Fantasy Football Edge: Four Potential Busts
By Moe Koltun, Matt Cott, and Matthew Schwimmer of Roto Analysis
When it comes to a fantasy draft, it’s all about finding value. After taking on some “sleepers” last week, we at RotoAnalysis are going to bring you some “busts” this week. This doesn’t mean we think these players will be awful this year, but just that we think they are going a little too early in drafts. As we break down the average draft positions in CBS drafts right now, here are our busts at each position:
Tom Brady, New England Patriots (ADP: 34)
Tom Brady is still an extremely talented player, but as the 34st overall player, Tom Brady is a horrible fantasy value this year. Despite finishing tied for 2nd in fantasy points last year, Cam Newton finished the season scorching hot and Peyton Manning added Tom Brady’s favorite target Wes Welker. In addition to losing Wes Welker, Tom Brady will be without Aaron Hernandez and likely Rob Gronkowski for the beginning of the year. While Brady should still find a way to post 4000 yards, there is absolutely no justification to taking him so early. If that means that you don’t get Brady this year, so be it.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 33)
A major issue fantasy owners always face is when a player gets his first opportunity at major carries. Miller is the classic example of an upside back who seems like he could be this year’s next big thing. However, last year may have spoiled fantasy owners who expect big things from nearly every new, young, fast lead back. Miller has yet to impress in training camp and the Miami Herald recently wrote,”The battle for the starting tailback job is pretty close…It’s obvious Lamar Miller is the presumed starter but he hasn’t exactly wowed yet.” That kind of uncertainty for last year’s 4th rounder is what helps to drag him down a bit in my rankings.
Once again, the moniker of being a “bust” is all relative. Miller has a ton of potential, but the 33rd pick overall is just too early. I don’t like him as much as two other young backs, David Wilson and Le’Veon Bell, he’s currently being drafted ahead of. Cam Newton offers a stud QB option at the same draft-day value and some stud receivers will still be available – Randall Cobb, Victor Cruz, and Vincent Jackson are all being drafted behind Miller. With your third or fourth round pick, I’d look elsewhere to set up your team.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 29)
There’s a huge difference between being a talented football player and being a talented fantasy football player. It’s when owners fixate too much on the former and not enough on the latter (as is the case with Fitzgerald) that players become drastically overvalued.
In a perfect world scenario, Fitzgerald might live up to that early third round billing. The problem is, that doesn’t account for a single one of the risk factors associated with the Cardinals receiver this season—what if Carson Palmer isn’t nearly the improvement at QB people think he’s going to be (as his non-top 25 deep ball QB Accuracy on Pro Football Focus might indicate)? What if the problem wasn’t with the Cardinals’ quarterbacks at all, and rather, Fitz was bad last year because the team’s putrid offensive line didn’t allow time enough for him to get open deep? That line isn’t that much better this season…
Or, what if Fitzgerald, who turns 30 years old at the end of August, just isn’t one hundred percent of what he used to be? Eighty percent of Fitz with Carson Palmer at quarterback would be about a 900 yard, 6 TD guy. Those are just a couple of the questions that could be asked about Larry Fitzgerald heading into the season, and it seems like the only reason he’s being drafted so highly, ahead of guys like Andre Johnson, Roddy White and Victor Cruz, is because that one huge 2009 playoff run has kept his name on the top of the football consciousness, not because he’s actually going to put up huge numbers in 2013.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (ADP: 86)
Rudolph is nothing more than a one trick pony for fantasy owners. While he had an impressive nine touchdowns last year, fantasy owners will need him to repeat that number in order for him to provide any value for them at this spot this year. While it is possible, the Vikings still have Christain Ponder under center and added two weapons in Greg Jennings and Cordarelle Patterson despite losing Percy Harvin, who was not much of a redzone presence. Take a shot at another option like Anquan Boldin who will likely be the 49ers leading receiver at that spot and wait to take a tight end.
Agree? Disagree? Questions? Tweet @RotoAnalysis and be sure to follow Moe @MoeProblems, Matt @KidCotti21, and Matt @Schwimingly. Check out their work on RotoAnalysis.com, as well as The RotoAnalysis Fantasy Sports Podcast.