For those who are wondering, I am using Ultrafine's cheap variable grade matte FB paper, switching from their RC stuff.
There are two possibilities I'm thinking of right now. One is the likely fact that I slipped the paper under the easel with the wrong side down, but I always thought that the shinier (in the safelight of course), smoother side is the emulsion side. Is this my folly? Another possibility is I goofed on developing times. I know FB paper's image doesn't 'pop' immediately like RC paper, but rather a slow gradual process. Maybe I found the wrong dev times and pulled it out of the developer too early? I'm filling up my trays right now and I'll be back later with my findings.
"The photographer who does not enjoy printing probably never made a good print in his life. Half the fun of photography is found in the printing room..." - Kip Ross