2012 Fantasy Football Season Recap
Steals: Why did we ever doubt Adrian Peterson? We all knew he wasn't human. Why did him coming back from a devastating knee injury and being the best football player in the NFL surprise us? Peterson's ADP had him going in the early-third round - 9th among running backs. He pleased owners with the most impressive season a running back has ever had. Finishing just nine yards short of the single season rushing record, Peterson was the top fantasy running back by a long shot.
Your second ranked fantasy running back also happened to be a steal on draft day - rookie Doug Martin. His ADP of 42.81 (18th among running backs) was that high simply as a result of his expected heavy workload, but I don't think anyone expected him to be as effective with those touches as he was (if they did, he would have been drafted higher). As I said, he had the second most fantasy points among running backs, in large thanks to his 49 catches (second most among 1,000-yard rushers).
Finally, we have another sensational rookie - Alfred Morris. ADP: ??... He wasn't even drafted in the large majority of leagues, as Mike Shanahan (as usual) was extremely unclear during the preseason who would get the bulk of the carries in his backfield. He was picked up in all competitive leagues after Week 1, and finished the season as the 6th best fantasy running back.
Busts: Thanks to one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, Darren McFadden couldn't capitalize on his enormous potential. He did miss a few weeks due to injury, but was completely ineffective even when he was on the field. It seemed like he ran into a wall of defenders on every carry, and many in Oakland are now saying that McFadden doesn't fit in offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's zone blocking scheme. McFadden's ADP was 10.92, and no owner could possibly be happy about taking him that early.
I didn't want to put anyone on here who was simply a bad pick because of injury, but I think Maurice Jones-Drew still deserves a spot on this list. MJD did get hurt in Week 7 and miss the rest of the season, but he was completely unproductive in four of the five games before he got hurt. After his lengthy holdout, I knew I wasn't touching him on draft day, but he still had an ADP of 17.21. He finished as Yahoo's 226th ranked player, and was extremely disappointing in four of the five full games he did play.
For the past few fantasy seasons, I have wondered why Ryan Mathews is always ranked so high going into the draft. I've never been too impressed with him on the field, he has a spotty injury history, and he runs behind a bad offensive line. His ADP dropped to 24.66 (11th among running backs) thanks to a broken collarbone in the preseason, but I still thought that was way too high - and I was right. Mathews scored one touchdown all season, was benched for an ineffective Jackie Battle, and averaged only 3.8 yards per carry. He was 30th among running backs in points, finishing behind backups such as Joique Bell and Danny Woodhead.