The 4 Rookies Most Likely to Bust in Fantasy Football

Aug 14, 2017
The 4 Rookies Most Likely to Bust in Fantasy Football

National Fantasy Football Draft Day is quickly approaching. Drafters tend to be intrigued by rookies, drawn to the mystery surrounding them and the idea that their Saturday domination will smoothly transition to the Sunday gridiron without missing a beat.

Sadly, that's not always the case. In fact, it's rarely the case. Over the past 16 seasons, 35 rookie running backs have finished as top-24 fantasy scorers while 17 wide receivers have hit that same mark—giving fantasy players just enough hope to keep chasing rookies each season in hopes of finding the two RBs or one WR, on average, who can finish as a solid fantasy starter.

But there are many more rookies that should be avoided than targeted in redraft fantasy leagues. Below are a few to avoid.

WR Mike Williams, Chargers

While the winds of a somewhat significant back injury continue to swirl, Mike Williams is becoming easier to avoid in seasonal leagues. Although the Chargers spent a top-10 overall pick on the Clemson product, the competition he will face for looks in this offense is difficult to ignore. Keenan Allen will return from an ACL injury that cost him nearly all of the 2016 season. Tyrell Williams, the fantasy WR18 in 2016, and tight end Hunter Henry, who tied for the league lead in touchdowns among tight ends, are coming off breakout seasons in which they carried the offense during Allen's absence; both will be counted on as key contributors. Hall of Famer Antonio Gates is also back for another season. So is underrated wideout Travis Benjamin. Philip Rivers has averaged 576 pass attempts over the past five seasons; with so many options, the target ceiling for a healthy Mike Williams is likely under 100.

Factoring in Williams' herniated disc further damages his short-term value. He is currently on the preseason PUP list and the Chargers have ruled him out for the entirety of training camp. With at least another month of recovery and rehab still ahead of him, Williams is a contender to be placed on the regular-season PUP list, which would keep him out of action until Week 7 at the earliest. With a Week 9 bye and plenty of healthy options on his team's roster, it's possible Williams makes his debut as late as Week 10 (Jaguars). While Williams’ ADP has come down recently as his injury news has become baked in, he is beginning to look like a wasted pick for the 2017 season.

Continue reading for three more rookies most likely to bust...

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