There’s nothing worse than drafting a player in your fantasy football league who you believe will bring tremendous value, only to see him go by the wayside with minimal production.
It’s easy to get caught up in the household names, or expect players to duplicate the strong season they had the year prior. But this is a new year, folks, and you want to make sure your roster contains players who will bring in a haul of points on a week-to-week basis.
With that said, here are 10 players we believe will be busts in the 2017 NFL season who you should stay away from in your draft.
Dak Prescott, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott made his rookie season count, and then some. The Cowboys quarterback threw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns in the regular season, to go along with a 67.8 completion percentage and only four interceptions. That means his expectations are through the roof, though, and we believe Prescott will suffer from a sophomore slump. Dallas faces six teams in 2017 that made the playoffs last year, including two of the best defenses in the league in the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys surely will have a major target on their backs this season, and Prescott will be the center of attention.
LeGarrette Blount, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles
There are no two ways around it: Blount was a monster for the New England Patriots last season. The powerful back rushed for 1,161 yards with 18 touchdowns, by far the best season of his 7-year NFL career. But don’t expect the same in his first season in Philadelphia. Today’s NFL is predicated on versatility, and Blount doesn’t provide much of that. He’s not much of a threat to catch out of the backfield, and he makes his hay on goal line scores. The Patriots’ juggernaut offense certainly bolstered Blount’s numbers, but the Eagles’ mediocre attack probably won’t be able to do the same.
Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
Benjamin is a great option on paper. At 6-foot-5, he provides a strong deep threat for Cam Newton and also is a major target in goal line situations. However, multiple reports have indicated Benjamin showed up to Panthers training camp out of shape, which doesn’t bode well for the wideout’s fantasy chances. Not to mention, quarterback Cam Newton has a slew of other weapons in Greg Olsen, Jonathan Stewart, budding wide receiver Devin Funchess and highly touted rookie Christian McCaffrey. All things considered, Benjamin probably isn’t worth taking a chance on.
Julius Thomas, Tight End, Miami Dolphins
Thomas shined during his tenure with the Denver Broncos, posting back-to-back 12-touchdown seasons in 2013 and 2014, but
Ryan Tannehill Jay Cutler isn’t Peyton Manning. The tight end’s two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars were far from stellar, and while Miami’s offensive is a slight upgrade, we’re not counting on Cutler to transform Thomas into a fantasy star again. He shouldn’t be very high on your tight end wish list.
Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger has been one of the better fantasy quarterbacks for the past decade-plus, and for good reason. He seemingly always has had a strong group of weapons on offense, and Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell certainly are no exception. But as the saying goes, the best ability is availability, and you definitely can’t count on Big Ben being available. In his 13-year NFL career, he’s only played a full 16-game slate thrice. In fact, the 35-year-old even flirted with retirement this offseason. Roethlisberger might be a decent player to stash, but we believe his days as a top-of-the-line fantasy quarterback are over.
Matt Forte, Running Back, New York Jets
Forte will be one of the focal points of the Jets’ nightmarish offense, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s worthy of a high draft pick. While the 31-year-old is a pass-catching threat out of the backfield, he isn’t the only versatile back on New York’s depth chart. Bilal Powell made a name for himself at the tail end of last season, and it’s likely he could take the bulk of the snaps, especially considering Forte’s injury history. The Jets are poised to struggle mightily this season, Forte included.
Emmanuel Sanders, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
Sanders still has the talent to be a high-end fantasy wideout. He’s capable of stretching the field, and his breakaway speed makes him a problem after the catch. The only issue is, he needs someone to throw him the football. The Broncos appear to stuck between a rock and a hard place, as both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch reportedly have underwhelmed Denver coaches in training camp. With that uncertainty in mind, Sanders is too big of a risk to be one of your go-to receivers.
Martellus Bennett, Tight End, Green Bay Packers
Bennett found great success in his first season with the Patriots, as he led the team with seven touchdown receptions in the regular season. However, his first season in Green Bay probably won’t be as successful. Tight ends haven’t produced too much for the Packers’ offense in recent seasons, as Aaron Rodgers typically opts for wideouts like Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams or Randall Cobb. Bennett surely will grab headlines, but it likely will be for his hilarious sound bites rather than his on-field production.
Alex Smith, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith has led the Chiefs to the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by his style of play. Smith is ultra conservative and rarely takes risks throwing the football. In his 11-year NFL career, he’s only eclipsed the 20-touchdown pass threshold twice. Kansas City’s offense likely will be powered by its strong group of running backs, including Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and newcomer Kareem Hunt. Smith might hit on the occasional long touchdown to Tyreek Hill, but he’s still not worth having on your roster.
Latavius Murray, Running Back, Minnesota Vikings
Murray tremendously benefited from running behind the Raiders’ strong offensive line during his time in Oakland, but his new home in Minnesota doesn’t provide nearly the same assets. The Vikings also appeared to draft their running back for the future in Dalvin Cook, who reportedly is ahead of Murray on the team’s running back depth chart. In short, don’t expect Murray to be the heir apparent to Adrian Peterson in his debut season with the Vikes.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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