The Daily Gambling Fix 12/14/10 – Whitney Harchanko
Perfect Hindsight: The 9 Biggest Fantasy Football Busts of 2010
If you drafted any of these guys and still have them on your team, don’t feel too bad (except for Moss and DeAngelo Williams, then you should feel bad, cause they’re done for the season). No matter how good the stats are behind a decision, unforeseen circumstances abound in Fantasy Football. Injuries are obvious examples, but the Phoenix-like rise of LT? Who saw that coming? Put your hand down, you’re lying. Just keep repeating to yourself, “It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault,” as we go through these 9 busts that, let’s face it, could have happened to anyone. OK, ego stroking is over. On with the article…
9. Matt Schaub
Schaub was a top-5 QB pick when the season started, but has fallen to 16th at his position as of last week. Many thought the Schaub-Johsnon combo would be among the best in the NFL, but Arian Foster’s breakout season has turned the Texans’ offense into a ground game with little room for Schaub to post the numbers that many expected. Schaub’s not playing poorly, but he isn’t where many thought he would be with Andre Johnson grabbing every pass thrown in the zip code.
8. Shonn Greene
When you’re not the best running back on your own team, it’s hard to be a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners. Shonn had an average draft of 22.8. LT had an average draft of 99.8. LT had been written off for the past two fantasy seasons, but wouldn’t you know it? He had a renaissance, which is great for Jets fans, so long as they didn’t put their money on Greene owning the top spot. Those who did found Greene’s “backup” getting more touches and more yards. While Greene may not have met expectations, this slide is more a function of LT surpassing his own.
7. Steve Smith
Having only sat out one game this season, it’s easy to break this one down to simple numbers. At 31 years old, he’s got 9 seasons under his belt and it may be clear that his best days are behind him. Aside from a 9-reception outing in week 8, Smith hasn’t cracked 5 receptions in a game. So there’s a hand issue at work here, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t broken a catch for longer than 39 yards. There appears to be a speed issue as well. It doesn’t take a pro analyst to figure out that these shortcomings aren’t what you look for in a wideout. However, like many other players on this list, stock was put in past performances, and you never know when that tank is going to run out. Well, you do with hindsight. It was this season. Clausen’s in the pocket, and he and Smith simply haven’t been clicking recently.
6. Kevin Kolb
I don’t think that Eagles fans are kicking themselves for Kolb’s lackluster season, but fantasy owners sure are. With Vick relegated to 3rd string in the early season, it was unlikely that Kolb was going to face any competition internally. However, an unfortunate incident (Kolb’s injury) was parlayed with a fortunate one (Michael Vick playing like he has a rocket up his ass) has rewarded those who took a flyer on Vick and punished those who went the (seemingly) fail-safe route of picking Kolb.
5. DeAngelo Williams
When a player’s average draft position is just under 14, and at 13 games into the season he’s only held by 62% of leagues, that’s not a great sign. You’re probably looking at a bust. The problem with the recent trend of platooning running backs, at least from a fantasy perspective, is that the backs aren’t just competing against other teams’ players, but against their own depth charts. So…that explains the first half of the season, and the second half can be explained simply by injury. A foot injury was found a month later to be a mid-foot sprain, which is apparently bad enough to keep Williams out for the season. So…yeah…not a whole lot of hope for him this season.
4. Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells
A promising rookie, second only to Knowshon Moreno in stats last year, Wells has come up short for the Cardinals and the fantasy faithful. He’s averaging an anemic 3.4 yards per carry and a scant 2 TD’s. His attempts per game have been in the single digits since week 8, so unless he’s breaking some big runs, the powers that be might not have enough faith in him to allow him to produce the numbers that so many thought he would be able to. Considering his average draft spot was 32.6, that’s a lot of disappointed owners.
3. Brandon Marshall
When you’re drafted #20 overall, there shouldn’t be much in the way of excuses for a sub-par season. Well, excuses won’t cut it when you’re not even cracking the top 30 at your position. Some of that can be attributed to sitting out the previous two weeks injured, but a lot more of it can simply be chalked up by a failure to perform. There’s not always a science behind why a player isn’t hitting it, but to say he hasn’t meshed with Thigpen and Henne would be an understatement. To be fair, though, no one really has.
2. Brett Favre
Favre is acting his age. And then some. Though he has always struggled with interceptions, his ratio of 10 TD’s to 18 INT’s has many fans and fantasy owners grateful that he sat out Monday night’s game. The streak has stopped, which might mean the pressure will be off Favre so that he may sit out and recover, but the question is: At his age, will there even be a recovery? The Vikings may be better off without Childress and Moss, but their recent turmoil won’t make things easy on performances for the rest of the season. The golden boy of 2009 is gone, and you can’t count on him coming back this season.
1. Randy Moss
Moss hasn’t gotten more than 60 yards but once this season. And it’s unlikely he’ll top it again. We’re in the twilight of the season, and he’s put up 27 catches for three teams for 375 yards. While those numbers may very well be commensurate with his age and attitude, they are definitely not in line with his performances in New England the past couple years. Moss always kept fans on edge with his somewhat grittier characteristics, but this season, he seemed to turn the corner into “malcontent.” Iverson did the same thing a few years ago, and now that guy’s playing in Turkey.