10 NFL Players Who Look Better in Box Scores Than on the Field
Ever look at box scores and wonder in amusement how did “player X” accomplish so much, but yet when you watched the game, “player X” didn’t seem so impressive?
Well, when it comes to fantasy football, these players are a dime a dozen, as many players can pile up hollow stats. These “hollow stats” are usually accomplished when teams are getting blown out and the player puts up numbers in garbage time.
Here are 10 players who put up monster numbers in box scores but who are not necessarily as important as they seem on the field. This is not to say that the following players are not talented or garbage, but ones who put up a lot of hollow numbers.
Cam Newton: Carolina Panthers
While Newton led the Panthers to a respectable 6-10 record in 2011 (after going 2-14 the previous season), Newton certainly stuffed the stat sheet with some hollow numbers.
Newton no doubt will be worthy of a first- or second-round selection on draft day, but many of his 4,051 passing yards and 706 rushing yards did come in garbage time when the team was trying to play catch-up.
Not that any of this is any concern to fantasy players.
Chris Johnson: Tennessee Titans
After signing a lucrative deal just prior to the start of last season, Johnson went belly up and for all intents and purposes was a bust last season.
While Johnson has piled up some amazing stats (5,645 rushing yards and 42 total touchdowns) in his four years with the Titans, the club has yet to yet to achieve any postseason glory.
In Johnson’s rookie year, the Titans did compile a 13-3 record but were bounced in their first playoff game against the Ravens. Ever since then, the Titans have been mediocre, only winning 23 games in the last three years.
Brandon Marshall: Chicago Bears
The volatile wide receiver has shown over the last few years that he has been all flash, but hardly a player of substance.
Marshall has never played in a playoff game and the teams (Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins) he has played for have only compiled a 45-51 record in the time he spent with them.
Marshall will look to reverse this trend when he reunites with Jay Cutler in Chicago this year.
Michael Vick: Philadelphia Eagles
As one of the most polarizing figures in the sport, Vick consistently puts up numbers, but they have never translated into much postseason success.
Vick has only two playoff victories on his resume and both of them came when he was part of the Falcons.
Vick was supposed to lead the Eagles (who were proclaimed to the next ‘Dream Team”) to the promised land last year, but he battled injuries and inconsistencies once again.
Vick will go into next season as one of the top-10 quarterbacks to target in fantasy, as well as being expected to lead the Eagles back to the postseason.
Steven Jackson: St. Louis Rams
The Rams have become a whipping boy for most NFL teams over the years, as they have never shown the same magic like the “Greatest Show on Turf” did in the late 90’s/early 2000’s.
As a result, Jackson has never really tasted any real success. The best team Jackson was ever on was in his rookie season, when the 2004 Rams posted an 8-8 record (matched in 2006) but still made the playoffs.
Ever since then it has been all downhill, as Jackson and the Rams have posted a 29-83 record.
Jackson is a very aggressive runner who does a lot of his damage in garbage time. The best thing for Jackson would be a change of scenery.
Stevie Johnson: Buffalo Bills
The mercurial wide receiver is another talented player yet to sniff the playoffs.
In his first four years, Johnson has posted solid numbers (2,189 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns) but he hardly delivers in the clutch.
While he is solid for fantasy purposes, Johnson is hardly what you would consider a game-changer.
Tony Romo: Dallas Cowboys
Once again, Romo will enter the 2012 campaign as one of the game's most scrutinized and maligned quarterbacks.
In his six years as starter, Romo has compiled some very impressive numbers (20,834 passing yards and 149 touchdowns), but yet the Cowboys continue to underwhelm as a team.
Romo has taken the Cowboys to the playoffs three times and has won only won one playoff game (in 2009 vs. Philadelphia).
Beanie Wells: Arizona Cardinals
Wells is coming off a fine 2011 campaign, but his resume is not full of substance.
While he had 1,047 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns last season, those numbers ring hollow considering how average the Cardinals were last year.
In his three years with the team, Wells and the Cardinals have gone a mediocre 23-25. Over the years, Wells has shown to be talented but wildly inconsistent.
Percy Harvin: Minnesota Vikings
Although Harvin is great for the all-purpose yards he accumulates, Harvin is hardly a beacon of consistency and greatness.
Harvin, unfortunately, is injury prone due to his migraine issues and has been part of only one winning team, when in his rookie year the Vikings went 12-4 and made it to the NFC Championship.
Since then, the Vikings have taken a dive, going 9-23 in the next two seasons.
In the last couple of years, the Vikings have had to play a lot of catch-up, and that’s where Harvin does a lot of his damage.
Philip Rivers: San Diego Chargers
Rivers is another quarterback who posts solid numbers but has never really come through in the clutch.
While he should be commended for his toughness, Rivers never gets the most out of his immense talents. Rivers led his team twice to 13-win seasons, but failed to win their first playoff game. Although Rivers has three playoff victories, he should probably have more.
Rivers will get his numbers, but he’s more of a box-score quarterback than anything.
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