2017 IDP Rankings - Busts (Redraft)

I always hesitate to use the word "bust" because readers often associate that word with players who will have a very poor season. I prefer to use the word "overvalued" instead. As a drafter, this is what I am always looking for: value. If a player is going two rounds higher than I projected him at, I'm not going to draft him, no matter if I think he's going to have a good season or not.

In this article, I recommend three defensive linemen, five linebackers, and four defensive backs who I believe will be overvalued heading into the 2017 fantasy season.

I also recommend heading over to Covers.com if you are looking for insight into NFL odds for a specific game.

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I will periodically update these throughout the off-season to reflect changes in free agency, defensive schemes, playing time, draft selections, etc. However, keep in mind that the information listed here is just a small sample of a much larger set of rankings and descriptions that are accessible through purchasing my 2017 IDP Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Scoring System:
Solo Tackle = 1 point
Assist = 0.5 point
Sack = 3 points
Interception = 4 points
Forced Fumble = 2 points
Fumble Recovery = 2 points
Pass Deflection = 1 point
Defensive TD = 6 points


DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
1Geno Atkins DT - CIN (6)
Atkins has long been one of the league's most explosive interior pass rushers, a fact evidenced by his 52.5 career sacks. However, he's not as valuable as one may think outside of big play scoring formats due to his subpar tackle production. He's best viewed as a high variance DL3.

2Demarcus Lawrence DE - DAL (6)
It wasn't that long ago when Lawrence was one of fantasy football's top rising defensive stars. He compiled seven sacks in his last eight games during his 2015 sophomore campaign - a fact that had many bullish on him entering into last year. A suspension and injury issues derailed his 2016 season and made him virtually irrelevant for fantasy purposes, however. He's heading into a contract year and the Cowboys are counting on him to be a major contributor, but a second off-season back surgery muddies his value moving forward. He's worth serious consideration as a boom/bust DL4, but he shouldn't be drafted as a starter in most 10-team leagues.


3
. Kony Ealy DE - NE (9)



Ealy made a name for himself with a dominating performance in Super Bowl 50 where he registered three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble despite only playing 23 snaps. He failed to progress as expected in 2016 and was a major liability against the run, so he was traded away to New England in the off-season. The Patriots are fairly well stacked with talent along their defensive line and like to rotate heavily up front so Ealy will have to perform at a high level to maintain starter snaps. I slight uptick in stats over last year is feasible but he doesn't yet possess the overall skill set to break through the DL3/DL4 ceiling.


LINEBACKERS
1Lavonte David LB - TB (11)
David saw a significant decline in production in 2016, registering a career-low in tackles with 86 after averaging 140+ total tackles in his first four seasons. Unfortunately, I don't see this decline as an anomaly. Kwon Alexander severely eats into David's opportunity and his presence also gives the Bucs the flexibility to play David more in coverage. Unless they change his role for 2017, expect David to once again be a big-play reliant LB3+/LB2-.

2Jordan Hicks LB - PHI (10)
Based on the seven-game sample size during his rookie season, Hicks appeared to have one of the biggest upsides of any young linebacker in the game. Many owners bought into the hype last year as evidenced by Hicks' ADP of LB19. Unfortunately, the 24-year old disappointed with an underwhelming 84 total tackles, only exceeding five solo tackles in a game twice all season. He still presents big play upside, but Nigel Bradham seems to have taken a decent chunk of tackle share away from Hicks thereby capping his fantasy value.

3Will Compton LB - WAS (5)
Compton had a year to forget in 2016 - missing 17 tackles and grading out poorly against both the run and pass. Granted, he played through a knee injury a good portion of the year that likely contributed to his decline. The addition of Zach Brown and the strong play of Mason Foster will likely relegate Compton to a reserve role to begin 2017. He's a player to avoid in the majority of IDP leagues.


4Paul Posluszny LB - JAC (8)
Posluszny has been an IDP stalwart for the majority of his 10-year career. However, that run has likely to come to an end this year. The Jaguars have two young, dynamic linebackers in Telvin Smith and Myles Jack and they will be staying on the field during subpackages, not Posluszny. "Poz" will likely be one of the league's most productive two-down thumpers and will have starter value in the right matchups (teams that run a lot) but those may be few and far between.

5Tahir Whitehead LB - DET (7)

Whitehead exploded on to the IDP scene last year posting 132 total tackles over 15 games. However, his production was largely a result of a massive lack of tackle competition rather than strong on-the-field play. This said, the Lions spent a first round draft pick on Jarrad Davis who will immediately take over the play calling duties and kick Whitehead to outside linebacker. This is going to drive down Whitehead's stats significantly. This is a perfect example of not drafting based on past year's statistical performance. Buyer beware here.



DEFENSIVE BACKS

1Eric Weddle S - BAL (10)
Long one of the league's top tackle producing safeties, Weddle saw his stats in that area plummet after moving over to Baltimore. With recent acquisition Tony Jefferson expected to see a lot of in the box action, Weddle will be once again slated for more of a centerfielder type safety role. This said, he's not likely to reach 100 total tackles and will be relied upon as a big play defensive back. This makes him a risky selection and someone that's not likely to find himself on many of my rosters come draft day.

2Malcolm Jenkins S - PHI (10)
Jenkins saw his tackle production drop off a cliff in 2016, proving that his 91 solo tackle season in 2015 was truly an outlier. He managed to salvage fantasy relevance however by intercepting three passes and racking up two defensive touchdowns. Owners shouldn't bank on that type of big-play production again this year. Jenkins is best drafted a highly volatile DB4.

3Rodney McLeod S - PHI (10)
McLeod's 2016 production was a welcome surprise for fantasy owners as he compiled 72 solo tackles (a career high) and three interceptions to boot. Despite finishing as a top 15 fantasy DB in many scoring systems, there are some reasons to fade McLeod this year. Nearly a quarter of all his solo tackle production came in two consecutive games early in the season and he failed to exceed four solo tackles in a game after week 8. He's a player that is likely to be over-drafted based on his overall 2016 statistical production.



4Clayton Geathers S - IND (11)


The combination of Geathers' skill set, role in the defensive scheme, and Indy's lack of a strong front seven make him a strong DB1 candidate. However, he will begin the season on the PUP list and therefore miss the Colts' first six regular season games. Some reports indicate he's in danger of missing the entire season. Neck injuries are quite serious and Geathers just isn't worth the risk in redraft leagues unless you can obtain him for a very low cost.


Like what you've read so far? Looking to dominate your 2017 Fantasy Football draft(s)? For $6.99 you can get complete access to The IDP Guru's comprehensive and exhaustive 2017 IDP Fantasy Football Draft Guide.


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Questions, comments, or concerns with any of these rankings? If so, please let me know by posting a comment below or emailing me at theidpguru@idpguru.com. You can also hit me up on Twitter



Last Updated: August 23, 2017
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