In one of many 2010 Fantasy Football articles to come, here are my 2010 Fantasy Football Busts. There will be many more 2010 Fantasy Football features this summer, including tons of 2010 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts, Player Rankings, and Training Camp and Preseason Stock Reports.
2010 Fantasy Football Busts:
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders. Bye: 10.
Darren McFadden is injury-prone and goes down on first contact. His 6-year, $60 million contract will probably mean that he'll have first dibs on the every-down running back gig, but I wouldn't count on him hanging on to it for that long. Ideally, Michael Bush would carry the ball 250-plus times and McFadden would be a solid third-down back, but that may not be the case because of the salary structure.
Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins. Bye: 9.
I'm against running backs with 2,100 carries or more on their resume. Once most players reach that figure, they suffer a complete freefall. Portis' carry total stands at 2,176. I understand the appeal with Portis working with Mike Shanahan again, but he's just not the same player he was back in 2002 and 2003.
Antonio Bryant, WR, Bengals. Bye: 6.
Antonio Bryant is two years removed from 83 receptions, 1,248 yards and six touchdowns. Eager fantasy players looking for Bryant to duplicate those stats will likely be disappointed; Bryant is a lazy bum who has never tried hard after signing a contract. Carson Palmer's health is also in doubt.
Nate Burleson, WR, Lions. Bye: 7.
Nate Burleson had a very solid 2009 campaign, catching 63 balls for 812 yards and three touchdowns. Though he's moving into a better offense, I wouldn't recommend drafting him. Burleson has a history of disappointing after signing new contracts. With $11 million guaranteed, it's highly unlikley that Burleson will be giving it his best this upcoming season. Let someone else deal with him.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. Bye: 6.
Mark my words, Larry Fitzgerald will be overdrafted in your league.
Matt Leinart isn't very good. At least he wasn't when he started in 2006 and 2007. Leinart checked down far too often and seldom went deep. He just doesn't have the arm or deep accuracy that Kurt Warner possessed.
In 2006, Fitzgerald had just 68 catches, 941 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games with Leinart as his starting quarterback. The following year, Leinart started five games, but rotated in and out of three with Warner.
I tracked every single reception Fitzgerald caught in 2007 thanks to NFL.com's Gamecenter. Here is how he fared with each quarterback (it adds up to 15 games because Fitzgerald missed one week):
With Leinart throwing Fitzgerald the ball (3.5 games): 15 catches, 212 yards. 0 TDs.
With Warner throwing Fitzgerald the ball (11.5 games): 85 catches, 1,197 yards. 10 TDs.
So don't believe any misleading articles suggesting Fitzgerald won't fall off. He will.
I think we can predict around 1,000-1,100 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. Not bad, but it's not what we've come to expect from Fitzgerald.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks. Bye: 5.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, 33 in late September, is coming off a down year (79 catches, 911 yards, 3 TDs). He also has to deal with a quarterback in rapid decline and another signal-caller who has never started a game before. What really hurts is that Houshmandzadeh had serious sports hernia surgery in April - a major red flag because sports hernias tend to resurface. I would completely avoid him.
Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals. Bye: 6.
Reasons not to like Chad Ochocinco this year:
1. He just turned 32.
2. Carson Palmer is clearly not the same quarterback he was prior to all of his injuries.
3. Antonio Bryant, Matt Jones, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham. Ochocinco's targets will decrease with these four players on the roster (though he'll draw more single coverage). I'm more concerned that Palmer will look for Gresham instead of Ochocinco in the end zone. It's reasonable to expect Ochocinco's touchdown total of nine to drop in 2010.
4. Participating in Eating Cereal With the Stars and other stupid $10 reality TV shows may have deterred Ochocinco from working out as much as he'd like to this offseason. Is he in 100-percent shape? I have my doubts.
Hines Ward, WR, Steelers. Bye: 5.
Hines Ward caught 95 passes for 1,167 yards and six touchdowns in 2010. However, in the one game Ben Roethlisberger missed, Ward had just three grabs for 47 yards. Big Ben could be out for as many as six games this season, so if you draft Ward, you'll be receiving minimal production out of him for about a third of your fantasy regular season. And even when Roethlisberger returns to the lineup, there's no guarantee Ward will match his 2009 per-game production; he just turned 34 and his skills are in decline.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts. Bye: 7.
Four reasons why I don't like Reggie Wayne this year:
1. Age - We've seen receivers play well into their mid-30s, but we've also seen others like Torry Holt decline at 32. Wayne turns 32 in November. The pinnacle of Wayne's career is definitely over.
2. Targets - When has Peyton Manning ever had this many weapons to work with? Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez and maybe even Austin Collie will all garner a large amount of targets, meaning Wayne won't get as many passes thrown his way.
3. Decline in Production - Whether it was age or a decrease in targets, Wayne really struggled at the end of the 2009 season. While he had 100 receptions, 1,264 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009, most of that came early in the year. Starting in Week 12, here were his stat lines:
at Texans: 3 catches, 19 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Titans: 4 catches, 48 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Broncos: 4 catches, 43 yards. 0 TDs.
at Jaguars: 5 catches, 132 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Jets (2 1/2 quarters): 3 catches, 33 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Ravens (playoffs): 8 catches, 63 yards. 1 TD.
vs. Jets (playoffs): 3 catches, 55 yards. 0 TDs.
vs. Saints (Super Bowl): 5 catches, 46 yards. 0 TDs.
Taking out the two Jets games because he was going up against Darrelle Revis, if we extend Wayne's numbers over a 16-game slate, we get: 77 catches, 936 yards and eight touchdowns.
4. Knee Issues - Wayne was a non-factor in the Super Bowl, and there was some speculation that his knee wasn't 100 percent. If a knee injury was the reason he wasn't very good at the conclusion of the 2009 season, that's definitely not good news. A soon-to-be 32-year-old receiver with potential knee problems? I'll pass.
Greg Olsen, TE, Bears. Bye: 8.
Mike Martz has never had much success with tight ends. He had Vernon Davis at his disposal, but couldn't do anything with him. Greg Olsen's production will surely take a huge drop in 2010.