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Everyone has the same fear of drafting a bust in an early round that can totally derail a promising season. Just ask Eddie Lacy or Jeremy Hill owners from last season, i.e. yours truly. Injuries are one thing to deal with, but there is nothing more frustrating than when you have a highly touted player that you drafted early and they play week in and week out with little to no production. Widdle out the stress and draft wisely so that you can rest easy knowing that all of your starters will perform. Listed are 5 busts to avoid in your draft for 2016.

DeVonta Freeman (RB – ATL)

Freeman had one of the best seasons a running back could ask for last year with over a thousand yards rushing and 14 combined touchdowns. However, along with those stats follows an average for yards per carry. This number shows how efficient a player is every time they touch the ball. Freeman’s last year was 4.0 yards per carry. That ranks 33rd best in the NFL, behind guys like Darren McFadden and Ronnie Hillman. Keep in mind there are only 32 teams in the NFL, theoretically, that means Freeman is being ranked with backups. I know what you’re thinking; Freeman had more carries than these guys so theses numbers aren’t equivalent. Not true. Freeman had 265 touches last year and both McFadden and Hillman each had over 200 themselves. An overworked running back with bad efficiency is a recipe for disaster. Freeman does have the PPR advantage with the amount of balls thrown his way, but you never know what kind of game you are going to get from Matty Ice. Freeman is definitely a number two back on your fantasy team this year but if you draft him as a number one and expect him to put up numbers like he did last year, you will be as disappointed as a modern day Cleveland Browns fan. -Tim Schwan

Doug Baldwin (WR – SEA)

I wouldn’t necessarily categorize Doug Baldwin as being a “bust” this season, but I included him on this list because I believe that he will be over drafted and is not worth the value of a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Baldwin was tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions last season (14) but if you break it down, he is very unlikely to repeat those numbers. Baldwin was a fantasy monster for a four-week stretch where he hauled in 10 TDs, with 21 receptions for 366 yards. The remaining 12 games he had a very modest 57 receptions for 703 yards and a poultry 4 TDs. He also only put up three games over 100 yards receiving. Don’t let a four-week outlier mislead you into drafting Baldwin too early. -Ryan Dyrud

Eddie Lacy (RB – GB)

It is now 2016, which marks Eddie Lacy’s fourth year in the league and the third consecutive year in which Eddie Lacy is being drafted in the first 2 rounds. Lacy had a great rookie season with the packers rushing for 1100 yards and 11 TDs. However, since that season, he has regressed in every rushing statistic. Not only has his durability been an issue, but even when he’s on the field he is being less productive. Last season he rushed for 758 yards and 3 TDs. It is now time to let Lacy earn our respect and not draft him based on the stats he had 3 years ago. Right now he is ranked as the 12th best RB and even that is generous. I would not feel comfortable with Lacy as the best RB on my team. Guys like Carlos Hyde and CJ Anderson are ranked lower and also play in offenses better suited for the RB position. -Levi Lefler

Brock Osweiler (QB – HOU)

No doubt the QB in Houston will be better this season with Osweiler at the helm. He has good work ethic, a student of the game, and good poise in the pocket. However, none of these attributes contribute to fantasy points. In his seven starts in Denver he only had two multiple touchdown games, and only passed for over 300 yards once. He has a tendency to hang onto the ball too long in the pocket leading to sacks and interceptions. Osweiler should go undrafted in 10-man leagues with the option of picking him up on waivers should you find yourself with an injured starter. -Ryan Dyrud

Sammy Watkins (WR – BUF)

Tyrod Taylor broke out last season and everyone in that offense reaped the benefits. Watkins hauled in 60 catches for 1047 yards and 9 scores. While I do think that Watkins will enjoy some success this year, he is completely overvalued. Last year’s totals appear to be closer to Watkins’ ceiling, but as the 12th ranked WR, your floor should be similar to the numbers he produced. Watkins also has dealt with injuries throughout his career so his durability is always a question mark. The other critique I have of Watkins is that he is a feast or famine type of player. He recorded 100 or more yards in 5 games last season but also had 4 games with fewer than 50 yards receiving. With an unproven QB, Sammy Watkins is a player I am going stay away from in the early rounds. -Levi Lefler

 

Ryan Dyrud

Author Ryan Dyrud

Founder and CEO of SportsAlDente.com. Grew up in Denver with a passion for all sports and an emphasis on the NFL. Moved to Los Angeles where I graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in Leisure Services (Yes the Van Wilder degree). My opinions are my own, but they should be yours too.

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