Every season brings surprise stars, and miserable flops. When drafting teams, fantasy football enthusiasts invest weeks or months of research into their picks, precisely in the hopes of avoiding sticking themselves with a bust. A lot of players take the game seriously, and while hate is a strong word to use it gets hard not to feel some resentment towards a player you’ve drafted who isn’t performing up to your expectations. After all, you’ve placed your trust in this individual and you’re pretty much betting on his success. His failure also means yours.
However there are players who people just hate playing against simply because they’re so good and are more likely to put up monster numbers week in and week out, more so than most other players. When you lose a game because you’re playing a guy who had Andrew Luck on his squad and he just dominates, it’s natural to hate having to face off against him.
Theses are the 15 most hated fantasy football players of 2014.
15. Robert Griffin III – QB – Washington Redskins
RG3’s career in Washington looks to be all but over. After a fantastic rookie campaign, his play has regressed significantly over the last couple of years, due in part to injury and bad fundamentals. Last year wasn’t a solid performance by any means, but the third year signal caller still managed to put up better numbers than he’s put up in 2014. After being injured in week 2, he came back for 2 games only to lose the job to Colt McCoy. People who had Griffin penciled in as their starter have been rewarded with injuries and bad play from the former second overall draft pick.
14. Toby Gerhart – RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming into the beginning of the season Toby Gerhart looked to be a steal in most fantasy drafts. After showing promise playing behind Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, Gerhart was rewarded with his own starting gig in Jacksonville. A rough pre-season performance followed, and Gerhart’s performance in the regular season, partly due to bad offensive line play and partly due to his inability to hit the gap, lead to him getting benched in favour of Denard Robinson. People who drafted him as their RB 2 option had to watch in horror as he put up pathetic numbers week in and week out and ultimately had to get rid of him altogether. It’s safe to assume that he’s one of the biggest busts this season.
13. Kyle Rudolph – TE – Minnesota Vikings
This year has been nothing if not consistent in its dismantling of the tight end position. Kyle Rudolph looked to be one of the most solid fantasy tight ends, following a promising 2013 campaign. But like many players on this list, injuries held him back. After a decent start to the season, Rudolph went out for two months leaving owners with a tough decision. Drop the talented TE or hold on to a potential TE 1 down the stretch? Owners who chose the latter have not been rewarded, as his play continues to be mediocre, cementing that 2014 was a terrible year for tight ends in fantasy football.
12. Pierre Garcon – WR – Washington Redskins
Last year Pierre Garcon registered 100-plus catches on close to 200 receptions, but his production has dropped off drastically since. Maybe it’s the QB problem, maybe it’s the growing pains that come with learning a new offense or maybe it’s the arrival of DeSean Jackson, but something’s off. Even rookie head coach Jay Gruden said he’s concerned with the lack of production shown by Garcon. After putting up such huge numbers last year, Garcon was being looked at as a solid WR 2 this season. Instead he’s dropped onto the WR 3/4 radar and isn’t worth starting anymore.
11. Doug Martin – RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin’s 2012 rookie campaign seems like a fantastic dream. Everything since feels like a cold bucket of ice water hitting you in the face. The “muscle hamster” hasn’t been the same getting through the gaps, and seems non-existent in the passing game. Anyone who took Martin as a possible sleeper wasn’t being called a genius by their friends in their fantasy pool. Martin bombed, and is now stuck in the proverbial hell known as a rotating backfield. His career in Tampa looks all but over but you never know when talented players like Martin will bounce back. So maybe he’s worth another shot next year, but he’s ruined enough dreams in 2014.
10. Ray Rice – RB – Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice has yet to play a down this season. He’s been kept off the field by legal hearings as well as a suspension handed down by the NFL for having been caught on video assaulting his then-girlfriend, now-wife. He’s also one of the rare cases on this list. He’s not only hated for his lack of results on the playing field, but for the actions that resulted in his not being able to play. Now a free agent – there’s a shot that we do see him in another uniform, but his 2014 campaign is all but over.
9. Reggie Bush – RB – Detroit Lions
There’s so much potential with Reggie Bush. He’s a threat to make plays with both his legs and arms, but it never happens. Last year Bush was phenomenal, in both running and catching the football, so naturally this year would be the same, right? Wrong. Bush has struggled to find a rhythm in Detroit’s new offense and has battled through injuries most of the season. It’s sad to see a talented guy like Bush unable to produce, stuck on the sideline. What’s more, Detroit’s backfield has become a committee with Bush’s absence on the field. So forget this season, who knows what next year holds for the Lions back. Buyer beware.
8. Arian Foster – RB – Houston Texans
Arian Foster is one of the few players on this list you hate to play against. Barring a few mediocre performances and some games missed due to injury, Foster has been a nightmare to face head to head. His rebound season has been nothing short of fantastic, for those who drafted him that is. The unfortunate souls that passed up on him are left feeling his wrath on an almost weekly basis, trapped in a never-ending loop of second guessing and disappointment.
7. Cordarrelle Patterson – WR – Minnesota Vikings
Cordarrelle Patterson’s immensely disappointing sophomore season was highlighted with a huge week 1 performance, but has since then regressed. Expected to fill the shoes left behind by Percy Harvin when he was shipped off to Seattle, Patterson’s talent has yet to gel on the field. Inconsistency is the story of Patterson’s 2014 campaign. Playing alongside an aging Greg Jennings, Patterson could’ve come up with the starting job in Minnesota. Instead his play has earned him the no. 4 receiver spot on the depth chart and the ire of fantasy owners everywhere.
6. Percy Harvin – WR – New York Jets
Expected to bounce back after an injury-ridden 2013 season with the Seahawks, Percy Harvin fell flat on his face in 2014. After registering one point all of 2013 but playing admirably in the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run, Harvin looked to be on the up and up. Instead he failed to separate himself from a mediocre Seahawks receiving corps, and got himself shipped off to the Jets midway through the season where constant changes at QB from the inconsistent Geno Smith to the aging Mike Vick have left Harvin owners scratching their heads, asking what they did wrong.
5. Andrew Luck – QB – Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is another of the few players on this list who people hate, simply because he’s too damn good. Throughout the majority of the season, he’s been the best QB in fantasy football. The Colts’ defense hasn’t been at its best this season, forcing the offense to play catch-up in many games. But that seems okay with Luck as he shredded defenses in 2014, despite not having much of a running game. The Colts’ pass-first offense is surrounded by weapons that Luck has used to maliciously pick apart secondaries, as well as crush the hopes of all who face him.
4. Tom Brady – QB – New England Patriots
Had he not pulled a complete 180, Tom Brady would’ve been on this list for a completely different reason. It seems unfathomable that people were saying the 3-time Super Bowl champ was finished and looked to be at the end of his rope. But it’s true, early on Brady wasn’t playing well, and it was frustrating. It got so bad that many experts suggested benching or getting rid of Brady, which a lot of people did in hopes of acquiring someone more productive. The thing is Brady came back with a vengeance and has been playing great football ever since, to the dismay of those who abandoned ship over a month into the season. So from everyone who drafted him, only to let him go and see him find success on another team; “we hate you, Tom Brady.”
3. Jamaal Charles – RB – Kansas City Chiefs
The last player on this list that’s just been too good this year, Jamaal Charles has been a beast all year long. Though he was injured early on in the season Charles overachieved throughout the rest of the year and rewarded owners with six games of 15 or more points. In the Chiefs’ run-heavy offense, where the receivers are secondary targets in the red zone, Charles has continued to flourish and gives some owners something to cheer for. But he’s a headache for others.
2. Vernon Davis – TE – San Francisco 49ers
There are a few names at the tight end position that you can count on in fantasy football. Vernon Davis used to be one of them but his 2014 output has been less than mediocre. Davis’s presence on the field has been unfelt and he’s been virtually non-existent throughout the season. Now, this is in part due to Colin Kaepernick’s struggles in the passing game, but Davis is one of his favourite targets, yet has continued to put up underwhelming numbers and isn’t even worth a roster spot at this point unless you’re really desperate.
1. Adrian Peterson – RB – Minnesota Vikings
Peterson’s circumstances are similar to those surrounding Ray Rice. Legal issues limited him to one game all season, much to the dismay of fantasy owners. Peterson, usually a top 3 pick is one of those players who’s expected to carry a team with big numbers, much like Jamaal Charles has done. Yet owners have been without him all year. Those holding on to the all-pro back were rewarded with a purgatory of court cases, appeals and rulings by the NFL that kept Peterson off the field for most of 2014. Peterson is by far the most hated fantasy football player this year for what he’s done off the field and what he’s failed to do on it.