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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

(8/19/16 UPDATE: Bell's suspension was reduced from 4 games to 3 games. This just means his Average Draft Position (ADP) will be driven up a little as folks get overexcited from the news. Again, we label Bell a bust for reasons independent of any suspension, so in our mind, his suspension reduction is good news as it will push an already overinflated ADP a little higher and hopefully result in some of you getting a player earlier in your draft than you wouldn't have otherwise gotten due to Bell being taken earlier than he should go. 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
  Dion Lewis NWE WR

(8/21/16 UPDATE: Yet another one of our busts flopping before the season starts. Lewis is going to have another surgery on his knee. For those that have already drafted and capitalized on him being one of our busts by avoiding him well after his average draft value - congratulations on passing on an overvalued pick). Lewis is going in leagues and that is just wrong. The 4th round is too early for a Patriots back that will drive you mad based on New England's weekly game plan and Lewis' tendancy to get banged up. On November 8th, Lewis suffered a torn ACL. Our ultimate classic article on "RB 2 Year Major Injury Rule" highlights the troubles that RBs have when trying to return from a significant injury. The ACL is one of those significant things that can be devastating for a RB to come back from. Considering that Lewis injured his knee late in the 2015 season, you are being very optimistic that he will return to the form that made him a 2015 breakout player. The only recent players that have been able to return from an ACL injury were Jamall Charles and Adrian Peterson in 2012. Several players have failed over the past 10 years: Duece McAllister, Cadillac Williams, Kevin Smith, Tim Hightower, Rashard Mendenhall (x2), Knowshon Moreno, and Stevan Ridley. Charles and Peterson are rare examples, and Lewis is not the same caliber of an athlete as them. Lewis hasn't played in more than 9 games in a season since his rookie season. He missed the entire 2013 with a fractured fibula. He was signed by the Colts in 2014, but then he was cut by the Colts. It is bad enough when you get cut, but when you get cut by a team that can't find a starting RB to save their life, you have hit rock bottom. To Lewis' credit, he got signed by the Patriots and made a big impact for the team. However, his natural talent cannot escape his injury history. The Patriots have produced very few elite RB options because they are not committed to the run game, but they are committed to changing their game plan based on matchups. These are the rankings of the top RB for the Patriots over the Bill Belichick reign since Corey Dillon roamed the backfield: 29, 44, 29, 10, 24, 15, 29, 28, and 25. Lewis' average draft position is as the 20th RB off the board. There have only been 2 NE RB finishes out of 9 that have returned value on that pick of 20. The Patriots just don't commit to the RB enough to trust someone with Lewis' history of injuries.



RB Le'Veon Bell and RB Dion Lewis 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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