Bounce Back Busts from 2011
Every year we have them and they can completely sink your team. Early round picks that end up $#!+ing the bed! We'll be covering 2011 BUSTS that have the ability to Bounce Back in 2012 and be Weekly Fantasy producers. These players have either had new additions added to their team, lost players to FA opening up a more predominant role or just plain out sucked last year.
1. P.Rivers (SD) : Even though Rivers lost V.Jackson to the Bucs the Chargers have had a young WR step up to fill in. Rivers will be throwing to M.Floyd, 2nd-year V.Brown(Sleeper) and newly signed R.Meachem. Yes, Meachem and Brown are shorter then VJax but Gates looked to finally get over his Planter Fascia will get a very high percentage of redzone targets. In 5-seasons with Turner, Rivers has averaged 4,150 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions per year and the Chargers announced that Turner would remain the Chargers HC in 2012. His 20 Int's last season was a Career "worst" and I expect him to those down to 11-14 this year.
2. M.Vick (Phi) : Vick did NOT produce like anyone had hoped for last year. Mostly offensive line problems in the begining of the year being knocked down (99) times over the first 6 weeks which led to his "I'm not complaining, I'm just saying" rant. However, he's still a high-risk, high-reward type even though he only had 1 game last year with more then 2 TDs (Week 17). He showed he has the potential to be a 270+ yard passing QB throwing 6 of his 13 games if giving time in the pocket. The emergence of L.McCoy will also have defenses stacking the line allowing his speedy receivers J.Maclin, D.Jackson and B.Celek get open down field.
3. M.Schaub (Hou) : Schaub had to over-come alot of obsticals early and often, losing A.Foster for 2 and a half weeks to start the season as well as A.Johnson for 9 weeks to both hamstring injuries. Schaub himself has been healing from a Lisfranc sprain and the Texans believe he will be ready to go by training camp. Because there are so many other QB's now on peoples radars Schaub could be a tremendous bargain come Fantasy drafts this summer. Schaub will fall in drafts, potentially as far as Rounds 6 or 7 but still has 5,000-yard and 35-TD potential, especially if the Texans improve their receiving corps this offseason with a couple FA signings or Draft picks.
4. R.Fitzpatrick (Buf) : Fitz was leader among ALL QB's in 2011 with 23 Ints and was tied with Rivers for 1st with 8-games with 2+ Ints. Fitz has 4,000-yard, 25-TD potential which are great for your BACKUP numbers, he has had to work on a personal problem (Accuracy) and has said to be improving on that. The addition of skilled receivers would help Fitz as well with defenses blanketing S.Johnson, Fitz need ah additional outlet other then F.Jackson. Figure that he's worth a late-round pick as a good No. 2 Fantasy QB with potential.
5. J.Freeman (TB) : With the Bucs adding V.Jackson and planning on drafting T.Richardson does increase Freeman's appeal. Freeman tossed 22 Ints last year which was 2nd among all QBs. The upside was that he was able to rush in 4TDs as to almost even out his 22Ints with 20Total TDs (16 passing, 4rushing). Blount has had problems for the Bucs with fumbles (3 lost) but had (7) drops all season, this cant happen if the Bucs want to have consistent drives down the field and coach Greg Schiano spoke glowingly about T.Richardson. He loves being able to "feed the ball" to a reliable player, and he said he thinks Richardson could be that player. A solid running game would take alot of pressure of Freeman allowing him to hit VJax, Williams and Winslow more consistently. Freeman is a late-round pick worth serving as a bye-week replacement that has potential.
Running Backs :
1. C.Johnson (Ten) : The Titans are making moves to improve their offensive line, beginning with the signing of guard Steve Hutchinson. Head coach Mike Munchak also said earlier this offseason that the Titans are planning to "make a drastic improvement" in their run game. Johnson racked up 1,047 rushing yards, 418 receiving yards and 4 rushing TDs last year behind an offensive line that did a pretty good job in pass protection but did struggle to open up running lanes. He'll be a risk no matter what he says or does this offseason because of last year's weak production, but the upside still makes him alluring, as is the opportunity to take him later than you might have in the last two years.
2. S.Jackson (STL) : Jackson had a solid season last year with 260 carries for 1,145 yards but only 5TDs, 42 catches for 333 yards and 1TD on 58 targets. He will have a great schedule in 2012 against weaker run defenses in Green Bay, Washington, New England, the Jets, Tampa Bay and Buffalo, along with his division opponents. New HC Jeff Fisher will emphasize the run, and the Rams should look to improve their offensive line to also help protect Sam Bradford. Jackson closed the season on a high note with double digits in Fantasy points in three of his final four games, and you should expect 300-plus touches and quality production.
3. J.Charles (KC) : Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel called new Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis a "complement" to Charles, which makes it sound like Charles will be counted on to shoulder a lot of carries if he comes back healthy and productive. Assuming there are no setbacks, Charles will be worth taking in the early rounds on Draft Day, but more as a high-end No. 2 Fantasy RB.
4. S.Greene (NYJ) : Greene was banged up by a lingering rib injury during the last month of the season and surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark just twice on the year. Still, he was able to surpass 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career with 6TDs on 283 total touches while taking over as New York's leading ball-carrier. He will enter the 2012 season again as the Jets' primary option in the backfield and should be viewed as a solid No. 2 Fantasy RB.
5. D.Murray (Dal) : Murray wasnt a BUST per say, though he did dwindle off a bit after Week 10. Murray did 799 yards worth of damage over 7 healthy weeks with 2TDs. Murray did very well in games with Fiammetta last season and could do more of the same with an experienced lead blocker like Vickers in front of him. Vickers helped pave the way last year for A.Foster and for P.Hillis's breakout season in 2010. The Cowboys remain a pass-happy offense but Murray, so long as he stays healthy, should be quite productive. Murray has the chance to be a solid No. 2 Fantasy RB heading into 2012.
Wide Receivers :
1. A.Johnson (Hou) : Johnson's 2011 season will be remembered for the nine games he missed because of hamstring problems. But he totaled 13 catches for 201 yards and one touchdown in two playoff games with QB T.Yates. Schaub will be fully healed and the Texans should beef up their receiving corps taking some pressure off Johnson. Though Johnson has never had more then 9TDs in a year he is more then capable of 100+ receptions and 1,500+ yards. He averaged just over 8 TDs per season from 2007-2010 which should give Fantasy owners plenty of confidence drafting him as a No. 1 Fantasy WR in 2012.
2. D.Bowe (KC) : He was the Chiefs’ leading pass receiver the past three seasons and made the Pro Bowl in 2010 after his 72-catch, 15-touchdown season. Despite quarterback issues last year, Bowe still turned in his 2nd consecutive 1,100-yard season with an 81-catch campaign but only recored 1/3 of the TDs ending the year with just 5. The return of J.Charles as well should take some of the extra heat of Bowe. Fantasy owners should consider him a No. 2 Fantasy WR option in 2012 and could start getting looks in Round 6 though he carries some TD risk due to QB production drafting him any higher would be risky.
3. S.Rice (Sea) : With a new QB situation and Lynch getting back to "Beast-mode", Rice has the upside and potential as a mid-late draft pick/ No. 3 Fantasy WR option. Between hip, shoulder and 2 concussions, it's becoming pretty clear that Rice is a major injury risk. Of course his potential is great because he's big, fast and can win the jump-ball battle. Rice has missed 17 games in his last 2 seasons but after having surgery on both shoulders in the offseason he is expected to be ready to go for training camp. Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate are viable sleeper options as well with M.Flynn.
4. D.Jackson (Phi) : Jackson finished with 58 receptions out of 104 targets for 961 yards with just 4TDs last season. Between injuries and some behavior issues cost him some playing time last season. Jackson wasn't too consistent last year either, which could make some Fantasy owners pass him over on Draft Day. Maclin has taking the reins as the No. 1 WR for the Eagles and Fantasy owners should view Jackson as more of a No. 2 wide receiver that can be targeted in the mid-late rounds.
5. R.Wayne (Ind) : Wayne will have a lot of new facets to learn in Indy this summer. A new quarterback (presumably rookie Andrew Luck), a new playbook and almost a brand new receiving corp (except A.Collie). Luck isn't Peyton Manning, but he is more polished than the passers Wayne worked with last year. And with Wayne staying in Indy and (Pierre Garcon a Redskin), he'll remain their No. 1 receiver and a candidate for upwards of 140 targets on the year. Wayne could end up being a delightful steal in Fantasy drafts. I'd grab him as a borderline No. 2/No. 3 Fantasy WR with a pick starting in Round 8 -- he might very well outperform everyones expectations.
Tight Ends :
1. J.Witten (Dal) : Witten had a down campaign in 2011 as he failed to reach 80 receptions for the first time since 2006 and also posted his fewest receiving yards since 2006. Only being able to reel in 5 TDs Witten was overshadowed by the Cowboys stacked receiving corp. Laurent Robinson really stole the show from Witten around the redzone as teams would double cover Bryant and Witten allowing Robinson man/man coverage. I expect teams to go back to doubling the corners Bryant,Austin and Witten to step back up over last years numbers.
2. O.Daniels (Hou) : As of now you can see I expect the Texans receiving corp to get back on track. With J.Dreessen signing with the Broncos that opens Daniels back up to a predominant role. Daniels' numbers really suffered in the second half of the season for two reasons. First, the Texans became a run-heavy team as the team dealt with Andre Johnson's hamstring injury. Also, the loss of QB Matt Schaub meant Daniels worked with rookie QB T.J. Yates down the stretch. Schaub is expected to be back by the start of preseason, consider him a viable No. 1 Fantasy TE on Draft Day that could be a nice steal in mid-late rounds with as many TE's emerging.
3. K.Winslow (TB) : Winslow quietly surpassed his reception total from last year (66) as his scoring production took a hit because of the sporadic play of Freeman. Winslow ended last year with 75 receptions on 121 targets for 763yards but only 2TDs. He finished with at least 70 receptions in a season for the 4th-time in his career. He is normally a better scoring option as he represents a massive target near the end zone. With the signing of V.Jackson this not only gives Freeman another target around the redzone but also gives defenses another BIG target to have to cover freeing up Winslow more. Winslow is a viable No. 2 TE that can be taking in the later rounds but still has upside and potential as long as Freeman comes around.
4. F.Davis (Was) : After being franchise tagged Davis returns after a career season in which he established single-season highs in receptions (59) and receiving yards (796) with 3TDs. The 796 yards were the 4th-most in a season by a tight end in Redskins history. With the expected addition of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, Davis will see a upgrade at QB and should see a increase in targets. Expect Davis to be drafted with a mid-round pick, and he should be considered a boarderline No. 1/No. 2 tight end on Draft Day.
5. E.Dickson (Bal) : Dickson finished the season with 54 receptions for 528 yards and 5TDs on 97 targets. Dickson and Pitta combined to catch 94 passes for 933 yards and 8TDs and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron only sees more production ahead out of his two young tight ends. He projects as a No. 2 Fantasy TE in 2012, and he is only worth drafting with a late-round pick to serve as a backup/bye week replacement until proven he can produce weekly/consistently.