Fantasy football is pure luck. There is no denying that. The difference between winning the ultimate bragging rights of a fantasy championship and finishing in last place depends on the luck of making a great trade, having a late round flier become a steal, or even picking up a lottery ticket off the waiver wire. Besides all of that, fantasy owners expect at LEAST their first few picks to be consistently great…but this year there are a lot of players not living up to the bill.
These players are specifically guys who have been healthy all year and are not producing up to their expectation. It would be unfair to fault players not being fantasy superstars because they were injured (Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins etc.). Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins has been arguably the most disappointing WR this year. Last year Hopkins ranked as the 4th best receiver in fantasy football and as of week 10 of 2016? He ranks 33rd. He posted a career-high 1,521 receiving yards last year and is on pace for under 1,000 this year. Hopkins ended up being drafted in the first round in practically every fantasy league in 2016 and with the kind of production he has posted this year, he should not have been drafted even in the first 10 rounds.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley was supposed to breakout as potentially the top RB in the NFL this year. His ranking of 19th in PPR (Point Per Reception) leagues at the position as of week 10 says otherwise. Sometimes running backs have sophomore slumps after very successful rookie seasons and then bounce back. Matt Forte scored 82.5 less points in his second season and Alfred Morris scored 71.7 less. It happens. In Gurley’s case, no fantasy owner wants to ride out struggles of an uber talented back that should be great week in and week out. They want production from where they were drafting him and in drafts this year, an average top 5 overall pick. A running back that is ranked at 19th at his position and picked that early makes him the definition of a fantasy football bust.
The MVP of the NFL in 2015 has been nowhere close to himself in 2016. Cam Newton was on average a top-15 pick in fantasy drafts because of his #1 ranking at his position in 2015. This year as of week 10, he ranks 15th among QB’s which gives him the value of a backup QB on most owners’ fantasy teams. Brandon Marshall was the #3 wide receiver in PPR leagues and currently he ranks 31st. He joins Hopkins as top 5 receivers that have fallen into mediocre production in just a single year.
Any of the players mentioned along with many others are going to find it hard to come close to last years stats. If you are a fantasy owner that has had to deal with these players giving you headaches, hold on to hope. It is entirely possible that within one game they can start performing like they did a year ago. All of these players are too talented to keep this up and if you have had them on your team for this long, why give up? In six weeks from now this dud could be back to a stud and win you a fantasy championship.