Top 10 Biggest Fantasy Football Busts Of 2012

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Rather than celebrate the fantasy football playoffs, it’s time to point fingers and discuss why many of our seasons bombed. Congratulations and f*** you to the finalists. If you didn’t make the playoffs at all, there’s a decent chance you drafted or rostered one of the letdowns that appear on this list.

Just like last year, we focused on players’ previous performances and expectations (and ADP) vs. actual performance, excluding players like Santonio Holmes, Cedric Benson and Fred Davis who suffered season-ending injuries early on. And if you’re wondering, the answer is yes: all of the photos below show a player falling, getting tackled or otherwise looking useless.

10. Pittsburgh Defense

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Not that you spent an eight round pick or higher on Pittsburgh, but the Steel Curtain probably went somewhere among the top-10 Defenses. You’ve been sorely disappointed, unless you’re in a league that heavily favors points allowed; the Steelers have recorded fewer than one turnover per game (13), good for 27th in the league, one defensive touchdown tying it for 24th, plus 31 sacks which is middle of the pack. You know where they’re number one? For average age of a starting lineup — 30.1 years.

9. Hakeem Nicks

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The knock on Hakeem Nicks is his inability stay healthy, a known risk (he’s sustained a number of injuries in his young career and broke a bone in his foot in the spring) when you drafted him (unless you were drunk). Sure he’s played through injuries, but no points are awarded for trying, especially not for a top-10 wideout. He only has three touchdowns on the season and his last 100-yard performance occurred in week two, also known as mid-September.

8. Matt Cassel

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You should retire from fantasy football if you drafted Matt Cassel as your starting quarterback. Nevertheless he’s here because 1) he was a starting quarterback at the outset of the season for a team with a good running game that some projected to win the AFC West; and 2) because no other QBs glaringly fell short of expectations.

Chiefs fans cheered after Ravens lineman Haloti Ngata wrecked Cassel (and concussed him) in week five, which led to one of the most shared soundbites of the season — offensive tackle Eric Winston‘s impassioned condemnation of fans for treating Arrowhead like a Roman Coliseum. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? The point is, Cassel’s concussion was his most memorable play of the year. To be sure: Cassel has really sucked.

7. Maurice Jones-Drew

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Excluding a monster week three performance, Maurice Jones-Drew stunk in the Jaguars’ first six games (average 47 yards, zero touchdowns) before getting sidelined with a foot sprain injury. Since that time, MJD has posed a problem for fantasy owners because he’s estimated for roughly six weeks that he’s “about two weeks away” from returning, listed anywhere from “questionable” to “shut the f*** up, Malarkey.” Worse, the guy you probably grabbed as a handcuff, Rashad Jennings, has also stunk.

6. Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings

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At least they have company. Greg Jennings had more to do with Your Losing Season than Jordy Nelson but he deserves a mention too. Nelson netted a bonanza of points in weeks seven and eight when he caught a combined 21 balls for 243 yards and four touchdowns. It’s been a pretty quiet season otherwise including three major turds, although you couldn’t reasonably have expected another 15-touchdown output.

Jennings on the other hand might have torpedoed your squad: He’s played in only six games due to an abdominal tear and groin injury, and in those six games he’s been good enough to go but hampered enough to suck. Totals: 21 catches, 201 yards, one score. Kudos if you nabbed James Jones.

5. Antonio Gates

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Antonio Gates was unseated by the more youthful GRONK and Jimmy Graham in most pre-reason rankings. He’ll remain in the back seat going forward. The 32-year-old TE for the perpetually overrated Chargers has averaged a meager 34 yards per game and is on pace to tally the fewest touchdowns since his rookie season. Just stop drafting Chargers, forever.

4. Darren McFadden

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More like “Suck DMC.” Viewed as a second or third round pick entering the season, Darren McFadden has specialized in not scoring touchdowns. Like many of his peers, he missed a stretch due to injury but in the 11 games he’s played, DMC has averaged a lowly 3.4 yards per tote, although he’s at least had the courtesy to throw in some receiving yards.

3. Larry Fitzgerald

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Oh, poor Larry Fitzgerald. The best player on the NFC’s laughing stock has only one 100-plus yard game this year and four
touchdowns; he’s caught a total of 10 balls over the past five weeks for 89 yards. Not his fault that a parade of clowns have taken
snaps behind an offensive line starting two rookie tackles and a converted guard at center, but that’s reality.

2. Adrian Peterson

BAHAHAHAHAHA. Just making sure you’re still awake. BOW DOWN TO PURPLE JESUS!

2. Philadelphia Eagles skill players

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Drafting Michael Vick was a bad decision, like getting in bed with a really hot girl you know has an STD, but he was just one of a cast of Eagles that may have polluted your roster this season. LeSean McCoy couldn’t stay healthy or find the end zone much (five total  scores). Same for DeSean Jackson (two touchdowns) and tight end Brent Celek (one touchdown). Jeremy Maclin had four standout games but paired them with six complete duds. Overall they were black hole of crappiness and disappointment.

1. Ryan Mathews

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We’re breaking our own rules for this list, sort of, because the Chargers placed Ryan Mathews on the IR recently. However, Mathews played enough of the season that we consider it justifiable. The third year back broke his right collar bone on his first carry of the preseason (and missed two weeks of the regular season) and broke his left collar bone in his final game last weekend. He filled that turd sandwich with zero 100-plus yard games, carried 20+ times only thrice, averaged 3.8 yards per carry and scored one total touchdown. Next year beware the modern day Fragile Fred.

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