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Seven popular fantasy football names with high bust potential

Seven potential draft day busts to consider, heading into this weekend.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Tis the season for futilely attempting to draft the best fake team that will earn you the fakest points in a season of fake games for the sole purpose of achieving some inflated sense of self-worth. Sorry, that sounded less morbid in my head.

But perhaps a little gloom is just what’s needed to set the tone as I lay out my list of draft day busts. So don’t turn off your computer just yet, besides all that awaits you in the black reflection of your monitor is the realization that your chin is in fact double from that angle, and yes those are Dorito crumbs on your shirt.

So now that the mood is set, and everyone currently eating Doritos is having an existential crisis; let’s begin with the first player with bust potential this season.

1. Derek Carr

I’ve already posted about him taking a step back this year. Carr and the Raiders have a grueling schedule for passers and pass catchers this season, and it’s not looking too great for their run game either.

Carr benefited from a pretty easy schedule last season in which he faced teams from the AFC and NFC South. I think the one saving grace is that this team's defense is up and coming, and their offensive line is a solid unit.

I expect Marshawn lynch to eat into the red zone touches. I expect Carr to throw more interceptions. The math doesn’t add up to top ten-fantasy production, and that’s precisely where Carr is being drafted.

2. Christian McCaffrey

This is a perfect example of how the hype that emanates from the real football world can bleed into fantasy with very little reasoning behind it. I like McCaffrey, and I think he is going to great things for Carolina. Not next year or the year after, but this year.

However, he is still splitting carries with Jonathan Stewart and Carolinas goal line back is and always will be their Quarterback. I expect to see McCaffrey to line up in the slot with Stewart in the I-formation a lot this season, so his PPR potential is still pretty good, but the Panthers are actually pretty loaded with offensive weapons despite what some people may think.

I just don’t see the value at the price he is going for right now unless you are playing in a keeper league. There are too many unknowns and questions surrounding his usage to support a value that nearly places him in the top ten at his position.

Disclaimer: I would be more inclined to buy if you are drafting in a PPR-Keeper league.

3. Jay Ajayi

Hold the phone. We’ve got a running back with a notable injury concern, running behind an offensive line with a notable injury concern, whose value seems to be tied to said offensive lines health and inflated by three insane games of production against not so great defenses last season.

Ohhh cool I bet he’s going around the first round.

Ajayi is a talented runner. His yards after contact last season attest to this, but he is also inconsistent. If you want to use a first or early second round pick on a guy whose fantasy production is like waiting for lightning to strike go ahead.

4. Davante Adams

His fantasy production was boosted by 12 touchdowns. He’s never broken 1,000 yards receiving, so if you’re drafting him as a top twenty wide receiver you are putting a lot of eggs in that touchdown basket.

The Packers added Martellus Bennett during the offseason, so that is one more mouth to feed in the red zone. I also expect their run game to take a much larger step forward this season.

At the end of the day, anyone catching balls from Aaron Rodgers is a safe pick for that fact alone, but the touchdown total will be less this season. Personally, I think it’s crazy that he is being drafted ahead of the likes of Kelvin Benjamin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Brandon Marshall.

5. Ezekiel Elliott

Probably won’t be too popular with all the Cowboy’s fans out there for saying this, but Elliott is a huge risk player who’s ADP hasn’t fallen enough to warrant drafting him.

First, he is likely going to be suspended for at least a few games this season. The Cowboys have a seventh-week bye so if he’s suspended the full six games that will make seven weeks. I’m not convinced that he’s put enough time on the field and in the film room during the offseason to assume that a sophomore slump isn’t, at least, a possibility.

The entire NFL has a full season of footage on this running back now, and teams are and have been preparing to face him regardless of the verdict of his suspension. Has Elliott been preparing to face the NFL? I would venture to say, based entirely on what I’ve seen, that Elliot has spent more time prepping for the weekend than the NFL season.

When you add in any potential missed time the odds of a significant slump in production are that easier to see. If he falls to the fifth round I say take him, but I would ignore him until that time. If your draft happens to be after the suspension hearing has been decided then draft appropriately, but I’m steering clear of the Dallas running back this season.

Just a heads up, the hearing may not be decided until Monday. Regardless of what your opinion is on the current situation. Regardless of what and who you’ve read give their take on the situation. The NFL has proven to be an extremely inconsistent deliberating body over the past several seasons, so putting your faith in a certain outcome over another, at this point, is the definition of insanity.

6. T.Y. Hilton & Andrew Luck

Hilton’s productivity is based heavily on Andrew Luck. Luck hasn’t thrown a football yet, and his schedule later in the year puts him up against some stout defensive fronts.

Let’s look to the immediate future though. The Colts have a little over a week before their season begins, and they have yet to make a decision on him. They haven’t even hinted that he will be ready for the first week of the season. If they activate him prior to Saturday, which I’m assuming they will, then he will be able to practice with the team for the first time this season, and potentially start week one. If they don’t, and he begins the season on the PUP list he will be forced to sit the first six games of the season per NFL rules.

Regardless, all signs point to Scott Tolzien at least starting week one which is horrible for Hilton’s game. The fact that an NFL team is this non-committed to their starting quarterback suiting up probably spells it out that he is going to be ready later rather than sooner.

7. Seahawks Running Backs

Long gone are the days of beast mode running up the facemask of every team in the NFL. Long gone are the days of 1,300 yard 13 touchdown performances from a running back on the Seattle depth chart. The Seahawks have had to transform from a run first team to a more of a passing team.

Wilson Pass Attempts:

2013: 407

2014: 452

2015: 483

2016: 546

Last season Russell Wilson was hurt and their offensive line was leaking like the hull of the Titanic. On top of that Thomas Rawls was hurt so that helps account for the uptick in passing attempts between 2015 and 2016, but all in all the Seahawks are not the same team they were when Marshawn Lynch was on the squad.

Doug Baldwin is the fantasy relevant guy in Seattle now as he has produced two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Lynch’s fall from fantasy dominance and eventual departure from Seattle.

Disclaimer: I actually like C.J. Prosise as a low-risk PPR pick up, so there’s that


Who do you think is most likely to be a bust?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Derek Carr
    (37 votes)
  • 14%
    Christian McCaffrey
    (92 votes)
  • 19%
    Jay Ajayi
    (120 votes)
  • 13%
    Davante Adams
    (82 votes)
  • 8%
    Ezekiel Elliott
    (52 votes)
  • 19%
    T.Y. Hilton
    (123 votes)
  • 18%
    Any of the Seahawks running backs (take your pick)
    (117 votes)
623 votes total Vote Now