Fantasy football is a game of chances and probabilities. On Sundays, you start the players who are most likely to score more points than those who are less likely. You drop players who have no chance of scoring any decent amount of points to make room for players who have higher chances of scoring points and on and on – you get the gist.
Last week I wrote an article about players who are likely to outperform their ADP in 2018 players who are likely to outperform their ADP in 2018, more popularly known as “values” or “sleepers”. This week, I’ll be going over five players who are likely to fall short of their ADP, more commonly called “busts”. I’m going to try to stay away from that word because the connotation is that a player will not perform in any satisfactory way, as opposed to just being a victim of high expectations.
Disclaimer: Each one of these players has a chance to finish at or above their ADP, it’s just more likely that they won’t!
Derrick Henry – ADP: 3.02 – RB #17
With DeMarco Murray’s departure, it’s easy to think that Derrick Henry has the Titans’ backfield to himself. It’s also easy to forget that the Titans signed former-Patriot Dion Lewis to a four-year, $20 million contract. If Henry became the workhorse, he would be a great fantasy asset. Reports out of Tennessee, however, say that Henry and Lewis will share carries and be a “one-two punch”. Henry is a very talented back, but he hasn’t been used to catch out of the backfield, getting only 32 targets in the last two seasons compared to Murray’s 114.
T.Y. Hilton – ADP: 3.10 – WR #13
In 2017, the Andrew Luck-less T.Y. Hilton caught 57 passes for 966 yards and four touchdowns. He caught less than 1,000 yards for the first time since 2012, his rookie season, and also caught the least number of touchdowns in his career. It was a down year for Hilton, but he still finished as WR #24 in standard scoring – a low-end WR2. When Hilton has Andrew Luck passing to him, he puts up 1,000-yard seasons and gets over 130 targets – both things he didn’t do last season without Luck.
My point is: if Hilton gets Luck back, WR #13 is no mountain to climb. However, as of right now Luck hasn’t been cleared and the complications of his injury are making it hard for me to believe Hilton is worth my third-round pick. If Luck comes back sometime between when this is released and end of the draft season, a late-third-round pick is just fine, but it’s not looking great.
Deshaun Watson – ADP: 4.01 – QB #2
Deshaun Watson’s rookie campaign was cut short because of an ACL injury. In mock drafts, Watson is going off the board as the second-overall quarterback. His injury happened in Houston’s seventh game, in late October. He has had more time to recover than other players who were injured later in the season (e.g., Carson Wentz). Watson threw a touchdown on 9.3% of passes last season in addition to throwing more than three touchdowns in each of his last four games (including the game against Kansas City where he threw five touchdowns). He was on pace for over 3,800 yards and 43 touchdowns, an unbelievable season.
That’s just it, though: unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong, Deshaun Watson was a monster in 2017 and I would love to have him as my quarterback on all of my teams this season. In my way-too-early quarterback rankings, he was my No. 4. But, based on his ADP, if he finished as the fourth-best quarterback in fantasy this season, he will have busted. He is going off the board as the No. 2 quarterback half a round behind Aaron Rodgers and way before Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Drew Brees – seasoned veterans who have proved themselves in fantasy football. Again, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be surprised if Watson finished above all the quarterbacks I just listed, I just won’t predict for it to happen.
Mark Ingram – ADP: 4.09 – RB #24
Mark Ingram has been suspended for the first four games of 2018. He is still being drafted as a RB2 and in the back of the fourth round. I think it’s easy to forget the Saints’ Week 6 bye, which means Ingram will miss Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 6 and owners will only get one game out of him by Week 7.
To figure out what 2018 could look like without Weeks 1-4, I looked at his 2017 numbers without the last four weeks (because they are more like what he would get at the beginning of this season):
- Week 14 @ Falcons – 12 rushes, 49 yards, 0 TDs
- Week 15 vs Jets – 12 rushes, 74 yards, 2 TDs
- Week 16 vs Falcons – 13 rushes, 44 yards, 1 TDs
- Week 17 @ Buccaneers – 13 rushes, 33 yards, 0 TDs
Without those four games, his 2017 stat line (230 rushes, 1,1124 yards, 12 TDs) becomes: 180 rushes, 922 yards, 9 TDs. It’s still impressive, but if you take him as your fourth pick you must understand that you’re holding him for the second half of the season. He can certainly be a RB2, he hasn’t finished outside of the top-12 since 2013 when he was RB #23, but the suspension and early bye don’t bode well for his overall fantasy value.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference