Busts

We take a look at this year's biggest potential busts.  This takes into account their currently ADP, weekly consistency and the amount of upside and downside.  Don't get caught with a Bust on your team. Updated: Aug. 2/17

Studs | Sleepers | Top 300 Players

Matt Ryan, QB - ATL

Yes, their was the epic Super Bowl collapse that ended Atlanta's season, but the good news is that much of the Falcons roster remains intact for 2017. The bad news is that despite few personnel changes, 2016 offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan is now running the show in San Francisco. Still, Matt Ryan was a formidable fantasy quarterback prior to Shanahan's arrival and he should maintain a high level of play for at least the next few seasons. What fantasy owners should note about Ryan going forward is that 2016 is likely the high water mark for his career. Since 2010, Ryan has never averaged better than 295 yards per game despite averaging well over 600 passing attempts, throwing more than 13 interceptions per season, completing better than 66.5% of his passes twice, and throwing more than 29 TD passes just once. Last season he needed just 534 attempts to average nearly 310 yards per game at a completion percentage of nearly 70%, while totaling 38 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions. He's still a top ten fantasy quarterback, but don't let last year's numbers mislead you into thinking he's joined the ranks of the elite. Nothing about his first eight years in the league suggest that last year's monster season is sustainable.

Dak Prescott, QB - DAL

With Tony Romo going down in the preseason, the fourth round rookie impressed enough to land the starting quarterback gig in Dallas, and he never looked back. While teammate Ezekiel Elliott had his own monster rookie campaign, it was Prescott who led Dallas to a 13 win season and took home Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. With the top offensive line in football and a bellcow back in Elliott, Prescott is the perfect complement as a highly efficient dual threat quarterback. He showed a lot of poise and strong decision making in his rookie season, which we should expect to continue going forward. What he doesn't seem to offer yet is big upside in the passing game, as the Cowboys don't need him to throw it 40 times a game to be successful. In fact, Prescott only topped 36 passing attempts in three games last season. Still, he's a threat with his feet and it's not unreasonable to expect he can duplicate the half dozen rushing scores from last season. The future is bright for Prescott owners, as he's also going to continue to develop. Right now his profile is something like Russell Wilson's early seasons as an athletic game manager with plus upside in shootouts. And much like Wilson, Prescott should be able to reach the level of virtual top ten fantasy mainstay in any given week.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB - PIT

Retirement rumors swirled around Roethlisberger this offseason, as the now 35 year old quarterback has dealt with a multitude of injuries over his career. But even though his reputation for playing hurt has become the stuff of NFL legend, Big Ben has played a full 16 games just twice in past 8 seasons. The drafting of Josh Dobbs also raised some eyebrows, as the rookie quarterback has the requisite skill set to be an NFL starter, he just needs time to develop. Still, the production is there for the veteran quarterback, and he's going to threaten top ten fantasy status again this season. The Steelers also get Martavis Bryant back from suspension and added big bodied wideout Ju Ju Smith-Schuster in the draft. Poor play and inconsistency plagued the wide receivers so badly last season that Le'Veon Bell effectively served as the WR2 for Roethlisberger for most of the second half, trailing only Antonio Brown in targets. Health is going to be the biggest risk for Roethlisberger's future fantasy prospects, but a best guess is that he sticks around for at least a couple more seasons.

Andy Dalton, QB - CIN

Last year was a forgettable one for the Cincinnati offense, as after the defections of Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones in the offseason, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert both missed extensive time, Gio Bernard blew out his ACL in Week 11, and Jeremy Hill once again posted a yards per carry average in the 3's. On the bright side, rookie wideout Tyler Boyd saw more reps than he otherwise might have, Green is a full go for training camp, and the Bengals added three explosive rookies in wide receivers John Ross and the lesser known, Josh Malone, as well as running back Joe Mixon. While Dalton did top 4000 yards passing last season with a weak supporting cast, he totaled just 18 touchdown passes, the lowest of his NFL career. Entering his age 30 season Dalton should bounce back from a touchdown perspective, as the combination of Green and Ross is going to lead to some big plays for this offense going forward. Few quarterbacks are surrounded with as much talent as Dalton heading into 2017, at least on paper. But if this team can stay relatively healthy and the 2016 and 2017 draft picks fulfill their promise, Dalton could have some very sneaky long term fantasy upside.

Tyrod Taylor, QB - BUF

A dual threat quarterback, Taylor makes up for some of his physical limitations in the passing game with the ability to evade pressure, as well as to tuck it and run. Despite solid back-to-back seasons for the Bills, Buffalo remains non-committal on Taylor's long-term prospects with the franchise. There is also a new regime that may not see Taylor as the ideal fit for the new offensive scheme. Essentially, he's playing for his Buffalo and NFL future this season. T.J. Yates was brought in for his experience with new Offensive Coordinator, Rick Dennison's system and the Bills drafted Nathan Peterman for both his NFL-readiness as well as his fit. Taylor owners may need to be patient if he doesn't get off to a strong start, but in a quarterback-starved league he's going to get a shot as a starter somewhere next year even if things don't work out in Buffalo.

Joe Flacco, QB - BAL

Coming off an 8-8 season where they lost three of their final four games to miss the playoffs, word out of Ravens camp is that Flacco looks stronger and more consistent another offseason removed from a 2015 ACL tear. Interceptions continue to be a problem for the veteran quarterback, but the Ravens did go out of their way to add some receiving talent this offseason, an area they've been pretty deficient in the past few seasons due to both personnel and injuries. Danny Woodhead provides a dimension that's been missing out of the backfield for a while, and he, along with Jeremy Maclin are a nice fit that should be able to work across the field and underneath, with deep threat Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman clearing out the defense. While Flacco isn't getting any younger, there's a chance for a bounceback season, and he should be a matchup dependent fantasy starter for at least another few years.

Lamar Miller, RB - HOU

Heading into last season Lamar Miller looked poised to finally make the leap to "bell cow" back when he signed with Houston in the offseason. And while the touches were there for Miller, the running room just wasn't. By the second month of the season teams had figured out that Brock Osweiler wasn't a very good quarterback, and that loading up the box and making Osweiler beat them with his arm was a sound strategy for attacking the Houston offense. The bump in carries also wore on Miller as the season went on, and he ultimately missed Weeks 16 and 17 with an ankle injury. The Texans also added third round rookie, D'Onta Foreman to the backfield as well. More of a plodder than Miller, Foreman should mix in enough as a change of pace to actually help Miller be more productive with his touches, which should drop off just a little from the 21+ per game he averaged in 2016.

Mark Ingram, RB - NWO

Despite the signing of Adrian Peterson, Ingram should retain the top spot in the New Orleans backfield. But Peterson's presence, as well as that of rookie Alvin Kamara, is at least a little concerning. The Saints know the clock is ticking for Drew Brees, and they've made moves to try to compete now, rather than build for down the line. Ingram benefits from being a far superior receiver to AP, but he might be hard pressed to repeat the 200+ carry 1000+ yard rushing performance from 2016. Longer term it should help him continue to be productive for fantasy seasons to come. And if Peterson truly doesn't have anything left in the tank, then Ingram is being criminally undervalued and could easily outperform his current ranking.

Spencer Ware, RB - KC Falling Stock

Kansas City's backfield has all the makings of a fantasy nightmare, with third round rookie Kareem Hunt battling Ware for early down snaps. Ware should have the inside track to start, but it's also worth noting that he appeared to wear down in the second half of last season so even if he wins the job we're unlikely to see a repeat of last season's 17+ touches per week average. As long as Hunt is healthy it's a pretty safe bet that Ware will be limited to 12-15 or touches each week, and if the rookie plays well then he could even cut into that number. As talented as Ware is, taking a running back with Hunt's skill set in the third round does send a message about what the Chiefs believe to be Ware's ceiling, and that has to be at least a little concerning. This is a make or break it year for him, and he's not without risk.

Latavius Murray, RB - MIN

Perhaps no player saw a post-draft tumble in value as much as Murray. Signed as the presumptive starter this offseason, he projected to get the bulk of the work running behind an improved Vikings offensive line. Instead, the Vikings traded up to draft Dalvin Cook, who has a serious opportunity to be an every down back. Offseason ankle surgery has actually put Murray behind Cook to start with, as he's yet to see the field in any offseason workouts. A best case scenario may just have the former Raider holding down the backup job with the addition of short yardage and goalline work.

Bilal Powell, RB - NYJ

Powell continued to be quietly impressive last season despite playing second fiddle to Matt Forte until late in the year. The veteran averaged 5.5 yards per carry on 131 rushes and caught 58 balls for 322 yards. It was the second most touches of his career. And despite his productivity the limited usage throughout his career so far makes him extremely interesting from a fantasy perspective, even in his age 29 season. If the Jets move on from Forte, then Powell would see the biggest uptick in value. There's a strong case to be made that based on last year he should open the season as the starter anyway.

Rob Kelley, RB - WAS Falling Stock

After making the Redskins 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie free agent, Kelley took over starting running back duties last season when Matt Jones' inability to protect the football finally became too much. He'll open the season as the starter again, but will need to fend off fourth round rookie Samaje Perine for the early down work. While that might happen initially, Perine is simply a more talented and explosive option so it's probably only a matter of time until he supplants Kelley. Still, don't count the second year pro out just yet. This time last year he wasn't even supposed to make the roster, let alone be the presumed starter.

Brandin Cooks, WR - NE

The emergence of Michael Thomas as a rookie made Cooks expendable this offseason, and New England was ready and willing to pay the steep New Orleans asking price. Despite being somewhat miscast in the Saints offense, Cooks managed to be a productive, albeit inconsistent fantasy asset. Cooks will turn just 24 years old in September and joins a Patriots team that is in win now mode with a 40 year old Tom Brady under center. As is always the case in New England, the game plan will change each week and there may be times that Cooks simply isn t heavily involved in the offense. But even with that in mind, it s important to remember that New England gave up first and third round picks to acquire Cooks, and they aren t inclined to be shy about using him. He s hands down the most versatile receiver on the roster, and should post some big numbers as a member of the Patriots.

Doug Baldwin, WR - SEA

Baldwin has quietly been one of the most consistent fantasy receivers over the past two seasons. But it s difficult to envision him exceeding the production we ve seen in recent years, especially now that the Seahawks have stockpiled some backfield talent, Jimmy Graham is back to full strength, and Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson make a healthy return. It s likely he ll remain Wilson s top target in the passing game, but a lot of his production over the past two years can be linked directly to injuries and ineffectiveness at the running back position and among Seattle s other pass catchers. Still a top twenty fantasy receiver, Baldwin is closing in on 30 years of age and is undersized to begin with. He s a player we can hope continues to produce at a high level, but it s unlikely there s much of a ceiling beyond what we ve seen the past two seasons.

Terrelle Pryor, WR - WAS

One of the more head scratching moves of the offseason, with Jordan Reed ailing the Redskins let Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, who saw more than 200 targets last season, walk in free agency. Second year receiver and 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson figures to take on a bigger role, but Washington also paid a hefty price to retain the services of 28 year old quarterback turned receiver, Terrelle Pryor in free agency. While there s no denying Pryor s elite athleticism for his size, he s still very raw as a receiver and benefitted from being the only consistently healthy and viable target in the Cleveland offense. It s also puzzling that after a solid 2016 campaign the Browns were so willing to let him walk. He gets a quarterback upgrade in Kirk Cousins, but it s unlikely that similar game scripts with a pile of garbage time targets are going to play out for him with the Redskins this season. His raw talent makes him intriguing, but he s certainly not without risk.

Randall Cobb, WR - GB

After a promising start to his pro career, the now 27 year old Cobb has delivered poor performances in back to back seasons. 2014's 91 catches for 1,287 yards and a dozen touchdowns catapulted his value in dynasty formats, but with each passing season it's starting to look more and more like an outlier. He's also hurt by the fact that after coming off his own awful 2015 campaign, Davante Adams looked like he had started to put some things together in his third season and was earning the trust of Aaron Rodgers. Cobb's strong playoff performance last season suggests that he can still be counted on, but the Adams emergence and the addition of tight end Martellus Bennett this offseason hint at another underwhelming season ahead and dwindling dynasty value.

Adam Thielen, WR - MIN
Terrance Williams, WR - DAL
O.J. Howard, TE - TB

Howard is entering his rookie season and is expected to be atop of the Buccaneers TE depth chart once training camp commences in August. Howard's size combined with his long reach and freakish athleticism has fantasy owners salivating over his fantasy potential in the Jamies Winston led Bucs offense. His attitude and work ethic have never been a problem in the past, which Koetter will welcome with open arms after the Austin Seferain-Jenkins drama of last season. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken has a new shiny toy to deploy in what is shaping up to be an explosive offense that is expected to compete in a pass-heavy division. Howard will still be in tough to find targets with WR Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson in the mix, but his size and speed will be troubling for opposing defensive coordinators. If you are looking to punt at the tight end position, Howard is an attractive option.

Antonio Gates, TE - LAC

The future Hall of Famer should break the all-time touchdown record for tight ends early in 2017, as he tied it in the final week of last season. This may be it for the 37 year old Gates, but we've also said that before. Hunter Henry is expected to assume the starter's role at tight end, but the former Kent State cager will continue to be involved on third downs and in the red zone.

Charles Clay, TE - BUF Rising Stock

Clay entered the league as a fullback for the Miami Dolphins in 2011 before turning into a full-time tight end in 2013. Clay exploded offensively during his first full season at the tight end position, shocking the football world with 759 yards while being targeted 102 times. Clay has been a top-20 fantasy tight end over the last four seasons, but hasn't been able to match the production of his 2013 career season with the Dolphins. The Buffalo Bills have a lack of reliable options in the passing game, which increases Clay's value, but the low-volume of targets since joining the Bills has scared fantasy owners away from selecting him as a starting tight end. The Bills ownership group made significant changes to the coaching staff this offseason, bringing Panthers offensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who loved to utilize TE Greg Olsen down the field. Clay has only scored seven touchdowns since signing with the Bills as a free agent in 2015 and lacks TE1 upside but could offer some value as a backup TE.

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