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NFL's Biggest Fantasy Football Disappointments of 2012

Greg MaiolaSenior Analyst IIDecember 8, 2012

NFL's Biggest Fantasy Football Disappointments of 2012

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    As fantasy football leagues across the nation are beginning to enter the playoff rounds, fantasy owners should be making the right moves to create the best possible roster.

    Unfortunately, the seven players on this list will have no role on a possible playoff run.

    This list looks at the seven biggest fantasy busts of the 2012 season. Though drafted with high intentions, these players have produced little of what was expected of them and should play no integral part of a fantasy playoff run this season.

    For whatever reason, the players on this list have been major disappointments and deserve to be classified as 2012 duds.

    Here are the seven biggest fantasy disappointments of 2012.

Ryan Mathews

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    This former first-round pick has been useless for fantasy owners this season.

    Ryan Mathews has played in 10 games this season, starting seven (stats as of December 8, 2012). In those games, Mathews has carried 155 times for 620 yards and just one touchdown.

    His 4.0 yards per carry average is nothing special and he hasn't been a major factor in the passing game. His stock coming into the season was high, as he was coming off a 1,091-yard, six-touchdown season. This year, he has been nothing short of mediocre and him having just one touchdown is almost a joke.

    For those who bit hard for Mathews, he has done nothing to repay that investment. He has been irrelevant all year and nothing short of a fantasy dud.

Tim Tebow

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    Tim Tebow led a 1-4 Denver Broncos team into the divisional round of the playoffs in 2011. He proved that his unconventional style of play worked for him, even though millions of people disapproved.

    When he was traded to the New York Jets organization in 2012, there seemed to be nothing but potential. Tony Sparano, the man behind the Wildcat, was thought to have had a special package for Tebow's talents. His tough running ability was supposed to mesh with Rex Ryan's ground-and-pound style.

    All of the potential has turned into nothing but an utter disaster in New York.

    Tebow has only attempted seven passes, completing six of them for a whopping 39 yards. (His one incompletion was a drop against the Houston Texans that could very well have gone for a touchdown). He has rushed the football 29 times for 87 yards, an astonishing 3.0 yards per carry average.

    But don't blame Tebow for underperforming in his limited opportunities through 10 games played (stats as of December 8, 2012). Nearly every time Tebow is in the game, other than punt protecting, he receives the ball in the shotgun formation and is told to run the ball right up the middle.

    His presence on the field has made his role so predictable for defenses that he isn't even a factor. His coaches have done a terrible job utilizing Tebow in the offense and No. 15 deserves better.

    Fantasy owners expecting Tebow to be a goal-line or red-zone machine were terribly fooled. Tebow has no touchdowns this year and has provided fantasy owners with absolutely nothing, though his potential was very high in August.

    Blame the organization for holding Tebow back on this one, fantasy owners.

Dwayne Bowe

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    Dwayne Bowe is one of the most physically gifted receivers in all of pro football. Unfortunately, he has lacked an adequate quarterback to give him the ball.

    The Kansas City Chiefs were supposed to be a sleeper team coming into the season, but are primed for the No. 1 pick come April. The miserable play of quarterbacks Matt Cassel and journey man Brady Quinn has contributed to a rather dull season by Bowe.

    As of December 8 2012, Bowe has 57 receptions for 731 yards and three touchdowns. Those stats aren't necessarily bad, but they are nowhere near where they should be for Bowe's talent. The focus on the running game, and defensive attraction, has limited what Bowe could be doing.

    His receiving yardage isn't bad, but horrible quarterback play is holding Bowe back. He was a relatively high fantasy prospect because of the high potential Kansas City had earlier on. Luckily for Bowe, he is a free agent at the season's end and could bolt if he wants to.

    There is nothing more frustrating than a great player being held back due to his surroundings. Given the opportunities, Bowe can make plays. But fantasy owners know those opportunities are limited, keeping Bowe out of the end zone far too often.

Greg Jennings

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    Coming into the 2012 NFL season, there wasn't anything not to love about Greg Jennings.

    The receiver had 949 yards and nine touchdowns in only nine games in 2011 and was a proven stud, winning a Super Bowl and making a Pro Bowl appearance. He even had an MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who was coming off a 15-1 season with Green Bay.

    This led to Jennings being a highly touted fantasy receiver and high draft selections, to which Jennings responded with as miserable of a season as possible.

    He has been active for four weeks and started two games (stats as of December 8, 2012). In those four games, he has recorded 16 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown.

    Injuries were responsible for keeping Jennings sidelined, but he remained inactive even when he felt he was ready to play. The emergence of Randall Cobb has reduced Jennings' production even when he has played.

    Injuries have been the main factor in Jennings' lousy season, but he was not able to reward fantasy owners for their high investment in him. At the end of the day, that's all that matters from a fantasy perspective.

Michael Vick

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    Heading into the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Eagles were projected to be major NFC contenders. Quarterback Michael Vick was coming off a 13-game season with 3,303 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 589 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.

    The season prior saw Vick pass for 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns and chip in 676 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, all in 12 games.

    Those past two years were supposed to prove that Vick had finally developed into an above-average passer who was still a great threat on the ground.

    Boy were fantasy owners fooled.

    Vick's 2012 season consisted of nine starts and more turnovers than scores. He threw for 2,165 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ran for 307 yards and a score as well. Most importantly, he put the ball on the ground 10 times, losing five of them. That's nine interceptions and 10 fumbles in nine games, not an elite number at all.

    Vick was a turnover machine and was simply unimpressive overall. Those who drafted Vick relatively high for his deep-threat ability and running potential were mightily disappointed.

    Vick was a complete bust and it will probably cost him his career as an Eagle.

Darren McFadden

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    The league has been exposed to the talents of Darren McFadden, but 2012 has been nothing but a disappointment for No. 20.

    Injuries have forced McFadden to play in nine games this season. As of December 8, 2012, he has carried 150 times for 507 yards and a mere two touchdowns. He has a lousy 3.4 yards per carry average and hasn't been a major factor in the passing game.

    He has been outperformed by his fullback Marcel Reece this season, angering those fantasy owners who drafted him high.

    Maybe it's just a flukey season, but McFadden is not performing at the level that made him a monster in 2010 and 2011. Injuries haven't helped, but he has yet to really get going in any of his games.

    He still has a lot of quality football left in him, but 2012 hasn't been kind to McFadden. He has been a risky starter and unpredictable, allowing him to be labeled as a dud.

David Wilson

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    David Wilson was a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft and was supposed to be a major contributor this season. He was supposed to fill the hole left by Brandon Jacobs and complement running back Ahmad Bradshaw.

    However, a Week 1 blunder on national television changed everything.

    After a fumble and apparent crying on the sideline, Wilson was benched and his role significantly diminished. His role of No. 2 running back went to Andre Brown, who did extremely well with it. This has led Wilson to have a lousy season for thee Giants thus far.

    As of December 8 2012, Wilson has 28 carries for 111 yards and one touchdown. He also has two receptions for eight yards. Not exactly the best 12-game performance to reward the Giants for the high investment.

    Wilson should be getting more touches down the stretch but was absolutely irrelevant for fantasy owners. Those who drafted him thought they were getting a value pick, but Wilson fooled them all.

    He has been a fantasy disappointment and his production is shockingly low for his draft status.

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