2014 Draft Prep: Busts, 2.0
If you're looking for a list of players Dave Richard won't draft easily, you've come to the right place. Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, C.J. Spiller and Julian Edelman are among Dave's busts for 2014.
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This is our second go-round with busts after our first list was criticized for being too lame.
So, naturally, we found some names of more prominent players to give you a heads up on while keeping a little more than half of the previous list. It's a step in the right direction, even if there are Raiders on here. And Shonn Greene.
Hey look, if you don't like it this time around, then pretend that the first five players who go down with a season-ending surgery in 2014 were written about.
Who's no longer here? Russell Wilson, who has shown a complete command of the Seahawks offense and is seemingly playing with even more confidence than last year. Fred Jackson has won us over, as has Reggie Wayne. We're getting a weird feeling about Knowshon Moreno, especially at an ADP of 105th overall, and Martellus Bennett ... well, he was one of the lame ones from the previous list that we tried to upgrade on.
Here are a dozen players we're definitely trying to avoid drafting in 2014 ...
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
Grown men shouldn't admit when they're scared, but dang it, I'm scared.
Not only am I afraid of RG3 taking on another body-rockin' hit that
sidelines him, but I'm also afraid that he doesn't know what the heck
he's doing out there. The worst part? Jay Gruden's offense shouldn't be
any more complicated than Mike Shanahan's. Both are rooted in the West
Coast scheme and might even share a little terminology. But Griffin
doesn't seem smooth this preseason and there's some fear he won't adjust
quickly enough to what Gruden asks him to do. Worse yet, who knows how
often he'll actually run -- it might be a lot less than what
we've seen the past two years. Going with a different quarterback is a
lay-up this season considering how deep the position is.
I'd rather draft: Nick Foles, Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
The only positive we can take away from Newton this preseason is that Kelvin Benjamin looks like the real deal. When Newton made a
1,100-plus-yard receiver out of Steve Smith
in 2011-12, he did it by targeting him over and over (129 times).
Benjamin should be next in line ... but the rest of that receiving corps
is junk. What's more, Newton is definitely tentative in the pocket and
is not nearly as well protected as he's been in the past. We pointed
this out in
the first bust list go-round. With his ankle still not 100
percent and his rushing stats already trending in the wrong direction,
Newton is going to let his Fantasy owners down.
I'd still rather draft: Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger
Shonn Greene, RB, Titans
You probably already know that Greene isn't an ideal Fantasy running
back, but Ken Whisenhunt hasn't gotten the memo. Whiz is set to start
Greene in Week 1 at Kansas City simply because he trusts him and isn't
quite there yet with rookie Bishop Sankey.
But make no mistake that Sankey is the future at the position in
Tennessee even if his preseason was a struggle. Sankey averaged just 3.2
yards per carry against backup defenses and lost a fumble, though he
also caught three passes for 38 yards with a touchdown. Greene, on the
other hand, managed a 4.3 rushing average against starting caliber
defenses with a touchdown along the way. But he also has battled a knee
injury that required surgery and frankly has never been a backfield
dynamo. Greene's more like a physical grinder. That's a bad label to
have if you have a balky knee. The only people who should draft Greene
are Fantasy owners who take Sankey with a fifth- or sixth-round pick and
want to have a player who will at least begin the year as a
15-touch-per-week player. Everyone else could stake out Greene with a
late pick, but don't jump on him just because he's atop the Titans depth
I'd rather draft: Jeremy Hill, Darren Sproles, Christine Michael
Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons
Jackson is an obvious bust at this point. On our earlier list we ran
down why he was ripe to get hurt, and then he got hurt! Jackson messed
up his hamstring and cost himself pretty much all of training camp and
the preseason. Some have even speculated that he won't make the Falcons'
final roster. Meanwhile, rookie Devonta Freeman
has looked good and the Falcons have gotten by with Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith
splitting first-team reps for much of the preseason. Even if Jackson is
fine for Week 1, how long can he last? Admittedly, his Draft Average of
98th overall gives him some value, but I'd rather aim for young players
than have cheap faith in Jackson lasting even 12 games.
I'd rather draft: DeAngelo Williams, Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman
Trent Richardson, RB, Colts
Look, we've given him all offseason and the preseason to blow us away
with some explosiveness where he hits the hole designed for him. We've
gotten nothing consistent -- a few nice rumbles for five-plus yards but
ultimately, he's averaged a familiar 2.6 yards per carry over 20 rushes.
The Colts can't go with this for another season regardless of the
investment they made in him last September. He's headed toward a
part-time role. I can't take him even two rounds after his current ADP
of 67th overall.
I'd rather draft: Pierre Thomas, Maurice Jones-Drew, Andre Williams
Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots
Given his relatively low salary, the Patriots would have to be
completely sour on him to cut him. Seems unlikely. But even if he
retains his role in the Pats offense, we all know he's a fumble away
from being sent to the bench for a while. He's fumbled eight times and
lost six over the last two seasons (468 carries, so about one per six).
No one should want to deal with that headache. What's more, the Patriots
have some nice depth at the position -- Shane Vereen is capable of taking handoffs and rookie James White could be in for some opportunities if Ridley struggles.
Ridley's current draft average of 85th overall doesn't scream risk, but
I might rather take a shot on some other backs on safer ground with
I'd rather draft: Bishop Sankey, Danny Woodhead, Darren Sproles
C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills
Is Spiller a terrific athlete? No doubt. But there are major questions
about his role in a suspect Bills offense, and it crushes his upside.
Last year we saw Fred Jackson play in
passing situations, the two-minute offense and the goal line when both
were healthy. Already this preseason we've seen Jackson play in those
same situations as well as in other spots when Spiller normally would.
Maybe that's the Bills tinkering, but chances are Buffalo isn't
tinkering with the appearance of their passing game. That's going to
make teams bulk up against the run. Spiller might get off to a nice
start at Chicago and perhaps at home versus Miami, but it'll take week
after week of him maximizing what he does on what appears to be limited
carries in order to meet his still high Fantasy expectations.
I'd rather draft: Joique Bell, Rashad Jennings, Ray Rice
Maurice Jones-Drew-Darren McFadden, RBs, Raiders
Maurice Jones-Drew deserves praise for looking fairly good this
preseason, and it might even be enough to justify his ADP of 85th
overall. That still seems too soon for a player who looked rough last
season and somehow landed on a team worse than the squad he
previously played for. For however long Darren McFadden is healthy, he'll cut into Jones-Drew's workload. And
we haven't even talked about the Raiders O-line (it's not great), the
Raiders schedule (it's not great) or the likelihood of playing from
behind weekly (which takes touches away from MJD).
I'd rather draft: Frank Gore, Fred Jackson, Pierre Thomas
Eric Decker, WR, Jets
Decker's preseason has not been bad, and his draft average makes him a
pretty good bargain at 98th overall. But he's still someone I wouldn't
be excited about drafting unless his catches counted for at least a full
point each in my league. Going from Peyton Manning
and a pass heavy offense to Geno Smith
and a run heavy offense will definitely result in lower stats. Defenses
are sure to key in on Decker as the Jets' top receiving threat, whereas
he did well in single coverage fairly often in Denver. And if he was
inconsistent with the Broncos (six games with 10-plus Fantasy points
last season) should we expect anything less with Gang Green? Decker is a
guy you end up drafting because he falls to you around the 100th pick in
the draft. He's not worth getting excited about.
I'd still rather draft: Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, Terrance Williams
Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
Edelman's value in Fantasy hinges on Rob Gronkowski. If Gronk plays, Edelman might only average about
four grabs for 46 yards and a touchdown every third game, which was his
average last season when he played with the big tight end. Without
Gronkowski, Edelman had more of everything -- more targets and nearly
twice as many catches and yards with touchdowns coming at a slightly
faster clip. Certainly, Edelman has reached the penthouse in Tom Brady's
condominium of trustworthiness. He won't be taken off the field much
unless he gets hurt. But so long as Gronk is lurking -- along with Shane Vereen and anyone else who could take looks away -- Edelman's
stats could slide to disappointing levels.
I'd rather draft: Torrey Smith, Marques Colston, Kelvin Benjamin
Wes Welker, WR, Broncos
When we first listed Welker on the bust list, the primary issue was that
a hit to his helmet could force him off the field. Since then, Welker
has taken on another concussion -- his third in 10 months -- and now
there's concern about his well being and quality of life, much less his
football career. The Broncos are optimistic -- they say Welker will be
fine. But the fears remain the same: another concussion could be the end
for one of Fantasy's most prolific and lovable Fantasy options. It also
could spell the end of him being an every-down player for the Broncos,
as they could end up using him in a part-time role to cut down on his
exposure to injuries. Fantasy owners should have nothing but respect for
Welker, but chancing him with a pick before Round 8 is risky.
I'd rather draft: Rueben Randle, Mike Wallace, Brandin Cooks
Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
If we're going to get the heebie-jeebies over Welker's concussion
issues, then we should feel the same way about Reed. Like Welker, he
suffered multiple concussions last season, which cost him the last six
games of 2013. If he takes another hit, will he miss more time? And even
if he doesn't, the potential-laden Reed averaged 7.2 Fantasy points per
game (standard scoring) and had three games out of effectively nine with
eight-plus points. How will he improve on that if he's sharing the field
with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson? There's potential but there's also too much risk.
I'd still rather draft: Jason Witten, Greg Olsen, Dennis Pitta
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