With the 2015 Fantasy Football regular season in the books let’s take stock of how “we” did. Who exceeded expectations? And who completely face-planted? Now for the fantasy football under-achievers, the disappointments, the busts. The 2015 edition.
Eddie Lacy – In and out of the head coach Mike McCarthy’s doghouse the “safest” running back heading into the 2015 fantasy football season was perhaps the biggest disappointment among all running backs. A Top 5 pick in ESPN and Yahoo leagues, Lacy’s meager 758 yards and 3 TDs over 15 contests was crushing for his fantasy owners to say the least. His expected value was so high that there generally was no “buy low” or “sell high” window; you just had to take it on the chin. Weight issues, poor conditioning, poor vision, lack of explosiveness and a lack of yardage after contact derailed what was supposed to be the young running back’s best season to date. Too often Lacy was out-touched/out-performed by his running mate James Starks. At least it’s over.
Andrew Luck – So…. I was wrong about my Andrew Luck prediction to say the least. Poor decision-making, over aggressive play-calling, a bad offensive line, and injuries culminated in one of the most disappointing fantasy seasons in recent history. T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and newly acquired Andre Johnson, Phillip Dorsett and Frank Gore formed what many expected to be one of the most formidable and explosive groups of skill position players in the NFL; and while there were flashes it never fully came together because the offensive line couldn’t keep the signal caller upright or the trigger man couldn’t stop the bleeding when he turned the football over. I certainly wasn’t the only one burned by Andrew Luck considering that he was the 1st QB in Yahoo and 2nd QB in ESPN selected based on ADP. Ultimately, Luck threw 25 fewer touchdowns in 2015 (15) than he did in 2014 (40). Let’s hope he fares better in 2016. Stop forcing the ball down field and hit the check-down once in a while bro…
Dez Bryant – I love Dez. I don’t care what anyone says the Joneses made the right decision by signing Bryant to a long term deal but Dez and the Cowboys were snake bitten in 2015. A premature return from a “Jones” fracture and Tony Romo’s troublesome clavicle torpedoed the league’s quintessential red zone threat’s (outside Gronk) season. After averaging 91/1312/14 from 2012-2014 Bryant managed a meager 31/401/3 line in 2015. In nine games, Bryant eclipsed the 100-yard mark and received double digit targets only once respectively. In addition to the health and quarterback issues offensive coordinator Scott Linehan did a poor job getting the star receiver involved in the offense; and when Dallas force fed #88 he struggled to consistently generate separation and/or catch the football. Dez didn’t make it out of the second round of your fantasy draft and likely was of the board before the first round ended. Not the return any of us had hoped for.
Jimmy Graham – He cost the Seattle Seahawks their 2015 1st round selection and starting center Max Unger; and he cost “you” a third round pick in your fantasy draft. In the positional wasteland of the tight end there were supposed to be three “sure things.” Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen and the aforementioned Jimmy Graham. Most of us expected a slight drop-off in Graham’s productivity as he moved from a pass heavy Sean Payton scheme led by Drew Brees to a run-first, conservative offensive attack in Seattle. Interestingly enough the Seahawks became quite the pass first team after Graham’s injury and during Marshawn Lynch’s absence from the lineup. But I certainly didn’t expect a complete face-plant. Jimmy’s 48/605/2 was an absolute let down. Those two TDs came during the first month of the season. Keep in mind the former Saints tight end had averaged 10 TDs per season thru the first 5 years of his pro career. Graham was a fantasy “bust” long before his season was lost to torn patella tendon.
- Peyton Manning – Averaged less than 1 TD per game. Damn.
- Melvin Gordon – Only averaged 3.5 ypc, fumbled 5 times and failed to find the end zone in his rookie season. I still think he’s the exception to the Wisconsin running back rule.
- Jamaal Charles – Non-contact injury. Only way to stop him.
- Justin Forsett – Tough year for running backs.
- Jeremy Hill – Was phenomenal in 2014 and despite his rushing TDs (11) he couldn’t manage to stay out of Hue Jackson’s doghouse. New play-caller in 2016 and Hill’s undeniable talent, I’m thinking bounce back next season.
- Le’Veon Bell – I blame Vontaze Burfict. Hint: I’m taking him #1 overall again next season. SPECIAL.
- Arian Foster – Was hurt, got hurt. What did you expect?
- Andre Johnson – I thought the veteran would have a Steve Smith Sr. to Baltimore type of renaissance… I was wrong.
- LeSean McCoy – Injuries and young upstart Karlos Williams sapped Shady’s value.