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2014 Draft Prep: Busts, 3.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Sleepers 3.0 | Breakouts 3.0 | Draft Averages | Draft Prep Index

If you've been following along with the final version of our sleepers and breakouts, you know the format. We've been going over the two previous columns from each category, which were done in April and just before the start of training camp, and doing an All-Star list to give you the top 12 players for both groups.

For our Busts 3.0, we'll list the All-Star team to avoid, but I wanted to do something different for this column. I wanted to see which players are being overdrafted based on their Average Draft Position on CBSSports.com. Now, some of these players are still worth drafting and I don't consider all of them bust candidates. But their price tag has become too high, so you might want to pass on them on Draft Day since it will be difficult for them to justify their value.

All-Star busts

Nick Foles, QB, Eagles: He'll regress after last year's surprise season.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: Offensive line and lack of running a concern.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks: His workload from 2013 will hurt him.
Reggie Bush, RB, Lions: Joique Bell will be Detroit's No. 1 RB this year.
Ben Tate, RB, Browns: Terrance West is better value based on ADP.
Chris Johnson, RB, Jets: His decline will continue even with a new team.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants: I'm not sold even with David Wilson out.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins: The move to Washington lowers his value.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills: EJ Manuel won't enhance Watkins' skills.
Eric Decker, WR, Jets: His wallet improves, his stats decline in New York.
Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers: Expect a touchdown decline to lower his value.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns: The poor QB play will hurt his production.

Players being overdrafted

Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos

ADP: No. 4 overall
I love Manning. He's the No. 1 quarterback on my draft board and I'm expecting another outstanding season. But he isn't worth drafting at No. 4 overall unless it's a two-quarterback league, in which case he should be No. 1. But in most standard and PPR formats he shouldn't be drafted until the end of the first round and I would rather see him fall to Round 2. The problem with drafting Manning early in the first round is you're expecting another season of record-breaking stats when he had 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns. That's unrealistic, including him being 88 Fantasy points better than the No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in Drew Brees and 170 Fantasy points better than the No. 3 quarterback in Andy Dalton. The Broncos lost Knowshon Moreno and Decker, beefed up the interior of their offensive line to be more physical, which should lead to more rushing, and have an improved defense. Now, Montee Ball and Emmanuel Sanders should do fine as new starters and we're still expecting an aerial attack from Manning. But the last time Manning set the single-season passing touchdown record in 2004 (49) he followed that up with a 21-touchdown decline. A similar regression could be coming, and while Manning will still be great, he might not live up to his value that early in Round 1.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

ADP: No. 19 overall
Bell's stock is falling since the second preseason game against Buffalo for differing reasons. The first problem is LeGarrette Blount. It looks like he'll be more of a factor than anyone anticipated. The initial thought was Blount would get 6-8 carries per game, which would hurt Bell but not cripple him. But after the Bills game it came out that Bell and Blount would likely split carries somewhat evenly, with Bell telling my colleague, Dave Richard, that Blount will work at the goal line. Then, Bell and Blount were both charged with marijuana possession, with Bell also being charged for a DUI. It doesn't seem like this will lead to a suspension this season, but it's another red flag for a running back with upside. I'd still draft Bell late in Round 2 or early in Round 3, but at this point I'd rather have Alfred Morris, Doug Martin and Zac Stacy, who all have a lower ADP. We hope Blount doesn't ruin Bell's chances this season, but he's trending downward after his promising rookie campaign.

Arian Foster, RB, Texans

ADP: No. 21 overall
It's difficult to find an upper-echelon running back who has had a worse training camp then Foster. Coming off back surgery last year, Foster said in an interview he contemplated retirement. If you couple that with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the first two preseason games, you realize he's definitely heading in the wrong direction. He could easily rebound before the season starts and play like an elite rusher again, even if it's for a small sample size during the year. But durability is now an issue and his motivation has come into question as well. The positives are the Texans don't have a proven backup to keep him off the field, even if Jonathan Grimes has run well with Foster out. But he made a name for himself with a different regime and new coach Bill O'Brien has no allegiance to Foster as a long-term investment. I'd let Foster fall to you in the early part of Round 3, and like Bell, I'd rather have Morris, Martin and Stacy just based on their upside compared to Foster's downside.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions

ADP: No. 26 overall
I'm extremely excited about Stafford this year with the addition of new coordinator Joe Lombardi, receiver Golden Tate and tight end Eric Ebron. But I'm not excited enough about Stafford to draft him early in Round 3 unless he somehow fell in a two-quarterback league. By drafting Stafford there, you're basically expecting him to blow away the field after the top three quarterbacks in Manning, Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Stafford had a huge season in 2011 when he was No. 4 behind Rodgers, Brees and Tom Brady. He was then overdrafted in 2012 but finished as just the No. 11 quarterback in standard leagues. Last year, Stafford also had top-five potential, but he finished at No. 7. I don't have any doubt Stafford will be a top-10 Fantasy quarterback this year barring injury, and he should be drafted as the No. 4 quarterback in most formats. But the price tag at No. 26 overall is way too steep, especially when you get someone like Jay Cutler almost four rounds later. While Stafford should be better than Cutler, the production won't be dramatically different if both play to their capabilities, and you're better off waiting on Draft Day.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills

ADP: No. 36 overall
It's apparent the current Bills coaching staff isn't fond of Spiller. They signed Anthony Dixon, traded for Bryce Brown and gave Fred Jackson an extension this offseason while Spiller has a player option after this year. We'll see if he wants to come back after a year where he could again lose playing time to Jackson, and the expectation is Spiller will lose passing-down work and goal-line chances. I still have hope for Spiller, but his third-round price tag is becoming too high. You're better off waiting until Round 4 and even then he could be too expensive. The positive for Spiller is Jackson's age. At 33, he's the oldest running back in the NFL, and prior to last season he played a combined 20 games the previous two years. If the Bills continue to work him as much as they did in 2013 with 253 total touches then he could break down, which would help Spiller. But I'd rather let Spiller fall to me than reach for him, so try to avoid him in Round 3 if you can.

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

ADP: No. 39 overall
I'm expecting a bounce-back performance from Brady this season after he was the No. 13 quarterback last year, which snapped a streak of three years in a row when he was in the top three. The key is Rob Gronkowski (knee) staying healthy, but Brady also needs Shane Vereen, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson on the field for most of the year. The Patriots and Bill Belichick have no problem running the ball, even with Stevan Ridley's fumble woes, and relying on their defense, which is what we saw for a good portion of last season. Brady only had six games with 20 or more Fantasy points and he finished with 15 points or less in eight games. I still expect him to be a top-10 Fantasy quarterback, but he should not be drafted in Round 4 unless it's a two-quarterback league. And I don't like seeing Brady ahead of guys like Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck, who should have a higher ceiling this year if they play to their expectations.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers

ADP: No. 48 overall
I'm conflicted writing this because I consider Kaepernick a breakout candidate this year. But that's when I was expecting him to be drafted with a late-round pick and not in Round 4. He was originally the No. 5 quarterback coming off the board behind Manning, Brees, Rodgers and Stafford, but thankfully he's been passed by Luck. Kaepernick is in line for a big season. He got a huge contract extension, the 49ers added Steve Johnson and get Michael Crabtree back at 100 percent to go with Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. Plus, the defense could struggle, meaning more passing. The running game could take a step back with Frank Gore not getting any younger. All of this could lead to more throwing for Kaepernick. But he should be a value pick and not a reach, which is what he's become based on his ADP. There's a lot to like about Kaepernick, but make sure the value is worth it.

Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

ADP: No. 54 overall
Rice will miss the first two games of the season with the suspension, so we'll see what the touch differential will be with Bernard Pierce when he returns. If Pierce does well in the first two games against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh that will only increase his case to make this a tandem. Rice won't sit on the bench, but Pierce has already been a star of training camp and could shine in Gary Kubiak's system. When I look at this backfield, I'd much rather pass on Rice at his ADP and wait for Pierce at No. 114. The production might end up being closer than you think, but the value is clearly slanted in Pierce's favor. The Ravens wanted Rice and Pierce to split carries last year, and Rice had 214 compared to 152 for Pierce, so they were close to sharing then. It could be even closer this season, with Rice having the edge with his receiving ability (he had 58 receptions to 20 for Pierce). But I'll take a receiver where Rice is coming off the board and wait for Pierce in Round 10.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

ADP: No. 74 overall
Hilton has the chance to be special this season, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Indianapolis. Hilton's stats from last year (82 catches for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns) are propped up because he was really the lone option in the passing game. Reggie Wayne suffered a torn ACL in Week 7 and tight end Dwayne Allen was out with a hip injury. Both are back this season and Hakeem Nicks was added in the offseason. Hilton also did well to accumulate his production instead of being dominant on a weekly basis, as he finished with double digits in Fantasy points just five times, including once in Week 17. He could improve in his third year, but we expect Andrew Luck to continue to spread the ball around. That should limit Hilton's upside, and he's only worth drafting as a No. 3 receiver this year.

Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

ADP: No. 81 overall
Olsen is a good tight end. I'm just not sure if he can be great. He set a career high in catches last season with 73 and he's had two years in a row with 800-plus receiving yards. He's also scored six touchdowns or less in four consecutive seasons. Now, he could see a boost with the Panthers having a revamped receiving corps, and he's certainly not going to hurt your Fantasy team. But he's being drafted ahead of guys like Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph and Zach Ertz. All three of those tight ends have much more upside and those are the types of players you want to target on Draft Day. I'm OK settling for Olsen if I miss on the upper-echelon guys or the aforementioned trio, but I don't want him at No. 81 overall with a pick in Round 7 of a 12-team league. That's too expensive for someone with a limited ceiling.

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Player News
US District Court Judge nullifies Tom Brady's four-game suspension
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:29 am ET) US District Court Judge Richard Berman has nullified the NFL's four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Berman said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell went too far in affirming punishment of Brady for the quarterback's alleged role in the Deflategate incident. 

"Because there was no notice of a four-game suspension in the circumstances presented here, Commissioner Goodell may be said to have 'dispense[d] his own brand of industrial justice,'" Berman wrote in a 40-game ruling.

Berman's ruling means Brady is cleared to play Week 1 (Sept. 10) against the Steelers.


Report: Former Browns DE Phillip Taylor visits Steelers
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9/2/2015) A day after the Browns cut him, defensive end Phillip Taylor  visited the Steelers, according to NBCSports.com.

Cleveland paid Brown $5.47 million to not be a part of the organization on Tuesday. He was a first-round pick in 2011.


Saints place Vinnie Sunseri, Nick Toon, Ronald Powell on IR
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9/2/2015) After going unclaimed on waivers, the Saints placed safety Vinnie Sunseri , receiver Nick Toon and linebacker Ronald Powell on injured reserve, according to The Times-Picayune.

Raiders sign LB Lorenzo Alexander
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) The Raiders signed veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander on Wednesday, the team announced. Alexander has played nine seasons in the NFL and totaled 179 tackles.

Former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs retires
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) Linebacker Lance Briggs announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, reports ESPNChicago.com. Briggs played his entire 12-year career with the Bears totaling 1,177 tackles and 15 sacks.

Briggs later said on his Twitter account that he hasn't filed his retirement papers and nothing is official. 


Panthers sign QB Derek Anderson to contract extension
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) The Panthers reached a two-year contract extension with quarterback Derek Anderson, the team announced Wednesday.

"I’m excited about this for my family. To be here with the players, coaches and management we have – everything is top notch," Anderson said. "It was a no-brainer for me."

Anderson will backup Cam Newton. He was slated to become a free agent after the 2015 season.


Report: Bills RB LeSean McCoy may not be ready for Week 1
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) While Bills coach Rex Ryan recently said he was optimistic running back LeSean McCoy would be ready for the regular season opener, a source indicated to ESPN that McCoy's status for Week 1 is in jeopardy.

"Well we certainly expect him to be ready to go, I hope," Ryan said, per ESPN. "If not then the next man has to step up. Boobie [Dixon] got a lot of reps out there today. Bryce Brown got a lot of reps [Wednesday]. So we will see. I am not going to put that all on one man. If he is not ready to go, he won't be in there."

McCoy has not been able to play during the preseason after he suffered a hamstring injury at practice. He has been able to conduct some light footwork, agility and cardio drills, but his conditioning needs work.

"It's way too early to say whether [McCoy] will play or not. He is doing a little bit more every day. But hell yes, I'm concerned about that," the source said. "I can't say for sure he's going to be with us Week 1. I can't say that at all. It will take everything we got just to get him ready for game day, and then we get to game day [there's] no way he can be in great football shape. So I think he will be on a pitch count, I think at the very best."


Giants K Josh Brown dealing with bruised leg; sign K Chris Boswell
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) With Giants kicker Josh Brown trying to recover from a bruised leg, the team signed kicker Chris Boswell, reports the New York Daily News.

Boswell was signed to handle the kicking duties during Thursday's preseason finale. Brown reportedly suffered the injury while attempting to make a tackle during the second preseason game.


Report: Bills considering cutting QB Matt Cassel
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) The Bills are reportedly discussing releasing quarterback Matt Cassel, sources told WGR 550 in Buffalo. Cassel was competing for a starting spot, which he lost to Tyrod Taylor.

Report: Colts DT Arthur Jones needs ankle surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2015) The 2015 season for Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones is in doubt with the tackle reportedly needing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his ankle, sources told NFL.com.

Jones could be placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list. Jones produced 23 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in nine games last season.


 
 
 
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