Fantasy Busts (08/11/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
2015 Fantasy Football - sleepers, busts and breakout players.



Fantasy football is back!

With that in mind, over the next few days we will provide our picks for 2015 sleepers, busts and breakout players based PredictionMachine.com's 2015 Fantasy Football Rankings.

Here is how we define each:

Sleeper: A player not being drafted as a starter but should be.

Bust: A player drafted as a starter but will disappoint.

Breakout Player: A player we project to finish in the top five at their position but are not currently being drafted like a superstar.

Note: Average draft position (ADP) is a composite of rankings from ESPN and Yahoo. Be sure to use the Fantasy Football Draft Machine for an additional edge in all your drafts.

Looking for a daily fantasy edge? Check out our optimal lineups and projections.

Previously: 2015 Fantasy Sleepers, now your 2015 Busts.

Matt Ryan

2015 projections: 4,346.2 passing yards, 30.7 TDs, 14.3 INTs
2015 ADP: 7th quarterback, 56th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 12th quarterback, 78th overall

Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta's new offensive coordinator, likes to throw it deep downfield, which could spark big plays. The only problem with that plan, the Falcons have one of the worst offensive lines in the league. It is hard to throw a deep ball when you are on your back. With Julio Jones and Roddy White, it's not hard to imagine Ryan as a top ten quarterback but we don't want to pay the asking price when there are better options that will cost you less.

Matthew Stafford

2015 projections: 4,170.2 passing yards, 30.0 TDs, 16.7 INTs
2015 ADP: 10th quarterback, 68th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 19th quarterback, 119th overall

Here is the case for Stafford as a top ten quarterback: Megatron and Golden Tate. Fair enough, but did you know only five times in NFL history (per ESPN's Stats & Info) has a player thrown for over 4,200 yards without topping 22 touchdowns? Stafford has accomplished that feat twice in the last three years. In his career, Stafford has only been a top five fantasy quarterback once.

Peyton Manning

2015 projections: 4,100.7 passing yards, 36.1 TDs, 13.0 INTs
2015 ADP: 4th quarterback, 36th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 10th quarterback, 69th overall

The future Hall of Famer was a first round pick a year ago and threw for 16 fewer touchdowns than his record breaking 2013 season (55 TDs). Manning's disappointing end to the year (75 fantasy points over four weeks) has caused his draft stock to slip but not nearly enough. Manning is currently going as the fourth quarterback off the board. By our projections he is a top ten option in fantasy but because of the change in scheme under Gary Kubiak (more run orientated offense, than pass first) he should be going in the eighth round, not the fourth.



Alfred Morris

2015 projections: 1,070.5 rushing yards, 54.6 receiving yards, 11.0 total TDs
2015 ADP: 12th running back, 30th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 22th running back, 45th overall

Washington ranks as the 21st overall team in our Power Rankings with a defense that is 30th in passing efficiency. The Redskins are projected to finish last in the NFC East with a losing record. It's likely that Washington will be playing from behind this season meaning there will be limited touches for Morris - a serious problem for a back that isn't involved in the passing game.

Carlos Hyde

2015 projections: 933.1 rushing yards, 149.7 receiving yards, 10.8 total TDs
2015 ADP: 17th running back, 37th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 26th running back, 50th overall

Hyde is the starter now that Frank Gore is gone but the 49ers, like Washington, are not going to be good. In fact, the 49ers rank as a worse team than the Redskins. It is easy to picture a scenario where the Niners are trailing, therefore are forced to throw the ball and Hyde is replaced by Reggie Bush, a better pass catching option out of the backfield. Bad teams can produce good fantasy players but this seems like a risk with an unproven back.



Emmanuel Sanders

2015 projections: 969.9 receiving yards, 8.3 TDs
2015 ADP: 13th receiver, 29th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 31st receiver, 86th overall

Denver is expected to run the ball more this year and work out of a two tight end formation leaving Sanders playing exclusively out of the slot. None of which is good for the Broncos' number two receiver, a player coming off a career year. Career seasons do not repeat, if you draft Sanders where he is currently going, you are just chasing the prior year's stats.

Andre Johnson

2015 projections: 1,007.7 receiving yards, 7.6 TDs
2015 ADP: 18th receiver, 42nd overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 34th receiver, 89th overall

The Colts have the best offense in the AFC and everyone is expecting Johnson's numbers to improve by playing with Andrew Luck. The former Texans' touchdown total will bounce back (averaged 8.3 TDs from 2007-2010) but the yardage, as the No. 2 receiver behind T.Y. Hilton, won't be enough to justify his high draft status.



Julius Thomas

2015 projections: 581.0 receiving yards, 5.9 TDs
2015 ADP: 6th tight end, 67th overall
2015 PredictionMachine.com rankings: 15th tight end, 131st overall

Thomas traded Peyton Manning for Blake Bortles. That pretty much says it all. We have such little faith in the Jags and Bortles that Thomas isn't even worth drafting.