shoe in to not repeat those similar touchdown stats. Almost every tight end who has posted a year of double digit touchdowns has followed that season with single digits (outside of the greats). Expect regression and as the seventh tight end off the board, that is a big time bust.

Be sure to check out my sleeper candidates article, and to check out my breakout candidates article.

See more fantasy news and notes by following @FF_JoeH on Twitter!

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