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Fantasy Football Week 3 Busts? Players Who May Disappoint Include Dameon Pierce, Kyle Pitts, Rhamondre Stevenson, Justin Fields

Justin Fields - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

I’ll admit, I was wrong about Puka Nacua. I listed the wide receiver as a bust in Week 2, thinking there was no way he would get anywhere close to the 10 catches and 119 yards he gathered in Week 1. Instead, Stafford peppered Nacua with 20 targets and the rookie now leads the league in that category by a wide margin.

Let’s get back on track this week with the next round of busts. New running back injuries (Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery, Jamaal Williams) will usher in a fresh batch of faces to hopefully take control of their respective backfields until the incumbent returns. There is also a handful of heavy favorites this week, which could impact game scripts, and in turn, fantasy performances.

As you prepare to set your lineups for a victorious Week 3, make sure potential fantasy landmines stay on your bench. Below are my 10 fantasy football busts for Week 3 of the NFL season.

Be sure to also check our other Week 14 fantasy football waiver wire pickups articles:


Dak Prescott at Arizona Cardinals

Game scripts can make or break a fantasy performance. Look at Daniel Jones last week. His team falls behind 20-0 by halftime. In the second 30 minutes of the game, he scores three touchdowns and finishes the game with 321 passing and 59 rushing yards. That was good enough to be QB1 on the week.

Prescott didn't have a bad game in Week 2. 31-for-38 passing, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a win is what quarterbacks dream of. But a QB17 finish leaves a lot to be desired.

The situation in Week 1 was even more unfortunate. With a 26-point halftime lead (and only one of three touchdowns scored on offense), Prescott did not need to do much of anything to secure the win. The 30-year-old scored just over six fantasy points.

As of this writing, the Cowboys are nearly a two-touchdown favorite against Arizona on Sunday. If Prescott doesn't score early touchdowns (Tony Pollard runs them in or the defense steals one) then fantasy managers may be in danger of a blowout win, and in turn, a subpar Prescott fantasy performance.


Justin Fields vs. Kansas City

The panic alarm is being sounded for Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. He simply looks lost on the football field. The former first-round pick has been sacked 10 times in two games. His longest completion has gone for 33 yards, despite plays like the one below where it appears there are wide-open receivers down the field.

Fields managed to run for a touchdown in Week 2, but he only totaled three yards on the ground. That's a career low.

It won't get much better for Fields and Co. when they visit the defending Super Bowl champions. The Chiefs' defense played significantly better in Week 2 with the return of defensive tackle Chris Jones. Patrick Mahomes and the offense can control the ball for large chunks at a time but the play of Fields worries fantasy managers way more than the upcoming matchup.


Rhamondre Stevenson at New York Jets

J-E-T-S! Defense! Defense! Defense!

That's how the chant goes, right? It seems like the defense is the only thing Jets fans are excited about these days. The offense under Zach Wilson is offensive but the defense is first class.

In Week 3, the defense gets to match up against a middling offense in the New England Patriots. The Jets hold opposing running backs to 3.5 yards per carry. Rhamondre Stevenson showed earlier this season that matchups do factor into his performance. Against Philadelphia, who has only allowed 104 rushing yards through two games, Stevenson ran 12 times for 25 yards. Even against Miami, who got torched in Week 1 by Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley, the ex-Oklahoma Sooner carried the ball 15 times for only 50 yards.

The over/under line is the lowest in the league in Week 3 at just 37 points. Scoring will be hard to come by, and if Stevenson doesn't find paydirt, it could be tough sledding.


Rachaad White vs. Philadelphia

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White did exactly what he was supposed to against a porous defense in Week 2: run efficiently. In both contests this season, White received 17 carries. In Week 1 against Minnesota, those 17 attempts turned into 39 yards. Against Chicago last week, the total was 73 yards.

The Eagles' defensive line is stout and extremely difficult to run on. Rhamondre Stevenson rushed 12 times for 25 yards in Week 1. Alexander Mattison followed that up with eight attempts for 28 yards.

If Tampa Bay wants to win this game, they'll need to attack Philadelphia through the air. The Eagles are suffering from injuries in their secondary (slot corner Avonte Maddox is likely out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle) and Mike Evans is already on pace for his 10th-straight 1,000-yard season. Both Kirk Cousins and Mac Jones threw for over 300 yards against the Eagles. Baker Mayfield will need to replicate that success for a win. White could find success catching safety-valve passes but the rushing aspect of his game will leave a lot to be desired.


Tyler Allgeier at Detroit

Think of the top rushing defenses in the NFL. The Detroit Lions don't come to mind, do they?

In the two games in 2023, the Lions are surrendering 3.7 yards per carry. Kenneth Walker III only mustered 43 yards on 17 carries in Week 2. In Week 1, Isaiah Pacheco averaged 2.9 yards on eight attempts. In each game, Patrick Mahomes (45 yards) and Geno Smith (20 yards) helped inflate their team's rushing averages. Still, the Lions rank in the top ten in total rushing yards allowed.

The eye test tells us that Bijan Robinson is a far superior talent to Tyler Allgeier (not that it was ever really a question based on draft capital). In Week 1, Allgeier edged out Robinson in opportunities (18 to 16) but those numbers flipped in Week 2. Robinson logged 24 opportunities on 72 percent of the snaps. Allgeier rushed 16 times and received zero targets on 44 percent of the snaps.

Allgeier will be a mainstay in the Atlanta offense this season, barring injury. Head coach Arthur Smith loves running the football way too much. But if those numbers continue to steer the way of Robinson, Allgeier will be better suited on benches as a high-end insurance policy.


Dameon Pierce at Jacksonville

There's bad offensive line play and then there's the Houston Texans' offensive line. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil sat out in Week 2 with an injury. He joined right tackle Tytus Howard (hand), center Juice Scruggs (hamstring), left guard Kenyon Green (shoulder), and center Scott Quessenberry (knee) on the shelf. Those four names will not be healthy for Week 3 against Jacksonville. With the replacements in the lineup, Dameon Pierce struggled to find running room.

Pierce was billed as an every-down running back heading into the 2023 season, but that's been far from the truth through two contests. His season-long snap share hovers just under 46 percent. Devin Singletary, Mike Boone, and even Dare Ogunbowale are getting involved in the offense. Until Pierce receives a larger piece of the pie or the offensive line gets healthy, the second-year back is a sit.


Matt Breida at San Francisco

Week 1 - The Steelers fall behind early to the San Francisco 49ers and abandon the run game.

Week 2 - The Los Angeles Rams call 56 pass plays in comparison to just 22 runs.

Whether it be a negative game script or just attacking the matchups, opposing teams are not running the ball against the Niners.

Star running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) will miss Thursday night's game with a sprained ankle. Veteran Matt Breida is next in line to receive touches but Gary Brightwell, and possibly even rookie Eric Gray, will mix in. In Week 18 last year when Barkley rested, Breida received 11 touches (4 carries for 28 yards and seven catches for 12 yards) and Brightwell had 12 (11 carries for 60 yards and one catch for three yards).

Breida is worth an add to your roster (as is every running back slated to start a game) but he's a sit against a sturdy San Francisco defense.


Terry McLaurin vs. Buffalo

Last week, I had Terry McLaurin listed as a bust and he was well on his way before salvaging his day with a 30-yard touchdown pass in double coverage in the third quarter. His final stat line ended up being five catches for 54 yards and one score on six targets.

The six targets are the problem. Those aren't numbers you want to see from an alpha wide receiver. Quarterback Sam Howell is spreading the ball all over the field; wideouts, running backs, tight ends, you name it.

Targets Receptions
Jahan Dotson 12 8
Logan Thomas 11 6
Terry McLaurin 10 7
Curtis Samuel 8 8
Brian Robinson Jr. 5 3
John Bates 5 3

Even wide receiver Dyami Brown (three targets) and tight end Cole Turner (two targets) got involved in Week 2.

The Commanders will host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, who have allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards on the season and just 93.5 yards per game to wide receivers. They haven't faced the toughest competition at the quarterback position (Zach Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo) but Sam Howell hasn't shown that he's much of an upgrade over that pair.


Marquise Brown vs. Dallas

Update: Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs tore his ACL during practice on Thursday and is projected to miss the rest of the season. It creates a better matchup for Brown, but this defense is still an elite unit.

If the matchup is a nightmare for McLaurin, then it's a night terror for Marquise "Hollywood" Brown. The Dallas Cowboys are statistically the best pass defense in football. They boast the fewest passing yards allowed and yards per attempt. They are tied for the fewest completions and touchdowns allowed. They also have only allowed five catches and 76.5 yards per game to receivers.

If the Dallas safety doesn't miss a tackle on Garrett Wilson's 68-yard touchdown catch-and-run, it's full-on sleep paralysis, demon figure at the foot of your bed situation. This unit is legit, despite the lack of elite receivers they've matched up against so far.

The Cardinals offense has been better than advertised through two weeks. Joshua Dobbs led Arizona on three touchdown drives in Week 2 against the Giants, including one to Hollywood Brown. Their third straight game against the NFC East may look quite a bit different than the first two.


Kyle Pitts at Detroit

Kyle Pitts was outperformed by Jonnu Smith in Week 2.

You read that sentence correctly; Kyle Pitts was outperformed by Jonnu Smith in Week 2. You may have not even realized that Smith was on the Falcons, following stints in Tennessee and New England. And then he catches four passes for 47 yards compared to two for 15 for the former first-round pick. Through two games, Pitts is playing roughly two-thirds of the snaps. Smith is just behind him at 60 percent.

Kyle Pitts (Week 1) Jonnu Smith (Week 1) Kyle Pitts (Week 2) Jonnu Smith (Week 2)
Snap Percentage 62 50 70 67
Targets 3 0 5 6
Receptions 2 0 2 4
Yards 44 0 15 47

The biggest argument against Pitts is that the Falcons ran 78 plays on Sunday against the Packers and Pitts still couldn't muster more than two catches. For reference, the Rams lead the league in plays from scrimmage at 156, exactly double what Atlanta ran in Week 2. Last season, the Falcons' average was just over 59 plays per game. If Pitts can't get production when there are nearly 20 more plays being called than normal, when can you trust him to perform?

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