Roundtable: Disappointments

The Rotoworld staff discusses 2014's biggest disappointments, including Tennessee's Justin Hunter

Patrick Daugherty: With at least half the season now in the books for every team, who do you consider the biggest disappointment of 2014?

The first two guys who pop in my mind are Michael Floyd and Keenan Allen. I tried to build receiver corps around Floyd. Allen, I wasn't nearly as aggressive, but thought he fell as a nice, cheap WR1. I know he's shown signs of life in recent weeks, but the fact that he's lost so many targets to Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal is disturbing to me. It still seems like it could be a fluke, but 10 weeks in, is that something we can really hang our hats on?

I think Floyd will rebound, but it's not like it's guaranteed. I wish the Cardinals would start targeting him more at the short-to-intermediate levels. Floyd didn't help himself by fumbling on an intermediate route in Week 9.

Nick Mensio: Montee Ball. Torrey Smith. And Michael Crabtree. Those are the three guys for me. Granted, Ball got hurt. But he wasn't producing anything in the three games before he went down. He chunked up to 224, up from his pre-draft listing of 214, and couldn't move laterally. Ball has always been a north-south guy, but he was legit slow Weeks 1-4. He was going in the first round of fantasy drafts, and it's safe to say he's been a colossal bust. Back down to 212 and ready to return from his groin injury possibly as soon as this Sunday, Ball will have a chance to contribute, but he's admitted himself that he's behind Ronnie Hillman, deservedly so. Don't expect Ball to be much more than a short-yardage/change-of-pace down the stretch.

Onto Torrey. Nobody — literally nobody — expected Steve Smith Sr. to play as well as he did in September. He's cooled off considerably, while Torrey has scored four times in the past four weeks. He's coming around, and was never really playing that poorly. He was drawing penalties, but wasn't producing big stat lines. But as a guy who was getting hyped as a top-12 receiver, he's been disappointing. I think he's the most likely of the three I've mentioned to turn it around. ... Crabtree is dropping too many passes and not seeing enough targets. The whole 49ers passing game has disappointed. And we can throw Vernon Davis' name into the ring. Crabtree needs to get out of San Francisco as a free agent in the offseason.

Daugherty: Crabtree has been stunningly ineffective. CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco dropped this nugget earlier this week — Stevie Johnson has 356 receiving yards on 178 snaps. Crabtree? 362 yards on 412. I have no idea if it's Crabtree's health — he swears it isn't — but whatever it is, I haven't seen anything to lead me to believe he'll get hot down the stretch. This was a guy I was all in on this summer, so it's been brutal for me, both as an analyst and someone who owns Crabtree in a number of leagues.

Mike Clay: Keenan Allen certainly has disappointed in the fantasy points department, but it's not a volume issue. He's handling 26 percent of San Diego's targets, which is up from 22 percent last season. The issue has been a drop in targets near the goal line, which has led to a dramatic decline in touchdowns. I expect him to rebound.

I wasn't as bullish on Floyd entering the season, but I think he'll be better in the second half only because he should score a few long touchdowns. Only Malcom Floyd has exceeded his 18.8 average depth of target (min. 30 targets). He's losing looks to John Carlson and John Brown, and it doesn't appear that will change dramatically in the second half. With Seattle (twice), Detroit, and Kansas City still on the docket, consistency will be hard to find. But, again, I think he'll slip a few long scores in there, which is more than we can say about his first half.

I'm terribly disappointed with Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter. Both obviously have a ton of ability, but the offensive efforts in both Minnesota and Tennessee have been disgusting. Patterson scored nine times as a rookie, but is on pace for four in Year 2. Hunter is getting his deep shots (18.1 aDOT), but his catch rate is ugly (43 percent). Even worse, Tennessee is dead last in plays inside the opponent's five-yard line, which has killed any chance of him seeing consistent end-zone targets. A second-half resurgence will depend on the improvement of Teddy Bridgewater and Zach Mettenberger. It's hard to be overly excited.

Daugherty: Mike, that's the most comforting "Keenan Allen will be ok" nugget I've seen so far.

I think you're unfortunately probably spot on with Floyd. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss had a similar assessment on Friday.

I will say with Hunter, if he's going to go off, it has to be this weekend. The Ravens suddenly have a Jets-esque secondary without Jimmy Smith, if not an even worse one.

Clay: This truly is a fantastic opportunity for the Titans receivers. Hunter and Nate Washington will see Lardarius Webb (who was struggling in coverage even before Smith got hurt) and Danny Gorrer. Gorrer exclusively played the slot for Detroit before they cut him, and now he seemingly will have to play outside for Baltimore. Safety Matt Elam has been covering the slot (Kendall Wright) and has arguably been the worst coverage "corner" in the league this season. Time's yours, Titans passing game.

Evan Silva: It's Justin Hunter Week, y'all.

Daugherty: Evan, where should he be in my receiver ranks?

Silva: High. #yolo (Editor’s note: This was sent from Silva’s iPhone.)

Jeff Ratcliffe: Since you guys have pretty much covered most of the key offensive players, I'd like to steer the conversation briefly to defensive side of the ball. The Rams were one of my favorite units entering the season. Needless to say, I was a bit off on that one. They generated essentially no pass rush despite being stacked on paper along the defensive line, and their secondary underwhelmed.

Well, it looks like they're starting to turn things around. Robert Quinn has been on fire with five sacks in the last three games, and Aaron Donald is starting to look every bit the part of a first-round selection. I'm also interested to see if the addition of Mark Barron will provide a spark to the secondary. St. Louis has a tough stretch of games with Denver next week and San Diego in Week 12, but then they get Oakland and Washington. They won't be a set and forget fantasy option, but certainly have the potential to be a priority streamer.

Adam Levitan: One name that hasn't come up yet is a guy that went in the top five of most drafts, Eddie Lacy. Yes, he's fantasy's No. 14 non-PPR running back right now, so it hasn't been a complete disaster. But I'm wildly disappointed that he's gone over 65 rushing yards in 1-of-8 games and has just four touchdowns. I'm even more disappointed that he’s fallen into a bit of a timeshare with James Starks. Maybe he is, gasp, #toofat??

The devil's advocate says Lacy has just suffered through some tough matchups — he's already faced SEA, NYJ, DET, MIA. It's also encouraging that the Packers are talking up keeping him involved in the passing game, something that was a main reason why I had him No. 5 overall in the preseason. Lacy stays in on third downs, unlike two-down power backs Alfred Morris and Marshawn Lynch. I don't expect Lacy to start ripping off 100-yard games, but the touchdown rate has to pick up. Also note the fantasy playoff schedule includes ATL Week 14 and TB Week 16.

Ryan McDowell: It’s difficult to narrow this down to one or two guys as there have been so many disappointments, many of them you’ve already mentioned. What about Doug Martin? Two years ago, Martin and Trent Richardson were coming off great rookie years and were considered the top two players in all dynasty leagues, and were being drafted highly in seasonal leagues, too. Now, they’ve lost their starting jobs to Ahmad Bradshaw and Bobby Rainey. For me, this really cements the Zero RB theory or punting RB, which can be valid in both dynasty and re-draft leagues.