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The most difficult thing about presenting the Pope's Nose awards this year is that there are so many fantasy turkeys worthy of consideration, particularly at the RB and WR position
(Surprisingly, a large number of QBs are meeting expectations or coming pretty close.)
If you know anything about the Pope's Nose awards, that's not a good thing.
Without further adieu, here are this year's loser-winners:
Robert Griffin III, WAS: No one was expecting him to be the best, but he has arguably been the worst fantasy QB this year, even if you cut him a break for missing half the season due to injury. He has only averaged 173 yards per game, with a grand total of two TDs in five games. Yet, his lowest point didn't come until recently, when he alienated his teammates and head coach by blaming it all on the other guy. News broke late Tuesday that he lost his starting job for this week, and probably will lose his spot on the WAS roster for next season.
Matthew Stafford, DET: Jay Cutler, with 22 TDs, has more fantasy value than Stafford - 'nuff said, but I'll say more: Changing game plans with a new offensive system has Stafford averaging 267 yards passing per game, his lowest for a non-injury season since 2009. He likely will end up with fewer than last year's 4,650 yards. His 13 TDs also leave him well under the pace of last year's 29. He can blame offensive line problems and a lengthy injury to WR star Calvin Johnson, but we expected a borderline top five QB.
Adrian Peterson, MIN: Football has little to do with this one, unfortunately. He was revealed to be an alleged child abuser, ending his season in suspension. Since he may have been the No. 1 overall pick in some leagues, this makes him this biggest turkey of all.
Zac Stacy, STL: Stacy was a late-season gem last year who moved up the thin draft ranks this year, but his big 2013 numbers turned out to be a poor indicator of future performance. All season, he's seemed to lack a second gear, let alone anything higher, and has given way to prized rookie Tre Mason and runner/receiver Benny Cunningham.
Doug Martin, TAM: He was a very viable borderline top 10 sleeper candidate for this season after ending last year in injury following his breakout 2012 campaign. However, he's become lost in Tampa's crowded backfield, and has only 193 yards rushing, 58 yards receiving and one TD. With more minor injuries this year, we're wondering if he may carry the injury-prone tag from now on.
Toby Gerhart, JAC: Had a starting job basically handed to him after being Peterson's understudy in Minnesota, but has failed to run for more than 42 yards in a single game, and that high mark came in Week 1. He has yielded his job to former college QB Denard Robinson.
Montee Ball, DEN: True, he has spent most of his season injured, but he wasn't getting it done before that, with only one TD in his first four games, and no more than 67 yards rushing in any single outing. Now, he will have a very tough challenge winning his job back from C.J. Anderson - if he can even get healthy.
Calvin Johnson, DET: Injury has played a large role, but again Megatron is not living up to our continually lofty expectations. Of his 578 total yards and three TDs, 277 yards and all of the TDs came in just two games - Week 1 and Week 10. I think this was his last year as the top pre-season fantasy WR.
Brandon Marshall, CHI: Reports that he was running some routes wrong are just baffling, especially since that and his rapport with Jay Cutler appeared to be keys to his success since arriving in Chicago. His side job on TV might be distracting him, but there must be more to it. His total of eight TDs suggest little is wrong, but five of those came in the first four games. He also may fail to catch 100 passes this season, which would be only the third time in his career.
Keenan Allen, SD: Breakout rookie last year looked like a fantasy dynasty choice. This season, he didn't notch a TD until his eighth game, and still only has two. A pair of 100-yard receiving games hint at last year's promise, but a fantasy flop in nine or 10 games out of 12 isn't what anyone expected.
Cordarelle Patterson, MIN: The switch to Teddy Bridgewater at QB coincided with game plans - or at least Bridgewater's inclination - to throw more passes to the Vikings' TEs (with Norv Turner as OC, they run plenty of two-TE formations), and fewer to their WRs. Another WR who has produced fantasy value in only two or three games this year, and one of those came way back in Week 1.
Percy Harvin, NYJ: Apparent internal strife with teammates in Seattle led to a trade to the Jets. Now, he's done almost nothing this season on two different coasts. He really seemed a safe sleeper bet at WR this year, but it's unclear if this promising dual-threat receiver/runner will ever meet expectations.
Vernon Davis, SF: He has only had two TDs this season, and both came in Week 1. He's also failed ro record more than 44 yards receiving - again that high came in Week 1. There are rumors that has is unhappy with his contract situation, and his play certainly reflects that.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.