Fantasy Football 2016 Top 5 Fantasy Disappointments: And the Lessons Learned

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at New Orleans Saints

The fantasy football season is over for 2016.  You either won or you lost.  If you had any of these five players, chances are you lost. First we will review the players and then the lessons learned:

5.  Coby Fleener, Tight-End, New Orleans Saints

Fleener almost gets a bye…almost.  The tight-end pool is shallow.  And this season without Rob Gronkowski, it was almost a kiddie pool.  Okay, there was Travis Kelce.  Did you know he has a reality show?  A dating reality show!!! Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little.  Don’t get me wrong Kelce is a tasty morsel.  But a reality show, come on!  But I digress.

Fleener was probably an afterthought, except for the fact that he was now on the New Orleans Saints with Drew Brees.  And we all know how much Brees loved the tight-end positon (see Jimmy Graham with Brees and Graham without).  So of course, Brees would do the same for Fleener.  Except he didn’t.

Fleener did not crack the top 12 in the tight end position.  In nine of his 16 games he was held to three fantasy points or fewer.  And according to ESPN stats only 4.9 percent of Championship teams had Fleener on their roster.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans

Hopkins saw his fantasy point total decrease by 100 points this season.  Now Hopkins was undoubtedly the victim of an inept quarterback, but we are not here to assess blame.  Well, actually we are.  Speaking of which…

3. Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars

Robinson saw his fantasy point total go from 217 in 2015 to a paltry 118 in 2016.  This is for a man who had an average draft position of 15.9 (ESPN Stats), and was the sixth wide receiver taken off most draft boards.

But again he was somewhat of a victim of his quarterback.  Blake Bortles threw 12 fewer touchdown passes and scored 43 fewer fantasy points this season than last.  To be sure, Robinson was not an innocent victim.  Robinson had six drops on 149 targets.  That is two more drops than he had the prior season with one more target.

2. Todd Gurley, Running Back, St. Louis Rams

Let’s just get this straight, the Rams were a dumpster fire this season.  But Gurley was the number four player selected, his average draft position was 5.1 (ESPN Stats).  In almost all drafts he was the first running back selected off the board.  (In full disclosure he was on one of my fantasy teams-ugh) And what did he give the fantasy teams?  In 11 games he had single-digit performances,  He was outscored by 19 other running backs, at least two of those running backs went undrafted.  AND he was found on the fifth fewest playoff teams.  So if you drafted him and kept him you most likely did not make the playoffs.  That is an abysmal return for a number one draft pick.

1. Cam Newton, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers

There is this battle on when and where to take a quarterback in the draft.  We will talk about that at a later date.  But Newton’s average draft position was 15.3 (ESPN stats).  So he either went late first round or early second round.  And for that you got a player who during the weeks that matter 14-17, scored 48 combined points.  That would have put him 22nd among quarterbacks.  He started off pretty strong, in his first two weeks he had 23 and 40 points respectively.  And then comes the fall, over the next twelve weeks he scored over  25 points three times.  That was just low enough to put him on 5.1 percent of championship rosters.

Lessons Learned:

1. Quarterbacks matter.  Not in the sense of when you draft them, although that matters also, but even a really good wide receiver cannot overcome a really bad quarterback.

2. Offensive lines just don’t get enough love.  If the offensive line is good, the production from your running backs will be good.  A porous offensive line will bring down even the best of running backs.  So beware of Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley next season.  Let’s see what happens on the offensive line front.

3.  The tight end pool is shallow.  Wade cautiously.

4. Reality shows suck.

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