I can't wait until the Average Draft Position data is more accurate for redraft leagues this season, but we're several weeks away from that happening. For now, the ADP for those leagues is more like an outline.
That said, the current ADP at the end of July still allows us the opportunity to see what players might be overvalued this season. And that's why you're here for Busts 3.0.
Now, just because a player is listed here doesn't mean you should avoid them entirely. There's no such thing as a do-not-draft-list because every player has value at the right price. We're just trying to find out what that price is for certain players, and I don't want you to overpay for these guys in 2022.
For the purposes of these bust candidates, we're using the FantasyPros ADP from the start of training camp.
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Joe Burrow QB
CIN Cincinnati • #9
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I love Burrow this season, and he's someone I plan to target in all leagues. But only at the right price, and the ADP for him in July is too high on FantasyPros as the No. 6 quarterback at No. 54 overall. I have him ranked No. 10, and I'm only drafting him in that range with a mid-round pick. The receiving corps in Cincinnati is amazing with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, and the offensive line upgrades for the Bengals should be great for Burrow. They added La'el Collins (right tackle), Ted Karras (center) and Alex Cappa (right guard), and the guys protecting Burrow should help him connect with his elite weapons. But keep in mind he averaged 23.8 Fantasy points per game last season, which was No. 9, and the top four quarterbacks were all over 25.5 points per game. Could Burrow get to that level? Of course. But you're paying a steep price for him to get there, and I'm not willing to reach for Burrow when there are other quarterbacks with just as much upside at a much lower ADP.
NE New England • #15
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
It's positive that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is saying all the right things about Elliott at the start of training camp. And he said he's healthy after playing through a knee injury for most of last season. I'm hopeful that Elliott rebounds in 2022, but 2021 was frustrating for Elliott and Fantasy managers who rostered him. And it's hard to justify drafting him in the first three rounds this season, with his FantasyPros ADP currently at No. 30 overall as RB17. Elliott went 10 games in a row last year with fewer than 55 rushing yards, and he became touchdown dependent to save his Fantasy production. He did have some productive games as a receiver, including three outings with at least six catches, but Tony Pollard looked like the best running back in Dallas almost every time he touched the field. We'll see how Elliott does in tandem with Pollard, but Pollard is expected to have a bigger role in the passing game. Elliott is no longer a running back to covet on Draft Day with a first- or second-round pick, and even Round 3 is too soon for my liking. The earliest you should draft Elliott is Round 4, but I would rather wait until Round 7 to get Pollard if you want someone in the Cowboys backfield.
WAS Washington • #24
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
The Commanders spent an entire offseason seemingly trying to tell us they aren't sold on Gibson. They brought in Breece Hall and Ken Walker for pre-draft visits, convinced J.D. McKissic to stay in Washington after he initially signed a free-agent deal with Buffalo and then drafted Brian Robinson in the third-round from Alabama. As it turns out, only adding Robinson as competition is likely good for Gibson since Hall or Walker joining the team would have been a nightmare. But even the return of McKissic should be viewed as bad news for Gibson. Last year, Gibson averaged 12.9 PPR points per game in the 11 games when McKissic was healthy, and Gibson had 26 catches on 30 targets. In five games without McKissic, Gibson averaged 14.8 PPR points per game with 16 catches on 22 targets, so he was clearly more involved in the passing game when McKissic was out. We'll see what happens with Carson Wentz taking over at quarterback, but the Commanders also have more weapons to touch the ball with Curtis Samuel healthy and the addition of rookie receiver Jahan Dotson. I still like Gibson as a No. 2 running back in all leagues, but he might be a little risky at his July ADP on FantasyPros in Round 4 as RB19. Gibson also dealt with a hamstring injury at the start of training camp, and it feels like this could be a long year for him if McKissic and Robinson stay healthy.
SF San Francisco • #25
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Mitchell was great as the lead running back for the 49ers as a rookie in 2021, but history isn't on his side heading into his sophomore season. Kyle Shanahan has been the 49ers coach since 2017, and he's had a different leading rusher in every year (Carlos Hyde in 2017, Matt Breida in 2018, Raheem Mostert in 2019 and Jeff Wilson in 2020). We'll see if Mitchell can break that trend, but he should have some competition for the lead role from Tyrion Davis-Price, Trey Sermon, Wilson and do-it-all receiver Deebo Samuel. And you also have the dynamic of Trey Lance taking over at quarterback, and he could steal rushing production. Mitchell also struggled with injuries in 2021, missing six games with various ailments, and he had a limited role in the passing game with just 19 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown on 20 targets. In non-PPR leagues, Mitchell is worth drafting in Round 4, and he did have 1,100 total yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. Hopefully, he can repeat as the best running back for the 49ers for the first time under Shanahan and be great again. But in PPR, the earliest Mitchell should be drafted is Round 6, and his ADP in July on FantasyPros is RB24 at No. 50 overall. That feels too soon given the crowded backfield in San Francisco.
BUF Buffalo • #22
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I don't mind Harris as the No. 28 running back off the board based on his ADP on FantasyPros, but I am concerned about his production this year. The earliest I would draft Harris is Round 7 in PPR (Round 5 in non- and 0.5-PPR leagues), but his ADP is Round 6 at No. 67 overall. New England's backfield could be crowded again with Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, James White and potentially rookie Pierre Strong all having the chance to get touches. The main candidate to ruin Harris will be Stevenson, and he's one of my favorite players to target this year (see Breakouts 3.0 for more). We know Harris is not going to have a significant role in the passing game with 23 receptions on 28 targets in three years. He also could struggle if the Patriots aren't winning since he had four games with 11 PPR points or less in the seven outings he appeared in when New England lost, including the playoffs. Now, he could score 15 touchdowns again, and he averaged over 4.6 yards per carry for the second year in a row. Mac Jones will hopefully improve in his second season, which would help New England's offense as a whole and hopefully give Harris more scoring chances. But I don't want to chase touchdowns, and Harris' lack of work in the passing game is troublesome. He's a good flex, but he's not someone you want to draft as a must-start running back this year, especially in PPR.
LV Las Vegas • #17
Age: 30 • Experience: 10 yrs.
I love Adams, and I still expect him to be a top-tier Fantasy option. But I don't consider him a top-four Fantasy receiver like he's being drafted on FantasyPros based on his ADP in July. And I'm not drafting him in Round 1 with his ADP at No. 10 overall. I expect Adams to see a downturn in production, however slightly, with his move from the Packers to the Raiders. More specifically, the move from Aaron Rodgers to Derek Carr. Now, part of that has to do with the talent in Las Vegas compared to the talent in Green Bay. Adams dominated targets for the Packers, and it hasn't been close over the past four seasons. Aaron Jones has been second in targets to Adams in Green Bay over the past three years, and the difference was 104 targets in 2021, 86 targets in 2020 and 59 targets in 2019. Adams also had 80 more targets than Jimmy Graham in 2018. Adams can still be highly productive with fewer targets, but how many is he going to lose to Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow? Adams has averaged at least 10.5 targets per game over the past four seasons, but Waller averaged 8.5 targets per game last year, with Renfrow at 7.5. It's hard to expect Carr to keep all of these guys at that target share, so all three should suffer. The difference is Adams is the most expensive, which means he carries the most risk. I expect Adams to average closer to his 2019 stats (17.7 PPR points per game) or even his 2017 production (15.9). That would keep him in the top 10 at wide receiver in PPR but not the top five, and he's only worth drafting in Round 2.
Deebo Samuel WR
SF San Francisco • #19
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I honestly don't know what to make of Samuel this season. He was outstanding last year in his breakout campaign when he averaged 21.2 PPR points per game, and it was amazing to watch him dominate as a receiver and rusher. But can he come close to doing that again this season? He seemingly doesn't want to take on the wear-and-tear of being used out of the backfield. If you take away his rushing production (59 carries for 365 yards and eight touchdowns) he was still an elite receiver with 77 catches for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns on 121 targets. But that puts him at 16.3 PPR points per game, which would have been the No. 13 receiver last season. He will still get touches in the backfield, but whatever he loses there brings down his Fantasy value. And we don't know how he will mesh with Trey Lance over a full season. Lance started two games for the 49ers last year, and Samuel averaged 15.5 PPR points in those outings. But he had just six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown over that span on 15 targets, as well as eight carries for 32 yards and a touchdown. Again, without the rushing prowess, Samuel struggles a little. He could easily be a do-it-all threat again and dominate for the 49ers and Fantasy managers, and he could do it with Lance instead of Jimmy Garoppolo. Or he could just be very good instead of elite. I tend to pass on Samuel in Round 2 -- his FantasyPros ADP is WR6 at No. 16 overall -- because of the risk.
MIA Miami • #17
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
There's a lot to love about Waddle after a standout rookie campaign in 2021. He set the NFL rookie record for receptions last year with 104, and he finished with 1,015 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 140 targets. He averaged 15.3 PPR points per game. But he's being drafted as if Tyreek Hill isn't on the Dolphins, which doesn't make sense, and Waddle's FantasyPros ADP in late July is No. 39 overall as WR14. I can't draft him in early Round 4, even in PPR, as long as Hill is healthy. Now, you can say that Waddle can still lead the Dolphins in receptions, and his rapport with Tua Tagovailoa is strong going back to their days at Alabama. But it's hard to imagine another season of 140 targets for Waddle with Hill on the roster. There's obviously a scenario of Tagovailoa dramatically improving under coach Mike McDaniel, and Hill and Waddle leading the way for the Dolphins offense. Both could again top 130 targets and have tremendous seasons. They are immensely talented. Most likely, one of Hill or Waddle will be good -- maybe great -- and the other could struggle. The worst-case scenario is both flop. I don't expect that to happen, but I'm worried about spending too much on Waddle in Fantasy drafts this season.
DET Detroit • #14
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I was excited for St. Brown when he was drafted by the Lions last season. I liked the situation with their barren receiving corps, and I expected St. Brown to have the chance to make plays for Jared Goff. St. Brown didn't really take off until the end of the season, but he was on a rocket ship over the final six games of the year. Over that span, St. Brown had at least eight catches, 73 yards and 10 targets in each outing, and he scored five touchdowns. He scored at least 15 PPR points in each game and at least 23 PPR points in five of those games. He averaged 24.5 PPR points in those six games. It was amazing, but you have to put it in context. T.J. Hockenson missed five of those games with a thumb injury, and D'Andre Swift missed four of those outings with a shoulder problem. And the Lions have added D.J. Chark as a free agent and drafted rookie Jameson Williams. While Williams (ACL) could be limited early in the season, he is expected to play at some point, which is another factor against St. Brown. And then you have his ADP, which is the No. 24 receiver on FantasyPros at No. 68 overall. St. Brown is still going to be productive, but he will likely struggle with more weapons on the field in Detroit. The earliest I would draft St. Brown is Round 7 in the majority of leagues.
Dawson Knox TE
BUF Buffalo • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
I don't understand the love for Knox this season based on his early ADP. While we all want weapons associated with Josh Allen, and Knox had some fantastic moments last year, it's hard to explain drafting him as the No. 10 tight end off the board on FantasyPros. The positive for Knox is he could lead all tight ends in touchdowns this season, and he tied for the top spot last year with nine, matching Mark Andrews, Hunter Henry and Travis Kelce. But he did that on just 71 targets, and he finished with 49 catches for 587 yards. The Bills lost Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders this offseason, but they added Jamison Crowder, Khalil Shakir, James Cook and O.J. Howard. All of them could have a big role in the passing game alongside Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis and Knox, and we'll see if Howard is a legitimate threat to Knox given his pedigree. I don't mind drafting Knox as a No. 1 Fantasy tight end, but not at his current cost. Instead, I'd rather wait for Cole Kmet, and if you want to chase touchdowns, then you can get Henry and Robert Tonyan much later. I like Knox, but he's not someone I'm chasing on Draft Day this year.