By Ryan Goodman and Jason Won
This year’s fantasy football season was truly a roller coaster. Here is some information about the biggest busts, and the top picks for next year based on their 2015 season performances.
Biggest Busts of the Season
- Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers)- Freshman student, Brian Klammer, mentioned, “He’s not fit enough, gained weight over the season, but he had a solid postseason.” This Alabama graduate was expected to put on another show this year, a first overall pick for many leagues, but got 758 rushing yards compared to the 1139 his rookie season.
- Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts)- Luck finished off the season as the #27 Quarterback in terms of fantasy points, far worse than most owners expected him to be. Granted, he was battling injuries the whole year, but Luck was not the man everyone expected him to be in 2015.
- Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks)- After two productive years as the Saints “go-to”, Graham served as merely another target in the Seahawks high scoring offense. Because Graham was not able to receive a high amount of targets, his numbers suffered as he earned less than six points a game.
- DeMarco Murray (Philadelphia Eagles)- When DeMarco is behind the Eagles’ offensive line, he is not very productive. He rushed for only 193 times and had only seven touchdowns this year. Murray splits yards with the rest of the Eagles’ backfield which includes Darren Sproles and Ryan Matthews. This makes it very difficult for a fantasy owner to trust the former rushing champion of 2014.
- Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)- Cobb saw only 129 total targets last season, hauling in only 79 for receptions. Not the year expected for number 18, especially since Jordy Nelson was out for the year with a season-ending ACL injury before the season even started. Cobb’s owners expected to see an increase in his targets without having to share some of the action with teammate Jordy Nelson, but what happened was the opposite. Randall Cobb had to face the best defender from each team, a task Nelson usually battled, which really hurt Cobb in the long run. When Nelson returns from his injury to the Packers next year, hope for Cobb to emerge as a true second receiver and not have the burden of facing the number one defender.
Top Picks for Next Year by Position
Quarterback- Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
- When you have the nickname ‘Superman,’ it’s hard to live up to the hype. However, Cam Newton exceeded expectations this season and will have a chance to earn a Super Bowl ring on February 7.” Cam is like a running back and quarterback in one body. Jared Lamberg (Freshman) commented that Cam is “a dual threat quarterback who can score touchdowns both in the air and on the ground.” Look for the probable 2015 MVP to go much earlier next year in the draft than most owners lucked out with him this year towards the later rounds.
Running Back- Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings)
- Regardless of age, he will always be up there with the best. Peterson’s ability to make sharp cuts and his explosiveness make him a true nightmare for even the best defenses in the league. You can’t go wrong with AP.
Wide Receiver- Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Number 84 put on another amazing show in 2015. Expect AB to fall off of the draft board very quickly next year, possibly as early as first overall. As long as Brown’s quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger is healthy, he’s a safe receiver to have on your team.
TIght End- Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)
- Some coaches have to spend their entire practice for upcoming games devising a plan to slow down the 6’6, 265 pound machine, Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is Tom Brady’s favorite option and it’s safe to say Brady will always look for number 87 in the red zone when in doubt. Gronk is locked in as a late first, early second round pick so keep an eye out for the big fella.
As hard as it is to put together the winning team, this advice should be a strong resource to use when thinking about who to take in your drafts next year. Always remember, “any given sunday.”