Every fantasy expert out there seems to be saying the same thing at this time of year. It’s easy to make confident predictions and sing along with the chorus in August.
But as you pore over their advice, just remember that every expert gets things wrong. Sometimes in a big way. Even the legendary Matthew Berry last year told us to avoid Derrick Henry and Russell Wilson.
At this time in 2019, many pundits were saying you should be betting big on Le’Veon Bell or Odell Beckham. Of course, neither player was terrible -- stars rarely put up miserable numbers, unless they’re injured -- but both were unquestionably overrated. They’d be good picks if you got them for cheap, but you probably didn’t.
This doesn’t only apply to the stars. Sometimes lesser-known guys become offseason heroes and get drafted too high, failing to live up to expectations when the games are played.
So, who will be the NFL’s fantasy busts this year? Below are seven players who will probably be drafted too high in your league -- avoid them to maximize your chance of bringing home the title.
Carr had a good 2019 season, obtaining the first triple-digit QBR of his career and eclipsing 4,000 passing yards for the second time. He’s never been a great fantasy QB, though, because he lacks TD pop. Last year he had 21, good for No. 19 in the league.
At his best, he’s a league-average fantasy QB. But we aren’t sure we’ll get his best this season. The Raiders did add three WRs in the draft this offseason, but they also showed they aren’t sold on Carr, as Mike Mayock & Co. signed Marcus Mariota as his backup. Mariota will be a looming threat to take the QB1 job this season.
Diggs enters a new situation this season, joining the up-and-coming Buffalo Bills. Though the Bills are a legit threat in the AFC East, Diggs will be in a tough fantasy position. Buffalo OC Brian Daboll favors a run-heavy attack, and second-year back Devin Singletary will be a focal point of the offense.
When they do throw the ball, expect Josh Allen to spread it around. Allen likes taking advantage of all his weapons, and he already has chemistry with John Brown and Cole Beasley. Additionally, Allen siphons fantasy points from other offensive fantasy options because of his proclivity for using his legs. Diggs should do well, but he’s not the top-10 WR some rankings are making him out to be.
The second-round pick out of Georgia enters Lions camp in a battle with Kerryon Johnson. There are three issues here: (1) Johnson is good; (2) Swift hasn’t had a normal offseason to adapt to the NFL; and (3) the Lions have historically had poor fantasy backs.
No Lions RB has eclipsed 1,000 yards since 2013. Further, Detroit looks poised to struggle again in 2020, and they’ll likely be playing from behind -- not an ideal situation for a back. Swift has tons of talent, but given his situation, you shouldn’t count on him as an RB1.
Like Swift, Taylor is a rookie with real potential to make an impact in the league -- but you should avoid him for fantasy purposes this season. Indy has eyes on a real playoff run, as evidenced by the Colts’ addition of Philip Rivers, and there’s little reason to believe Frank Reich & Co. will live on a steady diet of Taylor.
Instead, expect the rookie to see the field as part of a running-back-by-committee attack. He’ll split early downs with Marlon Mack, and Nyheim Hines will be the third-down back. Unless Mack gets injured, it’s hard to see Taylor playing a substantial role in fantasy leagues. We recommend avoiding him altogether in your draft.
Ah, O.J. Howard. We all just want you to be great. We’ve been waiting on the former Alabama star to break out since he entered the NFL in 2017, and it hasn’t happened yet. So much talent!
So, is this his year? We don’t see it. Though Tom Brady is clearly a more reliable QB than Jameis Winston, TB12 will have an array of options, including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, and Rob Gronkowski. Howard simply isn’t in the right position to garner a TE1 pick. He also hasn’t shown he can stay healthy for a full season.
The noise in New England is reaching a crescendo -- this is a make-or-break season for Michel. He averaged only 3.7 YPC and scored only seven times last season, despite being billed as an emerging star. The 2018 first-round pick from Georgia seemed to finally be the featured back we craved on the Patriots...but now his status is shaky.
He’ll begin this season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Meanwhile, James White is in the mix -- as always -- and second-year back Damien Harris from Alabama will get touches, too, and even has a chance to claim the RB1 role. The return of crucial center David Andrews will be beneficial, but you should only go for Michel if you can get him at a bargain price. The big name will likely lure someone into surrendering too much capital for him.
OK, let’s get clear on this: Jackson is the MVP and has a good shot to win it again (the competition with Patrick Mahomes, among others, will be fun to watch). But someone in your league is likely to reach on Jackson.
Jackson’s average draft position is currently in the first round. Let’s say that again: the first round!
Drafting a QB too early is a cardinal fantasy sin, and you’ve got to know Jackson is due for some type of regression. He could still be amazing...but he’ll all but certainly regress.
No signal-caller has repeated as the top fantasy QB since Drew Brees in 2011-12. Get Jackson if you can snag him late in the second or early in the third round, but do not spend a first-rounder on him.