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NFL Fantasy Football Draft Kit: Fantasy Bust for the 2023 Season

So every fantasy football draft has sure fire top picks that you need to go after as soon as you possibly can. But then there's those pics that you think might work out for you that ultimately turn into busts. I had my share of busts last season, Russell Wilson. So the Villain is here to help you with your fantasy draft with some players at key positions to avoid.

The idea of a bus differs from the idea of a fade. In the previous article in our Sport City Chefs' Fantasy Football Draft Kit, Sirius outline fades for 2023. These are players that you might want to take, but later in the draft. The bust are clearly players that you don't want to touch at all.

Quarterbacks: (All points are based on standard scoring)

Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos

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The hiring of new head coach Sean Payton will have an immediate impact in Denver. They can’t be much worse than they were in 2022, but Wilson is not a QB1 fantasy option. Wilson is a QB that has thrown for over 4,000+ passing yards only 4 times in his 11 NFL seasons. He’s also the QB that has thrown 11+ INTs in a season 3 times. The Chefs love to cook, but we wouldn’t let Russ cook in our kitchen. I got burned last year; fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… I won’t get fooled again.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

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Ryan Tannehill has nine lives in the NFL, as he keeps it going. He’s not only coming back in 2023 as the starter, but the team added WR DeAndre Hopkins as a new weapon. But after he averaged a career high 21.5 fantasy points per game (standard scoring leagues) in 2020, he’s seen his numbers decline the last 2 seasons (15.8 PPG in 2021 and 13.4 in 2022). Now he has QBs Malik Willis and Will Levis waiting to take his job. This might not be a good pick for your fantasy team.

Running Backs: (All points are based on standard scoring)

James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals

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Conner has only rushed for over 800 yards just once in his career. Connor is alway dangerous at the goal line to get you quick points, but after netting 15 TDs in 2021, his numbers came crashing down last season with only 7 TDs. The Cardinals will be without Kyler Murray for a while as he recovers from surgery which makes them prime for the No. 1 pick in 2024. This will be a team playing catch up all game, not many rushing opportunities for Conner.

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

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Patterson is a WR by trade, but a do it all threat at RB/WR/KR. He’s been an annual steal for fantasy managers the last few years, but this might be the year he becomes a bust. The Falcons drafted the talented Bijan Robinson in the 2023 NFL Draft and Tyler Allgeier is a solid backup RB for a two headed monster. They both will take up Patterson’s snaps and his value will take a massive hit.

David Montgomery, RB, Detroit Lions

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Montgomery is coming over from the Bears where he burst onto the scene his first 4 seasons. He rushed for over 800 yards each of his 4 seasons and averaged at least 9 fantasy PPG. But last season was his lowest as he rushed for 801, scored 5 rushing TDs and averaged 9 PPG. The new surroundings in Detroit would’ve been a good look, but when the Lions drafted RB Jahmyr Gibbs, his value took a hit. I would pass on him unless you want insurance for the rookie.

Wide Receivers: (All points are based on standard scoring)

Adam Thielen, WR, Carolina Panthers

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Thielen is a long way from when he was consistently at the top of WR draft kits. From 2018 to 2021, Thielen averaged double digit points per game in standard league 3 of 4 seasons. But last year, he only averaged 6.4 PPG and the 32 year old hasn’t tallied more than 1,000 yards receiving since 2018. He’s also on a receiving corps that has DJ Chark, Terrace Marshall Jr., Hayden Hurst and Laviska Shenault Jr. Rookie Bryce Young is a draft fade and Theilen is a waiver wire plug and play at best.

Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Commanders

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Samuel is an interesting case for a sleeper in some drafts with the addition of new OC Eric Bieniemy. Bieniemy will look to bring that Kansas City magic and scheme to Washington. But the issue is that the new look offense will have to rely on 2nd year QB Sam Howell. Terry McLaurin has the clear WR1 and 2nd year WR Jahan Dotson showed some flashes last year. The Commanders will have Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson to hand the ball off to. This leaves Samuel as a possible odd man out with too many mouths to feed.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Dallas Cowboys

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Brandin Cooks is another one of my picks that could be a but because of the talent around him. He hasn’t had a great QB throwing to him in his last 3 seasons in Houston and his numbers have declined because of it. He averaged 10.1 PPG with Waston in 2020 but only 8.9 in 2021 and 6.8 in 2022. Dak Prescott with help improve his chances and we know Cooks still has speed to burn defenses. However, Cooks will end up being a 4th option on an offense that has CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Tony Pollard and Jake Ferguson. He’s a waiver wire pick up for me.

Tight Ends: (All points are based on standard scoring)

Austin Hooper, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

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The tight end position is always a risk and hard to find value if you don’t draft the top tier TEs early. Hooper has never been a top TE as his season high with TDs was 6 in 2019. But with Darren Waller traded to New York, Hooper is now the TE1 for the Raiders. With Jimmy G as the QB and the Raiders drafting rookie TE Michael Mayer, it’s safe to say Hooper’s stock would take a tumble.

Noah Fant, TE, Seattle Seahawks

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Noah Fan had some upside coming into 2022 after the big trade from Denver. He hasn't tallied more than 4 TDs a season, but he was in a good situation. But Fant was targeted only 63 times last season as the TE1. Now after The Seahawks drafted rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba to go with WRs DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, I don't see Fant's value going up at all. TE's are hard to find, but this isn't where you want to start.

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