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2013 Draft Prep: Busts, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The first time writing about busts prior to the start of training camp proved, unfortunately, to be prophetic about one player. Danario Alexander was on the list, and he's already out for the season with a torn ACL.

As I said in my initial look at potential busts a few weeks back, this isn't a fun story to write.

But as always, we have to share our thoughts with you about why some players could potentially struggle this season.

Then it's up to you on how to proceed on Draft Day. With that in mind, here are 10 additional bust candidates for 2013.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks: I originally listed Wilson at the bottom of my breakouts column as another option to consider, but that was when Percy Harvin was healthy. Since then, Harvin had hip surgery and will miss the majority of the season. Along with that, Sidney Rice had to go to Switzerland during training camp for a procedure on his knee. While Golden Tate is a breakout candidate -- he's the only receiver you can trust right now -- Wilson could struggle with two of his top targets banged up. The Seahawks also remain a run-first team, and Wilson and Robert Griffin III were the only Top 25 Fantasy quarterbacks with fewer than 400 pass attempts (393). He was incredibly efficient at 64.1 percent passing with just 10 interceptions, but replicating those stats will be difficult. He also said he doesn't want to run as much, and he had 489 rushing yards and four touchdowns last season. I don't expect Wilson to be a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback again, and he's just outside my Top 12 as a high-end backup.
I'd rather draft: Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick

Arian Foster, RB, Texans: Calling Foster a bust is painful because not only is he a great running back, he's also a good guy in general. But we're talking about his Fantasy value here, and it's not looking good. There are too many red flags based on where you have to draft him. He practiced for the first time on Friday heading into the third preseason game, first because of a calf injury and now with a back problem, which has caused pain in his legs. He's also coming off a season where he had 405 carries, including the playoffs, and 460 total touches, which is an unreal workload for any running back. He's also averaged 372 touches over the past three seasons, so a further breakdown is possible. Going one step further, the Texans have a quality backup in Ben Tate, who could help ease Foster's workload. He remains a first-round pick, for now, but I wouldn't draft him before No. 10 overall. And getting Tate as a handcuff in Round 6 or 7 is a must if you draft Foster.
I'd rather draft: Trent Richardson, Marshawn Lynch, Ray Rice

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Colts: The hope is Bradshaw will be ready for the start of the season, but he just started practicing this week heading into the third preseason game because of right foot surgery -- which took place in January. He's had a history of foot problems, and it may just be catching up to him. Even when he does return, there's no guarantee he'll stay healthy for a full season. When healthy, Bradshaw is solid with at least 1,200 total yards and six touchdowns in two of the past three seasons, with 25 total touchdowns over that span. He's expected to start for the Colts, but he's becoming a risky commodity with each passing day. You can also expect to see him on the injury report on almost a weekly basis. He might not be worth the pick where he's going, which is the end of Round 6 based on his Average Draft Position.
I'd rather draft: Eddie Lacy, Rashard Mendenhall, Daryl Richardson

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DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: Some owners may consider Williams a sleeper with Jonathan Stewart (ankle) banged up, but Stewart hasn't been ruled out for the year. Coach Ron Rivera also remains hopeful he could return for the season opener, although that seems unrealistic. Regardless, I have little faith in Williams even if he does start 16 games. He struggled as the starter for the majority of the season in 2012 when Stewart battled injuries. Williams had 10 games with double digits in carries but managed just one game over 100 rushing yards (Week 17 against lowly New Orleans) and five games with double digits in Fantasy points (two against the Saints). He also has minimal receiving skills with fewer than 16 catches in each of the past three years. On top of all that, he's 30 and plays with a quarterback in Cam Newton who dominates the offense, especially rushing the ball near the goal line. I'd rather gamble on a younger running back with upside than take Williams if I could avoid it.
I'd rather draft: Ben Tate, Ronnie Hillman, Mark Ingram

Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles: Brown had some sleeper potential when training camp started with the addition of coach Chip Kelly and his run-based offense. But Brown has been outplayed by Chris Polk in practice, and he's also dealt with a quad injury. Oh, and by the way, he's just the No. 2 running back at best behind LeSean McCoy, who isn't expected to sit much. Brown had two great games in 2012 when McCoy was dealing with a concussion for four games, but he also had two miserable ones. Brown should beat out Polk for the backup role behind McCoy, and he's worth drafting as a handcuff. But any thoughts of Brown being a potential flex option as long as McCoy is healthy because Kelly will run the ball a lot should be gone by now. It doesn't look like that's going to happen, and Brown is only worth a late-round pick.
I'd rather draft: Pierre Thomas, Bernard Pierce, BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: Wayne is still going to produce at a high level, but if you're expecting him to be a Top 15 Fantasy receiver like he was last year that's not likely to happen. In 2012, Wayne was rejuvenated with the addition of quarterback Andrew Luck and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. The latter called the fifth-most pass plays in the NFL last year, which allowed Wayne to be the second-most targeted receiver behind Calvin Johnson at 194. It's unlikely new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton will give Wayne that many attempts. Along with that, Wayne had just two touchdowns and one 100-yard game in the final eight outings and just five total touchdowns on the year. He's being drafted toward the end of Round 4, which is too soon in standard leagues, and this could be the point where Wayne's production starts to decline since he'll be 35 in November.
I'd rather draft: Danny Amendola, Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker

Steve Johnson, WR, Bills: Johnson has been the model of consistency the past three seasons with at least 76 catches, 1,000 yards and six touchdowns over that span. But I'm nervous about him this year. He's had a rough offseason and training camp with a broken back and hamstring problem, which he said continues to be an issue heading into the third preseason game. The Bills also have a new coach in Doug Marrone, who is committed to running the ball with C.J. Spiller. Buffalo also added two rookie receivers in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin to take targets from Johnson. But the X-factor in all this is the quarterback situation for the Bills. If EJ Manuel (knee) is forced to miss any time, Kevin Kolb would be the starter. Remember how good Kolb was for Larry Fitzgerald the past two years? Yeah, I'd rather forget that as well.
I'd rather draft: Kenny Britt, Josh Gordon, Chris Givens

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars: Shorts is an extremely talented receiver, and he's entering his third season, which could be a breakout year. But I'm nervous about his injuries and quarterback situation. Shorts dealt with two concussions in 2012, and hopefully that doesn't continue to be a problem this year. He also missed time in training camp with a calf injury. And then there's his quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is going to open the season as the starter, and that doesn't inspire confidence in Shorts posting quality stats. Now, Shorts could be great to start the year with Justin Blackmon (suspension) out, but keep in mind the majority of Shorts' production last year (nine games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league) came when Maurice Jones-Drew was hurt. The standout running back is healthy now, and he will be the focal point on offense. I don't have a problem with his ADP, which is Round 7 as the No. 30 receiver. But anyone considering him a starter could be left disappointed.
I'd rather draft: Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, Torrey Smith

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings: Last year, Rudolph was tied with Jimmy Graham for the second-most touchdowns among tight ends with nine, trailing only Rob Gronkowski (11). But Rudolph had just 53 catches for 493 yards. The yardage was the lowest among the Top 15 Fantasy tight ends. And he was just No. 11 among targets for tight ends at 93. Rudolph had five games with double digits in touchdowns in 2012, with three of them coming after Harvin was lost for the season with an ankle injury. The Vikings have replaced Harvin with Greg Jennings and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, and they will take targets away from Rudolph. He was great in the red zone last year with eight touchdowns in 15 targets, and he should do well down there again. But if his touchdowns decline and he doesn't bring up his catches and yards then this could be a down year. Consider him a low-end starting tight end on Draft Day with a late-round pick.
I'd rather draft: Jermichael Finley, Antonio Gates, Greg Olsen

Owen Daniels, TE, Texans: This mention is strictly being made because of ADP, since Daniels is being drafted as the No. 11 tight end. That's too high. I like Daniels as a Top 15 tight end, but I don't want him as my starter. He was good last season with 62 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns, but that's about his ceiling, especially since the touchdowns were a career high. He had just four games with double digits in Fantasy points, but none after Week 9. And now the Texans appear to have the second receiver they've coveted for seemingly the past 10 years since Andre Johnson was drafted in rookie DeAndre Hopkins. In 14-team leagues or more you should consider Daniels a starter. But in 12-team formats you should only use Daniels as a bye-week or injury replacement. He's a safe Fantasy option, but there are tight ends out there with more upside this season.
I'd rather draft: Martellus Bennett, Jordan Cameron, Zach Sudfeld

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

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Player News
Report: Raiders to release LaMarr Woodley
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3:02 pm ET) The Raiders will release DE LaMarr Woodley this week, according to a report by CSN Bay Area's Fallon Smith, citing an NFL source.

Woodley is entering the second year of a two-year contract. He's scheduled to make $3.85 million with a salary cap hit of $5.1875 million.  


Chiefs' De'Anthony Thomas working on being a receiver this offseason
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3:00 pm ET) De'Anthony Thomas was drafted out of Oregon by the Chiefs as a running back. Though he worked in a hybrid role as a rookie, he was listed by Kansas City as a running back. 

That could change in 2015.

According to the Kansas City Star, Thomas said he's worked this offseason on becoming more of a complete receiver.

“Yes, I have the ability to run the whole [route] tree,” Thomas said. “That’s what I’ve been working on this offseason. I’m running all those routes in the sand [during beach workouts]. And once the time comes to come on the grass, I feel like it’s going to be a lot easier because I’ve prepared myself.”

Thomas ran for 113 yards and totaled 156 receiving yards in a reserve role. He made a big impact in the return game, combinging for 833 punt and kickoff return yards with a touchdown. 
With Thomas transitioning into being more of a receiver first, he's modeling him game after Steelers wideout Antonio Brown. Both are shorter targets, making the comparison fitting for Thomas. Thomas is listed at 5-feet-8, 176 pounds and Brown is 5-feet-10, 186 pounds. 
Brown had a career season in 2014, totaling 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

“I’m very impressed with Antonio Brown,” Thomas said. “He’s a great player, and I feel like I have the same ability to make the same plays like him and help the team and be that [kind of impact] player.”



 


Report: Dolphins eyeing CBs Brandon Flowers, Kareem Jackson
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:39 pm ET) Looking to upgrade at cornerback, the Dolphins are interested in bringing on Brandon Flowers or Kareem Jackson during free agency, according to a report from the Miami Herald

The Dolphins don't appear sold on cornerback Cortland Finnegan for future seasons with the organization discussing alternative options. 

In 2014, Flowers totaled 52 tackles and three interceptions after signing a one-year deal with the Chargers. Jackson recorded 57 tackles and three interceptions in his fifth season for the Texans. 


Report: Vincent Jackson to return to Buccaneers at full salary
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2:23 pm ET) WR Vincent Jackson will return to the Buccaneers next season, at full salary, according to a report by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times

Jackson had been considered a target for a lower salary, to help improve the Bucs' salary cap situation. He'd previously said that he wanted to stay with the team but didn't want a pay cut. 

Jackson will be paid $9.777 million in 2015, with a cap hit of $12 million. 


Report: Todd Herremans has no plans to retire
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:23 pm ET) Former Eagles offensive lineman Todd Herremans is looking to continue his NFL career in 2015, according to a report from Pro Football Talk

Herremans was cut by the Eagles on Friday. The Eagles are set to save $2.8 million against the salary cap. 

Herremans was a fourth-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft and spent his entire career up to this point with Philadelphia. 


Stephen Tulloch unsure of future with Lions
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:00 pm ET) Lions LB Stephen Tulloch isn't sure whether he'll be back with the team next season. 

Tulloch is scheduled to make $4.8 million in 2015, and the Lions could save $3.2 million against the cap by releasing him. 

So far, this offsesason, the team has not communicated its plans to Tulloch. ""I haven't heard anything about what's going on, my agent hasn't heard anything," Tulloch told Sirius XM radio. "We're just preparing to report, April 20th, accordingly to the mail we've received for the offseason program. It's out of my control.

Tulloch has recovered from the ACL tear that ended his season three weeks in. "I'm way ahead of schedule and I feel great," Tulloch said. "I was telling a friend of mine yesterday, it's crazy how you feel stronger than you did previously, before the surgery." 


Jonas Gray hopes to return to Patriots' plans
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:44 pm ET) Jonas Gray burst on the scene for the Patriots last season, rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a Sunday night game. Just as quickly, he was gone. 

Gray overslept and was late for practice, and coach Bill Belichick didn't give him another chance to showcase his skills. Gray was inactive for the Super Bowl. 

Gray learned his lesson. "The tough part for me was to watch it, and not participate in a matter I thought I should," he told Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. "But it's motivation going into the offseason. I just know I need to work harder, so I'll never get myself in that position again." 

Still on the Patriots, Gray believes he'll get a clean slate next season, and he's spending the offseason preparing himself for the opportunity. 

I tell them, I'm going to have a Jerry Rice/Walter Payton mentality where whatever you do isn't enough," Gray said. "I'm going to have a work ethic where I know, in my heart of hearts, I'm going to outwork everybody. That's what I hope to achieve


Ravens' Justin Forsett wants to build on 2014
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:27 pm ET) Ravens RB Justin Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns, nearly matching his career totals for his six previous seasons in the NFL. 

Forsett is scheduled to be a free agent on March 10, but he hopes to remain with the Ravens, saying he's "praying that everything works out." 

“I want to build upon it,” Forsett told the Baltimore Sun. “I want to be great. I didn’t come in this league to be a one-year wonder."


Lions' Stephen Tulloch progressing from ACL surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:00 am ET) Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch said he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL surgery, reports FOXSports.com.

Tulloch said he was way ahead of schedule and feeling stronger since undergoing the surgery. Tulloch tore his ACL during a post-play celebration in September.


Reggie Bush says he doesn't plan to retire
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Three days after being released by the Lions, RB Reggie Bush said he has no plans to retire. 

TMZ reporters confronted Bush outside a Beverly Hills restaurant and asked if Bush, who turns 30 on Monday, was going to quit football. Bush responded with, "No." 

Bush rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns last season. 


 
 
 
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