Now that the season is over for most fantasy owners it is time for reflection. It is also time for blame. It is time to blame those players we drafted high, battled injuries and did not live up to our expectations.
These four players battled the injury bug in 2012 and cost owners to the point where all may not be forgiven by the time next year’s fantasy drafts kick off.
Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders – It seems like every year McFadden is the guy owners swear they will never draft again, yet he always gets selected high by someone who ignores his injury history. McFadden is sure to draw the wrath of more fantasy owners next summer after a 2012 season that saw him struggle early on and then miss four games with an ankle injury. Before getting hurt McFadden only topped 20 points once and he has now missed 13 of 31 games over the last two years. He is the ultimate boom or bust fantasy player.
Peyton Hillis, RB Kansas City Chiefs – It is hard to believe now, but Hillis was getting drafted as high as Round 6 back in August when it was thought he would split carries with Jamaal Charles in Kansas City. While Charles has run for 1,456 yards, Hillis has been slowed by an ankle injury (missing three games). Despite his 101-yard effort in Week 16, Hillis has been a fantasy disaster this season. Some hoped Hillis would regain the form that made him a 1,000 yard rusher in 2010 but it did not happen. Owners are not likely to trust Hillis again after getting burned by him two years in a row.
Hakeem Nicks, WR New York Giants – Nicks only missed three games in 2012 but he has not been the same dominant receiver this year after having offseason foot surgery and dealing with a nagging left knee injury. Nicks had a huge Week 2 performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but since then he has scored double-digit fantasy points just four times in PPR formats. Nicks has shown toughness by playing through his injuries but that is little consolation to fantasy owners who used a high draft pick only to watch him disappoint most weeks.
Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers – Nelson was selected in the fourth round area after having a breakout 2011 season where he scored 15 touchdowns. However, a nagging hamstring injury led to an inconsistent 2012 campaign for Nelson. Between Weeks 4-7 he put up fantasy scores of 23, 39 and 26 points in PPR leagues but that was the highlight of his season. The rest of Nelson’s year has been a huge disappointment for fantasy owners. Take away his three big outings and Nelson has totaled just 61 fantasy points in eight games.