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Running Back Busts: James Cook, Josh Jacobs, De’Von Achane (Fantasy Football)

It’s never too early to start talking about fantasy football busts. Finding out which players may heavily underperform expectations takes far more than just comparing their final ranking last year with their current ADP or consensus rank. That’s because injuries and changes to a player’s role or situation can have huge impacts on every player’s season-long output or final ranking. Injury-prone players or athletes who start the season hurt are always a massive risk, especially in the early rounds. Plus, changes like the loss of a reliable quarterback or the potential for a younger player to steal a veteran’s job are risks to account for when evaluating every skill player across the football landscape. Inconsistent, boom-or-bust athletes who produced the majority of their fantasy points in a few games are another trap that ensnares plenty of fantasy managers each year.

Our featured pundits know exactly what to look for when identifying potential busts. So to help you begin your research, they’ve each listed an RB and WR they think have the biggest odds of falling short of expectations. Read on below to see why our featured analysts might be shying away from James Cook, Josh Jacobs, and De’Vone Achane.

Looking for more fantasy football busts to avoid in your drafts? Check out the 18 Early Fantasy Football Busts to Avoid article, with all of the breakdowns from our featured experts!

Early Fantasy Football RB Busts

What RB in our consensus top 24 should fantasy managers fear the most as a bust candidate?

James Cook (RB – BUF )

“James Cook is really talented, but the situation he’s in is less than ideal. Despite his talent, Cook is undersized at 190 lbs. He loses too many TDs to Josh Allen near the goal line. In nineteen games last season (regular season and playoffs), Cook rushed for a paltry two TDs. In addition, Allen’s athleticism hurts Cook’s reception potential since Allen is elusive enough to escape on his own when under duress. With a current ranking at RB 14, drafters will get burned if they draft Cook at his 2024 price tag.”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Josh Jacobs (RB – GB )

“Josh Jacobs is quickly shifting from an inspiring fantasy name in a new offense, to one I am terrified to draft. Although Green Bay is an exciting team, out of the backs with 200+ rushes last year, Jacobs had the second-fewest yards (only ahead of Javonte Williams). Inefficient runners in Green Bay have had a role, with A.J. Dillon having 178 carries last season, creating a path for Jacobs to have a solid floor. However, the role that is more valuable for fantasy is the role vacated by Aaron Jones. Jacobs will take on some of the vacated work, but the Packers drafted MarShawn Lloyd in the third round who (I believe) has a similar skill set to Jones. Plus, we recently found out Jacobs is already dealing with a hamstring injury. Jacobs will likely have a solid fantasy season. However, having him ranked inside the ECR top 10 backs ahead of names like Isiah Pacheco and De’Von Achane is too rich for my liking. ”
Ellis Johnson (RotoBaller)

“Call me a hater, but there’s no way I can endorse Josh Jacobs as the RB10. The volume he endured in 2022 stole his tackle-breaking juice in 2023, and I don’t know if it ever returns. Last season, Jacobs had the 12th-highest stuff rate while also crawling in at 37th in missed tackles forced per attempt and 44th in yards after contact per attempt (per Fantasy Points Data). With my man crush, MarShawn Lloyd, breathing down Jacobs’ neck all year, Jacobs could cede more volume to the talented rookie than many are projecting. He has to own this backfield to pay off on his current ranking. ”
Derek Brown (FantasyPros)

De’Von Achane (RB – MIA )

“The biggest bust candidate has to be De’Von Achane. There is no denying how explosive Achane is, but Raheem Mostert is still the lead back, Jeff Wilson is still there, and they drafted speedy Chris Brooks. Achane is also a smaller back that missed time due to injury last season. While I love the talent and potential, there is plenty of risk in drafting Achane as your RB1.”
Steve Anagnos (Double G Sports)

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