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What do Wide Receiver Busts look like?

Might be easier if we talked about what it doesn’t look like. First off, any WR taken in the 10th round or later might be a disappointment. But that is not a “WR bust.” A WR taken at that point is likely taken as a bye-week replacement or to provide depth. While I think those taking Josh Gordon (current ADP is late 10th round) are wasting their 10th round pick, the cost of doing so is minimal.

While a WR bust is almost assuredly likely to regress, it is not the same as a regression candidate either. For example, the Fantasy community is pretty much in agreement that Doug Baldwin is going to regress this year. Baldwin was the 10th best WR last year, but is currently the 23rd best WR being drafted. His expected regression is already baked into his draft slot. Therefore, I don't expect Baldwin to be a WR bust.

This doesn’t mean a regression candidate can’t be a bust also. There are other WRs whose regression tendency is already included in their cost, but unlike the case of Baldwin, there is not enough of a “discount” and I consider them a likely WR bust. A WR Bust is the player you are going to look at after the season and really wish you hadn’t picked them when you did.

Here are my forecasted failures:

 

2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

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Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 54.5)

We all know that the regression is coming with Blake Bortles. And that will impact Allen Robinson too, but I think the impact on Hurns will be even greater. If nothing else, the Jacksonville defense should be better this year, meaning less of a need to pass. And given that, do you really think Hurns is going to score 10 touchdowns again? Yet somehow his ADP still reflects that.

And here’s the bigger issue—Hurns can’t stay healthy. He has never played a full season, and maybe that’s an unfair assessment for a player entering his third year, but it’s not like he was a beacon of health in college either, only starting 26 of 45 games. No one else on this list represents as much risk to their relative cost as Hurns.

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Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 97.8)

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Yes, I know you want a piece of the Steeler offense and with Martavis Bryant out, Wheaton is the obvious choice, right? Let’s not be so hasty. First off, I think newly acquired Ladarius Green sees a bunch of those targets abdicated by Bryant. Moreover, I’m not so sure Sammie Coates or Darrius Heyward Bey actually aren’t the big beneficiaries. DHB in fact was the one who saw his stats inflate when Bryant was out.

And there’s this other guy on the Steelers roster named Antonio Brown who has taken over a game once or twice. Wheaton might be a great desperation play in a given week, but do you really want to draft that type of player this early?

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Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (ADP 104.9)

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Diggs exploded around the middle of the season, caught two TDs against a porous Chicago secondary in week 15, and…pretty much did nothing else. His production between weeks six through eight accounted for nearly 45-percent of his total output. The WR bust landscape is littered with players who had a nice three game stretch and then did nothing (don’t believe me, ask a 2014 Brian Hartline owner). And let’s not forget that this team runs through Adrian Peterson.

I’d rather take the age-27 “old veteran” Torrey Smith two rounds later. Smith had the same number of TDs as Diggs and only about 100 receiving yards less while part of the dumpster fire that was the 49ers last year. Meanwhile, news coming out of Vikings camp is that Charles Johnson is “popping” off the page.

Diggs was a steal in the fifth round when the Vikings drafted him, but his talent is not first or even second round talent. I like Diggs, but he doesn’t deserve to be a regular starter in my lineup or yours, and that’s where he is being drafted.

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Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 54.5)

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