When Jim posed the question “who are the biggest busts of 2013 and where would you draft them in 2014?” three candidates stood out like Rudolph’s red nose; Ray Rice, Trent Richardson and C.J. Spiller. Entering the season all three were billed as first round fantasy picks, expected to be the cornerstone of a championship run. However, history would tell a different story as each squandered the 2013 season finishing 26th, 31st and 34th respectively, far from their projected RB1 status. And while I expect Jim to rightfully cover one, if not all three of these RBs, I’ve decided to dig a little deeper.
Tom Brady – In certain parts of the world it’s considered blasphemous to call out Tom Terrific, but finishing as the 11th ranked scoring QB Brady devastated any fantasy team who wasted a fourth round pick on him. And as we look back over the year end rankings, it’s even more shocking to see the greatest of our generation just two points in front of Alex Smith. And while the astute fantasy manager will reiterate the loss of Hernandez, Gronk and Welker, us old shoolers will remind the newbies of Tom’s dominance with Deion Branch, Troy Brown and Ben Watson. The upside to a bad season is a decline in draft value. If Brady somehow slides to the late 5th round you can be sure he’ll be on my roster.
Steven Jackson and Stevan Ridley – At 8.7 PPG and 9.6 PPG, both Stevan Ridley and Steven Jackson need to be put on blast. Each were 2nd round picks with projected RB2 upside. However, they left fantasy owners struggling through the season while mumbling the phrase “never again.” (Lamar Miller and Darren Sproles also receive honorable mentions). While Jackson should pondering retirement (he’s signed through 2015), the only way I’m rolling with Ridley is if he finds a new team, meaning ain’t gonna happen.
Roddy White – Being one of my favorite players all time, it’s sad to see Roddy White average 5.6 fantasy points per game, floundering at the bottom of the rankings. This would be explainable had the Falcons not lost target monster Julio Jones. However, even as the Falcons No. 2, and despite some minor injuries, White’s 2013 production is just sad. Coming off a down season, White does have major appeal in the late 8th round. Other WRs who also have some explaining to do include; Danny Amendola (59th), Dwayne Bowe (41st) and Hakeem Nicks (51st).
Adrian Peterson – Personally, my vote for this year’s biggest bust goes to Adrian Peterson (let me finish). Ending the year 6th in RB scoring, many would consider that a solid year for AD, and I would agree. However, Peterson owners who made the postseason would be treated to 6.4 points, total. That’s right, over the most important three game stretch of the season Peterson was nowhere to be found. It’s the reason I, along with many others were so reluctant to back him as the No. 1 overall pick in 2013. After all, this is the third time in the past four seasons “All Day” has left fantasy owners high-and-dry during the playoff stretch. The only way I’m running this gauntlet again in 2014 is if I have the 4th pick, and Charles, McCoy and Lynch are all gone.