For Busts 3.0, before we get into the players that I'm looking to avoid this year, let's review some of the bust candidates who have changed for me from earlier this offseason. These are players that I no longer view as guys to avoid, whether due to a change in Average Draft Position or circumstances regarding them or their teams.
In Busts 1.0, I had Stefon Diggs and Zach Ertz listed as busts, but I would remove them now. That story was done prior to Diggs being traded to Buffalo, and his ADP is fine now as WR26 at No. 69.4 overall on CBS Sports.
And while I don't love Ertz as TE3 ahead of Mark Andrews, it's hard to consider him a bust candidate when you can draft him in Round 4. When I wrote Busts 1.0 at the start of the offseason, I expected Ertz to be drafted in Round 3, just after Travis Kelce and George Kittle.
In Busts 2.0, I'm going to remove Aaron Jones, Odell Beckham and Courtland Sutton. With Jones, I expected him to lose value in a big way with the addition of second-round rookie A.J. Dillon, but the lack of offseason work and no preseason games should hurt Dillon and help Jones. He's also being drafted toward the end of Round 2, which is a fine spot for a running back with his upside.
Beckham's ADP is the end of Round 4, and if that stands then he's well worth it at that spot as WR16. He was bad last year in Cleveland, but if healthy he should rebound and produce like a top-15 Fantasy receiver in all leagues. I would draft Beckham in early Round 4.
And I initially had Sutton as a breakout candidate prior to the NFL Draft, but I downgraded him to a bust after Denver drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. However, with Hamler (hamstring) getting hurt and not having a true offseason, along with the same for Jeudy, it's hard to overlook Sutton still being a quality Fantasy receiver. He's also a potential steal as WR24 at No. 65.9 overall.
That brings us to the players for Busts 3.0, and ADP is the main reason why I plan to avoid these players this season. Unless the price is right, I likely won't have any of these guys on my Fantasy teams this year.
BAL Baltimore • #8
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I considered Patrick Mahomes for this spot as well for one reason -- both have a first-round ADP. And that's just too soon in a one-quarterback league. Mahomes is going as the No. 1 quarterback off the board as the No. 5 overall player, and Jackson is at No. 9. Both should be in late Round 2 at the earliest, but I would prefer to draft them in Round 3. Jackson was historical last season in winning the NFL MVP, just as Mahomes was in 2018. But Mahomes showed you what could happen when you reach for a quarterback after he got hurt last year and struggled to produce at the same level. It's hard to repeat as the No. 1 Fantasy quarterback in consecutive years, and the last guy to do it was Drew Brees in 2011-12. Guys fall off due to injury, and Jackson has already dealt with a slight groin strain in training camp. I'd love for Jackson to dominate again, but there could be some slippage in his stats, especially if his rushing production declines. In Round 3, sign me up for Mahomes and Jackson all day. But I'll pass if I have to reach for them in Round 1.
GB Green Bay • #12
Age: 37 • Experience: 17 yrs.
As an NFL quarterback, Rodgers is still among the best in the game. But I'm not sure we can say that about his Fantasy value anymore, and I don't want him as my starting quarterback. However, many of you don't feel the same way since he's the No. 11 quarterback drafted based on ADP. And that's too soon. Last year, he finished as the No. 7 quarterback in total points and No. 10 in points per game for quarterbacks who made at least 10 starts, but I expect him to be worse this year. He got no significant help this offseason for his receiving corps, especially after Devin Funchess opted out over concerns related to Covid-19. Instead, the Packers added another quarterback with Jordan Love in Round 1 of the NFL Draft and then Dillon in Round 2. The latter selection suggests Green Bay wants to run the ball more with Dillon, Jones and Jamaaal Williams. And what happens if Davante Adams gets hurt again like he did last year when he missed four games with a toe injury? Rodgers could still finish as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback again, but his upside feels capped. He's someone to settle for, instead of target, on Draft Day.
TEN Tennessee • #22
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
It's great that Ryan Tannehill is talking up Henry as a receiver, and hopefully he eclipses 20 catches for the first time in his career. But his lack of work in the passing game is just one reason why I'm concerned about Henry being drafted in Round 1 in PPR. Going back to last year, Henry averaged 13.3 PPR points in his first eight games. He closed the season averaging 25.0 PPR points in his final seven games (he missed Week 16), and I'm concerned he's going to produce more like the guy we saw in the early part of 2019. Jack Conklin's absence hurts the offensive line, and Henry could have some wear-and-tear issues after more than 400 total touches last season, including the playoffs. I'm fine with Henry in Round 2 in PPR, but don't reach for him in Round 1. However, in non-PPR and 0.5 PPR you can draft Henry toward the end of Round 1, but again, don't reach for him. He'll be good. I'm just concerned about him being great.
Le'Veon Bell RB
BAL Baltimore • #26
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
I'm almost completely out on Bell after what happened in practice this week since I was concerned about him to begin with. In case you missed it, coach Adam Gase said Bell sat out a portion of practice Wednesday due to hamstring tightness. Bell then tweeted "ain't nothin wrong with my hamstrings," and here we go. That same day, Gase also was talking up Frank Gore, who is expected to share touches with Bell. It could be a mess, and it's one I plan to avoid based on Bell's ADP in Round 3 as RB16. Last year, Bell was bad with his worst average in the NFL at 14.3 PPR points per game, as well as a career-low 3.2 yards per carry. In PPR, you can justify drafting him in Round 4 since he's still a candidate for 60-plus catches. But in non-PPR or 0.5-PPR leagues, I won't draft Bell before Round 5. This is more about Gase than it is Bell, but this situation is already messy before Week 1, which is a bad sign.
BUF Buffalo • #26
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
With every positive report for Zack Moss, I continue to lower Singletary in my rankings. However, his ADP is still RB22 in Round 4, and I don't want him in that spot. Moss should have the edge over Singletary near the goal line, and reports out of Buffalo are he might have the edge in the passing game as well. If the carries are close to 50-50 then Singletary could be in trouble. Last year, Gore led the Bills in carries, and he was the main option near the goal line. Gore had 18 carries inside the 10-yard line last year and 11 inside the 5-yard line. By comparison, Singletary had three carries inside the 10-yard line and two inside the 5-yard line, which is why he scored just two rushing touchdowns on the season. Josh Allen also led all quarterbacks with nine rushing touchdowns, which is a problem for Singletary and Moss. Singletary is capable of being a good receiver out of the backfield, but he averaged just 2.4 receptions per game for the year. I don't see Singletary having a high ceiling if Moss is healthy, which is why he's a low-end starting option at best in all leagues.
TB Tampa Bay • #7
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Fournette is the running back you want in the Tampa Bay backfield over Ronald Jones, but please don't overvalue Fournette on Draft Day. He should be treated as a flex option, and the earliest he should be drafted in any format is Round 6. I'd prefer him in Round 7, but it doesn't appear he will last that long. With the Buccaneers, Fournette could be part of a three-headed backfield with Jones and LeSean McCoy, and McCoy could be the one playing on passing downs. Tampa Bay was a great landing spot for Fournette, but he needs volume to be successful. And if Jones and McCoy stay healthy, it's doubtful Fournette gets the touches he needs on a weekly basis to be a consistent Fantasy starter.
ARI Arizona • #10
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
I'm getting close to dropping Hopkins out of Round 2 and into the early part of Round 3. I just don't expect to have much stock in Hopkins this season. He's still an amazing receiver, but I'm mostly concerned about his target share with the Cardinals compared to what he had with the Texans. He's had at least 150 targets in each of the past five seasons. And in the past two years with Deshaun Watson, Hopkins has received at least 30 percent of the targets. In looking at the Cardinals last year, Larry Fitzgerald led the team with 109 targets, and Christian Kirk was right behind at 108, although he missed three games due to an ankle injury. Those two remain in Arizona, and although their targets could decline with Hopkins on the roster, it might not be by much. So now the question becomes if Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will be throwing more after he attempted 542 passes as a rookie in 2019. Our projections at CBS Sports have him at 555 attempts, which seems realistic. For Hopkins to maintain his 30 percent share of the targets, he'll need 166 this season from Murray. That would be the third-most targets of Hopkins' career (he had 192 in 2015 and 175 in 2017), and I don't expect that to happen. I like Hopkins a lot. But he's no longer a top-five Fantasy receiver now that he's with the Cardinals.
Amari Cooper WR
DAL Dallas • #19
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
This is another example of where ADP is likely ruining a good player because Cooper is being drafted as WR11, which is too high. He'll still be extremely productive, but the addition of CeeDee Lamb and the expected production from Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin and Ezekiel Elliott should limit Cooper's upside to a degree. We saw last year that Cooper could be a top-10 Fantasy receiver when he averaged 19.4 PPR points in his first nine games. But he closed the season averaging just 9.0 PPR points per game as he battled knee and ankle injuries. Hopefully, for those of you investing in Cooper in Round 3, you get the guy who was awesome in the early part of 2019. But I'm afraid his targets could come down from the 119 he had last year, which could be a problem. Cooper should be closer to WR20 than WR10, and the earliest I would draft him is late Round 4 in all leagues.
Keenan Allen WR
LAC L.A. Chargers • #13
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
I'm hopeful Allen continues to be a top-tier Fantasy receiver, but I'm concerned about his production with the quarterback change from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor or eventually Justin Herbert. Allen has been awesome in all Fantasy leagues when healthy for most of his career, and he was just the No. 6 PPR receiver in 2019 with 104 catches for 1,199 yards and six touchdowns on 149 targets. This is now three years in a row with at least 97 catches, 1,196 yards and six touchdowns, and hopefully he's still productive with a new quarterback. He's still worth drafting as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver, but he'll be closer to Round 5 now than Round 2 if he still had Rivers on his side. However, Allen's ADP makes him WR19, and I wouldn't draft him in that spot. Some guys going behind Allen that I'd rather have include A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin, Courtland Sutton and D.J. Chark.
T.Y. Hilton WR
IND Indianapolis • #13
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
I'm actually excited for Hilton this season. He should benefit with the addition of Rivers, and it's a good sign that he's healthy heading into Week 1. But I'm not excited about the price tag for Hilton, who is currently WR21 based on ADP. That's too high given the potential risk. Remember, last year he missed six games with a calf injury, and he's now 30. The Colts have other options in the passing game who could be heavily involved, including Parris Campbell, Michael Pittman and Jack Doyle, and we know Rivers will throw the ball to his running backs. Hilton is better in non-PPR and 0.5-PPR leagues compared to PPR, and I'm fine drafting him in Round 6. But his ADP has him in Round 5, and I'd prefer to draft Hilton as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver compared to a No. 2 option as it currently stands.
TB Tampa Bay • #87
Age: 32 • Experience: 11 year
If you're an optimist when it comes to Gronkowski then you're hoping 2020's comeback from retirement and being reunited with Tom Brady puts him back on the map as one of the elite Fantasy tight ends. That could happen. But he's 31 now, he's playing for a coach in Bruce Arians who doesn't typically feature the tight end and he's sharing the field with some amazing wide receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, as well as O.J. Howard. The last time we saw Gronkowski in 2018 with the Patriots, he was mediocre at best, catching 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns on 72 targets. He averaged just 10.1 PPR points per game that season, which was his worst year since his rookie campaign in 2010. And keep in mind that he hasn't played a full season since 2011, although he said he feels great following a year off. His ADP is TE6, but I don't consider him a starting Fantasy option this year. He'll be good for Tampa Bay, but I don't expect him to be a standout Fantasy tight end anymore.
Jared Cook TE
LAC L.A. Chargers • #87
Age: 34 • Experience: 13 yrs.
One of the worst ADP's that I've seen so far is Cook, who is currently TE9. That's crazy, and I would only draft Cook with a late-round pick as a No. 2 Fantasy tight end. While he closed last season playing at a high level with at least 11 PPR points in seven of eight games and averaging 15.0 PPR points over that span, he only had three games during that stretch with more than four targets. He also had just two outings with more than four catches. The key for Cook was scoring seven touchdowns in those eight games, and it will be hard to replicate that production, especially with an upgrade at receiver with Emmanuel Sanders joining Michael Thomas, as well as Alvin Kamara. Cook is a tight end to settle for, instead of target, in all leagues this season.
So which Fantasy football busts should you completely avoid? And which running back going off the board early should you fade? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that called Baker Mayfield's disappointing season, and find out.