2013 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide Receivers

Contributed by: Billy E and Bill Enright
Last Updated: Aug 27, 2013 6:58 PM

This select group of wide receivers are bound to disappoint in 2013, with high expectations created either by offseason hype or the assumption that they will meet or exceed last year’s numbers.

Greg Jennings, Minnesota – Jennings has been hindered by injuries over the past two seasons, and is currently unable to practice in training camp due to an ankle ailment. He is also moving to a juggernaut aerial attack in Green Bay led by a lethal gunslinger to a run-oriented Minnesota offense that is directed by a quarterback with a weak arm in Ponder. Prized rookie Cordarrelle Patterson has bigger upside too.

Jennings is not going to reemerge as a stud-caliber fantasy player, and is best drafted as a No. 3 receiver to prevent him from being a disappointment as an early-round pick.  

Lance Moore, New Orleans – Moore collected his first 1,000-yard campaign at age 28 in 2012, after averaging a meager 695 yards over his previous two tours of duty in New Orleans. When you consider that Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston were hindered by injuries, as well as Sean Payton being away on a suspension and the offense being altered, Moore’s production will dip back to his previous level, and his breakout year will prove to merely be an outlier.

He is bound to be a bust by fantasy owners who draft him to be a starter and expect him to meet or exceed last season’s production.    

Mike Williams, Tampa Bay – The Buccaneers rewarded Williams with a glossy new six-year extension worth $40M earlier in the offseason, but he is still yet to hit the 1,000-yard plateau, and will be hard pressed to reach the milestone in his fourth pro campaign while working through a tougher schedule for fantasy receivers, with two of the worst matchups coming in critical Week 15 (vs. San Francisco) and 16 (at St. Louis).

Plus head honcho Greg Schiano is not sold on Josh Freeman at quarterback, and they could rely on the ground attack even more with Peyton Hillis (assuming his knee will be fine) and rookie Mike James added to the backfield stable behind ultra-stud Doug Martin. Keep Williams in mind as no higher than as a low-end No. 3 WR in drafts.   

Michael Floyd, Arizona – There is no doubt that Floyd is a breakout candidate, but fantasy owners must still keep expectations tempered, as the jury is still out on whether Carson Palmer will be an efficient quarterback behind a shaky offensive line in Arizona that is even more unstable than the one he left in Oakland.

Plus head coach Bruce Arians has been praising former Pittsburgh workmate Rashard Mendenhall through the offseason, and did spend two draft picks on running backs in Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington, so perhaps Arians will feature the run more prominently after being known as being pass-happy. Floyd is best drafted as a low-risk backup rather than being counted on as a starter.  

Kendall Wright, Tennessee – Second-year pro has been a standout of the offseason for Tennessee, but that is not really saying much when you consider that Kenny Britt is fickle and rookie Justin Hunter is gravely struggling to the dismay of coaches and teammates. And like we saw happen to excellent receivers like Larry Fitzgerald and Dwayne Bowe last season, a weak quarterback can greatly drag down Wright too -- in this case being Jake Locker.

So don’t buy into the hype and overdraft Wright with hopes of a big-time breakout. And you have to figure that Tennessee will try to run the ball more after shelling out $10M on a three-year deal to Shonn Greene as their change-of-pace and short-yardage back.    

Brian Hartline, Miami – Leave Hartline for another fantasy owner who drafts going on last season’s production. Hartline is not going to challenge 1,000 yards again with Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller added to quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s arsenal of weapons in the offseason, and Hartline made just three total trips to the end zone in his last three years combined. Purely backup material.  

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Indianapolis – DHB has struggled with drops in camp, and will have 2012 rookie standout T.Y. Hilton pushing him for targets all season long, even if Heyward-Bey locks down the No. 2 role heading into Week 1. Plus Indianapolis likes to feature two tight end sets with their dynamic duo of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, hence cutting into Heyward-Bey’s targets even more.  


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