Every team will have a player that fails to meet their fantasy potential. Whether it’s sky-high expectations or an unforeseen decline, below is a complete list of players that have bust potential on every team along with their current FantasyPros Draft Rankings.
- More Fantasy Football Advice
- Snake Draft Pick Strategy: Early | Middle | Late
- Best Ball Draft Primers: QB | RB | WR | TE
- 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Fantasy Busts from Every Team
FP Rank: WR33
Coming off his first 1,000-yard season in 2021, Brown was reunited with quarterback Kyler Murray in 2022 to recreate the rapport they developed at Oklahoma where both lit it up and ended up as first-round picks. But that plan, along with the rest of the Cardinals’ season, was a disaster. The team finished 4-13, Murray tore his ACL towards the end of the season and Brown had his worst statistical season since his rookie season.
With Murray out, which he will be for a good chunk of this season, never topped 61 yards receiving and failed to score. Granted, not many Cardinals are worth drafting this year but Brown may be the biggest question mark of all.
FP Rank: RB3
Why is Robinson on this list? It’s not because he’ll be bad or not do well for your fantasy team. Rather, the expectations are sky-high. Currently valued as the third running back before taking an NFL snap, Robinson will undoubtedly be a first-round pick in fantasy drafts. Many will be happy to take the risk but I can’t do it, at least not that early. For every Saquon Barkley – who was drafted very high and delivered – there is a Clyde Edwards-Helaire who didn’t. Bijan is currently the highest-valued Falcon, even more so than Kyle Pitts who we need not remind fantasy players about after last year.
FP Rank: RB15
At times last season, JK Dobbins looked unstoppable upon his return from a knee injury, averaging nearly six yards per carry. At the same time, there was more than one instance where Dobbins looked like he was hobbled by that same injury even as he was running wild. Both things can be true at the same time which is why Dobbins is the biggest bust candidate on the Ravens. Currently valued as a top-15 running back, several fantasy teams will lean on Dobbins to be their lead back. Between the injury and the fact that Baltimore has a new offensive coordinator and system, Dobbins’s ROI is wildly fluid.
FP Rank: TE18
There will be less informed league-mates that will inevitably see Dawson Knox’s stats from last year and wonder why he’s being drafted so low. Two words: Dalton Kincaid. Not only did the Bills use a first-round pick to draft the former Utah Ute but they traded up to do it. And they’re not shy in laying out their plans for Kincaid, including playing him in the slot to act primarily as a receiver. There’s only one ball to go around and Knox doesn’t figure to see nearly the same number of targets as before which makes even his moderately-priced ADP of TE18 seem too high.
FP Rank: RB18
There may not be a lot to be excited about this year in Carolina. After trading up to obtain the first overall pick and drafting quarterback Bryce Young, the Panthers don’t have a lot left to surround Young. They did sign Sanders, fresh off a career year in Philadelphia, to handle early-down duties. But his current ADP looks like he’s still an Eagle and running behind a mean offensive line and hulk of a quarterback in Jalen Hurts.
Instead, Sanders will be behind an improving, but still ascending, offensive line and a shrimp (physically) of a quarterback. The fact is that he will be hard-pressed to match last year’s jacked-up numbers and is a prime candidate to disappoint.
FP Rank: TE12
Cole Kmet needed everything to go right last year to finish where he did, which was a low-end TE1 in fantasy scoring. The Bears were dead-last in pass attempts with just 22-per-game – two less than the next closest team – with Kmet leading the anemic group of pass catchers with 69 targets. Don’t expect a repeat after the Bears not only added DJ Moore via the trade down from the first overall pick but added former Packers tight end Robert Tonyan, himself a former TE1.
FP Rank: WR12
Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are elite options for the Bengals and your fantasy team. But there’s another Bengal that is being drafted right up there. Despite being valued as a low-end WR1, Higgins isn’t even a WR1 on his team nor has he finished as a WR1 in his brief career. He’s been good – not great – averaging a little over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns in each of his three seasons in the league. Higgins certainly profiles as a very good WR2 on your fantasy team but top-12 is asking a lot. For this reason, Higgins, at his price point, profiles as a potential bust.
FP Rank: TE10
For a player that is slated to start for many fantasy teams this season, Njoku tends to disappear. Yes, he topped 600 yards and tied a career-high with four touchdowns but there were also stretches where he barely contributed. Specifically, he failed to top 30 yards in six of the 14 games he played in 2022 with most of those coming after Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson took over.
FP Rank: WR6
Coming off a career year, you would not expect Lamb to be on this list. But if there’s anyone that stands to be affected by the Cowboys’ off-season changes, it’s him. We’ll start with the change in offensive coordinator. Kellen Moore had been calling the plays in Dallas since 2019 which covered Lamb’s entire career. Moore oversaw Lamb’s steady climb to elite status when it comes to fantasy scoring capped by the 2022 season.
Lamb topped 1,300 yards and scored nine times last season. But, for some reason, Head Coach Mike McCarthy made a change to run-happy Brian Schottenheimer while calling the plays himself. McCarthy’s been on record for wanting the run the ball more which isn’t great for Lamb’s fantasy outlook. On a smaller scale, the Cowboys also added receiver Brandin Cooks who topped 1,000 yards as recently as two seasons ago. In short, Lamb has a lot going against him this year.
FP Rank: TE14
There’s no doubt that Dulcich had a great debut season. In just 10 games, he managed 33 receptions for 411 yards and carved out a role among a lot of talented pass catchers. But that was then and this is now. Denver has a new coach in Sean Payton and with him a new system that we haven’t seen deployed yet. Dulcich could be Payton’s new Jimmy Graham…or not. There’s still last year’s tight end darling Albert Okwuegbunam plus the newly acquired Adam Trautman who Payton brought over from New Orleans.
FP Rank: RB26
Before the draft, Montgomery’s ADP would have been very appetizing. Brought in to be the two-down bruiser, if he could have come close to what Jamaal Williams did last year in the Detroit backfield (1,066 yards and 17 touchdowns), Montgomery would have been a value pick. But the Lions weren’t happy with just Montgomery and took running back Jahmyr Gibbs 12th overall. All indications out of the Lions camp are Gibbs is not only going to start right away but could be a three-down back. Needless to say, Montgomery will be hard-pressed to deliver on his RB2/3 ADP.
FP Rank: RB21
If not for an ankle injury to close out the season, Pierce would have topped 1,000 rushing yards his rookie season. Not bad for a fourth-round rookie who came out of nowhere in the off-season to lead the Houston backfield. But despite being a bright spot for Houston, the team finished near the bottom of the standings which led to a new regime. And with that new regime are new coaches (the Texans hired DeMeco Ryans away from San Francisco) and new players (Houston signed former Bills running back Devin Singletary.
For Pierce, both of these developments cut into his fantasy value, especially Singletary. Singletary has always been steady, totaling over 800 rushing yards in each of the last two seasons and averaging over 4.5 yards per carry for his career. Neither Pierce nor Singletary are significantly better than the other which could make the Houston backfield a fantasy landmine.
Green Bay Packers
FP Rank: WR19
It took until midway through the 2022 season for Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson to show why he was taken in the second round but it didn’t disappoint. From Week 10 on, he had three 100-yard receiving games and scored all seven of his touchdowns. He was, literally, a top-10 fantasy receiver in the second half of the season. Of course, it’s a new day in Green Bay with quarterback Aaron Rodgers now in New York and Jordan Love taking the reigns. Early reports suggest fellow second-year receiver Romeo Doubs is Love’s preferred target which would be a big blow to Watson and his current WR2 status.
FP Rank: QB18
For all the hype surrounding Richardson after being drafted fourth overall by the Colts, it’s easy to forget that he has exactly one full season as a starter in college. The recent track record for quarterbacks with that little experience at the collegiate level includes Trey Lance – who hasn’t played enough to know how good he’ll be thanks to injuries – and Mitchell Trubisky who flamed out in Chicago in four seasons after being taken second overall. Richardson might be very good but could also be very bad.
FP Rank: TE9
Coming off his best season since his rookie year, Engram will be a popular choice in fantasy drafts this Summer. But don’t be fooled by the outliers in Engram’s career. For most of his time in the NFL, Engram’s been a middling tight end and will likely be there again in 2023. Jacksonville traded for former All-Pro Calvin Ridley who will undoubtedly take away targets from everyone including Engram. Steer clear of Engram as your starting tight end.
Kansas City Chiefs
FP Rank: WR40
If you’ve done any research on the 2023 fantasy season yet, you’ve heard the glowing reports on Kadarius Toney. The former first-round pick who wound up in Kansas City has a very clear path to a significant role on the most high-powered offense in the NFL.
There’s a very good chance that Toney drafters will be disappointed. Yes, he’s shown isolated flashes of being explosive on the field but those seem to be few and far between. For a career that’s covered two seasons and 19 games, Toney has amassed 55 targets and 591 yards, and two touchdowns (plus a rushing touchdown). There’s been a lot of hype for a player that seemingly hasn’t proved it yet.
Las Vegas Raiders
FP Rank: WR47
Any doubt that Davante Adams wouldn’t be able to produce without Aaron Rodgers was washed away last year after he totaled over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns. We can’t say that yet about Meyers after he was signed away from New England in free agency. To do that, not only will Meyers be relying on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo but he’ll have to stave off Adams in the process. It’s a tall order for a player who’s never finished inside the top 30 in fantasy scoring.
Los Angeles Chargers
FP Rank: WR26
The writing was on the wall for Chargers receivers after LA drafted receiver Quentin Johnston in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. As for which one would draw the short straw, give me the oft-injured Williams who has exactly one top-20 fantasy finish in his career. There’s no doubt Williams can be great but to rely on him as your WR2 is a huge gamble. Sadly, Williams has been more bust to this point than boom.
Los Angeles Rams
FP Rank: WR4
No one will mistake the 2023 Rams for the Super Bowl-winning edition from a few years ago. And while the rest of the Rams’ offense reflects that dip in perception, Kupp’s fantasy value still looks like it did during that championship run. Granted, he totaled 75 receptions for 812 yards through just nine games and looked like a WR1 before losing the rest of the season to an injury. But he’s still a year older and coming off a major injury and will be hard-pressed to repeat a WR1 performance.
FP Rank: QB11
Drafting Tagovailoa is inherently risky this season after suffering multiple concussions in his career to this point. Even so, it’s a huge risk for a player who isn’t throwing for 300 yards per game or throwing 30 touchdowns in a season. Additionally, Miami did nothing to help Tua out in the running game – short of drafting Devon Achane in the third round – which means he’s left throwing up to one of Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle. That plan worked last year but banking on Tua to do it again AND last the entire season? No thanks.
FP Rank: WR39
Missing off-season programs due to an injury during your rookie season is not the way to start your professional career. Especially when you’re expected to take over for a franchise favorite in Adam Thielen. Yet, Addison is being ranked and drafted as a WR3/4 right out of the gate. We know Justin Jefferson will produce and that Kirk Cousins is a fantasy favorite but Addison has proven nothing and has the most bust potential.
New England Patriots
FP Rank: WR82
There’s not a lot to get excited about in New England from a fantasy perspective. The best option, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, is decently valued as a low-end RB1. No Patriot receivers are ranked in the top 40 and no tight ends are in the top 15. The point is no Patriot is a glaring overpay.
Thornton has been getting a lot of attention this off-season and for no particular reason other than the classic ‘looks good in practice.’ Despite the return of Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator, don’t expect New England to start airing it out. Even if they did, they signed free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster to take on the lead role.
New Orleans Saints
FP Rank: RB31
Even if you don’t consider the pending off-field issues that will determine Kamara’s fate, his fantasy production has slowly declined to the point where the Saints look ready to move on. Kamara no longer averages 4.-5 yards-per-carry nor has he topped 500 receiving yards in the last couple of seasons. To stem that, the Saints added Jamaal Williams in free agency and drafted Kendre Miller in the third round of the draft. Kamara is already priced pretty low but the name recognition means someone in your league will draft him higher than he should. Don’t be that person.
New York Giants
FP Rank: QB12
Daniel Jones was a nice story last season. After three disappointing seasons to start his NFL career, the arrival of head coach Brian Daboll turned Jones’ career around and made him a viable starter. His passing stats weren’t spectacular, throwing for just over 3,200 yards and 15 touchdowns. But Jones ran wild to the tune of 708 yards and seven touchdowns.
The latter numbers helped Jones finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback after never finishing in the top 20. 2022 has the makings of a fluke and couple that with the fact that the Giants (currently) have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, and Jones could disappoint a lot of people.
New York Jets
FP Rank: WR9
No player has trended higher this off-season than Wilson. After the Jets landed quarterback Aaron Rodgers, most assumed that Wilson would be Rodgers’ new go-to receiver a la Davante Adams. But it’s as if people forgot that Rodgers single-handedly forced the Jets to bring along other Packers with him including receivers Allan Lazard and Randall Cobb. Wilson is very good and should have a good year but as for the expectations that he’ll be a top-10 fantasy receiver? It has bust potential.
FP Rank: RB25
If the Eagles didn’t spend a lot of draft capital on Swift, why should you? After the Lions took Gibbs, it was only a matter of time before Swift was moved. And granted, the Lions didn’t have a lot of leverage but to still only receive a fourth is troubling. And let’s not forget that Swift isn’t the only new arrival in the Eagles backfield. Philadelphia also signed former Seahawk Rashaad Penny who was coming off consecutive, albeit shortened, seasons of over six yards per carry.
FP Rank: WR37
Long gone are the days of Ben Roethlisberger being the Steeler quarterback and facilitating fantasy studs all around him. We now have former first-round pick Kenny Pickett at quarterback and a bunch of meh around him. Najee Harris is a volume-based running back while George Pickens has shown flashes of being a big play specialist but not much else.
This leaves Johnson, also a volume-based player, who has never averaged more than 11.5 yards-per-reception in his career and, oh by the way, didn’t score a touchdown last year. He’ll struggle to finish as a top-50 receiver again let alone a top-40.
San Francisco 49ers
FP Rank: WR14
We’re more than a year removed from Samuel’s breakout season – when he totaled over 1,700 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns – yet he’s still being viewed as a WR1 on fantasy teams. It’s as if people didn’t see his 2022 season – which he missed a portion of due to injury – and also lost a good chunk of the looks after San Francisco acquired running back Christian McCaffrey.
Samuel and McCaffrey are not the same players but are sometimes used in similar ways which means fewer balls for Samuel. He’s a great player, but this ranking screams bust potential.
FP Rank: RB14
Just when you think you have the Seattle backfield figured out, Pete Carroll and Co. blow it up. Just one season removed from Walker turning in a 1,000-yard season, Seattle takes a running back in the second round – just as they did with Walker – in the form of Zach Charbonnet. There’s already an opportunity for Charbonnet to see passing down duty after Walker flunked that test. But don’t put it past the Seahawks to defer to Charbonnet on early downs too. What a mess.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FP Rank: WR29
To be clear, there aren’t a lot of Buccaneers ranked highly enough to be considered bust-material. Such is the post-Tom Brady era in Tampa Bay. So, we’ll pick the most consistently good Buc, as he’s going to have a hard time staying that way.
Evans has totaled 1,000 yards in each of his nine professional seasons. He’s made Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl, and is destined for the Hall of Fame. But if any year is the year for him to decline, it’s 2023. He’s entering his age-30 season and has the ‘luxury’ of catching passes from either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. Evans should be the first Buc taken in fantasy drafts which means he could be the biggest bust.
FP Rank: RB7
Henry has been defying the odds for four seasons. He’s carried the ball over 300 times in three of the last four seasons and was actually on his way to totaling 400 in 2021 before missing half the season to an injury. But he’s 29 and a full half-yard off his peak yards-per-carry average. The Titans are heading towards a major rebuild already after drafting receiver Treylon Burks last year and quarterback Will Levis this year. Not to mention potential Henry replacement Tyjae Spears with the 81st pick.
FP Rank: WR35
Dotson being on this list isn’t his fault. The Commanders have entrusted the quarterback position to 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell in the hopes that he will somehow improve the offense. And while they did add former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy to the staff, all the talk out of Washington has centered around the running backs and tight ends and very little about the receivers’ room.
Terry McLaurin has the Alpha Dog role on lockdown which leaves very little left over for Dotson. The latter finished outside the top 40 in fantasy scoring last year and should do so again.
@DLF_Moore Michael Moore is a featured writer at FantasyPros, providing unique insights and in-depth analysis.