The Fantasy Player’s Guide to the Biggest Fantasy Busts Thus Far
It’s premature to label someone a bust after only two games, but it’s also premature to have a college football preseason ranking. We have to start somewhere and it’s important at this stage to attempt to differentiate between the signs of an impending bust and two down weeks of what otherwise should still be a solid season. Remember, don’t panic! Always know where your towel is. I mean… when your waivers run.
Sunday Bloody Sunday –
Injuries happen. Right around 40% of the preseason top 20 RBs end up as busts because of injury. 30% of WRs go down due to injury. We can talk about fantasy football being all about skill, planning, research and midseason management, but those are just parts of what make a championship team. It really comes down to avoiding the potholes that are random injury. We spend hours upon hours draft-planning, insider-scooping and wringing our hands over preseason rankings, but we really are at the mercy of completely unpredictable randomness. It’s like spending the summer delicately building a tower of playing cards in a kindergarten classroom and then opening the doors and letting the little monsters wreak havoc, just hoping your cards don’t get touched.
How many times did you hear that after the top 5 RBs, there are just too many questions? Charles, McCoy, AP, Forte, and Lacy were the “safe” first round picks, right? Only two weeks in and none of them are among the top 10 RBs. Jamaal Charles will be out with a high-ankle sprain for perhaps a month. Eddie Lacy suffered another concussion in game 1. Each of them didn’t look good when they were healthy. LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte each had a stinker, but they showed why we love them in their other game. While Charles is questionable this week, so hopefully you were able to get Knile Davis, or any of the plethora of short term values out there (Matt Asiata, Khiry Robinson, Bernard Pierce). Lacy’s output is really disconcerting. He’s not seeing holes, he’s running into piles and he’s just looked so… Trent Richardson-ish, but injury-prone. I would jump ship if anyone offered up second round value for him.
After the Ray Rice debacle, only a few things could’ve distracted our collective conscience from hyper-focusing on the abuse of a woman. One that can turn our Sauron-like sports eye is the abuse of a child. Not only does this have racial, cultural and child-rearing overtones that will have implications far beyond Peterson. Regardless of where you define the line between discipline and abuse, all you need to know is All Day’s season is all over. Don’t drop him in a dynasty league. Hopefully, you had Asiata or Jerick McKinnon around as a handcuff. At this point, there is no question that AP is the biggest bust. He was ranked #1 in the preseason by many and only managed 75 yards with no touchdowns this season. There is a slim chance he can comeback, so make sure to follow this story closely.
Outside of the first round RBs, other RBs who are certainly not living up to their hype:[ad id=”Ad1″]
- Doug Martin’s injury may have opened the door for Bobby Rainey to take over as the #1. If not, it may just force a split that makes neither attractive. Rainey’s two fumbles last night won’t help his case.
- Ben Tate is the East Coast Darren McFadden, and I’m not talking about Darryl McDaniels. The rhymes are Darryl’s, the injuries are McFadden’s. His first few years in Houston, he was a handcuff you needed to handcuff, and not much has changed. Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell have taken over in Cleveland and I don’t expect Tate to regain the top spot when he returns in Week 5.
- Bishop Sankey has not been unleashed. Nobody expected him to be by now… except everyone who drafted him. He is on track to be the Titan’s number one by the end of the year, but we still have a few weeks to go before he picks up the fundamentals to unseat Shonn Greene. If you have bench space and don’t have him, try to buy low and stash him. If you have him, try to hang on to him.
- Toby Gerhart has been bad, on a bad team. It’s tough to give up on a three-down back, but if Jacksonville doesn’t make the inevitable switch to Blake Bortles soon, Toby won’t sniff my lineup. Chad Henne cannot make a defense pay for loading the box, so Gerhart won’t have room to run until the switch is made.
- Reggie Bush is trying to be the Darren Sproles of the Detroit offense, only he is not Darren Sproles. I fully expect him to break off some big screen-passes at some point, but can you really start such a low floor-high ceiling player every week? Joique Bell is the back to have in Detroit, so I’d wait for a boom week and unload Reggie.
Running Backs aren’t the only early busts:
- A.J. Green left a big hole in his owner’s lineups after suffering a turf toe injury and he’s questionable this week. He’s A.J. Green, the reports of his demise are premature. The Bengals are still getting gobs of fantasy points for their WRs and Green will be one of the most targeted WRs in the game when he plays.
- Torrey Smith, Vincent Jackson and Victor Cruz. I have them all here as they have been notoriously boom or bust in their careers. Two bust weeks for them mean nothing in the grand scheme. In Torrey’s case, Flacco has been zeroing-in on Steve Smith and targets have been scarce. He’s played better real football than fantasy football and the attention defenses have given him has opened up the field for the other Smith. In Jackson’s case, he’s been targeted heavily in the red zone, the only problem is he has Josh McCown throwing to him. Did you know McCown played WR for the Lions in 2006? Victor’s got a case of the drops with 4 of them so far. He is still the #1 on a pass-first attack and Eli is still learning the West Coast Offense. All three of these guys should see better days and are ideal buy-low candidates.
- Drew Brees and Tom Brady… don’t be silly. They both have nice match-ups this week against bottom feeder pass defenses. If they don’t feast, then we can start talking busts.
- Robert Griffin III. He’s a bust in the truest sense. He played poorly before he got hurt and anyone watching that offense can see how much better it runs with Kirk Cousins at the helm. In a standard format, he was probably a late-round pick. That’s not too much of a hit, as there should still be some nice value on the waiver wire. In a 2-QB or dynasty league, RG3 might’ve really hurt you.
Remember, it’s only been two weeks. No stud goes through a season without having a few bad weeks. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for buy-low targets. Or, keep repeating it to your league mates while trying to dump your inevitable busts.