Winning your fantasy football league isn't just about knowing all the top sleeper picks, setting your lineup every week, and scouring the waiver wire.
It's about knowing who not to take. Here are five NFL players who have bust potential in 2023 and who you should probably avoid drafting:
WR Davante Adams - ADP 17.5
Davante Adams is undeniably talented. But, he's also had the benefit of playing with quarterbacks who absolutely love him. He's amassed nearly 10,000 receiving yards catching balls from his buddy Aaron Rodgers and his former college teammate Derek Carr. Now, he's got Jimmy Garoppolo at QB, a guy who hasn't been great for receiver production. Really the only WR with consistent dominance alongside Jimmy G has been Deebo Samuel, and that was largely a product of the unique 49ers offense.
I'd be more inclined to target sleeper pick Michael Mayer, who fits the George Kittle TE mold Jimmy G often flourishes with.
Also, last year Adams had the seventh-lowest catch percentage in the league. Giving him a QB with lesser arm talent isn't gonna help in 2023.
RB Josh Jacobs - ADP 24
Sorry Raiders fans, I've got your best two players on this list.
But, I don't want to be in the business of backing guys coming off surprising career years. Last year, Jacobs went from a ~1000 yard rushing with average efficiency to the best running back in the league rocking 4.9 yards per carry. He literally set a career high in every meaningful rushing stat.
Is he the 97 yard-per-game guy he was last year, or the 58 YPG guy from 2021? Likely somewhere in between, but you're paying for the high end at this ADP.
Bolded = Career High
WR Gabriel Davis - ADP 100
Everyone wants a piece of this Bills offense, but I don't think Davis is the place to get it.
'Big Game Gabe' has seen his catch rate drop in each of the last two seasons, sitting as the second-worst mark in the league last year (51.6%). Starting 15 games and seeing a whooping 93 targets last year, he still only nabbed 830 yards and seven touchdowns. I think that's a ceiling he won't come close to touching again in 2023. I expect rookie TE Dalton Kincaid to really eat into his targets.
Gabriel Davis ADP from last season isn’t talked enough. Too many were failed for listening to the “fantasy experts”— Grand Central Fantasy (@GrandCentralFan) July 3, 2023
The “fantasy experts” forgot to mention he would finish with the 2nd worst catch rate from the position and 4th most drops. 🗑️ pic.twitter.com/2w2G12wIGI
WR Zay Flowers - ADP 111
Flowers has actually looked great in fall camp so far, leaving cornerbacks in his dust (see below) and mixing into Baltimore's deeper passing attack.
But, let's call this one an emotional hedge. As a long-time Ravens fan, I've seen these speedster first-round pick receivers with unlimited potential before. And I've been burned each time: Marquise Brown, Breshad Perriman, and even Rashod Bateman, so far.
Maybe Flowers finally bucks the trend. But, history isn't in his favor.
Zay Flowers made bro exit the frame pic.twitter.com/GaaUWgrDcO— RAMEY (@HoodieRamey) August 16, 2023
RB Ezekiel Elliott - ADP 143
I get it, just a few years ago Elliott was a first-round fantasy pick and a bell-cow back. Now you can get him in the 14th round? What value!
But, there's a reason he's sitting this low. Elliott's efficiency has dropped off a cliff the last few seasons. In 2022, he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and 6.1 receiving yards per game.
If there's one thing Pats coach Bill Belichick likes in his RBs, it's efficiency. I'm not sure how many snaps Elliott is going to be able to steal from Rhamondre Stevenson, who averaged a whooping 6.1 YPC last year.
If you can get Zeke at pick 143, It's not a bad risk. But I reckon his ADP is going to jump even higher now that he's signed with a team, and I'm not touching him earlier.