Nov. 3 (UPI) — Many NFL players don’t live up to fantasy football draft day expectations due to injuries, but some just struggle to perform and produce points on the virtual gridiron.
A bust in fantasy football is a player who underperforms based on his early average draft position in a respective league.
Dak Prescott, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley are among the players who could have had stellar 2020 campaigns, but sustained injuries that either knocked them out for the season or forced them to miss an extended period of time.
The case is not so clear for players like Lamar Jackson and Ezekiel Elliott, who have been the biggest disappointments so far for fantasy football teams.
All-Bust Team for the 2020 fantasy football season
QB: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
RB: Josh Jacobs, Cincinnati Bengals
WR: Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
FLEX: Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
K: Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles
D/ST: New Orleans Saints
Also considered: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints; Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons; Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs; Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals; JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers; A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals; T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts; D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers; Evan Engram, New York Giants
Jackson ranks just outside the Top 10 among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game, but he was drafted as the No. 1 overall player for his position. That decision to select Jackson in the first round of fantasy football drafts has likely crippled some teams, as those teams could have selected a star wide receiver or running back at that stage and selected a quarterback in the later rounds for a much better value.
Jackson led the NFL with 36 passing scores and set the single-season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,206 yards on the ground in 2019. This year, he has thrown just one touchdown in three of his seven starts. He has also averaged 58 rushing yards per game this season, compared to more than 80 rushing yards per game in 2019.
Jackson could rebound from his lackluster start to the season, but it will likely be too late for teams that drafted him to make a playoff push.
Elliott was a Top-3 selection in most fantasy football drafts, but has definitely not played up to his draft position. The Dallas Cowboys star got off to a strong start, with more than 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two games and touchdowns in each of his first three games. He has cooled in recent weeks with just two scores over his last five games. He also has averaged 52 rushing yards per game over his last three appearances.
Elliott ranks 11th among running backs in fantasy points per game. He likely hasn’t killed your fantasy team, but also hasn’t lifted it to success as an elite player at his position. You would have been better off with a draft-day selection of Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook or Derrick Henry.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Most of the players on my list have not had injury issues this season, but Beckham had struggled in the six games he played before he sustained his season-ending knee injury in Week 7. The Cleveland Browns playmaker was likely a second or third round selection in your draft, but was not even startable in most weeks during his abbreviated campaign.
Beckham ranks outside the Top 30 wide receivers in fantasy points per game. He also scored in just two of his seven appearances and never surpassed 100 receiving yards in a game. You would have been much better off selecting D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs or Keenan Allen at the same position you would have had to pick Beckham in your draft if you wanted a wide receiver.
Ertz’s days as an elite fantasy football option could be over. Ertz landed on injured reserve on Oct. 22 after he sustained a high-ankle sprain, but had already disappointed his fantasy football stock owners in 2020. Ertz has 24 catches for 178 yards ane one score in six games.
He ranks outside the Top 25 tight ends in points per game. He was likely the third or fourth tight end selected in your fantasy football draft has has been unusable in 2020.
Ertz’s stock owners would have been much better off with a selection of Darren Waller, Jonnu Smith, Mark Andrews or T.J. Hockenson if they wanted a tight end near or far after his draft position.
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