Every fantasy football sleepers article must be accompanied by a fantasy football busts article. It’s written in the fantasy football writer’s association handbook and not abiding by the “most absolute law” would involve your fantasy football writing privileges to be revoked.
I didn’t want such a thing happen to me, even if it is something I just made up, so I’ve gone ahead and typed up a few words on who I think are potential candidates to be 2012 fantasy football busts. If you’re looking for my article on 2012 fantasy football sleepers you just have to click this link and you’ll be taken there.
I want to once again mention a brief caveat before you see who my bust picks are and that is that a bust in fantasy football is only relative to the position in the draft they are picked. Last year many fantasy experts were touting Mike Vick as a candidate to be drafted number overall in fantasy drafts and if you had asked me last year I would have said that would have been a bust pick. Side note, Vick did get drafted #1 overall in my 2-QB league and that didn’t end so well for the owner last season.
Vick ended last year passing for over 3,300 yards, throwing 18 touchdowns, and rushing for almost 600 yards while also adding a rushing touchdown. Not the worse numbers in the world but for a guy that had an average draft position (ADP) of 9.76 in 2011, and who was on average drafted behind only Aaron Rodgers at the QB position, those were some brutal numbers. *Any ADP data I cite in this article is derived from the amazing fantasy website MyFantasyLeague.com and their ADP Analysis tool. Check it out if you’re looking for an edge during your upcoming drafts.*
To compare, Tim Tebow had a total of 18 touchdowns of his own, passing and rushing last year, yet his 2011 ADP was 169.36.
Vick was being drafted as a top ten player last season yet he came nowhere near producing at a top ten player level. Last year I would have labeled him a bust but this year his current ADP is 41.64 and he’s the 6th drafted QB in most drafts. In a standard 12-team fantasy draft that’s 4th round territory and for a guy that has all the potential in the world to be the #1 overall fantasy player that’s some decent value to be had, if you’re risky enough to draft him (I am not).
It just goes to show you how one year you can be touted as being potentially the best all around fantasy points producer, yet some people as myself would call you a bust. Go figure. The terms bust or sleeper only matter to those using the words when talking about certain players and I want you to know that even if I consider the players on my list to be busts that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to have horrible seasons. It just means that I don’t think they’re going to have the type of season many have projected them to have and there are way better options to draft at each position. Of course everybody on this list could have career years and I’ll just add them to my sleepers article for next season.
Peyton Manning. Manning’s ADP sees him roughly being taken in the mid 6th round of drafts and even though he’s the 12th QB taken off the board I still think that’s too high. Guys being drafted behind him that I would rather have include RG3, Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
If that makes me crazy then so be it. Peyton will more than likely come back and play at an almost high level but the elite Manning we were used to watching before his season ending injury of last season is no more. We can no longer relay on astronomical fantasy seasons from Manning, yet many people drafting him cling to the hope that Manning will be back to his old self. Don’t believe it and draft somebody with more upside like Luck instead.
Mark Sanchez. No matter how you slice it Sanchez is in line for a brutal season. Did you see how bad his O-Line blocked for him during their pre-season game against the Giants? If Wayne Hunter starts the regular season blocking for Sanchez it won’t be long until we see Tim Tebow taking the reigns. It doesn’t matter how low Sanchez’s ADP is, the only starting QB he’s not being drafted before is Matt Cassel, everything is pointing to a disastrous year for him. He doesn’t have many weapons to throw to, his O-Line stinks and Tebow is waiting to be unleashed by Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano. Sanchez just doesn’t have it and if you draft him as anything more than a QB3 you’re screwed.
Michael Turner. The Falcons are going to be all about the pass this year and Turner, who has had a heavy workload during his Falcons career, will be the odd man out. His productions waned at the end of last year and with speedster Jacquizz Rodgers ready to burn the Burner’s days may be numbered.
Frank Gore. Gore is also a runner that produces the best when given a high volume of touches but there are just too many mouths to feed in the 49ners run game this season. Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, and Brandon Jacobs (unless his not-that-serious-very serious-looking injury does indeed prove to be serious) should all factor into the running plans of the 49ners this season. Plus they took a wideout in the first round in A.J. Jenkins and added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham so the passing game should also have more of a presence for San Fran this year.
Shonn Greene. Here is a guy that was being heavily touted as a trendy sleeper pick every year but just could never produce. The Jets have tailored their offense to be a ground and pound running team but other than Tebow they just don’t have the right weapons to play a smash mouth running style of football. Greene is a big back but he just lacks the sizzle needed to be considered a standout running back in this league. Look at this number: 546 carries for only 10 rushing touchdowns. That’s not a good ratio and one that probably won’t change this upcoming season. His ADP is 70.47 but pass on him to take other backs later on in the draft like Ryan Williams, Donald Brown, Kevin Smith, or Stevan Ridley. I highly doubt that Greene will finish the season as a Top 30 RB.
Sidney Rice. He just can’t seem to stay healthy and having suffered three concussions in the span of 12 months there’s no telling when he’ll get back on the field. With the Seahawks brining in both T.O. and Braylon Edwards plus the emergence of Doug Baldwin there may not be any room for Rice in the Seahawks passing attack. There are much better values later on in the draft than Rice’s 117.91 ADP such as Kendall Wright, Lance Moore, Brian Quick, Randall Cobb, Jon Baldwin and Brandon LaFell.
Miles Austin. Miles Austin is being drafted as a top 20 WR but he’s not going to finish the season as a top 20 WR. At least he’s being drafted later than Dez Bryant in drafts so fantasy players are wise as to which WR in Dallas to own is. He’s already missed pre-season action this season due to hamstring issues and his game is all about the deep ball. If his speed isn’t there he’s not going to be able to dominate like he once did. He’s only had 100-yard receiving games twice since November of 2010 and there is just no way to rely on Austin to carry your WR group this year. Go with Bryant if you have to take a Cowboys WR.
Fred Davis. The tight end position is actually fairly deep this year but I just don’t see Davis having much of an impact. Through watching Redskins pre-season play RG3 is locked on Pierre Garcon as his go to guy and RG3’s skills are more suited to a downfield passing game plan, which means fewer dinks and dunks to the tight end. The Redskins will also need Davis to be more of a blocking tight end because of their porous O-Line and when you add that all up it spells bust for Davis, who is on average the ninth tight end off the board. Kyle Rudolph with a much lower ADP would be a wiser move if you don’t get one of the two top tight ends in Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.
Steelers. They’re old, slow and ravaged with injuries. In a league where speed kills you’re going to want to stay away from the Steelers, who on average, are the fourth drafted defense. You would be best served to let others reach for the Steelers and take another team defense later on like the Texans, Giants or Seahawks.
A kicker is a kicker is a kicker in fantasy football. They’re all busts, sleepers, value picks, overvalued and undervalued.
Other players on the verge of being busts in the world of fantasy football for 2012 include Anquan Boldin, LeGarrette Blount, Felix Jones, Laurent Robinson, and Brent Celek.
Let me have it in the comments sections in regards to what you think about my picks for 2012 fantasy football busts.