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Top 5 Fantasy Surprises of 2006 -- #2 Lamont Jordan

#2  -- Lamont Jordan

What Happened?-- An injury limited Jordan to nine games, but we shouldn't blame the injury because he was horrible even before that.  Though he finished with 434 rushing yards and two touchdowns, those numbers are padded if you can believe that.  He put up 262 of those yards in three games.  If you're good at math, then you know that means he finished with 172 yards in the other six games - an average of 28 yards per game.  That's just what you want from your first round pick, huh?

Should We Have Seen This Coming? -- Yes, absolutely.  Jordan was a breakout player in 2005, especially in point-per-reception leagues where his pass-catching ability really paid off.  But the 2006 Raiders were quite different from the 2005 Raiders.  QB Kerry Collins was replaced by former Saint Aaron Brooks which was a huge step down.  Randy Moss and Jerry Porter were moody and didn't show up to play.  New Coach Art Shell was an old-school disciplinarian.  The offensive line fell apart.  All of these things were clear before the season and all of them were warning signs that most fantasy football players were aware of.  I think Lamont Jordan became a great example of FFL "groupthink".  Everybody was predicting him to be a first round pick, so he must be a first round pick even though - if we stopped and thought about it - there were signs of danger all around.

Who Aren't We Seeing This Year? -- This one is easy: Larry Johnson.  I expect to be brought before a bishop and charged with heresy for suggesting LJ isn't a first round pick...but aren't the signs of danger all around?!  Changing from Trent Green/Damon Huard to an untested Brodie Croyle?  And who is Croyle going to throw to...Dwayne Bowe?  He's barely unpacked his bags in camp yet.  The offensive line is decimated compared to last year.  Herm Edwards is, well, Herm Edwards.  Oh yeah, and Johnson himself is unhappy and holding out.   Sure, I'll look stupid if Johnson rushes for 2000 yards next season, but I looked stupid drafting Lamont Jordan in the first round last season too.  There's stupid and then there's stupid.   The way things are now, if I have the 3rd, 4th or 5th pick in a draft I'm very reluctant to draft Larry Johnson.