In an effort to save you from the frustration that comes with a disappointing fantasy pick, here are this year's top bust candidates.
Average draft position (ADP) data courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator and is based on 12-team leagues with PPR scoring.
Fantasy owners often fall victim to the allure of name value. Although Brady has long been one of the best quarterbacks in the league and is still high on the list of passers you'd want to lead a game-winning drive, he'll be 42 years old when the season kicks off and won't have all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski at his disposal for the first time since 2009.
Over the last nine years, Brady played 126 games with Gronk and just 36 without him including playoffs. Below, you can see the difference in his numbers when averaged out over a 16-game pace.
|Stat||With Gronk||Without Gronk|
With Gronk gone, Brady's receiving weapons are limited. Julian Edelman is reliable in the slot, assuming his broken left thumb is healed by Week 1, and James White has been a consistent pass-catching threat out of the backfield, but that's where the stable production ends.
First-rounder N'Keal Harry should provide another option in the receiving corps, although some reports from camp suggest he's struggling with the transition to the pros. Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement, but there are no guarantees he'll be available in 2019. The Pats also signed veterans Demaryius Thomas and Ben Watson, but neither is a lock to make the team with Thomas coming off a torn Achilles and Watson facing a four-game suspension.
All of that uncertainty has turned veterans Phillip Dorsett and Maurice Harris, as well as undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers, into the top options at practice.
Meanwhile, the Patriots have invested heavily in their backfield to take some pressure off Brady's arm. The team added Sony Michel in the first round last year and selected Damien Harris in the third round of April's draft. Since 2016, New England has produced the third-most rushing attempts in the NFL, and you can expect that trend to continue as Brady's career winds down.
Overall, quarterback remains the deepest position in fantasy, giving you little incentive to take on the risk that comes with Brady this season. You're better off spending a couple late-round picks on younger, higher-upside passers.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠☠
ADP: 11th round (QB16)
Fournette's talent is not up for debate. However, his health and the offense around him should give you pause.
The LSU product missed 11 games over his first two NFL seasons and the nagging lower-body injuries that cost him time in college are now haunting his pro career.
Meanwhile, even with major upgrades on the Jaguars' offensive line last season, Fournette's production took a hit. His yards per carry dropped from 3.9 as a rookie to 3.3 in 2018 as he faced eight or more defenders in the box at the third-highest rate among running backs, according to NFL.com's Next Gen Stats.
Then in January, the Jaguars brought in pass-focused offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who lost his job as Vikings OC last year after failing to generate yards on the ground. We don't know if DeFilippo's history will repeat itself in Jacksonville, but with Nick Foles taking over at quarterback, the Jags should find more success through the air than they experienced with Blake Bortles.
We also have to acknowledge the rift that developed between the front office and Fournette last year. Though it appears the relationship has been mended, Fournette's one-game suspension in December and his offseason arrest can't sit well with the Jags' brass, no matter what they're saying to the media.
While a bounce-back campaign is possible, it's hard to have confidence in Fournette's 2019 outlook, making him a player to fade in the early rounds. And if you want to bet against him staying healthy, invest in his backups - Ryquell Armstead and Alfred Blue - with one of your last bench spots.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠☠
ADP: 3rd round (RB16)
Henry finished outside the top 24 fantasy backs in each of his first two NFL seasons, and he was just the RB34 in standard leagues through the first 12 games of 2018.
Then, the Titans cranked up his workload over the final four outings, resulting in stat lines of 17-238-4, 33-170-2, 21-84-1, and 16-93-0. That span coincided with the fantasy playoffs and Henry carried many of his owners to titles - assuming they were fortunate enough to reach the postseason after he was unable to eclipse 60 rushing yards in any contest during the first three months.
So, which Henry will show up this year?
The sample size for his success is small, and it's worth noting the bulk of that late-season production came against defenses that were weak against the run or out of the playoff picture and didn't have much to play for.
Meanwhile, Henry's limitations as a pass-catcher - he's never topped 15 receptions in a season - cap his fantasy upside.
Perhaps the Titans learned a valuable lesson about Henry's volume down the stretch, but we don't know what this offense will look like since it'll start the season with its third different coordinator in the last three years. Growing pains should be expected once again.
Finally, a calf strain has kept Henry out of training camp, and though he's expected to be fully recovered in time for the opener, it's the type of injury that can linger if not allowed to heal properly.
Don't let yourself get fooled by four games - Henry has a long way to go before deserving your trust.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠
ADP: 4th round (RB20)
Lindsay went from undrafted free agent to fantasy league-winner with 1,037 rushing yards, 241 receiving yards, and 10 total touchdowns as a rookie despite missing Week 17 with a wrist injury.
Surgery then kept him sidelined for the entire offseason program, costing him valuable on-field reps with the new coaching staff in Denver.
That opened the door for 2018 third-rounder Royce Freeman to impress the incoming regime, potentially leading to a larger role. Freeman wasn't bad as a rookie - Lindsay just outproduced him - so with the former getting a head start this offseason, Denver's backfield could turn into more of a committee.
Between Freeman's emergence and the signing of pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick, Lindsay's unlikely to see increased touches in 2019, which is a problem for his fantasy ceiling. He was extremely efficient last year while playing more than 50 percent of Denver's snaps in just seven of his 15 games. Banking on that to occur again is dangerous for fantasy managers.
If his touches are impacted this season, Lindsay's chances of putting up top-20 fantasy numbers will be significantly diminished.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠
ADP: 4th round (RB23)
The arrival of Landry's longtime friend and college teammate Odell Beckham Jr. is a serious obstacle for his fantasy value - specifically his targets.
Landry saw 149 passes thrown his way during his first year in Cleveland - a 26 percent target share - and still posted some of the lowest totals of his career, including a disappointing 54.4 percent catch rate. Landry caught 31 fewer passes and five fewer touchdowns than he did the year before in Miami, and that was without a true No. 1 receiver like Beckham competing for targets.
Fantasy owners who look at Landry's overall production in 2018 will be deceived by his low-end WR2 numbers. In the second half of the season, when the Browns' offense was clicking, he was a borderline WR3 propped up only by a couple of big weeks. Even a slight reduction in targets would jeopardize Landry's viability as a fantasy starter.
With Beckham in the mix, Landry's volume is sure to drop, making him more of a WR4 who lacks touchdown upside. His name value and the enthusiasm regarding the Browns this season will see him drafted far earlier than he deserves.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠☠
ADP: 5th round (WR24)
In a year when veteran tight end Delanie Walker sat out almost the entire season and no other pass-catchers stepped up in Tennessee, Davis still barely snuck into the top 30 fantasy receivers.
Now, Walker's returning, and he's got company. Tennessee signed slot man Adam Humphries in free agency and then used a second-round pick to select A.J. Brown, one of the top receivers in this year's draft class.
All of sudden, the Titans' receiving corps is crowded, threatening Davis' 26 percent target share from 2018, which resulted in just 112 passes thrown his way due to the team's low-volume aerial attack.
On a different team with a more established quarterback, Davis might have reached his potential by now. Sadly, Marcus Mariota may never emerge as the franchise passer the front office thought it was getting second overall in 2015. As a byproduct, Davis will continue an uphill battle to justify his draft capital as the fifth overall choice in 2017.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠
ADP: 9th round (WR41)
Ebron was a fantasy revelation in 2018 with 14 total touchdowns in his first season with Andrew Luck and the Colts. His success can be partially attributed to Indy's lack of quality pass-catchers behind T.Y. Hilton, a problem the team has since rectified.
Devin Funchess, who was brought in during free agency, is the receiver equivalent of Ebron and provides a big-bodied red-zone presence on the outside. Second-rounder Parris Campbell is a lightning-quick playmaker who thrives over the middle of the field. It's also possible fellow tight end Jack Doyle gets back in the lineup if he can overcome the injuries that held him back last season.
Ebron's odds of seeing 110 targets again are slim, which will eat away at the 66 receptions and 750 yards he accumulated last campaign. His touchdown scoring was already due to regress, but with so many other capable options around him, don't be surprised if that number is cut in half.
Finally, the Colts' increased effectiveness running the ball behind their upgraded offensive line raises a slight concern that Luck’s passing attempts could dip as the team spends more time icing away fourth-quarter wins.
After being one of the most vocal fantasy analysts when it came to supporting Ebron last offseason, I'll likely be at the opposite end of the spectrum this year. In the latest update to my 2019 rankings, Ebron is the TE9 and may fall further before the season kicks off.
Bust potential: ☠☠☠☠
ADP: 7th round (TE8)