One of the most important parts of fantasy football is knowing which players just aren’t worth the gamble. Whether it’s past production, an injury, surrounding talent or a change in role/system, there are always red flags that rise up to warn us not to draft certain guys. The 2015 fantasy football season will be no different, so be sure you at least re-think drafting the follows potential busts:
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has expressed that he is confident that RG3 is doing well heading into this season, but I’m not buying it. RG3 hasn’t looked good since his rookie campaign three years ago, and after watching the disaster of a season Griffin had last year it’s really hard to imagine the fourth year passer doing any better this year. In nine games played last season Griffin only won two times, had a dismal TD-INT of ratio of 4-6, and averaged only 13 fantasy points per game. Griffin’s lack of poise in the pocket, uncertainty while running the ball, and a never ending carousel of lower body injuries lead me to believe that Griffin’s high level NFL starter days are behind him for good. There are a number of great offensive weapons on the Redskins at Griffin’s disposal like Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon, and DeSean Jackson. But even with all of that talent to throw to I still don’t trust Griffin to put up any semblance of good fantasy numbers this season.
Nick Foles, QB, St. Louis Rams
Nick Foles is moving from one of the most explosive offense in the NFL to one of the most lackluster offenses in the NFL which is rarely (really never) a good thing for a quarterback. In St. Louis Foles now has to deal with a completely new offensive system, a new team in the Rams that has a less than stellar o-line, and a new division with the most ferocious defenses the NFL has to offer. I’d be inclined to say that Foles and the receiving corps of the Rams should be off limits if you want to do well this fantasy season.
Trent Richardson, RB, Oakland Raiders
One of the NFL’s sad stories of squandered potential, Richardson is now on his third team in four years and reports from camp aren’t coming back positive. Playing on a team that (to put it nicely) is on the rise, it is safe to assume that the Raiders are going to be playing from behind fairly often. Playing from behind means that the ball will be put in the quarterback’s hands, not the running back’s. Considering the young and dynamic Latavius Murray will be taking the lion’s share of the work load, it is safe to say that Richardson’s fantasy value is nearly at zero.
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens
While Forsett is easily the best fantasy option on this list, I still believe he is seriously going to regress from last season’s form. Forsett will be turning 30 in October, and he will be losing the great offensive coordinator and zone running guru, Gary Kubiak. Few running backs have sustained success in their 30’s and losing an offensive coordinator who has a run first system will certainly hurt Forsett’s productivity. New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman runs a west coast style offense, and has said he believes Forsett’s receptions will double this season, but I still can’t imagine Forsett reaching anywhere near his fantasy success from last year.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Hopkins is a great young NFL talent, but he is getting a bit too high of praise coming into this fantasy season. General expectations are that Hopkins will finish in the top-20 (top-15 on a lot of experts lists) but I can’t see the third year receiver being that successful. With the quarterbacking issues going on in Houston, the injury issues Hopkins has been working through that kept him out of OTA’s, and the lack of other threats for defenses to worry about, I think it will be very difficult for Hopkins to reach the kind of stats he had last season.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills
I really can’t imagine Sammy Watkins finishing anywhere near where he is projected to this fantasy football season. There are a LOT of mouths to feed in Buffalo, and the Bills really don’t have the team to support so many mouths. There is Percy Harvin, Robert Woods, Charles Clay, and LeSean McCoy to worry about getting the ball to, in addition to Watkins. On top of this there are significant quarterback concerns on the Bills, an off-season hip surgery that has prevented Watkins from working with new coaches and quarterbacks, and a brand new coaching staff that prefers running to passing. The emphasis in Buffalo is going to be for the quarterback to make as few mistakes as possible, which hurts the value of all receivers on the team.
Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Thomas has seen a ton of success over the last two season’s while on the Broncos, and while Thomas is a physical specimen with great receiving skills. I do not expect him to put together anywhere near the type of numbers he was when he had Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. In Jacksonville Thomas is the only red-zone threat and I imagine NFL defenses will treat him as such. Most of Thomas’ fantasy points have come via TD receptions, with 12 of his 46 (over 25%) catches last year counting as touchdowns. Considering Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles only threw 11 touchdowns last year, it is safe to say that Thomas’ touchdown total will be significantly reduced this year, which undoubtedly will affect his fantasy football success, overall.
*Photo Credit – Keith Allison via Flickr