The best way to determine a bust is using Average Draft Position. If a player you don't like is being drafted too soon then they might fit into this category.
And you should avoid him.
What we've done here is give you our Fantasy staff's top bust candidates at the early part of training camp for running. Based on their ADP, these are players we are likely not drafting for our teams in 2019.
You might want to do the same. If we're right about these guys then your Fantasy roster could be ruined, especially given the investment for some of these running backs at their current ADP.
Here's who you'll be hearing from:
- Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Fantasy Senior Writer
- Dave Richard, CBS Fantasy Senior Writer
- Heath Cummings, CBS Fantasy Senior Writer
- Ben Gretch, CBS Fantasy Editor
- Chris Towers, CBS Fantasy Senior Editor
Le'Veon Bell RB
BAL Baltimore • #17
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
I hope Bell looks like his old self, but I'm concerned about his production with the Jets. Bell was a star with the Steelers, but there were a lot of things working in his favor in Pittsburgh (great quarterback, offensive line and weapons in the passing game). There's a downgrade in each of those areas with the Jets. We also have to worry about Bell's workload under coach Adam Gase, who has preferred committee backfields in the past. I'm not drafting Bell in Round 1, at his current ADP. I'll take him in Round 2, but it's doubtful he makes it there in most leagues.
Henry is dealing with a lower-leg injury in training camp that has him in a walking boot. That's a concern, clearly, but I'm also worried about unrealistic expectations for him this year. He was awesome last season to close the year with 87 carries for 585 yards (6.7 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns in his final four games. But prior to Week 14, Henry was a bust with 128 carries for 474 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and five touchdowns. Are you willing to invest a third-round pick in that kind of production? Plus, Henry doesn't catch the ball with 39 catches in 47 career games. He's a risky pick, especially in PPR.
Chris Carson RB
SEA Seattle • #32
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Carson was great in 2018, and he made Seattle look silly for selecting Rashaad Penny in the first round of the NFL Draft. But the problem for Carson this year is that Penny should take on a bigger workload in his sophomore campaign. Carson should still be considered the better Fantasy option of this duo coming into the season, but what happens if the Seahawks give the starting job to Penny? I'm not drafting Carson in Round 4, especially in PPR. I'd rather wait for Penny, who has breakout potential in 2019.
Dalvin Cook RB
MIN Minnesota • #33
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I'd consider Cook with a Round 3 pick, but a top-20 ADP is too rich for me. He's going at the same ADP as reliable, productive receivers (Mike Evans, Antonio Brown) and upside-rich running backs (Nick Chubb, Leonard Fournette, Kerryon Johnson). Cook has missed 17 games in two seasons and has only six games with 15-plus PPR points in his 15 career matchups. The Vikings' goal isn't to overwork Cook, it's to make the playoffs. They'll be diligent in keeping his workload manageable so as to not wear him down.
Todd Gurley RB
ATL Atlanta • #21
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
We all know what he's capable of as a mega-elite Fantasy running back (top-3 rusher in just 14 games last year). We also know what he looks like if he can't regain that old form (his final two playoff games were a horror show). The safest bet is that Gurley winds up somewhere in-between as a still-usable Fantasy starter, albeit one with higher injury risk than normal. Rookie Darrell Henderson will take touches away, as will backup Malcolm Brown, and Gurley won't have nearly as many chances to rack up 18-plus touches per game. He's not worth the top-20 pick his ADP suggests.
BAL Baltimore • #34
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Sixteen games missed over his last two seasons and a dubious track record in the last 14 games he did play in make for a dangerous combo. He rarely had 15 touches in those 14 games and had just five touchdowns and one 100-total-yard performance in that span. The Falcons want to run the ball a bunch but might be shy to give Freeman the kind of carries and catches his rising ADP might infer.
Josh Jacobs RB
LV Las Vegas • #28
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The Raiders gave 17 touches a game to Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin in 2018, but most of the passing down work was reserved for Jalen Richard, who was very good at it. Among backs with at least 50 targets, only Tarik Cohen and Austin Ekeler averaged more yards per target than Richard. He did nothing that would cause the Raiders to want to take that role away from him. Of course, a high-volume back can be a mid-range No. 2 without much work in the passing game. Just look at Chris Carson. I just wish we'd seen Jacobs handle volume more often. In his three years in college, Jacobs only had three games with at least 15 carries. Carson averaged 17.6 carries per game in 2018. The final concern I have for Jacobs, at least in Year 1, is the Raiders defense and offensive game plan.
Michel was only targeted 11 times all season, and it's hard to imagine that changing as long as James White is in New England. We could live with the lack of catches if Michel were guaranteed a feature (and goal line) role. Unfortunately, Bill Belichick is still running the Patriots. This backfield looks even more crowded in 2019 with Michel, White, Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris, their third-round pack in the NFL Draft. Harris received work with the first team during OTAs while Michel was absent dealing with another knee injury. He had minor surgery to deal with the issue, but this continues a troubling pattern with Michel. He tore his ACL in high school and missed time in college and his rookie year dealing with knee procedures. There are just too many different ways for Michel to bust.
PHI Philadelphia • #26
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I like Sanders' talent. I hate his situation. While the Eagles do figure to have one of the best offenses in the NFL there seems to be little chance that any running backs get enough touches to star there. Entering Week 1, I'd expect Jordan Howard to lead the team in carries and Darren Sproles to be the third-down back. Sanders will have to fight for scraps with Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement until he surpasses one of the veterans. I do think that will happen by midseason, but the upside for Sanders in Year 1 is probably 15 touches a game, and he's being drafted as though that's the expectation.
Mark Ingram RB
HOU Houston • #2
Age: 31 • Experience: 11 year
A running back turning 30 in-season that's going from a team that has generated the most running back Fantasy points over the past decade (by a ton) to a worse offense with a rushing quarterback, which will mean fewer receptions. Oh, and this coaching staff has made in-season lead back changes three consecutive seasons, much to Fantasy players' dismay. How many red flags do you need?
Propping up a career underachiever on the strength of a small sample rushing efficiency boom is among the worst mistakes to make. Jordan Howard's 2017 is the cautionary tale for a player of this archetype; he finished sixth in the league in rushing yardage and tied for third in rushing touchdowns and was only the RB14 in PPR. Henry's lack of receiving means he needs to be at the top of both the rushing yardage and rushing touchdown leaderboards to approach a modern elite Fantasy season, and there's way more room for downside at his ADP.
We've learned time and again to target the cheaper of Bill Belichick's running backs, but drafters are still taking Michel far too high considering his complete lack of receiving work last season. Like Henry, Michel is an efficient runner. Also like Henry, it won't matter for Fantasy unless he pulls a LeGarrette Blount and notches 18 rushing touchdowns. But keep in mind, no other Patriots back has more than six in a season over the past five years, and New England drafted another back in the third round that has been specifically mentioned as a goal-line option.
I don't quite see the league-winning upside with Henry some others do. If a back is going to break into the top tier at the position, you need to catch passes. Only one top-10 running back in 2018 caught fewer than 43 passes, and that was Kareem Hunt, who had 26 in 11 games; Henry has 39 in 47 career games. Henry finished 16th in PPR scoring last season, and he needed eight touchdowns in the final five games to get there. You can squint and see another double-digit touchdown season with 1,300 rushing yards for a top-10 finish, but that seems pretty close to the ceiling here.
Kareem Hunt RB
CLE Cleveland • #27
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I'm not sure there's a reason to even draft Hunt, but there's definitely no reason to draft him with a top-100 pick. Hunt won't play at all until Week 10, and he won't have a workhorse role unless something has gone terribly wrong for Nick Chubb. The most likely outcome is, you're spending an eighth-round pick on someone who certainly won't see the field until Week 10, and who may not see 15-plus touches at any point. Easy pass.
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
There seems to be an assumption being made that Montgomery will simply absorb all of the 270 touches Jordan Howard left behind when he was traded to the Eagles, but I'm not so sure. The Bears went out and signed Mike Davis this offseason, coming off a season where he rushed for 514 yards on 112 carries and added 34 catches for 214 yards for the Seahawks. Davis is an effective player in his own right, and even if Montgomery gets the largest slice of the pie between him, Davis, and Tarik Cohen, I doubt it's going to be 250-plus touches.
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.