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The fantasy football season takes no breaks, and we are in the midst of draft season. That means focusing on top tiered options, draft values, and deep sleepers. That also means avoiding potential busts. Looking back at 2018, one of the biggest busts was Matthew Stafford. Especially when you factor in his ADP was QB10. Injuries can play a roll in being a bust, but we tend to be a bit more forgiving. However, Leonard Fournette just seemed to be a head case with his weight and also preparing after his injuries. Looking into 2019, there are some injury prone names to keep an eye out for, but also plenty of names that are being overhyped.
1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield is being taken as the fifth quarterback off the board right now, and is hovering around the ADP off 55-65. There is a ton of excitement around the Browns for fantasy, and understandably so. However, the big leap in Mayfield’s ADP is not enticing. Adding Odell Beckham Jr. and a new coaching staff has certainly driven up the fantasy hype around the Browns passing game. Mayfield is also going to have weeks 15 and 16 against two strong secondaries from last season. There is also a stretch during weeks 6-10 where he doesn’t see a bottom half pass defense and it includes a bye. Mayfield is elusive, but doesn’t add the rushing stats of more mobile quarterbacks. Names like Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz are worth taking after Mayfield. You can even go into the next tier with a name like Dak Prescott. If you are buying Mayfield at these prices compared to the names above, prepare for some disappointment. There are other names to go with later and Mayfield’s draft spot could easily be used on another position. He’s extremely overvalued, and is a fade for me.
2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
While Russell Wilson will probably go onto prove people wrong once again, there are just so many negatives going up against him. This is a run first Seattle team, and they are damn proud of it. The offensive line is improved, but still ranks inside the bottom third of the league. This just shows how bad it truly was. With some likely touchdown regression coming, there are way too many quarterbacks with this upside sitting behind Wilson in ADP. After throwing for 546 and 553 attempts the last two seasons, there was a massive drop off to 427 in 2018. With no more Doug Baldwin, it leaves Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf to pick up the slack. Any sort of injury to these two cripples the receiving core and passing game of the Seahawks. I have a hard time believing that Wilson pays off being drafted as the eighth quarterback off the board. He was QB9 last season on super efficient touchdown rate that I don’t see repeating.
3. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
After a group of solidified running backs, we get to a tier with names like Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, and Leonard Fournette. All have major concerns and bust potential. Mixon is going at the end of first rounds and the Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon holdout news really throw a wrench into things. For Mixon I have some big concerns with the offensive line. Yes he did well with a bad group last season, but I am not banking on a near 5.0 YPC. The Bengals tried to fix the line drafting Jonah Williams, but he will miss his rookie year. This is a near bottom five line, and the Bengals also possess a below average defense. Game scripts could be another thing against Mixon. Also tossing in that he will face seven top half rush defenses in the first ten weeks is not appealing. Mixon played 14 games and seven of them were under 12 fantasy points. Consistency could be a bigger issue in 2019.
4. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
You better be hoping Kenyan Drake finds the end zone nine times again if you are trying to pay off this price tag. Drake isn’t a work horse, nor should he be projected to be one. Drake has potential to work in the passing game, but standard leagues Drake’s upside is capped. Nine of sixteen games he was under double-digit fantasy points. Even with a slight tick up in touches with Frank Gore gone, I still expect Kalen Ballage to get some of the workload. Drake’s red zone usage isn’t enticing either. He saw 12 total rushing attempts in the red zone last season. Given his size, I don’t expect him to be used there once again. Miami’s offense isn’t screaming for too many trips to the red zone anyway. Drake is in a draft range where I want more weekly consistency, and he doesn’t bring that to the table. I will pass on Drake at this ADP.
5. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns
Jarvis Landry is becoming one of the bigger bust calls, and for good reason. He was WR23 last season, and that was without Odell Beckham Jr’s target share. Now with that incoming, it is hard to find Landry to be a weekly consistent option. Landry has always needed huge volume to be a fantasy threat. So scoring WR23 on 150 targets, and now projecting closer to 100-110 is not all that thrilling. Landry has scored more than five touchdowns once in his five year career. Keeping him on par with 4-5 touchdowns and a drop in receptions and receiving yards, Landry slides down the WR rankings even further. There is a great chance of some rookie and second year wideouts going rounds later that can match or surpass his production. With a lot of mouths to feed in Cleveland and a lack of touchdown upside, Landry comes across as an obvious potential bust.
6. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
The Jets passing game is slowly improving, but Robby Anderson remains a very boom or bust option. He had a 50-752-6 line in 2018 and had 93 targets. 100-110 targets is viable in this offense, but Anderson’s career 54% catch rate puts him in the range of 50-55 receptions. He has only averaged 3.4 receptions per game in his career, and that home run threat is such a big far of his score in a vacuum. Anderson’s 2018 was all about his last four games of the season where he generated nearly half of his overall fantasy numbers. He was a dud for all but one game in the first ten games of the season. Anderson will have to wait until Week 9 to see a bottom 15 pass defense, and only has six games against teams that ranked in the bottom half. The Jets could have a more usable run game, and the defense should be able to keep the Jets closer in games not going into come back mode. Anderson’s weekly floor is already a no-go for me, and could see a very tough fantasy year.
7. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
Marvin Jones comes in off a nine game season where he had a 35-508-5 line. He was well on his way to 100 targets, and was close to a standard Jones line hovering around 900-1000 yards. Jones is now in his age 29 season, and the Lions are convinced running the ball 70% of the time is the way to win this year. The problem with Jones is that if the touchdowns are not there, his season goes to waste. Detroit’s middle of the road passing touchdown percentage is not a positive, especially given I think it is going to drop. If Matt Patricia truly gets the offense running on his terms, and the defense is decent, Detroit will be a very limited fantasy offense. While Jones’ ADP is not the worst and hard to consider him a bust given he is a late round target, there are still names behind him with more touchdown upside.
8. Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts
There actually are not a lot of tight ends that I feel are bust candidates this year, and Eric Ebron isn’t a bust if you accurately can project his limitations. However, his ADP suggests that he will be in the range of Evan Engram, Vance McDonald, and Jared Cook. I have Ebron potentially being out of this level. It was a wild year where Ebron saw 110 targets catching 66 of them for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also tacked on a rushing touchdown bringing him to a total of 14. The Colts will welcome back a healthy Jack Doyle who paved the way for a big Ebron year with injuries, but also Parris Campbell and Devin Funchess. Indy’s offense should thrive, but consistent pass-catching options outside of T.Y. Hilton. Ebron’s targets will take a steep drop, and the deep receiving core could dampen his upside.
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