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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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