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Fantasy Football Draft 2016: Overvalued Wide Receiver (WR) Busts

WR Busts for the 2016 Fantasy Football Draft

August 25, 2016

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For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been celebrating the return of fantasy football by examining the 2016 draft from a lot of different angles. Today we continue our position-by-position look at some of the potential busts out there, and this time we’re checking out the wide receiver slot. Let’s visit a few of the overvalued names you should avoid in the earlier rounds of your draft. 

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles: Matthews was something of a bust in 2015, even though he didn’t have much competition among fellow Eagles wide receivers. That translated to a sub-1,000 yard season and just four games over the century mark in yardage. 

Fantasy Football Draft 2016: Overvalued Wide Receiver (WR) Busts


Lots of drafts have Matthews going in the sixth or seventh round, and even for a No. 1 WR on the depth chart, that’s way too high. Matthews will see a lot more competition this season from guys like Reuben Randle and Nelson Agholor and may not even reach his modest 2015 numbers. 

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots: Where do we begin with Edelman? He’s lost in a sea of names like Gronkowski and Bennett, and has put up just one 1,000-yard season in his career. Factor in the negative that he won’t have Tom Brady in the early part of the year and you’ve got red flags all over the place. 

Despite the drawbacks, Edelman is still getting drafted in rounds four or five in many fantasy leagues. That’s way too high for an aging wide receiver who will only be a cog in a much larger offensive machine in New England. 

Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens: Smith is a guy who will get picked up way earlier than he should be this year, thanks mostly to name recognition and his body of work. Don’t be the person who drafts him too high, though. 

Smith is coming off a pretty substantial injury (torn Achilles tendon) and is an old NFL man at 37 years of age. Even worse, he’s up against competition like Mike Wallace and Kamar Aiken, which should further reduce his targets. Don’t expect anything more than a late-round pickup value for Smith, who will likely only return matchup-based backup numbers this year. 

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys: Here’s another guy who will get drafted too early due to name recognition. Bryant had something of a lost year in 2015, as he played just nine games due to injury. When he was on the field, he averaged just over eight targets a game. 

That doesn’t sound too bad, and we’re not saying Bryant will be a complete bust, but just don’t reach too high for him in your draft. He’s already had a concussion this preseason and is now an official moderate-to-high injury risk. Add in the uncertainty of oft-hurt QB Tony Romo and there are better places to spend that lower-round pick than in Dallas. 

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

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