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It's that special time of year when we honor fantasy football flops, the players who by all rights should have delivered handsome returns to their fantasy owners but just couldn't seem to get it together. We're nice enough to invite them to the Thanksgiving table, but the award we put on their plates is The Pope's Nose, more or less the butt-flap of turkey. When you have ruined someone's chance at fantasy football glory, a bird's butt-flap is all you're getting.
This year's - ahem - winners:
Eli Manning, NYG: His numbers - 2,760 passing yards, 14 TDs and 17 INTs - pretty much tell the full story of how bad this season has been for Manning the Younger. The thing is that Eli has always been a better real-world QB than fantasy QB, and because of that he's usually one of the final starting QBs drafted. Yet this year he has not lived up to even his typically average fantasy expectations.
Trent Richardson, IND: In a year when so many RBs looked so good before the season started, there are so many options for biggest stinker at this position - Doug Martin, TAM; C.J. Spiller, BUF; Ray Rice, BAL - to name a few. Yet, Richardson is an easy choice. He went from being a top 10 overall pick in many drafts to being the centerpiece of the biggest trade of the season, a deal which should have enhanced his overall fantasy value. Yet, he's now not even the best RB on his own team. Over the last four games has averaged fewer than 10 carries, and hasn't surpassed 50 yards rushing in a game since Oct. 6. He's now a fantasy non-factor, and of all these guys, he should get first crack at the Pope's Nose.
Roddy White, ATL: Tough choice here because he has missed a handful of games with an injury, but in the eight games he has suited up, he's collectively managed only 20 receptions for 209 yards and one TD (which he finally got in Week 11). ATL's offense has all kinds of problems, but White, a preseason top 10 choice at WR, should have done much better, especially considering that teammate Julio Jones went down with a season-ending injury that seemed to leave White the No. 1 offensive weapon on his team.
Fred Davis, WAS: With Robert Griffin III healthy this year, Davis looked in the preseason to be at least a nice sleeper at TE, but the measly 25 yards receiving he tallied in his first two games still stand as his season total as he was quickly overtaken by rookie Jordan Reed, who himself became one of RG3's top targets. In the meantime, Davis has become a frequent healthy scratch.
* ESPN eyes consistency among fantasy defenses.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.