Roundtable: Midseason Fantasy Football Busts 

Every summer, fantasy football managers swear they’ve drafted a player that will surely be the key to their championship. Often, it’s a high-draft player that they count on to post consistent numbers weekly. Come November, there are many players who fit this mold and, whether for injury reasons or just a lack of production, don’t live up to the hype. Even though we just passed Halloween, it’s never too early to look at who those guys are this year.  

Stratton Stave 
Associate Sports Editor 

Javonte Williams 

Oct 2, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) is brought down by Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Is it unfair to claim that someone who tore his ACL was a bust? Maybe. Perhaps Williams was going to turn things around after his disappointing start, but he didn’t due to his injury, and now will have to wait for the calendar to turn over before he can play again. Williams had an ADP in the top 20, making him a pretty solid RB2 in most leagues. After going for 19.2 points in Week 1, he never broke double digits before he tore his ACL in Game 4. He was never able to separate himself from Melvin Gordon, who’s often allergic to holding onto the football, which didn’t bode well for his outlook during the remainder of the year once he became healthy. In any case, finishing the year with 42 fantasy points is bust status, as those who picked him received virtually none of his projected value.  

Ava Inesta  
Campus Correspondent 

Jonathan Taylor  

Oct 30, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) celebrates his touchdown with running back Jonathan Taylor (28) in the second half against the Washington Commanders at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Considering Jonathan Taylor was the No. 1 selection on most fantasy draft boards, he has heavily underperformed. After a solid Week 1 start where he scored 27.5 points against the Texans, Taylor has just 43.8 points over the last seven weeks. To make matters even worse, he was sidelined during Weeks 5 and 6 after suffering an ankle injury in the Colts’ Week 4 loss to the Titans. Once returning, his string of mediocre performances continued into Week 8. As the first overall pick in the majority of the drafts this fall, this makes Taylor a huge bust. Since Week 1, he hasn’t recorded 100 total yards or scored over 16 PPR points. Arguably, Taylor hasn’t shown a true RB1 performance since the Colts’ opening game. It has come to a point where you cannot give Taylor the benefit of the doubt anymore. If he’s on your roster, you should probably be panicking. Since for most fantasy teams he can’t be dropped, you should hope that Jonathan Taylor wakes up to start playing like the RB that the NFL knows and loves. 

Evan Rodriguez  
Staff Writer 

Russell Wilson 

Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) poses after an NFL International Series game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Bronco defeated the Jaguars 21-17. Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Wilson has certainly not met expectations as QB20 when many were expecting him to perform much better as a member of the Denver Broncos. Fantasy owners are seeing quarterbacks like Jared Goff outperform Wilson — an idea that didn’t seem possible before the season started. Other than a 27.48 point performance against the Raiders, he hasn’t cracked over 20 points during any game this season and has mostly put up performances of 13 points or lower. Even against teams like the Texans where Wilson was expected to perform well, he disappointed with a 12-point performance. With a hamstring injury sustained in Week 7, Wilson isn’t looking like an ideal top option for fantasy teams with what he’s shown this season. Broncos Country, I’m not riding with Wilson as my QB1.  

Cole Stefan 
Staff Writer 

Kyle Pitts 

Oct 30, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts (8) runs after a catch against the Carolina Panthers in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

I want to look at this from a statistical perspective, because that is what fantasy football is all about. Pitts had the potential to be the next Travis Kelce when he was drafted in 2021. He proved that by posting a 1,000-yard season, but he has not produced at the level everyone expected him to when the 2022 season began (this season really is weird). Through seven games this season, Pitts has scored fewer than four points four times. I may have him as a flex option in one of my leagues, but if he is TE1, then I truly feel sorry for you because it’s like having Trey Lance as your QB1. This is not entirely his fault however. Matt Ryan was partially the reason why Pitts succeeded last year, and the Atlanta Falcons sent him to Indianapolis for a third-round pick. If it makes fantasy owners feel better, he is finding his form again, but until he does he is not contributing to your fantasy team’s success or lack thereof. 

Connor Sargeant  
Campus Correspondent 

Cam Akers 

Oct 20, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Zach Gibson (15) is sacked by Virginia Cavaliers defensive end Paul Akere (1) and defensive end Cam Butler (82) and bandit Chico Bennett Jr. (15) in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

I have one word to describe Akers’ fantasy football season: surprising. However, this surprise has not been a good one, as he has averaged 4.6 points per game thus far. I expected 4.6 points from my defense, not an RB2 with an ADP of 33 (ESPN). Unfortunately, his season never got off to a good start. In Week 1 he gave fantasy managers zero points in all formats. Akers only has one week of 10 points or more (10.1). To make matters worse for Akers owners, fellow RB Darrell Henderson seemed to be getting all of the work in the Rams backfield for the first six games. The cherry on top of this is that Akers has currently been holding out playing for Los Angeles because he wants to be traded. No team at the trade deadline wanted to acquire Akers, so he is still with the Rams. Akers also had said that he hopes for a “fair resolution for his future beyond the Rams.” Combined with averaging the same amount of points per week as the Browns’ defense and him not playing, he is not worthy of a spot on any winning fantasy team, let alone being drafted as the RB16 (ESPN). Even if Akers by some miracle comes back and establishes himself as the RB1 in Los Angeles, his production will not come anywhere near where he was projected to because the Rams offense has failed to produce any offense averaging under 17 points a game. 

Jonathan Synott 
Sports Editor 

Keenan Allen 

Oct 23, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Seattle Seahawks with wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Photo by Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

With a FantasyPros ADP of 32, fantasy owners have been nothing but disappointed with the value they’ve gotten out of LA Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen. It’s not about his production when he’s on the field, it’s about his ability to get and stay on the field. Typically known for being an iron man, Allen only missed three games from 2017-2021. Over that span, he averaged over 1000 yards receiving in four of the five seasons, just missing the mark with 992 in 2020. On top of that he added at least six scores in each of those seasons. This year, the wideout was taken out of his Week 1 contest with a hamstring injury, which has lingered all year. There was a major setback a few weeks ago, and even after a limited role in his Week 7 return, Allen recently missed his first practice after the Chargers’ bye week. Never hitting the IR list, Allen has been taking up a crucial roster spot in lineups, while owners wait impatiently for his return. 

Sam Calhoun 
Campus Correspondent 

Aaron Rodgers 

Oct 30, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) speaks with Buffalo Bills guard Greg Van Roten (75) after a game at Highmark Stadium. Photo by Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Aaron Rodgers is coming off of back-to-back MVP seasons, and many, including me, drafted him to be the starting fantasy quarterback. However, possibly due to the Packers getting rid of wide receiver Davante Adams, he has been abysmal and borderline droppable. I hate to see a future Hall of Fame QB become this bad, as he has yet to put up 17 or more points in a game this season. Even without Adams, this was unexpected. Rodgers normally passes for two touchdowns a game, but has not gotten in the high 200s or 300s in passing yards. I don’t blame Packers fans for being upset with the front office. Nothing has gone the way it could have. The Packers should have made a move at the trade deadline to get Rodgers more help. He clearly needs it, and with Davante Adams playing for Las Vegas now, this may be the worst season of Aaron Rodgers’ remarkable career. 

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