Here are my Top 15 Fantasy Football Busts for the 2009 fantasy football season. Bust rankings are based on a normal mixed NFC/AFC one-year redraft fantasy football league. Positions include QB-RB-WR-TE and scoring categories include: passing yards, rushing yards, receiving yards, touchdowns, interceptions thrown and fumbles lost. Each players age for the 2009 season and their yahoo position eligibility (QB-RB-WR-TE), is listed after their name.
2009 Fantasy Football – Top 15 Busts
1. Thomas Jones – New York Jets (31) – RB
It’s official, nearly everyone is on Jones’ bandwagon for being one of the top busts at running back in 2009. After a career year in 2008 that included 1,312 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, Jones will have to contend with several factors in 2009 that could lead him to having a bust type season. First off, the Jets won’t have a proven NFL quarterback to keep defenses honest, and secondly, Jones will have to fend off Leon Washington and rookie Shonn Greene for carries.
2008 Stats: 1,312 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 207 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 900-1,100 rushing yards, 3-6 rushing touchdowns, 200 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
2. Willis McGahee – Baltimore (28) – RB
After an injury plagued 2008 season, McGahee is losing his grip as the Ravens number one running back. From where I stand, Ray Rice is the future and the present in the Ravens backfield. If you are choosing between McGahee or Ray Rice, I would go with Rice based on his higher potential for a breakout season.
2008 Stats: 671 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 173 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 700-900 rushing yards, 3-5 rushing touchdowns, 200 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
3. Mark Sanchez – New York Jets (22) – QB
I know there is a lot of talk about the Jets starting Sanchez this year, but I just don’t see him pulling a Matt Ryan or even Joe Flacco as a rookie. Too much pressure in New York and not quite enough super-talented offensive pieces surrounding him. So unless you are in a keeper league, I wouldn’t waste a pick on Sanchez in your fantasy football draft. Seeing him owned in 18% of mixed 10 team yahoo public leagues is crazy. Why would you really want to waste a draft pick and roster spot on him? Use that spot on a potential breakout running back who would actually be worth something.
2008 Stats: USC – NA
2009 Projections: 2,500 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 15 interceptions
4. Terrell Owens – Buffalo (35) – WR
First off, it is important to remember three factors when dealing with Terrell Owens from a fantasy football perspective for the 2009 season. Number one, Owens will be 35 years old for the 2009 season. Number two, Trent Edwards is nowhere near as good of an NFL quarterback as Tony Romo. And number three, Owens will be playing a bunch of games in the cold outdoor Buffalo weather. Not to mention Owens has displayed butterfingers and has dropped numerous passes in recent years. If you are expecting stats around 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns from Owens in 2009, you will likely be extremely disappointed by the end of the 2009 season. Entering the 2009 season, I wouldn’t rank Owens higher than #15 among all fantasy football wide receivers.
2008 Stats: 69 receptions, 1,052 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 60-70 receptions, 900-1,100 receiving yards, 5-8 touchdowns
5. Dustin Keller – New York Jets (25) – TE
Every year there is always at least one player at every position that is considered a high end fantasy football player at that position, and they ultimately end up being a complete bust for fantasy teams. This year, Dustin Keller is my extreme bust pick among tight ends. Based on his overall ranking among other tight ends to begin the 2009 fantasy football season, Keller should post stats well below his ranking as a top 10 overall TE pick. The Jets lack of QB play could cut Keller’s stats in half from last season. Entering the 2009 season, Keller seems more like a stream matchup starter rather than an every week starter on fantasy football teams.
2008 Stats: 48 receptions, 535 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 30-50 receptions, 300-500 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns
6. JaMarcus Russell – Oakland (24) – QB
Entering his 3rd NFL season, Russell could have a breakout type season in 2009, but I just don’t see it happening this year. If Russell starts the entire 2009 season, imagine this year as another practice session season for him to really have a breakout year in 2010. If anything, wait until Russell has a good game to start the 2009 season and then pick him up as a free agent if you feel the urge. Otherwise expect another lousy fantasy football season from Russell in 2009.
2008 Stats: 2,423 passing yards, 13 touchdown passes, 8 interceptions, 127 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
2009 Projections: 2,900 passing yards, 12-16 touchdown passes, 10-15 interceptions, 200 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
7. Derrick Ward – Tampa Bay (29) – RB
Even though Ward should receive more playing time and carries with the Buccaneers during the 2009 season, he won’t have the luxury of running behind the Giants Pro-Bowl laden offensive line. Sharing touches with Earnest Graham won’t help his cause either. Anything higher than a #30 overall running back ranking for Ward will likely be a waste.
2008 Stats: 1,025 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 384 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
2009 Projections: 800-1,000 rushing yards, 3-5 rushing touchdowns, 200-300 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
8. Santana Moss – Washington (30) – WR
When it comes down to it, I just simply don’t trust Santana Moss from a fantasy football perspective. He is injury prone and he just doesn’t seem to find the end zone enough. Not to mention Moss is extremely inconsistent from week to week, as he can easily go with 0 catches one week, to 8 catches and 120 receiving yards the next. So unless you plan on stream starting Moss as a backup, I wouldn’t draft him as a week to week starting wide receiver.
2008 Stats: 79 receptions, 1,044 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 60-70 receptions, 800-1,000 receiving yards, 3-5 touchdowns
9. Vernon Davis – San Francisco (25) – TE
For the past three years, everyone seemingly thinks Davis will suddenly have his breakout year. And while other fantasy football managers are picking him in the top 15 among tight ends, I will be one who says no thank you. So until Davis gets some new scenery out of San Francisco, I just don’t see him becoming a fantasy football force.
2008 Stats: 31 receptions, 358 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 30-40 receptions, 300-500 receiving yards, 1-3 touchdowns
10. Julius Jones – Seattle (28) – RB
Somewhere along the line Julius lost his mojo. Entering the 2009 season, TJ Duckett would actually be a better fantasy football running back than Julius Jones for the Seahawks. For some reason, fantasy football managers still see Jones as the 1,084 rushing yard and 4 touchdown RB from Dallas. Jones is clearly not going to put up those stats in 2009, which means a ranking around #50 among all running backs is reasonable for Jones entering the 2009 season.
11. Isaac Bruce – San Francisco (36) – WR
Even though Bruce had a very solid year in San Francisco last season, I wouldn’t bank on another fantasy football relevant season from Bruce in 2009. At age 36 for the 2009 season, a decrease in stats is likely for Bruce in 2009.
2008 Stats: 61 receptions, 835 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 45-55 receptions, 600-800 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns
12. Marc Bulger – St. Louis (32) – QB
Even if Bulger would be fully healthy for the 2009 season, he still wouldn’t be a solid fantasy football QB option in the Rams offense. Having no more Torry Holt to throw to, and the Rams receiving corps being very inexperienced and unproven, Bulger could be in for a longer year in St. Louis during the 2009 season. At age 32, it’s reasonable to assume that Bulger’s best fantasy football days are well behind him.
2008 Stats: 2,720 passing yards, 11 touchdown passes, 13 interceptions, 41 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns
2009 Projections: 2,900 passing yards, 12-14 touchdown passes, 10-14 interceptions, 25 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdown
13. Ben Watson – New England (28) – TE
Even though Watson will have Tom Brady back and throwing him the ball, I think the addition of Alex Smith will affect Watson’s fantasy football value more than most people will think. I wouldn’t expect more than 400 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns from Watson in 2009.
2008 Stats: 22 receptions, 209 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 30-40 receptions, 250-400 receiving yards, 2-4 touchdowns
14. Torry Holt – Jacksonville (33) – WR
After eight consecutive 1,000 plus receiving yard seasons, Holt entered the 2008 fantasy football season as one of the surest bets at wide receiver. However the sure bet Holt quickly emerged as one of the top busts in all of fantasy football in 2008. Now with a move to Jacksonville, Holt will take over the #1 WR role for the Jaguars during the 2009 season. Yet for some reason I’m just not buying into the whole idea of Holt reclaiming his fantasy football form. Expecting numbers around 800-1,000 receiving yards and 3-5 touchdowns is possible, but just don’t expect 1,300 plus receiving yards and 10 plus touchdowns. A top 35 overall fantasy football wide receiver ranking is appropriate for Holt entering the 2009 season.
2008 Stats: 64 receptions, 796 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 60-70 receptions, 800-1,000 receiving yards, 3-5 touchdowns
15. Antonio Bryant – Tampa Bay (28) – WR
One good year over a seven year career, (which really is an eight year career after he was out of the NFL completely during the 2007 season) and Bryant suddenly emerges as a top flight fantasy football wide receiver? It just doesn’t make sense to me. However, Bryant will likely get drafted among the top 20 overall wide receivers taken in your fantasy football draft to begin the 2009 season. I just won’t be one of the managers drafting him that high. In my mind, a realistic draft ranking for Bryant would be to draft him around the 30th wide receiver slot.
2008 Stats: 83 receptions, 1,248 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns
2009 Projections: 65-75 receptions, 800-1,000 receiving yards, 3-6 touchdowns