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Fantasy Football Busts
Dangerous fantasy football busts in your 2015 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:
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 2015 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 2015 fantasy football season as their previous 2014 performance (and current draft value) would indicate. Enough with the talk, let's get to our 2015 fantasy football busts:
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
Please, please, PLEASE! If you do nothing else in your fantasy football draft, PLEASE do NOT fall prey to taking DeMarco Murray as an early pick. Looking at Average Draft Position (ADP) at the time of this writing, we've seen Murray go as high as the 3rd overall pick with most of the fantasy football world taking him in the early second round as the 9th best RB in 2015. WHAAAAAAAT??? Whether it's misplaced excitement of joining Chip Kelly's high-octane offense in Philly or carryover from a strong 2014 season (or a little of both), folks taking Murray this early should seek immediately medical help. There are so many arguments why Murray is set up for disaster in 2015, that we honestly don't know where to begin. Sigh. Well, let's take a dive down this very deep rabbit hole. A good place to start is the offensive line. The offensive line in Dallas is the best run blocking line in football. Period. They are a beast that can open up holes big enough that most of the staff at FootballDocs could run through with success (yup - both of us AND our wives - you go honey!). However, the offensive line in Philadelphia is a much, MUCH different story. There are only 2 teams in the ENTIRE NFL with a WORSE run-blocking offensive line. Hence, you have Murray leaving the #1 run-blocking offensive line in the NFL and now joining the #30 run-blocking offensive line in the NFL. STIIILLLLL want to take Murray in the first two rounds of your draft? But wait! There's more! Murray was the feature back in Dallas last year with no competition, yet in Philadelphia they also signed Pro-Bowl RB Ryan Mathews from San Diego in the off-season. While the dollar amounts of the contracts between Murray and Mathews point to Murray being the guy, Mathews' youth and talent warrant touches and playing time. How much of this playing time cuts into Murray's overall touches remains to be seen, but regardless, Murray's touches will be less than they would have been if Mathews was NOT on the team. Still liking Murray? Well, you've left us no choice but to bring out the big gun. Murray had an unbelievable 392 carries last season. 392!!! He also had an additional massive workload of 44 carries in Dallas' lone playoff game, and 61 total receptions in the regular season and playoffs combined. That's a ton of abuse and the equivalent wear and tear of driving 200,000 miles on a tire rated for only 50,000 miles. Tires are not meant to go 200,000 miles, and RBs are not meant to get nearly 400 carries in the regular season. If that happens, they are way past due for a breakdown as the human body can only take so much. Murray rode those carries to a big off-season contract, and the Eagles overpaid for a very high mileage vehicle. The overwhelming odds have Murray not coming close to his 2014 numbers, yet folks are drafting Murray as a RB1 expecting big production again in 2015. The NFL has a very long and very consistent history of some of the best RBs in the game having a major breakdown in production in the year immediately following a season with a large number of carries (See our Effect of RB Carries on Future Production). These RBs were horses, which Murray by the way is not. In fact, Murray had issues with the injury bug prior to his monster season. In summary, we've got an injury-prone RB that left the best offensive line in football to join one of the worst in football with competition at RB, AND he enters a season coming off a massive workload in 2014 from which few in the NFL have ever rebounded with a good season in the next year. No thanks!
Player Type: BUST
Evans was one of the darlings of the 2014 season. Both he and Odell Beckham Jr (NYG) defied all odds and exploded for big seasons at the wide receiver position in their rookie season. (For the historical significance of this, check out our article, How to Handle Rookies in your Fantasy Football Draft). Due to those big seasons, the "what have you done for me lately" fantasy football community is at full power with delusional thinking that Evans is going to put up big numbers just like he did last year. Common sense and level headed thinking are often absent in the world of fantasy football. Folks just look at the numbers from last year and decide those look pretty good, not considering the fact... those are numbers from LAST year. You know, sometimes it helps to pause for a second and consider the circumstances for a particular player for THIS year. In the case of Evans, you will hear no arguments from us regading his talent, but you will hear arguments form us regarding his prospects for a big year in 2015. One of the problems with WRs is that they are completely and total dependent on another player's success and decision making to get them the ball (i.e. Quarterback). Unlike a RB that gets the ball handed to him on a running play, a WR has to develop timing, trust, and chemistry with his QB when executing the precise timing routes required in order to get open against NFL-caliber defensive backs, and even then they aren't guaranteed to get the ball. Enter a new QB, and enter a clean slate to develop this chemistry. This brings us to another point: A WR has to also compete with multiple other receiving options (WRs, TEs, and RBs) for even a chance to get a reception on a passing play. Whereas if you are a RB and in the game, you are getting the ball on a running play. Period. Not true for a WR. You may get the ball. You may not. This brings us back to QB-WR chemistry, which is unique from QB to QB and WR to WR. Evans had a great 2014 season, but that was last year with an entirely different QB throwing him the rock. Now in 2015, Evans is starting with a clean slate with a new QB, and a rookie QB at that (Jameis Winston from Florida State). The problem with rookie QBs is that they play a position that is the single hardest to make the leap from college to the NFL. That takes time and more than just a few games in their rookie season. The speed of the NFL and the complexity of a pro playbook typically blows rookie QBs away, and they rarely are even relevant from a fantasy perspective unless able to pile on rushing yards and rushing TDs. This does not setup well for Evans. Another aspect that doesn't set up well for Evans is 3-Time Pro-Bowl WR Vincent Jackson. Sure, Jackson was on the team last year during Evans' big season, but that was last season with an entirely different QB and different set of circumstances. You can bet Jackson is hungry to regain the limelight and will be quick to get the attention of his rookie QB. Rookie QBs have a history of leaning on veteran WRs during their rookie seasons. Jackson will be vocal for the ball and will do everything he can to play the role of mentor to help Winston adjust to life in the NFL (both on and off the field). This in turn sets up a natural psychological dependency for a rookie QB to go to this player when in trouble, particularly on the field (i.e. when looking for a safe place to get rid of the ball when NFL caliber DLs and LBs are chasing you). After all, are you going to look to a 2nd year player for advice (Evans) or a 10 year NFL veteran with 3 Pro-Bowls to his credit? Again, this off the field tendency psychologically lends itself to an on the field tendency as well. The odds point to Vincent Jackson being a great draft value and Mike Evans not producing at his currently high draft price tag. (According to Average Draft Position numbers, Evans is a 3rd round pick and the 12th overall WR at the time of this writing.) Due to his youth and double-digit TD season last year, Evans will continue to command a high price in your 2015 draft, while Jackson can be had much later with better odds of outproducing Evans. It's really simple economics. Buy low and don't overpay high.
RB DeMarco Murray and WR Mike Evans are just 2 of 16 key fantasy football busts and sleepers picks for your 2015 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 2015 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!