He Hate Me: Fantasy Football's Most Frustrating Performers

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He Hate Me: Fantasy Football's Most Frustrating Performers

He Hate Me: Fantasy Football's Most Frustrating Performers

There is something scary about seeing Vincent Jackson @VincentTJackson in a starting lineup, whether it is yours or your opponents, just before kickoff on Sunday. The explosive wide-out can single-handedly win your match-up with 2 or 3 catches. However, we have all suffered through the disappearance of Jackson, the 2 point output that leaves owners with shattered seasons and broken screens. Often described as feast or famine, owners will be faced with taking a chance on one these players as they draft in the coming months. Those players, who one week can put up 30+ points and follow it up with a goose egg the following week, driving even the most even keel owner batty. While consistency is the ideal (and any rational owner understands that), there exists a select few who frustratingly fall in the wildly fickle range with the potential to leave entire teams stranded on an island of despair and often defeated. Often these are guys I try to avoid at all cost, taking a chance on them only in cases of extreme value with severely diminished expectations. So who are these frustrating players and what makes them so unattractive to the consistency seekers?

Vincent Jackson:

Easily the most frustrating player in fantasy football in 2011, Vincent Jackson single-handedly won some games, but frustratingly lost his fair share too. Like clockwork, Jackson followed 29, 16, 32, 22 and 13 point weeks (his best showings in 2011) with 6, 3, 2, 2 and 5 points, respectively. Not a couple weeks in a row Jackson exploded and then had a down game or two; he would explode, take a week off, explode, take a week off and so on for the duration of the fantasy season. As an owner there is nothing more maddening than chasing points; and Jackson owners, assuming they timed it wrong, may have gone into early retirement getting burned by both starting and benching the then SD Charger. Jackson has a new home in Tampa, but until I see something that even slightly resembles consistency, Jackson will not have a spot on my team.

DeSean Jackson @DeseanJackson10:

Perhaps the 2nd most frustrating WR in the NFL, DeSean Jackson has frustrated many. Combined with the re-emergence of Michael Vick in Philadelphia, Jackson came on the scene as one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL in 2010. Jackson surpassed the 1000 yard receiving mark, but did so with only 47 catches. Through 3 games, Jackson had amassed 300+ yards receiving, but it would take more than 3 more games to reach 400 yards receiving. In 2010 Jackson surpassed 100+ yards receiving only 4 times, but managed to hit the 150+ mark in 2 of those games. Most expected Jackson to build on his 2010 campaign, but despite catching 11 more balls, Jackson continued to frustrate. At the cost of a high WR2, Jackson performed like a low WR2/high WR3 and owners were stuck keeping the speedster in and hoping for a breakout. In 17 games in 2011, Jackson had 4 points or less in 7 of them. Jackson did not explode like he did in 2010 (including a 210 yard, 1 TD performance), but did have his teasing moments -- including a 16 and 17 point performance in weeks 1 and 4, respectively. As a fantasy owner, I will take my chances playing against DeSean Jackson instead of praying for him.

Shonn Greene:

We are still waiting Shonn Greene. After a strong showing at the tail end of 2010 and the playoff run, fantasy owners expected Greene to finally take over the New York Jets running game. However, Greene only brought frustration to those expecting a RB2 floor, but hoping for much more. Greene was supposed to be a bruiser, the ideal back to finish off drives, but the Iowa Hawkeye was anything but. Greene managed a 3 TD game in week 13, but unfortunately it was long after his owners had either given up on him or were outside looking in on the playoffs. Greene averaged a paltry 6.5 points through 12 weeks, best for most benches and when he managed to surpass 10 points, the follow-up week was a decline 90% of the time. Aspirations were high for Greene in 2011, but much like the rest of the Jet offense, his production was awful and rarely worth a start in standard leagues (don't even bring up PPR). Backup RB Joe McKnight reportedly added 15 pounds in the off-season, which may find Greene riding the bench in more than fantasy leagues.

Any Washington Redskin RB:

Less player specific, owners should avoid Mike Shanahan RBs like the plague. No longer willing to rely on 1, even 2 consistent back, Shanahan had many owners sweating early Sunday morning trying to decide which back will get the majority of touches. In 2011, the Washington Redskins experienced 4 different leading rushers in 17 games. Granted, injuries played a partial role (as Tim Hightower @Tim_Hightower appeared to be "the guy" through the 1st 3 weeks), but at the same time injuries may have forced Shanahan to give 1 guy the carries (limiting the fickle coach's options). As a rookie, it appeared Roy Helu @royhelujr29 (who led the team in rushing) did enough in 2011 to solidify his role as the starting back for 2012. However, early in the off-season, Shanahan has again been non-committal and to further muddy the situation, Washington resigned Tim Hightower. Is Hightower merely a depth signing? I don't know and anybody who tells you they do know is either lying or doesn't know Mike Shanahan. Helu, a nice fit for the zone blocking scheme with the ability catch the ball out of the backfield, should be the play here. However, given the writing on the wall and Shanahan's recent RB history, no Washington RBs will be taken beyond the expectation of a depth/bye week replacement.

Jonathan Stewart @Jonathanstewar1/DeAngelo Williams @DeAngeloRB:

This has less to do with the players themselves and more to do with the fantasy's biggest platoon conundrum. Both talented and incredible handcuffs, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have frustrated owners since the combined 2300+ rushing yards and 30 TD explosion of 2008. Many expect Stewart to finally move on after the upcoming season, but not without one last parting shot to owners. Stewart appeared to be the back to own early in 2011, scoring points in 4 of 8 weeks. However, worried about owners getting too comfortable, the Panthers changed it up after their bye. When Cam Newton wasn't dominating the goal line, DeAngelo Williams seemed to be the one putting up the points. After the bye, Williams put up at least 10 points in 5 of 8 games, while Stewart only surpassed 10 once (not counting the usually irrelevant week 17). Perhaps the only thing more frustrating than watching RB2 points rot on your bench is watching your actual RB2 put up Williams' 3 points per game or Stewart's 5 per game (games in which they didn't surpass 10). With newly signed Mike Tolbert and physical freak Newton at QB, the backfield has somehow managed to be even more frustrating. Perhaps Stewart or Williams will have a place on my bench, but their situation is ripe with frustration and will have me drafting only as a handcuff in the event either submits to injury.

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    1 Comment

    I completely agree on V Jax, wildly inconsistent and now on a team that will look to pound the rock. I'll pass on him this year. I'm a little more encouraged when thinking about D Jackson as now that he has his deal he will focus on football. Greene is a case of, fool me once....fool me twice.... and I am officially done considering him to draft. Shanahan is fantasy kryponite and always avoid any backfield he coaches, post TD era, he is too hard to predict and there are other options of equal value to draft and not have to worry about their touches. As for DeAngelo Williams and Stewart, I am going all in on this being the year the Panthers turn to Stewart as he could be leaving at seasons end. That being said, I still don't draft him until I have my number one RB on board and only if he falls to where I have him slotted(late 5th early 6th round). Nice read Jonnie, enjoyed it a lot.

    Posted by:
    Walton Spurlin 06/20/12 12:58 PM

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