It’s that time of the year where we look back on our stupid moves and pretend to learn from them. Did you just waste away your life hoping Matt Forte would stop sucking? No! You have become a better person for it! Or, you are still curled up on your bathroom floor in the fetal position, either or. Let’s take a gander at some of the more sucky of the suckiest suckers in the NFL and laugh at them instead of ourselves!
Matt Forte: 4th RB off the board, finished 17th — Why was Matt Forte such a high draft pick? Well, he scored 12 touchdowns, caught 63 passes and totaled 1700 yards in his first season for a team led by Kyle Orton. If he comes close to that he’s a top fantasy back and there wasn’t much reason to think he couldn’t improve with a better QB at the helm. But of course it didn’t work out the way we thought. Will Forte bounce back from this season? It’s hard not to see him getting into the end zone more than 4 times, but I’m hesitant to call for a huge year. He says he was battling a MCL sprain all season and we know how poor the O-line play was, but he just doesn’t have the elite speed and open field ability to make his own yards. As long as he continues to be the every down back he will be worth starting, but I’m already seeing him going very early in mock drafts and unless he falls he won’t be on my team.
Michael Turner: 3rd RB, finished 22nd — Turner is an interesting case. A lot of perts have been patting themselves on the back for predicting Turner to have a down year, and of course they were correct, but a high ankle sprain doesn’t automatically come from overuse from the previous year. It didn’t help, but there’s no reason to think he can’t heal completely from that injury and return to ’08 numbers. This season he averaged 4.9 yards per carry and the 8th most fantasy points per game. He also scored 10 touchdowns and is a certified TD machine. I am of course a little worried about his health, and there are a ton of good backs to choose from, but if he slides in ADP he will have value.
LaDainian Tomlinson: 6th RB, finished 20th — I was worried about LT going into the season, but I should have been more worried. He was still 29 years old coming off a season with turf toe that I felt could heal up, but it wasn’t just the toe that was keeping him down. His 12 touchdowns barely kept him in the top 20, which shows you just how bad his rushing and receiving stats must have been. If he’s even in the league next season, there is absolutely no reason to draft him in the top 30 running backs.
Calvin Johnson: 4th WR, finished 23rd — In ’08 he was able to play well on a horrible team with horrible QB’s. We all were living in an ’08 bubble of Megatron goodness and that bubble burst. I haven’t seen too many mock drafts yet, but I don’t think he’s going to fall too far in drafts. He was injured, has elite ability, and will have a lot of time to get in synch with Matthew Stafford in preseason. I don’t see any reason to be scared away from him next season and if he falls just a little in drafts he could have value.
Steve Slaton: 9th RB, finished 35th — In many ways Slaton had a better ’08 season than Forte. He had much better yards per carry, his running style kept him from getting hit as much, and he was on a better offensive team. But then the S.S. Slaton took a fateful trip into the Kubiak Triangle. There is now talk that the Texans will draft a running back and you can’t discount Arian Foster’s play. It’s a situation to stay away from.
Brandon Jacobs: 11th RB, finished 29th — Mr. Jacobs is an enigma wrapped in a monsterous package. Ahmad Bradshaw clearly outplayed him this year and that was with two broken feet! Jacobs broke down toward the end of the season and it’s impossible to trust his health or his playing time coming into next season.
Greg Jennings: 6th WR, finished 20th — Jennings came into the season with a lot of hype, including hype of the Razzball variety. If you were to tell me at the beginning of the season that Aaron Rodgers would be the #1 fantasy quarterback and Greg Jennings wasn’t going to get hurt and finish as the 20th best receiver I would have punched you in the throat.
Brian Westbrook: 12th RB, finished 62nd — He was risky coming into the season so this outcome wasn’t too hard to foresee. Him and the guy that follows are the reason you draft young and on the rise instead of . . .
Clinton Portis: 13th RB, finished 56th — old and on the skids.
Jason Witten: 1st TE, finished 8th — This year 10 tight ends finished with 100 points or more which is a record and there is no reason to think that number is going to start falling anytime soon. Jason Witten didn’t have a horrible year, but he was nowhere close to being worth the 41st overall pick. The 40th overall pick was Ray Rice. Unless you are in a 2 TE league, and why would you be?, there is absolutely no reason to reach for one. I’m not saying punt, just be patient.
Eddie Royal: 21st WR, finished 82nd — This is one of the most baffling drop-offs of the year. He never seemed to get a chance and it’s hard to tell if that was due to his inability, Orton’s inability, or McDaniels’ stupidity. McDaniels mentioned after the season was over that he regretted Royal not getting more work and who knows where Brandon Marshall will end up. Royal is already hitting sleeper lists, and unless he gets hyped too much he’s probably worth a flier next season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 1st D, finished 16th — The Steelers’ defense averaged as the 86th overall pick in last year’s draft. This is the reason you do not draft a defense early. Let’s take a look at some players that went after the Steelers; Percy Harvin, Ahmad Bradshaw, Derrick Mason, Tim Hightower, Brett Favre, Rashard Mendenhall, Miles Austin, etc… Yes, you might have drafted Lavernues Coles instead, but what are the chances that you will pick a defense that is startable every week? None whatsoever! The #1 defense in fantasy this year was the 49ers who weren’t even drafted this season and the #2 defense, the New York Jets, were drafted 127th overall. Draft a defense with upside late in the draft, then stream the hot D (does that sound dirty?).