11 Top 2013 Players Headed for Bust Status in 2014
The NFL is a league of ups and downs, and a ton of turnover. Guys are great one year and after thoughts the next. Nothing is more frustrating than grabbing a guy coming off a big year with a high draft pick, and by week 4 you want to cut him (much like CJ Spiller last year (and Chris Johnson seemingly since his 2000 yard season). I'm going to give you a couple guys to look out for with big time bust potential, so you're not kicking yourself for drafting them.
QB Andy Dalton, CIN - Bust (overvalued)
Andy Dalton is under a lot of pressure this season to prove he's the man in Cincy. The issue is Andy Dalton hasn't performed particularly well under pressure in his career. The Bengals have also acknowledged that with a new offensive coordinator and a budding star at running back, they plan on passing less and running more in 2014. All that piled on with the fact they have to play the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns a combined six times in their divisional games, and they also have the Panthers, Patriots, and Texans on their schedule. This year has big time bust potential for Andy Dalton. On the bright side, he still has AJ Green, a good young receiving core, and running backs that defenses have to respect.
QB Carson Palmer, ARI - Bust (overvalued)
Palmer had a nice bounce back season in 2013. I'm sure he was thrilled to be out of the appropriately named "Black Hole" he came from in Oakland. He has a few major issues he's facing this season however. The NFC West may be the best defensive division I can remember in my lifetime. Those six games against the Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers will be a nightmare for the Cardinals offense. The fact that Palmer is completely immobile and susceptible to injury only exacerbates the situation. Expect Palmer to have a frustrating up and down season, and that's only if he can stay healthy while running that NFC West gauntlet.
RB Frank Gore, SF - Bust (overvalued)
Gore had a very nice season last year; he began to slow down later in the season and playoffs though. Gore will be 31 this season, and has a history of lower body injuries. The 49ers' backfield has also become very crowded this offseason. With Kendall Hunter looming, Marcus Lattimore healthy, and Carlos Hyde being drafted, Gore's touches are almost guaranteed to drop off significantly. I'm a Frank Gore fan (I have been since his days at "The U"), but the writing appears to be on the wall for Gore in San Francisco.
RB Ryan Mathews, SD - Bust (overvalued)
In 2013 Ryan Mathews finally had the season fantasy owners have been waiting for since his rookie season. Don't get caught up in the Ryan Mathews hype! He is slow, hesitant, and injury prone. One good season does not make a career. What can I say? I just don't trust the guy, and have never been high on him. Could he prove me wrong? Of course, but if you look back over Mathews' career and not just 2013, there are a lot of things not to like. He's going to get drafted early, don't be the guy who reaches for him.
RB Knowshon Moreno, MIA - Bust (overvalued)
Moreno came off back-to-back great seasons. After having a very good 2012, everybody wrote off Knowshon in 2013. What did he do? Came back even better. So I'm not going to completely write off Knowshon this year. However, his numbers are destined to decline dramatically for a number of reasons. First, Peyton Manning is no longer his QB -- all RBs thrive when the defense has to defend Manning. The Dolphins want to throw the ball early and often. Philbin is building his team much like he ran the offense in Green Bay pre Eddie Lacy. The O-line should be better, but how much better? Once again Knowshon is not the clear cut number 1 back, he's not guaranteed to get a major workload. This is not a knock on Knowshon's talents, he is just not in an ideal situation.
WR Eric Decker, NYJ - Bust (overvalued)
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. When you go from Peyton Manning to Geno Smith, your numbers are going to drop off. He is now the top target, but that also makes him the defense's top target. He is being forced into a number 1 receiver role that he does not belong in. The bottom line is the guy just isn't that good. He was in the perfect situation in Denver, and now he's going into a not so perfect situation in New York. Saying, "not so perfect" is being very kind. Much like Richard Sherman described Michael Crabtree, Eric Decker is mediocre, and Rex Ryan is hoping the QB can at least be mediocre. Decker is a WR3 in 2014.