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The quarterback position in the NFL is top heavy. There are about 7-8 who can be considered elite and 4-5 more who are very good.
And as consistent as some of them are, others take steps back or don’t perform to their preseason expectations. Identifying them isn’t an easy task. But with some research into recent history and a glance into current situations, there are a few QBs who kind of rise to the top as potential busts.
There might be a few surprising names from my list below. It doesn’t mean they won’t perform, but rather they won’t perform for the draft position they were selected. If you’re paying top dollar or a high draft choice for a quarterback, you want elite stats. If you don’t get those, well, I call that a bust.
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Before you keep reading see the potential busts, click here for our QB sleeper post.
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
OK, I understand Brees led the NFL in passing yards a year ago. But I also know now at 36 years old, his touchdown totals have been steadily declining over the past 4 seasons. And I know he lost 2 of his 3 leading receivers from 2014 (Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills). His stable of pass-catchers now includes the aging Marques Colston, the oft-injured Nick Toon, potential sleeper Brandin Cooks, the unknown Brandon Coleman and unproven tight end Josh Hill. Look, Brees can make a lot of players better and isn’t going to fall completely off the map. But unless someone really steps up to fill the Graham/Stills void, Brees will see his numbers dip again and won’t justify his lofty draft status. That qualifies as a bust in my book.
2. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
While Rivers threw for 31 TDs in 2014, he also committed 22 turnovers, including 18 interceptions. With Antonio Gates suspended the first 4 games, the collection of receivers in San Diego isn’t all that imposing. Keenan Allen certainly has potential despite a lackluster second season, Malcolm Floyd and newly-added Stevie Johnson aren’t going to have opposing defenses exactly trembling in their cleats. With rookie Melvin Gordon in the backfield, the Bolts have bolstered their once so-so running game. I see a dip in Rivers’ overall numbers.
3. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles
Bradford can be considered both a sleeper and a potential bust for 2015. Thrown into Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense, many are expecting him to put up career numbers. Unfortunately, Bradford hasn’t played in a game since October 2013 and is certainly one of the most injury-prone players in the league. Which Bradford are we going to get? At 27, Bradford is still in his prime and as mentioned above, getting into an offense like Kelly’s is very intriguing. But temper your expectations and pay close attention to his preseason play.
4. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Tannehill made a big leap in his 3rd season and most are expecting an even big jump in Year 4. And on paper it seems like it should. Out is Mike Wallace, whose deep-threat skills never really fit in with Tannehill and the offense. In are receivers Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and DeVante Paker, and tight end Jordan Cameron. Tannehill also has returning 2014 breakout WR Jarvis Landry, whom he has developed quite a rapport with. But that’s a lot of new elements in the passing game, where chemistry is vital. Perhaps Tannehill and his ‘Fins will prove me wrong. We’ll find out soon enough.
5. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
I’ve seen a number of sports outlets ranking Bridgewater above some proven performers and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to give him the keys to my fantasy squad just yet. He definitely improved as the season went on, but Bridgewater is still a very young player and I’m not completely sold on his weapons just yet. Veteran Mike Wallace joins the young crew of Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson, whom we’re still waiting for that breakout season from. Someone in your league will believe the hype maybe a little too much and overpay. Bridgewater is fine as your No. 2 QB and spot-starter, but let’s be realistic here — he’s not throwing for 3,800 yards and 28 TDs.
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