With Week 9 upon us, we have now reached the halfway point of our fantasy season.
Some owners have already given up on their squads after being crushed by unproductive players. First round picks gone bust and sleepers who kept sleeping are anemic members of destitute fantasy teams—bold gambles turned bad investments.
Who are the biggest offenders of this heartbreaking crime? Here are seven players who have owners pulling their hair out and crippling fantasy dreams.
Note: Fantasy points provided are based on standard scoring leagues.
421 Rushing Yards, 48 Receiving Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 1 Fumble: 63 Fantasy Points
Rashard Mendenhall was considered a unanimous first round pick and a seemingly safe option considering the Steelers' smash mouth tradition of football. Well, Pittsburgh has leaned on its passing game, especially with the emergence of WR Mike Wallace.
Both the Steelers and Mendenhall got off to an underwhelming start, and he missed Week 5 with a hamstring injury. At times they have rotated in backups Isaac Redman and Jonathon Dwyer, decreasing the starters' carries, and thus his opportunities.
The most frustrating aspect about Mendenhall is his inability to hit pay dirt. With only three total touchdowns, he is hardly lighting up the scoreboard. Combined with his lack of any receiving ability, he has failed to be the workhorse back that most expected.
His lone bright spot came against Jacksonville, when he went off for 146 yards and a score.
425 Receiving Yards, 3 Touchdowns: 60.5 Fantasy Points
Owners had high expectations for White coming off that monster 1,389-yard, 11 TD season in 2010. Pairing him with the sixth-overall pick, WR Julio Jones, seemed like it would only raise the ceiling on Roddy's potential. Well, Jones has missed the last two games and White hasn't exactly clicked with QB Matt Ryan like in seasons past.
Roddy White was generally considered the fourth-best fantasy wide receiver coming off the board, and owners may recover that value with a strong second half. The Falcons will be coming off a bye and are poised to light up the struggling Indianapolis Colts.
201 Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown: 26.1 Fantasy Points
The future hall of famer has only played four games and has had a hard time staying on the field. He has yet to catch fire, and his age is beginning to show. In one of his best games of the season vs. the Jets, Gates was a late game-time decision and was not originally predicted to play.
Antonio Gates should bounce back in the second half, as he and his quarterback Philip Rivers have both had early-season struggles. The Chargers are still in the thick of things in the AFC West.
302 Rushing Yards, 160 Receiving Yards, 1 Touchdown: 52.2 Fantasy Points
This list could be named after Chris Johnson, as he has been statistically atrocious.
The media and fans are calling for his benching and are actually considering starting Javon Ringer. He is fantasy team poison, as owners struggle with decisions to start, sit, trade, or drop the man who was once considered a "franchise running back."
With all the fuss concerning his contract situation in this offseason, many were predicting a great season for Johnson. But apparently, missing training camp hasn't paid dividends for the Titan's running game.
Chris Johnson was taken first overall in a number of leagues and has been the worst overall value in all of them.
415 Receiving Yards, 3 Touchdowns: 59.50 Fantasy Points
Owen Daniels is having a fine season by most standards, but his problem is that he has failed to hit pay dirt consistently when he has the potential to do so. The Texans have had plenty of red zone opportunities, but Daniels hasn't been the goal line hawk that he could be.
Some predicted that Daniels would be Matt Schaub's go-to receiver once Andre Johnson went down, but that hasn't been the case. Now, folks are saying Daniels will be more productive with Johnson's return as he will open the field up. Whatever the case, Daniels has been hard to predict week in and week out.
141 Points Allowed, 17 Sacks, 13 Interceptions, 3 Fumble Recoveries, 2 Touchdowns: 69 Fantasy Points
Defenses aren't as important in the grand scheme of fantasy as running backs and position players, but the Green Bay Packers haven't lived up to expectations. Last year's best D/ST was the highest rated this year at the beginning of the season.
They haven't created turnovers at the same click as last season, and they really haven't been called on to do so. The Packers offense has been rolling teams, and it has let the defense relax late in games.
Regardless, if you spent a mid-to-late pick on them, you would have to be disappointed with a unit that is ranking ninth in fantasy points.
2084 Passing Yards, 7 Passing Touchdowns, 11 Interceptions, 35 Rushing Yards, 1 Rushing Touchdown, 3 Fumbles Lost: 150.86 Fantasy Points
What in the world is wrong with Philip Rivers? People were predicting a huge season for him, but he has been awful—and in embarrassing fashion. He choked the win with that big time fumble in the last minutes of the Kansas City Chiefs game.
The weapons around Rivers make it difficult, too, for the Charger offense to get going. All of their starters have missed some amount of time with injuries. The Chargers lack depth, especially at the wide receiver position. Malcolm Floyd is not a solid No. 2 receiver, and Antonio Gates has missed significant time.
Rivers has crippled fantasy squads, many have already traded him, those who have not will have to hold out for hope that he can turn it around.