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Fantasy Football Advice: Week 18 Mailbag

Who Were Your Biggest Fantasy Football Letdowns This Season? – @ZBEAR10391

To round things out, we’re diving deep into the highs and lows of the 2023 fantasy football season. Let’s analyze some of the noteworthy disappointments from this campaign.

Drake London (WR, Atlanta Falcons)

Drake London‘s fantasy output took a hit due to a combination of coaching malpractice and inconsistent quarterback play. Head coach Arthur Smith’s preference to feature role players and the instability at QB with Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke impacted London’s consistency. Despite his imposing physical stature at 6-foot-4, 213 pounds, London ended the season as the Points Per Reception (PPR) WR44 on a points-per-game basis. His three single-digit outputs throughout the fantasy football playoffs and a goose egg in Week 1 proved detrimental.

London’s struggle to find the end zone is evident, with just six touchdowns through nearly two seasons of professional football. Moreover, he has yet to break the 1,000-yard receiving mark or record 75 catches, a surprising outcome considering his talent and high draft capital (eighth overall in 2022).

Kyle Pitts (TE, Atlanta Falcons)

Kyle Pitts, the highly-touted tight end prospect and fourth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, also suffered from Smith’s head-scratching decisions and mediocre QB play in Atlanta for the second-straight year (third, depending on how you view his rookie PPR TE6 year). Despite an ESPN ADP of 56, Pitts averaged only 8.3 points per game, ranking as PPR TE17 behind Hunter Henry and Taysom Hill on a points-per-game basis. His production failed to meet the expectations set by his high draft position. Pitts’ struggles are evident with just four games in double-digit PPR points and never exceeding 16 PPR points in a single game.

Austin Ekeler (RB, Los Angles Chargers)

Austin Ekeler, with an ESPN ADP of four overall (RB2), faced a challenging season marred by an ankle injury suffered in Week 1. Despite a promising start to the year, Ekeler never looked the same after the injury, missing a month of action. His longest play was limited to 39 yards, and he also failed to surpass 100 rushing yards after the injury.

Ekeler’s performance marked career lows with a 3.7 Yards Per Carry (YPC) average, down from his career average of 4.4 YPC. Additionally, he saw the lowest number of receptions (44) since his part-time role in 2018. As a result, his touchdown production took a significant hit, recording only one game with multiple TDs and six overall. It’s underwhelming when you consider the 38 combined scores he totaled in the two years prior.

While Ekeler can be viewed as a victim of a struggling team overall, concerns about a potential loss of speed and effectiveness at the age of 28 arose. He finished as the PPR RB22 on a points-per-game basis, lagging just behind Brian Robinson.

Patrick Mahomes (QB, Kansas City Chiefs)

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a borderline first-round pick by ESPN ADP (later in some more experienced leagues), faced a career-low season, averaging of 17.5 fantasy points per game. The two-time NFL MVP’s season resulted in a career-high 14 interceptions, a Derek Carr-esque TD rate of 4.5% and a career-low 261.4 yards per game. Mahomes still demonstrated the ability to produce decent fantasy numbers. However, the Chiefs’ team dynamics and offensive decisions significantly affected his struggles.

After another MVP season from Mahomes last year, the Chiefs made cost-cutting decisions at the wide receiver position, impacting his ability to connect with reliable targets. The noticeable decline in Travis Kelce‘s performance further added to the offensive woes. Despite the presence of promising rookie Rashee Rice, who has been impressive and is on pace to break 1,000 receiving yards if he plays in Week 18, Mahomes struggled to overcome drops, turnovers and costly mistakes by other receivers.

Thanks for reading our Week 18 Mailbag, powered by the Fantasy Football Advice Network. Check out more of our fantasy football and other written content here at In-Between Media, or head over to our YouTube channel to get your fix via video.

*Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez- USA TODAY Sports*