With all the hard work and research that goes into the fantasy season, every analyst usually feels good about their season projections/rankings. Obviously we can’t predict the future (although we would like to think we could), and sometimes things don’t work out the way we thought they would. Sometimes it’s injury, and sometimes it’s coaching or just bad performance. Regardless of the reason, we aren’t afraid to share where we went wrong, and what players let us (and you) down in the 2016 season. We’ll base our “losers” on our final season projections compared to where they currently rank.
Cam Newton- We’ll begin with Cam, who heading into the season was our #2 ranked player at the position. Heading into the fantasy playoffs (week 14) Cam is currently at #15. Not even a QB1. The only saving grace for us is that we didn’t have him at #1 like many around the industry did.
Blake Bortles– Man, we really messed up here. Heading into his 3rd season and having the type of weapons he has, we projected Bortles as our #6 ranked QB. He looked good last season and has improved every year coming into the season. He is sitting as the #13th ranked QB, which is just outside QB1 status, but he’s not paying off considering where you probably drafted him. While Bortles was ranked high by many experts, we had him a spot or 2 higher than most.
Eli Manning– Eli is another one that we pegged inside our top 10 (#9). Having Odell, newly drafted Shepard, a healthy
Cruz, and his Offensive Coordinator as his new head coach, we thought this could be a career year for Manning. Not so. Eli is the 17th ranked QB.
Russell Wilson– Has picked it up a bit of late, but we did have him as our 3rd best quarterback for the season. Injuries hampered his running ability early on, which is a major part of who he is. Wilson is probably the one on this list, that you still feel comfortable starting in your playoffs, but he’s #18 for the season.
Todd Gurley– Sorry. We had this guy as our…#1 ranked running back. That is probably higher than most around the fantasy world had him, but no matter where he was ranked, he would be on this list. Do I need to say where he is currently ranked? Nah. If you drafted him, you know how bad it’s been.
Adrian Peterson– Ok so, our top 2 running backs didn’t work out for you. This one isn’t all on us, as A.P. got hurt after only 6 quarters of play. However, in those 6 quarters, he only averaged 1.8 yards per carry. There is still a chance he returns for weeks 15 and 16, but if you made it that far, chances are you don’t need him and shouldn’t be playing him.
Lamar Miller– He hasn’t killed you, but as our #7 running back and 2nd round pick, to be # 17 just isn’t good enough. Those that know me and follow us, know what a big fan of Miller I am. I’ve believed in this guy’s ability for a while, and was really excited when he left Miami for Houston. Houston is giving him the touches that I’ve been wanting him to get all along, but it just hasn’t translated into fantasy production as much as we thought. The touchdowns just aren’t there for Miller and that has been the biggest issue for his production.
C.J. Anderson– We were higher on Anderson than most, and he kept climbing our board as the summer went on. He looked fantastic at the end of last year and there wasn’t anybody except rookie Devontae Booker behind him on the depth chart. He came into the season as our 8th ranked running back. He was getting the job done before his injury, averaging 15 points per game in ppr formats, but he came out of arguably his best rushing performance with an injury that nobody knew he had, ending his season. As long as he can get back for training camp, he should get his job back and be a top 10 back again next season. Devontae Booker hasn’t looked like a lead back at all in his absence.
Eddie Lacy– I have to admit. I got caught up with the hype surrounding this guy during the preseason. I felt the pressure on this one to keep up with the rest. I had him at #17 before the pre-season and he finished our rankings at #9 heading into the regular season. Before the start of next season, we will publish our “do not touch” article on guys that we are not drafting at all, and you can bet Fat Eddie will be on there.
Jeremy Langford– We projected Langford as a RB2 with RB1 upside coming in. Injury and ineffectiveness cost him his job during week 3, leaving the door open for Jordan Howard to help lead people to a fantasy championship.
Matt Jones– Luckily we weren’t as high on Jones as others. Projected as a back-end RB2, he shouldn’t have killed your season unless you reached for him in your draft.
DeAndre Hopkins– It’s amazing how the #4 overall wide receiver in 2015 (and that’s exactly where we had him ranked going into the season) could be the 30th here in 2016. Hopkins was a stud with guys like Brain Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, TJ Yates and Brandon Weedon throwing him the ball last season. Yet, he’s a WR3 with the 70 million dollar man, Brock Osweiler back there full time. I believe it says more about Brock, than it does about Hopkins.
We liked him enough to rank him at #6 and told you to use a late 1st round pick on him. He’s #28 in ppr heading into week 14, so going from an “elite” WR1 to a WR3 is a big mess up on our part.
A.J. Green– He’s only on here because he wasn’t around for what could’ve been the playoff push for you. Otherwise, we had him at #5 and he’s sitting at #11.
Keenan Allen– We don’t seem to do well with guys that have the name Allen in them. We were higher on Keenan Allen than most people (#7) and he couldn’t even give you anything. We can’t predict injuries, but we can predict the he will be on our “Do not touch” list for 2017.
Brandon Marshall– I knew Marshall wasn’t a having a good season, but didn’t realize it was this bad! Marshall currently is a borderline WR3 right now, and we projected him as the #8 wide receiver. As is the case with Allen Robinson, much of Marshall’s poor performances has to do with terrible QB play.
Alshon Jeffrey– Alshon Jeffrey received a 4 game suspension for weeks 11-14, letting down his owners during a time they may have needed him the most. However, he was disappointing us even before the suspension, having scored only 1 touchdown on the season. We had Jeffrey as our #14 wide receiver.
Sammy Watkins– He missed nine games (to this point) so there was obviously no way he would approach our #19 ranking for him.
Rob Gronkowski– We obviously were not alone with this one. He only gave us 8 games, with 2 of those netting him zero points. Before his season ending back injury, Gronkowski joked that he could retire now because he got to 69 career touchdowns. Could it really be happening? While I doubt that will be the case, he has had injuries, to his shoulder, arm, knees and back. His latest one (back) will be the toughest for him to play through however. The days of Gronk dominance seem to be coming to an end, as could his career. In addition, the days of drafting a tight end in the first 3 rounds are definitely over.
Coby Fleener– I fell in love with the position and the system. Fleener does have some talent and can spread the field, so having him on a Drew Brees/Sean Payton offense just seemed to perfect. We might have been higher on him that most analysts (#6), but when you look at the current state of the position, he’s sitting at #10 in ppr formats. We weren’t too far off as far as ranking goes, but we did expect much more production.
Zach Ertz– Right behind Fleener in our rankings was Zach Ertz. Ertz got off to a terrible start, but he’s made his way to the 15th ranked TE at the time of this writing. He has been the #2 TE from weeks 9-13.
Julius Thomas– The fact that Julius Thomas is even in the top 25 at this point is surprising. Once again we got fooled by the upside of the Jacksonville offense to the point we had him at #9. Thomas has a difficult time staying on the field, and when he does he’s ineffective for the most part. It is going to be hard for us to rank him as draft-able tight end next season.
This list may be updated and added to as the fantasy playoffs take place.