Aug 9, 2009
Every year as we begin to look towards the upcoming fantasy football season, we see players who we believe are headed for great years. Unfortunately, not all of them make it there. These players are known as BUSTS.
Some of these players have good, and sometimes even breakout, seasons the year before only to falter the next. The most notable quarterback from last year who fits this description is Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Derek Anderson, who the Bruno Boys featured in last year’s version of our bust rankings, or as we like to call them, our Bring Out the Pepto articles. Anderson had a Pro Bowl season in 2007, throwing for 3,787 yards with 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. However, he started the 2008 season with six interceptions and three touchdowns in the first four games before finishing with 1,615 passing yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions with a 50.2% completion percentage.
The list this year features some big name quarterbacks, two of whom are on new teams, whose play will do nothing but make your stomach turn and make you want to reach for that pink bottle of stomach-settling goodness. Here are the 2009 Bruno Boys Quarterback “Bring Out The Pepto” Rankings.
Ranking System: The higher the “Bring Out the Pepto” Ranking, the more likely the player will be a bust.
Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs) — For having never started a game at the professional or collegiate levels, Cassel performed admirably last season for the New England Patriots after he took over in the first week of the season for the injured Tom Brady. Cassel finished the season with 3,693 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In the off-season, he was traded, along with linebacker Mike Vrabel, to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second round draft pick. There are many reasons why Cassel makes the list as the most volatile quarterback entering the season. He is in a new city with a new team, where he’ll have to learn an entirely new playbook with new teammates and new coaches. Former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, takes over as the Kansas City head coach and is good at working with quarterbacks, but this task may be too much for him. Cassel had a lot of support around him in New England including better players and coaches. In Kansas City he will be playing behind a weaker offensive line with only one good receiving option in Dwayne Bowe. For all these reasons Cassel is given the maximum number of pepto bottles. Tread lightly.
PEPTO BOTTLES: 5 BOTTLES
Marc Bulger (St. Louis Rams) — Coming into last season it seemed St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was one of the biggest sleeper picks at quarterback as many people figured he would rebound back to his 2006 form when he threw 4,301 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Those people were wrong. Left tackle Orlando Pace was lost for the season early on and the rest of the line fell apart, leaving Bulger little protection. The Rams picked up a new tackle in the 2009 NFL draft in second overall pick Jason Smith, but he won’t be able to step right in and replace what Pace brought to the table. The Rams did little else to address the problems along the offensive line, and also let leading receiver Torry Holt go. Now, the most experienced - by years of service in the NFL, that is - wide receiver on the roster is Laurent Robinson and the best receiver on the team is Donnie Avery, who was a rookie and very inconsistent last season and is currently dealing with a foot injury that will keep him out four to six weeks. Bulger’s best days were when Mike Martz, Isaac Bruce and Holt were all around. None of those three remain. With a young and inexperienced offensive line and receiving corps, Bulger is no sleeper this year, he’s just mediocre.
PEPTO BOTTLES: 4 BOTTLES
Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears) — Former Denver Broncos’ quarterback Jay Cutler finally got what he wanted when he was traded to the Chicago Bears in the off-season. And sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, as the old adage goes. Cutler goes to a team in Chicago that has a more stale passing game than the one in Denver. He has to get acclimated with new coaches, new teammates and a new playbook. But, perhaps the worst thing about Cutler moving to Chicago is that he’ll no longer have his safety blanket in receiver Brandon Marshall. Devin Hester and Rashied Davis are the top returning receivers for the Bears, but they combined for just 86 catches last year and neither one is a No. 1 receiver. In fact, the Bears receiving corps is extremely inexperienced as second-year player Earl Bennett and rookie Juaquin Iglesias will be counted on for some production this fall. Cutler is a good quarterback but he will likely see a slight decrease in his numbers from last year as he adjusts to life in Chicago with no receivers.
PEPTO BOTTLES: 3 BOTTLES
Eli Manning (New York Giants) — Statistically, New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning had one of the best seasons of his career last year with 3,238 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He had a career-best 60.3% completion percentage and posted his best touchdown-to-interception ratio in his five seasons in the league. But, a deeper look at the numbers reveals that perhaps this season will stand as an outlier for Manning. Look at his other full seasons in the league, and you’ll see his number tend to hold pretty true from season to season. He generally completes about 55-57% of his passes, usually throws around 21-24 touchdowns and about 17-19 interceptions. He’s never thrown more than 3,762 yards in a season and never less than 3,238. What’s more telling is that his average yards-per-attempt last season was 6.8, which was just .4 more than his career average entering the season. He also took 27 sacks last season, which is exactly his career average. When considering all this it tell us a few things. First of all, it tells us that Manning was the recipient of some good fortune last season. It also tells us that he’s unlikely to repeat or surpass his 2008 numbers and that a slide back to his 2007 numbers is a more appropriate expectation.
PEPTO BOTTLES: 2 BOTTLES
Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) — The 2008 season was supposed to be a new season for the Dallas Cowboys, one in which they could wash away the poor memories of 2006 and 2007 and finally make a charge to the Super Bowl. Except that when the team needed quarterback Tony Romo the most, he was again at his worst. Needing a win in the final week of the season for any hopes of the playoffs, Romo threw for 183 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in a 44-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Romo is a good regular season, fantasy football quarterback because he’s good at getting touchdowns. He had 26 passing touchdowns last season despite missing three games because of injury. The problem with Romo is that he’s usually at his worst when you need him the most and that’s around the fantasy football playoffs. It also doesn’t help things that the Cowboys didn’t resign wide receiver Terrell Owens, who went to the Buffalo Bills. The Romo-Owens connection was a boon to Romo’s value in fantasy football. Now, he’ll have to throw the ball to Roy Williams, who was inconsistent last season in Dallas, Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin. That trio doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in Romo’s ability to return to his 2007 form and for that he receives one bottle of Pepto. He’s still a good fantasy football quarterback, but not one of the best.
PEPTO BOTTLES: 1 BOTTLE
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