Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Top 5 Busts

Alright, quit looking at the picture already and start reading! By the way - yes, they are very real and certified Wisconsin dairy farmer fresh.

Here's a look at some other "busts", the fantasy football kind. To qualify as a bust, a player must not live up to their pre-season hype or finish the season with anywhere near their projected numbers. It doesn't matter if they had a season ending injury or if they just didn't perform as well as expected. Now that my definition of "bust" has been spelled out, let's look at the three most important fantasy positions, starting with running back.

Running Back

1. Priest Holmes - He's going #3 overall in most drafts, and most people who are getting him have to also invest in a 6th or 7th round pick of Larry Johnson as his handcuff. No way does Priest finish this season with the 3rd highest fantasy points...or anywhere near it. If he doesn't have a season-ending injury that prevents him from playing at all, he will at least have a nagging injury that won't allow him to play full time or even near 100%.

2. Jamal Lewis - Baltimore has invested a lot in their passing game during the off-season and I would imagine that they will give Kyle Boller ample opportunity to prove himself in the passing game before they do anything drastic...... like trade his sorry ass to someone else who like lousy quarterbacks, say Washington as an example. At any rate, JL isn't getting any younger either and he also has a few young running backs breathing down his neck for the starting job. I see Billick getting ready for a changing of the guard by the end of the year, especially if playoff hopes are dwindling.

3. Clinton Portis - Washington needs to get an offensive line and a quarterback capable of being a playmaker and leader on the field. Both of these problems will hamper Clinton's success this year. He won't finish in the top 10, which is where he is being drafted, but he won't be as much of a bust as the previous two running backs. He has the ability to still finish in the top 20 as long as he doesn't get overworked and injured in the process.

4. Ronnie Brown - Miami still has a long way to go before they can say they have solved their problems on offense. AJ and Gus are the two co-leaders of the team, when one struggles the other one will be right there to take over. Very rarely does this kind of situation help a young offense become cohesive and "click". I don't think the Dolphins will ever really establish a rhythm on offense that will allow Ronnie much success. He won't be the highest fantasy scoring rookie running back by the end of the season.

5. Willis McGahee - With a young quarterback leading the Bills offense this year, Willis may struggle to get his yards and scores at least in the beginning of the year. I'm hopeful that Losman will get comfortable later on in the season. Willis should still finish in the top 20, but he's been drafted as high as #4 right behind Holmes, so I think the pre-season expectation is just a little too high. I'd call this a mild bust due to unrealistic expectations.


1. Duante Culpepper - Mark my words, Minnesota will not be the offensive juggernaut everyone has become accustomed to over the past few years. They will remain a playoff contender this year through their defensive efforts, which will vastly improve over last year. Culpepper doesn't have a playmaker among his top WR's anymore and he will struggle to find his groove in Moss' absence. This year will be Duante's poorest effort fantasy-wise.

2. Brett Favre - The Packer defense is going to be allowing opponents in the end zone faster than Creek's mom changes boyfriends. Favre will be under lots of pressure to get points on the board and he hasn't even had a full pre-season to work out with his #1 WR. I see a below-.500 season coming on unless the Packers offense gels remarkably quick and Favre can minimize his mistakes.

3. Kerry Collins - I don't think too many people are actually "high" on Collins, except maybe the die-hard Raider faithful who are living in the fantasy world of Moss making their offense an overnight playoff contender. I think Collins will do his usual collapsing pocket tapdance and get rid of the ball too quickly, throwing his usual amount of interceptions... and Moss will be one frustrated WR by mid-season.

4. Drew Brees - the secret about the Chargers passing game is out now, and there really wasn't much change to the key players during the off-season, so I don't think Brees will have the element of surprise or the numbers he was able to accumulate last year. He's not really going too high in drafts anyway, somewhere around 8th round on average, so I would consider this a mild bust.

5. Steve McNair - He's also not going too high, but their are still a few fans who think he's ready to come back 100% this year and recapture the glory of years past. It ain't gonna happen like that. He's been pounded to the ground too many times and after a few more times this season he'll be right back on the sideline watching Billy Volek lead the team.

Wide Receivers

1. Randy Moss - If Collins can't get the job done at quarterback, then Randy isn't going to have one of his better years either. No way does Moss finish first in overall fantasy points this year. He's going way to high in the drafts. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets an "injury" along mid-season just so he doesn't have to put up with the frustration of Collins not being near as good a quarterback as Culpepper. Speaking in terms of being able to get Moss the ball anyway.

2. Terrell Owens - It's not that I don't think TO is talented or capable of producing great numbers this year. I just see him being a major pain in the neck with his personality conflicts and this will begin to tear down the Eagles offense by the end of the season. TO may still get top 10 numbers, but he's going as the #2 WR selection in most drafts and I don't see him finishing the season that high.

3. Nate Burleson - Some very adamant Viking fans think Nate can replace Randy and keep their offense chugging along at the same pace it always has been. Sorry folks... it ain't happening. I think Burleson is highly overrated this year and will be a big time bust.

4. Javon Walker - This will be a very bad year for the Packer's offense, but the one shining light will be Donald Driver, not Javon Walker. I think Walker will still finish top 20, but that is far below expectations. Driver has the ability to be a vertical threat and i think favre will find him more often this year as defenses key on Walker.

5. Derrick Mason - Moving to Baltimore will significantly reduce the production mason was used to getting in Tennessee. I think he will also suffer much the same fate of Randy Moss. Boller just isn't a capable quarterback when it comes to the passing game.

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