Three games does not make up one’s season.
Players often need time to adjust to the game after the offseason. The preseason is nothing like a regular season game, it is more for trying different things and aiding young players.
Even veterans need time to readjust to the speed of the game.
Again, three games does not make for an entire season. We’ve seen time and time again players left for dead resurrect themselves mid way through the season.
Still, players already lost for the season excluded, these players are on the wrong side of fantasy greatness.
10. Kevin Kolb, PHI
Before Kolb suffered a concussion at the hands of early defensive player of the year, Clay Matthews, he looked dreadful.
Throughout preseason and the first half of the opening game, Kolb appeared to lack any chemistry and trust with his wide receivers. He looked indecisive behind his suspect offensive line. He wasn’t displaying the accuracy needed for Andy Reid’s offense. Simply put, Kolb looked terrible.
Still, he had the vote of confidence from Andy Reid.
Thus, many analysts believed Kolb could emerge as a fantasy star this season.
I was skeptical and so far, have been proven right.
Regardless of the concussion, Michael Vick outplayed Kolb in the preseason, the first game and in the past two weeks. Vick has managed to outplay most quarterbacks, though.
Andy Reid would be smart to stick with Vick this entire season and let Kolb remain a disappointment this season.
9. Carson Palmer, CIN
When the Cincinnati Bengals signed Terrell Owens, many thought this middle of the pack QB would reemerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Through three games, Palmer has looked awful.
Most of his stats came from Week 1 while playing catch up against the New England Patriots.
Despite feeding the rock to both Owens and Chad Ochocinco, one of the most capable tandems in the league, with the addition of slot receiver Jordan Shipley and tight end Jermaine Gresham, the Bengals passing attack has yet to develop any flow or chemistry.
Palmer has an abysmal 707 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in three games.
The Bengals will look to finally get into rhythm when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns.
8. Knowshon Moreno, DEN
Statistically for fantasy, Moreno hasn’t been that bad.
He missed Week 3 after pulling his hamstring, which kept him out of the entire preseason. He is scheduled to miss Week 4 as well.
Hamstring injuries are difficult to heal. Players must be certain that they are recovered or else they risk further damage. It would be difficult to believe that Moreno would play in Week 5.
Before the injury, Moreno was not himself as he returned from his first hamstring injury.
Two touchdowns in the first two games saved Moreno’s output.
Moreno was supposed to emerge as one of the best pass catching backs in the league, but only tallied five receptions in the first two games.
Although he averaged four yards per carry in Week 1, he dropped to a terrible 2.1 yards per carry against the average Seattle Seahawks defense.
Moreno had 182 total yards in the first two games but lacked the explosiveness that made him a dynamic college player.
Plagued by injuries to open the season, Moreno is the type of player who needs to be 100 percent healthy to fulfill his potential.
With Kyle Orton displaying excellent ability to distribute the ball among one of the weaker receiving groups in the league, Moreno is not missed as much as one would think.
Finally, Josh McDaniels decided to trade for one of his former players in Laurence Maroney.
Maroney is playing for a contract and is familiar with McDaniels’ system and plays the bruising style that would compliment the passing attack later in the season. Maroney could very well cut into Moreno’s workload throughout the season.
7. Dwayne Bowe, KC
Bowe entered the season as one my breakout candidates among wide receivers after he smartly elected to attend Larry Fitzgerald’s training camp.
Bowe received praise for his work ethic in the offseason from Head Coach Todd Haley.
With Bowe’s combination of size, speed and leaping ability, he presents a mismatch for most defensive backs in the league.
Although Bowe has one of the more suspect quarterbacks in the league, Todd Haley has worked well with quarterbacks in the past and they brought in offensive guru Charlie Weiss to call plays.
One would think that they would work to get Bowe the ball.
For the first two games, that was the wrong assumption.
Until Week 3.
Matt Cassell and his coaching staff has worked very well taking what the defense has given them. They have worked to get rookies Tony Moeaki and Dexter McCluster the ball. Finally, Dwayne Bowe was the target of a fantastically executed trick play.
He caught a 45 yard touchdown pass on the play.
However, Bowe has not been targeted often.
He has just seven receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs are 3-0 and will not want to change things as they have been very successful thus far.
Hopefully, though, Week 3 was a sign of good things to come for the disappointing Bowe.
6. Marques Colston, NO
The favorite target of Drew Brees in one of the most prolific offenses in history has yet to have a great game to open the season.
This is one of the main concerns for fantasy owners. Drew Brees has no qualms spreading the ball around, he will gladly take the open receiver instead of force feeding his gifted first option.
Colston has just 14 receptions for 154 yards.
Colston is a reliable target with exceptional size and hands, so he should be able to quickly turn things around.
The Panthers have a good secondary, but Colston should be able to find separation and work the middle of the field.
The best thing going for Colston is that he is in a pass first offense, so his targets should increase shortly.
At least he’s healthy so far…
5. Jason Witten, DAL
With an even better offense around him and the favorite target of QB Tony Romo, many expected Witten to reemerge as a top five fantasy tight end. After all, he collected over 1,030 yards and 94 receptions. He only caught two touchdowns, but with just a few more, he would have been a top five tight end.
Clearly, Witten had the making of a top tight end.
Through three games, he has been anything but.
Witten has just 15 receptions for 134 yards and zero touchdowns.
In Week 2, he suffered a concussion.
In Week 3, he suffered a sprained MCL.
Witten has two weeks to heal but won’t be able to practice to regain chemistry with Tony Romo, who has not looked Witten’s way often as he works to get Dez Bryant and Roy Williams the ball.
Witten’s reception total has increased each week. In Week 1, he caught three passes. In Week 2, five passes. In Week 3, seven passes.
While this is encouraging, it still doesn’t look good for Witten to even match last year’s production, let alone finish a top five tight end.
4. Ryan Mathews, SD
Many penciled in Mathews for rookie of the year honors well before he took his first NFL snap.
I was never a fan of the hype.
The offensive line is average. He isn’t a better pass catcher or runner than Jahvid Best or C.J. Spiller.
Just because the Chargers decided to go ‘all in’ for Mathews on draft day doesn’t mean it was the right decision.
Yes, he was entering one of the better offenses in the league. Except this is an offense without former Marcus McNeil and Vincent Jackson.
Mathews didn’t look good in his debut on Monday Night Football in Week 1. He lost a fumble while running for 78 yards and adding just one reception for two yards.
In Week 2, Mathews suffered a high ankle sprain, but not before coughing up the ball once again.
Ball security will clearly be a cause for concern throughout the season after fumbling in both games to open his career. If he continues that, Norv Turner, Chargers GM A.J. Smith and his fantasy owners across the world will be second guessing their investment all season.
3. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, CAR
Arguably the best backfield in the game, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were expected to carry the Carolina Panthers behind a good offensive line.
Williams looked great in the preseason. He displayed the excellent speed, vision and power that made him the best running back in 2008.
Jonathan Stewart didn’t play in the preseason due to injuries, but he has never missed a game and declared himself ready to start the season.
However, both have found little running room and neither resemble themselves. With Williams playing for a contract, he was expected to open the season with a bang. Instead, he found himself getting tripped up by Kenny Phillips in Week 1 against the New York Giants. It went downhill from there as it would have been an easy touchdown.
Jonathan Stewart scored in Week 3, but hardly played in the first two games.
The Carolina offense is a mess with rookie Jimmy Clausen now starting for the ineffective Matt Moore.
Now, more than ever, defenses will be stacking the box and solely game planning for the running game.
Jonathan Stewart has one touchdown and just 68 yards rushing in three games on just 21 carries. He also has two receptions for 18 yards.
DeAngelo Williams has 43 carries for 180 yards and three receptions for 20 yards.
Combined, the duo has 69 touches for 286 yards and one touchdown in three games.
This is simply abysmal for a team that only boasts its running backs and Steve Smith as offensive threats.
The Panthers’ duo may find it difficult to find running room this season.
Despite them each having the talent to overcome, they are facing an uphill battle to both rush for over 1,000 yards and score double digit touchdowns.
2. Shonn Greene, NYJ
A breakout star in last season’s postseason, Greene appeared to have the starting gig locked in. A strong, powerful back with good speed, Greene was supposed to be the workhorse back for the Jets.
Then they signed LaDainian Tomlinson.
Everyone knew Tomlinson would come in on passing plays. With Tomlinson’s nose for the end zone, we also knew that Greene would cede goal line carries to one of the NFL’s most prolific scorers.
Still, with the Jets’ main objective to run the ball, Greene would be fed the rock enough to tally a high yardage total and enough touchdowns to warrant a second or third round selection.
Greene has not shown any ability to get the job done.
In the first game, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer called an odd game. He sent Greene in on a few passing plays and while he caught a pass, he dropped another.
Greene’s specialty is smash mouth football. However, he has shown an inability to secure the football, fumbling twice in the opener. This lead to more carries for LaDainian Tomlinson.
Tomlinson has looked fantastic while Greene has looked terrible. Not only did Tomlinson play himself into a timeshare, he started Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins.
Greene has just 106 yards on 30 carries and two receptions for 17 yards.
Since Greene has been healthy to start the season, his poor play is extremely worrisome. Tomlinson is now the starter and playing leaps and bounds better than Greene.
Greene has the early makings of arguably the biggest fantasy bust this season.
1. Michael Crabtree, SF
Aside from Frank Gore, the entire San Francisco 49ers team has been arguably the biggest disappointment in the NFL.
At 0-3, Singletary hasn’t coached particularly well. They fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, as his offense was too predictable in the first three games.
Alex Smith, aside from the final drive of the Week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints, has looked, once again, average.
Michael Crabtree appears to be nonexistent in the offense. He is not receiving enough targets to vault into the top 15 or even 10 fantasy wide receivers that many hoped for when they drafted him in the early rounds.
Crabtree is a gifted receiver. He is strong, has excellent hands and creates great separation from opposing defensive backs. He can go deep, work the sidelines and go over the middle of the field.
Yet somehow, he isn’t getting the ball thrown his way. One would think with an entire offseason to work together that Crabtree and Smith would have developed some kind of chemistry. Doesn’t seem like that happened.
When he gets the ball, which has been rare, he does look good though, ala his lone catch against the Saints.
Crabtree has just receptions for yards and has not even come close to scoring a touchdown.
Crabtree has the skills to turn this around in a hurry and it could start in a good match up against the Atlanta Falcons Week 4.
However, until Alex Smith and his new offensive coordinator show the willingness to get him the ball, Crabtree is facing an uphill battle to become one of the league’s best.
About the Author
Written by Brandon Galvin