Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
You have seen plenty of postseason lists of players who played well above their draft position (Adrian Peterson and Alfred Morris quickly come to mind among many others), but today we're going to take a look at those higher draft choices who didn't meet expectations and, in some cases, couldn't even find mediocre from where they finished the season.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia (ADP 37.3*) - Even before Vick was hurt and missed six weeks, including all of the fantasy playoffs, he was disappointing fantasy owners from coast to coast. The Eagles quarterback was turnover-free in just two games all season and his touchdown totals have steadily dropped from 30 in 2010-11 to 12 this season. He was the sixth quarterback off the board and finished 27th at the position.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (18.5) - It's hard to believe that a guy could throw for almost 5,000 yards and make the list, but Stafford had the talent to do just that. His problem was getting into the end zone. After throwing 41 touchdowns in 2011-12, his total was less than half this season (20), costing fantasy owners between 63 and 126 points.
Honorable mention; Eli Manning, New York Giants (65.2).
Ryan Mathews, San Diego (6.4) - Mathews steadily moved up the rankings over the summer as fantasy owners thought he would assume all the carries and touchdowns that were available when Mike Tolbert took his double-digit TD production to Carolina. So much for that theory. Mathews scored a grand total of one touchdown. He failed to crack the 100-yard rushing mark even once and gave fantasy owners double-digit fantasy points one time in 12 games.
Beanie Wells, Arizona (65.3) - Wells was coming off a huge season with over 1,000 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Fantasy owners seemed excited about the possibility that Wells hadn't reached his peak. After producing just eight fantasy points in the first three games, however, Wells headed to his favorite spot - the trainer's room - and was sidelined for eight weeks. He played in five more games but failed to rush for more than 67 yards in any of them.
Honorable mention; Darren McFadden, Oakland (10.9).
Greg Jennings, Green Bay (23.4) - The third-round fantasy selection was either hurt or non-production in 15 of 17 games this season and, unfortunately, his best two games were in Week 16 and 17 after fantasy owners had long since given up on the Packers receiver. He'll likely be playing somewhere other than Green Bay next season, so his fantasy value will take a hit.
Randy Moss, San Francisco (82.2) - Preseason reports scouting the 49ers OTAs and training camps had Moss as the best receiver in camp. Boy, were they off. Moss was never a big part of the offense and in none of the 16 games saw more than six targets. We should learn two things from these results. Never trust reports from camp and Moss' days as a viable fantasy receiver are over.
Honorable mention; Stephen Hill, New York Jets
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans (16.6) - This one may sound crazy, but while Graham led all fantasy tight ends in scoring, he was still one of the season's biggest disappointments. In 2011, Graham finished second to record-breaking Rob Gronkowski, but was still more than 60 points better than any other tight end in the NFL. Graham edged "Gronk" by five fantasy points this season, but the Pats' tight end missed five full games due to a broken arm. Graham's per game average dropped 29 percent from the previous season.
Jermichael Finley, Green Bay (63.8) - Finley (61-667-2) caught six less touchdowns and 100 less yards than the previous season and by now fantasy owners should be on to his game. With Aaron Rodgers under center, fantasy owners expect a lot, but other than one playoff game against Arizona have rarely been rewarded. Hopefully, we have all finally come to the conclusion that Finley isn't a very good fantasy value.
Honorable mention; Coby Fleener, Indianapolis (135.5)
David Akers, San Francisco (145.7) - It wasn't that long ago that Akers was setting a single-season record for made field goals (44 in 2011). This season, he was the second place-kicker off the board yet missed 13 of 42 attempts and finished 13th among fantasy kickers.
Mason Crosby, Green Bay (154.0) - Crosby was the fourth kicker selected because he benefits from the Packers' explosive offense. He didn't take advantage and finished 18th among place-kickers after missing 12 field goal attempts.
Philadelphia Eagles (121) - Andy Reid's Eagles have always had a good pass rush, at least until this season. After being the fourth D/ST selected, they finished with just 30 sacks and 13 turnovers (eight interceptions, five fumbles). They finished 28th among defenses, ahead of only the sorry Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders,
Baltimore Ravens (117) - The Ravens may be a playoff team this season, but it wasn't because of their defense. They gave up 5,615 yards, which was middle of the pack, while creating 37 sacks and 25 turnovers. That's a lot better than Philadelphia, but they ranked just 15th among defense/special teams after being the third team off the board.
* = ADP statistics from fantasyfootballcalculator.com, July, 18, 2012.