Every year there are guys drafted in fantasy leagues that look great on paper during the pre-season, but then fail to produce during the Regular Season for various reasons. These players are known as busts and can kill an owner's championship dreams with their terrible play.
This list will be looking at 20 players whose owners wish could go back a few months and pass them up in the draft. Which players are they? Read on to find out.
Average Draft Position: 95.1
At the beginning of this season many people thought that the St. Louis Rams would be a division winning team and that Sam Bradford might have a chance at becoming a borderline fantasy star. Sadly, that hasn't happened. The Rams are dreadful and, even though he gets to chunk the ball around a lot because he's playing from behind, Bradford has been mediocre at best.
However, the main reason he makes this list is because of the guys drafted behind him. Matthew Stafford was drafted two spots after Bradford and has been a double digit scorer in every game this season. Jay Cutler is also having a solid year and was drafted 16 spots after Bradford on average. Then there's Cam Newton. Newton is one of the better options at quarterback this year and he was drafted an average of 20 spots behind Bradford. Most owners are wishing they could have a redo on the Bradford pick and go with the young gun from Carolina.
Average Draft Position: 88.5
From his draft status you would expect that Marcedes Lewis was one of the top tight end prospects on the board. It isn't hard to see why. Usually when a young quarterback like Blaine Gabbert is coming up in the league, he leans on his tight end to be his safety valve. It wasn't out of the realm of possibility that Lewis could've become that guy for Gabbert and seen his fantasy value increase greatly.
However, that hasn't happened. Gabbert is looking for Lewis often enough, but the two just haven't been able to hook up on a consistent basis. Lewis has yet to record a touchdown and hasn't had more than three points in any week this season. Needless to say, that's not the kind of production you expect from a top 100 pick.
Average Draft Position: 82.6
Chad Ochocinco really did come into the perfect situation this offseason. He has one of the best quarterbacks to ever live in Tom Brady and a huge threat lining up opposite him that takes away double coverages in Wes Welker.
It's strange then, that Ochocinco has yet to register more than four points in any fantasy week of the season. Earlier on, you could attribute that to him not knowing the offense, but, with six games under his belt, it's time for Ochocinco to step his game up.
Average Draft Position: 79.6
It's impossible to blame Peyton Manning for his lack of good play this season because he hasn't been on the field at all. You hate to see any player get hurt, but it's terrible for the game to lose a guy like Manning for an entire season.
That said, just because he can't do anything about his injury doesn't mean fantasy owners are regretting spending a draft pick on him. Luckily, he was ruled out somewhat early so he wasn't drafted quite as high as he would've been if he'd been hurt in the first game of the season. Fantasy owners feel bad for the guy, but probably wish they'd spent their draft pick somewhere else.
Average Draft Position: 72.4
I've never really been a big fan of Ryan Grant. His fantasy value got seriously overrated a few years ago when he was still playing with Brett Favre and, for some reason, he's been able to continue tricking people into thinking he's a good second option at running back.
However, he's not. Currently he's splitting carries with James Stark and it's Stark that has been getting all the fantasy love. Sadly, there's not much love to go around for a running back in the Green Bay Packers pass-happy attack and that makes Grant unworthy of his top 75 pick.
Average Draft Position: 70.9
It's easy to see why people drafted Mark Ingram so high. The Saints have an explosive passing attack that takes guys out of the box and gives a tough runner like Ingram a chance to make big plays. He has been able to produce a few touchdowns, but he's only been able to muster double digit fantasy points once.
Ingram is one of the guys who still has a shot at turning his fantasy season around. He's scored a touchdown in three of the last four games and the Saints are giving him more opportunities to prove himself. He's a guy you can start during a bye week, but not the every week option owners were hoping for.
Average Draft Position: 67.3
Mario Manningham was hit by the injury bug earlier on in the year, but wasn't even producing high numbers before that. Going into the season it was expected that he was going to be Eli Manning's second option after Hakeem Nicks; however, that hasn't happened.
Manningham has been upstaged in recent weeks by virtual unknown Victor Cruz. Cruz came on strong while Manningham was recovering from a concussion, and the upstart Cruz hasn't let up since. Manningham hasn't had a week where he put up more than five fantasy points and that's going to have to change if he wants to take his spot back from Cruz in both the Giants line-up, and owners' fantasy line-ups.
Average Draft Position: 63.6
This isn't a knock on the Steelers defense. They've been very up and down in fantasy this year, and have gone over double digits three times already this season. The reason they make this list is because of a defense that was drafted about 27 spots under them.
The Baltimore Ravens have been the best fantasy defense in the league, closely followed by the New York Jets. The Ravens topped the 20 point mark three times already this season, and even dropped 32 points against the Jets in Week 4. The Steelers aren't anywhere close to those kinds of numbers and owners are definitely wishing they had gone a different way.
Average Draft Position: 63.1
Dallas Clark's fall-off in fantasy is a direct result of the season-ending surgery Peyton Manning went through this off-season. Clark has been able to post a few solid games, but he's no where near the fantasy stud he used to be.
You hate to put him on the list because he would've been a solid pick-up if he had his starting quarterback, but right now fantasy owners are wishing they could take this pick back. He had a good game last week against the Cincinnati Bengals and things might be looking brighter down the stretch run, but for now he's definitely not the guy you want to start at tight end.
Average Draft Position: 62.9
Many fantasy owners, myself included, were hoping Shonn Greene would finally become a top-shelf running back and post a solid fantasy year. That hasn't happened, as the Jets have been more interested in getting their many passing weapons involved.
Greene could still turn this around. The Jets have given him 21 carries in each of his last two games, but his 3.4 yards per carry for the season is still scary for fantasy owners. For now, he's a decent option during a bye week, but I'd look elsewhere for consistent production every week.
Average Draft Position: 51.3
Outside of a monster 26 point performance in week three, Jermichael Finley's week-to-week numbers have been pedestrian. He's been able to consistently put up yards, but doesn't have a touchdown outside of that one game.
That's frightening for fantasy owners because you want your tight end to be the team's number one red zone threat and get lots of opportunities to score down there. Finley hasn't been able to capitalize and that's why he's on the list. If he can begin finding his way into the end zone he'll come off, but for now owners wish they'd waited a little later into the draft to pick up Finley.
Average Draft Position: 47.3
Reggie Wayne is another unfortunate casualty of the Peyton Manning injury. He began the season strong with a 16 point performance against the Houston Texans, but since then he's had trouble putting up quality numbers.
If Wayne can find himself in the end zone more often he might be able to shed this label. However, if he's going to be a fantasy team's number one or two starter, he needs to have more than one touchdown through six games.
Average Draft Position: 45.8
Drafting a player in the top 50 usually means you're looking for him to contribute at least 8-10 points a game and be your first or second player at that position. Felix Jones has broken the double digit margin twice, but in his other games he's been held to six points or less. Now, he has a high ankle sprain and things aren't looking up for the Dallas running back.
Jones probably won't be able to turn this season around. He's going to be out at least one week and possibly more due to injury. At the very least, his injury is going to temper his performance. That's bad news for fantasy owners because he only had one touchdown coming into Week 7. If his play gets worse he will be completely unworthy of his average draft position.
Average Draft Position: 42.4
Mike Williams started off the season well with an 11 point performance against Detroit. Since then it's all been downhill. Most were looking at the young receiver to be a great number two receiver with a chance to become a number depending on how well he and quarterback Josh Freeman played.
However, that hasn't happened. Williams has one touchdown on the year and hasn't had more than six fantasy points in any week since Week 1. Freeman turned his play around last week and looks to be a solid option, but Williams has yet to join him.
Average Draft Position: 39.6
Knowshon Moreno was drafted in the top forty of most fantasy drafts. Knowshon Moreno is also the second string running back for a terrible Denver Broncos squad. Saying that owners with they'd let him slide farther in the draft is an understatement.
He has been hampered by a hamstring injury so you have to give him a bit of leeway. That said, fantasy owners were hoping for him to perform much better than this. He did find some value last week in the receiving game, but until he takes back his starting job from Willis McGahee, he's not a top 40 fantasy player by any stretch of the imagination.
Average Draft Position: 34.4
Antonio Gates began the season with a solid outing against the Minnesota Vikings. After that, he was hit with an injury and hasn't been able to suit up since. That's not the production fantasy owners were hoping to get from the number one tight end taken in most drafts.
That said, Gates is the player most likely to turn his first half bust status into second half stardom. It's looking like he's going to make his comeback this week and, while I wouldn't expect him to return to form right off the bat, he should be hitting his stride as the fantasy season hits the playoffs.
Average Draft Position: 32.1
During the off-season, DeAngelo Williams looked like a great pick-up. It seemed as if he'd rack up a lot of carries while either Cam Newton or Jimmy Clausen went through their young quarterback pains. Sure, he was going to split carries with Jonathon Stewart, but he'd done that in the past and put up solid fantasy numbers.
Then Cam Newton happened. The young quarterback took the league by storm and both Williams and Stewart were left with barely any touches. It doesn't help that the Panthers usually play from behind, forcing Newton to throw even more. Williams did string together a few good games in Weeks 5 and 6, but has since fallen back down to four fantasy points last week, and it doesn't look like it's going to get much better this week against the Washington Redskins.
Average Draft Position: 25
Hillis is another high draftee who started off strong, but has been hit by injuries since and hasn't lived up to his lofty draft status. He began the season with an eight point performance against Cincinnati and followed that up with a monster 21 point game against Indianapolis. Since then, its been all down hill.
I would say that Hillis could easily turn this season around, but even his good games have come against weak teams. We'll see if he can turn it around when comes back from his most recent injury, but it's looking like the Madden Curse has taken its latest victim.
Average Draft Position: 20.9
Steven Jackson's problems this season are two-fold. First, he's had to deal with an injury suffered in his first game and still might not be quite fully recovered. Second, he plays for a team that is often times playing from behind and forced to throw the ball often.
He's had back-to-back weeks of double digit fantasy points, so it's possible Jackson is fully healthy and ready to be his usual, consistent self. Plus, the Rams just acquired a new deep threat in Brandon Lloyd, so they might be able to be more balanced now that Sam Bradford has a reliable downfield option. That said, he's going to have to prove himself worthy of his top 20 ranking with his play throughout the rest of the season.
Average Draft Position: 4.7
Every season, a guy who looked like he was going to have to have a monster year gets injured in the first few games and ruins somebody's hopes for a fantasy championship. This year's guy is Jamaal Charles, and along with many other owners, he ruined my chances at a championship.
You can't really blame him, because it's not like he wanted to get injured. However, there's tons of owners out there wishing they could have their top five pick back. If they're lucky, they're in a keeper league and will get to play him again next year when he gets back from his ACL tear.