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It's time again for that most sacred of holiday traditions - the awarding of a greasy, fatty turkey anus to the worst fantasy football performers of the season.
Here are the winners of the 2016 Pope's Nose Award:
QB: Brock Osweiler, HOU.
This was actually a really tough choice. We could always go the most obvious route and hand it to frequent Pope's Nose winner Jay Cutler, but I prefer not to heap scorn on injured players, even if they deserve it.
Blake Bortles, JAX, has been no prize this year, and with 13 INTs is threatening to lead the league in INTs for the second straight season.
But Osweiler is the one who has fizzled across the board, with only 12 TDs to 10 INTs and only 2,061 yards passing, good for 25th in the league (behind Alex Smith even).
In five of his 10 starts, he has produced under 200 yards passing (including a 99-yard stinker), a sign of certain fantasy death.
Osweiler has been so bad, he's dragged one of the league's most heralded WRs down with him (see below.)
RB: Todd Gurley, LA.
In a year when so many RBs have been hobbled by injury, perhaps Gurley earns points simply for remaining upright, but we expected much more from a guy who many of us considered the best fantasy bet among RBs on draft day.
Gurley's 591 in yards rushing in 10 starts for a team that has had to lean on him is atrocious. The clearest sign of how bad he's been: In four of his first five games as a pro in 2015, Gurley ran for more than 120 yards. This season, he has had zero 100-yard games, and no more than 85 yards in a single game.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU.
He was the fourth-ranked pre-season WR, and also the fourth-ranked player overall, rankings which he earned by performing incredibly well in 2015 with at least four different QBs, none of whom were top talent.
This season, he certainly has been dragged down by Osweiler's bad play, but it sure seems like there is more to it than that.
He's the clear No. 1 WR in Houston, but has collected only 56 catches for 540 yards receiving and three TDs, as rookies Will Fuller and Braxton Miller have eaten into his targets.
K: All of them.
NFL kickers collectively missed 12 extra points in Week 11, the most missed PATs in a single week in the long, storied history of the league.
Yes, extra points are about 13 yards further out than they once were, and teams are more frequently choosing to attempt two-point conversions, but things are getting bad for the most maligned NFL position this side of punter.
Kicker is already a fantasy position that you might as well stream on a weekly basis. If we have another week like this, both the NFL and fantasy leagues should eliminate the position altogether.
On fantasy rosters, we'd be better off creating an addition tight end spot - TEs have been good enough this year that I couldn't find one deserving of a Pope's Nose.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Oct 21, 2019
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