Fantasy Football: Chris Johnson, Philip Rivers and the 10 Biggest Busts of 2011
Every year fantasy owners draft a team, and on paper they appear unstoppable.
But what if you are the poor sap who drafted the likes of Chris Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Phil Rivers?
Look, no one is immune from drafting a sure fire stud, only to see him crash and burn. Sometimes it is too hard to predict when a stud will flame out. (Although, in the case of Johnson his holdout could have been a major foreshadowing for his struggles.)
It happens to the best of us.
In this piece, anyone with a significant injury (think Jamaal Charles, Andre Johnson, etc.), will be exempt of scorn.
With that said, let’s assess the 10 most disappointing draft picks from this year.
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Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
When the lockout ended, the truncated preseason had people hurry back to camp to prepare. But not Johnson: He held out for a better contract.
Whether that’s the reason to blame for Johnson’s struggles or not, Johnson has been a colossal bust. He has only rushed for 875 yards to go with a paltry four touchdowns.
For a Top Five pick, those are utterly unacceptable numbers.
Phil Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Going into the season, Rivers was unanimously rated as a Top Five option at quarterback.
Well, after 13 games, Rivers is now reduced to a marginal No. 1 QB in 10-12 team leagues.
Rivers has been nothing but ordinary this year—passing for 3,745 yards and 22 touchdowns. His greatest downfall this year, though, has been his 17 interceptions.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
Wayne was doomed from the start.
Without Peyton Manning throwing him the football, teams have keyed in on Wayne (often times double-teaming him).
Thus, he's rendered practically useless. So much so, that Pierre Garcon has scored more fantasy points than Wayne. Wayne has been hurt by the Colts’ QB roulette, which included potential luminaries Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky.
Besides, at age 33, it’s not like Wayne is a spring chicken any more.
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts
Much like Reggie Wayne, Clark’s value plummeted when Peyton Manning was lost for the season.
But to think that Clark couldn’t be the recipient of a couple of outlet/dump passes or get some decent red zone runs is still a little baffling. Clark, too, had a hard time finding rhythm with a trio of inept quarterbacks, while also battling injuries.
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
With a new contract in hand and after gaining the services of an elite quarterback—Cam Newton would prevent teams from stacking the box—you would think Williams would have a new lease on life.
However, Williams has been a dud all season (and to some extent, so has his sidekick Jonathan Stewart), only rushing for 656 yards and scoring a measly four touchdowns.
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns
Yeah, I know injuries played a big part in Hillis’ demise, but I’m going to make an exception here.
In the seven games he has played, Hillis has been nothing short of mediocre—rushing for only 346 yards on 101 carries. His only two touchdowns aren't helping his cause much, either.
There was a reported strife in the Browns’ clubhouse earlier this year saying that Hillis was faking his illnesses. By the looks of it, Hillis is so detached from the rest of the team that could make sense.
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After a breakout campaign in the 2010 season, it was natural to expect Freeman to take the next progression in his game. But he has not.
Drafted by many as starter, Freeman is a No. 2 quarterback at best.
Through 14 games, Freeman has passed for only 3,004 yards and thrown a meager 13 touchdowns. It’s not like he is racking up the rushing yards either: He's only accumulating 220 yards with an additional three touchdowns on the ground.
Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers
Jackson’s season has been that of EKG scan: Up and down, up and down.
When he is on, Jackson is one of the league’s best, but when he is off, the results have been appalling.
Outside of a couple of huge games, Jackson—for the most part—has been too inconsistent for anyone’s liking. In eight games this year, Jackson failed to top 65 yards receiving, and did not score in any of those games.
Break it down this way.
To date, Jackson has had four monster days (Week 2 vs. the Patriots, Week 4 vs. the Dolphins, Week 9 vs. the Packers and Week 11 vs. the Bears), one solid day (Week 13 vs. the Jaguars) and eight utter disappointments.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
By no measure has Blount been awful this year, but much more was expected out of him after his terrific rookie season.
Drafted as early in the second round for some folks, Blount has simply not lived up to his value.
While racking up 758 yards in 12 games and scoring five touchdowns is decent, those numbers are more in line with a No. 3 running back or flex that should be drafted in the middle rounds of drafts.
Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Williams’ inclusion here makes it a frustrating trio of Buccaneer underperformers. (No wonder they are 4-10).
Williams was also set to take the next step in his game, but this year he has been as common in fantasy circles as his name is.
Williams has only scored three touchdowns while recording 701 yards receiving. Those are awful numbers for a guy that was probably taken somewhere between Rounds 3-5 in drafts.