2020 Fantasy Football: Most Likely First-Round Bust

2020 Fantasy Football: Most Likely First-Round Bust

Host Corey Parson discusses RB Nick Chubb with Fantasy expert Dr. Roto and Cleveland Browns reporter Pete Smith

2020 Fantasy Football: Most Likely First-Round Bust

First-round picks are safest picks on draft day, but they're not all immune to risk. Senior Fantasy expert Dr. Roto highlights which first-round pick he feels is most likely to bust.
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Hello FullTime Fantasy subscribers! Welcome to SI Fantasy, our new home. Thanks for your patience while we transition all your favorite tools & content onto the new site!

This is the first part of a three-part series where I look at the opening three rounds of this year’s fantasy draft. I will look for the one player who is the candidate most likely to bust in each particular round.

First, I break down the first round! I determined which players were in the first round using our Advanced ADP tool. It only pulls draft results from high-stakes leagues from the Fantasy Football World Championships.

1.01: RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR

Pros: Arguably the best overall running back in the game. Has an excellent chance to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and receiving once again.

Cons: Could see fewer touches this season under a new coaching staff.

Bust Potential: Outside of an injury, McCaffrey has zero bust potential.

1.02: RB Saquon Barkley, NYG

Pros: Healthy once again this season and running behind an improved offensive line.

Cons: An inferior Giants defense could affect game flow, which could hurt him slightly in terms of rushing yards. However, Barkley should make up for that with his outstanding receiving ability.

Bust Potential: Almost impossible if healthy.

1.03: RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

Pros: The main engine in Dallas’ potent offense. New head coach Mike McCarthy never abandons the running game either.

Cons: Off-the-field issues are always troublesome with Elliott, but hopefully, a pandemic will keep him away from the night clubs.

Bust Potential: Almost no chance.

1.04: WR Michael Thomas, NO

Pros: A target machine who performs like a complete beast in PPR leagues.

Cons: New Orleans finally added a competent WR2 in Emmanuel Sanders, which could reduce Thomas' target share by 5-10% per game.

Bust Potential: Zero. Thomas is the safest and most productive wide receiver in both the NFL and in fantasy football.

1.05: RB Alvin Kamara, NO

Pros: Expected to be fully healthy this season after dealing with a leg injury in 2019. Plays in a high-octane offense.

Cons: Kamara occasionally loses goal-line carries to both Taysom Hill and Latavius Murray.

Bust Potential: A couple strong opening weeks, and all preseason concerns will seem silly. I wouldn’t shy away from taking Kamara, but I do worry (especially in standard leagues) of him potentially losing TDs since he won't have his reception total to cushion his scoring total. I will take him at his current ADP in PPR formats.

1.06: RB Dalvin Cook, MIN

Pros: When healthy, Cook has the talent to be a top-five overall pick. His ability to catch out of the backfield makes him particularly valuable in PPR formats.

Cons: When it comes to drafting Cook, fantasy managers always need to worry about his health. Additionally, backup RB Alexander Mattison is a talented back in his own right and could push for playing time.

Bust Potential: When healthy, there's little concern. It’s always about rolling the dice when it comes to drafting Cook due to injury risk.

1.07: RB Derrick Henry, TEN

Pros: A true bell-cow running back, Henry is guaranteed to get 20-25 touches per game.

Cons: Needs to be incorporated more into the passing game.

Bust Potential: Game score could work against him and an early deficit would force the Titans to pass more frequently. However, most every week, Tennessee is going to want to pound the rock with Henry often.

1.08: RB Joe Mixon, CIN

Pros: A versatile back who can run and catch, Mixon should benefit from a dual-threat talent like Joe Burrow.

Cons: Potential game flow issues if the Bengals defense continues to falter, and Mixon loses rushing attempts in the second half weekly.

Bust Potential: Minimal. Mixon could be one of the more under-the-radar picks of the first round.

1.09: WR Davante Adams, GB

Pros: Despite the so-called decline of Aaron Rodgers, Adams is clearly the No. 1 receiving target in this offense. He is an All-Pro talent on a team with lots of uncertainty at the rest of the WR corps.

Cons: The minute possibility that the Packers move on from Rodgers at some point during the season and give the starter’s job to rookie Jordan Love.

Bust Potential: As evidenced by last season, only an injury can slow him down.

1.10: RB Miles Sanders, PHI

Pros: Sanders is a second-year player who came on at the end of last season. The Eagles seem committed to giving him the bulk of the touches this season.

Cons: None unless the Eagles decide to add another running back closer to the start of the season.

Bust Potential: Fantasy managers might be afraid to take Sanders since he lacks a resume or may be seen unproven, but I expect him to show that he is worthy of a first-round selection.

1.11: RB Kenyan Drake, ARI

Pros: Drake came alive in the Cardinals' Air Raid system after beginning the season with the Miami Dolphins. Drake's eight TDs shocked many of his fantasy managers. Still, with an expected improvement in the quarterback play of Kyler Murray, Drake might be one of the more underrated players in fantasy football.

Cons: Backup RB Chase Edmonds flashed ability last season before getting injured. If he returns to form, he could siphon 5-6 touches per game from Drake.

Bust Potential: Drake is on a one-year deal and should see the lion's share of the touches in this backfield, so it would be surprising to see him bust.

1.12: RB Nick Chubb, CLE

Pros: Workhorse back who seems to get better later in games. New head coach Kevin Stefanski appears committed to establishing the run game early and often.

Cons: Chubb will share touches with Kareem Hunt, who once was a first-round pick in fantasy drafts. Baker Mayfield should show significant improvement, and the addition of TE Austin Hooper is another valuable weapon on offense.

Bust Potential: There is talk that the Browns might have two 1,000-yard running backs this season, but Chubb is my pick as the most likely first-round bust in 2020. That doesn't mean he will! However, Kareem Hunt didn’t start his season until Week 10 in 2019 and then was only given 10-12 touches per game. An excellent playmaker like Hunt will demand more opportunities this year, limiting Chubb to first and second-down carries and possibly coming off the field frequently on third-down. Chubb still has tons of value in standard league formats, but I will pass on him in all PPR leagues.

MORE FROM SI FANTASY

Hello FullTime Fantasy subscribers! Welcome to SI Fantasy, our new home. Thanks for your patience while we transition all your favorite tools & content onto the new site!

This is the first part of a three-part series where I look at the opening three rounds of this year’s fantasy draft. I will look for the one player who is the candidate most likely to bust in each particular round.

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