This has been—by far—one of the strangest fantasy football seasons I have ever been a part of, both as a participant and as a writer. And through Week 12, we are beginning to feel the effects of the growing list of fantasy duds of the 2010 season.
A little early if you ask me.
Ah, it was only yesterday it seems. We were all bright eyed and bushy tailed over constructing our new teams with the reliable advice of projections, but now?
Many of us stand in a heap of despair and confusion as our teams have been decimated by injuries, standing in the ruination that shattered the hope of a potential championship.
Larry Fitzgerald has been replaced by Brandon Lloyd, Chris Johnson trumped by Arian Foster, and the Marshall being demoted to a mere deputy; it shall be a forgettable season to say the least.
OK, so it’s a little dramatic, so what?
Come with me and let’s all peruse the carnage that has been left behind thus far. Let us gaze at the ones that “could have been” and ponder just what went wrong.
OK, I could make this slide a novella if I really wanted to, so instead, I will do a very simple comparative analysis that should speak for itself.
2009: 68.4 percent completion rate – 4,202 yards, 33 TD – seven INT
2010: 60.6 percent completion rate – 2,446 yards, 10 TD – 17 INT
See what I mean?
Coming into this season, Kolb was one of the top 10 QBs off the draft board and was highly touted by experts and analysts alike.
And while Kolb did do a serviceable job when he did play (63.4 percent completion rate, 1,035 yards and a 6/4 TD INT ratio), Kolb was ultimately a surprising Vick-tim of a unexpected QB controversy.
It has worked out beautifully for the Eagles, and even owners of DeSean Jackson, but for those who wasted an early pick on Kolb, not so good.
A show of hands: How many of you actually bought into the hype that McNabb was going to excel in Washington?
After an excellent year in 2009 where McNabb threw 22 TDs and only 10 INTs, he has literally fallen off the map by barley completing 58 percent of his passes, alongside a 17:13 TD/INT ratio.
McNabb’s underachieving and fantasy dud status also affects the receivers around him who have been average at the very best, so the snowball effect this had on fantasy owners looking to cash in on McNabb is unspeakable.
Fantasy Dud: Definition - Wasted Draft Pick: A pick that was used as early as possible within a fantasy football draft on a specific player who was SUPPOSED to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, only to have said player wind up being toast!
Whew! Good to get that out of my system!
Chris Johnson rushed for over 2,006 yards with 14 TDs and a 125.4 yards per game average in 2009, and while most people entered this year understanding he may not get quite those numbers, no one expected Johnson to do so average up until this point in the season.
Through 11 games, Johnson has amassed a mere 973 yards and nine TDs. I say mere because this is way below the skill set of Chris Johnson.
Most of this has come on the realization that teams are using more eight man fronts on Johnson, but with the Titans' passing game being better than it was last year, that argument doesn’t hold as much water as one would think.
By standard of what Johnson should’ve done, he is a dud. Not a bust, just a dud.
Gore was fifth in RB ADP and flew off the draft boards last year only to come up near empty handed through Week 12, leaving many fantasy owners asking whether or not they should trade him.
Or at least that’s what I get asked.
Last year, Gore finished the year with 1,120 yards and 10 TD, and while the yards are there, the scores are not making him a Standard league dud, measured on his projections and overall ADP.
The rookie busted onto the scene this year not only as a hot pickup off the draft board early, but with a solid entrance into the 2010 season.
In his first two games, Best exploded with a combined 98 rushing yards and four TDs on 31 carries and a whopping 170 receiving yards with a single TD on 14 receptions.
Since then, he hasn’t done squat on the ground or through the air and hasn’t scored a single TD elevating him to certified dud status.
- Media Friendly
- Team Player
- Respectable member of the Patriots
- 83 catches for 1,264 yards and 13 TDs
- Media Pariah
- Team Liability
- 26 catches for 362 yards and 5 TDs
- Fantasy dud
Entering into this year, Steve Smith was still widely viewed as a top 25 WR that was sure to have a comeback year, especially with the Matt Moore under center.
The two seemed to click last year, with Smith finishing 2009 with 982 yards on 65 catches with seven TDs.
But Moore never lived up to his hype, and no other QB has been able to perform at an NFL level in Carolina, relegating Smith to dud status with 444 yards on 36 catches and only two TDs.
But to be fair towards Smith, it's really not his fault.
MSW is an interesting mention because of his breakout performance last year, and also because there was a near 50/50 split on people’s opinion about him as this year opened up.
The majority swayed towards MSW having another solid year, which is why a lot of drafts saw him go pretty early.
But his inability to deal with double coverage, and the emergence of Mike Thomas and even Tiquan Underwood, has left MSW putting up numbers that aren’t even really average.
At this rate, MSW isn’t even on pace for an 800 yard season, making him a dud all around.
When fantasy owners were shopping around for a potentially huge TE at a value price, the consensus was Philadelphia Eagles TE, Brent Celek.
The idea was, Kevin Kolb was going to rely on the short passing game to the backs and TEs early since he was going to acclimate himself to the starting role, and considering Celek’s 2009 performance ( 971 yards on 76 catches with eight TDs), the idea expanded into Celek being a quality grab in the early to mid rounds of the draft.
Well, so much for that!
Through 12 games, Celek has been basically MIA from the passing game, chiming in for only 287 yards on 26 grabs and three TDs.
And for those who wound up missing out on Celek the trend was to grab Houston Texans’ TE Owen Daniels who was on his way towards a stellar 2009 campaign (40 catches for 519 yards and 5 TD through eight games) before getting shut down with an injury.
This year, through Week Seven—the last time he played—Daniels was nowhere near those numbers catching only 16 balls for 200 yards and zero scores.
Daniels should finish this fantasy year with both the dud and bust tag.
The number one overall ranked LB in fantasy has been less than impressive to say the least, and for those who dove in early for Willis in their IDP drafts, they have to be screaming dud.
Last year, Willis had 113 tackles, 38 assists, and three interceptions, as opposed to his 71 tackles, 20 assists and zero interceptions.
The cost of his ADP versus his performance has him sliding into dud territory.
Right behind Willis was the overall number two LB, Jon Beason who tallied up 112 tackles, 30 assists and three interceptions in 2009, but has yet to get on pace for even similar numbers this year.
Beason has racked up only 61 tackles, 22 assists and a single interception, and is looking more and more as if he won’t even trump his own stats from a year ago.
Again, because of his ADP against his performance thus far, he is flirting with dud status.
Wes Welker has always been a top notch fantasy football receiver; Mr PPR, if you will. But Welker hasn’t exactly put up the same type of numbers this year as we are used to year after year.
It was noticeable that he was slow out of the gates following the knee recovery, but when Randy Moss left, he took an even bigger hit.
Welker’s TD count is better (six this year as opposed to four from a year ago), but Welker has only chimed in for 592 yards on 65 catches, compared to the 1,348 yards and 123 catches in 2009.
Welker has streaked the last two games, but I wouldn’t read too much into it since those last two competitors were Indianapolis and Detroit.
14.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, 43 tackles, and a feared and unstoppable force on the D-Line in 2009.
7.5 sacks, zero forced fumbles, 29 tackles, and a not so feared presence in 2010 has dud written all over Jared Allen.
When in Rome!
The Vikings were the sixth ranked defense in 2009 and ranked first in sacks. It was very difficult to burn this team last year, and even more difficult to stop them, affording fantasy owners one of the more prolific fantasy defense in all of fantasy football.
So naturally, owners made a run early on them, and are now paying the price.
The Vikings are barley clinging onto ninth place and rank 20th in sacks and are basically bottom feeding in turnovers as a whole, making the 2010 version of this defense a fantasy defensive dud.
This team led the NFL in interceptions, dominated in turnovers as a whole and was the second ranked defense in all of football a year ago.
And while the Packers are still playing tenacious football, they aren’t the turnover machine they were from a year ago.
Again, many made a run for this defense hoping to have another year of cashing in on Dom Capers’ turnover friendly system, but injuries have decimated this team and forced them to change direction in scheme in 2010, which hasn’t produced as many turnovers.
Because of the price paid to get them and their current return, they fall under dud status.
Another turnover happy team that was a fantasy goldmine for points, the Bengals have literally and systematically done an unexpected 180 on owners who reached tor them too early.
This is a defense that was a top five in the beginning of the season, showing signs of dominance only to fall to 16th; a decline that is gaining speed.
The Bengals continue to fall apart on defense, making them a fantasy dud.
2009: four INT, three Forced Fumbles, 82 Tackles.
2010: zero INT, zero Forced Fumbles, 62 Tackles as one of the top five drafted DBs in fantasy football
Another high end DB, who many thought—like myself—was set to have a monster season after chiming in for five INTs, two forced fumbles, and 63 tackles in 2009.
But 41 tackles and two lousy interceptions for the price that was paid for him is nothing short of dud, unless he picks things up.
Many people felt that it didn’t matter where he played, because the Marshall was all money year in and year out, and why not after a solid 1,120 yard, 101 catch and 10 touchdown performance in 2009.
Not only is his 58 catch 693 yard one touchdown line pedestrian at best, there’s rumors that he’s even being outplayed by fellow teammate Brian Hartline.
Total dud, potential bust.
Williams was one of the better backs in 2009, and many felt he was only going to build on his 216 carries for 1,117 yards and seven touchdown season from a year ago.
But that never really materialized, even when he was healthy.
Williams looked sluggish, old, unable to get free off the line, and it showed in his 87 carries for 361 yards and a single score line.
He’s on IR for the remainder of the year, but he was a dud before that ever happened.
Thanks to Tony Romo getting hurt, and Jon Kitna’s affinity for fellow receiver Dez Bryant, Miles Austin has been fantasy MIA nearly all year.
Austin has 52 catches with 757 yards and five scores through 12 weeks, which is way down from his 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 TDs from a year ago, putting him into dud status.
Where’s the shank? That’s what many owners who made a move on him early are now saying. Shank was project to have a monster season after catching 56 balls for 566 yards and 11 TDs in 2009, but the reality is, he has been less than average up until this point.
Ya know, a dud.
Through 12 weeks, Shiancoe has only caught 33 balls for 420 yards and two TDs.
One of the top five running backs in all of fantasy football last year, and the third ranked RB in most ADP forecasts this year, MJD was highly viewed as an elite back coming into this season.
So it was no wonder why he went so fast in a running back-first heavy 2010 draft.
But that was a huge waste of a pick considering last year, MJD had totaled 1,765 all-purpose yards with 16 all-purpose TDs.
This year MJD has a paltry 1,263 all purpose yards with a dismal six all purpose TDs—not quite the numbers fantasy owners were expecting from him.
MJD winds up being a huge bust, if not one of the biggest in all of fantasy football, given the hype that surrounded him, his performance from a year ago, and the solid consensus that this was a top three running back.
So much for forecasts and expert advice, huh?
Well, that’s it. I am sure there are plenty of names that could’ve made this list, so feel free to add who you think is a fantasy dud. Perhaps someone you own?
And please make sure to check out my Week 13 Start Sit Quarterback column.