We are heading into the tenth week of the Fantasy Football season and I think it’s time to start holding people accountable. Several of the top ranked players entering this season have failed to deliver and it is time to start calling them out.
Fantasy football owners spend weeks preparing for drafts. Owners research stats, explore trends, and rely on experts to point them in the right direction. While there are many players that the experts got right, both experts and owners came up short when it came to the top picks. What makes matters worse is that a failed top draft pick is all you need to ruin your season.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles – McCoy may be the biggest bust on this list for one reason. McCoy was not hurt, or at least reportedly. There have been rumors for weeks that McCoy was playing hurt but nothing has been confirmed, thus we have to conclude he is fine.
McCoy finished the 2013-14 season as the second best RB in fantasy standard leagues behind Jamaal Charles. Nothing changed in the offseason to give you any indication that he would fall off. Unfortunately nobody could have predicted how badly the offensive line problems would impact Shady. However, many great running backs have gotten it done with shaky QBs and bad lines, even Shady in the past so those are no excuses.
McCoy currently ranks 20th in fantasy RBs in standard scoring leagues. To give you a better perspective, Justin Forsett, Jeremy Hill, Matt Asiata, and Chris Ivory are all having better seasons. You could have gotten every one of those guys off of waivers, yet the only way you were getting McCoy was with a top five pick. That hurts!
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions – The warning signs have been there. Johnson finished the 2013-14 season hurt and saw his numbers go from four weeks of double-digit games to three weeks of single digit games, sitting out the final game. While we were all told that he was fine heading into the season, some had doubts, but nobody predicted this kind of a drop off.
Johnson is not even ranked in the first page on ESPN if you look at fantasy wide receivers in standard scoring leagues. Johnson opened up the season with an expected big game putting up 28 points with 2 TDs. It looked like Megatron was back. Then came an 8 point game in Week 2, an injury, and four straight doughnuts if you owned him due to him missing games or playing as a decoy.
Johnson was ranked 6th overall on Fantasy Pros coming into the season. You don’t own Calvin Johnson unless you took him with your first pick. Unless you drafted well, you are hurting. Fortunately wide receivers pop up weekly on the wire, yet you will never find someone to deliver those 28 points regularly that Johnson did in Week 1. Injury or not, he’s a bust.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – See Calvin Johnson. Stafford was ranked in the top five by the Fantasy Pros consensus picks heading into the season. Why wouldn’t you have those kinds of expectations from Stafford? He finished in the top five last season and could have finished in the top 2 if Johnson didn’t go down those last four weeks. Those last four weeks however should have been a warning.
While Stafford has gotten hot lately with Golden Tate, it is clear that he is not nearly as valuable without a healthy Johnson. The warning here is that if you take Stafford, you better be confident that Johnson stays healthy. That is a lot to ask, yet that is the reality here. Last year’s number four QB is not even in the top ten at this point, behind guys like Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, and the struggling Matt Ryan.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons – Jones had a lot of hype coming into the season. He was on fire last season until he broke his foot and missed the final eleven games. Fantasy analysts and owners looked at those first four games, placing those as expectations of a healthy Julio Jones. They have been disappointed.
What analysts and owners never accounted for was how bad the Falcons offense was going to be this year. Jones has also had some minor injuries but for a guy expected to finish well within the top five or six WRs, he has only three TDs on the year, and those came in a two-week span in Weeks 2 and 3. He ranks fourteenth right now and there are no signs that I can see of the Falcons turning it around. Sure, he will have some big weeks like Week 3 but he has no shot at this point of meeting the high expectations set on him coming into the year.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers – Lacy is a tough one because there were a few signs here that said to proceed with caution. The biggest sign was injury-history yet none of Lacy’s struggles seem to be as a result of any injuries. In other words, this guy is just a flat out bust.
Lacy finished seventh in fantasy RBs in standard scoring leagues last season. Lacy was ranked fifth among all RBs at Fantasy Pros who all saw big numbers ahead for the Packer. Lacy is out of the top ten and ranks sixteen among RBs today. There is some hope here as Lacy has turned it around in recent weeks, yet he killed you early on with a combined 51 points through the first six weeks. He has put up 30 in the last two weeks so it may be a bit early to call him a bust, although it may be too late for Lacy owners who are out of the playoff hunt.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – It is funny in retrospect how one preseason game fooled the entire fantasy football community of experts and owners. A late preseason outing shot Martin right up to the top of fantasy RB rankings heading into the season. Martin was ranked ninth in the consensus Fantasy Pro rankings with many claiming Martin could finish even higher.
Fast-forward to Week 10 and Martin is now number-three on the RB depth chart behind Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims. Martin has a total of 23 points through 10 games…23 points! Carlos Hyde, Shonn Greene, and James Starks all have more than 23 points. Yes he’s been hurt but that doesn’t excuse his performance all season long. It’s been pitiful.
AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals – This is a tough one because Green’s lack of productivity is attributed to his injuries but again, that doesn’t make a difference if you are a Green owner. This guy was ranked in the top 15 overall by most experts and had big expectations coming into the season. 3 TDs through Week 10 is not going to cut it.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers – After taking me to a title last season I fell for the Keenan Allen hype. I took him early like most did who drafted him and was rewarded with one of the biggest sophomore slumps for a wide receiver I have ever seen. Allen has only one TD on the season and only two double-digit games in one of the most potent offenses in the league. Most experts had him ranked right outside of the top 10 but the numbers are a big disappointment from a guy that was within the top fifteen last season.
Gio has missed two games with an injury and has been in and out of the lineup in weeks prior to that. Gio has given his owners a mere 39 points since Week 5 while his backup has given his owners 30 in just two weeks. My hunch is that Gio is going to be hampered by these injuries all season long and while the potential is there for a healthy Gio, that Gio won’t be back until next season.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – I had to throw a tight end in here and it was either Davis or Jordan Cameron. I’d say that Davis is by far the bigger disappointment. Most people forget that Davis finished number two overall in tight ends last season ahead of Julius Thomas. Davis is not even in the top 20 tight ends in standard scoring leagues and has a total of 25 points through Week 10 with 16 of those coming in Week 1.
Nobody could have predicted the reduced role that Davis has taken in the offense. He is a non-factor. I also think that he is a victim of bad QB play. Colin Kaepernick has not progressed at all and has even regressed a bit at times. The team is in disarray thanks to a lame duck coach and their running game is just non-existent.