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Bust is a strong word in the world of fantasy football. It's the word that all owners fear and dread. It's not a label you can throw around lightly. And yet, even as early as week one, you can start to hear bitter owners use that term.
The one thing to remember is that the fantasy football regular season is incredibly short. Most standard leagues have a regular season of only 13 games. One month of the season, four games, are now in the books. Nearly 30% of the season is now finished.
To call a player a bust after the first week is a stretch. After the first couple games it's still a stretch because we haven't seen enough of him. After a full month, though, over a quarter of the season is over, I think it's fair to take a long look at the early busts of the season.
Some of the players on this list will get their acts together and go on to have solid seasons. Many of their owners won't remember their slow starts and focus instead on the strong rest of the season they ended up having. On the other hand, what about the owners who are 0-4, 1-3 or 2-2 because of their underperforming players? Will they recover? For those unfortunate owners, these disappointing players have left an indelible mark.
Before we get to the Hall of Shame Bust List, let's talk a little bit about what qualifies as a bust. For me, a bust is defined by two things: a player's draft position and the expectations that came with that. Nobody cares that Blaine Gabbert's been a bust because he wasn't drafted as a starter and no one had any expectations for him to be good. For Steven Jackson owners though, the fact that he hasn't rushed for more than 60 rushing yards in a game and has yet to score a touchdown, is a major disappointment. He was drafted at the end of the 2nd/3rd round as a RB2. He had much higher expectations.
Finally, I also consider a player missing time because of an injury to be bust-worthy. If he's not playing for you, he's not giving you points and your team is suffering. A missed game here and there is one thing but to miss a bunch of games in a row is a major problem.
Hall of Shame Bust List
Greg Jenning was drafted as a No. 1 receiver in the 2nd/3rd round and it feels like he's been playing hurt all season. He missed Week 2 and he caught a 9-yard touchdown and then had to leave the game last week. It's looking like he's going to miss Week 5. In the other two games he played he has 11 catches for 69 yards. His groin injury isn't going away and he's been a bust thus far.
Fred Jackson's a guy I had high hopes for to start the season. He's another player, like Jennings, whose missed two games due to injury and while his return has been earlier than expected, his absence permanently changed his overall value. CJ Spiller, with his eight carries last Sunday, is now a permanent part of the game plan due to his amazing performances while Jackson was hurt. Jackson had 29 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and a fumble in Week 4. This isn't the 2nd round RB1/RB2 production owners had counted on.
In my preseason bold predictions article, I predicted that Murray was going to be a bust. I also predicted Jonathan Dwyer was going to be a sleeper so it goes both ways. For DeMarco Murray, an RB1 drafted at the end of the 1st round, he has been a disappointment. He's ranked right at the end of the Top 20 running backs in most scoring formats. He looked great on opening night against the Giants with 131 rushing yards but after that he's got 106 rushing yards in his last three games. That's an average of a little over 35 rushing yards a game in his last three games. The one saving grace is the 16 receptions for 114 receiving yards he has in the first month. In a PPR league, he hasn't been that bad but for standard leagues, he's been a major disappointment.
Nothing's worse than having a bust on multiple teams. This is what I have to deal with by owning Steven Jackson in two leagues. As mentioned above, he hasn't rushed for more than 58 rushing yards in a game. He doesn't have a touchdown. He's been hurt since Week 2 and has been a game time decision the last couple weeks, though he hasn't missed a start yet. Even if he gets healthy, his divison with the 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals, all have very good run defenses. He's been underperforming since Week 1 and it won't be long before owners send him to the bench for good.
I realize he finally had his first good game of the season last Sunday and rushed for 141 yards. Before that, he rushed for 45 total rushing yards in his first three games. Horrid. Beyond awful. Here was a player drafted in the middle of the 1st round as a critical foundation piece to any team unlucky enough to draft him. Johnson has a chance to build on his breakout performance but I'm not holding out too much hope. We saw the same thing last year only to see Johnson eventually go back to his below mediocre ways.
Since Meachum's ADP was in the middle to later rounds, his ineffectiveness hasn't really hurt owners too much. He was regarded as one of the most popular sleepers last summer. He's been held catchless in two games and after four games he has six catches for 92 receiving yards. Really hurting. He feels like the 9th option in the Chargers' offense right now.
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