2016 Fantasy Football: Kirk Cousins and Other Potential Busts
There are a ton of players that exploded onto the scene last season and will be overdrafted this season. In this article we will cover the player to avoid at each position. These are guys that will go way too high and are destined to let you down in 2016 after a stellar or breakout 2015.
QB Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
2015 was a surprise breakout season, the fantasy world is extemely high on Cousins this season. He exploded in the second half of 2015 but on a game-per-game basis, Cousins was mediocre more often than not. In the end, he totaled 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. On top of those strong statistics, he also led the Redskins to an NFC East title. Although, the NFC East was an embarrassment last year. Tight end Jordan Reed’s enormous season along with a developing Jamison Crowder and first-round pick Josh Doctson, who may have been the best WR in this years draft, has only added more fuel to Kirk Cousins bandwagon. However, I’m not at all sold on Cousins.
He was awful on the road and exploited second-rate opposition to swell his statistics. Despite winning the mediocre NFC East with a 9-7 record, they didn’t beat a single team with a winning record the entire season. The Buffalo Bills were the only team that was even at .500. They only played against three teams the entire season with an above .500 record and lost those games by a combined score of 105 to 46. In those three games, Cousins threw for only 620 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. Cousins also fumbled nine times during the season to go along with his 11 interceptions. He was really exposed in the playoffs when the favorite Redskins were never competitive against a struggling Green Bay Packers team. Cousins looked poor, and his less than terrible numbers were a result of playing catch-up and garbage time. I feel he may be brought into the light as a fraud and fantasy bust this season.
RB Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
If you watched Lewis last year, he jumped off the screen. It’s obvious why fantasy owners are so high on him. In just seven games last season, which was really more like five due to injury, Lewis caught 36 passes, put up over 600 yards from scrimmage and punched in four touchdowns. The guy is quick and is a very talented and shifty back. Nevertheless, that “in just seven games” and “more like five due to injury” is the big issue.
Not only did Lewis miss nine games last season with a torn ACL, but he was also limited through multiple games with an abdominal injury as I stated. It goes much deeper than that though. His career has been ravaged by injuries. Since being drafted in 2011, he’s missed 49 games. He’s played only in 31. Lewis has only managed 85 career carries and 39 receptions in five years.
It also doesn’t help how unpredictable Bill Belichick is with his running backs. This has been the case since Corey Dillion left. They’ll have four other backs in the mix and one of them you’ve never heard of and will be a breakout star this season. When healthy Dion Lewis is like Shane Vereen on steroids (not literally). Still, the injury concerns are far to glaring to draft Lewis. Especially when you consider he’s projected to be a top-20 running back in fantasy drafts this season.
WR Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
I’ve never been particularly high on Watkins. Even in his draft class I ranked him outside of the top five and caught a ton of flack when I once said he may not be the best Clemson WR in his own draft class. So, make of that what you will. However, I’m sticking with it this season.
First off, he has been constantly nicked, dinged and banged up. He play particularly terrible when less than 100 percent. Now he just underwent foot surgery and we’re hearing words like optimistic, hopeful and questionable out of Buffalo when it comes to his Week 1 availability. Week 1 is a ways away still though. With that said, Watkins is currently being drafted high in the second round. Right around the 14-15 spot. Do you really want to spend a pick that high on a wideout that is already wildly inconsistent, coming off foot surgery with a still questionable quarterback situation?
TE Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Reed is a similar situation to Lewis. When you watch him, he’s fantastic. However, health is a major concern. In Reed’s case it’s not even a matter of he may miss some games with a bad hammy, which he may, it’s a matter of he may never play another snap with one more shot to his head. On top of numerous soft tissue and other various injuries, he has five documented concussions that have cost him games since 2011. His concussion in 2013 was so severe he was put on I.R. and missed the final seven games of the season. There was some fear the concussion he suffered last season that cost him two games could have been a season if not career ender.
He is yet to play more than 14 games in a season and through three NFL seasons he’s missed 14 games. This is a risk that I’m not willing to take now that he is the consensus TE2 in the majority of leagues. The talent is there, but he’s just not worth the risk in my eyes. Yes, anybody can get hurt. Still, this has a much higher potential to end bad than most.