It seems like just yesterday, but sixteen short weeks ago, I told you how Mike Williams would be better than Vincent Jackson, CJ Spiller had more firepower than somebody and Ryan Mathews was not to be trusted. So maybe you still shouldn’t fully trust Mathews, but guessing who will be good is a big part of the fun of fantasy football. It’s fun to look back at the different teams in your various leagues and see how all the busts tend to find their way onto one team. In my friends league, one of our most successful owners had an opening week lineup featuring Ray Rice, CJ Spiller and Steven Jackson. He was extremely excited when he left my house on draft day.
In multiple leagues, I invested heavily in Stevan Ridley, and by the time he turned it on in between fumbles, I had traded him or had him firmly entrenched on my bench. Experts can guide you down the right path every now and again, or they can be more confusing than The Blair Witch Project through the eyes of a blind man.
We all know who the greatest players have been this year (Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Josh Gordon), and we know the epic failures (Trent Richardson, Ray Rice, CJ Spiller). But who are the players who have been really terrible, but less noticeable? Here are my first annual Worst, Worster and Worstest Award winners:
Miles Austin wasn’t expected by many to do much this season. He was the 33rd WR going off the board, and he was being taken in the 10th round in most Yahoo standard drafts. The general public considered him to be a WR3, meaning he was supposed to be somewhat startable. I, however, ranked Austin at seventeen, as I felt the attention being paid to Dez Bryant plus Austin’s clean bill of health was going to lead to great things.
Austin has 214 yards this season. Josh Gordon had more yards than that in two consecutive games. Everyone who took a stab at Austin missed worse than this Asian Air Jordan.
Can you imagine Thanksgiving dinner at the Manning household this year? Do you think they avoided talking about football to spare Eli’s feelings? It probably wasn’t as humorous as the video, but Eli Manning has had a horrible year. He was the fourteenth QB off the board in August, and currently ranks twentieth in standard QB scoring.
Manning was tenth overall on my preseason board, which was a big fat swing and a miss. I hate to see championship level players like this struggle so badly, but this collapse has been pretty funny. He has six multiple interception games. To put that into perspective, Philip Rivers, a candidate for comeback player of the year, has thrown nine INTs on the season, coming in six total games.
I could have written this entire article on the terribleness of the New York Giants. The Worstest fantasy footballer of 2013 is David Wilson. Even before getting hurt after five games and missing the rest of the season, Wilson just flat out stunk up the joint like this and probably took a lot of seasons down with him.
Wilson lost two fumbles on opening night (as many fumbles as Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy have lost on the season combined) and found himself in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. He started running tentatively and never showed the burst that made him a breakout fantasy candidate. Wilson was a top twenty RB in drafts, especially after Andre Brown broke his leg in the Giants’ final preseason game. I owned shares of him in three leagues, and I missed the playoffs in all three of those leagues.
So we’ve reached championship week. Congratulations to those that ducked Jamaal Charles’s epic Week 15 performance (or took advantage of it). I’ve had a lot of fun sharing my picks with you every week, some right, some wrong. Here’s my final Stays and Plays for the 2013 season:
Michael Crabtree, WR San Francisco 49ers
If you have Crabtree, and have held onto him for multiple weeks waiting to use him, now is the time. The 49ers are in the playoffs with a win on Monday Night against the fading Falcons. Atlanta has allowed seven separate one hundred yard performances on the season, including sixteen WR TDs. Atlanta was the first NFC team eliminated from playoff competition and is ready to be done with this year. I’m picking San Fran big in this one, with Crabtree breaking out for over one hundred and a score. PLAY
Any WR in the New Orleans-Carolina Game
If you’ve reached the championship game, it is highly unlikely that the backbone of your receiving corp is Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Kenny Stills, Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, or Ted Ginn Jr. Even if any of these guys happen to be on your roster, I’m saying to sit them all. New Orleans is not a high powered offense on the road, and Carolina is shut down defensive unit at home. This game has a 20-16 feel to me, and receiving TDs will be at a premium, especially with quality TEs on each side. STAY
Bobby Rainey, RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since taking over for the injured Mike James, who took over for the injured Doug Martin, Rainey’s success has been extremely predictable. He has succeeded in plus matchups and faltered in daunting ones. The Buccos travel to St. Louis for a meaningless matchup with very little on the line. Rainey will get fed in this game. Get him in your lineup. PLAY
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