This is a list of my top 2019 fantasy football busts - players you should avoid unless they fall far in your draft. The Average Draft Position (ADP) is found on FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
I was dead on with some of my busts over the past two years, namely Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Arian Foster, Chris Ivory and Doug Martin, all of whom were being chosen in the sixth round or earlier in 2017, and Rashaad Penny, Derrick Henry and Ronald Jones in 2018.
Antonio Brown, WR, Raiders. ADP: 2.11.
"Antonio Brown has always played with Ben Roethlisberger, a future Hall of Fame quarterback. Derek Carr is a huge step down. Brown is 31, and he's dealing with weird foot problems right now. He could still have a great year, but I'd rather look elsewhere at receiver."
I wrote this before Brown's weird helmet drama. I have to wonder if Brown is having some remorse about going to Oakland. He doesn't seem to be all there right now, and I wouldn't touch him prior to the fifth round of fantasy drafts. He could quit on his team at any moment, so I'll let someone else deal with this headache.
For more on the fantasy football busts for 2019, check out our latest podcast video:
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. ADP: 1.11.
Todd Gurley's arthritic knees scare the hell out of me. I would not want to use a late first-round pick on him in fantasy drafts. I'd take a chance on him late in the second frame because of his massive scoring potential, but there's a good chance Gurley will miss lots of action in 2019.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings. ADP: 2.02.
Dalvin Cook's ADP is awfully high for a running back with a poor offensive line and a dubious injury history. Cook hasn't played a full season thus far, yet he's the 10th running back off the board in mock drafts, which seems like a mistake. Cook is a great runner, but I just don't trust him to stay healthy.
Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys. ADP: 3.11.
Amari Cooper is the 13th receiver being chosen in fantasy mock drafts, yet he's not even in the top 20 at the position in my 2019 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings. Everything went right for Cooper last year, so regression is certainly a possibility. Cooper is someone who quit on his former team, so if the Cowboys are met with some adversity, Cooper could let his new team down.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans. ADP: 3.11.
Derrick Henry is injured right now, and even if he gets healthy, he won't get the same sort of blocking as last year. Taylor Lewan is suspended for four games, while former offensive line coach Mike Munchak is no longer with the team.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders. ADP: 3.07.
Without looking it up, do you know how many games Josh Jacobs handled 20-plus carries at Alabama? One. It's crazy to think Jacobs is suddenly going to turn into a 250-carry back right away. That could eventually happen, but the Raiders will have to monitor his workload. I'd be fine with Jacobs in the fifth round, or even the back half of the fourth frame, but the middle of the third is too rich for my blood.
Sony Michel, RB, Patriots. ADP: 4.02.
Sony Michel is a major injury risk for 2019. He had a knee scope earlier in the offseason, so it wouldn't surprise me if he missed a handful of games this season. Also, the Patriots lost their stud left tackle, Trent Brown, to free agency. Throw in the fact that New England used a third-round pick on a running back (Damien Harris), and Michel has way too many things going against him to make him worth a selection early in the fourth frame.
Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins. ADP: 6.04.
I like Derrius Guice, so I was disappointed to see the Redskins re-sign Adrian Peterson. Guice should get more carries than Peterson if he's healthy, but Peterson had to have been told that he'll remain a big part of the offense when he signed on for another two years in Washington. Making matters worse, the relationship between the Redskins and Trent Williams is fractured, making Guice very unappealing at his ADP.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals. ADP: 2.03.
Joe Mixon has great talent, but his situation sucks. The Bengals lost two starting offensive linemen to injury/retirement, while A.J. Green's injury will draw attention to Mixon.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams. ADP: 4.05.
Brandin Cooks has the potential for big games as the most talented receiver on the Rams' roster, but he's the No. 3 wideout on the squad as far as Jared Goff's order of preference is concerned. Goff likes throwing to Cooper Kupp primarily, then Robert Woods. Cooks is almost an afterthought at times when everyone is healthy. That doesn't sound like an ideal situation for a fourth-round pick.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns. ADP: 6.09.
In my 2019 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings, Jarvis Landry is 38th. Landry is no longer the receptions monster he was in Miami because the Browns utilize him differently. Landry has eclipsed five touchdowns just once in his career. Personally, I'd like my sixth-round receiver to score more than five touchdowns, but that's just me.
Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers. ADP: 7.07.
I don't understand why Vance McDonald is being selected in the middle of the seventh round. He's just not good enough to be the eighth tight end off the board in fantasy drafts.
David Njoku, TE, Browns. ADP: 8.10.
David Njoku is a big-time talent, but he constantly makes mental blunders, making it difficult for Baker Mayfield to trust him.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints. ADP: 7.03.
Drew Brees is a much better quarterback in real life than in fantasy. The Saints have improved their defense in recent years, so Brees doesn't have to throw nearly as much as he used to when his stop unit was terrible.