This year the effects of age or lack of ‘roids hit the following players hard. They went below and beyond even the most pessimistic of projections.
LaDainian Tomlinson: Must I explain? Old Man Tomlinson entered the season as the first pick of the whole shebang in almost all reasonable leagues. He never got off to a good start and his toe injury certainly did not help. Age has finally caught up to this speedster, and I highly doubt he will ever get back to his glory days of yesteryear.
Rudi Johnson: I am most certainly shocked by this. Last year, he was a workhorse and it all went downhill after Cincinnati decided he was expendable due to his injury-prone nature. He missed five games during the 2007 season, finishing with 497 yards and three touchdowns. Obviously not great, but he happened to have an off-year, which happens from time to time. After he was picked up by the Detroit Lions, Johnson never did anything fantasy or reality relevant thanks to Kevin Smith. In fact, he will probably never be fantasy relevant again.
Torry Holt: Who is he again? Despite an awful year, it wasn’t all his fault. St. Louis’ offensive line was miserable and that offense just never awoke from its deep slumber. His age is starting to catch up to him, but then again, look at Randy Moss. All Torry needs is a change of scenery and a whole lot of money in order to become a fantasy staple once again.
Devin Hester: Sure he showed up at the end of the year, but as Chicago’s premiere receiver, he really didn’t do anything of relevance for the majority of the year. He’s done nothing in punt and kick returns and as a receiver he never got too many looks in the first place. It was just an overall bad year for Hester. It must be very embarrassing after his cute little holdout during training camp. He definitely isn’t an “old-timer”, but he sure played like one this season. He might do better next year, especially if he doesn’t holdout during training camp.
Reggie Bush: He was a semi-disappointment while he was healthy this season. He started off the year on fire, but it all ended after that knee injury. He hasn’t been playing well since coming back and he even re-injured his knee late in the season. Poor guy, he might come back next year, we’ll see I suppose.
Brett Favre: Sagacious Favre should have retired. He should have bowed out and remained a hero in the eyes of all cheese heads around the Wisconsin area. Now he will leave behind an almost perfect legacy rather than a perfect legacy. He started the year out nicely, but the Jets just ruined it for him. I doubt he’ll retire based on the type of football the Jets played in the second half of this season. Look for him to come back older than ever.
Laurence Maroney: What a joke! He was ranked pretty high by most fantasy experts in the beginning of the season, but he disappeared after his shoulder injury. All is well in New England though, as they have a plethora of decent backs. New England doesn’t even need him anymore with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Sammy Morris, LaMont Jordan and Kevin Faulk.
Jamal Lewis: Another bad case of the LTitus. This was caused by a lack of any supporting offense, as Cleveland disappeared this year. He is 29, same age as LT, so I don’t know if there are going to be too many good fantasy seasons left in him. He showed flashes of greatness this year, but unless Cleveland fixes whatever is going wrong, he will have to retire on a very low note.
This year has been worse than in recent years, as it specifically affected my team with Reggie Bush. We spend high draft picks on these players and what do they give us in return? The least they can do is play through the broken shoulder or the torn ACL. Be a man and get me some points! Alas, even professional football players are only human. They age and shoot themselves just like us normal folk. Eventually they will have a year in which they might not perform as well as expected, but hey there’s always next year.
Jeff Smar spends too much time on fantasy football. You can catch up with Jeff in the Cafe's forums where he answers sit/start questions under the name of americanese.
Questions or comments for Jeff? Post them in the Cafe Forums!
Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!