In this week’s edition of The Awful Fantasy Team That Beat Your Team, you will witness (statistically) the worst team ever comprised on this segment. Cumulatively, fewer fantasy football participants owned these players than any other previous week. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the worst of the worst. This is the awfulest fantasy team that beat your team. When added together, this culmination of fantasy players were owned in 24.8% of leagues. That’s with every single player’s availability put together. To put that into perspective, more fantasy football participants own: The Colts defense (63 total points this season), Ronnie Hillman (29 total points this season, currently on team’s practice squad), Ryan Broyles (6 total points this season and on IR), Isaac Redman (0 total points this season), Vick Ballard (6 total points this season and on IR), and Kenny Britt (3 total points this season, 0 since week 3).
Here is the awful fantasy team that beat your team in week 12:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans: 22 points, available in 97.6% of leagues
RB Benny Cunningham, St. Louis Rams: 16 points, available in 99.3% of leagues
RB Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots: 12 points, available in 97.3% of leagues
FLEX WR Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens: 16 points, available in 93.8% of leagues
WR Tiquan Underwood, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 22 points, available in 99.9% of leagues
WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans: 16 points, available in 99.4% of leagues
TE Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers: 14 points, available in 99.7% of leagues
D/ST Tamp Bay Buccaneers: 19 points, available in 92% of leagues
K Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals: 18 points, available in 96.2% of leagues
Total points: 155
Ryan Fitzpatrick has done an excellent job filling in for the injured Jake Locker, averaging just under 20 fantasy points in the last three games. The former Bill bust has not thrown a pick in the last three games either, greatly helping his cause of a potential fantasy starter. Coming up his next three games are Indianapolis, Denver, and Arizona, none of whom rank higher than 14th against fantasy quarterbacks. If you were one of the unlucky few who suffered from Rodgers’ injury and are desperate for a quarterback, you could do a lot worse than Fitzpatrick.
Benny Cunningham benefited greatly from Zac Stacy’s injury on Sunday and may benefit more next week if Stacy fails his concussion tests. Cunningham was an undrafted rookie this year out of Middle Tennessee State and has received a handful of carries all season, but never more than seven prior to week 12, when he ran the ball 13 times for over 100 yards and a score. Cunningham had the pleasure of facing a dreadful Bears rushing defense that allowed 213 yards before contact against the Rams, the most of any team in a single game this year. Unfortunately for the undrafted rook, he’s going up against a much better 49ers run defense, and that’s only if Stacy fails his concussion tests. Leave him on the waiver wire.
If you’re a running back for the New England Patriots, what happens when you fumble? You’re done. Ridley fumbled his fourth carry of the game and was done for the night. LeGarrette Blount fumbled his second carry of the game and was done for the night. Since Vereen doesn’t typically get the ball handed to him, the carries went to second year man out of Mississippi, Brandon Bolden. Bolden, like Cunningham, has received a handful of carries here and there throughout the season, but his fantasy value was dependent upon whether or not he scored a touchdown as his rushing total never exceeded 51 prior to week 12. Thanks to the Hoodie’s stringent “fumble and you’re benched” rule, Bolden got 13 carries and turned them into 58 yards (season high) and a touchdown. Ridley has lost a fumble in each of his last three games, so my guess is the Pats will go running back by committee with Bolden leading the pack. Pick him up.
After missing weeks 2-5, Jacoby Jones came back strong with a 10-point performance against the Packers in week six. Since then, he has failed to score more than three points. Jones’ value is completely and utterly based on a big play touchdown. Last week, he caught a 66-yard touchdown pass. Back in week six, he caught a 31-yard touchdown pass. Those two plays put together netted him 21 total points. Take away those two plays, and Kevin Hart’s doppleganger has scored 14 points all season. The Ravens offense is ranked 24th against fantasy defenses, so don’t expect their number three receiver to have much value at all moving forward.
Take away the high top, Kid ‘N Play haircut, and nobody would know who in the hell Tiquan Underwood is. Allow me to enlighten you: He is the 69th ranked fantasy wide receiver and has not caught more than three passes in a game all year. He is predominately used as a kick returner, but occasionally will be put in as a receiver just to take up space. In 2012, he caught two touchdown passes. Last Sunday, he matched that feat. Honestly, if you pick him up you should quit fantasy football.
Justin Hunter is a rookie out of Tennessee who was taken with the second pick in the second round. He had caught seven passes all season prior to week 12 for a total of 122 yards. On Sunday, he caught six passes for 109 yards and added a touchdown. Hunter is a great talent looking to the future, but in the Titans’ run-first offense, Hunter simply won’t get a lot of looks, especially as the number three option. He’ll be good for your fantasy team in years to come, just not right now.
If I told you a San Diego tight end would score 14 fantasy points, of course your mind would go right to Antonio Gates. If I told you it was Ladarius Green, you’d laugh in my face and insult my mother. Although your behavior would be justified, it would also be frowned upon, especially because Green did indeed go off in week 12. . .and because my mother is a wonderful lady. Green is taller than Green by two inches and much faster, as indicated by his 60-yard catch and run for a touchdown. Gates is fighting a hamstring injury so Green has a lot of upside. Unless you have Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, or Vernon Davis, pick up Green.
Two straight games with a defensive touchdown from the overlooked Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense should not come as a huge surprise. Although the team itself is struggling mightily, they do boast the ninth-ranked fantasy defense. With games against Carolina, Buffalo and St. Louis coming up, they have a chance to be a very relevant fantasy defense option. If you’re one of the delusional many who still own the Packers, Bears or Steelers defense, drop them and pick up the Bucs.
Jay Feely is the seventh-ranked fantasy kicker and has only missed two field goals all year. I have no idea why he is not owned in more leagues. Kickers matter more than they get credit for, and if you still have Sebastian Janikowski (29th), Randy Bullock (26th), Matt Bryant (24th) David Akers (25th) or Josh Brown (27th), drop them immediately and pick up Feely.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am in a giving mood. As a bonus, here’s the awesome fantasy team that let you down. I’ve provided the amount of point they scored in week 12, their position rank, and in what percent of leagues they are owned. Let us give thanks that these fantasy studs haven’t performed so poorly all year:
QB Peyton Manning (1st): 12 points, owned in 100% of leagues
RB Frank Gore (9th): 3 points, owned in 100% of leagues
RB Matt Forte (5th): 9 points, owned in 100% of leagues
FLEX Jordy Nelson (7th): 5 points, owned in 100% of leagues
WR Andre Johnson (10th): 3 points, owned in 100% of leagues
WR Wes Welker (11th): 3 points, owned in 100% of leagues
TE Jordan Camron (4th): 3 points, owned in 97.4% of leagues
D/ST Kansas City Chiefs (1st): -7 points, owned in 98.3% of leagues
K Matt Prater (3rd): 7 points, owned in 100% of leagues
Total points: 38
Pickup of the week: Nate Burleson