2012 Fantasy Football Season Recap
Steals: It's always tough to know when to take a guy like Dez Bryant. He has exceptional ability, but you never know if he'll have his head in the game or if he'll be on the same page as Tony Romo. The second half of this season, Bryant played just about as well as any receiver in the league. He even played through a painful broken finger on his way to being the 4th ranked receiver in fantasy football. For those that drafted him at his ADP of 43.35 (14th among receivers) - good job.
Everyone knew that the addition of Peyton Manning would increase the value of the Broncos' receivers, but I'm not sure many people thought any of those receivers would improve as much as Demaryius Thomas did. Thomas' ADP had him ranked 18th among wide receivers, and he finished the as the 5th highest scorer at his position, making plenty of Top 10 worthy plays along the way.
I'm not sure anyone considered Michael Crabtree a bust for the 49ers before this season, but he certainly hadn't performed as well as fans in San Francisco had hoped since being drafted 10th overall in 2009. Crabtree finally looked like that early first-round pick this season, racking up 85 catches for 1105 yards. With an ADP ranking 36th among wide receivers, owners who grabbed him in the 11th round got a great bargain, as he finished with the 13th most points at his position.
Busts: There is one bright spot on the Cardinals' offense, but his fantasy value was thwarted by miserable offensive line and quarterback play. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most talented receivers in football, but he simply couldn't put up big numbers this season in an abysmal offense. Though his ADP ranked second among wide receivers, he finished 34th at his position.
Hakeem Nicks was banged up quite a bit this year, but even when he was on the field (played in 13 games), he rarely satisfied his fantasy owners. With the 12th highest ADP among receivers, Nicks was a huge disappointment as he finished 53rd at his position. He didn't even have a catch in his final two games.
A lot of people snagged Kenny Britt in the middle/late rounds thinking they'd have a stud receiver when he returned from his offseason knee surgery. Unfortunately, Britt never really got things going, and had owners holding onto him, waiting for his breakout game, all in vain. Britt finished the season as the 59th fantasy receiver, with only a small handful of decent games (and one good game) to his credit.
Steals: You should never doubt a Hall of Fame player who still starts in a high powered offense. Tony Gonzalez dropped to the 10th tight end drafted (on average), in large part due to his age. He proved that he's still got quite a bit left in the tank with another sensational year, finishing 2nd among tight ends in fantasy points.
There's a decent chance you still don't know who Brandon Myers is, but I'll have you know he was a great pickup after draft day if you didn't snag one of the top tight ends. Myers was undrafted in most leagues, but finished the year 6th in points at his position as the Raiders' leading receiver.
It's kind of hard to call Jason Witten a "steal," but he was definitely a bit undervalued in drafts this year. With an ADP of 77.38, Witten pleased owners with a career-high 110 receptions (most among tight ends) on his way to being the 3rd highest scorer at his position.
Busts: It seems that age may be catching up to Antonio Gates, who managed to stay healthy for almost the entire season, but still posted his lowest totals in receptions and receiving yards since his rookie season. The eight-time Pro Bowler was the fourth tight end taken (on average), but finished with the 12th most points at his position.
It's strange to see Vernon Davis have such a down year, as he is so immensely talented, is only 28 years old, and is coming off a string of great seasons. His ranking of 18th at his position surely made owners who drafted him as the fifth tight end (on average) quite unhappy.
Another player who had a peculiar bad season was Jermichael Finley. Finley has all the tools to be an electrifying play maker in the passing game, but has yet to tap into that potential, despite playing in a high powered offense. Finley's ADP was 6th among tight ends, but he only scored the 16th most points at his position.
There's no such thing as steals and busts when it comes to kickers and defenses. Have a good fantasy offseason, everyone.