The Fantasy Football wide receiver pool is almost overflowing with talent, but there are going to be wide receiver busts who we still want to avoid.
While most Fantasy players will stick it out with running backs and still draft them highly after a disappointing season, wide receivers lose or gain favor quicker than any other position. After just one down year, some players are completely avoiding Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green. You also have the other extreme of Odell Beckham Jr. as a first-round pick because of just one season of production.
For leagues that start three wide receivers or have two flex spots, you have to make sure you hit on the receivers you select between Rounds 5-10. It may seem like taking a shot in the dark, but there are definitely certain wide receivers who are not going to offer you enough value.
Standard scoring leagues can be a little trickier than PPR leagues because you have to find receivers who will see a large amount of receiving yards, as well as enough touchdowns to be a consistent starter in your roster. Receptions can add a little bit of a balance to poor or mediocre performances in PPR leagues, but you obviously can’t rely on that in standard leagues.
Listed below are three wide receivers who are not going to live up to your expectations.
2015 Wide Receiver Busts
Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs
— Kansas City Chiefs (@chiefs) August 10, 2015
In 2014, Travis Kelce, Jamaal Charles, Anthony Fasano, De’Anthony Thomas (Thomas was recently converted from a running back to a receiver) and Knile Davis accounted for 48 percent of Alex Smith’s passing targets. None of those players were wide receivers.
The fact that a receiver on the Chiefs didn’t finish with a touchdown last season is an outlier that won’t happen again in 2015. Maclin will score a touchdown, but he will not be close to seeing the 1,318 receiving yards he is leaving behind. There has not been a receiver who has reached 1,000 yards since Smith took over as signal caller in 2013, and there hasn’t been a wide receiver on the team who has caught more than five touchdowns. In Smith’s last full season as the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback in 2011, Michael Crabtree led the team in receiving yards with 874 receiving yards. Crabtree led the receivers in touchdowns, but his total was trumped by tight ends Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker combining for seven touchdown receptions.
Smith is just simply not a guy who relies on his wide receivers to move the ball. His short and intermediate passes make his running backs and tight ends perfect targets, and Maclin will not even be close to the production he provided his Fantasy owners last season. He doesn’t have that expensive of a price tag as a sixth-round pick, but I would rather select players with more upside like Jarvis Landry and Allen Robinson who are also available in that same round.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy Breakdown: Does Roddy White Still Have in the Tank? http://t.co/vktyWktU6q
— Gridiron Experts (@GridironExperts) August 10, 2015
I can’t buy into a 33-year old (will turn 34 in November) receiver who plays with a quarterback who has averaged 25 touchdown passes per season over his seven-year career. Add in that White will undergo elbow surgery in the preseason (but should be back by Week 1), and this is too much of a risk.
White finished as the 24th-highest scoring receiver in standard scoring leagues last season, and the odds seem stacked against him to stay at the same level of production, let alone exceed his numbers from 2014. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wants to create a more balanced attack, and Ryan recorded under 4,000 passing yards when Michael Turner ran for 1,371 rushing yards in 2010. Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Antone Smith may not rush for that amount of yards on their own, but a committee approach could offer the balanced attack Shanahan is seeking.
There are plenty of players with more upside available in similar rounds.
Percy Harvin, Buffalo Bills
EJ Manuel with yet another overthrow on a deep pattern, this time intended for Percy Harvin. #Bills Camp
— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) August 10, 2015
Harvin has two main road blocks for Fantasy success: the quarterback situation and the rushing attack.
What some Fantasy players may not realize is that Harvin’s production also came from rushing the ball. The 27-year old receiver finished 2011 with 1,309 total yards, but 342 of those yards were from rushing the ball. Harvin totaled under 1,000 receiving yards that year, so his receiving yards alone would not have made him a consistent Fantasy option to rely on. With LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson in the lineup, there’s not much chance that Harvin will have too many opportunities to carry the ball.
Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor will only be asked to act as game managers, so Harvin will not receive a ton of volume. He’s interesting as a late-round pick because of his athleticism, but he isn’t in an offense that make him a reliable Fantasy option.
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