Worst Fantasy Football Busts Of 2011


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So you drafted a bust. It happens. Without fail, every year, a player grossly underperforms, sinking otherwise-great fantasy squads and tainting the entire season.

To rank this year’s crop of fantasy football busts, we focused on players’ previous performances and expectations (and ADP) vs. actual performance; we excluded players like Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles who had season-ending injuries. We’re left with a bunch of guys who you all know, and if you own ‘em, probably hate, at least the computerized version that will prevent you from experiencing something like a glorious Shiva-blast moment.

10. Reggie Wayne


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His decline in production isn’t necessarily his fault–he probably wouldn’t be here if Peyton Manning didn’t go down for the season–but a bust is a bust. Reggie Wayne has only two scores and two 100-yard games so far, a gigantic drop-off from his typical totals.

9. Shonn Greene


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Here’s Shonn Greene getting tackled, which he’s been exceptionally good at this year. Ranked 21 overall in the preseason by Yahoo! and 65 by ESPN, Greene’s production is well below expectations. He’s averaging fewer than 60 yards per game and reached paydirt only twice. He’s actually averaging a respectable four yards per carry, though, so blame Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Mark Sanchez, the Jets offensive line, the fantasy gods or all of them. This is your invitation to blame someone other than yourself for drafting him.

8. DeSean Jackson


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If your league rewards for showboating, no problem here. Otherwise, DeSean Jackson has been a major disappointment. Maybe he’s bitter about the large contract he wants and hasn’t gotten. Philly’s undersized speedster is averaging only 66 yards per game with two scores. Bust.

7. Rashard Mendenhall


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This is a photograph of the Steelers running back thinking, “Damn, I shouldn’t have drafted myself first overall.” Considered a first-round pick preseason, Rashard Mendenhall has turned in seventh-round numbers: 574 yards and six touchdowns through 11 games. Not exactly pedestrian, but it doesn’t justify a first-round pick; at his current pace, he’ll collect only 860 yards rushing on the season. Maybe expectations were too high.

6. Felix Jones


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When Dallas shipped Marion Barber to Chicago, Felix Jones, a good pass-catching running back, was expected to be featured and net a ton of fantasy points. Didn’t happen. When an injury kept Jones out of four games, backup DeMarco Murray went insane and reminded Dallas fans what a quality running back is supposed to look like. Still, there’s this.

5. Phillip Rivers


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The posture says it all. The Chargers have been a travesty this year, currently losers of six games in a row. That’s right–losers. Coming off a 30 touchdown, 13 interception season, Phillip Rivers was considered a top-five fantasy QB preseason. This year, he’s already thrown 17 interceptions with five games remaining to go with 16 scores. His passer rating 80.8 is more than 20 points lower than last year too, which is more relevant for actual performance, but worth noting. The high yardage totals are still there, but his high average draft position, coupled with overall poor numbers, say bust.

4. Chad Ochocinco


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Ocho has been a ghost-o this year. Reasonable minds did not expect Chad version 2.0 to post another 90-catch, 1,400-yard season, but his disappearance and lack of production this year has been staggering: 11 catches for 201 yards and zero touchdowns. He’s been targeted by Brady only 21 times. On the bright side, Chad’s Twitter account remains extremely active.

3. Michael Vick


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Regrets to those of you who drafted Vick in the first round, because there are many. Before the season, he was ranked as a top 10 player and top two quarterback by most respected fantasy voices. But like the Eagles’ season, Vick’s numerical reward has been well below expectations. His 243 yards per game passing is nothing to sneeze at, but he’s got only 11 touchdowns in nine games with as many interceptions. He’s added a nice 535 yards rushing, but it doesn’t add up to top 10 production. Not even close.

2. Peyton Hillis


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The Madden Curse strikes again! What a weird season. Hillis started out with one so-so game and one big bang in week two (94 yards, two touchdowns, four catches for 23 yards), but then rumors surfaced that he sat out week three in a “non-holdout holdout attempt” for a better contract, not due to his reported sore throat. True or not, the timing coincides with a massive drop in production. Then, there was talk that Hillis might be traded. The bruiser, who’s likely to become a free agent in 2012, ended up missing five games, reportedly because of hamstring issues. Thanks, John Madden.

1. Tom Brady


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Just kidding. Tom Brady is awesome.

1. Chris Johnson


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No great surprise here, but consider this group therapy for victims of Chris Johnson‘s horrific 2011 campaign. Just terrible. Who knows how much Johnson suffered from missed time due to his holdout, or whether he’s not running as hard because he’s no longer running for a major payday, which he received.

For fantasy purposes, all that matters is that Johnson, once a 2,500 yard performer, the hardly disputed number one pick, turned in a series of duds this year that probably wrecked your team. He recorded rushing efforts of 24 yards in a game, 21 yards, 18 yards, 34 yards and 13 yards. Owners got a nice 190-yard treat last week, but the damage is done.

It’s not your fault.

It’s not your fault.

It’s not your fault.

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