So as my last article outlined my “exploders” for the 2016 fantasy football seasons this one is the other side of the coin. My “Imploders” are players, who I believe will disappoint at their current ADP and in general are players I will most likely not have on any of my teams this season. For the record I like some of these players but I just cannot invest the type of draft capital to roster them.
Cam Newton: ADP 4.02, 32nd overall
The NFL MVP in 2015 Cam greatly exceeded expectations last year to finish as the far and away QB1. All of this despite losing his number one target Kelvin Benjamin. Who is he going to throw to? That’s all that was said last year leading up to the season and everybody faded Cam pretty heavily and paid the price. That price in 2016 is what scares me off of Cam this year. I would much rather draft an RB2 or WR3 at his current ADP and wait four to five rounds later and take Carson Palmer some fifty picks later. Cam is safe and I get that that is a nice luxury to have in fantasy but the price for safe at QB is too rich for my blood. I expect Cam to finish in the top 5 at the position this year but even with Benjamin back I think his passing TD’s decline this year and his interceptions increase to normal levels that we have seen previously. I also find it difficult for Newton to reproduce a ten rushing touchdown performance in 2016.
Blake Bortles: ADP 8.05, 77th overall
35 touchdowns and 4,400 yards passing off the waiver wire last year proved that a QB1 can be found during the season and also that the position is the deepest its been in the history of fantasy football. The curious case of Blake Bortles in 2016 is if he can do it again. Currently being drafted as the QB8 people are betting on him to repeat his 2015 season. I am not one of these people. I owned Bortles in multiple leagues last year and really paid attention to Jacksonville’s game script last season. It was typically throwing from behind, down multiple scores as the defense was playing soft with a two to three touchdown lead. I love the weapons Jacksonville has put together on offense but I think in 2016 the game script will not allow for the same type of “garbage time” performances. They are much better on the defensive side of the ball and shouldn’t fall behind nearly as much. I also think the Jags wont have three rushing touchdowns this year so that will eat into Bortles passing TD numbers. Chris Ivory is a great goal line option for them in 2016. I still think Bortles will be a solid QB option in 2016 but to me he’s more of a high end QB2.
David Johnson: ADP 1.07, 7th overall
Every year in the first round there is a massive bust at the running back position. Monte Ball, Eddie Lacy, CJ Anderson etc. etc. I think David Johnson is that guy this year which pains me as I am a fan of his game and even drafted him late in three leagues last year based on his physical profile at the position. If you listen to our podcast you will often hear me say “don’t pay for small sample sizes” which is exactly what you are doing with both Johnson and my next imploding RB. Johnson only had one 100 yard rushing game last season and it was against an anemic Eagles defense late in the season. He got close two other times but other than that he was pedestrian. He did find quite a bit of work in the passing game but that was only because CJ1K and Andre Ellington were out for the season. I think David Johnson is a two down running back this year who is being over drafted as a rare three down back like Leveon Bell and Todd Gurley. All its going to take to get into Bruce Arian’s doghouse is a few bad games or fumbling problems to open the door for Chris Johnson who until he got hurt was a top 10 RB last year. People seem to forget this. I’d much rather draft a safe option like A.J. Green or Deandre Hopkins. You need to hit in the first round because if you don’t you will likely struggle. Proceed with caution.
Devonta Freeman: ADP 2.07, 17th overall
Freeman was a fantasy Jekyll and Hyde last year. He put up one of the greatest five game stretches we have seen in years and then proceeded to be who we thought he was, a third down back who was mediocre as a feature back. I watched every one of Freemans FSU games and I always thought he was an ok prospect. I never saw his success coming. An opportunity arose and he grasped it but I think the league caught up to him over time. Freeman is best when he bounces outside or is targeted in the passing game, classic third down back traits. You are paying RB1 price for Freeman right now and I do not think he will finish even in the top 15 at the position this year. Don’t pay for small sample sizes folks! I would much rather draft Lesean Mccoy or Mark Ingram a round later.
Kelvin Benjamin: ADP 3.08, 29th overall
Expectations are high for the Carolina offense this year now that Benjamin is returning from an acl tear that occurred early in camp last year. Benjamin was an absolute target monster in his rookie year with Cam throwing his way 145 times adding up to 73 catches for 1,008 yards and nine scores. My biggest concern is that Benjamin and Olsen were the only players in the passing game in 2014 and Benjamin benefited from a lot of garbage time as Carolina wasn’t very good. Fast forward to 2016, the team just went 15-1 and made their second super bowl appearance and sported one of the leagues top offenses without Benjamin. My point is the offense is not going to run through Benjamin anymore and will be a balanced attack as other players like Ginn, Funchess and Brown have emerged as quality options for Newton. When I’m drafting I’m looking for my WR1/2 to be a highly targeted player and I just think Benjamin and his decline in targets will be more of a WR3 this year. Id much rather select Hilton, Cobb or Watkins in that spot.
Julian Edelman: ADP 4.08, 38th overall
As many of our readers know I am a die hard New England Patriots fan but I do not wear blinders when evaluating my team. Edelman is Tom Brady’s favorite target,say what you want about Gronk but Julian is the straw that stirs the offenses drink. So why am I down on Edelman this year you ask? There are a few factors. One, they brought in Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett into the fold in the passing game. Two, Dion Lewis should be ready to roll for week one and three is that Edelman was on a crazy out of character touchdown pace last year up until he broke his foot in week 9. He scored seven touchdowns through nine weeks and his previous high was six over 16 games in 2014. The broken foot also concerns me as he rushed back for the playoff run and then had another surgery in the off season. Edelmans value is really in PPR formats as he should be able to produce 90 catches this year for around 1,000 yards and 4-6 TD’s. Great WR3 numbers in standard formats but he is being drafted as WR2 over the same players Benjamin is being drafted over. I can see Hilton, Cobb and Watkins breaking the ten touchdown barrier this year and its just unrealistic to me to expect that from Edelman with all of those weapons on offense in New England.
Jordan Reed: ADP 5.01, 41st overall
Jordan Reed is the consensus number two overall tight end and that scares the hell out of me. His talent is undeniable. He averaged more fantasy points per game than Rob Gronkowski which is saying something. He plays in what should be a high powered offense which he is the focal point of, so what’s the issue Doug? The issue is that Jordan Reed cannot stay on the field consistently and comes with major red flags around concussions. Over his career Reed has suffered five concussions in five years and missed two games in 2015 which is concerning especially with the more targets he sees the more chances there are for number six and more missed time. Reed is a big fantasy wildcard this year who could really pay off, I’m just telling you reasons why I am staying away. Id rather wait and draft a Tight End late in a deep 2016 field of players and stock up on RB’s and WR’s.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my take on players who I don’t think will pay off their ADP this season! At the end of the season I will be recapping both Exploders and Imploders with a scorecard of how my predictions panned out as I like to be accountable for my work!