2008 Fantasy Football Busts: Say It Ain't So Peyton!

Zachary NicholsContributor IOctober 30, 2008

So, we have officially crossed the halfway mark for most fantasy football leagues. It really seems to have been an interesting year in the NFL, to say the least. It seems that a lot of players that went in the first round in most fantasy football drafts have underperformed for various reasons.

It also seems that there’s always an excuse as to why a player hasn’t performed up to the level expected by most fantasy owners. Here, we will discuss the most talked about busts of the season in each position, reasons why they’re underperforming, and what is going to have to happen to for these players to return to glory.


QB-Peyton Manning

I wanted to insert Tom Brady here, but I didn't think that it was fair, considering his injury and all. Everybody expected Manning to be one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL this year, especially with Brady going down in the first quarter of the season.

I'm not saying that Manning is playing poorly, just that he's not playing to his potential. Blame it on the receivers, blame it on the O-line, or blame Manning himself, but what fantasy owners want to see are double-digit games from him, consistently.

His timing's off, and he's got nine interceptions to his 10 TDs. In my opinion, it boils down to decision-making abilities.

RB-Adrian Peterson

This one was tough. I had a hard time deciding between A.P. or LaDainian Tomlinson. There were high hopes for L.T., to which he hasn’t lived up, but Peterson, on the other hand, had almost just as high expectations, but just hasn’t been consistent. It may just be a sophomore slump, and most owners should just hold on and hope that he stays consistent, something that should come with a little help from the Minnesota offensive line.



WR-Chad Johnson
Another tough one here. There are a lot of receivers that were expected to excel and have completely collapsed. Some names that come to mind are Randy Moss, Torry Holt, and Marvin Harrison. Blame his bust on whatever you like. It could be that he’s been ridden with injuries, that Carson Palmer’s been inconsistent, or Ocho Cinco’s attitude in general. Johnson, at best, should be a fantasy owner’s flex position in specific matchups this season, until he decides that he wants to be part of a team.


TE-Todd Heap

Picking the bust in tight ends wasn’t easy. Let’s just admit it, tight ends aren’t something that most fantasy owners bank on for scoring a lot of points. Only one player in the league this year has scored more than three touchdowns. Heap, however, has been given the opportunity to shine in Baltimore but has only 137 yards in 13 catches. What Heap needs is to find his rhythm with rookie quarterback, Joe Flacco. I think those two should be spending some extra time running through plays together after practices.



Who knew that the No. 1 ranked defense/special teams at the end of last year and beginning of this year would falter as much as they have? San Diego is, without a doubt, missing Shawne Merriman’s intensity and leadership. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what is causing the hemorrhage in San Diego, but you cannot allow an average of 253.5 pass yards per game. The secondary and the linebackers need to step up the intensity and keep their opponents’ passing game under control.


K-Martin Gramatica

I know, kickers are usually an afterthought in fantasy football. And I know that Gramatica is on IR. He has not been asked by his team to do much, but he is only 6/10 in total field goals. That amounts to a 60 percent success rate. That’s pretty bad, considering John Carney is kicking 95 percent this season. Not only is Gramatica missing field goals, but the ones missed have been clutch, game-saving attempts.


There you have it. My list of players this year that people sold their souls to the devil to get in their fantasy drafts that bombed. Some may disagree with some of the listing, but again, this is just a compilation gathered from discussions around the water cooler and on Monday mornings.

I am personally excited to see players like Manning or Ocho Cinco return to glory to show fantasy owners that they do deserve a spot on the starting lineup.