Fantasy Football 2015: Top Candidates to Bust This Season

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2015

Fantasy Football 2015: Top Candidates to Bust This Season

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    Cordarrelle Patterson was a huge bust in 2014. Who will be this season?
    Cordarrelle Patterson was a huge bust in 2014. Who will be this season?Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Trust me, I know all about busts (should I say that and give advice in the same slideshow?).

    Let me explain my definition of a "bust."

    To me, a bust isn't necessarily a player who does nothing all season (see Patterson, Cordarrelle 2014). While that is technically a bust, it also matters where a player is drafted.

    For instance, if someone were to say that C.J. Anderson will be a bust (he's not in this slideshow, no spoilers here), that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be terrible, but probably that he won't be as good as a top-tier running back like his average draft position suggests.

    All of my ADP references will be from the FantasyPros PPR section.

    Kicking us off at No. 10...

10. Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN

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    Can he stay healthy?
    Can he stay healthy?Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Every season, someone has to be that guy and say, "This is the year for Kyle Rudolph!"

    Well sorry, but it's not.

    Coming out of Notre Dame, Kyle Rudolph had unquestionable talent, but he's never even produced over 550 yards. Additionally, have you seen this guy's injury history? Talk about a "frequent flier" on the injury report!

    Yeah, yeah, he's had mediocre QBs, and Teddy Bridgewater is good, but I have zero faith in drafting him.

    Right now he's going as the TE16, and while that is low for a tight end, some people may over-draft him. If you think this is the year he outperforms that draft position, I'm sorry (not really), but you're fooling yourself.

    The Minnesota Vikings did, however, draft a tight end in MyCole Pruitt, whom I'll be watching like a hawk this season.

    This is once again not the year Kyle Rudolph does anything.

9. Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET

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    Can flair translate in to production?
    Can flair translate in to production?Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Stop the presses: Ameer Abdullah had 67 rushing yards on seven carries in Week 1 of the preseason!

    Yeah, great, but still not good enough to pass Joique Bell as the RB1 in Detroit's backfield.

    I like the guy, don't get me wrong, but RB24 because he had a good preseason Week 1? Come on, fellas.

    For some reason, this is very reminiscent to C.J. Spiller's rookie season. Lots of flair and lots of hype, can run like a mad man and break ankles, but he only did kick-return duties.

    The narrative that he'll take over the Reggie Bush role could very well be true, but I'm not done with Theo Riddick just yet, and while Joique Bell has never run for 100 yards in a game, right now he's still the guy. Could Ameer Abdullah sway the coaches? Absolutely, but let's pump the brakes a bit. I know after a certain point in the RB pool it gets kind of sketchy, but relax on Ameer Abdullah.

8. Sammy Watkins, WR, BUF

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    Kyle Orton is still the best QB he's had.
    Kyle Orton is still the best QB he's had.Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Let's get this straight: I love Sammy Watkins. I think he has elite talent, but he doesn't have reciprocating talent at the quarterback position to help spotlight his talent.

    Matt Cassel. EJ Manuel. Tyrod Taylor.

    Guess what? Kyle Orton is better than all of them. Yup, I said it.

    Last season, we saw a ton of flair from Watkins, and we will again this year. However, I just don't see him lighting up the stat column as much as he should with the toxic trio Buffalo is sporting at quarterback. Get Watkins a quarterback, and it's going to be scary. For right now, in redraft leagues, don't take Watkins as a highly rated wide receiver.

7. Todd Gurley, RB, STL

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    I love Todd Gurley. Just not this season.
    I love Todd Gurley. Just not this season.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Any time you draft a rookie running back, there's an element of risk. Couple that with Todd Gurley blowing his knee out last season with Georgia and potentially missing games, and I have to stay away.

    I think Gurley is going to be a staple in the top tier of running backs during his career, but this season, he's not going to meet his ADP of RB22.

    Is it possible Gurley could miss a few games and still blow the cover off the league? Definitely, but don't draft him as your every week starter.

    Looking at players who are going around his area, it makes sense, but you can't draft this guy and feel confident inserting him into your lineup Week 1.

    If Gurley is there a bit later, grab him as a bench or flex player, but not as a starting RB for your fantasy team.

6. Carlos Hyde, RB, SF

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    He's in the right place at the wrong time.
    He's in the right place at the wrong time.Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Usually when a running back finally gets his shot to start, people get excited. For Carlos Hyde, that isn't the case here.

    He's in a perfect situation as the presumed early down back for the San Francisco 49ers, according to CSN Bay Area. However, he will feel the ramifications of the Niners' offseason departures.

    The 49ers lost some key offensive line components such as Mike Iupati, and also big-time players such as Patrick Willis and Chris Borland.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the 49ers will be trailing in quite a few games this year at some point, and the run game may become underutilized.

    Also, you have to consider the fact that the 49ers signed veteran, pass-catching running back Reggie Bush, drafted Mike Davis and signed rookie free agent Jarryd Hayne, who could all be contributing to this backfield during the season.

    The 49ers are a mess of a team right now, and it's hard to get excited about any of them.

    Proceed with caution.

5. Latavius Murray, RB, OAK

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    As stated in my most recent article, be wary of Latavius Murray.

    As you can see in my previous post, he had a rather underwhelming 2014 season.

    No, Trent Richardson is not a threat, but Roy Helu could be, and he could really hurt Murray's value. However, adding a guy like Rodney Hudson to be the staple of that offensive line will help, and the Oakland Raiders should be a better football team. Those factors help Murray.

    However, Helu could be the Raiders RB with the most fantasy points come season end.

4. Alfred Morris, RB, WAS

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    This goes especially for you guys who are in points per reception leagues, as Alfred Morris isn't exactly the most active pass-catcher.

    With Roy Helu shipped off to anger Latavius Murray owners, you'd probably think Alfred Morris was safe, right?


    Look out for Matt Jones. Realistically, Jones could take a fair amount of carries from Morris, according to the Washington Post. Morris has seen a ton of carries since coming into the league.

    Like the 49ers, the Redskins are a bad team. Morris' stats dipped last year, though he still had a good amount of touchdowns.

    Jones could become a nuisance to Morris' workload, thus resulting in fewer fantasy points.

    If you do draft Alfred Morris, pick up Matt Jones, too.

3. Cam Newton, QB, CAR

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    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    To be honest, I had Kelvin Benjamin here before the news.

    If you haven't heard, Benjamin tore his ACL on Wednesday during an intrasquad practice with the Miami Dolphins, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

    So unfortunately, Benjamin is lost for the season, and Cam Newton takes a huge hit.

    Right now, he's going around QB9. But that will drop after the Benjamin injury update.

    With Benjamin gone, this leaves Newton with Greg Olsen, Jerricho Cotchery and rookie Devin Funchess, who the team drafted in this year's draft. This does not bode well for the Panthers, not only for fantasy purposes, but for their fanbase and their team aspirations.

    Who could the Panthers turn to? The name Reggie Wayne comes to mind, but even then, Newton is in for a tough fantasy season. Expect him to finish around the QB13-15 range.

2. DeMarco Murray, RB, PHI

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    After leaving the Cowboys, Murray's fantasy stock will take a hit.
    After leaving the Cowboys, Murray's fantasy stock will take a hit.Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Tell me if you've heard the narrative of DeMarco Murray being a bust this year. Yeah, 99 percent of you have.

    It's true, though. The Eagles are obviously a fast-paced team, having finished first in plays run per second, according to Football Outsiders. They also run a ton of plays, but Murray has Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles behind him.

    You'll recall that Mathews has been hurt his fair share during his career, but he's had some really stellar seasons, like 2013.

    A solid guess would be a 60/30/10 split among the trio, with Murray obviously heading that.

    Are you comfortable with your RB1 getting only 60 percent of the team's carries? I'm not. He's going in RB1 territory while being taken as the RB9 in points per reception formats, and that's too risky.

    If you draft Murray, expect to have Mathews and Sproles take some of his workload. Don't be surprised if Murray falls out of the top 15 this season.

1. Peyton Manning, QB, DEN

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Here I go taking on the daunting task of convincing you to stay away from the greatness that is Peyton Manning.

    A few things:

    1. He's going as the QB4, which is too high considering the other quarterback options.
    2. Don't take a QB high, ever. Wait and get somewhat similar production from another player, much later.
    3. He lost another potent weapon this offseason in Julius Thomas, who was replaced with Owen Daniels.

    Just let another leaguemate take a quarterback high. Just look at the difference in ADP!

    Right now, Peyton is going as the 28th overall playerTony Romo is going 59th and Ryan Tannehill is going 91st!

    You'll get much better value out of running backs and wide receivers if you wait on a quarterback.

    However, if your league scores six points per quarterback passing touchdown, that changes things.

    Get a top-tier wide receiver with that pick, and take someone like Ryan Tannehill, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo or Peyton's brother, Eli, later.

    Follow me on Twitter @RichardJanvrin.