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Season Ruiners: The 2013 All-Turkey Team

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Trent Richardson's road to nowhere (USAT)

Turkey is a nebulous word, dependent on context. A baked and stuffed bird will be the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving meals come Thursday, but in a different environment, turkey is a flat-out insult.

Stick with that latter definition for the balance of this post. We assembled Yahoo's five fantasy scribes for a collaborative piece, asking for the dead-end picks and disappointing players that spoiled Fake Football 2013. Here are their choices, broken into five categories (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, wild card). You're welcome to dish up your own burnt birds in the comments.

Quarterback

Joe Flacco – As much as we'd all like to deny it now, several of us were semi-optimistic about Flacco's 2013 potential, way back in July. This guy was terrific last season after Cam Cameron was out of the picture. This year, he's back to the old Joe, but with 30 percent more picks. - Andy Behrens

Eli Manning – Not only has Eli been a huge fantasy disappointment, but he also kind of looks like a turkey. Despite playing the third-easiest schedule for a fantasy QB to this point, he ranks just 20th at the QB position in fantasy points scored. And striking out with softballs is pretty embarrassing. - Brandon Funston

Matt Ryan – Admittedly, circumstances out of Ryan's control have crushed his value. Losing Julio Jones and essentially Roddy White for a large portion of the regular season would derail almost anyone. Credit to Ryan, he’s completed 67-percent of his attempts and is on pass for 4,500-plus yards, but with only one multi-TD game to his name since Week 8, he’s swooning at the worst time. - Brad Evans

Colin Kaepernick – He had a nice game Monday night, but it marked just the third time he’s thrown for 200 yards in a game this season. Kaepernick’s 56.7 completion percentage ranks 31st among the 34 QBs who qualify. Ryan Tannehill has scored more fantasy points this season. - Dalton Del Don

Eli Manning – For the first six weeks, it was an interception show: Kid Brother threw a whopping 15 picks over six straight losses. The giveaways have been significantly reduced since then, but at the cost of big plays. It's not your fault, Victor Cruz . . . it's not your fault. - Scott Pianowski

Running Back

Watch: Le'Veon Bell a poor fantasy play in Week 13]

Trent Richardson – This will probably be a unanimous choice, and it should be. I'm beyond thankful that I don't own him anywhere. Never have, and I doubt I ever will. I don't hate the player, just his game. - Funston

C.J. Spiller – He had a preseason ADP of 6.0 in Yahoo! leagues, and frankly, I was willing to go even higher than that. Spiller has one touchdown, his YPC has dropped 1.9 YPC compared to last season, and he’s yet to reach 100 receiving yards on the year. He’s been badly outplayed by a 32-year-old Fred Jackson coming off knee surgery. - Del Don

Trent Richardson – This position's turkey should really be unanimous. Is there an argument to be made for anyone else? At least Ray Rice and CJ Spiller can cite injuries. What's the excuse for Richardson this year? We're now 394 carries into his NFL career, and he still has just two runs of 20 yards or more. - Behrens

Doug Martin – It's been a train-wreck season for a lot of first-rounders, but I throw my first arrow at the man who went second or third in most drafts. Martin averaged a sluggish 3.6 yards per carry during his mediocre six games, then slipped into IR oblivion. You can't blame his supporting cast too much - Mike James (4.9 YPC) and Bobby Rainey (4.3 YPC) have played well in relief. (Trent Richardson, you ask? I've already taken 200 swings at him on the Twitter.) - Pianow

Lamar Miller – Trent Richardson deserves to be stuffed with Stove Top, but so does Miller. Full disclosure, I shelled out an asinine $45 for his services in a keeper league auction back in August. Sadly, he’s barely sniffed the RB top-24, largely due to Miami’s dumbfounding love affair for Daniel Thomas. With the plodding waste of space now cooked for the season, the sophomore back might finish strong. However, Miami's offensive line remains in disrepair, which doesn't bode well for a sudden resurgence. Now you understand my utter disdain for Joe Philbin. - Evans

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Mediocre in the Meadowlands (USAT)

Wide Receiver

Hakeem Nicks – Oh, where to begin? Absent separation, buttery hands, mediocre yardage yields and a big, fat bagel in the TD category. How old is this guy, like 75? 25, you say?! REALLY?! Jerry Rice or, hell, even Wayne Chrebet, could walk on the field tomorrow and out-produce him. - Evans

Anquan Boldin – This guy's huge opening week was more curse than blessing, because you just keep plugging him back into your lineup, hoping for a repeat. Boldin had 208 receiving yards in Week 1, then 213 total in Weeks 2-6. And still, I can't quit him. The Niners just aren't throwing enough to produce an every-week receiver. (Boldin finally made himself useful on Monday night, so that's something. He'll now disappear until Week 17, I'm fairly sure.) - Behrens

Danny Amendola – Amendola missing some time injured has been no surprise, but him being woefully unproductive (32-358-1 over seven games) while on the field has been, especially since New England has played much of the year with depleted weapons in the passing attack. I took Amendola ahead of Wes Welker in fantasy drafts. - Del Don

Roddy White – He's tried to play through a high-ankle sprain all season (among other injuries), and yet overly-optimistic fantasy owners found it hard to walk away. White's three DNPs in the middle of the year were welcome - at least you had a chance to play someone healthy and perhaps productive. White hasn't topped 45 yards in any start this year, and he's scored one piddly touchdown. (The Marques Colston story in New Orleans is similar, and nearly as sad. Name brands die hard.) - Pianow

Hakeem Nicks – Eli's partner in shame this fantasy season, Nicks' misery actually stretches back to '12. It was Week 14 of last year that Nicks last found the end zone, a streak of 12 consecutive scoreless games. And in eight of those games, he's delivered 51 receiving yards or less. It wasn't that long ago that this guy was a consensus top 5 ranked fantasy wideout. Heck, he was consensus top 20 this past summer. - Funston

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph – Drafted universally as a top-10 fantasy TE before the season, there are currently 20 tight ends who’ve scored more points than Rudolph, who wasn’t much help even before going down with a foot injury two games ago. Jermichael Finley was again a disappointment, but it feels weird complaining about him since he suffered such a serious injury. - Del Don

Jared Cook – I don't like to be teased, and Cook is a major fantasy tease. He's got that combine-wowing physique/athleticism that is all the rage at the TE position these days. And he certainly looked the part in Week 1 with 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. But then, from Week 2 through Week 11, he ranked outside the top 25 in fantasy points scored at the position. Yes, the 4/80/1 line was a step back in the right direction in Week 12, but I'm way past playing this game with him at this point. - Funston

Jared Cook – The year started off so promising. He stormed out of the gates posting a 7-141-2 line Week 1 against ‘Zona. However, between Weeks 2 and 12, his output: 26-287-1. Please, enough with the “This is Cook’s breakout season” predictions. He’s simply an average producer in an age where athletic tight ends are a dime a dozen. - Evans

Brandon Myers - The new kid in Jersey started strong, with 140 yards and a touchdown through two games. As a result, many of his owners (and Myers was 94-percent drafted in Yahoo) missed out on the Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron waiver-wire party. Thirty-five tight ends have outscored the invisible Myers over the past 10 weeks. - Pianow

Anyone facing Philly's defense – You know, there was a time when the Eagles were actually considered a plus-matchup for tight ends. But through 11 games so far this year, they've allowed just 39 receptions and one touchdown to the position, giving up only 4.7 fantasy points per game. Before you say it's a quality-of-opponent issue, note that Philly has already faced Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas, Jason Witten and Jordan Reed (twice). - Behrens

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Communication Breakdown (Page/Jones/Bonham)

Wild Card

Brian Schottenheimer - Zac Stacy opened the year buried on the depth chart, while hot-shot rookie Tavon Austin was worthless for a couple of months. And then there's Jared Cook - a monster for one week, then back on the milk carton. Why does this overmatched offensive coordinator keep getting work? - Pianow

Ray Rice – He has one run that’s gone for 15 yards this season, and his 1.4 YPC after contact is the lowest mark in the NFL among 51 running backs who qualify. It would have been much better for Rice’s owners if the RB suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. - Del Don

Big Plays Called Back By Phantom Penalties – Nothing is a bigger buzz kill on Sunday (and Monday/Thursday) than a big play by the offense getting called back because a referee thought he saw something that he didn't. It's time to start letting coaches challenge penalty flags. A mistake is a mistake, whether it's a missed call on a fumble or an erroneous helmet to helmet penalty flag. In a game where big plays are rare, and have such a major impact on the outcome of the game, legitimate ones should be protected from human error. - Funston

Matt Ryan – Is it Ryan's fault that Julio, Roddy, S-Jax and Gonzo have all been injured? No, it isn't. And for a little while there, he was still posting respectable fantasy lines, despite his broken supporting cast. But the wheels came off in the Arizona loss (4 INTs), and they won't go back on. He's tough to drop, but too flawed to start — the worst kind of fantasy commodity, basically. - Behrens

NFL Rules Committee – The over-wussification of the NFL has guys like Dick Butkus snarling in disgust, deservedly so. I realize the league is trying to protect its backside but the absurd number of illegal hits flagged and subsequent fines doled out has become epidemic. Shoulder-to-shoulder hits are often misjudged, defined as intentional ‘head shots.’ At this rate, flag football will be the new American pastime 20 years for now. It’s a violent sport. We get it. Don’t water it down. - Evans<

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