The NFL season kicks off in 71 days, thus it’s time to start preparing for the fantasy football season. Much like real football, preparation is the key factor to winning your fantasy championship. Last week I examined three players poised for breakout fantasy seasons (which can be found here). Below are three players who were top fantasy performers last season, but are likely to regress this season. If you want to win your fantasy championship you should look to avoid these three players at all costs.
Two seasons after being a fantasy darling, Murray returned to form after a lackluster 2015 campaign. Murray finished the season as the fifth highest scoring running back in PPR leagues. He rushed for 1,287 yard and nine touchdowns. He also finished with 53 receptions, 377 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns. Murray was a steal for his ADP last season (anywhere from a late second to an early third round pick). But this year, Murray is a consensus first round pick, which is much too high given his situation. Not only is Murray exiting his prime, but he also has a young backup running back behind him in Derrick Henry. It’s widely expected that Henry will be much more involved this season than he was last season.
Last time Murray saw this volume of workload he not only let down fantasy owners, but he arguably cost a number of players their league championship. Murray is bound for regression this season. He may not regress to where he was while on the Eagles in 2015, but I do not expect him to have a repeat performance of last year’s immaculate season. Not to mention, Murray has a history of nagging injuries, which only adds to his risk as a first round pick.
I’m not saying Ingram isn’t a talented running back, in fact, I think he is among the most talented backs in terms of pure running back ability in the league, but Ingram is due for regression this season. Not only did New Orleans bring in Adrian Peterson, a former NFL MVP, they also drafted Alvin Kamara.
If you owned Ingram at any point last season you probably said to yourself “why do the Saints hate Mark Ingram?” It seemed that they TRIED to force Ingram out of their offensive game plan, but even so, Ingram still finished as a running back one last season.
Given the history of how the Saints treat him, the offseason additions, and another year of work on his tires, Ingram is due for some regression. It is inconceivable to think that he will produce anywhere near where he finished last season.
Last season, Blount was a fantasy superstar, winning many owners their league title. He finished with over 1,000 yards rushing and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 18. He was a steal as he was going between the 8th and 12th rounds of drafts last season, but this year Blount is due for regression.
Not only is Blount on a new, less explosive team, but he’s also over the age of 30. Thirty years old is often the age that running backs begin to regress in terms of total production. Blount, who is coming off of his best season, will not come close to replicating his fantasy production from last season. In fact, I think Blount is going to be a huge disappointment, to the point that he will not even finish as a running back three.