The 2010 fantasy football playoffs are right around the corner. Teams that are locks for the playoffs likely drafted perennial fantasy football studs. But for those teams on the outside looking in, the term “fantasy football bust” surely applies to one or more of their draft picks. Some players like Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and Pierre Thomas were injured early in the season, leaving owners with at least some time to find a solid replacements. Others simply fell flat. These players made the cut for 2010 top fantasy football busts.
All statistics current as of 11/29/2010
10. Ray Rice: 815 yards rushing, 3 TD. 392 yards receiving, 0 TD.
Ray Rice will, in all likelihood, break the 1,000 yard rushing mark by the end of the season. He will probably also end up with 500 receiving yards or more. So why is he a bust? Average draft position. Owners with early draft picks pinned their championship hopes on Rice. Hopefully, they also drafted someone like Arian Foster in later rounds.
9. Anquan Boldin: 652 yards receiving, 6 TD.
Boldin entered the season as one of the top receivers in fantasy football and with a much improved Joe Flacco at the helm. Boldin does have six touchdowns but three of them came in one game. One great week does not win championships. Boldin has not posted a 100-yard receiving game since week three, and has finished six weeks with fewer than 60 yards.
8. Steve Smith: (Carolina Panthers): 444 yards receiving, 2 TD.
This is the second disappointing year in a row for Smith and might end up being the worst in his career, apart from an injured 2004. That makes him an easy choice for 2010 fantasy bust. Smith makes a good argument for carefully considering overall team strength and the quarterback before drafting a wide receiver in early rounds. Receivers drafted after Steve Smith include Dwayne Bowe, Hakeem Nicks and Santana Moss.
7. Kevin Kolb: 1,035 yards passing, 6 TD, 4 INT.
Eagles coach Andy Reid wouldn’t really make Michael Vick the starter in 2010, would he? Not when Kevin Kolb was groomed for the job? Wrong. Vick has returned as a fantasy juggernaut while Kevin Kolb’s 2011 draft status has been set to “handcuff.”
6. (Tie) Jonathan Stewart: 306 yards rushing, 1 TD. DeAngelo Williams: 361 yards rushing, 1 TD.
It’s no coincidence that the Carolina Panthers have three players on this list. The formerly formidable backfield of Williams and Stewart died in the off-season when Carolina found a way to make their team even worse than last year. Still, in 2009 Stewart totaled 11 TD’s and Williams was good for 10. So, it’s hard to blame fantasy owners for using early draft picks on them.
5. Beanie Wells: 283 yards rushing, 2 TD.
Kurt Warner’s retirement in 2009 allowed defenses to focus on Wells. While he might make an impact in the fantasy football playoffs, it’s unlikely those who drafted him are contenders. If they are, Wells is not in the starting lineup. One game this year, Wells actually finished with negative yardage.
4. Brett Favre: 2,446 yards passing, 10 TD, 17 INT.
The Old Man and the Knee (and shoulder, foot, elbow and ego) threw for 33 TD’s and just 7 interceptions last year – hence the wicked temptation of fantasy owners. This will go down as Brett Favre’s worst season of his storied career. He should have retired and fantasy owners should have just said no.
3. Shonn Greene: 575 yards rushing, 1 TD.
Everyone was well aware of LaDainian Tomlinson’s lurking presence on draft day. Owners were equally aware when every fantasy expert out there predicted 2010 as “Shonn Greene’s year.” Not quite. In hindsight, the Jets were simply too smart to keep Tomlinson and his wealth of experience and exemplary work ethic off the field on a potential championship team.
2. Ryan Mathews: 379 yards rushing, 2 TD.
Drafted ahead of players such as Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Darren McFadden and Matt Forte proves that rookie hype – even when said rookie starts for a top NFL team – can be a dangerous drug. The Chargers’ veteran Mike Tolbert has 609 yards and 9 touchdowns and he wasn’t even drafted in most leagues.
1. Randy Moss: 362 yards receiving, 5 TD.
In most leagues, Moss was the first, second or third wide receiver taken in the draft. The worst part about Randy Moss’ awful season is that, every week, owners were faced with the decision to start or sit a #1 pick and one of the best fantasy receivers of all time. Those in Points Per Reception leagues have reason to be especially bitter. Moss cost plenty of fantasy owners a payout this year.