2011 Fantasy Football Busts by Position:
These are players that I believe will under-perform according to their fantasy draft value before the season begins.
Tony Romo – Romo had most of his 2010 season robbed by injury, with major questions remaining on the offensive line he may find himself in a similar situation. If Romo is able to avoid injury, he will still be under some rough pressure, which if his 2010 stats are any indicator (11 TDs, 7 Interceptions), he could be in for a rough statistical year. Having to face Nnamdi twice a year won’t exactly be like Christmas either. I would suggest picking up a QB earlier than Romo’s talent level this year, there is a pretty significant drop off after number QB #6 or so.
Arian Foster – Foster burst onto the scene in 2010, coming out as the top fantasy scorer in the NFL. He is in line to be a top 3 pick in most fantasy drafts this year. Foster’s risk factor lies in the fact that he has only done it once, I would take AP, Chris Johnson, MJD, or Ray Rice for the almost guarantee of 1600 all-purpose yards they will pull before I would take Foster. I don’t believe he is going to fizzle out and be terrible, I just believe his stat lines won’t read as nice as last year. Foster in my opinion will have good fantasy numbers, but not top 5 running back type numbers. I would predict a Steve Slaton resurgence to cut into Foster’s value, but that is just wishful thinking, as I am partial to Slaton for the help he gave my fantasy team in his rookie season.
Hakeem Nicks – Nicks is coming off a solid fantasy season and is now being perceived as an elite receiver. I don’t see him exceeding his 2010 output in 2011, the loss of Steve Smith can seem like an increase in production is in order, but I believe the extra attention that Nicks receives will hold him back a bit. Picking Hakeem Nicks before, or saying his name in the same light as Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Wayne, and Greg Jennings seems premature. Those men are at a different level, consistency and utter dominance across several years needs to take a backseat to this youngster.
Tony Gonzalez – Gonzalez has been an elite TE for many years, however, his production has been falling for the past few. His yardage totals have dropped about 200 yards per year and his receptions have dropped by 13 per year for 2 consecutive years. His TD totals have remained at a healthy 6 for the past 2 years but the TDs will follow the downward trend if he continues to fall. Gonzo may have a retirement type of year this year when he realized he just doesn’t have the same abilities that he used to.
Jets Defense – The loss of Shaun Ellis will be felt for starters. They did not make many improvements to their defense that under-performed by most’s standards in 2010. I don’t believe the Jets defense belongs in the top 5 this year, I could see them taking a back seat to the Steelers, Ravens, Eagles, Packers, and the Bears in no particular order. Jets D will be okay but most likely not in the top tier of defenses.
Here’s a look at the 2010 bust predictions.
W - Brett Favre certainly had a rough season, 11 TDs and 19 interceptions sums it up for the time he was able to suit up.
Debatable - Cedric Benson had a mediocre season for his draft position, he was a mid to late second rounder in most leagues. Benson ran for 1,111 yards and 7 TDs, not astounding for a 2nd round pick, he ranked 16th among running backs in standard scoring leagues.
W - Anquan Boldin had an okay season as far as stats with 837 yards and 7 TDs, most of which came from one game against Cleveland in week 3 (142 yards, 3 TDs). It was a pretty weak season by the standards of his average draft position.
L - Jermichael Finley was tearing it up until he tore his knee, he had 301 yards and 1 TD through 4 games, one of which he couldn’t finish. I am not going to take a victory by default.
L - Green Bay’s defense ranked 2nd among defenses in standard scoring, bad call on my part, ’nuff said.
Not the best percentage, but when calling busts, you can’t exactly pick players everyone knows are going to be bad and have anyone take it seriously. All in all I don’t think it was too bad for my first attempt.