Fantasy football busts: Wide receivers

by Bryce McRae and Tim Heaney on September 8, 2010 @ 12:38:08 PDT's analysis of fantasy football busts for the 2010 season will be updated weekly throughout the offseason. We have separated our busts and overvalued players this year, so be sure not to confuse the two.

Busts are also overvalued players in some cases. Even the most surefire pick can end up busting due to injury, but there is no way to accurately project for that. Instead, we will primarily focus on the players' situations that could lead to down years. No one likes doing the dirty work, so let do it for you! Be sure to check for weekly updates.

Note: All average draft position (ADP) figures are based on 12-team, non-PPR leagues unless specified otherwise.

Wide receivers

Dwayne Bowe | Kansas City Chiefs | ADP: 5th round

Bowe's four-game suspension last year skews his '09 stats. Still, the final numbers aren't great, least of all for a No. 1 WR. He caught 47 passes for only 589 yards and four scores in 11 games. At his best, in 2008, Bowe caught 86 passes for just 1,022 yards and seven TDs. Only 11.9 yards per catch is unimpressive. His yards-after-the-catch average has decreased two years running.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Not much to like here

Now, there's a new OC in KC: Charlie Weis. From 2000 to '04, New England's offense under Weis only had one 1,000-yard receiver. They preferred to spread the ball around. This should be more of a run-first offense with Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. KC also has a few other receiving options to work in. Chris Chambers, Jerheme Urban, Dexter McCluster - all could steal some catches from Bowe. Bowe had issues last year with head coach Todd Haley and found himself in the dog house more often than not. It is believed the two have mended their relationship, but Haley is known to be a bit of a hothead. Also, the wideout could be facing a lengthy suspension should he again violate the league's substance-abuse policy.

No. 1 QB Matt Cassel had only 16 passing TDs last year; the previous year with New England, just 21. Bowe is not a scoring machine. Plus, he has to familiarize himself with a new offense. Bowe and Cassel need to improve their chemistry.

Fantasy value: Bowe is being drafted as a low-end No. 2, but he's more a stable choice as a midrange No. 3. There's little upside. Receptions are about all you can really count on. It's tough to say his numbers have a higher ceiling than those from his '08 season. Point-per-reception owners can value him as less of a bust.

Mike Wallace | Pittsburgh Steelers | ADP: 6th round

Wallace moves from the slot to No. 2 role and now faces potential for double-teams. A big-play threat, the second-year receiver now has to learn how to get free from a jam. Dennis Dixon may be the starting quarterback for the first four games, which could limit Wallace's targets. Unless he can make a lot of yardage after the catch, look for his 2009 19.4 yards-per-reception average to substantially decrease.

The Steelers plan to return to more of a ground game in 2010, another factor working against the Mississippi product. Pittsburgh's offensive line isn't strong enough to support a deep-passing game, and Wallace will be the first to suffer.

What kind of chemistry will he and Ben Roethlisberger share upon the embattled quarterback's return to the starting lineup?

Fantasy value: There are too many risks involved with making Wallace a sixth-round pick. He could easily fall into our overvalued list, but we feel he will simply flame out this year. Let someone else take the chance on him.

Santonio Holmes | New York Jets | ADP: 9th round

The former Pittsburgh Steeler is now in the Big Apple, but before he gets to showcase his skills, he'll have to sit the first four games of the season for off-the-field transgressions.

Knowing you will get at most 12 games from him - 11, really, as most leagues don't play into Week 17, and New York has a Week 7 bye - Holmes is being overvalued as well as having "bust" written all over him.

Holmes will have to get into game shape after his four-game rest. Chemistry with quarterback Mark Sanchez may not come easily, and it remains unclear exactly how Holmes will fit into their run-first system. Wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery will remain involved, as will tight end Dustin Keller. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson is a threat out of the backfield that Sanchez will look to utilize, too. There is no substantial reason to believe Holmes will pick up where he left off in 2009 with Pittsburgh.

Fantasy value: A ninth-round ADP for Holmes is absurd. He shouldn't be considered until at least the 12th, and even then you're likely to garner similar production to what you can find on your waiver wire. 

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Also See:
Sleepers: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
Busts: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
Undervalued players: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
Overvalued players: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT

About Bryce McRae

Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.

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