2008 Fantasy Football Lame Team, Your Scoop to This Year’s Busts
(Jonathan Szenics contributed to this story).
Many times in fantasy drafts, one sits in a draft room or at a draft table, and gloats that they got a great player.
At the end of the year though, when they are sitting out of the playoff picture, they are left wondering what went wrong.
This is where we come in.
Whom should you avoid in your fantasy drafts this season or as waiver selections if you should get so lucky?
First, let us take a look at the quarterbacks, who are now quickly becoming even more important in the fantasy-football landscape.
Vince Young: Not much is expected of him, as it was last year. Yet, with fewer weapons, minus Alge Crumpler, who will not make a leaps and bounds difference, his stock will plummet even quicker to that of almost being useless across the board in fantasy football.
You seriously know there is an issue when your interception total is twice that of your touchdown total. Please don’t make a big mistake in taking Vince Young in your fantasy draft.
Matt Hasselbeck: First, his wide receivers are all injured, minus Nate Burleson. He may very well pick up the slack, but who is the No. 2 wide receiver in Seattle? With an injury-depleted wide-receiving corps, they are only left with inexperienced players.
Second, with three solid running backs in Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, and T.J. Duckett, Mike Holmgren’s emphasis will mainly be on the run this season. Don’t get us wrong, Hasselbeck will make a decent starter in most fantasy leagues, but do not depend on him to put up totals near what he did last season.
Kurt Warner: Face it, age is not an athlete’s friend. Warner, at 37, struggles with turning the ball over via fumbles and interceptions. Eventually, something has to give, and with Warner, this year will be the year.
With chaos surrounding the Cardinals, Warner will play horribly because of the lack of chemistry and never-ending drama that has surrounded the Cardinals' organization.
Now, on to our running-back selection. If you mess up selections here, more than likely, you are in for a long season my friends. Mr. Szenics himself picked Frank Gore and Travis Henry in the first two rounds in last year’s fantasy draft in his league, thinking that he was going to go places.
Instead, he ended up in ninth place in a 12-team league, and he is not afraid to admit this. These things happen, and we want to help you to avoid the same mistakes this season.
Laurence Maroney: The man has the tools to be Marion Barber’s clone, but he is in the wrong system, and worst yet, he can’t stay healthy. With Sammy Morris looking to steal goal-line carries, and LaMont Jordan trying to take third-down carries from Maroney as well, avoid him in your fantasy draft if you can.
Willis McGahee: A huge injury risk, the development of Ray Rice, terrible quarterback play, and a banged up offensive line will make him an awful choice at running back for the most part this season.
Ryan Grant: Last year, with Brett Favre, the numbers were there because nobody could focus on the run. This year, Aaron Rodgers is at the helm in Green Bay; look for Grant to struggle, as Rodgers and the Packers will tone down their pass attack for their first-year starter, in order to ease him into the position.
Now, here comes the wide receivers.
Randy Moss: People will not like this selection, but do not expect to have Moss put up the same numbers as last year. Without a doubt, he will still be a top receiver in the league, but defenses will come out with a game plan that will limit Moss’ production this time around.
Dwayne Bowe: After a great rookie campaign, where we saw Bowe nearly put up a 1,000-yard season, he will come back down to earth his sophomore season. With no steady quarterback in Kansas City, know that Bowe’s production will suffer this season.
Bryant Johnson: Coming out from under the shadows of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in Arizona, Johnson will have his moment to finally showcase himself as a No. 1 receiver.
But starting the preseason with injuries and younger talent nipping at his toes, don’t expect Johnson to put up numbers resembling any near Fitzgerald and Boldin’s respective totals.
Moving now onto the tight ends. These picks may surprise you, but look at the reasoning behind each one.
Vernon Davis: Mike Martz never knows how to incorporate a tight end in his pass-happy offense, but on the other hand, he has never had one this talented. Davis still is not going to get the chance he deserves to showcase his talents in San Francisco, so avoid him this fantasy season.
Tony Gonzalez: A personal favorite of ours and many other fantasy owners for several years, Gonzalez has fallen on tough times in Kansas City. With no steady quarterback play, his stats will ultimately suffer and he will not put up the numbers that he has in years past.
Donald Lee: Brett Favre threw to his tight ends, will Aaron Rodgers? As a fantasy owner, either way, you do not want to find out from Week One onward. This pick could change down the line, for now though, we see him as a bust because of there being too many weapons ahead of him in the offense to truly break through this season, as many think he will.
Moving onto the defenses. Avoid these teams if you can, because in some weeks, defensive play can determine a win or a loss.
New York Giants: After losing Michael Strahan to retirement and Osi Umenyiora to tearing his lateral meniscus, ending his 2008 season, the Giants may not put the same amount of pressure on an opposing quarterback that made them the Super Bowl champions of last year.
Without the depth of last year, deep into games, the defense may tire and forfeit points, unlike last year’s squad.
Baltimore Ravens: A new year, and another year older, the already aging defense in Baltimore will only hurt them more. The Ravens of old will not produce like they once have and with a weak offense keeping them on the field, look for the aging defense to tire late into games as well.
Tennessee Titans: Six games against the Colts, Jaguars, and Texans, who all have a great chance of having high-octane offenses equals what? That’s right, avoiding them at all costs until proven otherwise this season.
Finally, the kickers. Again, believe it or not, a good kicker can win you a couple of games, so steer clear of these three individuals unless you feel like losing.
Josh Brown: Going from the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks to the three-win St. Louis Rams will not be a nice adjustment for Brown. With an injury depleted and struggling offensive line, the Rams won’t give Brown the type of opportunities to score like he once had in Seattle.
Robbie Gould: When called upon, Gould has done considerably well, but without the opportunities, due to an ever-struggling offense, it is not recommended that Gould should be your fantasy kicker.
Neil Rackers: Going along with the Kurt Warner prediction, the offense will struggle, compared to other years, and even if it does not, will he even show up? Do not invest too much in the fact that he will. It is only a fair warning.
We believe that these are the players to avoid. Will we be right? Only time will tell, but these are all safe bets in our eyes. Good luck this fantasy season ladies and gentlemen!
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