Jan 10, 2013
—Written by Brian Dezelske
—Edited by Marc Caviglia
Now that the 2012 NFL regular season is over, and with that the fantasy football season, it’s time identify and highlight the most significant fantasy performances of the year—and there were many to choose from. In order to sift through the plethora of amazing performances, certain factors needed to be taken into account: 1) The amount of fantasy football points that were put up, 2) When it happened, 3) How fantasy relevant the player was at that time.
With these factors all taken into account, this is the list we came up with for your pleasure. Feel free to chime in with your most significant performances of this year. Hope you enjoy!
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 2; 3 rushing yards, 0 TDs; 1 point
Jamaal Charles was one of those gambles that fantasy owners pondered rolling the dice on towards the end of the first-round. Coming off a torn ACL injury, the question was whether or not he could put up the RB1-type numbers that first-round picks are asked to do.
After racking up 87 yards in the opening week of the season, things looked promising for the young back. However, all that promise owners had became endless second guessing and upset stomachs after he posted a season-low three rushing yards on six carries. Everyone wondered if this is was the opening needed for Peyton Hillis to step in and take over as the starter.
Fortunately Romeo Crennel figured out the very next week, that in order to succeed on offense you must utilize your best offensive weapon, not just properly, but you have to utilize him… period. Charles would go on to finish with 233 yards on 33 carries and a touchdown in Week 3 and, in the process, settle the stomachs of many owners suffering from indigestion.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Week 13; 341 passing yards, 0 TDs, 5 INTs; 3 points
Week 13 is the final week of the regular season for most fantasy footballers, and it’s a make or break day for many 6-6 and 7-5 teams trying to grab a hold of those final playoff spots—even some 5-7 teams can slither their way in if all goes right. So, when in a situation like that and you’re sitting with Drew Brees as your quarterback, you should feel real good about your chances, right? Well… not so much.
Mr. Brees dropped one of the biggest fantasy stinkers of the entire season at one of the worst possible times. He connected with the Atlanta Falcons defense for five interceptions and failed to throw a touchdown for the only time this season. He somehow managed to grind out a measly three points for his owners, which did them no good whatsoever.
Those who were fortunate enough to escape fantasy football tragedy were rewarded in the playoffs as he combined for 11 touchdowns and 1,149 yards in weeks 15-17.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Week 15; 16 receiving yards; 0 TDs; 1 point
For the most part this year, if Roddy White wasn’t scoring touchdowns he was at least racking up yardage points for his owners. However, he did neither in Week 15. White hauled in two receptions for a whopping 16 yards, giving his fantasy owners one measly point and costing a majority of them the chance at a fantasy football championship in Week 16.
What made this more frustrating was the fact that they played the New York Giants that day. The Giants had one of the worst pass defenses in the entire league and gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers. Now, Julio Jones owners got what they hoped for with two touchdowns from him, but this matchup was tailor-made for the entire Atlanta Falcons receiving corps to thrive.
White would go on to redeem himself the following week with two touchdowns and over 150 yards, but it was too much too late for owners who were bounced out of the playoffs a week earlier.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
Week 15; 23 total yards, 0 TDs; 0 points
Leading up to Week 15, Stevan Ridley was a model of consistency with a touchdown in six consecutive weeks and an average of 13.6 fantasy points over that span. You combine that with how good the New England Patriots offense is and you wouldn’t expect anything less for a seventh week in a row.
Unfortunately, Ridley’s number was only called nine times. He finished with 23 yards and a big, fat goose egg. He never really was afforded the opportunity to put up points because the San Francisco 49ers jumped out to a commanding 31-3 lead early in the third quarter. The huge deficit forced Tom Brady to air it out and play catch up, and Bill Belichick decided to utilize the talents of Danny Woodhead who scored two rushing touchdowns that night.
It was rough for owners who were counting on him to continue being that workhorse they grew to love over the course of the season. One thing is for sure and that is he’s earned respect in the fantasy football world and should be a top option in that late first to mid-second round area in 2013.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Week 16; 29 total yards 0 TDs; 0 points
“Yo, Arian!” (In my pathetic excuse for a Rocky Balboa voice) “I love(d) you!” In fact, we all loved you this season, man. So what the hell happened in Week 16 when fantasy owners needed you most?
Owners that made it to the championship were loving the fact Arian Foster was in their corner, and why not? He led all running backs and receivers with 17 touchdowns, and finished the season tied for second among running backs with 248 fantasy points.
That’s why it was extra heart-wrenching to see Foster struggle against the Minnesota Vikings the way he did. It was so bad that he finished with zero fantasy points on 29 total yards and a fumble, and with that, fumbling away any championship hopes for his owners. Given the timing, it may have been the single-worst fantasy football performance of the 2012 season.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 15; 35 total yards, 0 TDs; 2 points
This fantasy playoff clunker was brought to you by the league’s resident ‘Muscle Hamster’, and right smack in the middle of playoffs. Being this happened against the New Orleans Saints 32nd-ranked run defense that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, there is a case to be made for it being much higher. However, he managed to scrape up two useless points for his sad, depressed owners.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Week 15; 0 yards, 0 TDs; 0 points
It’s hard to bag on a guy who didn’t actually play in Week 15, but the first missed game of his career came right in the middle of playoffs. Horrible timing… that obviously wasn’t his fault.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Week 15; 13 receiving yards, 0 TDs; 1 point
It was just one of those days where Peyton Manning looked the other way. Eric Decker finished with 133 yards and a touchdown, while Thomas struggled to put anything together
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Week 16; 9 receiving yards, 0 TDs; 0 points
Tight ends aren’t counted on as much as running backs and receivers are, but Tony Gonzalez was as consistent as they come in 2012. That’s why his donut in Week 16 was a big surprise against a Detroit Lions defense at gave up nine touchdowns to the tight end position.
Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Week 16; 28 total yards, 0 TDs; 2 points
Frank Gore didn’t have a great fantasy football year if you ask around—he finished with 190 points—but he was relatively consistent throughout the season, and that’s all an owner expects from their RB2. However, that consistency vanished on championship week with a weak two-point performance.