2013 Fantasy Football Busts: 5 Players to Avoid in the First 5 Round
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Yesterday I took a look at some possible late-round players that can help you in your fantasy leagues and tonight I take a look at some early-rounders that could end up hurting your roster.
You can call the players on this list "busts," but ultimately they are simply players going in the first five rounds of fantasy drafts based on average draft position (ADP) data from FantasyPros that could disappoint their fantasy owners.
In most cases, those disappointed fantasy owners won't be me.
five six early-round players that are unlikely to find themselves on any of my re-draft rosters:
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 11, QB1)
First of all, Rodgers is my top-ranked fantasy quarterback. In other words, I project him to have more fantasy points than any other quarterback in the league.
So, what's the problem?
There are 12 quarterbacks that I project to score 300-plus fantasy points in 2013 (see my projections) and I'd be comfortable starting any one of those. Rodgers is currently going before backs like Alfred Morris, Matt Forte, Steven Jackson, etc. I'd prefer to take Forte, as an example, and Robert Griffin III with the 64th pick (his ADP) than Rodgers and Ryan Mathews (ADP: 60).
By doing numerous mock drafts this offseason — and you can do your own mocks here, the teams I've liked the most were the ones where I loaded up on running back early and waited on my quarterback.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans (ADP: 3, RB3)
After sustaining a calf injury at the team's OTAs, Foster entered training camp on the Active/PUP list. Then he developed a sore back that led to pain spreading to his legs.
Fake footballers were already nervous about Foster's extremely high usage over the past three seasons. Adding multiple (and lingering) ailments to the mix certainly does not alleviate any of those concerns.
On a positive note, no back (no pun intended) has been more productive over the past three seasons. Foster has 5,702 yards from scrimmage and 47 touchdowns, both of which are league highs, during that span.
Even though he has been activated from the PUP list and says he will be ready for Week 1, he isn't necessarily in the clear.
While it wouldn't surprise me if he led all RBs in fantasy points, it also wouldn't surprise me if he missed multiple games and let fantasy owners down. At this point, my other top-eight fantasy running backs appear to be much safer options.
Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos (ADP: 48, RB23)
Between Ball and Ronnie Hillman, who has more talent? Hands down, the majority of folks that respond to that question will say Ball, the team's second-round pick in 2013.
That said, Hillman is still listed atop the team's depth chart and John Fox has had a history of favoring a committe in the backfield.
In fact, ESPN's Jeff Legwold was recently screaming at us that it will be a committte in Denver. Legwold wrote, "Folks can wish it were different, especially as they wrestle with their fantasy lineups each week, but every indication on the practice field -- as in EVERY indication -- is that Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball are going to share the workload in a variety of down-and-distance situations."
If you liked owning DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart in Fox's days in Carolina, then go ahead and draft Ball. But someone like Eddie Lacy (ADP: 59, RB25) has more of an opportunity to secure a prominent workload.
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 60, RB26)
Mathews ended the 2012 season the way he began it — with a broken clavicle. Then again, it's no different than his previous seasons (although the ailments may be different).
Yet to play more than 14 games in a season, Mathews has played a total of 38 games over three seasons.
Not only is Mathews injury-prone and coming off a season with career lows of 3.8 yards per carry and one rushing touchdown, he could be part of a rotation in 2013.
The team's new head coach Mike McCoy, who was the offensive coordinator for John Fox last year, has essentially said so. While that is part of the reason that Danny Woodhead ends up on my sleeper list, it gives me another reason to avoid Mathews.
Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos (ADP: 43, WR14)
If Welker were still in New England, he would be a bargain at his current ADP.
Even if his quarterback situation is a push (Tom Brady to Peyton Manning), the presence of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker means that Welker, who ranked fourth in the NFL in targets (174) last year will see that number drop.
With five 110-reception seasons in New England, Welker should expect closer to 90 with the Broncos. In standard-scoring formats, there are about 10 receivers with lower ADPs that I like more than Welker in 2013.
Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots (ADP: 45, WR16)
Amendola is a bonus (sixth) bust, if you will. His ADP is fine (if he stays healthy). If he plays all 16 games, he may even be undervalued.
But will he?
Over the past two seasons, Amendola has played in only 12 games and he is currently dealing with a body injury although it doesn't appear to be serious.
If he does stay healthy, I expect Amendola to come close to the 110 receptions that Welker has had in this offense. But I'm not counting on him playing 16 games.
Surprisingly, Amendola's ADP in point-per-reception (PPR) formats is 41 (WR14), where he is properly valued.
In order to help you prepare for your fantasy football draft(s), I will post a list of undervalued players, breakout players, players to target and more over the next couple of days.