Yahoo Sports’ Matt Harmon and Scott Pianowski discuss a few players who were major disappointments this season.
MATT HARMON: Oh, I am always blown away by the great Scott Pianowski. Unfortunately, Scott, we’re not talking about a lot of fun stuff here. We’re talking about the biggest bummers from this year. It’s really unfair.
They’re like, oh yeah, let’s bring Scott on the show. Let’s bring Dalton on the show and let’s have them handle the tough topics, while the three of us just get to goof around. But Scott, that’s what you’re here to do. You’re here to handle the toughest stuff. So tell us, what was the biggest bummer from fantasy this past year?
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, my fantasy experience goes way back, and I’ve never seen a quarterback landscape this messy. Russell Wilson falls apart, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers show their age, Kyler Murray gets hurt, Lamar Jackson gets hurt, Dak Prescott was hurt for a while. Mac Jones apparently wants to be the Grayson Allen of the NFL, the dirtiest player in the league, and by the way, he’s not playing well at all. Derek Carr benched.
Let’s get Jarrett Stidham in there for the playoff weeks and start or sit him. Nobody wants to see that. God help you if you’re going up against the 49ers defense this week. I feel like there are like seven or eight teams that feel good about their quarterback right now.
Andy was talking about Trevor Lawrence being a top three quarterback next year. He’s top five this year in part because the position is so ugly. And the reason that frustrates us is twofold. One, we a lot of times we want to get our quarterbacks on the affordable side.
It’s been hard to find that affordable quarterback, because even the guys we paid up for have mostly been disappointing. And two, when the quarterbacks play poorly, it connects to the entire offense. It keeps teams out of scoring position, it hurts our running backs, it hurts our receivers. So this has been, usually there’s three to five teams you want to avoid for fantasy purposes. I feel like that number has been around 10-12 this year and it’s made our fantasy lives a lot more difficult.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, you don’t have to tell my Mike Evans, Michael Pittman, Terry McLaurin teams twice about the whole quarterback play has been down so far this year, Scott. I hear you loud and clear on that one. Now, one position that’s also– I mean, if quarterback was troublesome, tight end had to be even worse.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, we always have fun with, what’s the difference between Kelce and the number two tight end and how far do you go from the number two tight end to the same gap? TJ Hockenson has actually made this a little bit less crazy lately. I mean, Kelce is far and away the tight end one. Right now Hockenson, he’s played pretty well in Minnesota, was great in week 16, is the tight end two.
And then you drop the difference between those guys is about the difference between Hockenson and say Jordan Akins, somebody outside the top 20. It’s going to be difficult next year because Kelce’s into his age 34 season. I know Dalton talked about him earlier as being a possible fade. I’m going to get pushback from Behrens on this.
I don’t think you get rid of the tight end position. I think we just all have to struggle with it. Maybe next year they’ll finally get Kyle Pitts unlocked.
Maybe Dallas Goedert will be healthy for a full season. I’m really excited to see what Hockenson does. First round pedigree, mid 20s, he’s from the University of Iowa, don’t hold that against him.
So I think he’s an interesting guy to get next year. Keep the tight end position. You want to add a flex or two, that’s fine. But just because Kelce dominates the position, don’t knock everybody else off the page and throw them all at the flexes. I still think we have to pick tight ends next year.
MATT HARMON: Damn right we got to pick tight ends next year. Imagine being like, you know what? It was kind of hard. We should just go ahead and quit. That’s soft behavior.
We’re not soft on this show and you’re not allowed to be soft either. Listen, rookie running backs, though, that’s typically a position we can count on in fantasy this year, Scott. But again, another kind of disappointment here.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah, it goes down it’s a mild disappointment. Right now Kenneth Walker is the only rookie tight end in the top 20. Dameon Pierce would be in the top 20 of the position if he stayed healthy. And then we have guys like Robinson, we have guys like Allgeier who run the ball well, but they haven’t caught the ball that much.
Pacheco is in that group. They haven’t had the greatest touchdown luck. So I think it goes down as maybe a C plus or a C year for the rookie running backs. Usually, a lot of times you look back this time of year and think, oh, why didn’t I see these rookies coming?
And then this year it’s been more of the receivers, right? That Jason Dotson is developing late, Garrett Wilson has been really good, Chris Olave has had moments. And the rookie running back cost I think goes down is a little bit of a disappointment.
Walker has been hurt at times, but mostly it’s because these guys teams are going committee now. And a running back, even if he plays a lot for a team, he may not play a third down, he may not be a goal line back. So what we’re seeing is some of the rookies who have popped, they popped in one area, but maybe they’re not asked to do the two or three things that bring fantasy value that make them every week starters.
MATT HARMON: Well, it might have been a C plus year for rookie running backs, but it’s been another A plus year for you, Scott.