This is a list of my top 2015 fantasy football busts - players you should avoid unless they fall far in your draft. The Average Draft Position (ADP) is found on FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
Victor Cruz, WR, Giants. Bye: 11. ADP: 6.09.
Victor Cruz didn't do much in the six games prior to getting knocked out for the year, catching 23 passes for 337 yards and one touchdown. Cruz, unfortunately, tore his patellar tendon, which does not bode well for his career going forward. Cruz may never reach his 2011 and 2012 levels again because that injury is extremely difficult to come back from. I don't think I'd even draft Cruz; let alone take him in the sixth round. His ADP is just insane to me.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Bye: 4. ADP: 7.08*.
OK, so, Tom Brady's not suspended anymore. Where should you draft him? I was thinking about that, and I thought I'd list him as a seventh-round option. He might be a top-10 fantasy quarterback - MIGHT BE - but then I realized that his ADP was already in the seventh frame, which was absurd. Something even crazier was what I read from another fantasy football publication Thursday morning. They called Brady a "top-five fantasy quarterback," which gave me a good laugh. They clearly haven't been paying attention.
Brady is done. His arm is shot. He has spent all summer in court rooms. His wife has threatened him with divorce. He can no longer use deflated footballs. He does not have a quality offensive line protecting him. He has played like a rotting corpse this preseason. It's absolutely insane to call him a top-five fantasy quarterback, yet that's what most people believe, and it wouldn't surprise me if he's chosen in the third or fourth rounds of the three fantasy drafts I have this upcoming weekend.
Like I said, Brady might finish in the top 10 - he'll have the volume to do so - but given that clueless people will be dying to draft him now, you should absolutely stay away unless he somehow happens to fall to that seventh-round range (in 12-team leagues).
* - Tom Brady's ADP is 7.08 right now, but it'll soar in the wake of this ruling.
Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys. Bye: 6. ADP: 4.01.
Joseph Randle may not start. And yet, he's being chosen in the fourth round. Reed will probably split carries with Darren McFadden. Either way, I want way more out of a fourth-round running back.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets. Bye: 5. ADP: 5.03.
Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler have separated for the second time in their careers, with Marshall now going to New York. No longer the player he once was, Marshall is going to have a tough time producing with the Jets, given the awful quarterback situation. I can't even being to speculate why his ADP rose from 5.12 to 5.02 last week. Lots of stupid drafters, I guess.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Eagles. Bye: 8. ADP: 2.03.
DeMarco Murray is a big injury risk who is coming off a huge workload last year. He won't have Dallas' offensive line either. Want another reason to stay away from him? Evan Mathis' release is disastrous for Murray's outlook. LeSean McCoy struggled to run the ball without Mathis this past season, so Murray will have the same issues. Chip Kelly is in way over his head.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills. Bye: 8. ADP: 2.07.
One day after Chet Gresham wrote an article on why you should avoid LeSean McCoy, the Buffalo running back was diagnosed with a hamstring injury and will be out for a few weeks. He could be ready for the opener, but soft-tissue maladies tend to linger. Let someone else pick up Shady, even at his slightly discounted ADP.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers. Bye: 5. ADP: 4.10.
Jonathan Stewart was on fire down the stretch. Following the team's Week 12 bye, Stewart averaged 97.2 yards per game on the ground. We saw the potential he had if he could stay healthy. Unfortunately, that's an issue; Stewart has missed 20 contests in the past three seasons. Plus, Kelvin Benjamin's injury will suck opposing defenses closer to the line of scrimmage. Stewart's strong finish could cause him to go overdrafted. I wouldn't risk an early pick on him.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles. Bye: 8. ADP: 6.01.
Rookie receivers, unless they are hurt like Odell Beckham last year or Breshad Perriman this season, are usually way overdrafted because of the hype. I'd avoid most of them, including Nelson Agholor, who has been guilty of some mental mistakes this preseason. I'm not saying Agholor will bust or anything, but his sixth-round ADP is way too rich for my blood.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals. Bye: 7. ADP: 7.08.
Those drafting Giovani Bernard in the seventh round must not be aware that Jeremy Hill is going to handle the full workload in Cincinnati's offense. This was already evident, but now the Bengals are even using Bernard on special teams - a clear sign that the team is ready to move forward with Hill as the sole ball-carrier. Bernard is a good handcuff, but you don't draft those in the seventh round.
Reggie Bush, RB, 49ers. Bye: 10. ADP: 12.06.
Reggie Bush signed with the 49ers to be Carlos Hyde's backup. Bush is over the hill and worthless in non-PPR fantasy leagues as a result.
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers. Bye: 6. ADP: 3.06.
Could Mike Evans suffer the dreaded sophomore slump? He wouldn't be the first Buccaneer to do so, as he'd follow in the footsteps of Michael Clayton and Mike Williams. Evans is more talented than them, of course, but he's dealing with a hamstring injury right now, and those types of soft-tissue maladies tend to linger. I'd let someone else draft him.
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos. Bye: 7. ADP: 4.06.
Peyton Manning couldn't commit to returning to football following the press conference after his latest playoff choke job. His arm looked like it was decaying toward the end of the regular season. He didn't have a single good fantasy performance following Week 12. He was dealing with a torn quad, but Manning will be an overrated commodity in 2015, given that he's now 39. He should not be going in the fourth round.
Seahawks Defense. Bye: 9. ADP: 8.11.
I don't care how great Seattle's defense is; you don't take a defense in the eighth round of any fantasy league, especially one that could be without its two starting safeties.
Josh Hill, TE, Saints. Bye: 11. ADP: 13.07.
For those who still believe Josh Hill will replace Jimmy Graham: It's not happening. The Saints will use a committee at tight end. Stop drafting Hill.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants. Bye: 11. ADP: 6.07.
Rashad Jennings is going far too early, considering he's going to be splitting lots of touches with two other running backs. Jennings' fragility needs to be taken into account as well. I'd be happy with Jennings in the ninth frame or so, but taking him in the sixth is just too premature.