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Pittsburgh RB LeVeon Bell is one of our 2016 Fantasy Football Busts
DANGER!! Pittsburgh RB LeVeon Bell is overrated for 2016
(Aaron Josefczyk / Icon SMI)

Fantasy Football Busts

Dangerous fantasy football busts in your 2016 draft

Fantasy football busts can definitely hamper your fantasy football draft and put you squarely behind the eight-ball all season long, particularly if they involved an early round selection in your draft. A "bust" is simply a pick that underperforms his anticipated value as perceived by the masses from Fantasy Football Mock Drafts; however, just because a player is listed as a "bust" doesn't mean that player is undraftable, it just means that player needs to be taken much later in your draft than their current Average Draft Position (ADP) suggests.

Some of the Docs' past fantasy football busts include:

2015: RB DeMarco Murray (Preseason Top 10)
2014: WR Reggie Wayne & WR Cordarrelle Patterson
2013: WR Greg Jennings & WR Percy Harvin
2012: WR Laurent Robinson
2011: RB Knowshon Moreno & RB Rashard Mendenhall (Preseason Top 10)
2010: RB C.J. Spiller & RB Kevin Smith
2009: RB Michael Turner (Preseason Top 5) & QB Matt Cassel
2008: QB Vince Young
2007: RB Larry Johnson (Preseason Top 5) & QB Eli Manning
2006: RB Edgerrin James
2005: QB Donovan McNabb

These are not your typical fantasy football busts. These were highly regarded players that cost a pretty penny in fantasy football drafts for their respective year. Drafting a player that does not support their high draft price can crush your fantasy season and put you behind the 8-ball all season long.

Once again, the Docs have crunched the numbers and uncovered numerical trends that increase the odds of predicting players that will be fantasy football busts during the 2016 season. A list of those players along with detailed commentary providing insight regarding why these players are considered fantasy football busts is provided below. Each of these players bring high risk to the table and stand a significant chance of not having as successful of a 2016 fantasy football season as their previous 2015 performance (and current draft value) would indicate. Enough with the talk, let's get to our 2016 fantasy football busts:

Click the link below to check out the Docs' 2016 sleepers:
Fantasy Football Sleepers

For more information on what is meant by "Fantasy Football Busts" or "Average Draft Position", click here (or read the information located at the bottom of this article).

  Player Type: BUST Team Position
  Le'Veon Bell PIT RB

(7/23/16 UPDATE: Well, Bell is already busting before we even get things underway. He is facing a 4 game suspension for reportedly skipping drug tests. Bell will appeal the ruling, but this is not the type of news you like for a high pick. Regardless, we already felt Bell was a fantasy football bust for reasons outside of any potential suspension as seen in our write-up below). Every couple of years we see a RB that is so overinflated in his Average Draft Position (ADP) we get blisters on our fingertips trying to get the word out to our fellow fantasy geeks to guard their draft rankings from disaster. And we find ourselves with bandaids on our fingertips right now as we do that very same thing with RB Le'Veon Bell. We fully agree the RB landscape looks a little bare in 2016 compared to previous years, but this isn't the time to panic and grab Bell thinking it is 2014. The calendar says it is 2016, not 2014. So while we are at it and to help catch you up, Britian voted to leave the European Union, and Donald Trump is running for President. Now that you are all caught up, it's important to note that Bell is a dangerious pick this year and is very overvalued relative to his probability of producing at a level corresponding to his current Average Draft Position (ADP) - in this case - the #1 RB and #2 player overall at the time of this writing. There is a time and a place for Bell in your draft, but not as the first pick or two in your league draft. When we consider the circumstances surrounding Bell in 2016, we get the same pit in our stomachs that require a proprietary Maalox smoothie that we've developed through the years to help us move on. This smoothie recipe was first developed when we labeled RB Larry Johnson a bust in 2007 (preseason top 5 overall), further refined after tagging RB Michael Turner as a bust in 2009 (preseason top 5 overall), progressed even further in 2011 after naming RB Rashard Mendenhall a bust (preseason top 10 overall), and perfected when tattoing RB DeMarco Murray as a bust in 2015 (preseason top 10 overall). Each of these players crushed every fantasy team that drafted them that season, so having fantasy teams with them on their rosters was like not drafting until the second round due to being an epic first round bust. Our primary concern with Bell is that he is trying to return from a major injury as a RB this season. As we detail in our article, Running Back Two Year Major Injury Rule, it almost always takes two seasons for a RB to fully recover from a major injury. Bell shredded his knee last year, including a torn MCL and PCL. Of the ACL, MCL, and PCL, the PCL has the longest recovery time, and throughout history a long line of very talented and very conditioned RBs have struggled in their frst year after suffering a major injury and produced numbers nowhere close to those that would justify a player being taken as the #1 or #2 player overall. Futhermore, the Steelers have a perfectly capable RB already on the depth chart in RB DeAngelo Williams. Williams fit like a glove in their offense last year, and he amassed 11 TDs in relief of Bell. If you were an NFL General Manager, would you force the issue this year with your 24-year-old franchise RB in Bell when you had a very capable 33-year-old veteran RB in Williams ready to go, effective in the offense, and at the end of his career and service to your team? The treadlife on Williams' career is almost done, but he is in a perfect position to buy Bell valuable time to fully recover, as again, Bell is the future of the franchise. Williams is not. Admitedly, it's hard to see Bell crashing as bad as Johnson (2007) or Murray (2015) did, but stranger things have happened. In the end, the odds of Bell producing at a level warranting him as a top two pick are extremely low, and you would be better served taking another highly rated player in that slot instead. Let someone else take on the risk with Bell, while you scoop up RB DeAngelo Williams much later in your draft before they have that chance. Williams could very well produce at a level at least as good as last year, and as a 10th round pick with upside (current ADP at time of this writing), he is a great bargain buy that costs you very little (see our fantasy football sleeper write-up on Williams for more information). On the opposite end of the spectrum is Bell, who will cost you more than an arm and a leg to get, and he comes as damaged goods. If you like to buy brand new cars with hail damage, then Bell is your guy; otherwise, you would be best served to stay clear of his very early ADP ranking as the top pick or two in your draft.

  Player Type: BUST Team Position
  Julian Edelman NWE WR

Edelman has some sort of magic elixir and likability factor that makes fantasy geeks enamoured with him. That's really the only way we can explain how his Average Draft Position (ADP) is overinflated every year. Folks pay a pretty penny for Edelman each year just to end up disappointed that he didn't deliver at the price it cost to get him in their drafts. And in 2016, here we go yet again with Edelman's current ADP at the time of this writing being the 38th overall ranked player in all of fantasy and coming off the draftboard in the mid 4th round (and that's for non-PPR leagues; Edelman is ranked even higher in Point Per Reception leagues). That is way too early for a 30-year-old WR that has only eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards once in his entire career (barely at that with 1,056 yards back in 2013). Furthermore, Edelman has a career high of only 7 TDs. In 5 of 7 years playing in the NFL, Edelman has had less than 5 TDs in an entire year. That is fantasy disaster, as the all important TD carries much weight in most leagues. One of the problems is that Edelman has a hard time staying healthy enough to remain on the field playing. He has never started all 16 games in his entire career, and now at 30 years old, age is working against him on the injury recovery front. Take for instance Edelman's foot injury last season that forced him to miss almost half the season. He underwent a second surgery on this foot in April after feeling uncomfortable cutting on his foot after the first surgery. When you go under the knife for a second time, you know it has to be bad. No one willingly pushes the do-over button on surgery and goes through all the recovery and training it takes post-surgery unless they are absolutely backed into a corner with no other real options. Hence, Edelman was back to square one on surgery recovery in April and is having to battle to be ready by week 1. The nature of the injury is also a concern, particularly considering Edelman's style of play. Different wide receivers have different strengths, and in the case of Edelman, he relies heavily on quick cuts with rapid starts and stops to get some separation from his defender. An injured foot is one of the last things you want with that sort of skillset, and it says a lot without explicitly saying a lot that he went under the knife a second time to try and repair that foot. At only 6'0" and less than 200 lbs, Edelman is an undersized WR that needs that quick cut ability that got him into the NFL despite his smaller stature. Without it, Edelman's smaller stature works against him. The Patriots made a couple of key off-season additions by adding Pro Bowl pass catching TE Martellus Bennett from Chicago and reliable veteran WR Nate Washington from Houston. They also added explosive rookie WR Malcom Mitchell out of Georgia in the 2016 NFL Draft. Mitchell has a very similar size and skillset to Edelman. The point with all these additions is that there is just that much more competition for receptions in New England, and there are that many more options to spread the ball around. Edelman's injury history, advancing age, competition for receptions, and lingering foot injury with the associated complications make him a very risky pick that stands a much better chance of disappointing than impressing at his current ADP ranking.

RB Le'Veon Bell and WR Julian Edelman are just 2 of 16 key fantasy football busts and sleepers picks for your 2016 fantasy football draft. The complete list, along with our exclusive Draft Advisor Software, Overall Rankings (450+), In-depth Projections, Player Profiles (300+), offensive line rankings (run and pass), and more are included in our 2016 Total Draft Package, which and can be purchased for just $11.95. Everything is updated each and every week to account for injuries, trades, and depth-chart adjustments that occur during the NFL Preseason. Just click on the button below to get access today!

What are fantasy football busts?
Fantasy football busts are players that significantly underperform their average draft position. In short, if you are unfortunate enough to select a bad, "bust" pick, you landed a player that yielded much lower production than otherwise anticipated prior to the NFL season. Consequently, you want to select any "bust picks" much later than their Average Draft Position (ADP), if at all.

What is "Average Draft Position" (ADP)?
Average Draft Position is an indicator of when a player could be selected based on the average of hundreds of drafts completed by various fantasy football leagues and mock drafts. This is very helpful information when evaluating potential fantasy football busts. For those that are interested, checkout our article,
Fantasy Football Mock Drafts, for direct access to free resources containing mock draft and ADP information for the 2016 fantasy football season.

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