Fantasy Football: 10 Biggest Disappointments of Week 8
10 Biggest Fantasy Football Busts of Week 8
Week 8 of the NFL regular season has come and gone, so tune up your best Bon Jovi impressions because ‘we’re half way there’.
13 games made up the schedule this week, only 12 of which were played in familiar surroundings; The Jacksonville Jaguars gave up their home advantage (for what that is worth recently) to host the San Francisco 49ers across the pond at Wembley Stadium in London.
In a more standard course of events, there were plenty of highs and lows in the Fantasy Football stakes. Some players performed beyond their limited expectations and others shot to prominence to hang themselves out on the waiver wire for the coming weeks.
That waiver wire has never been more prominent than at this halfway point in the season with it being the biggest by week on the calendar so far; six teams in total were able to put their feet up and enjoy the luxury that is the elation and the suffering of others.
If you hadn’t carefully selected your roster during the draft and accounted for bye weeks, which is easier said than done, no doubt you will have been feeding off scraps and plugging gaps with multiple additions and trades in the build up to this week’s action.
There are often those players that exceed the trajectory and turn in unforeseen performances that end up in the Fantasy Football wasteland. Marvin Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals ranked second of all players this week in the standard NFL.com format, yet he is owned in just 2.4 percent of leagues. By the same token many of us would have bypassed the opportunity to pick up New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills who turned in a top-ten performance and his best outing of the season. Perhaps we can get a show of hands for those who reaped the rewards of Jason Campbell’s first outing of the season that ranked 8th among fantasy quarterbacks and put some of the regulars to shame… yes, I thought as much.
Yet for every player that widened our eyes, there was one that furrowed our brows. These superstars of the game failed to take advantage of their generous fantasy matchups leaving us with nothing but a bruised ego for the faith that we instilled in them. Here are the ten biggest ‘should-have-beens’ of Week 8 that failed to live up to their lofty projections in fantasy football.
10. Tom Brady
Sir Thomas Brady, what is the matter with you this season?
The New England Patriots are brimming with capable wide receivers, yet their esteemed field marshal just cannot seem to get it going in 2013. The Miami Dolphins were reeling from their home loss to the Bills in Week 7 and seemingly ripe for the picking having to travel to Foxboro for a clash with the division-topping Pats.
Although he had the likes of Amendola, Gronkowski and Edelman at his disposal in addition to his impressive rookie WRs, Brady endeavored to turn in his third worst fantasy outing of the season. His miserly 7.14 points effort was just 0.02 up on his Week 7 outing against the Jets. Three of Brady's eight games this season have produced under 10 fantasy points.
Brady was behind the likes of Mike Glennon, Chad Henne and Christian Ponder in the ranks this week, and if that isn't cause for concern I don't know what is. With just 116 yards, this was Brady's worst performance of the season in terms of yardage which begs the question — how long will his owners keep the faith?
9. Jarrett Boykin
Okay, so the young rookie turned in a decent 89 receiving yard outing in Week 8, but his 8.90 score was nothing more than useful and only if your team won.
Those of us that were defeated in our Week 8 match-up will likely look towards the Green Bay Packers wide receiver if we were one of the many that picked him up as a free agent prior to the weekend.
Considering Jordy Nelson hogged the limelight during the Week 8 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, an 89 receiving yards return was pretty respectable, though the potential for more was evident against a 29th ranked Minnesota Vikings pass defense.
The Packers had James Jones, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley missing this week, so Boykin's status was inflated. His outing of 103 receiving yards and touchdown in his first start in the NFL served only to get our hopes up as the youngster's fantasy production was cut in half against a much weaker defense.
8. Julius Thomas
Julius Thomas was probably the most-picked up fantasy player of the year when it became clear he was to be an integral part of Peyton Manning's offense. He became an overnight sensation in Week 1 with a 23.00 fantasy point outing and currently ranks fourth among all tight ends.
Thomas shares the lead with Jimmy Graham for touchdowns recorded by a tight end and had only failed to register a touchdown reception in just one game this season prior to Week 8. Although it is very easy to get lost among the endless talent in the Broncos' receiving corps, Thomas' owners would rightly have expected more than his 2.90 point outing especially as he lined up against the Washington Redskins who are leaking points for fun against the pass this season.
Peyton Manning had 354 passing yards to share around on Sunday, but Thomas helped himself to just 29 of them.
7. Jacquizz Rodgers
How many of us were fooled by the smokescreen created by the Atlanta Falcons and their No. 2 running back Jacquizz Rodgers in Week 7?
Rodgers weighed in with the 4th most fantasy points for a running back in Week 7, a stat that saw his ownership boost to 65 percent in standard leagues.
It looked as though Rodgers was going to get a chance to continue this momentum in Week 8. Although the opposing Arizona Cardinals had conceded the 9th fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, Rodgers was a shoo-in to see plenty snaps. Even with the return of Steven Jackson the big-name injuries on the Falcons offense basically dictated it.
The man with arguably the most exotic first name in all of pro football turned in a total of 19 all-purpose yards on the day. His production plummeted from the 18.20 points registered in the previous week. A lesson well and truly learned.
6. Darren Sproles
Darren Sproles remains a popular choice in the fantasy game, and rightfully so given the fact he is often such an integral part of Drew Brees' ever-productive offense.
On his day, Sproles can be a fantasy machine being equally as astute in the short passing game as he is as a ball carrier. His production, however, can be sporadic; his fantasy owners live for those monster all-purpose days such as that Week 4 performance when he notched up 24.20 points against Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately these outings have been few and far between this season.
Regardless of the apparent risk, you would have been forgiven to expect a little more from Sproles on home turf against a 26th ranked Buffalo Bills run-defense. Sproles did not have a rushing attempt all day and caught just four passes, accumulating zero yards and the same amount of fantasy points.
5. Rueben Randle
Would the real Rueben Randle please stand up? We'll let the figures do the talking in this one.
Rueben Randle was a popular choice as a free agent in the fantasy ranks for Week 8 and for good reason. He leads the Giants in touchdowns and receiving yards over the last three games, registering at least one score in each appearance to tie Victor Cruz for the team's touchdown receptions on the season.
Randle had scored four touchdowns in the previous two meetings with the Philadelphia Eagles whose pass-defense was ranked dead last in the NFL. The Eagles have also allowed the second-highest fantasy-points-per-game to wide receivers in 2013, and with Randle's rapport with Eli Manning growing by the week, this one seemed like a no-brainer.
The only time the Giants' most-improved receiver touched the ball all game on Sunday was in returning two punts. This all equates to a zero point outing in standard formats which helps a grand total of nobody.
4. Kansas City Chiefs Defense
Check this for a mismatch: the top ranked fantasy defense in the entire league, with home-field advantage against the Cleveland Browns and their third-choice quarterback — surely this was feeding time right?
Wrong. The Chiefs are far and away the front-runners for team sacks this season, though they managed just a single one against a Browns team that have given up the third-highest sacks in 2013 thus far. The Chiefs also sit inside the top-five teams in the league for interceptions but could not pick off Jason Campbell as he answered a few of his critics on the day.
Kansas City's defense was the unanimous favorite in games such as Perfect Challenge, yet they failed to meet the vaunted expectations coming away with just 4.00 fantasy points in standard leagues.
3. Rob Gronkowski
Talk about setting us all up for a fall.
Patient owners reaped the rewards of the much-anticipated return of the Patriots tight end when he turned in 114 receiving yards in his first game of the season. With an extra week of practice and going up against a Dolphins team that have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this week, all the signs pointed towards an obvious start for Gronk in Week 8.
Once again the blatantly obvious turned out to be frustratingly flawed. The Patriots made much harder work of the 'Phins than was expected, and as a result Gronkowski's form dipped to just two receptions for 27 yards on the day -- a real kick-in-the-teeth for his fantasy owners.
2. Marshawn Lynch
All of the signs pointed towards another monster outing in 'beast mode' for Week 8.
The running back with the second-highest yardage in the entire league was going up against a Rams defense that ranked in the bottom five for rush-defense and for fantasy points allowed to running backs this season.
Lynch was second only to Jamaal Charles in the fantasy running back rankings and joint-first in rushing touchdowns scored (6). Before Week 8, only the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars had given more total yardage on the ground than the St. Louis Rams.
Where it came from we may never know, but the Rams defense was inspired on Monday Night Football. Lynch was outperformed by Rams rookie Zac Stacy and accumulated a deeply disappointing 27 all-purpose yards on the evening. All of which added up to 2.70 points and Lynch's worst fantasy outing of the season.
1. Robert Griffin III
It has been well-documented this season that RG3 is struggling to recapture his rookie season form. The frailties of the Denver Broncos' defense have been equally as exposed in 2013. The two causes for negativity clashed a mile in the air in Week 8 of the regular season and something had to give.
In the run-up to game time last week, all the signs pointed towards a resurgence for the Redskins and their quarterback. The Skins were coming off the back off an impressive victory against the Chicago Bears in which their quarterback accounted for a large chunk of their 45 points on the day. Griffin totaled his best fantasy outing of the season in Week 7, passing for 298 and two touchdowns whilst adding an extra 84 yards with his feet.
Griffin and his fantasy owners would have been salivating at the prospect of a meeting with one of the worst pass defenses in the entire league and a Broncos team in bottom-five for total points allowed in 2013.
Unfortunately for all connected, Griffin was targeted throughout the game and eventually limped away with just 3.98 fantasy points. The resurrection has certainly been halted as Griffin flattered to deceive on the day, contributing two interceptions and a lost fumble to the Redskins' woes.
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