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2013 Draft Prep: Busts for Draft Day

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The term 'bust' is relative. Rare is the player I refuse to draft regardless of round. When I think of a bust, I think of a guy I wouldn't draft at his average draft position. If I can get him after that point, that's different. I'd take my enemy's cat in Round 17 if I thought it would help my Fantasy team win.

Last year's busts were either laughable or stunningly on point.

I cringe seeing C.J. Spiller, Robert Griffin, Andre Johnson and Reggie Bush written about as busts last year. For whatever it's worth I did say Spiller would be a "dynamo" if Fred Jackson got hurt, that RG3 would have weeks where he'd put up "solid numbers" but that his "sleek frame" was part of his downfall, and that I "can't help but think (Johnson will) have a good season in helping Houston make a playoff run" but not be worth the Round 2 price tag. Bush I flat out whiffed on.

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The other seven guys -- especially Miles Austin and Kenny Britt, right down to their projections -- were good calls. I'm learning from last year and coming out swinging this year with another 10 names who are good but not good enough to draft on par with their averages.

Note: I had Tom Brady and Russell Wilson originally as busts based on ADP, but not anymore. Some might say I'm chickening out. To them I say "Bawk-bawk." The Patriots have reloaded to the point where Brady has a realistic chance of maintaining his three-year statistical average of 4,654 yards and 36.3 touchdowns. Wilson also has the look of a quarterback who can get by with his current receiving corps and still be productive. I am fine calling Brady a Top 5 quarterback who might actually get drafted as a relative bargain. While I wouldn't reach for Wilson, I wouldn't call him a bust based on his 73.36 draft average.

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears: Some people rank Cutler among the top sleepers in Fantasy because of new coach Marc Trestman bringing his version of the West Coast offense to Chicago. In time, Trestman's playbook could make a 4,000-yard passer out of Cutler, but it seems unlikely this year. He didn't have a good training camp and his preseason began inauspiciously with two interceptions, a fumble that a teammate recovered and three sacks taken. There seems to be a disconnect of sorts between Cutler and Trestman and until it's solved, he's not going to be a great Fantasy weapon. He's also due to start the season against three tough pass rushes: Cincinnati, Minnesota and Pittsburgh. You can do better with a late-round quarterback pickup.
I'd rather draft: Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub, Josh Freeman

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: You know the name and expect big games, but he's got a chance to come up lame. A changed receiving corps combined with a refreshed philosophy on the run game might hurt his production, from pass attempts to completion percentage. Mike Wallace cashed a big check in Miami, eliminating the big deep threat the Steelers need for Big Ben to be great. Heath Miller was Roethlisberger's security blanket last year but isn't likely to be as explosive coming off of a torn ACL. It leaves Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders as Roethlisberger's best receiving threats -- neither one has proven to be a legitimate weapon for defenses to get scared of. Moreover, the Steelers are going to demand more of their run game, which means more handoffs for Roethlisberger. Like Cutler, Big Ben is just not expected to be good enough to draft over some other passers you'll look at in the late rounds. I haven't drafted Roethlisberger to any of my Fantasy teams this summer.
I'd rather draft: Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer

Andre Brown, RB, Giants: Count me in the David Wilson camp for the Giants' running back workload race. Brown looks like the better bargain on Draft Day but questions about his durability have followed him since college. Brown hurt his left foot in 2007 and again in the spring of 2008 (but didn't miss any college games). He ruptured his Achilles in 2009, had a minor toe injury in 2010, was out of the league in 2011 and had a concussion, minor shoulder ailment and a broken fibula in 2012. It's too bad because Brown is a pretty good talent with the size to be an effective goal-line rusher, but he'd need a serious Wilson injury and his own body to stay strong to ever get a chance at being the primary running back for the Giants. Don't overdraft him.
I'd rather draft: Mark Ingram, Ronnie Hillman, DeAngelo Williams

Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: I think it's gutsy to take Gore with a third-round pick, which is what his draft average is as of now. Most people gravitate toward Gore because of his familiar name and steady production (at least 1,200 total yards each of the last seven seasons) but we've seen his reps dwindle under coach Jim Harbaugh at about a carry on average per year. We've also seen him become less of a weapon as a receiver -- he had 46 catches in 2010 (pre-Harbaugh) and 45 catches combined under Harbaugh in 2011 and 2012. There's going to be a conscious effort to keep Gore fresh as he not only turned 30 in May but went over 2,000 carries during the Super Bowl last year. Besides, the year after a Super Bowl run isn't so good for running backs in the first place. I'm fine with taking Gore as my Flex in Round 4 or beyond, so long as I find Kendall Hunter with one of my last picks. But, I'm settling for Gore, not trying hard to land him.
I'd rather draft: Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Roddy White

Chris Ivory, RB, Jets: If you're into running backs who play a few weeks, then get hurt, then come back and play, then get hurt again, Ivory's your man. Only once in his last seven years of playing football has Ivory managed to string together more than five consecutive games of action. As a pro he's totaled 15 or more carries seven times, doing it in consecutive games just one time over three years. The laundry list of injuries Ivory has dealt with include a season-ending knee injury in 2009, another knee injury, a concussion and a Lisfranc in 2010, a sports hernia and a hamstring in 2011 and a hamstring again in 2012. Oh, and he missed 17 days of Jets training camp with a hamstring this summer. And, by the way, the Jets' offense is a mess. He's going to be a headache to own this season. Bilal Powell is the Jets running back you want.
I'd rather draft: DeAngelo Williams, Mark Ingram, Bilal Powell

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Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders: Anyone who suggests McFadden as a nice No. 2 running back is blind. Not only is he a walking injury risk but he happens to be the only decent offensive weapon on a team loaded with weaknesses. That puts the target squarely on him and I'm not sure he's good enough to consistently beat eight in the box Adrian Peterson-style. Moreover, everything else about Oakland is brutal. The offensive line is beat up already, sporting two has-beens at the tackle spots. The receiving corps has potential but with Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson making up the quarterback group, the passing game doesn't look good. The defense has a lot of holes and could mean a lot of playing from behind. Nothing makes McFadden appealing other than his contract-year status, but that's meaningless if he can't play 16 games.
I'd rather draft: David Wilson, Darren Sproles, Le'Veon Bell

Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots: Call me a nerd or a worrywart or whatever, but there's nothing the Patriots can say or do to change the fact that Amendola is an injury risk. Last year alone he had an ankle injury, a dislocated clavicle and an heel injury that needed a walking boot. The year before he dislocated his elbow and tore his triceps. Amendola has proved this preseason that he's a dynamic version of Wes Welker -- able to run incredible routes both in the short area and deeper down the field. Tom Brady will go to him often, particularly when an opponent is ignorant enough to cover him with a linebacker or inadequate cornerback. So long as he's on the field he's going to be a stat machine. But it feels like he's tough to count on for more than a dozen games. That makes him too risky, even for me, with a pick at 54th overall or higher.
I'd rather draft: Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker, James Jones

Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings: Rich, old and slow is the way to go through life if you're retired or the man behind pogs, but it's not good if you're a football player. Jennings has missed part of the last two seasons with injuries and jumps from the Packers and Aaron Rodgers to the Vikings and Christian Ponder. That's like leaving a free meal at Quality Meats for the White Castle drive-thru. And while I love a good slider (double with cheese of course), I'd rather have the bone-in ribeye. Rodgers is the ribeye, Ponder is the slider and Jennings has enough dough from the Vikings to feed himself as much of whatever he wants without caring about hoisting a championship. Don't be surprised if teams start to worry more about rookie Cordarrelle Patterson than Greg Jennings by the time the season finishes up.
I'd rather draft: Michael Floyd, Chris Givens, Justin Blackmon

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants: Nicks has quite a medical record and has had trouble staying healthy over the last calendar year. He missed time already in training camp with a groin pull and seemingly dragged his feet to get back on the field, raising the ire of coach Tom Coughlin. That leads me to believe that Nicks is worried about getting hurt in his contract year, kind of like DeSean Jackson did in Philadelphia a couple of years back. Nicks might realize that if he gets hurt again he'll jeopardize his chances of getting paid a lot of money. He'd be right -- no team will roll out the Benjamins for a player who breaks his foot in an offseason practice or comes up lame in a training camp drill. That's Nicks, and after playing last season at less than 100 percent we saw a player who was masterful in one game and mostly a disappointment in the rest. Someone else can draft Nicks in my Fantasy leagues.
I'd rather draft: DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, Cecil Shorts

Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins: When camp started there appeared to be more mojo in the Dolphins' new logo than there was between Wallace and Ryan Tannehill. Their timing was off and questions arose over just how effective Wallace would be. In recent preseason play the two have started to hook up more, and that's all well and good, but I'm not buying. Wallace figures to be next in a long line of receivers who underwhelm after landing a lot of guaranteed money with a new team. Tannehill isn't as good as you might think, his pass protection is iffy and even though the Dolphins will be in a lot of games where they'll need to pass, you can bet your stone crab claws that defenses will try to eliminate Wallace first. That's a lot easier to do in Miami than it was in Pittsburgh. I'd be stunned if Wallace wound up with over 1,000 yards.
I'd rather draft: Cecil Shorts, T.Y. Hilton, Tavon Austin

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard .

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Player News
Saints T Terron Armstead will not require neck surgery
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) Saints tackle Terron Armstead told reporters Monday he will not need surgery on his injured neck, ESPN. Armstead sat out the final two games with the injury and indicated he may be fully recovered in approximately a month.

Jaguars DL Roy Miller set for offseason surgery
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) Jaguars defensive lineman Roy Miller is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the near future, according to the Florida Times-Union on Monday. Miller sat out the final two games of the season before opting for surgery. His season ends with 30 tackles and one sack.

Dolphins' Mike Wallace on benching: It was 'coach's decision'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:29 am ET) Dolphins wideout Mike Wallace denied reports of him asking out of Sunday's 37-24 loss to the Jets, per the Miami Herald. Wallace did not play the second half of Week 17, citing it as a "coach's decision." He told reporters he likes the coaching staff in Miami and wants to be back in 2015.

Wallace showed some frustrations throughout the season for the lack of big plays in the aerial attack. He still managed to lead the team in yards (862), receiving touchdowns (10) and was second in receptions (67) this season. He is due to make $9.85 million next season.


Redskins OT Trent Williams (ankle) scheduled for an MRI
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:18 am ET) Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams' trip to the Pro Bowl could be in jeopardy. According to ESPN, Williams, who was seen on crutches, is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday or Tuesday to make sure no ligaments are torn in his left ankle.

Williams sustained the injury in Sunday's season finale against Dallas and was unable to return.


Jaguars announce DT Sen'Derrick Marks has torn ACL
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) The Jaguars announced Monday that defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks has a torn ACL that will need reconstruction, reports the Associated Press. Marks is going through the prerehab process before he goes under the knife.

Marks sustained the injury in a Week 17 loss to Houston. His season ends with 44 combined tackles, 8 1/2 sacks and one fumble recovery.


RG3 wants to be back with Redskins in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:38 am ET) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said he wants to return to Washington in 2015. However, Griffin -- who has one year left on his rookie contract -- said he has not had any discussions with coach Jay Gruden about his status for next season.

"We haven’t had that discussion or cleared the air on any of that kind of stuff," Griffin said, per ESPN. "My focus is, I want to be here. I want to help this team win, try to turn this thing around and change the culture around here. That’s my only focus. If coach Jay and this organization wants me around, then I’ll be here I’ll be ready to go. I’ll make sure that happens."

The Redskins finished last in the NFC East in 2014 with a 4-12 record. Griffin went 2-5 in seven starts this season and missed several weeks due to an ankle injury. He is 14-21 in three seasons with Washington. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.


Eagles coach Chip Kelly: I want LeSean McCoy back next season
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:34 am ET) Eagles coach Chip Kelly said on WIP-FM Radio in Philadelphia on Monday morning he wants running back LeSean McCoy back next season.

Both of McCoy's best statistical seasons have come under Kelly. He rushed for 1,319 yards in 2014, the second-highest total of his career. McCoy is the only running back in Eagles history with three seasons of at least 1,300 rushing yards. He is under contract through 2017 and is set to make $9.75 million next season.

"The season just ended, and ... I'm an Eagle. I love it here," McCoy said following Sunday's win over the Giants, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "My six years here have been excellent. I've been very, very, very productive here. I have a great relationship with my coaches, the owner.

"We'll see what happens. It's a business. Anything can happen; I know that. But I'm sure we can work something out. And hopefully, everything does work out. They know how I feel about them. I know how they feel about me. So we'll see what happens. At the end of the day, it's a business."


Eagles' Nick Foles: I expect to be the QB in 2015
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:28 am ET) Eagles quarterback Nick Foles told reporters Monday he expects to be the quarterback in 2015, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

"They can bring in anybody they like. I’m going to compete," Foles said.

Foles signed a four-year, $2.769 million contract in 2012 and is due to be a free agent in 2016. He declined to comment when asked about seeking an extension. Foles is eligible for one after the season.

Foles tossed 27 touchdowns and two interceptions in 2013, but took a bit of a step back in 2014 before his season was cut short due to a broken collarbone. He threw for 2,163 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in nine games before getting hurt. Mark Sanchez took over for Foles and went 4-4 with a 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Eagles finished 10-6, falling just one game shy of a playoff spot.


Bills QB Kyle Orton announces his retirement
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:20 am ET) The Bills announced that quarterback Kyle Orton has informed the team he's retiring from professional football, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora on Monday.

After being released by the Cowboys in July and contemplating retirement, Orton signed with the Bills at the end of the preseason. He was named the starter over EJ Manuel in Week 5 and led the Bills to a 9-7 season. He threw for 3,018 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 games.

"I just have been going at it for 10 years and it's just a family decision and I've decided to get home and be a dad and call it a day," Orton said in a statement.

Orton, 32, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Bears in 2005. He spent three seasons in Chicago before he took over as the starter for four different teams. His 10-year career ends with a 59.5 completion percentage, 18,037 yards with 101 touchdowns and 69 interceptions in 87 games.


Ravens' Harbaugh: Haloti Ngata will 'be ready to go'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:51 am ET) Ravens coach John Harbaugh has no concerns about defensive tackle Haloti Ngata's conditioning as he is set to return from a four-game suspension. Ngata missed the final four games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

"I’m confident Haloti will be ready to go. That’s his job, to be ready to go," Harbaugh said, per ESPN. "I’m confident he’ll do it. He has done it before. He has been there, he knows what’s at stake." 

The Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the opening round of the playoffs Saturday.


 
 
 
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