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8 Early Busts (2020 Fantasy Football)

May 21, 2020

The addition of A.J. Dillon may prevent Aaron Jones from producing top-12 RB numbers

As you already know, anyone whose draft price heavily exceeds their ensuing production earns the dreaded bust label. Of course, that’s not to say that busts shouldn’t be drafted and don’t provide any value. There are always plenty of busts who still provide production value for the squads that drafted them. Just look at Le’Veon Bell last year. Even though he vastly underperformed his RB7 cost, he still finished as the RB19, giving him value as a mid-RB2. So to be precise, busts are merely players that you should avoid at their current ADP, although they may present still some value if they fall in drafts and can be had for a discount. With that in mind, our featured experts share their thoughts on who they believe are the top busts entering the 2020 season.

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Q1. What RB in our half-PPR consensus top 24 should fantasy owners fear the most as a bust candidate?

Aaron Jones (GB): Consensus Rank – RB11
“Right now, he’s going in most redraft leagues as the overall RB10 in average draft position, and I’d rather let someone else take him at that price. In 2019, Jones saw 72 percent of the carries from inside the five-yard line and also scored half of his touchdowns from that distance. With the addition of A.J. Dillon (6’0″ and 250 pounds), I can see Jones losing those goal-line carries to the rookie. I love Jones’ talent; I just don’t know how committed the Packers will be to him this season as he enters the final year of his contract.”
– Chris Kennedy (The Fantasy Headliners)

“I am fading Aaron Jones since he’s being ranked as a top-12 running back this year. Even though Jones scored 19 total touchdowns last season, I have him as a bust candidate. Matt LaFleur has been very clear that he wants a committee. He mentioned it during the NFL Scouting Combine and then he followed through by selecting A.J. Dillon in the third round. Jamaal Williams isn’t going anywhere, either. Jones was the RB30 in fantasy points per opportunity last year. He still is the most talented back on the roster, but he probably won’t have enough volume to produce numbers as a top-12 option in 2020.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Derrick Henry (TEN): Consensus Rank – RB6
“Henry leads this category pretty easily because of his profile and first-round ADP. We’ve only seen seven other seasons of 100+ rushing yards per game among active running backs and only Adrian Peterson has done it twice. Henry needs more team success, too. He averaged 23.8 half-PPR points in nine wins last year versus 12.9 points in six losses. Henry added no receptions per game in losses and generated 64.7% of his rushing yards and 87.5% of his rushing scores in the second half of games. Any slip from the Titans compared last year’s killer second halves will hurt him more than it would a lead runner who also catches passes.”
– Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

Austin Ekeler (LAC): Consensus Rank – RB12
“Based on where he’s being drafted, Ekeler is the choice for me. When drafting a running back in the second round as a top-12 option, you’d better feel very good about his situation. Unfortunately, the Chargers’ offense is going through a major overhaul after losing Philip Rivers and starting left tackle Russell Okung. No matter which way they go at quarterback, the pass attempts will come way down. That’s a big blow to Ekeler’s fantasy value as he had a league-high 193.3 half-PPR points through the air alone, which made up 73.5 percent of his points. Not only that, but his touchdown rate was through the roof. He’s not going to live up to expectations in 2020.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Nick Chubb (CLE): Consensus Rank – RB8
“The cliff at running back is steep and it begins prior to pick 24, so there are numerous bust candidates that are worthy of this spot. My biggest gripe is with how the industry is treating Chubb. I’ll start with the standard caveat; I love the player. I believe he is among the most talented backs in the league, but his snaps, touches, and targets took a nosedive when Kareem Hunt was activated in Week 10. He’s currently going around the one-two turn in drafts and that’s too rich for my taste.”
– Ryan Noonan (The Quant Edge)

Q2. What WR in our half-PPR consensus top 24 should fantasy owners fear the most as a bust candidate?

Courtland Sutton (DEN): Consensus Rank – WR17
“It was mighty impressive what Sutton did last year while playing with Joe Flacco and a rookie quarterback, but we can’t ignore the fact that 125 targets amounted to a No. 19 finish among wide receivers. Knowing the Broncos added Melvin Gordon in free agency and then added Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, and Albert Okwuegbunam in the NFL Draft, the competition for targets has raised considerably. Sutton showed us last year that he’s a player in this league, but unless you’re projected for 120-plus targets and/or double-digit touchdowns, you shouldn’t be listed as a top-18 receiver. I just can’t see a situation where Sutton gets the targets he did last year, yet he’s being drafted higher than he finished last year.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“I have Courtland Sutton 10 spots below his FantasyPros ECR. Again, I love the player, but I believe he’s going to struggle to replicate his 2019 breakout season. Denver ran more in situational neutral settings than the league average last season and the addition of Melvin Gordon should ensure that their run rate continues to be average or above. They also added Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in the draft. Plus, second-year tight end, Noah Fant, started to come into his own in the latter half of 2019. I just don’t see a path to a consistent eight targets per game for Sutton, which he’ll need to see in order to deliver on his ADP.”
– Ryan Noonan (The Quant Edge)

Kenny Golladay (DET): Consensus Rank – WR7
“Golladay looks flimsy inside the top 10. His 20.3% target share last year ranked just 19th among wideouts, right behind Cole Beasley and DeVante Parker. Even with Matthew Stafford, he drew just 21.3%, which would have ranked 15th. His WR7 consensus ranking positions Golladay right where he was scoring on a per-game basis through eight games last season, and that’s with Matthew Stafford producing at career-high rates in yards per pass attempt and touchdown percentage. Even for that period, Golladay tied for just 26th among wideouts in receptions. He must be wearing a Robert Woods mask when people rank him there.”
– Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

D.J. Chark (JAC): Consensus Rank – WR24
“Last season, Chark scored 43 percent of his fantasy points (0.5 PPR) in three games, averaging 27 points per game for those weeks. In the other 12 games, he averaged nine points per game. His current ADP isn’t awful (47th overall), but I’d rather go with someone who has shown more consistency. The addition of Laviska Shenault might not affect Chark’s target share as much as it could Dede Westbrook’s, but I’m going to let someone else draft him this year.”
– Chris Kennedy (The Fantasy Headliners)

Keenan Allen (LAC): Consensus Rank – WR19
“Things have dramatically changed in Los Angeles. For the first time in his career, Allen will not have Philip Rivers as his quarterback. Now he will have to catch passes from Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert. As a result of Rivers’ departure, the Chargers will throw the ball less, which negatively affects both Allen’s potential and floor. Based on pure talent, he has what it takes to be a WR2. However, the general situation could push him out of the top 24. What’s even worse is that he risks losing the consistency that characterized him in past years.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Thank you to the experts for giving us their early busts. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.

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