Consensus Busts from 65+ Experts (2019 Fantasy Football)

Aug 12, 2019

The experts don’t believe Eric Ebron will have the same magic in 2019

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Every year you have players who are overvalued and fail to meet the expectations placed upon them by their average draft position (ADP). Even though the player may have still been productive in spots, they weren’t anything close to what you had hoped and earned the dreaded “bust” label as a result.

Take Larry Fitzgerald for example. He was being taken as the WR15 in half-PPR leagues last year after coming off a third straight 100-catch season. However, bad quarterback play and a poor offensive scheme hurt his output, resulting in under 70 receptions and a WR27 finish. LeSean McCoy, Matthew Stafford, Chris Hogan, and Rob Gronkowski are just a few of the very many busts the fantasy community dealt with in 2018.

To prevent you from being stuck with this year’s Fitzgerald, we polled 66 experts on which QB, RB, WR, and TE (using Half PPR scoring) they thought had the highest potential to underperform. We also asked them all to explain who their top bust of 2019 was. See their responses below.

Want to see all the votes? Click here to view which experts participated and who they voted for.

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Top Consensus Busts

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Eric Ebron IND 25 TE8 TE8
Drew Brees NO 11 QB11 QB7
Damien Williams KC 10 RB12 RB13
Baker Mayfield CLE 9 QB5 QB5
Antonio Brown OAK 9 WR9 WR9
Amari Cooper DAL 7 WR12 WR13
Tom Brady NE 6 QB21 QB14
Aaron Jones GB 6 RB16 RB17
George Kittle SF 6 TE2 TE3
Jared Cook NO 6 TE7 TE7
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 6 RB7 RB6

Click here to view which experts participated and who they voted for.

Running Backs

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Damien Williams KC 10 RB12 RB13
Aaron Jones GB 6 RB16 RB17
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 6 RB7 RB6
Todd Gurley LAR 5 RB11 RB8
Derrick Henry TEN 5 RB19 RB20
Joe Mixon CIN 5 RB8 RB9
Leonard Fournette JAC 5 RB17 RB14
James Conner PIT 3 RB6 RB7
Phillip Lindsay DEN 3 RB25 RB21
Marlon Mack IND 3 RB15 RB18
Sony Michel NE 2 RB23 RB23
Derrius Guice WAS 2 RB33 RB32
Ezekiel Elliott DAL 2 RB4 RB4

Running backs who received one vote were: Mark Ingram, David Montgomery, Darrell Henderson, James White, Nick Chubb, Miles Sanders, Chris Carson, Kenyan Drake, Melvin Gordon

Wide Receivers

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Antonio Brown OAK 9 WR9 WR9
Amari Cooper DAL 7 WR12 WR13
Jarvis Landry CLE 5 WR30 WR24
Sammy Watkins KC 4 WR31 WR31
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 3 WR6 WR7
A.J. Green CIN 3 WR28 WR21
Keenan Allen LAC 3 WR11 WR10
Tyler Lockett SEA 3 WR20 WR22
Calvin Ridley ATL 2 WR24 WR23
Alshon Jeffery PHI 2 WR23 WR28
N’Keal Harry NE 2 WR55 WR41
Kenny Golladay DET 2 WR18 WR18
D.J. Moore CAR 2 WR25 WR25
Robby Anderson NYJ 2 WR29 WR30
Chris Godwin TB 2 WR19 WR19
Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 2 WR4 WR5
Robert Woods LAR 2 WR17 WR17
Adam Thielen MIN 2 WR13 WR12

Wide receivers who received one vote were: Tyler Boyd, Mike Williams, Allen Robinson, Mike Evans, Cooper Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, T.Y. Hilton, Brandin Cooks

Quarterbacks

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Drew Brees NO 11 QB11 QB7
Baker Mayfield CLE 9 QB5 QB5
Russell Wilson SEA 9 QB9 QB8
Tom Brady NE 6 QB21 QB14
Matt Ryan ATL 5 QB6 QB6
Jameis Winston TB 4 QB13 QB15
Deshaun Watson HOU 3 QB2 QB2
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 3 QB14 QB13
Josh Allen BUF 3 QB20 QB22
Kyler Murray ARI 3 QB12 QB12
Jared Goff LAR 2 QB10 QB11
Lamar Jackson BAL 2 QB16 QB17
Carson Wentz PHI 2 QB8 QB9
Cam Newton CAR 2 QB7 QB10
Aaron Rodgers GB 2 QB3 QB4

 

Tight Ends

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Eric Ebron IND 25 TE8 TE8
George Kittle SF 6 TE2 TE3
Jared Cook NO 6 TE7 TE7
O.J. Howard TB 5 TE4 TE4
Zach Ertz PHI 5 TE3 TE2
David Njoku CLE 5 TE10 TE9
Delanie Walker TEN 4 TE12 TE12
Evan Engram NYG 2 TE5 TE5

Tight ends who received one vote were: Mike Gesicki, Cameron Brate, Trey Burton, Austin Hooper, T.J. Hockenson, Hunter Henry, Vance McDonald, Jack Doyle

Q. Who is the player you expect to be this year’s biggest fantasy bust and why?

Running Back

Damien Williams (KC) 
“Collectively, Chiefs running backs scored 459 fantasy points (PPR scoring) in 2018, which ranked fourth in the league, so I certainly understand the interest in Williams. But do you really want to bet on a 27-year-old with just 291 career touches? Early in his career in Miami, Williams was getting out-touched by guys like Jonas Gray and Daniel Thomas. I’d much rather take a late-round flier on Carlos Hyde or Darwin Thompson and potentially land a steal, than risk having Williams turn into a second-round bust.”
– Ryan McCrystal (Draft Ace)

“Let’s be honest here. Nobody likes Damien Williams as a running back. They just like the situation he’s in. A running back in Andy Reid’s offense, and the KC offense at that, is exciting. Williams has never had a season with more than 50 carries and he’s only had more than 13 carries in a game once. He just hasn’t been able to stay healthy and he’s already dinged up. I just don’t think he’ll be able to hold up. Easy pass.”
– Chris Meaney (The Athletic)

“Even after Andy Reid publicly expressed his disappointment in the lack of practice time for his “starting” running back, we have seen Damien Williams‘ ADP slide a little — just not enough. We know Reid generally likes to use one primary back, and while that could very well still be the case, I’m just not certain that one back is going to be Williams over the course of the season. There is enough talent on that depth chart behind him (Carlos Hyde, Darwin Thompson, & Darrel Williams) for Andy Reid to change directions in his plan and/or running back philosophy at any time. There is no question that Williams was a league winner last season, but the sample size isn’t enough compared to the rest of his career. He will not return value based on his current ADP.”
– Rich Piazza (Fantasy Shed)

Le’Veon Bell (NYJ)
“Bell is joining a team that ranked 23rd in points per game, 29th in yards per game, and has the fourth-worst offensive line in the league (per Pro Football Focus). Volume can overcome those issues, but head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains have averaged 29th and 31st, respectively, in offensive plays per game over their past three seasons. In Bell’s three most recent seasons (in which he played more than six games), the Steelers averaged the eighth-most offensive plays per game. He may be in for a shock this year.”
– Nick Humphreys (Fantasy Victors)

Aaron Jones (GB) 
“Jones is my choice for this year’s biggest fantasy football bust. This is not because I don’t believe in his talent, but it is simply a juxtaposition of how I believe the Packers will utilize Jones versus his current ADP. Currently going in the third round, Jones is being drafted as your team’s RB1 or RB2 and his projected workload is not worthy of that spot on your roster. Every indication has been that the Packers want to split carries between Jones and Jamaal Williams, and a third-round ADP means you’re drafting Jones at his ceiling.”
– Kyle Yates (The Fantasy Footballers)

Leonard Fournette (JAC) 
“Fournette is the RB14 by ADP right now, and if that holds, then he could be a huge bust for any fantasy owners banking on him this year. Fournette has played in just 21 total games in his first two seasons, and when he has been healthy, he’s averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. Even THAT number is buoyed by his 2017 season — in 2018, Fournette managed just 3.3 YPC. He may catch two or three more passes per game with T.J. Yeldon out of the mix, but the upside is too limited to draft Fournette instead of guys like Aaron Jones, Marlon Mack or Kerryon Johnson, who all have ADPs later than Fournette.”
– Bill Dubiel (RotoBaller)

Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown (OAK)
“Bust is a relative term, right? Brown’s YPC dropped to 12.1 last season, and he’s downgrading from Ben Roethlisberger to Derek Carr at quarterback. While we should expect the Raiders to throw to Brown quite a bit, they probably won’t be the most pass-happy team in the NFL like the Steelers were in 2018. Even if Brown stays away from the cryotherapy machine from now on, there are enough red flags to make me avoid him this season.”
– John Halpin (RotoWire)

“We’re used to seeing Antonio Brown drafted as one of the top three receivers taken in recent years, so averaging a WR9 cost now isn’t a ringing endorsement. However, for those hoping he continues what he did in Pittsburgh, I’m not sold. He’ll be productive, but Ben Roethlisberger is much more of a proven commodity to receivers in fantasy than Derek Carr.”
– Jake Arthur (Colts.com)

“We are heading into disaster mode with Antonio Brown. I don’t even want to spend a third-round pick on him at this point with the foot issue. When he does come back, he has to find a way to play catch up with a far less effective quarterback than his former teammate. We are looking at the end of an era where Brown dominated the fantasy football landscape.”
– Matthew Bowe (Razzball)

Amari Cooper (DAL)
“Cooper currently is the 13th wide receiver being taken, according to ADP, which is borderline WR1 territory. I get it, he was the fourth-best wideout once he was in Dallas, but that was a mirage as Cooper had two huge games that accounted for five of his six Cowboys touchdowns and his 397 yards in those two games were more than the other seven games he played for the Cowboys in 2018 combined. With Zeke, without Zeke, it does not matter to me.”
– Ken Zalis (Pressbox)

Amari Cooper’s end of season stats look great with 75 catches for over 1,000 years and seven touchdowns. But let’s dig a bit deeper. If you remove Cooper’s four big games, he had 364 yards with one touchdown in 11 games. Does that sound like the type of stat line that deserves a top-15 WR ADP?”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Quarterback

Russell Wilson (SEA)
“Last season, the Seahawks committed to a run-heavy offense (52.44% of their plays) and, by all reports, want to continue that this year. On a per-game basis in 2018, Russell Wilson attempted only 26.6 passes for 215 yards and had 4.2 carries for 23.5 rushing yards. His 34 passing touchdowns at a very high 8.2% touchdown rate per attempt rate saved his fantasy output — but touchdown regression is expected in 2019. With his current ADP near the sixth round, Wilson has very real bust potential.”
– Justin George (Take Your League)

“The Seahawks told us they wanted to be a run-first team and they followed through as Wilson’s attempts plummeted from 553 to 427, his lowest total since 2013. He threw the ball 130 fewer times compared to two years ago, yet threw an extra touchdown. Even for an efficient quarterback, throwing a touchdown on just over eight percent of your passes is unsustainable. He won’t have a perfect passer rating to Tyler Lockett again. Passers over the eight percent touchdown mark see have always seen their efficiency drop multiple points. If his passing volume stays the same he will finish outside of the top-12 quarterbacks.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Drew Brees (NO) 
“Sometimes it’s hard for fantasy owners to separate real-life performance from fantasy performance. Brees is a Hall of Fame quarterback and I’d love to have him on my NFL team, but the Saints have been trending towards running the ball and playing defense more over the past three seasons. Brees’ pass attempts have dropped from 673 back in 2016 to 536 in 2017 and then to 489 last season. Additionally, from Weeks 13-16, he didn’t have a single multi-touchdown game. The Saints want to run the ball with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray and, because of this, Brees will not live up to being drafted as the QB7 off the board.”
– Frank Stampfl (RotoExperts)

Tight End

Eric Ebron (IND)
“It’s obvious Ebron won’t repeat last season’s numbers after scoring on 12 percent of his targets, yet he’s still being selected as a top-seven tight end in many drafts. When Jack Doyle was on the field, Ebron saw 3.7 targets compared to 8.8 when Doyle was sidelined. Ebron averaged 34.4 routes per game without Doyle and 17.7 with Doyle, who played six games. With Doyle active, Ebron averaged 27.3 snaps per game compared to 45.7 without Doyle. The Colts also added Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell.”
– Adam Ronis (FullTime Fantasy)

“Few expect Eric Ebron to parlay another 66 catches into 13 touchdowns, but the bigger concern is his 110 targets dropping cavernously. Parris Campbell gives Andrew Luck an underneath option, and Devin Funchess should siphon a fair share of red-zone looks. Ebron collected just 22 targets in five games played alongside Jack Doyle, so there’s too much bust risk to take last year’s breakout tight end anywhere near his No. 70 overall ADP.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

“The Colts have just eight unaccounted for targets from last season, and they added Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell, and a healthy Jack Doyle. When Doyle and Eric Ebron were both active, Ebron saw only 3.7 targets per game to Doyle’s 5.5. Ebron’s average targets rose to 8.8 without Doyle, and there is no way he sees this type of target share with the offensive additions this season.”
– Zach Brunner (FlurrySports)

George Kittle (SF) 
“Kittle had so many things go his way for production in 2018. Injuries to running backs and wide receivers made him the only healthy receiver with a rookie quarterback that targeted Kittle on almost 30% of his pass attempts. Over 60% of Kittle’s yards came after the catch, which where most wideouts and tight ends were closer to an average of 40%. As long as most of the weapons in San Francisco stay healthy, Kittle should see a big regression in production.”
– Ryan Skolrud (SkullKing Football)

“Based on the fact he’s being drafted no later than the third round, often in the second round, I believe George Kittle will not bring back enough return on investment. He’s certainly talented and will still be a primary target in San Fran, but not nearly to the extent he did in 2018. A series of injuries to the Niners’ receiving corps led a third-string quarterback to rely on his big target down the middle far too often. The team should finally have a consistent running game, better wideouts, and a balanced offense. Kittle is still a top-five tight end, but he won’t outperform receivers like Stefon Diggs, Julian Edelman, or Brandin Cooks, all of whom are going after him in typical redraft leagues.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

George Kittle’s 136 targets are unlikely to be repeated this season, especially if Jimmy Garoppolo spreads it around to his receivers a bit more. With an ADP at the end of the third round, Kittle could burn you. I think he could easily end up outside of the top-five this season, and I’d much rather draft a running back or wide receiver in Round 3 and wait for the O.J. Howard/Evan Engram/Hunter Henry TE tier.”
– Bart Wheeler (Hail to Fantasy Football)


Thank you to all the experts for naming their consensus busts. You can view each expert’s picks below and be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice. Also, please check out our latest podcast episode below.


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