A lot of the candidates for Busts 1.0 are players who are getting up in age. For the most part, I'm not a fan of receivers who turn 30 or running backs who are 28 or older. Unfortunately, these are the ages where you start to see a decline in production.

And it probably happened to Stefon Diggs in 2023. It's part of the reason why I'll avoid the new Texans receiver again in 2024.

Last year, in his final season in Buffalo, Diggs averaged 16.1 PPR points per game, which was his lowest total since joining the team in 2020. The last time Diggs reached 100 receiving yards was Week 6, and he scored fewer than nine PPR points in six of his final eight games in the regular season.

Diggs turned 30 in November. His decline started right around that time. Maybe it's not a coincidence.

Now, I still think Diggs has plenty to offer with the Texans and will prove to be a valuable weapon for C.J. Stroud. But he's also now part of a crowded receiving corps with Nico Collins and Tank Dell, and don't forget about Dalton Schultz and Joe Mixon as well.

Diggs has gone four seasons in a row with at least 154 targets with Buffalo, and it's hard to expect that level of attention with Houston. I like Collins better than Diggs, and we'll see how Diggs compares to Dell.

We'll see where Diggs ends up with his Average Draft Position, but the earliest I would draft him is Round 4. Collins should be drafted in Round 3, and Dell is worth drafting in Round 5.

But Diggs makes me the most nervous of the three. His struggles last season, along with his age, could mean we're watching the decline of a great player, which is why he's a bust candidate this year.

Now, let's check out the other players I'll be looking to avoid if the cost is too high for Busts 1.0.


Justin Herbert

The Chargers have the chance to take one of the top wide receiver prospects in the NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, so by the end of the month one of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze could be on their roster. But even if that happens, it will still be hard to trust Herbert as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues. Herbert lost both of his top receivers this offseason with Keenan Allen (Chicago) and Mike Williams (Jets) now on different teams. The remaining receivers include Quentin Johnston and Josh Palmer, and even with a high-profile rookie, it's not enough firepower to push Herbert back into the top 12 at his position. Along with that, new Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman want to have a run-heavy system, so we should see Herbert decline from the 35.1 pass attempts per game he had in 2023, which was eighth among quarterbacks. A lack of weapons and a lack of pass attempts isn't what you're looking for from a top-tier Fantasy quarterback. As a result, I would only draft Herbert with a late-round pick in all leagues.

Running backs

Nick Chubb

Chubb has been one of the best Fantasy running backs for the majority of his career, but we're not looking at his past when trying to project his future. And his future is a little murky coming off a devastating knee injury in Week 2 last season at Pittsburgh. Chubb had surgery in September to repair the meniscus and MCL in his left knee, and then he had a second surgery in November on his ACL. We don't know if he'll be ready for training camp or even Week 1, and Chubb could be a candidate to open the season on the PUP list. Jerome Ford should have a prominent role whether Chubb is healthy or not, and the Browns also added D'Onta Foreman this offseason. I'm fine drafting Chubb as a low-end No. 2 running back at the right price, which for me is Round 7, but I'm expecting him to be gone by Round 5. Fantasy managers love Chubb, rightfully so, for what he's done in his career, and his value will rise if he's ready for training camp. But at 28, and coming off this knee injury, I'm not excited about Chubb's outlook in 2024.

Aaron Jones

The last time we saw Jones in a Packers uniform he was at the end of an impressive five-game run through the NFL playoffs. From Week 16 through the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Jones was on fire, with five games in a row of at least 108 rushing yards, and he scored at least 13 PPR points in each outing. But Jones struggled with injuries for most of the 2023 campaign, and for me, that's hard to forget. He missed the majority of the first five weeks of the season due to a hamstring injury, and then he missed Weeks 12-14 while dealing with a sprained MCL. At 29 (he turns 30 in December), Jones' best production could be behind him. With the Vikings, Jones will likely share touches with Ty Chandler, and we'll see how this backfield works together, as well as who the quarterback is for 2024. Age and durability are reasonable concerns for Jones, and the earliest I would draft him this season is Round 7 in all leagues.

Austin Ekeler

Ekeler was a bust last season when he was the No. 2 overall running back drafted in the first round in the majority of leagues, and he averaged just 12.1 PPR points per game in 14 games. This was after Ekeler averaged more than 20.5 PPR points per game in each of the previous two seasons -- and no worse than 15.6 PPR points per game since 2019. But at this point in his career on a new team in Washington, he's probably best suited to be a third-down back and work in the passing game, where he could still be dominant. He turns 29 in May, and he will share the workload with Brian Robinson Jr. who could lead the team in all rushing categories. Ekeler does have history with Anthony Lynn, who is the running backs coach in Washington, and Lynn was the head coach for the Chargers (2017-20) when Ekeler started to turn heads. In 2019, Ekeler had 92 catches for 993 yards and eight touchdowns on 108 targets, and Lynn should know how to use Ekeler as a receiver out of the backfield. We'll also find out if Ekeler lost a step last season, or did the ankle injury he suffered in Week 1 just completely derail his production? The earliest I would draft Ekeler in PPR is Round 7, but I expect him to be drafted sooner than that, which is likely a mistake.

Raheem Mostert

Mostert turns 32 on Tuesday, and that's ancient for a running back. But he told me at the Pro Bowl that he's determined to prove that older running backs can still be successful ones. "Trying to change the stigma," Mostert said. "You have to. It's important to set the standard for everyone. ... I'm going to be more determined like I was this year, even more next year. Just stay tuned." Mostert was a great story in 2023 when he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 18, and he tied Christian McCaffrey for the league lead in total touchdowns with 21. Mostert averaged 17.9 PPR points per game, and his total points made him the No. 5 Fantasy running back in 2023. But we know what's ready to go in Miami, and that's De'Von Achane, who deserves more work in his sophomore campaign, especially after he averaged 17.3 PPR points per game. I'm hopeful that Achane will take over the Dolphins backfield, and Mostert will play more in a complementary role. He'll still be productive, especially near the goal line, but it's hard to expect him to replicate what he did last season. The earliest I would draft Mostert is Round 7 in the majority of leagues.

Wide receivers

Davante Adams

I had Adams as a bust candidate last season, and he averaged 15.6 PPR points per game, which was his lowest total since 2017. I was nervous about him turning 30, his quarterback situation and some unrealistic expectations for Fantasy managers, who were still drafting Adams in the first round. I have a lot of those same concerns this season, but now it's Round 2 instead of Round 1. The earliest I would draft Adams is Round 3, and now he's 31. We don't know who will end up as the starting quarterback for the Raiders this season out of Aidan O'Connell, Gardner Minshew or a rookie (Las Vegas has the No. 13 overall pick in the NFL Draft). Adams actually did OK with O'Connell down the stretch and averaged 18.2 PPR points per game in the final five outings of the season, which actually included a stinker in Week 16 at Kansas City with 1.4 PPR points. And Minshew did a solid job with Michael Pittman Jr. in Indianapolis last year (15.6 PPR points per game). Like I said last season, I think Adams will be an excellent Fantasy receiver. I just don't consider him among the elite guys anymore, and I don't want to reach for him on Draft Day.

Keenan Allen

Allen was awesome last season when he averaged 21.6 PPR points per game, which was third among receivers behind only CeeDee Lamb (23.7) and Tyreek Hill (23.5). Allen missed the final four games of the year with a heel injury, but he was amazing for Fantasy managers before going down. Now, we have to see how Allen does in Chicago after he was traded to the Bears. He'll be 32 later this month, and he might not lead Chicago in targets with D.J. Moore on the roster. The Bears also will have a rookie quarterback, most likely Caleb Williams, and we'll see how he meshes with Allen. While the Bears will likely pass more in 2024 than they did in 2023 if Williams is the quarterback under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron -- Chicago was No. 28 in pass attempts last season at 513 -- it's hard to expect a hefty amount of volume for Allen. He was No. 10 in targets last season among receivers with 150, but he did that in 13 games. For a 17-game pace, he was at 196 targets, which would have been No. 1 in the NFL. I'm expecting a steep decline in targets, which should result in a decline in Fantasy points. The earliest I would draft Allen in all leagues is Round 5.

Amari Cooper

Cooper turns 30 in June, so we'll see if he can remain productive again in 2024 without much drop-off. He was solid last season, especially with Deshaun Watson, who should be ready for Week 1 following last season's shoulder injury. In five full games with Watson, Cooper averaged 17.6 PPR points, and he averaged 7.8 targets per outing. But the Browns receiving corps is loaded this season following the addition of Jerry Jeudy via trade from Denver. Cooper, Jeudy, Elijah Moore and David Njoku are all playmakers, and hopefully Watson will keep them all happy. I still expect Cooper to be the No. 1 receiver in Cleveland, and he's worth drafting as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy option in Round 5. But I hope Fantasy managers don't reach for him sooner than that, and I would prefer him to be the No. 3 receiver on my roster. And again, I hope he doesn't slow down because now he's 30.

Tight ends

David Njoku

Njoku had an unbelievable finish in 2023 and scored at least 16.4 PPR points in each of his final four games. That helped a lot of Fantasy managers, myself included, win plenty of playoff games. But he did most of his damage with Joe Flacco under center and not Deshaun Watson, and that's the concern for Njoku heading into 2024. Watson should return as the Browns starter after being lost for the season with a shoulder injury in Week 10, and Njoku scored 6.8 PPR points or less in three of five games with Watson. I like Njoku as a No. 1 Fantasy tight end entering 2024, but he's someone I would settle for and not target given his production with Watson last year. And, keep in mind, the Browns receiving corps got crowded with Jerry Jeudy joining Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore and Njoku. The earliest I would draft Njoku is Round 8.

T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson finished second among tight ends last season at 14.6 PPR points per game, behind only Travis Kelce (14.63). He was awesome, but that was before he suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in Week 16. He didn't have surgery to repair the ACL until the end of January, and we don't know if he'll be ready for the start of the season. His health is obviously the biggest hurdle to overcome, but we also have to see who is playing quarterback for the Vikings this season. Kirk Cousins (Atlanta) is gone, and currently the quarterbacks on the roster are Sam Darnold, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall. Minnesota could draft a quarterback -- the Vikings have the No. 11 and No. 23 pick in the first round -- but whoever starts under center for the Vikings also has to support Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. As of now, I'm only drafting Hockenson with a late-round pick in all leagues, but his health could change that. However, I'm not expecting him to perform like he did last season coming back from this injury and with a new quarterback.