Though the 2008 season is not done, there are several football players who have already made their case for the top fantasy football bust of the season. Here is a look at those players who projections have not translated to what they have done on the football field.
Derek Anderson (Cleveland Browns) – During the 2007 campaign, the Cleveland Browns were surprised when Anderson took over the starting quarterback role and turned in a Pro Bowl season. He completed 56.5% of his passes for 3787 yards, to go along with 29 touchdowns, 19 interceptions, and an 82.5 QB rating. After this stellar performance, Anderson found himself a hot commodity when the fantasy football owners conducted their drafts for 2008. On average, Anderson was the 35th football player taken in drafts across the country and at the very least was the 7th quarterback taken overall. Anderson’s 2008 campaign has been a lesson when it comes to buying into one year wonders. He has completed only 49% of his passes for 1505 yards, with 9 touchdown, 8 interceptions, and an overall 66 QB rating. Anderson’s poor performance on the football field had resulted in him being benched for second year quarterback, Brady Quinn. Anderson recent became the starter again for the Browns because of a season ending injury for Quinn.
Braylon Edwards (Cleveland Browns) – Edwards continued to the trend when he had a breakout season in 2007 with the Browns. Edwards hauled in 80 receptions for 1,269 yards and scored 16 touchdowns and earned the right to accompany Anderson to the Pro Bowl. With his solid performance, many fantasy football owners were ready to trust Edwards with as the number one receiver for their team. During the 2008 drafts, Edwards was the 4th wide receiver taken and was on average the 18th football player selected. Despite the high selection, Edwards has done little in the way of production. In 2008 he has managed to grab 40 receptions for 661 yard and only 3 touchdowns, all serious drops from his 2007 production.
Larry Johnson (Kansas City Chiefs) – LJ is an interesting choice for top fantasy football busts in 2008 because he received the award in 2007 as well. In 2006, LJ made a name for himself as one of the top running backs in the game when he carried the ball 416 times and compiled 1,789 yards on the ground with 17 touchdowns. When 2007 rolled around, many felt Johnson would have a rough season and he did. Johnson only carried the ball 156 times for 559 yards and 3 touchdowns. Fantasy football owners were desperate for quality running backs in 2008 and many were eying Larry Johnson as football player for their team. When the drafts took place, Johnson was the 10th running back selected in most drafts and on average was the 15th overall selection. 2008 turned out to be even more disappointing when LJ failed to turn the corner and has only gained 565 yards on the ground to go with 3 scores to go along with his off the field issues with team management.
Plaxico Burress (New York Giants) – Burress had his best statistical season in 2007 and was the wide receiver, who caught the winning touchdown in the Giants Super Bowl victory. During the improbable season, Burress was responsible for 70 receptions, 1,025 yards, and 12 touchdowns. This production earned Burress a contract extension during the preseason of the 2008 campaign. Expectations were high for fantasy football owners as Burress was the 10th receiver selected in drafts and was the 31st football player selected overall. To say 2008 has been a disappointment for Burress would be an understatement. Through 11 games, he has 35 receptions for 454 yards and only 4 touchdowns. This is in addition to the off the field problems that began to surface early in the season.
LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers) – For the past three seasons, Tomlinson has been the number one football player selected in fantasy football drafts and for good reason. In 2007, Tomlinson carried the ball 315 times and gained 1,474 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns. He was also a threat when it came to receiving the ball out of the backfield and hauled in 60 receptions for 475 yards and 3 scores. Tomlinson’s consistent production at the running back position earned him the 1st selection once again when the 2008 drafts took place. The owners who selected him did not expect Tomlinson to have only 770 yards on 203 carries and 5 touchdowns at this point in the season. Throughout the season, Tomlinson has battled a toe injury that has caused him problems on the field and has resulted in a season many would like to forget.
Thought these football players are close, the award for top fantasy football bust of 2008 has to go to LaDainian Tomlinson for the simple fact he was the number one player selected in the majority of the drafts and has been out produced by some of the running backs selected in the 11th round. As seen, it is hard for fantasy owners to determine when a player is going to have a breakout season or be a fantasy football bust.