In order to win your fantasy football league through the draft, it’s all about finding value with as many picks as possible. That means avoiding fantasy busts, and hitting on fantasy sleepers. To help you with the former, I’ve got 5 fantasy busts that you’ll want to stay away from. Let your opponents make these mistakes. There’s already enough risk of your early rounders turning into busts because of injury:
1. Montee Ball – RB – Denver Broncos: After setting the NCAA record for most TD in a single season, Ball joined the high-powered Denver Broncos offense as Knowshon Moreno’s backup. In his rookie campaign, Ball put up a respectable 4.7 yards per carry to go along with 20 receptions for 145 yards. Now that Knowshon has been welcomed in Miami, fantasy owners are drooling over Montee Ball. Ball’s being drafted in the late first to early second round, as if he’s going to slide into Moreno’s gig without missing a beat.
The problem is, he’s not the back that Moreno was. Denver’s elite passing game opens up the running game, and their line blocks the run pretty well, but Ball is not nearly as talented as Moreno. He has good instincts, and experience running through big holes from his days at Wisconsin, but Moreno did so much more. There were games where Moreno went full beast mode and carried the Broncos offense on his back. I just don’t see Ball having that ability. Ball has a plus spin move, but his quickness and agility aren’t that special at the NFL level, and they don’t make up for his mediocre tackle breaking ability. Ball’s best asset is what he brings to the passing game, and he should be fine running in that offense, but he shouldn’t be seen as the type of player worthy of a first round, or even early second round pick. I’d rather wait around for Andre Ellington or Ben Tate than draft Ball this early.
Note: I didn’t even mention fumbles.
2. Keenan Allen – WR – San Diego Chargers: Let me be clear before I start: I love Keenan Allen. Allen is an incredibly talented wideout, and he helped bring plenty of fantasy teams to the championship a year ago. That said, his ADP is currently 34 according to Fantasy Football Calculator. He’s being drafted before Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Andre Johnson, etc…
Last season, Allen was able to excel as the third or fourth option in the Chargers offense. He eventually rose up the depth chart and became a more crucial target for Phillip Rivers. However, this season he’s starting the season as the top dog. Defenses are going to focus on him, and if Malcolm Floyd isn’t healthy after suffering a scary neck injury last season, Allen will be targeted with double teams. There will likely be an adjustment period with Allen this year as he learns to deal with tougher coverage. I hope he succeeds, but I’m not willing to sell out and draft him before the 4th round.
3. Marshawn Lynch – RB – Seattle Seahawks: Lynch has been going in the first round of every draft I’ve seen. Lynch is a bruising back that has managed to stay healthy for his entire career, but at 28 years old and after nearly 2,000 career touches, Lynch’s body has taken a beating. He had a career year in 2012, rushing for 1,590 yards at a pace of 5.0 yards/att. Last year, those numbers dipped back down to 4.2. While Seattle has a good offense and a solid offensive line, I wouldn’t expect Lynch to be able to give much more than 4.2 per carry. Lynch might still be in his prime, but his ceiling is coming down, and I’d rather take my chances on a guy with a higher upside, like Eddie Lacy, Arian Foster, Giovani Bernard, or even DeMarco Murray, than spend my first round pick on Lynch.
4. Bishop Sankey – RB – Tennessee Titans: If a 27 year-old Chris Johnson, having lost a step or not, couldn’t muster 4.0 yards per carry in the Tennessee Titans offense last season, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to expect the rookie, Sankey, to do while splitting carries with Shonn Greene. The Titans line is not great, and the offense won’t keep Sankey on the field enough to make him more valuable than guys going later than him such as Frank Gore, Shane Vereen and Ben Tate. Besides, shouldn’t the name, “Bishop” be reserved for receivers that only run slant routes?
5. Le’Veon Bell – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers: On average, Bell is being drafted with the 5th pick of the 2nd round of fantasy drafts. Bell has good size, a great college resume and he’s a threat in the passing game, but he averaged just 3.5 yards per game in his rookie campaign. Are you willing to risk your second round pick on 3.5 yards per game? I’m not. Give me someone like Govani Bernard instead. Hell, give me a receiver so I can draft Andre Ellington or Ryan Matthews later.
*Photo Credit – Kelly Bailey