Talkers


Fantasy wastelands
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Not every team can be the Atlanta Falcons, who have five high-level fantasy starters on their roster, or the Denver Broncos, who have four.

Not every team can be the Kansas City Chiefs, either. They only have two players worth rostering in standard 12-team fantasy leagues, but both of those players -- Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe -- are undoubtedly fantasy starters.

While most NFL teams do have at least one starter plus multiple bench players in fantasy leagues, there are also teams whose rosters are just plain ugly when it comes to producing fantasy-worthy talent.

Here are the bottom five:

5) Chargers

Fantasy starters: Ryan Mathews, Antonio Gates

Fantasy bench players: Philip Rivers, Danny Woodhead, Vincent Brown, Malcom Floyd

It was only a few years ago that LaDainian Tomlinson was a No. 1 pick, Antonio Gates was the first tight end off the board and Philip Rivers was one of the top stat-producing quarterbacks in the NFL. Gates and Rivers are still here, but they are both shells of their former selves. Rivers has only threw for 3,606 yards last season, his lowest since 2007, and has turned the football over 47 times the last two years. Gates, meanwhile, played 15 games in 2012 but produced just 538 yards on 49 catches. He's still a low-level tight end starter due to his touchdown production (14 in 28 games over the last two seasons), but he's on his last legs. This team's hope for fantasy relevance rests on the shoulders of Ryan Mathews, but his collarbones are so weak that he probably can't handle the weight.

4) Rams

Fantasy starters: Jared Cook, Daryl Richardson

Fantasy bench players: Tavon Austin, Chris Givens

For many years Steven Jackson was the only Rams player worth owning, and now he's gone. Jared Cook presents upside at the tight end position and Daryl Richardson should be a solid flex player, but there aren't any sure things on this roster.

3) Steelers

Fantasy starters: Antonio Brown

Fantasy bench players: Ben Roethlisberger, Emmanuel Sanders, Isaac Redman, Le'Veon Bell

Mike Wallace, Rashard Mendenhall, Heath Miller and Ben Roethlisberger all used to be fantasy starters, but Pittsburgh let the first two walk away this offseason, Miller tore several ligaments in his right knee late last year and the emergence of several young quarterbacks has made Big Ben irrelevant in fantasy leagues. Rookie Le'Veon Bell was expected to be a RB2, but he sprained his foot and left us with Isaac Redman.

2) Raiders

Fantasy starters: Darren McFadden

Fantasy bench players: none

The Raiders won't have their fantasy starter for long, as Darren McFadden is as brittle as an octogenarian who didn't get enough calcium in his youth. No other player on this roster is worth your time in fantasy leagues.

1) Jets

Fantasy starters: none

Fantasy bench players: Chris Ivory

Chris Ivory could emerge as an RB2 because this team needs to run often to keep the ball away from its quarterbacks -- 2012 leading rusher Shonn Greene saw 276 carries and scored eight touchdowns -- but the team is handling him with extreme caution after he dealt with a hamstring injury in training camp. Ivory won't even start Week 1; that honor will go to Bilal Powell. As for the Jets passing game, top receiver Santonio Holmes doesn't seem to feel like playing this season and I can't really blame him.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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