The term, "That Old Gag" is generally used to explain a tired old joke that has lost its punch. I use the term in a similar fashion to explain some fantasy players.
Every season there are fantasy players who are shamelessly owned for no good reason. This is mostly due to their past exploits on the field or a small sample size of success that keeps fantasy owners coming back for more. The reality is these players simply aren't that good and don't deserve to be on your team... if you are serious about winning that it.
OF- Mark Teahen
In 2006 Teahen hit .290 with 18HR, 70R, 69RBI and 10SB in only 393 at bats. Teahen was pegged as an up and comer and excited some fantasy owners out there with his power/speed combo. 2007 was a down year for Teahen who at the time was coming off of shoulder surgery. He has brought those troubles into 2008 and looks like a shell of the guy that excited so many owners in 2006.
Teahen is what he is now. An outfielder with little speed, power and a guy who currently seems to be struggling in all facets of the game. Don't be that guy in your league who grabs him hoping he returns to his form of yesteryear.
3B- Chad Tracy
in 2005 Tracy was the man. He hit .308, with 27HR, 73R, and 80RBI. He could play 1B and 3B, making him more enticing for those who thought his young bat was the next big thing to come around at the hot corner.
2006 was a step backward for Tracy who hit 20HR with 91R and 80RBI, despite getting 94 more at bats than he had his previous season. He also saw his batting average plummet about 27 points, and while .281 is a respectable number, it shows a dramatic decline in value and production.
In 2007 Tracy bottomed out, due in part to a recurring knee issue and overall lack of production. His batting average again dropped nearly 20 points down to .264, with 7HR, 30R and 35RBI in only 227 at bats. Tracy now has had 2 straight down seasons, and doesn't seem to be developing into the player many projected him to be.
2008 sees Tracy coming back slowly from surgery and preparing to finally make his major league debut. The problem is, unlike seasons past, Tracy is now has a clear reserve behind Mark Reynolds and Conor Jackson, so there is no where for him to play and start. He will have to accept a bench role and hope that Reynolds can continue his May dive (1HR, 5RBI compared to 7HR, 24RBI in April) and be able to scrounge and scrap his way back into the line up.
3B- Hank Blalock
Hank The Tank has been tanking since the the end of the 2004 season. His numbers have been on the steady decline since then and while he did manage decent numbers in 2005 and 2006, all indications are that the regression in Hank's production are the norm and not the exception.
People go into drafts and even look at their FA wire and see Blalock and remember his past exploits rather than the reality of the situation. Blalock has lost his once fearsome power and doesn't do anything else well enough to cover up for that. His production continues to decline and the fact that he has been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't help either. Seriously how does a major league athlete get an ailment that only effects middle aged secretaries, IT guys and chubby computer programmers?
He's done, let some other sucker grab him and waste the DL... err roster spot.
OF- Austin Kearns
I used to really like Kearns when he was with Cincinnati. He was a young slugger in a good line up, in a great ball park who was developing into a legitimate major leaguer. Unfortunately, since his trade to Washington, Kearns' career has taken a turn for the worse.
In the season split between Cincy and Washington, Kearns hit 24HR with 84RBI, and showed that he might be ready to develop into a constant threat at the plate. Then in 2007 his numbers went downward and it seemed as if he could never get it going. He has continued his struggles this season to the tune of a batting average below the Mendoza Line and only 3HR.
He is on the DL because he had to get bone fragments removed from his elbow, which is probably a good thing because it gave The Nats and fantasy owners a reason to get him out of their line up. Keep him out of the line up and don't bother with him. If he is available in your league there is a reason for it.
Remember when he was good? I sort of do. He used to be a power and RBI threat behind the dish, but it is now clear that injuries and age (32) have started to take their toll on the once dangerous hitter. His 2007 season was poor because of injury and it looks like 2008 will be a similar story for Hernandez, sans the injury, but with an over all poor lack of production.
He isn't worth owning any more, especially since there always seems to be a few hot catchers around the league getting a shot and putting up good numbers.
3B- Melvin Mora
Has been on the severe decline since 2005 when he his 27HR with 88RBI. He mans the hot corner for he O's but has lost that pop that made him a dangerous middle of the order bat. He currently has 5HR and 24RBI and his .238 batting average hurts. It is certainly possible to find better production else where for 3B.
SP- Dontrelle Willis
At 26 Willis still has the opportunity to turn his career around, but right now he has been dreadful. Since his 22 win 2005 season, he has gone 22-27 and is currently sporting an ERA over 7.00 and a WHIP over 2.00, granted thats only in 6IP this season. While he could right himself it should be noted has has 11walks in those 6 innings and even struggled in his 2 rehab starts.
There is something wrong with Willis and he hasn't been a viable pitching option in over 2 seasons. If you own him, try to trade him and if you find find a trade sucker... I mean partner, just drop him and cut your loses while you still can. He is currently relegated to relief status and will be a while before he is trusted with a ball in the starting rotation. Considering how dreadful the Tigers' starting pitching has been, it says a lot that they do not trust him with the ball every 5 days.
Think I missed anyone or listed someone here prematurely? Please post your suggestions or comments.