10 Fantasy Studs Who Will Flop as the 2012 Season Wears On
You can count on some of your studs for now (or at least bank on their cache), but can you bank on them to carry you through the end of the season?
There will no doubt be some tried and true studs, who—while they have maybe helped you in the past—could ultimately sabotage your season with some underwhelming performances going forward. In this slideshow, I will highlight 10 pronounced studs that could be letdowns as the season wears on.
It’s not like these players don’t have value—quite the contrary—but they do have some things working against them and in this post, I will try to point out why they could let you down in the coming weeks.
Tony Romo: Dallas Cowboys
No time like the present to pile on Romo, as he is coming off a dreadful performance on Monday night when he threw five interceptions against the Bears.
While Romo has talent, he seemingly can never put it all together. The Cowboys’ offensive line is a mess and Romo will have to fend for his life when he drops back to pass. If the Cowboys get more committed to running the ball and properly using DeMarco Murray, maybe they can achieve that balance they are looking for.
For now, Romo is just too much of a risk.
Ryan Mathews: San Diego Chargers
Make no mistake: Mathews is still the main running back in San Diego.
However, Mathews will have his carries (especially in the red zone) reduced due to the emergence of Jackie Battle. Just when you thought Mathews would emerge and not split carries (like he did when Mike Tolbert was on the team), his injury and fumbling concerns have now made Battle a more integral part of the Chargers’ offense.
Mathews will get most of the work between the 20s, but Battle could be a TD vulture much the same way Tolbert was.
Michael Vick: Philadelphia Eagles
Although Vick had a fine rebound performance on Sunday night (19-of-30 for 241 yards and a touchdown; six carries for 49 yards) against the Giants, he is still such a fragile commodity.
Vick has been hit, sacked and beaten far too much this season and it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs to an injury or gets benched due to ineffectiveness.
While you’d like to roll out Vick every week for his potential for explosive outbursts, he is a ticking time bomb and deserves to be handcuffed with a more standard, rugged quarterback (say a Ryan Fitzpatrick).
Brandon Marshall: Chicago Bears
Sure, this doesn’t seem like the ideal time to be talking down Marshall after his fine performance on Monday night (seven receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown), but Marshall seems to me like a boom-or-bust type receiver who can go through long stretches of inconsistencies.
Marshall’s quarterback, Jay Cutler, is also playing behind a vulnerable offensive line and with the Bears having a capable running back duo in Matt Forte and Michael Bush, more often than not the offense will flow through them.
Marshall will likely have plenty of 100-plus-yard games, but predicting when they will occur will drive you crazy.
Jason Witten: Dallas Cowboys
While Witten also had a fine performance (13 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown) on Monday night, he did a lot of that damage in garbage time.
Given the trouble facing Romo, it’s fair to think that Witten could struggle along the way too; maybe even being called upon to block more often. Prior to Monday night’s outing, Witten was posting very pedestrian numbers (eight receptions for 76 yards and no scores through the first three games).
So, Monday night might just be the exception and not the rule in this case.
Steven Jackson: St. Louis Rams
Four games in and Jackson has still yet to rush for more than 60 yards in a game. Clearly, Jackson is being affected by his nagging groin injury.
Jackson is doing himself and his fantasy owners no favors by not resting it and getting back into tip-top shape. With the Rams evolving into more of a passing team, Jackson has taken a backseat in St. Louis. With rookie Daryl Richardson also starting to become more involved in the Rams’ backfield, Jackson doesn’t seem like he will bounce back anytime soon.
Michael Turner: Atlanta Falcons
At age 30, Turner is putting to rest the notion that he is done, as he has rushed for an admirable 257 yards while also scoring three total touchdowns through four games this year.
That said, I think Turner is due for a regression considering the Falcons are a pass-first offense combined with the fact that Atlanta wants to get backup running back Jacquizz Rodgers more playing time.
Rodgers fits more into the Falcons’ scheme and is an excellent pass-catcher; besides, Turner’s outings tend to be too inconsistent. After all, he has rushed for less than 45 yards twice already in four games.
Stevan Ridley: New England Patriots
Now that Brandon Bolden has thrust himself into the mix, the Pats’ backfield is one crowded place these days.
Ridley is still the preferred choice in New England, but with Bolden putting up a monster performance on Sunday and with Bill Belichick still loving what Danny Woodhead brings to the table, Ridley could feel the squeeze. And I haven’t even mention Shane Vereen, who was supposed to get some carries this year but hasn’t been quite that healthy—yet.
Approach Ridley with caution.
Reggie Bush: Miami Dolphins
Speaking of crowded backfields, the Dolphins have a burgeoning one in South Beach.
Bush is still unquestionably the No. 1 running back in Miami but due to some injury concerns of late (knee) he hasn’t looked the same (only rushing for 128 yards in his last two games). With a nagging injury and Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller behind him, Bush could see his role diminish a tad. Also consider that in short-yard/goal-line packages, Bush and Co. make way for Jorvorskie Lane to carry the ball.
While his role in the offense won’t vanish, Bush could disappoint as more teams will be geared to stop him and dare Ryan Tannehill to beat them through the air.
Andre Johnson: Houston Texans
I’m not talking about Kiefer Sutherland and the Fox smash-hit TV series here. No, I’m talking about the miniscule number of targets Johnson has seen through four games this year.
Johnson has a lot of talent for a wide receiver in the league and not many receivers possess the big-play ability he brings to the table.
Being that the Texans have a dominant running game coupled with an imposing defense, there is every reason to believe Matt Schaub and the Texans may play it safe and limit the big pass plays this year.
Running the ball down opponents’ throats with Arian Foster and Ben Tate and relying on a stout defensive unit has propelled the Texans to a 4-0 start. Why fix something that isn’t broken?
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon