JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, and Akili Smith.
When NFL fans hear those names, only one thing comes to mind—total busts.
Lofty expectations, undue pressure, and a myriad of other factors come together to create some of the poorest selections in NFL draft history.
Every team has had their share of busts over the years, but quarterbacks, in particular, take the most heat because of their position. They’re usually the most important player on the field and either lead their team to success or dismay.
In fantasy football, each year has its busts. With the 2020 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts, we’ll be taking a look at some of the players you should avoid like the plague.
2020 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts
Complete a free five-minute mock draft against industry experts and custom analysis for your team with the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.
Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots
Goodbye Tom Brady. Hello Cam Newton.
Most Patriots fans believe they’ve hit the jackpot, by signing the 2015 MVP for little more than the price of a rookie contract. While there’s certainly value in signing one of the best dual-threat gunslingers in recent history, fantasy owners should have their reservations.
The first red flag for Newton comes in the form of competition. It seems Bill Belichick likes Jarrett Stidham, the 23-year-old out of Auburn. Last season he bore witness to one of the greatest players of all time. Even sitting on the bench behind Brady, Stidham was bound to pick up a few tricks of the trade.
Despite having nine seasons under his belt, Newton isn’t guaranteed the starting role. Since making it to the Super Bowl in 2015, Newton has been pedestrian with a 23-23 record since his MVP-caliber year. Part of this can be attributed to a myriad of injuries.
This is the second red flag against Newton. He has been on the injured reserve for several ailments. Newton’s most recent brush with the injury bug came last season. He only played two games as a result of a foot injury.
Whether or not Newton can stay healthy is a cause of concern for fantasy owners.
The last knock against Cam’s success as a viable option for fantasy owners is one of the reasons Brady made a move to Tampa Bay. The lack of weapons on the offensive side of the ball is troublesome.
Julian Edelman is a solid option as a receiver, but the rest of the Patriot receding cast is underwhelming. In eight games as a Patriot, veteran wide-out Mohamed Sanu only made 26 catches for 206 yards. This was with one of the best quarterbacks to have ever played slinging him the rock.
N’Keal Harry would be Newton’s third target. Harry is coming off a tough rookie campaign, where the first-round selection struggled to find targets, making only 12 catches for 105 yards.
The best fantasy quarterbacks typically have a multitude of options, whereas New England has one of the shallowest talent pools at the receiver position.
There are too many variables working against Cam for fantasy owners to confidently select the former MVP.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill rejuvenated his career last year, becoming one of the most lethal fantasy quarterbacks in the second half of the 2019 season. Stepping up in place of a struggling Marcus Mariota, Tannehill took over the starting role in Week 7 and didn’t look back.
After securing the starting job, Tannehill was one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL, connecting on over 70 percent of his passes. This elite accuracy led to 22 touchdowns with only six interceptions and 2,742 passing yards.
His 7.7% touchdown rate was remarkable, trailing only Lamar Jackson in that category. While this was impressive, it’s likely unsustainable over an entire season because of Tennessee’s low passing volume. The Titans relied heavily on their bruising power back, Derrick Henry. As a result, they ranked last in the league in pass attempts per game.
Fantasy owners can’t expect the same kind of production out of Tannehill going forward.
While he was a diamond in the rough last year, fantasy owners should expect a negative regression across the board. His 2019 season was a one-off and should only be considered as a streaming option in non-superflex leagues.
Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers has fallen off of a cliff when it comes to fantasy viability. For years it was possible— and shrewd — to wait until the end of drafts to scoop up Rivers. When he was in his prime, fantasy owners could often extract excellent value from the veteran quarterback.
Last year, with one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, Rivers was a disappointment. Despite having two receivers (Mike Williams and Keenan Allen) eclipse the 1,000-yard milestone, Rivers only achieved a QB rating of 88.5 due to an egregious number of interceptions.
Rivers threw 23 touchdowns but also threw 20 picks.
Now that the Los Angeles Chargers have moved on from Rivers, the 38-year-old will take snaps for Indianapolis. Being on a new team is always tough for a quarterback, but is a nightmare for one who is entering their 17th season.
The saving grace to the situation is that he’ll be behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Even with multiple Pro-Bowl caliber monsters protecting Rivers, fantasy owners should pass on the Rivers train.
A quarterback that lacks mobility needs to be able to protect the football. The sheer volume of interceptions Rivers threw last season as well as the statistical regression across most stat categories should make fantasy owners very wary.
He’s an aging quarterback on a new team. Fantasy owners should steer clear of Rivers in 2020.
Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2020 season.
[…] Fantasy outlook is bleak, and Rivers is not worth considering unless you are in Superflex league. Our very own Tyler Mulligan called Rivers a Fantasy bust at quarterback, which I can agree. Hopefully, the Colts fans don’t call Rivers a bust after the 2020 […]