Every dang year, players fail to match preseason expectations and put up unimpressive stats. It's heartbreaking, not just for them and their team's fans, but for the people who draft them in Fantasy Football. Those folks know them as busts.
But it's unfair to label someone a bust because they got hurt. Was Tom Brady a bust in 2008 when he tore his ACL in his first game? Maybe you were mad because you spent a good pick on him (especially coming off his 50-touchdown season), but at least you knew not to start him again.
We can't say the same for guys who played week after week, and were started week after week, only to disappoint week after agonizing week. Those guys are truly the biggest busts because they stink up a spot on a Fantasy team and simply are too good as players to just let go.
Each member of our Fantasy crew listed two players who they deem to be the biggest busts in the CBS Sports Fantasy Football Era. While a couple of well-known Fantasy heroes made lists for different seasons and different reasons, one running back in particular was chosen the most and could go down as the biggest bust in Fantasy history.
Jamey Eisenberg's Busts
Larry Fitzgerald, 2012: 16 games, 71 receptions, 798 yards, four touchdowns. Fitzgerald's quarterbacks that year? Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer. The four combined to throw 197 errant passes (32% of their attempts) over the course of the season, per Pro Football Focus. Fitzgerald dropped just five passes that season, tied for the second-fewest among receivers with at least 120 targets. Bad quarterback play led to bad numbers.
Le'Veon Bell, 2019: After sitting out a full year over a contract dispute with the Steelers, Bell found free agency to his liking and went to the Jets. But the Jets didn't seem to agree with Bell -- despite getting the eighth-most touches in the league, Bell finished with just 1,250 total yards and four measly touchdowns. He had over 100 total yards three times in 15 games with no 100-yard rushing efforts. Can't wait to see what he does for an encore in 2020.
Heath Cummings' Busts
Le'Veon Bell, 2018: Thought Bell's 2019 was bad? His 2018 was worse! He held out of training camp and began the season without reporting to the team. Convinced Bell would eventually show up, Fantasy managers held on to Bell after taking him with a first-round pick and got nothing to show for it. Zip, zero, zilch. At least Bell gave Fantasy managers SOMETHING in 2019.
Randy Moss, 2010: When Moss arrived in New England in 2007 he posted three straight seasons of over 1,000 yards and 11 scores. But 2010 turned out to be very different -- Moss claimed he felt unwanted by the Patriots and eventually got traded to the Vikings. His first game in Minnesota was good, but he eventually alienated coach Brad Childress and wound up getting cut. The Titans picked him up and he played out the string. With 393 yards and five touchdowns on 28 catches, Moss had fewer yards than blocking tight end Tony Moeaki and fewer touchdowns than Malcom Floyd.
Ben Gretch's Busts
Shaun Alexander, 2006: The year before, Alexander had 370 regular-season carries and 60 more in the playoffs. Perhaps it was predictable, then, that Alexander would struggle. He missed six games beginning in late September with a foot fracture, saw his rushing average drop 1.5 yards per carry and scored 20 FEWER TOUCHDOWNS than the season before. Everyone who bought into Alexander was left crying, and Alexander himself was never the same.
Larry Johnson, 2007: Johnson basically carried Alexander's torch in 2006 and suffered a similar fate. He had 416 regular-season carries with 13 more in the playoffs. The following year, Johnson's numbers cratered (nearly a yard worse per carry and only three rushing touchdowns) while missing the second half of the year with -- just like Alexander -- a foot injury. And sure enough, Johnson was never the same again, scoring five times in 2008 and zero times in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Chris Towers' Busts
DeMarco Murray, 2015: Here's another glaring example of running backs struggling the year after getting too many carries. Murray had 392 carries in the regular season for the Cowboys and added another 44 in the 2014 playoffs. Free agency sent Murray to Philadelphia, where he managed to stay healthy but saw his efficiency hit the skids. Fantasy managers expecting a third-straight year with over 1,100 rush yards and nine-plus scores were treated to just over 1,000 TOTAL yards and seven scores. Not as bad of the years Alexander or Johnson had, but still not great.
Braylon Edwards, 2008: It appeared Edwards put it all together in his third season, turning 154 targets into 80 catches, 1,289 yards and an unbelievable 16 touchdowns. Yep, it was unbelievable all right. Despite 138 targets in 2008, Edwards could corral just 55 passes for 873 yards. That wasn't too far off of his receiving average from 2007, but the three measly scores he had was WAY less than what he delivered the prior year. Almost half of Edwards' 40 career touchdown receptions came in his fabled 2007.
Dave Richard's Busts
Trent Richardson, 2013: Richardson was chosen more than any other player for our bust list. As a rookie, Richardson had over 1,300 total yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games with the Browns, overcoming a poor 3.6-yard rushing average with 51 catches for 367 yards. Richardson was then stunningly traded to the Colts two games into the 2014 season and never seemed nearly as effective (a 2.9-yard rushing average in 2013 with Indianapolis). He lasted one more year in the NFL, then was gone from the league for good (though he did score 12 touchdowns in eight games with the Birmingham Iron of the AAF).
Cadillac Williams, 2006: As the story goes, Jon Gruden told Williams before the 2005 draft that he would be a Buccaneer. Sure enough, it happened, and Williams went on to have a nice rookie season. What followed was a disappointing second campaign where his touches, rushing average and total touchdowns tumbled despite playing in just as many games (14). Williams never really recovered as injuries took a toll on him, only resurrecting his career for a just-over 1,000 total yards in 2009.
Adam Aizer's Busts
Trent Richardson, 2013
Eddie Lacy, 2015: Lacy's first two NFL seasons were outstanding -- over 1,400 total yards and 10-plus touchdowns in each. But his third season included an unwanted weight gain, which led to a minor early-season ankle injury. Meshed with a tough schedule, a pass-first approach and a young running back, James Starks, taking away playing time, Lacy struggled. He had 946 yards and five total touchdowns in 15 games, which wound up being his third-best season. Lacy was out of the league two years later.
Ben Schragger's Busts
Trent Richardson, 2013
Zac Stacy, 2014: It seemed as if Jeff Fisher had stumbled upon a diamond-in-the-rough in Stacy. After being a non-factor through the first four weeks of the 2013 season, Stacy replaced an ineffective Daryl Richardson and rumbled for nearly 100 total yards per game with eight touchdowns in 12 games. Fantasy managers and Fisher both overlooked his sluggish rushing average (3.9 for the season but 3.2 over his final five games) and anointed him as a starter in 2014. It didn't work out -- he scored once in 13 games and lost his starting gig almost as quickly as Richardson lost his to Stacy a year prior. After 2015, he was out of the league.