5 Fantasy Football Turkeys We Shouldn’t Have Drafted So High

  • David Gonos

COVER-Fantasy-Football-Busts-Turkey-Rick-Osentoski

About this time every year, we look at our Fantasy lineups and realize one or two disappointing players we picked are either no longer on our team, are sitting on our bench or we’re reluctantly starting them in our lineups.

If those were early Fantasy picks and they make us cringe every time we think of them, then we can rightfully call them Fantasy Football busts! Sure, maybe they provide some value over the rest of the season, but if you’re out of the playoffs or barely holding onto a playoff spot with just a couple weeks left in the regular season, then these guys didn’t help you the way you had hoped when you picked them.

Featured Photo Credit: AP Images/Rick Osentoski

5 Fantasy Football Players We Were Turkeys For Drafting

These 2017 Fantasy Football busts were all choices among the top 100 non-PPR picks in MyFantasyLeague.com’s Average Draft Position for this year.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (3.06 ADP)

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Why He Was Drafted So High: Coming off a career year in which he led the Falcons offensive to one of the most prolific years in NFL history, Ryan was a top-three Fantasy QB. He had played in all but just two games of his nine-year NFL career!

Why We Were Turkeys For Picking Him That High: The orchestrator of that high-flying Falcons offense, Kyle Shanahan, moved to San Francisco, and Julio Jones had offseason foot surgery. Plus, add in the fact that decent Fantasy quarterbacks are aplenty, and we all should have waited on Ryan until Round 10 or so.

Photo Credit: AP Images/John Bazemore

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (4.06 ADP)

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Why He Was Drafted So High: A lot of NFL Draftniks were saying Mixon was the best offensive talent in the 2017 NFL Draft, but because he punched a woman in the face during college, his draft stock fell. Fantasy Football owners saw him as a possible breakout talent at a cheap price. Unfortunately, since so many thought he was a breakout talent, that price got more expensive.

Why We Were Turkeys For Picking Him That High: The Bengals team already had two young running backs in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, plus we should have realized NFL teams don’t care as much about offseason issues as we think. If he was the top offensive talent, he would have been drafted much closer to the top-10 picks, in spite of his off-the-field douchery. His 2.9 yards per rushing attempt is being blamed on the Bengals’ offensive line, but both Bernard (3.5) and Hill (3.1) have better YPAs. Something tells me Mixon will be overdrafted again next year.

Photo Credit: AP Images/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, N.Y. Giants (1.05 ADP)

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Why He Was Drafted So High: Coming off a 169-target season, OBJ is considered one of the highest-volume players in the league. In his first three NFL seasons, he averaged just under 12 touchdown catches per season, with about 1,370 receiving yards per season.

Why We Were Turkeys For Picking Him That High: The stud receiver always seemed to be nicked up, and while he played in every game last season, the injury issues from his first two years in the league still lingered in our heads. Even if he didn’t have ankle surgery, the Giants offense was a mess before he got hurt, and he didn’t break 100 receiving yards in his first four games this year.

Photo Credit: AP Images/Bill Kostroun

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins (4.01 ADP)

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Why He Was Drafted So High: Pryor seemed to be tailor-made for Jay Gruden’s vertical passing attack, where Receiving Yards at the Catch are highly valued. Both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon ranked among the league leaders in RYaC last season, as did Pryor, who signed a one-year deal with the Redskins in March. Pryor had a breakout year in Cleveland with pretty much nobody at quarterback, so it stood to reason that Kirk Cousins would turn him into a Fantasy superstar.

Why We Were Turkeys For Picking Him That High: It’s very rare that a non-WR1 on one NFL team can join another NFL team in free agency and become a WR1 in his first season. It doesn’t happen. Add that to the fact Pryor is a former quarterback with just one year of NFL wideout experience, and it’s easy to see how this was a bonehead pick for anyone looking at him in as a Fantasy WR2.

Photo Credit: AP Images/Alex Brandon

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (5.048 ADP)

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Why He Was Drafted So High: In just two-thirds of a season (12 games) in 2016, Reed’s 8.67 Fantasy points per game led all tight ends that played more than nine games. If he stayed healthy, that fifth-round Fantasy pick would look like a first-rounder by season’s end – especially since Washington lost their top two passing targets in Garcon and Jackson.

Why We Were Turkeys For Picking Him That High: Not only is the guy always injured, but he has also had multiple concussions, which mean he’s more likely to get concussed again. Plus, the Redskins lost offensive coordinator Sean McVay to the Rams, and the entire offense seemed like it was facing upheaval.

Photo Credit: AP Images/Matt Rourke

David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about sports online since 2001, including CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, NFL.com, MLB.com and SportsIllustrated.com.