2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (2024)

I've been writing annual columns about players who I think could bust for 20 consecutive years. Seriously, 20 years!

But I've never once written a busts column like this.

Truth is, there are a lot of players I have some concerns about this year. More than normal. But some of you are already up to speed on some of them. Other players are still getting taken sooner than I would recommend ... some a lot sooner.

So I'm breaking this up into three different bust categories: Players going a little too soon, players going way too soon, and players who just flat-out worry me. I would say that the players in the latter two categories are the ones to be especially worried about.

Players are listed in order by their CBS offseason PPR Average Draft Position as of June 27.

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (1)

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Busts going just a little too soon

These are players I have ranked just a little bit lower than their current offseason ADP, which means I still would take these guys if they slipped just a little bit. You could say I'm nitpicking.

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (2)

Nico Collins

HOU • WR • #12

TAR109

REC80

REC YDs1297

REC TD8

FL0

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Why might he bust? Half of his four monster games came with Tank Dell off the field. In fact, Collins averaged more PPR points without Dell (18.7) than with Dell (16.4). Not only is Dell expected to return without issue in 2024, but Stefon Diggs was added to the receiving corps. We could see C.J. Stroud evenly spread targets around to these three guys while still keeping other targets (Dalton Schultz, Joe Mixon) involved. It would mean Collins would have to be exceptionally efficient again with perhaps a lower target share.

CBS offseason ADP: 28.0
I'd take him: around 35th overall

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (4)

Mike Evans

TB • WR • #13

TAR136

REC79

REC YDs1255

REC TD13

FL0

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Why might he bust? Hard to say he'll "bust" when his floor has been around 15 PPR points per game. But he just picked up another massive contract extension heading into his age-31 season. He seemed to benefit last year hogging high-value targets while Chris Godwin wasn't healthy and without another field-stretcher on the squad. Godwin is healthier now and the Bucs added some speed in the draft each of the past two seasons. Also, Baker Mayfield has never posted quality seasons back-to-back; last year was his first with over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns.

CBS offseason ADP: 29.0
I'd take him: around 35th overall

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (6)

Trey McBride

ARI • TE • #85

TAR106

REC81

REC YDs825

REC TD3

FL0

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Why might he bust? For four games in 2022 and 10 in 2023, McBride had a clear path to being hyper-targeted. That path isn't quite as clear at the start of 2024 with Marvin Harrison Jr. as the primary addition to the Cardinals offense. He's the one who would be hyper-targeted, potentially putting a cap on the kind of upside McBride can deliver. It doesn't help that McBride had three touchdowns and six games with 60 or fewer receiving yards in those 10 games last year. He's a much easier player to take in full-PPR than other formats.

CBS offseason ADP: 46.7
I'd take him: around 55th overall

Why might he bust? He is on his third team in as many years, which is a red flag, but the larger issue is that he's never delivered strong numbers consistently over the course of a season. I also think he'll share with two other backs in Chicago, closing the door on the number of games he'll have 15 or more touches. And not only did the Bears get a lot of receiving help for rookie quarterback Caleb Williams, but Williams himself scored on 19 of 33 rush attempts inside the 10, 16 of 22 rush attempts inside the 5, and 9 of 11 rush attempts at the one-yard line last season at Southern Cal. Swift will deal with someone stealing scores from him again.

CBS offseason ADP: 73.4
I'd take him: around 80th overall

Busts going way too soon

These are players I have ranked considerably lower than their current offseason ADP, which means I am probably not going to draft many/any of these guys.

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (10)

Zay Flowers

BAL • WR • #4

TAR108

REC77

REC YDs858

REC TD5

FL0

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Why might he bust? In the eight games when a Ravens running back had 13 or more PPR points last year, Flowers exceeded 14 PPR points just two times, and one of them was when Justice Hill caught a touchdown among his career-high five receptions. Now Derrick Henry is in Baltimore, where he should find 13 PPR points pretty often. The return of Mark Andrews, who typically averages around 13 PPR points per game himself, is also a problem for Flowers. I'm afraid he'll be a boom-or-bust Fantasy receiver.

CBS offseason ADP: 50.4
I'd take him: around 70th overall

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (12)

Kyle Pitts

ATL • TE • #8

TAR90

REC53

REC YDs667

REC TD3

FL0

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Why might he bust? When hasn't he? In 44 career games, Pitts has six touchdowns, eight games with 70 or more yards and nine games with five or more receptions. I know Kirk Cousins should throw him some prettier balls than past Falcons quarterbacks, but Pitts is not primed to be a featured part of the offense, nor is he guaranteed to finish second on the team in targets. I'm tired of drafting Pitts on potential from three years ago and need to see something substantial before I buy into him with a top-70 pick.

CBS offseason ADP: 61.2
I'd take him: around 85th overall

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (14)

Raheem Mostert

MIA • RB • #31

Att209

Yds1012

TD18

FL1

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Why might he bust? If you had put odds on it, what would you have put on a 31-year-old running back smashing his career-highs and leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns? 20-1? 30-1? Still too low? Now tell me what those odds would be on said running back coming anywhere close to those career-highs in his age-32 season? Miami is set to utilize multiple running backs every week -- that's just Mike McDaniel's way. They even added another speedster in Jaylen Wright in the draft to set the room up for long-term stability. Mostert is cool to begin the year with, but that's about it.

CBS offseason ADP: 68.2
I'd take him: around 85th overall

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (16)

Austin Ekeler

WAS • RB • #30

Att179

Yds628

TD5

FL4

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Why might he bust? After years of averaging over 20 PPR points per game, Ekeler slid to 13.2 on the year with 9.7 in his final eight outings. He's left L.A. for D.C., where he's almost certainly going to share work with Brian Robinson -- and also lose carries to rookie QB Jayden Daniels. At LSU, Daniels threw to his running backs on 10.7% of his attempts in 2023 and 13.4% in 2022, suggesting that targets will be tougher for Ekeler to come by. At 29 years old, Ekeler is another player who has to show me he's healthy and explosive before I trust him with a draft pick, even one at the Round 7/8 turn.

CBS offseason ADP: 85.2
I'd take him: around 95th overall

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (18)

David Njoku

CLE • TE • #85

TAR123

REC81

REC YDs882

REC TD6

FL2

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Why might he bust? In five games with Deshaun Watson last year, Njoku averaged 8.3 PPR points per game on 5.2 targets per game. In five games with Watson in 2022 he averaged 9.0 PPR points per game on 5.6 targets per game. Cleveland's addition of Jerry Jeudy to its receiving corps isn't going to help change these trends. I love the player but can't trust the situation.

CBS offseason ADP: 99.0
I'd take him: around 120th overall

Busts I just have a bad feeling about

These are players I have ranked close to, if not ahead of, their current offseason ADP. Drafters are already aware of the concerns surrounding these guys.

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (20)

James Cook

BUF • RB • #4

Att237

Yds1122

TD2

FL2

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Why might he bust? Bills running backs haven't exactly had glowing track records alongside Josh Allen. Cook is one who did after a playcaller change last year ... until he didn't. His final five games including the playoffs: 8.6 PPR points per game, zero touchdowns and 123 total yards despite 97 total touches. Three of his four late-year touchdowns were on catches, not carries. I'm going to try to draft Cook at a fair value but I'm afraid someone else in every draft will take him at least 10 picks before then.

CBS offseason ADP: 26.6

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (22)

De'Von Achane

MIA • RB • #28

Att103

Yds800

TD8

FL1

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Why might he bust? Achane's biggest numbers came in blowouts last season, and he couldn't stay on the field consistently. That's not a reference to his health as much as it is a reference to his playing time -- Dolphins running backs will always share touches. I am encouraged by the reports of him becoming more of a factor in the passing game, which should theoretically put him in places where he won't run into a bunch of big defenders play after play. He has the kind of upside you dream about, but he shouldn't be drafted solely on that when there's a lot of uncertainty around him otherwise.

CBS offseason ADP: 33.7

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (24)

Jaylen Waddle

MIA • WR • #17

TAR104

REC72

REC YDs1014

REC TD4

FL0

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Why might he bust? How is he supposed to take the next step when Tyreek Hill gets more work than him? Or with a terrific run scheme anchored by three if not four capable backs? Or with a quarterback who hasn't consistently been one of the best at his position? I don't like how Waddle had zero games with 15 or more PPR points last year anytime Hill and Achane played. I don't like how Waddle has had just six games with 15 or more PPR points in his past 22 regular-season games. And I don't like that his role seems to flutter every year as evidenced by his ADOT bouncing anywhere from 7.1 to 12.6. This is another case of an outstanding talent caught in a scenario that's not appealing for Fantasy managers.

CBS offseason ADP: 42.2

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (26)

Aaron Jones

MIN • RB • #33

Att142

Yds656

TD2

FL1

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Why might he bust? Before he erupted in the playoffs last year, Jones totaled 483 yards and three touchdowns on 102 touches over eight games. And with Kevin O'Connell as head coach, the Vikings have been among the most pass-heavy offenses in football and have failed to produce a RB with 15-plus PPR points each of the past two seasons (Alexander Mattison averaged 8.3 PPR per game in 2023). Jones has missed playing time in three of his past four seasons and will turn 30 this season. He's much more of a quality RB to use in lineups to begin the year but not count on as a season-long starter.

CBS offseason ADP: 68.6

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (28)

Tony Pollard

TEN • RB • #20

Att252

Yds1005

TD6

FL1

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Why might he bust? He was given a chance to be the Cowboys' lead back last year and he struggled, even late in the year when he claimed he was over an injury. Dallas chose to re-sign Ezekiel Elliott, not Pollard. Now the one-time breakout candidate is in Tennessee where every time a coach talks about him he also mentions Tyjae Spears. They're going to supposedly work together seamlessly because they have similar profiles. That makes sense for the Titans and probably helps Pollard stay on the field longer, but it's going to create a massive headache for whoever drafts him. Why should I take Pollard in Round 6 or 7 when I can get Spears at least two rounds later?

CBS offseason ADP: 75.9

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (30)

Keenan Allen

CHI • WR • #13

TAR150

REC108

REC YDs1243

REC TD7

FL1

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Why might he bust? Allen led the Chargers in targets per game for seven straight seasons. Now he's in Chicago where he'll share space with D.J. Moore (who averaged 8.0 targets per game last year) and rookie Rome Odunze, among others. He's locked into the slot role which should mean shorter targets. If the volume is compromised then so too are the opportunities for big plays. It further hurts Allen's cause that he's begun slowing down as he enters his age-32 season. He might be helpful to your Fantasy team with reduced expectations, but there's no way he should be drafted anywhere near where he's been taken in years past.

CBS offseason ADP: 80.2

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (32)

Javonte Williams

DEN • RB • #33

Att217

Yds774

TD3

FL1

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Why might he bust? Despite playing all but one game last season, Williams had over 13 PPR points just four times. He had zero games with 90-plus rushing yards and one game with 100-plus total yards. This year there seems to be too many players to take work away from Williams, even if he's the de facto starter. Veteran Samaje Perine is still on the team, as is speedster Jaleel McLaughlin and the squad drafted Audric Estime in April, whom Sean Payton referred to as a strong "first- and second-down runner." If Williams looks like his old self in training camp then he shouldn't be on a bust list, but he has to prove it first.

CBS offseason ADP: 87.6

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (34)

Rhamondre Stevenson

NE • RB • #38

Att156

Yds619

TD4

FL1

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Why might he bust? Stevenson averaged 12.1 PPR points per game as well as 3.2 receptions per game, meaning about 25% of his per-game Fantasy points came solely on receptions. The Patriots added pass-catching running back Antonio Gibson this offseason, potentially taking Stevenson off the field in obvious passing situations. New England also did not do too much to enhance its offensive line after struggling to pop open lanes for the run game last year. It could mean Stevenson could be tied to game script -- if the Patriots are in close games, he might deliver nice numbers, but if not, he'll stink. He also has a horrible track record in division games -- one touchdown in 13 tries.

CBS offseason ADP: 88.3

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (36)

DeAndre Hopkins

TEN • WR • #10

TAR137

REC75

REC YDs1057

REC TD7

FL0

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Why might he bust? Hopkins averaged 8.1 targets per game last season, higher than his ugly 6.4 average in 2021 but much lower than the 10-plus targets he wrangled from 2017 through 2020 and in 2022. Also, 24% of his targets in 2023 were uncatchable. He's now likely to be the team's No. 2 guy and not have quite as many explosive play opportunities with Calvin Ridley joining the team. This offense is going to be different, Hopkins' role will be different, and it remains to be seen if Will Levis will be any better than he was as a rookie.

CBS offseason ADP: 96.2

2024 Fantasy Football: Dave Richard's 'Busts' 2.0 pinpoints the players to avoid in all drafts (2024)
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