Final season’s most disappointing gamers — what went mistaken?

It occurs each fantasy soccer season: Gamers we’re excessive on find yourself disappointing us. Take into account, nonetheless, that the phrase itself — “disappointing — is relative in terms of fantasy. Each member of the neighborhood may have a unique definition of what it means to be a disappointing participant.

Is it that the participant completed at a place effectively behind their common draft place?

Is it that the participant handled an injury-riddled season?

Is it that the participant suffered main regression compared to their earlier season?

I say it is a mixture of all three, and possibly extra. So, with that in thoughts, let’s examine what occurred with 4 of probably the most disappointing gamers of 2022:

Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

2022 ADP: Choose 74.5 — 2022 fantasy end: QB16

All of us keep in mind the hype practice that took off the second the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Broncos. The promise of Russ being allowed to “cook dinner” — with substances like a younger, proficient group of weapons, a high protection and a head coach who had already achieved success with one other veteran, Tremendous-Bowl-winning quarterback — led fantasy managers to aggressively choose Wilson because the ninth QB off draft boards, forward of Trey Lance, Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford (coincidentally, all these signal-callers have been ALSO 2022 disappointments in some kind or style).

Perhaps the hype led us to overlook that Wilson hadn’t completed as a top-five quarterback since 2019. Perhaps the hype overshadowed indicators of an incoming decline (after throwing 40 touchdowns — the best mark of his profession — in 2020, regression slammed into Wilson in 2021 as he threw solely 25 scores) at age 34.

Regardless of the case, fantasy managers who invested in Russ — and the Broncos offense as an entire — have been devastated seemingly week in and week out in 2022. What was as soon as envisioned as a match made in Tremendous Bowl heaven became a catastrophe.

However perhaps there have been indicators of hope late within the season. Russ compiled a triple-digit QBR 3 times from Week 14 on, together with eight passing scores. Not ground-breaking by any means, however nonetheless, indicators of life from the embattled veteran. And the dream of a wholesome Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton (extra on him later) for a full season nonetheless stays.

Whoever takes over as Denver’s head coach after the Nathaniel Hackett nightmare will possible be key in deciding the place fantasy drafters choose Wilson subsequent season.

Dishonorable Point out: Aaron Rodgers

Working Again: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

2022 ADP: Choose No. 1.2 — 2022 fantasy end: RB34

Let’s get the plain out of the best way: After not lacking a single sport in his whole soccer life, Taylor’s 2022 season was completely derailed by accidents. He ended up enjoying in simply 11 video games.

Now, to name a participant disappointing solely as a result of they received harm is unfair in my guide. However we won’t ignore it utterly, or give a participant a cross due to it. In spite of everything, the very best skill is availability.

Accidents robbed Jonathan Taylor of one other profitable fantasy season. (Photograph by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

Even when Taylor was obtainable, nonetheless, he wasn’t residing as much as his No. 1 choose pedigree. He rushed for over 100 yards simply twice in his 11 video games (he began the season off with a monstrous 31-carry, 161-yard, 1-touchdown efficiency; poor fantasy managers in all probability thought that was an indication of issues to return). Wanting underneath the hood, Taylor barely made the top-20 operating backs in a number of superior speeding metrics — however he was high 15 in speeding yards after contact per rush and damaged tackles, a expertise he is changing into recognized for.

The Indianapolis offensive line did not stay as much as its earlier lofty esteem; the entire offense as an entire was a catastrophe, for that matter, which in the end wasn’t going to assist Taylor’s backside line anyway.

2022 will possible go down as a “Properly, it may’t get any worse”-type of 12 months for Taylor. He is nonetheless solely 24 years outdated. I am going to take the 2023 draft low cost on him, with the Colts possible trying to lean on him much more as they transition to a brand new offensive period at quarterback.

Dishonorable Mentions: AJ Dillon, Cam Akers

Broad Receivers: Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers; Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

Johnson 2022 ADP: Choose No. 52.4 — 2022 fantasy end: WR39

Sutton 2022 ADP: Choose No. 44.9 — 2022 fantasy end: WR43

“What within the hell?!” is probably going the phrase which involves thoughts when Diontae Johnson’s total and superior numbers from the 2022 season — particularly once you examine them to his earlier seasons.

2022 marked Johnson’s third straight 12 months receiving over 140 targets. Fantasy managers know targets are gold in terms of large receivers, and Johnson’s 147 targets have been good for eighth-most within the NFL. His 169 targets in 2021 have been third, and his 144 in 2020 have been eighth once more. He scored 7 instances in 2020, 8 in 2021 … AND ZERO IN 2022.

One thing ain’t including up right here.

Out of the 147 targets Johnson obtained in 2022, 16 of them have been within the purple zone, tied for twelfth within the league. He caught six of them. Now, whereas this does not sound too horrible, a tragic side of his red-zone work is the truth that solely 17.2% of the Steelers’ complete cross makes an attempt inside their opponent’s 10-yard line led to a Johnson goal. That is not good in any respect. To place issues in perspective, late-season fantasy wunderkind, Jerick McKinnon, tied Johnson’s 10-yard-line goal share — and McKinnon scored 7 instances in that neighborhood.

Johnson’s goal share within the opponent’s red-zone territory in 2021 was 22.7 (at or across the 10-yard line) and 22.4 (at or across the 20).

The Steelers appeared extra to tight finish Pat Freiermuth (20.7%) at or across the opponent’s 10-yard line than they did Johnson in 2022, however that also does not utterly account for Johnson ending up with a zero-burger for the season. Pittsburgh had its quarterback points final season, which may additionally assist clarify Johnson’s down season because it’s clearly not a query of Johnson’s particular person expertise.

The hope now’s that Kenny Pickett — the presumed starter for 2023 who flashed late in 2022 — will construct extra of a rapport with Johnson; a strong serving to of constructive landing regression will not harm both.

What may be a query of expertise is the case of Courtland Sutton. Like Russell Wilson, Sutton was a big a part of the Denver hype practice; he was speculated to be Russ’s DK Metcalf in Mile Excessive. Like Taylor, a lot of Sutton’s season was marred by harm.

Nonetheless, Sutton had only one 100-yard sport in 2022 (Week 2) and he by no means appeared to be a precedence goal for Wilson, as many anticipated. He was used principally as a deep risk, touring 10.6 yards earlier than the catch per reception. He was additionally high 10 in drops and high 20 in drop share.

You do not even need to have a look at his YAC numbers from 2022.

Maybe we received forward of ourselves in pondering Sutton might be a 1-for-1 swap with Metcalf. Simply because they’re two huge receivers who performed with Russ does not imply the expertise degree is similar. I for one can be rating Jerry Jeudy — who appeared extra like one other Tyler Lockett (when Jeudy was wholesome, after all, one thing that is changing into a problem in his younger profession) for Wilson — forward of Sutton in 2023.

Dishonorable Mentions: Gabe Davis, Adam Thielen

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