Friday - Jul 19, 2019

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Inappropriately Early Bust List

With only two weeks of football played, it’s way too early to start calling anybody a bust. It’s a long season and players have ample time to turn their fantasy fortunes around. It’s already been a crazy couple of weeks that somehow has the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers still undefeated. Anything can happen. That’s why a bust list this early is a bit on the ‘ridonkulous’ side.

Bearing that in mind, here are the players that I’m having deep suspicions about being ‘bustalicious.’

All Green Bay Running Backs

Sorry, Ryan Grant owners. Grant was a second-round running back and his loss is a critical dagger that might’ve ruined quite a few seasons. I also want to bid sorrow to the owners who spent a fortune for the underwhelming Brandon Jackson. Jackson had 29 yards on 11 attempts against the Buffalo Bills’ putrid run defense. Sure, he had a touchdown but he also wasn’t even the leading rusher on the team. Packer running backs have cost owners a lot during this young season, whether it’s a No. 1 running back or an expensive waiver wire wonder.

Jamaal Charles

This one might hurt the most on a personal level. I drafted Charles in the late third round and was hoping the glaring fact that he’s the most talented runner in the Chiefs backfield would let him become the starter. Coach Todd Haley, of course, had other plans and now Thomas Jones is the starter and getting the majority of the carries. Last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Charles only had 49 yards and while he did get close to 30 receiving yards, these are not the kind of numbers owners were hoping for when they drafted him.

Charles has become the backup in Kansas City and his touches have been dramatically decreased from last year. It’s not his fault. Charles has played fine in the small amount of time he’s been given. All of this doesn’t change the fact though, that unless things change, Charles has become a No. 3 running back, drafted as a low-end No. 1 or high-end No. 2. He is a bust until further notice.

All Dallas Running Backs

Over two games, both Marion Barber and Felix Jones have combined to run for 116 yards and zero touchdowns. Neither running back has run for over 40 yards in a game. Jones has been the worst, specifically his stats for Week 1: seven attempts for seven yards.

Now I doubt that most competent owners were banking on Jones as an every week starter, but I think quite a few owners were looking at Barber as a low-end No. 2 running back. This makes Barber the bigger bust of the two. The only consolation for Barber owners is that neither Jones or even Tashard Choice has done anything to take control of the running back by committee.

Another problem is that overrated Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett never stays too committed to running the football, even with Tony Romo throwing interceptions. The problem really starts with Garrett, and Barber and Jones will have a tough time performing if neither of them get a chance to be a playmaker.

Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells

Look, I know he’s probably returning for Week 3. This doesn’t make Wells’ missing the crucial first two games of the season any more disheartening. Wells was drafted as a starter for fantasy teams and the fact that Tim Hightower has further cemented his place on the Cardinals in Wells’ absence bears negatively for the future.

Hightower has had fumbling issues, but he’s also had more than 200 total yards and two touchdowns. Hightower isn’t the reason that the Cardinals are in trouble. If anything, Hightower is even more entrenched as the starter than before the season started. Wells will be coming in as the backup and he’ll have limited opportunities to unseat a stubbornly resistant Hightower. Wells is a third-fourth round running back who has disappointed owners in the first two weeks of the season and he’s poised to continue disappointing owners for a long while.

Shonn Greene

I drank so much ‘Haterade’ on the New York Jets during the offseason that I promise that this will be my last column on the Jets for a while. In fact, I was impressed with the Jets’ triumph over the Patriots and maybe they could be on the road to living up to the insane hype they helped create. Good for you, Jets’ fans.

On the other hand, my deepest condolences to Greene owners. I hate to say “I told you so!” but …I told ya so. Greene is now splitting carries down the middle with LaDainian Tomlinson whose clearly outplayed Greene up to this point. Even worse, Greene had 52 yards against the Patriots and I heard announcers commending Greene on an improved performance after his meltdown against the Ravens.

Really? That’s how bad things have gotten with Greene that we’re praising him for a 52-yard performance? Tomlinson had 76 yards rushing and he’s not going anywhere. Greene was drafted in the first three rounds and he could be the biggest bust of the year if things don’t turn around soon.

Kevin Kolb

He’s officially a bust now that Michael Vick has taken over the starting position with the Eagles. Kolb was drafted as a QB1 and he already has his owners scrambling to find a replacement. He is the biggest quarterback bust of the season.

Who Didn’t Make the List

I’m not willing to put disappointing players like Brett Favre, Ryan Matthews, Mike Wallace and DeAngelo Williams on the list just yet. These guys have a lot of time to improve and I think some or most of them will. For the Hall of Shame busts I’ve listed above the chances of their bust status changing any time soon are remote.

Good Hunting!

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