Happy Sequential Numbers Day! Nerd alert: this is the penultimate sequential number day of the century. Don’t worry, The Machine’s already planning its 12/13/14 bender. Until then, let’s talk a little fantasy football.
Way back in August, The Machine gave you 5 names to avoid this season, and, not to toot our own horn but damn we’re good. Mike Wallace? 1 td. Arian Foster? Out for the year. Hakeem Nicks? 0 tds. Darren McFadden? Out. Joe Flacco? 11 ints in 9 games. Chances are, if you got one of those guys on your team, you’re struggling. But these are far from the only disappointing players this year. In this Tuesday Teabag, we give you 5 additional players who have earned the right be called a bust.
It’s important to note that, when we say bust, we don’t mean players who get injured. Injuries are part of the game, they’re unfortunate, and sure, they can kill your fantasy team. But injuries have a sense of finality to them. When Julio Jones goes down, don’t get mad, get your ass to the waiver wire and pick up Harry Douglas. But with busts, it’s different. These are people who had high expectations and are simply underperforming, and in the process are slowly and painfully killing your team week after week. To make matters worse, (a) you probably spent a high draft pick on them, (b) because they now suck they have no trade value, and (c) you’re forced to continue to play them because, the moment you sit them they’ll have their breakout game. Do I sound bitter? It’s probably because 3 of the following 5 assholes are currently on my team.
Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis
By far, the biggest disappointment this season. At the beginning of the year, Trent was a late first round pick. He had a solid rookie year, running for over 1,300 yards, 13 tds, and 65 receptions for Cleveland. When he got traded to Indy after Week 2, everyone thought this would elevate Trent to a Top 5 running back, including yours truly who quickly traded for him, sat back, and laughed at what I steal I got (and what a steal Indy got, giving up a first round pick for the #3 overall pick 17 months prior).
Everything was in Trent’s favor: he was going to a contender, and was going to play the Edgerrin James to Andrew Luck’s Peyton. At only 22 years old, Trent was the perfect complement to Indy’s offense. On paper, it was perfect. In reality (and fantasy) a total bust. In his 7 games as a Colt, Trent’s rushed for a total of 250 yards, a whopping 35 yards per game, and has barely factored into the passing game, averaging one catch a game.
Move over sophomore year slumpbuster, trading for Trent is now my biggest regret.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore
Ray has been a huge disappointment this year, both to fantasy owners and Ravens fans. In nine games, he’s rushed for 289 yards. His 2.5 YPC are nowhere near his career average (4.4), and he almost has as many fumbles (2) as tds (3). Ray was a consensus first round pick and, at 26, is in the prime of his career. Unfortunately, he’s a shell of his former self, and sucking the life out of your team.
Justin Blackmon, WR Jacksonville
The wise fantasy football player picked up Blackmon with a late round pick during the draft and waited, knowing that a small 4 game suspension is worth it for a player who was a Top 5 WR the last half of the 2012 season. Ginger King was so high (pun intended) on Justin that I drafted him in not one, but two, leagues. And Justin delivered. When he came off of suspension, Blackmon was an absolute monster, highlighted by a huge 14/190 performance against Denver. He averaged over 7 catches and 100 yards in his first four games back. His only problem: those were his only games of the season. Justin was suspended indefinitely for his third (yes, third) violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, impressive considering he’s been in the league less than two years. It appears he smokes the rock as good (if not better) than he catches the rock. We’re hoping Justin gets the help he needs…we’re also helping his (inevitable) trip to rehab goes like this:
Greg Jennings, WR Minnesota
Does the quarterback make the wide receiver or the wide receiver make the quarterback? In Greg Jennings’ case, the answer is clear. After switching from Green Bay to rival Minnesota, Jennings talked some serious trash about his former employer and quarterback. He was supposed to provide the outside threat that would open up more running lanes for AP. Instead, Vikings fans have been treated to Troy Williamson 2.0. He’s averaging an abysmal 3.7/45.5 per game. Granted, the triumvirate of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman is horrible, but a #1 WR should be able to put up solid numbers regardless who’s under center. Christ, Justin Blackmon lit it up (pun intended) with Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert at the helm. The only thing Jennings has proven is that he can talk like a #1 WR.
Dwayne Bowe, WR Kansas City
After signing a 5 year, $56 million dollar contract in the offseason, much was expected of Bowe. With only 2 tds and 33 receptions so far, Bowe is averaging a dismal 3.6/41 per game. Now, we know Alex “Game Manager” Smith will never make a king out of a wide receiver, but Bowe is simply too good to be putting up such wretched numbers. As if his problems on the field weren’t bad enough, he now has this to deal with. Puff puff give!!!
Honorable mentions: Eli Manning, RGIII, CJ Spiller, MJD
If any of these guys are on your team, we feel your pain. Based on their output this season, the logical thing to do is to bench and/or trade these fools. However, based on their body of work thus far, you’re never going to get good value for them on the trade market, and dropping them outright is too much of a kick in the balls. Instead, because of their immense talent and your stubbornness to let go, you’re forced to continue to play them (except Blackmon), wistfully hoping that they will come out of their funk in time to turn your team around. Good luck with that.
Enjoy your teabag.