Every year, it seems that I am prepping earlier and earlier for fantasy football. Here I am towards the end of the month in June, just counting down the days until September 8th hits, when the first professional game of the season will take place. In the meantime, I have been working on my Busts, Sleepers, and Rookies to Watch lists. In this first blog entry, I have 10 busts listed below with further explanations.
Devonta Freeman (RB) – Freeman had a fabulous year in 2015. Going into the draft, all the talk about RBs was mainly about rookie RB Todd Gurley. Freeman’s season was similar to the Atlanta Falcons season in general. A very hot start with a slow whimper towards the end of the season. 9 of the 14 total TDs that Freeman accumulated came in a 5 week span early in the season. The last 9 weeks of the season, Freeman had only 2 rushing TDs and had an average yard per carry (YPC) of 3.47 rushing yards per game in that span.
Jimmy Graham (TE) – Graham has not been the same since he left the Saints. Graham just does not seem to be a good fit in Seattle. SEA likes to run the ball and take control of the game. This is not a good scheme for Graham since he is known more as a WR than an actual TE who can block and be physical. Look for Graham to be a shell of his former self as long as he is in SEA.
Chris Johnson (RB) – CJ2K is way past the days of rushing for over 2,000 yards in a season. However, when healthy last season, he was a valuable fantasy option with the Cardinals. In 11 games, Johnson rushed for 814 yards with a 4.2 YPC average. Outside of being on the wrong side of age 30, the majority of the TDs in the backfield went to fellow RB David Johnson. Look for David Johnson to pick up where he left off last year.
Denver Broncos Wide Receivers – For the last 3 seasons, you could count on both Denver’s WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders each going over 1,000 receiving yards. This year, I would be surprised if either reach 1,000 receiving yards. Without Manning or Osweiler at QB, the Broncos will edge games out with their defense, not offense. I am not high on ANY Denver Broncos this year, besides their Defensive unit.
Doug Martin (RB) – Martin is from my hometown of Stockton, CA so I have followed his career closely. I had the privilege of having Martin on my fantasy team his rookie year when he rushed for a career high of 1,454 yards. The following two seasons Martin did not even combine for 1,000 rushing yards. In 2015, he once again hit the 1,400 rushing yard mark. I love the surrounding talent on Tampa Bay… but it was a contract year for Martin and he got paid! Down year ahead for Martin.
Andy Dalton (QB) – The Red Rocket was off to a tremendous 2015 season until he injured his thumb/hand later in the year. 28 total TDs and only 7 INTs, Dalton by far had the best year of his career. My rule of thumb is to NEVER draft someone who had a career year the prior year. With one of the best Offensive Coordinators in the game leaving to become the HC for the Browns, and after having a career year in 2015, I can see this being a down year for Dalton.
Julian Edelman (WR) – I am a huge fan of Edelman, so it hurts me putting him on this list when his stats weren’t great last year since he injured his foot. Edelman had the same surgery that Dez Bryant had on his foot recently and Dez is still not 100% coming into the 2016 season. Edelman’s injury came much later in the season than Dez. Edelman is the type of WR who beats his opponents by his effort and mobility. The mobility will be in question most of the season. And did we mention Brady might be suspended for the first 4 games of the season?
Doug Baldwin (WR) – Baldwin posted a 78/1,069/14 season. His first time ever reaching the 1,000 yard plateau. The number that pops out the most is the 14 TDs. In his previous 4 seasons, Baldwin had combined for 15 TDs. With a career year in 2015, I look for more of a mediocre year from Baldwin in 2016. Look for 75/900/6 line for him this season. Yards will be close to ’15 total, but TDs will not be close.
Ted Ginn Jr. (WR) – Ginn Jr. had the best year of his 9 year career in 2015. He had 739 receiving yards and 10 TDs. His previous career high in TDs was in 2013 with 5. The Panthers are scheduled to get stud WR Kelvin Benjamin back after he missed the entire 2015 season with an ACL injury. With Benjamin back on the field, look for Ginn Jr. to get far less targets as well as TDs this season.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR) – Fitzgerald reached the 1,000 yard mark in 2015 for the first time since 2011. Just when we all thought Fitzgerald had lost a step and is on the decline, he comes out with a monster 109/1,215/9 season. Fitz will be 33 by the time the season starts. It is hard for me to believe that he can follow up last season’s stats with another solid season. Age and the style of physicality that Fitz plays with could put a damper on his 2016 totals.
For more insightful articles and other fantasy football news, subscribe to our FREE newsletter on the top right-hand side of this article.