The definition of a bust can have many meanings. In terms of Fantasy Football, a player may have a significant season, but a few less touchdowns and couple less yards than projected can have a major impact on the fantasy season.
Fantasy football is a fun way of watching football that millions of Americans play every week during the season. It unites friends, family, and co-workers and gives them a friendly competition to look forward to every week.
Every season, there are a million player rankings and projections that predict the future of the football season. These projections never seem to mean anything but fantasy owners live and die off every word written and it can either make or break their season.
Big names always seem to do what they were supposed to do or become a bust for a season. Unless that player is a rookie or an unknown, it’s always hard to not be called a bust if you don’t live up to the expectations. People like to over project what a player is capable of, but most of the time it is always hard to replicate that one magical season that has happened in the past.
Fantasy football is the most played fantasy sport in the world and everybody likes to think that they are an expert. However, nobody can predict the future and fantasy owners everywhere seemed to be kicking themselves for picking the players ahead.
Here are 15 wide receivers that didn’t live up to expectations for the 2014 NFL season.
15 Eric Decker, New York Jets
Decker was a beast when he played with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. He was a touchdown machine grabbing 11 and 13 touchdowns respectively in 2013 and 2012. After being so highly recruited as a free agent last summer, the New York Jets grabbed Decker and expectations rose high for him to be a saviour in New York. Decker had a mediocre season this year, not living up to his Denver stats, by only recording five touchdowns and 962 yards.
14 Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson wasn’t a bust because of his numbers, he was a bust because he only played 13 games this season. As a fantasy owner, having “Megatron” miss three games is huge and can make or break the season. Johnson was still able to record 1,077 yards and eight touchdowns, but compared to seasons in the past, he didn’t look like himself at times. If you wasted a first round pick on Calvin Johnson, odds are the season didn't go too great for you.
13 Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
Ranking 11th overall to begin the season as the top 80 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers according to ESPN during pre-season, Johnson had a disappointing season. Johnson can still play high quality football, but when his quarterbacks are getting injured every game, it’s tough to get into a rhythm. Johnson struggled due to weak quarterback play and was only able to catch three touchdowns, while not reaching 1,000 yards, in the 2014 season.
12 Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jackson was able to record a 1000-yard season, but it was his lowest receiving yards season since 2010, when he only played five games that season. With only two receiving touchdowns this year, Jackson had his lowest touchdown total in his career, he had three in 2010, and didn’t have a great season. Not only was his touchdown total low, but Mike Evans’ amazing rookie season made Jackson the second target in Tampa Bay.
11 Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco had problems all over the field in 2014 (and off the field as well), and Michael Crabtree was a major reason for it. Crabtree was expected to have an explosive season after having an injury plagued 2013 year, but that didn’t seem to happen. Even though Crabtree played in 16 games, he only recorded four touchdowns, for 698 yards and 68 receptions. Overall this may have been his worst season since his rookie year and if the 49ers are going to have success next year, Crabtree is going to have to bounce back.
10 Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
Floyd was considered one of the biggest sleepers in the NFL this season and was going to be the second coming of Larry Fitzgerald, who happens to be his teammate. However, that didn’t happen this year and Floyd didn’t quite live up to expectations. The main reason can be based on the fact that the Cardinals ended up losing their starting quarterback (twice) and were forced to start their third-stringer, so maybe Floyd shouldn’t get all of the blame. Either way, his season was not as electric as we hoped, as he finished with only 841 yards and 6 touchdowns.
9 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
The old Larry Fitzgerald is just not relevant anymore, as it seems like Fitzgerald is moving away from his peak years in the league. Fitzgerald was only able to catch two touchdowns this year and recorded 784 yards. After being targeted on average 155 times a season during his prime, Fitzgerald was only targeted 103 times this year, the lowest of his career. He still might have some gas left in the tank, but the fact that he didn't have a stable quarterback situation hurt him greatly.
8 Victor Cruz, New York Giants
After suffering a serious leg injury, Victor Cruz’s season came to abrupt end in a 27-0 loss to Philadelphia in Week 6. It's not fair to call an injured player a bust, but before the injury, Cruz was not having a great season, only recording two 100-yard games in six games. As a top-20 wide receiver in fantasy football and at the time the best receiver on his team, Cruz disappointed. If you drafted Cruz as your first or second wide receiver, it really put a damper on your season.
7 Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
For six of the past seven seasons (last year was injury-riddled), Roddy White always seemed to be a sure thing and a great pick-up for any fantasy team. His ability to hook up with Matt Ryan made his game lethal and fantasy owners loved his production. However, after people expected a bounce-back season from his 2013 year, White could not live up to the hype and wasn’t able to record 1,000 yards. Normally averaging anywhere from 1,100-1,400 yards a season, he didn’t quite look the same and his team's record reflected it.
6 Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Not only did many expect the San Diego Chargers to contend AFC supremacy this year, but they expected Keenan Allen to have a monster fantasy season. After breaking onto the NFL scene last season with over 1000 yards receiving and eight touchdowns as a rookie, improved statistics were expected this season. However, that didn’t seem to happen and Allen suffered a sophomore slump, after only recording 783 yards and four touchdowns.
5 Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
Garcon came into the season as one of the top 15 wide receivers according to ESPN’s fantasy football, but his season dropped dramatically from 2013, to 2014. After recording 1,346 yards in 2013, Garcon only recorded 752 yards in 2014 and registered three touchdowns. Many people may have expected a little bit too much out of Garcon after he had a career high season in 2013, but regardless many considered his season a bust.
4 Percy Harvin, New York Jets
Harvin had a very eventful year. After being one of the best players in the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl victory, he was shipped to the New York Jets early in the year. Harvin did not seem to get along with his teammates and his numbers were quite dismal as a result. Harvin was looked at by many fantasy owners to have a huge year because of his speed and because of his breakout performance in the Super Bowl. However, after only record 483 yards and one receiving touchdown between the Seahawks and Jets this season, Harvin was an absolute bust.
3 Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
After week one, Patterson looked to be a fantasy owners dream. He ran for 102 yards on three attempts and had one touchdown. However, that seemed to be the peak of his season because he would only record one receiving touchdown during the rest of the season and only had 15 more rushing yards in the next 15 games. Patterson’s receiving yards were not anything special either, as he only managed a measly 384 yards.
2 Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville Jaguars
He may not be a big name, but he was still ranked as the 35th best receiver in pre-season. Playing in Jacksonville, nobody should expect much, and that’s kind of how Shorts III’s season went. He had two different quarterbacks, missed three games, and was overshadowed by the young Jaguars receivers, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. He didn’t record a touchdown after Week one and only recorded 557 yards for the whole season.
1 Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
After many expected Brandon Marshall and the rest of the Chicago Bears to have a monster offensive season and be a viable contender in the NFL North, the entire team completely fell apart. For the first time since his rookie season, Marshall wasn’t able to record over 1,000 receiving yards and finished the season with only 721 yards receiving. He caught eight touchdowns, but as a receiver who was picked as many people’s first receivers in fantasy drafts, he was a definite bust. We think you can thank Jay Cutler for this one.