Fantasy football: 5 top players who could be busts in 2016

There may be a risk to drafting some of these top picks.

Fantasy football players must accept an unfortunate reality: Some of your draft picks will be major busts.

Hey, it happens to everyone for various reasons. Sometimes, injuries ruin a top pick’s season, as was the case with consensus first-rounder Jamaal Charles (RB, Chiefs) last season.

Other times, a player’s role isn’t what fans and pundits predicted. Few foresaw DeMarco Murray’s 2015 numbers suffering so mightily, even when he was sharing touches in the backfield with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles in the Eagles offense.

And then there are the instances in which a player just plain doesn’t play well enough to justify a top pick, such as C.J. Anderson (RB, Broncos) for the bulk of last season.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to be aware of some of the NFL stars with more obvious risks attached to drafting them. Here’s a look at a few potential high picks that could backfire.

Adrian Peterson

Even the greatest running backs ever fell off eventually, and the Vikings RB won’t be any different. That’s not to say it has to happen this year, but 31-year-old backs typically don’t last much longer in the league.

Dez Bryant

Injuries hampered him all last season — and QB Tony Romo’s own health didn’t help. Health permitting, Bryant will be better in 2016, but 36-year-old Romo could be on the cusp of a decline that would dent the elite WR’s contributions.

Jordan Reed

The Redskins tight end was a stud last December, accumulating 333 yards and five touchdowns during a stunning three-game stretch. Clearly, he’s capable of monster games, but don’t be surprised if he’s a feast or (mostly) famine source of points.

Ben Roethlisberger

The 34-year-old Steelers QB has missed at least one game in all but three of his 12 seasons. The losses of RB Le’Veon Bell (possible four-game suspension), WR Martavis Bryant (full-season suspension) and TE Heath Miller (retirement) could harm this offense’s production more than expected.

Thomas Rawls

The Seahawks RB was electric when made a focal point of the offense as a rookie, rushing for 209 and 169 yards in his two finest games of 2015. With Marshawn Lynch retired, the pressure is on Rawls to duplicate his success over a full 16 games.

Scott Fontana