Welcome back, Sharks! I hope you’ve been enjoying the nice weather outside, whether you’re playing golf or just relaxing on your deck reading fantasy football articles (do people do other things? Beats me!) You could read fantasy football articles in between shots in the golf cart, but your playing mate may get slightly annoyed. I’d still do it though. They can get irritated all they want, but it will be YOU who brings home the fantasy championship at the end of the year (however, the next round of golf may be on you.)
It’s time for the second installment of my “Fantasy Bust” series, in which we will go through Rounds 4-6 to identify possible bust candidates (you can see my bust candidates from Rounds 1-3 here). Keep in mind, average draft positions are ever-changing, so a player listed may slip down or creep up on any given day. As of now, I believe that the players included in this three-part series will under-perform related to their current average draft positions (ADPs). By the way, the third installment will be “bonus busts” from the first six rounds. Enough babbling, let’s get into it!
Note: This is based off of a 12-team, standard league draft.
Round 4: RB Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints (Average Draft Position: Round 4, Pick 1)
Peterson a bust? Really!? Why yes, yes really. Why he is currently being drafted in the fourth round (ahead of the likes of Joe Mixon and Eddie Lacy) is beyond me. His highest yard total from last year was 31 whopping yards. You read that correctly, as he averaged a paltry 1.9 yards per carry in the 2½ games he played in last year for Minnesota. Want to throw out last year’s stats for the future hall-of-famer? We can do that! In 2015 (when he was the NFL’s leading rusher), Peterson averaged 4.8 yards per touch, which ranked him 45th among running backs. Hey, 4.5 yards per carry isn’t bad, right? Well, that landed him 21st among running backs in 2015. Peterson is descending, folks. Mark Ingram (who I’d much rather have at his ADP of Round 6, Pick 5) isn’t going anywhere. Travaris Cadet was re-signed, and New Orleans traded up in the third round of the NFL draft for Alvin Kamara. They both will get some work in the backfield, most likely on passing downs. All of this tells us that this is going to be one frustrating committee, with Mark Ingram leading the way. Stay away, especially in the fourth round. Someone will take Peterson based on name value alone, and that’s OK. As long as it is a competitor in your league and not you.
Round 5: RB LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles (Average Draft Position: Round 5, Pick 4)
The hype train has been crazy for Blount since he signed with Philadelphia. I’m telling (or begging) you to pump the brakes on the former New England Patriot. Blount was given 299 carries last year, and averaged a meager 3.9 yards on those carries. Blount is also invisible in the passing game, posting 46 receptions across his entire career (which began in 2010). The best case scenario for Blount is that he enters the Ryan Mathews role from last year. After receiving 51 percent of the backfield snap share last season, he should come close to the 34.1 percent snap share in which Ryan Mathews saw in 2016. Fun fact: Ryan Mathews averaged 4.3 yards per carry last year and he ended up as the RB30. You can do the math yourself, but this clearly tells you that Blount is overrated from an efficiency standpoint in fantasy circles. Ryan Mathews is somehow still there, as is Darren Sproles (who is the back to own from this team) and Wendell Smallwood. You’re chasing the 18 touchdowns Blount scored last year if you invest in his services in Round 5. Take Ameer Abdullah (Round 5, Pick 10) or Tevin Coleman (Round 5, Pick 12) instead if you’re chasing running backs in the fifth round of your fantasy draft. Avoid Blount like the plague this year; you’ll be happy as a clam you did once this upcoming season is over.
Round 6: QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (Average Draft Position: Round 6, Pick 6)
I promise I’m not a hater of Oakland. I actually like Derek Carr this year … just not as the sixth quarterback off the board in the sixth round. Marshawn Lynch is now in town, and we all know he has a nose for the end zone. Excluding his injury-riddled 2015 season (and his “vacation” in 2016), Lynch has never scored less than 11 touchdowns since 2011. Carr had a red zone completion percentage of 48.9 percent, which landed him 25th among quarterbacks. Moreover, Derek Carr had only 61 deep ball attempts (passes that traveled 20 or more yards in the air), which landed him 21st at his position. That, in addition to Lynch’s efficiency in the red zone, makes me wary of drafting Carr in the middle rounds. I’d much rather invest in one of the wide receivers being drafted in the sixth round (Donte Moncrief, Larry Fitzgerald and Golden Tate) than a quarterback who should see touchdown regression this year. Keep loading up elsewhere and revisit the quarterback position starting in the ninth round. Dak Prescott (Round 9, Pick 2), Marcus Mariota (Round 9, Pick 8), Philip Rivers (Round 10, Pick 2) and Andy Dalton (Round 11, Pick 9) all offer the same (if not more) upside than Derek Carr, but at a much better value. It’s key to be a bargain shopper with quarterbacks on draft day (I could have named more values at the quarterback position, but figured you had gotten the point). Keep the Carr on the lot in Round 6 of your draft.
That concludes the second installment of my “Fantasy Bust” series. We will go through Rounds 1-6 in the third and final installment to discuss some more players to avoid. These will be players I have yet to mention in the series who I feel compelled to shed some “bust” light on. Draft season is almost upon us, so keep paying attention to any and all news that comes out this off-season. Until next time, Sharks.