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Duds

Here are the boys among men of the fantasy world. They have not lived up to expectations in recent years, and are considered busts.

Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies

Pat Burrell taking a swing.In 2002, Burrell was huge for the Phillies. He hit 37 home runs in the season and 116 RBI, and looked to be one of the outfielders of the future for the franchise. He had even signed to a six-year, $50 million contract after the season.
Then, in 2003, things got bad. Burrell had only a .209 batting average, hitting a mere 21 home runs and 64 RBI.
The 2004 and 2005 seasons were slightly better for Burrell, but he has not shown the ability that he had in 2002. Fans in Philadelphia, known for being the harshest in the country, booed him during his down years.
Fantasy owners who drafted him highly in 2003 were severely disappointed, as were owners in 2004, 2005 and 2006. This season, CBS Sportsline ranks him only as the 17th-best left fielder in baseball. There has to be a better option available to a fantasy owner than Burrell. Avoid the dud unless he has a year like 2002 again. It's not likely.

Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins

Ronnie Brown reaching with a football.Brown was the second overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft for the Dolphins, and certainly hasn't lived up to the billing in real life or in the fantasy realm. He had to share the ball with Ricky Williams in 2005, so he earned 907 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Respectable numbers for a rookie season.
So when Williams was suspended from the NFL for the entire 2006 season, Brown figured to carry the Dolphins into the playoffs. Instead, Brown did little while under the pressure, rushing for only 101 yards more and one touchdown more, yet carrying the ball 34 more times. He also had four fumbles on the season. A broken hand did keep him out of three games, but an injury does not get fantasy owners any points. Brown's yards per carry dropped from 4.4 to 4.2 and his fantasy numbers were well behind other running backs (Frank Gore, Willie Parker) who were not expected to do as well.
Now, the Dolphins still have problems at offensive line and the AFC East will prove to be one of the toughest divisions in football again. Will Brown be able to come out of his slump? Don't bet on it. Brown is not worth a high pick. Take another running back early.

Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs

Woods (top) and PriorIt is the Fall of 2003, and these two young pitchers are leading their team to a National League pennant. They are on top of the world, projected to be great pitchers for years to come, the future of the Cubs and the love of Chicago.
After Steve Bartman's infamous interference though, everything came to an end. The Cubs missed the World Series, and the injuries began. Prior (bottom in picture) got injured over and over again since 2003, and in 2006 pitched in only nine games, compiling a (1-6) record. Prior was never a consistent fantasy pitcher again, and he started the 2007 baseball season pitching for the Cubs' minor-league affiliate in Iowa.
Wood, after 14 wins in 2003, has only 12 wins since. He missed almost all of the 2005 and 2006 seasons due to injury and has since signed on to be a member of the Cubs' bullpen. It always seems like Prior and Wood will get back into the swing of things, but drafting these two injury-prone pitchers would be a foolish mistake. It's sad to see them struggling so much, but placing them on your team is not a good move.