Fantasy football: Maurice Jones-Drew, Greg Jennings lead All-Bust team
BY JEFF AGREST firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @JeffreyA22 December 11, 2012 6:37PM
The Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew (shown watching the Bears’ Charles Tillman grab an interception) has played in only six games this season. | AP
Updated: December 11, 2012 8:50PM
‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”
That message is apropos in fantasy football, minus the mice. You can prepare for your draft as you would for a final exam, but injuries and ineffectiveness can crop up anywhere.
Here’s what amounts to an All-Bust team, but it could have been your team. These players were selected according to where they might have been drafted in a 12-team league. Many of us would have liked this group in August. Not so much now.
First round — Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He didn’t scare team owners with his holdout, but maybe the next running back who holds out will. Jones-Drew (foot) hasn’t played since Week 7, and he has one monster game (24 points) in the six in which he’s played. He topped out at eight in four others. After Chris Johnson’s struggles following his holdout in 2011, perhaps we’ve all learned a lesson.
Second round — Packers WR Greg Jennings: The Packers’ No. 1 receiver had everyone drooling on draft day. He was entering a contract year, his quarterback was coming off a 45-touchdown season and there was no reason to believe the Packers wouldn’t keep chucking the ball. Instead, we’ve seen Jennings in more commercials than games. He’s played in five because of a groin injury, and his high score is six.
Third round — Rams RB Steven Jackson: The hiring of coach Jeff Fisher had many of us anticipating a resurgence for Jackson, who had grown stale since a monster 2006 season (2,334 total yards, 16 touchdowns). Eddie George and Chris Johnson shined for Fisher; why not Jackson? He’s had a bit of a bounce-back second half, but the first half had seven games with single-digit points. His best is behind him.
Fourth round — Panthers WR Steve Smith: I believed quarterback Cam Newton would regress in his second season, but not to the point that he would sink Smith’s value. Last season, Smith had 10 games with more than 11 points. This season, he’s had one. Smith even is averaging half a target more per game. But with two touchdowns, the points haven’t come.
Fifth round — Eagles QB Michael Vick: With few concerns among the first four picks, why not roll the dice with a high-risk/high-reward quarterback? Last season, Vick scored at least 20 points seven times, despite missing three games. This season, he’s had more missed games (four) than 20-point games (two). Those owners who thought they were getting value with Vick got vanquished instead.
Sixth round — Packers TE Jermichael Finley: With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, there should be plenty of passes to go around, even for the tight end. After all, Finley had 767 yards and eight touchdowns last season. But this season, he has only 448 yards and two touchdowns, and he’s caught more than three passes in a game once in the last nine.
WEEK 15 OUTLOOK
GAME OF THE WEEK
Buccaneers at Saints: Play anyone with hands in this battle of bottom-three pass defenses.
GAME OF THE MEEK
Jaguars at Dolphins: It’s best to steer clear of this battle of bottom-four offenses.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Bengals QB Andy Dalton: Quarterbacks have thrown 25 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions against the Eagles.
Titans RB Chris Johnson: Jaguars fourth-stringer Montell Owens ran for 91 yards and a score last week. Johnson is due.
Browns WR Josh Gordon: The Redskins have allowed the second-most yards to wide receivers, and Gordon has a hot hand.
PLAYERS OF THE MEEK
Ravens QB Joe Flacco: Sure, he threw three touchdown passes last week, but he hasn’t thrown for 200 yards in three of the last four games.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray: He’s averaging 3.1 yards in two games since returning from a foot injury. The Steelers rank fifth in run defense.
Bills WR Steve Johnson: Though he’s 10th in the league in targets, he has single-digit points in five of the last six games. The tough Seahawks await.
LAST WEEK’S PICKS
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
QB Josh Freeman: 189 yards, 2 TDs
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 89 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards
WR Randall Cobb: 102 yards
PLAYERS OF THE MEEK
QB Carson Palmer: 273 yards, 2 TDs, INT, fumble
RB Stevan Ridley: 72 rushing yards, TD
WR Danario Alexander: 88 yards, 2 TDs