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Fantasy Football Busts Of 2019

Fantasy Football is a fluid as year to year things change.  The players on this list were breakouts once and can be bouncebacks in 2020.  Unfortunately these players did not perform to their draft costs. A myriad of reasons for the down seasons can vary from injuries to inadequate coaching.  Coaches not being truthful about injury reports was another to take note. The 2019 season provided many interesting statistics however one in particular stands out.  Before the season If you told me Lamar Jackson would rush for more yards than Todd Gurley and David Johnson combined I would have taken that bet. (1207-1202)

Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Unfortunately the step forward from year 1 to year 2 was a step backward.  Passer rating dropped from 93.7 to 78.8 interceptions went up from 14 to 21.  TD dropped from 27 to 22. The surrounding talent at the skill positions improved with the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr.  Unfortunately incompetent coaching on the offensive side of the ball spearheaded by Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken played a contributing factor in Baker’s demise.  He also played a part in being careless with the ball. I am willing to spend a late round pick as a QB2 on Baker in 2020. 

Rams QB Jared Goff

Pass attempts went up by 65 from 2018 to 2019.  Sadly yards were down by 50 to 4,638 and TD’s dropped from 32 to 22.  Sean McVay was unable to get his offense on track all season. Goff got exposed as play action was non-existent and the defense got the doors blow off a few times this year.  Goff maybe learns from the struggles of 2019 and improves in 2020. I spent a middle round pick on Goff this year as my QB2. I may consider doing the same again as I don’t believe McVay’s offense stinks again in 2020.  I guess even “Super Geniuses” have down years.     

Bears QB Mitch Trubisky

Much of the hope built in 2018 was wiped away in 2019. “What The F^%$ Was That” is the best way I describe Trubisky’s play and Matt Nagy’s play-calling in 2019.  Trubisky’s accuracy and decision making got exposed in year 2 of Nagy’s offense. Trubisky did play hurt with left shoulder and hip injuries limiting his ability to make plays with his feet.  Nagy didn’t do Trubisky any favors with his play-calling either. Completion percentage dropped from 66.6 to 63.2 and TD’s down from 24 to 17. 2020 is a pivotal year in Trubisky’s career as he’s playing to get the 5th year option picked up.  Improving on footwork should be his main priority this offseason. QB2 late if you draft Mahomes or Lamar Jackson.   

Panthers QB Cam Newton

Played thru foot injury for 2 games before shutting it down for the season.  Across the leagues I play in Newton was drafted ahead of Lamar Jackson, Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray.  Underwent foot surgery in December and theoretically should be ready for the off-season program. Whether it’s in Carolina or somewhere else is to-be-determined.  Newton is a QB2 gamble entering drafts next season. 

Cardinals RB David Johnson 

As a first round pick Johnson’s season was an unmitigated disaster. 345/2 and 370/4.  Didn’t scoring a rushing TD after Week 6. After the Week 7 injury fiasco of 1 carry for 2 yards vs. the Giants, DJ was useless for fantasy owners.  Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury not being forthcoming with the injury details contributed to the problem. Noted Kliff. Kenyan Drake was acquired in a trade and took the job away. Johnson’s cap number means he’ll more than likely be around in 2020.  I’ll have to re-examine the Cardinals offseason before drafting Johnson again at any cost. 

Steelers RB James Conner

464/4 and 251/3 in a lost season.  Week 8 saw Conner go for 145 yards against the Dolphins. The Steelers were the most snake bit team in the NFL this season.  I’d consider Conner again in drafts at nearly a similar cost in 2020. 

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman

His Week 16 performance helped win me a league championship. 2 rushing TD this season. 88 rushing yards was his season high (accomplished twice).  59/410/4 TD kept Freeman rosterable. 2020 is an interesting case for Freeman as injuries along the offensive line I believe played a part in his down season.  If the Falcons don’t draft a RB, I’d consider Freeman again a few rounds later.   

Chiefs RB Damien Williams

Over-drafted due his late 2018 success. Missed 5 games due to injuries, but wasn’t that effective when healthy. Just 3 games with over 100 total yards this season.  In his first 6 games played rushing for 30 yards or less. I watched a lot of good players get passed over in favor of Williams drafts. For 2020, I probably will pass on Williams unless it’s really late. 

Patriots RB Sony Michel 

912 rushing yards and 7 TD. 0 games with 100 yards rushing. 1 game with 3 TD and 0 scores in 11 of 16 games. Just 12 receptions on the season. 2020 drafts I may be more inclined to select Damien Harris with a later pick. 

Raiders/Patriots WR Antonio Brown

1 game for 4/56/1 was his season.  Fantasy owners that spent a 2nd round pick on AB were burned twice. Countless valuable players were passed over in favor of Brown.  Then many of those fantasy owners failed to strike while the iron was hot and trade away Brown. (Something I mentioned on my segment on a Milwaukee Radio Fantasy Football show.) Strangest fall from grace I’ve ever seen from an athlete in his prime. Hopefully Antonio Brown receives the help he may need.  

Vikings WR Adam Thielen

30/418/6 TD.  Week 7 vs. the Lions caught 1 ball for 25 yards and a TD. His season was essentially over. Missed 6 of the last 9 games with injuries. Was active and caught nothing in 2 contests and 3 for 27 yards vs. the Chargers in Week 15.  Fantasy owners burned a roster spot hoping for Thielen to return. I don’t believe Mike Zimmer was truthful with the injury updates on Thielen. I’m noting that Zimmer isn’t truthful about injury updates for 2020. If healthy, Thielen should be a high upside bounce back candidate.  

Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.

73/1,035/4 TD for Beckham in Cleveland.  64 players had more receiving TD than OBJ in 2019. Not what owners were expecting with that early of a draft choice.  The Browns were the winners of the off-season in 2019 and it didn’t translate to the field. Injuries also played a part.  I would consider OBJ in drafts next season at the right price.   

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

42/552/3 TD is quite a precipitous fall from 111/1,426/7.  JuJu missed 4 games with injuries and was done in by inadequate play at the QB position.  One of my favorite bounce-backs in 2020, don’t let JuJu fall in drafts. 

Rams WR Brandin Cooks

Streak of 4 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons was snapped in 2019. 42/583/1 isn’t what owners expected from the deep threat in McVay’s offense.  The Rams took a step back as referenced in my Goff write-up, but Cooks struggled with concussions. Concussion history and lack of red zone TD’s have taken Cooks off my board the last 2 seasons. The draft cost for Cooks is often too rich for my liking. 

Chargers WR Mike Williams

One of my biggest disappointments in football in 2019. I strongly endorsed Williams as a keeper for 2019. On 66 targets had 43 catches for 10 TD. Imagine if Williams got 90 targets in 2019. He did for 49/1001/2 TD. In researching this piece I was surprised to see Williams actually hit the 1000 yard-mark.  Averaged a league high 20.4 yards per catch. Williams reportedly played thru knee pain in 2019. Free-falling in the draft in 2020 is the only way I’d consider Williams.   

Colts TE Eric Ebron

13 TD in 2018 down to 3 TD in 2019.  Lesson don’t chase touchdowns in fantasy football. Ebron will likely looking for a new home in 2020.  Depending on where Ebron goes he may be a TE2. 

Buccaneers TE OJ Howard

34/459/1 TD playing with a QB that led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards.  A lot of these guys on this list were hurt, Howard played in 14 games. Howard was typically drafted in that round 6 to round 9 range of drafts.  28 Tight Ends scored more fantasy points the Howard in one of my PPR leagues. Bruce Arians historically doesn’t utilize the TE in his passing attack.  Howard is a candidate to get traded. In change of scenery, I may have some shares of OJ.  

Week 16 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bengals have allowed the 3rd most yards per attempt to opposing passers.

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman

Early round pick sunk a lot of battleships this season with just 1 rushing TD.  All hope is not lost as the Jaguars allow opposing rushers 5.1 yards-per-carry and have allowed the 2nd most rushing TD with 19. 

Bears WR Anthony Miller

6 or more catches in 4 of his last 5 games. Bear Down. 

Eagles WR Greg Ward Jr.

6 catches for 71 yards and a TD last week. Injuries create opportunities for this former college QB. 

Chargers TE Hunter Henry

Just 2 catches each of the last 3 games. I say Henry dazzles us with his play vs. the Raiders.  

Dolphins K Jason Sanders

I see the Dolphins scoring frequently vs. the Bengals.

Broncos Defense

5 interceptions in 3 starts so far for David Blough. I see more turnovers in Denver.

Panthers SS Eric Reid

6 or more total tackles in 5 consecutive times. Colts should provide tackle opportunities. 


Week 9 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Mavericks SG Tim Hardaway Jr.

Luka Doncic is out with an ankle injury leaving a lot of shots available in the Mavericks offense. Hardaway should see a higher usage rate with Luka on the shelf. Hardaway should be in lineups for this 4-game slate.

Knicks PG Elfrid Payton

3-games this week. Interim Coach Mike Miller seems more inclined to use Payton in a crucial role. From watching Knicks games this season, the offfense has more flow with Payton over Smith or Ntilikina. If I can see it, so can Knicks coaching staff.

Hornets C Cody Zeller

Consecutive double-doubles with PJ Washington out. Zeller may remain a starter with Washington unavailable. The Hornets 4-game schedule makes Zeller a streaming option.

Week 15 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Cardinals have allowed a league-high 32 Passing TD and a league-worst 113.9 opponents passer rating. I anticipate a shootout in the desert. 

Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay

PPR Flex play vs. a Chiefs defense that is generous to opposing running backs.

Titans WR AJ Brown

Averaging 9.4 Yards after the catch. Brown has emerged as a big play threat and that should continue vs. the Texans. Keep his name in mind when preparing for drafts next season.  

Panthers TE Ian Thomas

The Seahawks defense has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing Tight Ends.

49ers K Robbie Gould

Should be busy at home vs. the Falcons. 

Seahawks Defense

Since the bye week, Panthers QB Kyle Allen has turned the ball over in 6 of his last 7 games.  


Jaguars MLB Donald Payne

29 total tackles in last 2 games since taking over for Myles Jack. 

Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Bulls PG Kris Dunn

The ever changing Boylan rotation has now led to Dunn seeing 29 or more minutes in 4 of 5 games. This could be to add a defensive presence to the floor, but also build up trade value. Dunn can help fantasy players looking to improve in steals. The Bulls play 4 games this week.

Wizards PG Ish Smith

3 straight games of scoring in double figures. 6.7 APG in those comtests as well. With Isaiah Thomas recovering from injury, Smith should be in lineups. Wizards play just 2 games this week.

Rockets SG Ben McLemore

Former lottery pick has turned into a solid rotational piece in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. McLemore has scored in double figures in 4 consecutive games. Has played 20 or more minutes in 10 of 12 contests. Owners looking for 3 point shooting may want to stream McLemore in a 4-game week.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill

Has made himself relevant with 12 TD and 4 INT in 7 starts this season.  Raiders have given up 27 passing TD.

Packers RB Jamaal Williams

Has 5 receiving touchdowns this season.  Redskins gives up 131.6 yards-per-game on the ground. Williams is a safe PPR Flex play. 

Dolphins WR Devante Parker

Has finally arrived this season with 5 or more catches in 6 of his last 7 games.  Big game potential vs. the Jets.   

Ravens TE Mark Andrews 

Bills have allowed the fewest points to opposing Tight End. My best advice for the playoffs is don’t get cute, dance with who brought you. If you own Andrews, play him. 

Texans K Ka’imi Fairbairn

Texans will move the ball against the Broncos and Fairbairn should be busy. 

Texans Defense

Drew Lock made some plays in his debut, but I see him forcing throws and turning the ball over. 


Eagles MLB Nigel Bradham

13 total tackles in the last 2 games.  Giants with rushing attack and short passing game present high tackle opportunities. 

Week 13 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Jets QB Sam Darnold

8 passing TD and 2 rushing TD in last 4 games.  Bengals allow a 104.3 Opponents passer rating and have the 2nd fewest Sacks at just 16.  

Colts RB Jonathan Williams

Making the most of his opportunity with back-to-back 100 yards games.  Titans have allowed 100 total yards and a TD in last 3 games. Should be universally owned at this point of the season. 

Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook

6 or more targets in 8 contests this season. Dede has only 1 TD this season, but has a solid chance to score vs. the Bucs.

Colts TE Jack Doyle

With Eric Ebron out and Jacoby Brissett playing risk averse, Doyle should set a season-high in catches. 

Jaguars K Josh Lambo

Bucs have allowed a league most 25 field goals made this season. 

Eagles Defense

Road matchup with the Ryan Fitzpatrick led Dolphins. 


Jets LB Neville Hewitt

Making plays in the middle of Jets defense with CJ Mosley out.  5 or more total tackles in 6 of 7 games played this season.

Week 6 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Wizards PF Davis Bertans

Owners looking for shooting from downtown need to look no further than Bertans. With 3.3 made per game from beyond the arc Bertans can help this week with a 4-game slate.

Bucks SG Donte Divincenzo

Has made the most of his opportunity with Khris Middleton on the shelf. His scoring and thievery will help owners in a 4-game week.

Warriors PG Ky Bowman

Double digit scoring in 3 of his last 4 games. All the injuries to the Warriors are creating opportunities for young players. Deep league players may want to use Bowman with his 4-game week.

Week 12 Fantasy Football Circle Of Trust

Raiders QB Derek Carr

Completing 72.3% of his passes and has a passer rating of 105.2.  Surprisingly hasn’t thrown for 300 yards yet this season. I believe that changes vs. the Jets. 

Browns RB Kareem Hunt

13 catches combined in 2 contests.  Hunt is worth a flex play vs. the Dolphins.

Steelers WR James Washington

Road tilt vs. the winless Bengals. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Dionte Johnson are both in the league’s concussion protocol.  

Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister

3 TD combined in his last 2 games.  Hollister was traded from the Patriots to the Seahawks this summer, released, then signed to the practice squad.  

Jets TE Ryan Griffin

Coming off teams 1st 100 yard performance by a Tight End since Dustin Keller in 2011.  Griffin has 5 or more targets 2 of the last 3 games.

Falcons K Young Hoe Koo

Making the most of his opportunity in Atlanta.  Bucs give up points in bunches.  

Lions Defense

Road matchup with the Dwayne Haskins led Redskins.  Haskins holds onto the ball way too long, stares down receivers, and can’t get thru his progressions. It’s going to get worse before it gets better in DC.


Rams SS Taylor Rapp

6 or more total tackles in his last 5 contests as a starter. Ravens run heavy offense provides tackle opportunities.

Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Hornets SG Malik Monk

4-games this scoring period. Monk has scored in double figures in 4 straight contests.  Nic Batum’s return may impact Monk’s playing time in the long term. Monk has improved his shot selection and attacked the basket.  Owners looking for scoring should stream Monk this week.

Pelicans C Jaxon Hayes

Long term Hayes is a tremendous dynasty stash.  Hayes in the present will lose minutes to Derrick Favors and Jahlil Okafor when they are healthy.  Hayes has scored in double figures the last 2 games and has a combined 5 blocks. Pelicans have 4 games this week and Hayes is worthy of a daily play with Favors or Okafor is out. 

Hawks PF Jabari Parker

Has made the most of his opportunity with John Collins on suspension.  Parker has 8 or more rebounds in 8 of his last 9 games. Also has a string of 10 consecutive games scoring in double figures.  Parker should be in lineups for his 3-game week.