Well. There they are. The biggest statistical fantasy football disappointments of 2022.
There's probably at least one name on this list that sent you into a state of pre-PTSD upon reading their name. Maybe even two or three. What we're going to do here today is explore who from this Island of Misfit Toys inhabitants you should feel good lying to yourself about once again.
This is all about finding that abusive relationship you just can't quit. Everyone needs that one player to love no matter how bad they hurt you. For me - that's been Will Fuller for many years. I even took a chance on him last year when he didn't have a team. Technicality! But I'm ready to move on now. I need a new salvaged Beamer to continue to hurt me and I think I found my guy on the above list. And I'm here to help you find yours.
Let's talk about that list. It shows any player that was started in at least 50 percent of ESPN leagues for at least four weeks (1-17) of 2022. So we're only focusing on guys at least relatively believed in by fantasy managers. They are ranked by worst wins above replacement (WAR) which is a convoluted stat I created a few years ago that tells you how many more wins your fantasy team expected to get (on average) by using any player vs a replacement-level player at the same position. This acts as a control measure for comparing points across positions thus allowing you to rank every player's worth in terms of wins expected.
Ready to find your next "it's complicated"? You could hang out at dive bars next to a federal penitentiary wearing something skimpy, but an easier option is just skimming over the has-beens (and maybe still will bes!) above.
Aaron Rodgers was exceptionally bad last year. Even worse than you thought. To interpret his -.5 WAR, this means the manager who hypothetically started him in all 16 of his played games could have instead picked up the next best projected available QB left after waivers cleared every week and won a half game more on average in 2022. Yikes. And sure, unless his fantasy managers were dipping into Aaron's Ayahuasca, no one was putting up with his bullshit every week - but you get the point.
Let's get the point a little more and show where he stands in number of games with a 20-point fantasy performance with his basically full-season starting counterparts.
Aaron meets all the qualifications for a guy you might just be unable to quit on. Super talented. Does a lot of drugs. Epically disappoints. That's the triple crown of an abusive fantasy football relationship. This guy took you on a romantic vacation getaway last year to leave you in a dark room in the secluded woods for the entirety of the fantasy season.
Even Russell Wilson popped off three 20-point weeks in 2022 despite being the laughing stock of the league last year. But maybe a new scene will give Rodgers some natural immunity from a diseased season. I don't expect him to be a top-end option, but if you're like Aaron and looking for an over the counter option that isn't being pushed onto you by mainstream analysts - he might be your guy you can't quit.
Speaking of Wilson, there's a lie to be believed here too. He might not have left town for a fresh start like Rodgers - but he did ditch the bad influences he was hanging around for a much more reputable inner circle. Think about it. Nathaniel Hackett to Sean Payton? Dude just upgraded his advisors from Sam Bankman-Fried to Warren Buffett. Even with the scam of a coaching staff, Wilson still did just enough to keep the spark going in his believer's eyes as he ended the season with 25 points in two of his last three games. I can't blame you if your heart flutters a little bit with his 10th round ADP.
DangeRuss tempting, but not my selection. But if he's yours - enjoy the ride!
What a crew of wide receivers Diontae Johnson finds himself the leader of here. The fact is 2022 Diontae watched way too much 2020 Jakobi Meyers film before hauling in 86 catches without scoring a touchdown. And 2019 Jakobi Meyers film. And I think about half of 2021 as well.
Nothing worked for him in the teams efforts to getting him going. Change of quarterbacks? Nope. Chase Claypool traded? Nada. It's like he made a pact with Big Ben that he'd never catch another touchdown again without him. I'm seeing him as a fifth round ADP which seems a bit steep for me. There's a much better fifth round receiver I like a lot better from the original list of sorry players.
If you read my first fantasy football blog of the season you know that DJ Moore was my pick for 2022 Troll of the Year. This graph shows why:
Here's the recipe Moore used to win Troll of the Year.
Step 1. Start as a player 90 percent of leagues are excited about and shit the bed for the first six weeks to get benched
Step 2. Now that you're benched, go ahead and do good for a week. You know what, one week might not regain their trust. Make it two weeks (Week 7 and 8)
Step 3. Back in most league starting spots! Let's drop a 4-spot in Week 9 and a 7-spot in Week 10. Did they bench me yet? No? Ok drop a 5-spot in Week 11. Did that do it?
Step 4. Hell yeah it did. Let's drop a 20 burger!
Step 5. Back over 50 percent starting? .6 outta break their hearts and playoff chances.
Step 6. Season is absolutely over for DJ Moore owners. Let's go off with 18, 20, and 23 to rub it in and take home TOY
Just a superb performance. But despite how awful he treated you, now he went out and got himself a new job in Chicago and can very easily convince you he's "a changed man". And I can't blame you if you believe him. What do you care? You're a shell of yourself at this point anyway.
There he is. THAT's my man! My new Will Fuller. Keep his name out of your dirty draft queue because he's mine! The guy I'm still with but stop bringing up in conversation with my friends and they don't ask about anyway because they know the sad answer. The 2021 playoff game vs the Chiefs still rings true. Had the breakout game with a 98 and 60 yard touchdown not happened last year I'd have dumped him for good. But he has a good story too. That injured ankle was apparently worse than we thought and hampered him all year. What if he's finally healthy now?? What if the hype was just delayed for a year?
Me rationalizing why I haven't left Gabe Davis to my friend who totally believes me
This year will be different. He's a changed man. He's MY changed man. My Can't Quit guy. My new Will Fuller.
Who's your Can't Quit guy?