Fantasy football busts: Defensive teams/special teams

by Cory J. Bonini on September 10, 2010 @ 10:58:00 PDT's analysis of fantasy football busts for the 2010 season will be updated weekly throughout the offseason. We have separated our busts and overvalued players this year, so be sure not to confuse the two.

Busts are also overvalued players in some cases. Even the most surefire pick can end up busting due to injury, but there is no way to accurately project for that. Instead, we will primarily focus on the players' situations that could lead to down years. No one likes doing the dirty work, so let do it for you! Be sure to check for weekly updates.

Note: All average draft position (ADP) figures are based on 12-team, non-PPR leagues unless specified otherwise.

Defensive team/special teams

San Diego Chargers | ADP: 19th round

The Chargers finished tied with the Detroit Lions for 21st in total fantasy points scored last year (standard scoring). In 2009, the Bolts recorded a respectable 34 team sacks, but they intercepted only 14 passes.

Nose tackles Cam Thomas, a rookie fifth-rounder, Antonio Garay and Ogemdi Nwagbuo should be part of a rotation to replace Jamal Williams (Broncos); Nwagbuo started five games last year as a rookie. He doesn't have the mass (6-foot-4, 303 pounds) to be an every-down anchor.

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman (Achilles') was never the same after his knee surgery in 2008, and if he rebounds this year, we don't expect it to be a massive jump toward his old form. Continuity in the secondary may be hard to come by. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie was dealt to the New York Jets, and rookie Darrell Stuckey will battle Steve Gregory for the starting strong safety job. Cornerback Quentin Jammer isn't known for his ball-hawking skills, so where will the interceptions come from?

Fantasy value: San Diego could fit into the overvalued department, too. We just don't see enough upside to warrant taking them as a No. 1 fantasy defense. If you must, treat them as a low-end, fringe starting unit.

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Also See:
Sleepers: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
Busts: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
Undervalued players: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
Overvalued players: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT

About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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