2015 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Busts
All Average Draft Position data courtesy of Fantasy Pros’ consensus ADP.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR4, 14th overall) – This is more of an endorsement for several other wide receivers than it is an argument against Beckham, who went crazy in 12 games in his rookie season (91 catches, 1,305 yards, 12 scores). I’ve seen several ranks with him as the top-ranked receiver, which is just nuts. Antonio Brown led the NFL in yardage last year AND has 37 straight games with at least five catches, 50 yards and/or a touchdown (32 straight of at least five catches and 50 yards).
There’s a top tier of five to seven receivers who all have a chance of leading the NFL in catches, yards and/or scores, and Beckham’s a part of it. He did display Brown-like consistency and ceiling last year, but his reoccurring hamstring injuries and Eli’s ability to play poorly for stretches at a time make me want to trust one of my top two picks to other receivers who are more seasoned. I’d take Brown, Dez, Demaryius, Calvin, Julio and Green over him. The Giants have a great start to the season schedule-wise so Beckham may take off again early. If he does you can possibly look to sell high.
Jarvis Landry (WR27, 64th overall) – This is weird that I pick two LSU guys as “busts” even though I’m an LSU fan. You may not think that’s weird, but at least you can’t accuse me of bias. Anyway, Landry, like Beckham, excelled and surprised in his rookie season, catching 84 passes for 758 yards but with only nine yards per catch. Landry’s shown he has a high floor, but I question how high he can go. He only caught five of Tannehill’s 27 touchdown passes, and not only is the Dolphins’ receiving corps revamped, it’s also much improved.
Kenny Stills is arguably better than Mike Wallace; Jordan Cameron‘s better than Charles Clay; Greg Jennings can easily replace Brian Hartline; and Miami drafted Devante Parker, whom I think is the most talented of this bunch, in the first round. I just think there are so many equal options here than Landry doesn’t have that high a ceiling especially compared to the other receivers going around him in drafts, Brandon Marshall and Martavis Bryant especially.
Roddy White (WR30, 82nd overall) – After six consecutive seasons of 16 games and over 1,000 receiving yards White has missed five games total in the last two years, failing to reach the 1,000-yard mark in either season. He’s also averaging more than two yards less than his career average per catch, and he’s scored an average of five touchdowns after scoring at least six in each of the previous six seasons. He has only 22 catches of at least 20 yards in the last two seasons after catching 36 such passes in the two seasons before 2013-’14.
If you go deeper his stats also suffer. According to Pro Football Focus, White’s yards per route run from 2011 to last year: 2.11, 2.08, 1.36, 1.55. His yards after catch per reception in those same years: 3.4, 3.3, 1.9, 2.3. So not only has his performance dropped, it’s dropped significantly. He’s already sidelined in training camp with a knee problem, but even if he does stay healthy, it’ll take a lot for him to rebound to previous levels. Receivers I like more than White who are in his ADP area: Nelson Agholor, Allen Robinson, Torrey Smith, Brandon LaFell, Eric Decker, John Brown.