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Fantasy Football Busts

NFL Fantasy Football
Friday September 21st, 2007 - Page updated at 6:00 pm

Bodog Fantasy - Fantasy Football Busts: Lost Your Mojo?

2007 NFL Fantasy Football

Mike Halford - Bodog Nation
September 21, 2007

The latest from around the NFL . . .

Maurice Jones-Drew is a study in contrarianism.

Little was expected from the diminutive running back in his rookie season. Then he went out and scored 16 touchdowns and compiled over 1,300 all-purpose yards.

That left expectations for the former UCLA standout very high heading into 2007. But he's been virtually grounded, averaging a paltry 3.5 yards per carry while failing to find the end zone.

Now all those ugly clichés are starting to creep in.

One-year wonder. Flash in the pan. Sophomore slump.

Fantasy Bust.

What has happened to the little guy? In his defense, major shifts in offensive personnel have thrown the Jaguars into a tailspin. Collectively, their offense ranks amongst the NFL's worst – David Garrard is "leading" the 28th-rated passing attack to an average of 11.5 points per game. Only the Buffalo Bills (8.5), Kansas City Chiefs (6.5) and Atlanta Falcons (5) are averaging fewer.

If you can't pass the ball, nobody is going to let you run it. As a result, Jones-Drew hasn't been utilized in any of the fashions that made him so dynamic a year ago: on manageable third-downs and as a passing option in a two-back set. With opposing defenders simply crowding the line and daring Garrard to throw downfield, Jones-Drew doesn't have any daylight to run, which is where he's at his most dangerous.

But Jones-Drew isn't the only major fantasy bust after two weeks of NFL action. Some other culprits include:

Julius Jones – Running back by committee, my ass. Despite Wade Phillips' insistence that this is a shared load, Marion Barber III has out-gained (154 yards to 98), out-scored (three TDs to zero) and out-averaged (6.2 yards per carry to 3.2) J-squared so far.You would think that, heading into a contract year, Jones would somehow take a stranglehold of what was supposed to be an open job, but he's failed to do so. There is now a serious concern that Jones could go the entire season without scoring a single rushing TD.

Good luck on the 2008 free agent market, Julius.

Reggie Bush – Bush officially has one more Heisman Trophy (one) than he does touchdowns this season (zero). That, friends, is rather disconcerting. Much like Jones-Drew, fantasy pundits cannot pin all of Bush’s woes on the runner himself; the Saints look dreadful on offense, especially along their front five.What was supposed to be one of the elite blocking units in football has been besieged by injury - blocking TE extraordinaire Mark Campbell is out for the season - and lack of toughness, with Jammal Brown and Jeff Faine both getting called out for being pushed around in the trenches. Coach Sean Payton seems confused between making Bush the feature back or keeping with the one-two punch philosophy with Deuce McAllister. Deuce was brilliant last year in softening up the defense with his short, grinding runs that opened up lanes for when Bush took to the field.

Questionable play calling has prevented it from happening in 2007.

Philadelphia WRs (all of them) – Apparently a good quarterback does not make good receivers. Many assumed that Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant and Reggie Brown would be viable fantasy options based solely on the fact that Donovan McNabb was delivering them the football.

Uh, wrong.

Brown has been the biggest disappointment of the bunch, his three catches for 41 yards over two games amongst the many pressing concerns the Eagles have after their 0-2 start. Once again, Brian Westbrook continues to be the most reliable pass-catcher in Philadelphia. His 14 receptions equal the total combined catches of Avant and Curtis.

Tony Gonzalez – Remember when T-Gonz was an elite fantasy TE? I think it was during the Clinton administration.

Now he's left to rot while Herm Edwards strives for that elusive 21 points per game average that makes the Chiefs coach go "whoa." Gonzalez sits around waiting for Damon Huard to rotate though his checks before taking a sack, exactly why he's only got nine catches for 71 yards in two games. Nothing is going to salvage this situation, barring a miraculous shift in philosophy on the part of Edwards.

Or a trade for Peyton Manning..

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