Fantasy Football: 5 Biggest Busts of 2013
Fantasy Football: 5 Biggest Busts of 2013
The 2013 fantasy football season was filled with many surprises. Zac Stacy, Nick Foles and Julius Thomas are some players claimed off the waiver wire that helped fantasy owners. The reason that these players were added was that other players failed to play up to their draft value, otherwise known as a bust.
There were many players that disappointed owners for one reason or another. These players put together a string of poor performances, resulting in owners looking for help elsewhere. The players I've listed were drafted high for their respective position, but did not play like superstars. Every year, there are multiple busts that let fantasy owners down. In 2010, it was Steve Smith and Ryan Mathews. 2011 saw Michael Vick and Peyton Hillis let down owners. Last year's busts were LeSean McCoy and Larry Fitzgerald.
On the other hand, there were players that disappointed owners, but fell victim to season-ending injuries. Players like Arian Foster, Doug Martin and Julio Jones will not be mentioned. I can't play fortune teller or mind reader, but based on their 2012 performances, these players could have had great seasons in 2013.
Unfortunately, if you drafted any of these players, you can't undo it. However, you can avoid making the same mistake in 2014. As well as recapping their poor 2013 seasons, I will talk about their value for 2014 and if you should draft any of these five players. Some of the players are worth giving a second chance to, while others should be left for someone else to mistakenly draft.
With all of that being said, here are the five biggest fantasy football busts of 2013. All stats are based on ESPN.com standard leagues.
Trent Richardson had a fantastic rookie season. He had 950 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He added 367 receiving yards and another score. These stats made Richardson a top-10 draft pick in 2013. However, owners quickly regretted their decision.
As a first-round pick, owners expected Richardson to put up 12-plus points per game. Unfortunately, that was not the case. He scored double-digit fantasy points only twice. He finished with just four total touchdowns and was taking a back seat to Donald Brown. Richardson ended 2013 as the 34th-best running back.
In 2014, avoid Richardson at all costs. If he falls to Round 12 or 13, he may be worth the addition. But as of right now, there are 30 running backs to draft ahead of him.
Ray Rice was another first-round draft pick that let many fantasy owners down. Rice had just four games with over 10 fantasy points and four touchdowns. Another disappointing stat is Rice rushed for over 100 yards only once.
Many experts believe Rice is already on the decline at the young age of 26. The Baltimore Ravens offensive line didn't help. He rushed for 3.1 yards per carry and quarterback Joe Flacco was sacked 48 times. Rice finished 2013 as the 30th-best fantasy running back.
Rice and the Ravens are definitely in need of some o-line help. Rice is a top-15 running back in the right circumstances. Looking ahead to 2014, he should not and will not be drafted in the first two rounds. Drafting Rice in the fourth round looks a little more realistic as a RB2 at most.
James Jones was a mid-round pick and played like one for the early part of 2013. From Weeks 2-4, he had 339 yards and two touchdowns. After that, things went downhill. Jones did not score more than eight points until Week 15. That was also the same game he scored his next touchdown. He came nowhere near his 12-touchdown performance of 2012, but he did have a career-high in yards mostly without Aaron Rodgers.
Finishing as the 45th wide receiver in standard leagues, Jones will be 30 when the 2014 season rolls around. The Green Bay Packers have a plethora of wide receivers that losing Jones won't be a big deal. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and the emerging Jarrett Boykin can carry the load. Nelson and Cobb will be free agents after next season and the Packers need to lock them up.
If the Packers sign Jones to a one-year deal, it would be tough not to draft him. However, his value won't be the same with Boykin a viable option.
The No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver was drafted as a WR2 in the fourth round in most leagues. Even though he played in 15 games this season, Bowe finished as the 47th wide receiver with just 90 fantasy points. Bowe did not record more than 70 receiving yards in any game in 2013.
He scored just five touchdowns this season. Bowe has scored just 13 touchdowns in the last three seasons combined, two less than his 2010 total. It wasn't until the Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts where Bowe eclipsed 100 receiving yards.
His 673 receiving yards are the second-lowest of his career. The Chiefs defense was solid in the first half of the season, which forced Alex Smith to play it safe and not throw it down field. Bowe is still a top-tier receiver, but because of the low scoring totals, will drop to about the eighth round is standard leagues.
Chicago Bears D/ST
The Chicago Bears defense was ranked No. 4 in the preseason, behind the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans. When 2013 finished, the Bears were the 27th-best (or sixth-worst) fantasy defense.
The defense scored double digits in four games and had two games with less than 0 points. The Bears allowed an average of 22.5 points to running backs, 21.8 to wide receivers and 8.1 to tight ends, all in the bottom-10 among defenses. The defense allowed offenses to score an average of 29.9 points per game, 0.1 behind the Minnesota Vikings.
You never want to draft a fantasy defense too high or things like this happen. Many owners found salvation in the Kansas City Chiefs or Carolina Panthers defense, both finished in the top four. Unless the Bears make some additions on defense, stay away in 2014.
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