Identifying “busts” for fantasy football is generally relative to draft price, the opportunity cost (other players you could draft instead) and who could be had later. So, not all these players will be busts per se, but here are players you may want to avoid at their current average draft price (ADP).
▪ Unless you play in leagues with very high quarterback scoring, or you want to target Cam Newton (Carolina), who could potentially be in his own tier, another key strategy in 2016 is to simply wait (and wait some more) to draft a quarterback. The position is the deepest it has ever been and there will be tremendous value in drafts if you can hold strong.
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▪ Ameer Abdullah (Detroit) will be the Lions’ top back but he likely won’t get a ton of scoring opportunities given his size. He had just two rushing touchdowns last year, and he’ll also lose pass-catching work to Theo Riddick.
▪ Miami should sport a split approach with Jay Ajayi and Arian Foster. Neither looks very attractive. The Dolphins have a questionable offensive line and will likely be a pass-first team.
▪ Justin Forsett (Baltimore) is going in the eighth round on average, which is several rounds too high. Look for Baltimore to potentially utilize all their running backs in what legitimately could be a four-headed attack.
▪ Matt Jones (Washington) enters the season off a shoulder sprain – not a good injury for a back given the pounding they take – and he was a shaky option before that. Jones averaged only 3.4 yards per carry and fumbled five times on just 163 touches last year.
▪ Ryan Mathews (Philadelphia) is another player with a troublesome injury history (all through his time in the NFL and in college). At his fifth-round ADP, Mathews is an easy avoid.
▪ We have yet to see Thomas Rawls (Seattle) on the field this season, but Christine Michael has had an exceptional pre-season and the team drafted three running backs. Rawls also won’t catch many passes (just nine last season). He’s a pass at fourth-round prices.
▪ Julian Edelman (late third round ADP) is drafted as if he is a lock to play 16 games, and he seems far from it. Edelman has played a 16-game season just once in his NFL career, missing 22 percent of games over seven seasons.
▪ Sammie Coates (Pittsburgh) is being drafted as a potential break-out player with Martavis Bryant out for the season. However, Coates looks to have been passed up by Eli Rogers, signed by the Steelers last year as an undrafted free agent.
▪ Dorial Green-Beckham (Philadelphia) had some fantasy appeal catching play-action passes from Marcus Mariota and he averaged 17.2 yards per catch as a rookie. Green-Beckham is now more of a late-round flier with the Eagles.
▪ Alshon Jeffery (Chicago) is a very expensive pick (late second round on average) for a player who has suffered countless hamstring and calf injuries. Pass at second or third round prices.
▪ While Brandon Marshall (N.Y. Jets) remains a good pick, being selected 14th-overall on average is simply too steep a price. Marshall had a career season last year with 14 touchdowns but he averaged 7.9 touchdowns per season the eight seasons prior.
▪ Jordy Nelson (Green Bay) no doubt will be effective given the chemistry he and Aaron Rodgers have. However, Nelson brings high injury risk coming off an ACL-tear last season and he had minor hip surgery this off-season. The reward is not worth the risk relative to other receivers available in the early second round.
▪ Ladarius Green (Pittsburgh) has yet to step onto the field for the Steelers while recovering from ankle surgery and there have been rumors of concussion issues. Given the risk, it’s best to pass on Green and target other talent in the middle of your draft.
Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.