It's not really all that fun to write a busts column, and the smarter the industry gets, the worse it gets. But there is one position I'm perfectly fine with publicly doubting — the No. 1 defense by ADP.
Last year it was the Jacksonville Jaguars being drafted five rounds before everyone else. I had them ranked No. 1 but wrote more than once that no one should be taking any defense that early. Opportunity cost is the main reason for that, but the Jaguars were also primed for regression because of the number of defensive touchdowns they'd scored. All of those same arguments apply to the Chicago Bears and their Round 8 ADP.
The Bears are being drafted two rounds before any other defense and four rounds before the Baltimore Ravens, who are a top-five defense for me. I wouldn't bet on any other defense being better than the Bears this season, but I'd rather draft good offensive players and take the best defense left in the 13th round. Even if the Bears are the best defense in 2019, they won't do it as convincingly as they did last year.
They're an easy fade at that cost. I wish I could say the same for the rest of these guys.
Matt Ryan QB
ATL Atlanta • #2
Age: 36 • Experience: 14 yrs.
There are plenty of quarterbacks I could pick as busts based strictly on overall ADP, so I try to find guys who fit both in terms of ADP and where they're being drafted in relation to other quarterbacks. Ryan's fifth round price tag is way too much, especially when Carson Wentz is available two rounds later and Cam Newton can be found more than 30 picks later. Yes, Ryan was worth this price tag in 2016 and 2018. He certainly wasn't in 2015 or 2017. A lot of that has just been wild swings in his touchdown rate, but he was also helped last year by his entire defense getting hurt and his pass volume increasing by 79 attempts over 2017. I expect the defense to be better, the volume to regress and the touchdown rate to normalize. He's a very good quarterback. A fine starter in Fantasy. He's not a fifth-round pick.
Drew Brees QB
NO New Orleans • #9
Age: 42 • Experience: 20 yrs.
This feels dirty, but it needs to be said. Drew Brees was fortunate to be a top-12 quarterback last year. His 6.5% touchdown rate was his highest since 2011 and his four rushing touchdowns were a career high. When both normalize, his Fantasy production is going to be disappointing. It's not that Brees is getting worse; it's just that his team has trended more run-heavy the past two seasons. I don't see any indication that will reverse. Brees would be a fine quarterback to select late as part of a committee, but he's currently the sixth quarterback off the board by ADP. I'd rather have Newton, Wentz ...even Lamar Jackson.
HOU Houston • #31
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
You don't ever want to overreact to the preseason, but this Cardinals offensive line looks an awful lot like the 2018 version that gave Johnson no room to run at all. Yes, he still finished as a top-10 running back, but his production wasn't worth anything close to a first-round pick. What's more, the defense has looked so bad that you have to wonder how many times they'll be two scores down by halftime. Johnson is still very talented and if everything goes right he could still justify this pick. But the risk is too much for me in the first round.
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Again, I don't want this to come off like I dislike Montgomery. He's my No. 1 player in Dynasty. I like him more longterm than Josh Jacobs. But I still expect Tarik Cohen to be heavily involved in the passing game and I'm afraid Mike Davis touches the ball 4-8 times per game. If there are 15 running back touches per week that Montgomery doesn't have access to, he's going to have to score a bunch of touchdowns just to justify his draft cost. I'm afraid the Bears are leaning towards the Philadelphia approach at running back this year, and I'm not comfortable spending a fourth-round pick on this backfield.
James White RB
NE New England • #28
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
In PPR I'd be fine with James White in the fifth round, but his early sixth-round ADP in non-PPR is terrifying. Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon are both going to be there Week 1. So is Sony Michel. That's going to make it difficult for White to match last year's career-high 181 touches. And even if he was going to get those touches, there's no way we'd expect him to match the 12 touchdowns. Before 2018 he averaged a touchdown once every 20 touches. That could halve his touchdown total if the touches come down much at all.
T.Y. Hilton WR
IND Indianapolis • #13
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
It's tough to get a good grip on where Hilton's ADP will settle, but I'm pretty sure my answer is going to be the same regardless. It's currently fallen to the end of the fourth round, and I think that slide should continue for another two rounds. Hilton still has weekly upside, but I expect this offense to go more run-heavy and produce lower volume overall. Hilton has never topped seven touchdowns and hasn't scored more than six since 2014. With Jacoby Brissett at quarterback it's hard for me to project him for more than five. He'll also turn 30 years old this year and struggled with a variety of injuries in 2018. He's not a top-25 receiver for me in any format.
CLE Cleveland • #80
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Like James White, standard CBS ADP reflects Landry's worst format. He saw his targets crater last year after Freddie Kitchens took over, and I don't expect the addition of Odell Beckham will help that. Considering Landry's career 7.0 yard per target average and low touchdown rate, it's difficult to see how he's useful in non-PPR if he doesn't get 130 targets.
Eric Ebron TE
PIT Pittsburgh • #85
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Yeah, I know Ebron's ADP hasn't likely finished it's descent. But lets make sure it doesn't. He was on my bust list even when Andrew Luck was his quarterback. The touchdown regression will be epic and the targets could crater as well if Jack Doyle can stay healthy. I don't want a touchdown-dependent tight end on a team that doesn't score very many touchdowns. I will not be drafting Eric Ebron in any round in a 12-team draft. He's not one of my top-15 tight ends.
So which Fantasy Football busts should you avoid in your draft? And which superstar QB isn't a trustworthy QB1 option? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Allen Robinson's disappointing season, and find out.