Welcome everyone to “The Stewie Awards.” Here at DLF, we want to look back and reflect on the season that was and recognize not the players who brought us home the fantasy gold, but the players who caused our seasons to end early, players who caused us to drink a little more than normal, to shed a couple of tears, and caused our significant others to question our sanity after screaming hate filled vulgarity at our TVs. “The Stewies” recognize the biggest disappointments in fantasy football, named after perennial DLF disappointment, Jonathan Stewart. These players will most certainly find their way onto many “Burn Lists”.
So let’s get right to it. We rented a venue for the awards show, but just like the regular season, the players didn’t show up.
Our first category is “Biggest Disappointment by a Quarterback”.
The nominees are:
Philip Rivers: 3,607 yards, 26 TD, 15 INT
Michael Vick: 2,362 yards, 12 TD, 10 INT & 345 rushing yards, one rushing TD, missed six games
Eli Manning: 3,948 yards, 26 TD, 15 INT
Joe Flacco: 3,817 yards, 22 TD, 10 INT, three rushing TD
Jay Cutler: 3,033 yards, 19 TD, 14 INT, missed one game
Here to present the award is last year’s winner, Sam Bradford. “On behalf of all underachievers, both current and former, I would like to present this award to the 2012 winner for ‘Biggest Disappointment by a Quarterback’… Jay Cutler!”
Hopes were high for Cutler this season after the Bears went out and reunited him with former Broncos teammate Brandon Marshall. Unfortunately, Marshall was not the savior for Jay, even though Marshall himself had a career year. Cutler failed to break the 275 yard mark in 13 of 15 games and only produced multiple touchdowns in five games. For a quarterback drafted as a low end QB1 or high end QB2, that is terrible. Hopefully if you drafted him you did so to pair with one of the spectacular rookie quarterbacks. Enjoy your award Jay.
Our next category is “Biggest Disappointment by a Running Back”.
The Nominees are:
Ryan Mathews: 12 games, 267 carries, 707 rush yards, one TD, 39 catches, 252 rec. yards, no TDs
Darren McFadden: 12 games, 216 carries, 707 rush yards, two TDs, 42 catches. 258 rec. yards, one TD
LeSean McCoy: 12 games, 200 carries, 840 rush yards, two TDs, 54 catches, 373 rec. yards, three TDs
Maurice Jones-Drew: Six games, 86 carries, 414 rush yards, one TD, 14 catches, 86 rec. yards, TD
DeMarco Murray: 10 games, 161 carries, 663 yards, four TDs, 35 catches, 251 rec. yards, TD
Trent Richardson: 15 games, 267 carries, 950 rush yards, 11 TDs, 51 catches, 367 rec. yards, TD
Presenting this year’s award, the man himself, Jonathan Stewart! “I don’t think this is funny. Not one bit. The winner for ‘Biggest Disappointment by a Running Back’ is… Ryan Mathews.”
Was there really anyone else that could possibly win this? When Mike Tolbert left for Carolina during free agency, dynasty leaguers rejoiced. A lot of seasonal guys jumped on board too, pegging him as high as the number four running back to draft behind Arian Foster, Ray Rice, and LeSean McCoy. Then he had about as bad as a pre-season as a running back could have by breaking his collarbone on his first carry. He was then labeled as the value of the draft. A guy who could put up RB1 numbers available at the end of round three? Sign me up, right?
When Mathews returned from injury, he returned to a team in disarray. Coach Turner lost his dang mind and put Mathews into a committee attack with an ancient duo of Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown. The thing that drove me up the wall the most was pulling Mathews off the field on third downs. Mathews works great in open space and is so much faster than Brown. In my opinion, that was the biggest screw up with how his workload was handled. But next year is going to be different…right?
Moving along, our next category is “Biggest Disappointment by a Wide Receiver”.
The nominees are:
Larry Fitzgerald: 16 games, 71 catches, 798 yards, four TDs
Greg Jennings: seven games, 36 catches, 366 yards, four TDs
Titus Young: 10 games, 33 catches, 383 yards, four TDs, suspended for final six games
Brandon Lloyd: 16 games, 74 catches, 911 yards, four TDs
Torrey Smith: 16 games, 49 catches, 855 yards, eight TDs
Presenting the award, please welcome former winner, Sidney Rice. “Thank you. I’m just glad to be here and not be nominated. Luckily, nobody expects anything out of me anymore. The winner for ‘Biggest Disappointment by a Wide Receiver’ is… Larry Fitzgerald.”
This one hurt. Through no fault of his own, Fitzgerald was by far the biggest disappointment of the group. Since he played healthy in all 16 games, you had to start him as your WR3 at worst, just in case he put up Larry-like numbers. Unfortunately, the quarterback carousel from hell couldn’t find Fitzgerald if their lives depended on it. Even with bad quarterback play, Fitzgerald always found a way to put up good numbers, and with the supposed emergence of Andre Roberts and Rob Housler (who unfortunately did not get enough playing time), and the Cardinals drafting Michael Floyd, things were supposed to be easier for the ultra talented wide receiver. Fitzgerald was being drafted as high as the WR3 this year and sadly finished as a WR3 on your team. With the firings in Arizona already under way, hopefully the Cardinals can find an arm to get Fitz and company the ball. The cupboard is NOT bare in the desert.
Our next award is for the “Biggest Disappointment by a Tight End”, the nominees are:
Jermichael Finley: 16 games, 61 catches, 667 yards, two TDs
Vernon Davis: 16 games, 41 catches, 548 yards, five TDs
Antonio Gates: 15 games, 49 catches, 538 yards, seven TDs
Brandon Pettigrew: 14 games, 59 catches, 565 yards, three TDs
Coby Fleener: 12 games, 26 catches, 281 yards, two TDs
To present this award, please welcome the only repeat winner of this award, going for his third consecutive “Biggest Disappointment by a Tight End” award, Jermichael Finley. “It’s an honor to be here going for number three, I share this honor with four other guys I really respect. Good luck gentlemen. The winner of ‘The Finley’… I mean, ‘The Stewie’ is… the streak is dead…Vernon Davis!” (Vernon cries all the way to the stage, screams incoherently into the mic and walks off into Coach Harbaugh’s waiting arms)
After last year’s second half and dominant playoff run, it was expected that Davis would make a run at Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski as the most dominant tight end in fantasy. It appeared the 49ers passing game was built around Davis, it was not. Davis started out the season scoring four of his five touchdowns in the first three games but would only score one more time all year, in week 11 against the Bears. He only caught more than four balls four times all year and only broke the 50 yards receiving mark four times also. The switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick didn’t help, either. Outside of Kaepernick’s first start (week 11 versus the Bears), Davis only caught more than one pass once. For a tight end being drafted as high as he was, it is without a doubt the biggest disappointment at his position.
Awards that were given out earlier tonight but not appearing on camera were:
“Biggest Disappointment by a Defensive Lineman”- Jason Babin, DE PHI/JAX
After 12.5 sacks with the Titans in 2010, Babin followed that up with an 18 sack campaign with the Eagles in 2011. Babin was drafted as a low end DE1 and rock solid DE2 this year, but like all things Eagles, the wheels fell off the bus and Babin’s season quickly turned into a dumpster fire. In fact, it got so bad that he was waived and finished his season in Jacksonville as a Jaguar with six and a half sacks.
“Biggest Disappointment by a Linebacker” D’Qwell Jackson, MLB CLE
After finally putting together a fully healthy season in 2011 which saw Jackson tally 115 solo tackles, 41 assists, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, an interception, and three and a half sacks, DQ was entering 2012 as a top five fantasy linebacker in all formats. Unfortunately, Jackson only reached the six solo tackle mark twice all year and finished with nearly as many assisted tackles (54) as solo tackles (63). He was able to keep his “big play” numbers pretty close to the year prior with two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, two interceptions, and three and a half sacks. These were most definitely not the kind of number we expected out of D’Qwell Jackson this year. With a new coaching staff heading to Cleveland, it will be interesting to see what happens.
That concludes our ceremony. Hopefully you were not stuck with too many of these guys on your fantasy teams this year. If you were, there is always next year. Feel free to share your biggest disappointments in the comment section below. Misery loves company and we all feel better sharing our pain with the fantasy brother and sisterhood.
We hope you enjoyed the Stewies and we look forward to next year’s presentation!
Eric is on Twitter @OlingerIDP.