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It's never too early for fantasy football players to start prepping for their 2019 drafts. However, with that, you've got to keep in mind which potential studs may prove to be duds this season.
In most fantasy drafts, running backs come off the board early and often, but which ones should owners avoid? Here's a look at five runnings backs who could be 2019 fantasy football busts.
5. Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets
Le'Veon Bell decided to hold out last season and didn't play a single snap for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he was spotted on jet skis and at strip clubs in Miami. This is who the New York Jets expect to be their bell-cow back in 2019. I'm sorry, but Bell might have once been among the best RBs in the league, but he simply can't be trusted as an RB1 in fantasy football right away. We'll see if he proves me wrong, but after taking an entire year off from professional football, there are bound to be growing pains in his return to the NFL.
4. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
No Le'Veon Bell turned out to be no problem for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, as second-year running back James Conner blew up for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns. But, can he really be expected to put up such gaudy numbers again this season? What will likely affect Conner's numbers is the addition of Kentucky's Benny Snell, who the Steelers used a fourth-round pick on. Snell is a speed demon and should be a major addition to Pittsburgh's offense. That's not good for Conner and anyone thinking of taking him with a first-round pick.
3. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Which Dalvin Cook will show up for the Minnesota Vikings in 2019? Last season, Cook finished with 615 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games, splitting touches with Latavius Murray, who rushed for 578 yards and six scores. With Murray now with New Orleans, the door could be open for Cook to be a top-12 RB in fantasy in 2019. However, keep in mind that Cook has proven to be injury prone and inconsistent in his two NFL seasons, and that the Vikings will remain a pass-first offense with Kirk Cousins under center.
2. Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have already come out and said that Damien Williams will be the team's starting running back in 2019, something that has led to a lot of fantasy hype. While he did score a touchdown in the final six games of last season, including the playoffs, the addition of Carlos Hyde to the team's backfield will undoubtedly take away carries and touchdowns from Williams. While Williams could end up having a solid season, he likely won't be a reliable RB1, giving him big-time bust potential if you use a top-25 pick on him.
1. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
When healthy, Todd Gurley might just be the best running back in the NFL. But, a knee injury that caused him to miss the last two games of the 2018 regular season and affected his playing time in the postseason, still seems to be an issue. He's apparently suffering from a "arthritic component to his knee," which obviously isn't good for his fantasy owners. While Gurley is expected to be ready for Week 1, a lingering knee problem for a player that should be your RB1 isn't ideal. Gurley has prime bust potential in 2019.
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