Busts happen. Whether through injury or skill level, it's inevitable the 2018 fantasy football season will include more than a handful of busts.
Some will be epic, while some will be on a smaller scale. Whatever the case, avoiding the bust is paramount to your team's long-term fantasy football success.
Guarding against injury is difficult to assess, but there are some options that are too highly rated heading into the 2018 fantasy football season. Here's three quarterbacks I'm leery about because of their bust potential in the 2018 fantasy football draft.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Ranked 4th
I know Newton managed to score the second-most points among quarterbacks in 2017. And I know just three years ago he was the ultimate fantasy football quarterback.
However, he scares me with his below-60 percent completion percentage and the longevity of his career if he continues to run. At an age where he should be diminishing his rushing attempts, he totaled a career high in attempts in 2017 with 139. I don't care how big he is, that's not sustainable for much longer.
He also is showing he'll never be a semi-accurate passer, with his interception totals going up, and his completion percentage hovering in that 59 percent range.
Most of all, though, what drives me nuts about Newton is his inconsistency as a fantasy quarterback. Like no other quarterback, he can put up massive numbers in a single game. However, he generally follows that up with low-teen totals. Those monster numbers are great for one week, but are a detriment for consistent production.
Newton is ranked fourth among quarterbacks heading into the 2018 season, with an overall ranking of 61. Red flags should be going up when the opportunity arises for drafting Newton.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans, Ranked 5th
It's scary terrain in the early drafting of quarterbacks.
No one can say with a straight face that they know Watson is going to be a fantasy football star. He has the potential of putting up the best numbers of any quarterback, but the risk is off the charts.
Watson only played in seven games during his rookie campaign, but yet the fantasy football world can't contain itself in anticipation for a breakout season. And maybe that will come, but I'm not risking that early of a pick on a guy that we have such a limited sample size.
And that sample size doesn't prove greatness. He had five games of 20 or more fantasy points. That's really good. However, three of those five teams ranked in the bottom-10 of the NFL in yards per pass attempt.
He contributed massive production in those games, but he was doing it, for the most part, against bad pass defenses. We also shouldn't ignore the injury concern, either, with Watson being a running quarterback and already dealing with injuries.
Sophomore slumps happen, so don't rush to judgment on how great Watson can be. It could be your team's undoing.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, Ranked 11th
Luck is all about risk versus reward.
It's difficult to be considered a bust being the 11th ranked quarterback and the 101-ranked overall player.
However, if you're deeming Luck to be your starter, and he turns out to be a completely different model than we previously saw, then sure, he can be a bust.
Picking Luck is all about your own team's roster strength. If you're able to pick up a quarterback soon after Luck, without hurting your roster, there's not much risk. However, if you reach for Luck, or don't pick up a quality backup, then you're shouldering too much risk.
I think Luck can be one of the biggest sleepers in the 2018 fantasy football draft, especially if he's ready for week 1. However, his rehab has been delayed before, so if we're still not seeing him as the season starts, and his rehab diminishes, I'm not sure what version of Luck we'll see.
He's a gamble, so if you're targeting him, beware of his bust potential.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH