2018 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: One last round of busts to avoid on Draft Day
Jamey Eisenberg gives you his final list of bust players for the 2018 season.
Need Fantasy Football draft advice? Talk to CBS Sports on your Google Assistant to get insights on the best sleepers and to help decide between players. Just start with, "Hey Google, talk to CBS Sports."
Note: We're republishing Jamey Eisenbergh's Sleepers, Breakouts, and Busts before this final weekend of the Draft season, just in case you missed them.
There's always a point in every draft when a player falls to you in a certain round that you have to take him, even if you don't expect him to produce at a high level. It's all about value.
Our job, for better or worse, is to judge a player's worth. And we do that relative to where he's being drafted, using Average Draft Position as a guide.
That's how we determine if a player qualifies as a bust candidate. If he's being drafted too soon (obviously based on my opinion), I'm going to recommend you pass on him. And it's up to you if you want to listen.
But everyone on this list for Busts 3.0 will be drafted. And if you get him at the right price, add him to your team.
All of these players will produce plenty of quality moments, barring injury. But will they live up to their current ADP heading into the third week of preseason action?
That's the question you have to ask yourself on Draft Day. Hopefully, the results will work in your favor.
He might not be ready for Week 1 coming off last year's torn ACL. His No. 1 receiver, Alshon Jeffery (shoulder), won't play the first two games, according to reports. His No. 2 receiver, Nelson Agholor (lower body), is also banged up. And right now Wentz is being drafted at No. 58 overall in Round 5 as the No. 6 quarterback off the board. That's crazy. At some point this season, Wentz will start producing like a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback. I'm confident of that. But when, especially if Jeffery is out for the first six weeks? Given how deep quarterback is this season, draft Wentz as a No. 2 option and let him sit on your bench until he proves to you his knee is back at 100 percent. But drafting him as a top-10 quarterback at his ADP under the current scenario he's facing is a good way to ruin your Fantasy team.
I have no idea what's going to happen with McCoy about any legal problems he might have off the field. That's not why he's listed here. I'm concerned about his age (30), career workload (more than 2,000 carries and 2,500 total touches) and a lack of talent around him. Buffalo has to replace three offensive linemen with left tackle Cordy Glenn now in Cincinnati and center Eric Wood and guard Richie Incognito retired. The Bills have a new quarterback, which will likely be rookie Josh Allen. And the receiving corps will be led by Kelvin Benjamin, Corey Coleman and Charles Clay. This should mean plenty of work for McCoy, especially in the passing game, but he's already got a groin injury heading into the third preseason game. Will he hold up all season given an increased workload at his age? We'll find out, but please pass on him at his current ADP, which is Round 2 at No. 24 overall. There's no reason for him to be drafted before Round 3, and I won't draft him until Round 4.
Ajayi is the one running back listed here who makes me nervous to call him a bust because he does have plenty of upside. The Eagles have a tremendous offensive line, and his main competition for touches, Corey Clement (leg), is also banged up. But Ajayi is being drafted at No. 42 overall in Round 4, and I can't justify that. If Clement is healthy, Ajayi is going to lose work, especially in the passing game with Darren Sproles back. Eagles coach Doug Pederson is not shy about using multiple running backs, and in two seasons in Philadelphia, his top rushers in LeGarrette Blount (173 carries in 2017) and Ryan Mathews (155 carries in 2016) were far from workhorses. Ajayi should have the chance for at least 175 carries, and he averaged 14 carries a game over his final six outings last year, including the playoffs. We'll see how much the Eagles use Ajayi in obvious passing situations because of Sproles, which hurts his value in PPR, and he's not worth drafting in any format before Round 5. Don't be surprised if Clement is more of a factor than you realize, which makes him a sleeper with a late-round pick.
Coleman is being drafted way too soon at his current ADP of No. 55 overall in Round 5. That's starter territory, and Coleman is just a backup, albeit a great one, behind Devonta Freeman. The only way to justify that price tag for Coleman is if you're counting on Freeman missing significant time due to injury. Now, Coleman's a star when Freeman is out, and you could have the ultimate lottery ticket if Freeman were to miss a good portion of the season. Freeman missed two games in 2017 and most of a third contest with a concussion, and Coleman had 46 Fantasy points in a non-PPR league over that span. That ended up being 35 percent of Coleman's total Fantasy points for the season. If that's what you're hoping for is Coleman getting a heavy workload, then you need Freeman to get hurt. When Freeman was healthy, Coleman had seven games with 10 touches or less. I'll pass on him at his current ADP, and Round 7 is the soonest I'll consider Coleman in all leagues.
His ADP isn't really that bad at No. 75 overall in Round 7, especially in PPR. My concern comes when people overvalue Lewis and expect him to repeat his performance from 2017 when he was with the Patriots. That's not going to happen as long as Derrick Henry is healthy, and I like Henry as a breakout candidate. In New England, Lewis was the No. 12 Fantasy running back in non-PPR leagues. He had seven games with double digits in Fantasy points in a non-PPR league in the regular season, including six times in his final eight outings. And including the three playoff games for New England, Lewis had at least four catches in five of his final seven outings of the season. His role in the passing game will probably be vital with the Titans since he should be a better pass catcher, but Henry is expected to lead Tennessee in carries, and he should work at the goal line. Lewis also must prove he can stay healthy for the second year in a row. Before playing 16 games in 2017, he combined for 14 games over the previous four seasons. Lewis in Round 7 is fine. Anything earlier that than could leave you disappointed.
I'm stunned by how bad Jones has looked through two preseason games, and hopefully he can turn it around before Week 1. Following the NFL Draft, I had Jones listed as a potential breakout candidate, but now it's hard to justify even drafting him in Round 7 at No. 81 overall. He's being outplayed by Peyton Barber, who should be considered the No. 1 running back in Tampa Bay and a potential sleeper this season. Jones himself knows he has to improve based on his diary on Pewter Report. "I'm thinking my hands are the biggest thing I'm working on," Jones wrote. "I spent 20 minutes after practice (catching passes from the coaches) then caught a bunch of balls from the machine today. It is something I am working on improving when I get a chance. I know the production in the running game will come, too." At some point this year, Jones could prove to be a special talent. But on Draft Day, he should not be selected until Round 8 or 9 unless everything clicks in his third preseason game. Right now, however, it's hard to expect that from Jones.
Like Ajayi, this listing for Hill makes me a little nervous given his upside, especially after seeing Patrick Mahomes throw him a 69-yard touchdown against Atlanta in the second preseason game -- when the ball traveled 68.6 yards through the air. There could be a lot of those. But we also need to see Hill more involved in the red zone, which was a problem for him. In 2017, with Alex Smith at quarterback, Hill had just four targets in the red zone and one inside the 10. Scoring seven touchdowns again could be problematic, even with Mahomes' rocket arm, if he doesn't have more production near the end zone. You also have to expect Sammy Watkins to be more involved in the offense than what we've seen in the preseason, and there's still the large presence of Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt in the passing game. I'm fine with Hill as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver, but I don't like him as the No. 11 receiver off the board in Round 3 at No. 34 overall, especially in PPR. His stats should decline a little this season, and drafting him in that spot will leave you disappointed.
In the Lions' second preseason game against the Giants, Kenny Golladay -- and not Tate -- lined up in two wide-receiver sets opposite Marvin Jones all seven times Detroit was in that formation. While that is not expected to be the norm, and Tate should excel in the slot, it is somewhat alarming, even though the Lions use plenty of three-receiver formations under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. Tate is fine being drafted in Round 5 at No. 53 overall in PPR since he has four seasons in a row with at least 90 catches. But with an improved run game in Detroit, and with Golladay clearly headed for a bigger role in his sophomore season, it might be hard to trust Tate in non-PPR leagues as a starter. And last year, three of Tate's seven games with double digits in Fantasy points in a non-PPR league came when Golladay was out due to injury. Keep an eye on what happens in the third preseason game with where Tate lines up, but you might consider him more of a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in non-PPR leagues with a pick in Round 6 or later. Right now, he's the No. 19 receiver off the board, which is risky.
Cooks is a great player, and he has three years in a row (with New Orleans and New England) with at least 65 catches, 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has three years in a row with at least 114 targets, and he will likely need that type of volume again to remain a starting Fantasy receiver in 2018. This is a crowded receiving corps with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, along with Todd Gurley out of the backfield, and Cooks is replacing the departed Sammy Watkins, who only had 70 targets in 2017. Now, you should expect Cooks to get more targets than that, but he has what appears to be a brutal schedule against some top-flight cornerbacks like Patrick Peterson (twice), Richard Sherman (twice), Casey Hayward, Xavier Rhodes, Chris Harris and Marshon Lattimore, among others. I consider Cooks more of a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all formats, but he's being drafted as the No. 22 receiver off the board in early Round 6 at No. 62 overall. That ADP isn't horrible, but just keep expectations in check for Cooks this year.
Jeffery is the perfect example of someone you will draft if he falls to you in the right spot, but right now his ADP is Round 7 at No. 82 overall, which is too expensive for me. We don't know if he's going to open the season on the PUP list with his shoulder injury, which would keep him out for the first six weeks of the season. We also don't know if Wentz will be 100 percent coming off last year's knee injury. Hopefully, everyone is healthy, but Jeffery could still be a risky Fantasy option. Last season, of the top 20 Fantasy receivers in non-PPR leagues, he had the fewest receptions. He had just three games with more than 70 receiving yards in the regular season, and none of them after Week 9. It will be hard for Fantasy owners to count on Jeffery if he's not finding the end zone on a consistent basis, which makes investing in him as a starter (if healthy) somewhat dicey. If Jeffery is able to play in Week 1 then treat him as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, and he should be drafted in his current range in Round 7. But if he does miss the first six weeks, you should not draft him before Round 9 in any format.
You always get a lot of glowing reports in the offseason, especially about new players joining a team. That happened a lot for Nelson this summer going from the Packers to the Raiders. Coach Jon Gruden said in late July that Nelson, 33, is still moving fast. And another report out of Oakland in early August said Nelson "moves like he's 28" and is running "polished routes." Hopefully all of that is true, but it's hard to trust Nelson as anything more than a late-round pick. While last year isn't the best indication of his play because Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a broken collarbone, he still had nine games in a row with fewer than 40 receiving yards to end last season, including no games with more than 80 yards. We hope Nelson and new quarterback Derek Carr develop a solid rapport, but Nelson should be second in targets at best behind Amari Cooper, while also sharing the field with Martavis Bryant. Nelson's ADP is at No. 93 overall in Round 8, but I'm not drafting him unless it's in the double-digit rounds. I'm not really excited to own shares of Nelson in 2018.
Engram was awesome as a rookie last season, but it should be hard for him to replicate that performance now that Odell Beckham is healthy, Sterling Shepard will hopefully play 16 games and the Giants added dynamic rookie running back Saquon Barkley. With Beckham missing most of the season in 2017 with a broken leg, Engram led the Giants in targets, receptions and touchdowns. He's going to lose production, possibly in a big way, because of Beckham and Barkley, and Shepard could also be a bigger factor in the passing game than Engram this year. Currently, he's being drafted as the No. 5 tight end off the board in Round 6 at No. 63 overall, and that shouldn't happen in most of your leagues. He's still someone to target as a starting option, but don't draft him ahead of guys like Greg Olsen, Trey Burton, Kyle Rudolph and Delanie Walker. It wouldn't surprise me if Engram saw his targets drop to about 80 for the season, and that could severely limit his upside in 2018.
So what Fantasy Football sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which wide receiver can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Alvin Kamara's huge breakout last season and find out.
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