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Consensus Busts from 70 Experts (2020 Fantasy Football)

Aug 13, 2020

Josh Allen’s poor passing metrics and unsustainable rushing TD numbers make him hard to trust

Sometimes, pulling away from the pack comes down to knowing which players have the most potential to greatly underperform their cost. Recognizing who those guys are isn’t easy, though. Every fantasy analyst has their own opinions on who the biggest busts are coming into this season, but what does the industry think as a whole? We polled 70 experts on which QB, RB, WR, and TE (using half-PPR scoring) they thought had the biggest chance to have disappointing seasons. 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
Josh Allen BUF 13 QB7 QB7
Tyler Higbee LAR 12 TE8 TE7
Austin Hooper CLE 11 TE12 TE11
Aaron Rodgers GB 10 QB13 QB11
Rob Gronkowski TB 10 TE10 TE10
Amari Cooper DAL 9 WR11 WR11
Deshaun Watson HOU 8 QB6 QB6
Hunter Henry LAC 8 TE7 TE6
Tom Brady TB 7 QB11 QB10
Leonard Fournette JAC 7 RB17 RB17
DeAndre Hopkins ARI 7 WR5 WR4
A.J. Brown TEN 7 WR17 WR15
Mike Evans TB 7 WR9 WR8

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

Running Backs

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Leonard Fournette JAC 7 RB17 RB17
Kenyan Drake ARI 6 RB12 RB9
Nick Chubb CLE 5 RB9 RB8
Todd Gurley ATL 4 RB15 RB15
Derrick Henry TEN 4 RB6 RB5
Miles Sanders PHI 4 RB10 RB13
Melvin Gordon DEN 4 RB18 RB18
Joe Mixon CIN 4 RB7 RB7
David Johnson HOU 3 RB21 RB23
Aaron Jones GB 3 RB13 RB11
Raheem Mostert SF 3 RB26 RB25
Austin Ekeler LAC 3 RB14 RB12
Josh Jacobs LV 3 RB11 RB10

Other running backs who received votes were: Sony Michel (2), Jonathan Taylor (2), Mark Ingram (2), Devin Singletary (2), Le’Veon Bell (2), Chris Carson (1), Dalvin Cook (1), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (1), D’Andre Swift (1), James Conner (1), David Montgomery (1)

Wide Receivers

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Amari Cooper DAL 9 WR11 WR11
DeAndre Hopkins ARI 7 WR5 WR4
A.J. Brown TEN 7 WR17 WR15
Mike Evans TB 7 WR9 WR8
Stefon Diggs BUF 6 WR27 WR26
Keenan Allen LAC 5 WR21 WR21
D.J. Moore CAR 4 WR13 WR14
Cooper Kupp LAR 3 WR18 WR16
Allen Robinson CHI 3 WR8 WR10
DeVante Parker MIA 2 WR25 WR19
Adam Thielen MIN 2 WR14 WR13
Kenny Golladay DET 2 WR7 WR7
Chris Godwin TB 2 WR6 WR6
John Brown BUF 2 WR39 WR36

Wide receivers who received one vote were: T.Y. Hilton, Courtland Sutton, JuJu Smith-Schuster, D.K. Metcalf, Julian Edelman, Tyler Boyd, Brandin Cooks, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Green

Quarterbacks

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Josh Allen BUF 13 QB7 QB7
Aaron Rodgers GB 10 QB13 QB11
Deshaun Watson HOU 8 QB6 QB6
Tom Brady TB 7 QB11 QB10
Baker Mayfield CLE 5 QB16 QB15
Drew Brees NO 5 QB9 QB8
Dak Prescott DAL 4 QB3 QB3
Kyler Murray ARI 3 QB4 QB5
Ryan Tannehill TEN 3 QB19 QB17
Lamar Jackson BAL 3 QB2 QB2
Jared Goff LAR 2 QB17 QB20
Carson Wentz PHI 2 QB10 QB12
Matt Ryan ATL 2 QB8 QB9

Quarterbacks who received one vote were: Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Daniel Jones

Tight Ends

PLAYER TEAM VOTES ECR ADP
Tyler Higbee LAR 12 TE8 TE7
Austin Hooper CLE 11 TE12 TE11
Rob Gronkowski TB 10 TE10 TE10
Hunter Henry LAC 8 TE7 TE6
Jared Cook NO 6 TE11 TE9
Darren Waller LV 6 TE5 TE5
Evan Engram NYG 5 TE6 TE8
Mark Andrews BAL 3 TE3 TE3
Hayden Hurst ATL 3 TE9 TE12
Noah Fant DEN 2 TE14 TE14
Zach Ertz PHI 2 TE4 TE4
Dallas Goedert PHI 2 TE16 TE17
Mike Gesicki MIA 1 TE13 TE13

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

Running Back

Leonard Fournette (JAC) 
“Fournette was one of the most consistent workhorse backs in the NFL in 2019 thanks to a significant jump in targets. He received 100 looks in the passing game over 15 contests in 2019 (6.6 per game), after seeing just 76 targets in his previous 21 games (3.6/game). The Jaguars brought in pass-catching dynamo Chris Thompson, who will likely push Fournette off the field on third downs, and as his pass-game usage slips to pre-2019 levels, so will the excellent floor he displayed last season.”
– Wayne Bretsky (BretskyBall)

Leonard Fournette is a workhorse back that got 100 targets and 76 receptions last year, yet I’m telling you that he is a must-avoid in PPR leagues! Why? Because he is not a natural pass-catcher and those dump-off passes will go to Chris Thompson. Fournette will be heavily touchdown-reliant on a team that doesn’t score many touchdowns (27 offensive touchdowns in 2019 and only three were rushing touchdowns). Yup, I’m staying away from this 2017 NFL draft bust who got his fifth-year option declined, is on a team that was trying to trade him, got arrested, got suspended for fighting, got benched/disciplined, and won’t get nearly as much work in the pass game.”
– Huseyin Aksu (Fantasy Couch)

“It feels like Leonard Fournette could be primed for a lost season in Jacksonville, as he almost certainly won’t be with the team next year. Plus, they could decide to play some younger guys if it becomes clear that the playoffs are out of reach. Plus, the addition of Chris Thompson may lead to decreased work as a pass-catcher (74 targets in his first two seasons before catching 76 passes last year) and Fournette will notably face the Ravens and Bears in December for those already looking ahead to the fantasy playoffs. Overall, I’d have a difficult time drafting him as anything more than a risky, low-end RB2.”
– Dylan Chappine (Wolf Sports)

Todd Gurley (LAR) 
“Gurley was a major disappointment for the Los Angeles Rams last year, finishing the 2019 season with just 857 yards rushing, 3.8 yards per carry, 207 yards receiving, 6.7 yards per reception, and no play that gained more than 25 yards from scrimmage. The only thing that salved his season was 14 touchdowns. When the Rams released him, he was only able to sign a one-year deal with Atlanta, despite being All-Pro First Team in both 2017 and 2018. I think his knee is in horrible shape and it will prevent him from playing 16 games or having any explosion. He is still being valued as an RB2 and a player worthy of a fourth-round pick, which is going to be a major disappointment to fantasy owners when his knee does not allow him to generate that type of production.”
– Derek Lofland (FantasyPros)

“Looks like the arthritic knee has taken its toll with Todd Gurley. Once he wasn’t running behind a top-tier offensive line, his rushing production dropped nearly 400 yards. He still ran the fourth-most routes at the running back position and yet saw his target totals plummet. He might be healthy enough to pass a physical, but the Rams know his body can no longer sustain a workhorse back load.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Austin Ekeler (LAC)
“This isn’t the first time I have talked about Ekeler as a bust candidate. While he is not going to be a bust to the point where we will regret having him on our team, we may regret using a second-round pick on him. Even though Ekeler will see most of the pass-catching work, believing he is going to be given, and handle, a featured role would be a mistake. Regression is expected when it comes to his touchdowns, targets, and reception outputs from a year ago. Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert are not going to be checking down and looking for Ekeler as much as Rivers did. Aside from the Chargers being more run-oriented this season, athletic quarterbacks such as Taylor and Herbert tend to use their legs as a way out of pressure. Rivers did not have that ability and Ekeler was a major reason (555 YAC on receptions behind the line of scrimmage) why Rivers led the league in passing yards under pressure last season. Of Ekeler’s 108 targets, 97 of them were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and 44 were behind the line. The volume just will not be the same and with a decrease in targets and touchdowns comes a decrease in production.”
– Rich Piazza (Fantasy Shed)

“You have to like Austin Ekeler’s receiving upside, but as a rusher, there are serious questions. OC Shane Steichen has hinted at a committee involving Justin Jackson and rookie Joshua Kelley. Ekeler is just 5’10” and 200 pounds. Plus, he reached 10 rush attempts only once in 12 games alongside Melvin Gordon last year. While Gordon’s gone, I expect Ekeler’s rushing role to remain limited on an offense that won’t repeat its top-10 finish in total yards (at least not with Tyrod Taylor and/or Justin Herbert at quarterback).”
– Kevin English (Draft Sharks)

Kenyan Drake (ARI) 
“Since 2010, 45 teams had a quarterback with at least 65 rushing attempts. None of those teams supported both a top-10 fantasy wide receiver and running back. This is exactly why we should have concerns about the prices of both Kenyan Drake and DeAndre Hopkins at their current ADPs considering Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray had 93 rushing attempts in 2019 and will likely reach at least 65 rushing attempts in 2020. Drake was extremely touchdown dependent once he landed in the desert, scoring eight touchdowns in as many weeks, averaging 19.55 fantasy points per game from Weeks 9-17. That touchdown pace will be tough to repeat with the addition of Hopkins, as the average total rushing touchdowns scored by the lead running back in an offense that featured the former Texans’ wide receiver is just under six touchdowns – the high was only eight (in a full season).”
– Andrew Erickson (Pro Football Focus)

Nick Chubb (CLE) 
“When Kareem Hunt returned from suspension in Week 10 last season, his timeshare with Chubb basically developed into a 50/50 split. Chubb didn’t see his usual 20+ rushing attempts after Week 12 and he had one or zero catches in four of those final five games. A new coaching staff in Cleveland adds uncertainty to this backfield situation, so it’s unclear if that will be a positive or negative for Chubb. If he’s not involved in the passing game, I see Nick Chubb as more of an RB2 at best rather than his first-round price tag (especially in PPR formats).”
– Bart Wheeler (Hail to Fantasy Football)

Josh Jacobs (LV) 
“My decision has nothing to do with talent, but with the overall situation around Jacobs. He proved to be quite a stud runner on the ground, but his lack of usage in passing situations (26 targets and RB49 in routes run in 2019) prevents me from considering him as a top-12 running back. It’s a risky option to be selected in the first round (as evidenced by FantasyPros Consensus ADP right now). The team’s coaches have stated they intend to get him more involved and keep him on the field on third downs and passing plays, but the facts speak louder than words. They kept Jalen Richard on the roster and selected Lynn Bowden in the draft. He is a solid option in the second round of drafts. Just avoid him as your first pick. You could regret it.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Wide Receivers

A.J. Brown (TEN) 
“I don’t believe in David Johnson at all at this point, but he’s going later in ADP than Brown, so I’ll have to lean toward the receiver. He racked up 20.2 yards per catch and scored on 15.4% of his receptions last season. He checked in at 20th in PPR and eighth in non-PPR despite ranking just 46th among wide receivers in targets. The target share should come up, but his offense lowers that ceiling versus other wide receivers going in the same range. Even a WR24 finish doesn’t seem terrible after you draft him as, say, WR16, but you’ll likely have had to take him over players such as Robert Woods, Adam Thielen, Tyler Lockett, and Calvin Ridley — all of whom I’ll easily take ahead of Brown.”
– Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

“Don’t get me wrong, A.J Brown is a talented wide receiver, but I’m avoiding him in all my drafts unless he falls about one round past his current ADP of WR15 in half-PPR. Brown was incredibly efficient with the limited targets he received last year. In fact, Brown’s 84 targets were good for 46th among wide receivers, while he finished as the WR15 in half-PPR. The Titans aren’t transforming to a 550-pass attempt team any time soon, so expecting a large enough increase in his targets to avoid regression is simply unreasonable. Brown is due to regress this season, but he should still be a viable low-end WR2 with extreme volatility that could win you your matchup, or lose it.”
– Justin Dodds (Locked In Football)

Amari Cooper (DAL) 
“The biggest fantasy bust will be Cooper. Currently, he ranks as the WR11 after finishing the 2019 season as the WR10 in PPR, setting career-highs in yards (1,189) and touchdowns (eight) on a team-high 119 targets. However, his ADP is too steep to pay for a boom-bust player. His extreme inconsistency will win you weeks with one of his four 100-yard games, but he will also lose you weeks because of seven games with fewer than 50 yards. He averaged only 40 yards per game in road games and his unpredictability should surge in 2020. With super-talented rookie CeeDee Lamb joining the surging Michael Gallup in the Cowboys’ wide receiver group, Cooper will be hard-pressed to duplicate his target share from last season. The wide receiver depth and the other elite Cowboys weapons will ultimately lead to a massive drop in Cooper’s fantasy production. Why chose him at the beginning of the third round when you can get similar, if not better, numbers with Gallup three rounds later?”
– Dennis Sosic (Fantasy Six Pack)

Stefon Diggs (BUF) 
“Diggs leaves a Minnesota offense where he saw an ADOT (Average Depth of Target) of 15.1 yards in 2019. He saw this ADOT from Kirk Cousins, who completed nearly 43% of his deep ball passes combined over the previous two seasons! In fact, Cousins completed nearly 70% of his passes last season, finishing top five in completion percentage for two seasons in a row! Diggs moves to a Josh Allen-led offense that has struggled mightily with accuracy since Allen has entered the NFL. In fact, Allen completed just 32% of his deep ball passes last season! Despite finishing as the QB6 in 2019 (a major benefactor of his ground game), he finished as the third-worst in completion percentage (59%) and 23rd in passing yards while throwing just 20 touchdowns. Lastly, the Bills face the NFL’s toughest pass schedule for 2020. This includes PIT, @DEN, and @NE for the fantasy football playoffs. The combination of Diggs transitioning into an offense with an inaccurate quarterback during an offseason with shortened reps will make 2020 a difficult year for him at his current ADP.”
– Tozzi Brothers (Legion Report)

DeAndre Hopkins (ARI)
“There are so many reasons to expect a dip in production from Hopkins in 2020 — take your pick. He will almost certainly be looking at a lower target share, he’ll catch passes from a less accurate quarterback with whom he has less familiarity, and he’ll be forced to run more routes from the perimeter — where he has been significantly less efficient throughout his career. Over the past two seasons, Hopkins’ 2.5 yards per route run when operating from the slot has dropped to 2.16 on perimeter routes. With wide receiver being as loaded as it is this season, it makes no sense to invest an early pick in someone with as many red flags as Hopkins. Take the name out of the equation — don’t waste a top-30 pick on Hopkins.”
– Jacob Gibbs (SportsLine)

JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) 
“Thanks to a myriad of injuries, both his own and to his team’s quarterbacks, Smith-Schuster saw his production torpedo in 2019. His receptions and receiving yards dropped from 111 catches for 1,426 yards in 2018 to 42 for 559 yards in 12 games last season. With Ben Roethlisberger back from a potentially career-ending elbow injury, Smith-Schuster is being drafted in the early rounds with the expectation of him bouncing back to WR1 status. I have my doubts as the emergence of Diontae Johnson, continued development of James Washington, and the additions of Eric Ebron and massive rookie receiver Chase Claypool may make it difficult for Smith-Schuster to get close to the 166 targets he saw in 2018. Combine the target competition with 38-year-old Roethlisberger’s uncertainty to be back to 100% after such a devastating injury and I will be avoiding Smith-Schuster at his ADP.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen (BUF)
“I get the appeal when it comes to Allen, as he has 17 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons. But his passing numbers (56.3 percent completion rate, 78.2 passer rating in the same span) haven’t been that great and I’m not convinced trading for Stefon Diggs is the cure. However, it really comes down to the fact that Allen may not even get as many chances to run the ball since Buffalo drafted Zack Moss. There are simply too many other more established quarterbacks in Allen’s range that I would rather trust.”
– Mark Ross (Athlon Sports)

“I am confident that Josh Allen will underperform relative to his average draft position (ADP) of 68.5. He’s being drafted in the seventh round, ahead of other quarterbacks such as Drew Brees and Carson Wentz. In 2019, Allen finished last (32nd) in completion percentage at 58.8%. The addition of Stefon Diggs should help, but it’s not enough to justify being the seventh overall quarterback being drafted in fantasy football leagues. His nine rushing touchdowns in 2019 scream serious regression in 2020.”
– Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire)

Deshaun Watson (HOU) 
“Watson will be a popular draft day reach because he’s been generally successful and he’s extremely talented, but there is just too much going against him this season. Watson only had three games of at least 300 passing yards last season and he had seven games with one passing touchdown or fewer. He lost arguably the most skilled receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins, who was replaced with Brandin Cooks, which is a clear downgrade. Watson has had his share of injury issues himself and now he has oft-concussed Brandin Cooks and potentially the most injury-prone player in the NFL in Will Fuller as his two primary weapons. If the Texans are a victim of the injury bug — which they tend to be — the potentially high-powered Texans offense could be reduced to a slew of backups and under-performers, which clearly caps Watson’s upside.”
– Donald Gibson (FantasyPros)

Dak Prescott (DAL) 
“Prescott played at a higher level in 2019, topping 4,900 passing yards. Only 21 times have quarterbacks since the merger achieved this milestone. Prescott has unquestionably grown well into his role, but to project another 4,000+-yard season when his norms are well below that makes his consensus QB3 ranking somewhat dubious. I would draft Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, or Kyler Murray ahead of him.”
– Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee (LAR)
“I listed both Nick Chubb and Calvin Ridley as players who I think will be busts at their respective positions. However, I do not expect either one to be worthless. I happen to believe they will underperform based on their draft price, but they will be solid fantasy players. Higbee, on the other hand, will be a complete bust in my eyes. He broke out in a big way down the stretch of the 2019 season. He had more receptions and receiving yards over his last five games than he had in any previous season. That has led many to believe that he has finally tapped into his potential. I do not see it that way at all. Higbee’s breakout was the perfect storm of opportunity and exploitable matchups. During his prolific five-game stretch, four of the games were against opponents who struggled to limit the production of opposing tight ends. His productivity also coincided with Gerald Everett’s missing time due to injury. Before Week 13, Everett was the overall TE12 in PPR formats, while Higbee languished outside the top 30. Fantasy managers are now drafting Higbee in the seventh round ahead of many players who offer considerably more upside. I see no value in Higbee at his cost. It would not even surprise me to see Everett outperform him outright.”
– Mick Ciallela (Fantrax)

Tyler Higbee finished the season with a huge push, recording 48 of his 89 targets in the final four games of the season. He logged 71% of his season receiving yardage total in the final five weeks. So go big in ’20? No, Gerald Everett returns to cut into the workload as he did early in ’19.”
– Mike Harmon (Swollen Dome)

“Prior to Tyler Higbee’s insane final five-week stretch, he was playing fewer snaps, ran fewer routes, and saw fewer targets. Everett was the Rams’ preferred pass-catching tight end and drafters taking Higbee aren’t factoring in that prior to 2019’s explosion, he only passed 50 yards twice in 58 career games. I’m willing to pass on a smaller sample size for other high upside tight ends who I can get two-to-five rounds later.”
– Matthew Betz (BallBlast)

Darren Waller (LV) 
“Waller will be one of the biggest fantasy busts at his fifth-round, fifth tight end off the board price. Waller enjoyed a rather large team market share in targets (24%) and in team yards (28%), neither of which is likely repeatable with the offseason additions. Carr will be looking Henry Ruggs‘ way early and often, Renfrow showed some real promise late in the season, and our dad-runner, Jason Witten, didn’t sign with the Raiders to ride the bench. While I still think Waller is athletic and skilled enough to finish in the top 12, his opportunity in this Raiders’ offense is going to take a hit — drafting him at TE5 is drafting him at his ceiling. Hard pass.”
– Tyler Orginski (Fantasy Hot Read)

“The Raiders had a historically bad season at the receiver position last year with just one receiver on the entire roster with more than 70 targets and their leading receiver having only 651 yards. There were just two receivers total that had more than 400 receiving yards. That should change this year as the Raiders revamped their receiving corps, taking three players in the draft. This means Darren Waller could see fewer targets in the passing game and get less work overall.”
– Jeff Paur (RTSports)

Hunter Henry (LAC) 
“Henry has talent and is still just 25 years old. Despite missing four games last year with a knee injury, he still managed to set career highs in catches (55) and receiving yards (652). Durability remains a concern, as he’s missed nearly as many games (22) as he’s played (26) over the last three seasons. The bigger concern, though, is the fact Phillip Rivers is no longer throwing him the football. There are tight ends I like just as much or more going off the board a round or two later.”
– Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)

Evan Engram (NYG) 
“The problems with Engram go way beyond the injury concerns. Not only is he recovering from Lisfranc surgery, but now has to learn a new offense with limited action in training camp as Jason Garrett takes over the offensive coordinator role. A trio of wide receivers in Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and one of the best backs in the NFL at catching passes out of the backfield in Saquon Barkley will all see a significant target share, leaving Engram to fight off his own teammates for Daniel Jones‘ attention. With just six touchdowns in his last 19 games, Engram’s struggles in the red zone seem to be a consistent issue. His 33% catch percentage inside the 20 last year pales in comparison to Hunter Henry, Jason Witten, and Irv Smith Jr.’s 70% catch rate in the red zone. There’s just too much working against Engram to draft him as a top-six tight end and justify his ADP of 77th overall.”
– Bill Enright (Sports Illustrated)


Thank you to all the experts for naming their consensus busts. You can view each expert’s picks above 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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