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Week 4 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding


As you've probably figured out already, fantasy football is a roller coaster ride. It's give and take. It's one step forward, two steps backwards most of the time. No game in Week 3 encapsulates this more than Bucs-Giants. Tampa's stud wideout Mike Evans had six catches for 89 scoreless yards through two weeks. Then he goes for eight receptions, 190 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday to help a lot of owners single-handedly win their Week 3 matchups.

On the other sideline you had Giants stud running back Saquon Barkley, who was taken first overall in most fantasy drafts this summer, go down with a high ankle sprain. He was immediately on crutches and will be out four to eight weeks. Ouch. Not many who own Barkley won their Week 3 matchups, and they'll have an uphill battle staying relevant the rest of the way. Some fantasy teams have more bad luck than others, but it usually evens out in the long run. Hang in there. We're not even a quarter of the way through the season yet.

Below are 10 potential busts for Week 4 of the 2019 fantasy football season.

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Potential Quarterback Busts for Week 4

Tom Brady - New England Patriots @ Bills

Tom Terrific isn't human. The 42-year-old has aged like a fine wine and can do no wrong. No. 12 has completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 911 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions through three games. He's taken only three sacks.

But if you look closely, he hasn't really dominated other than his 341-yard, three-TD performance in Week 1 against the Steelers. And all of the teams he's faced (Steelers, Dolphins, Jets) are a combined 0-9 to begin the year.

On the road at Buffalo presents a new problem. The Bills defensive front has the ability to take advantage of New England's shaky and injured offensive line, and their defense as a whole is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points per game (17.3) to QBs. Brady no longer has Antonio Brown at his disposal and Julian Edelman (chest) is banged up. It'll be a good test to see if there are any cracks in the armor.

Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Rams 

He had his best game of the year by throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3, but it came against a very soft Giants secondary. Before that, his high-level mark was barely going over 200 yards against Carolina.

Winston and the Bucs will face their stiffest test this Sunday against a Rams unit that is allowing the second fewest fantasy points per game (12.0) to signal-callers through three weeks. The 25-year-old has yet to flash in Bruce Arians' offense and remains turnover-prone. He could be without Chris Godwin (hip), too.

Others: Josh Allen (Vs. Patriots), Gardner Minshew (@ Broncos)

 

Potential Running Back Busts for Week 4

Nick Chubb - Cleveland Browns @ Ravens

The second-year back has proven to have a high floor in Cleveland's offense as a true workhorse; he had season highs in both rushing attempts (23) and targets in the passing game (seven) in Week 3. Chubb's bust potential is lower than most because of this, but he might find little room to run in Baltimore against a defense that's giving up only 14.9 fantasy points per game to running backs. Expect the Ravens to force Baker Mayfield to beat them through the air.

Todd Gurley - Los Angeles Rams Vs. Buccaneers

The Rams weren't joking when they said they planned to scale back Gurley's workload in 2019. After three weeks, the All-Pro running back is tied for 14th in the league with only 44 carries. He has as many attempts as Peyton Barber and Frank Gore. He has one more rushing yard (203) than Raheem Mostert. Darren Sproles has one more target in the passing game than Gurley. You get the picture. It's not good company to keep, even if it is still early in the season.

And on top of it, Malcolm Brown is not only stealing touches, but stealing touchdowns and valuable red-zone looks. Gurley could be a bust more often than not if this continues. He's also facing a Tampa defensive front in Week 4 that is much improved. They're allowing the second fewest fantasy points per game to running backs with just 7.9.

Dalvin Cook - Minnesota Vikings @ Bears

Like Chubb, Cook has been a workhorse so far -- fourth in the league with 57 rushing attempts -- and has become the focal point of Minnesota's run-first philosophy. He leads all backs with 23.1 fantasy points per game in standard scoring, giving him one of the safer floors as an RB1.

But Week 4's divisional tilt on the road against a strong defensive front will be tough. This game figures to be an old-school, ground-and-pound, field-position contest on both sides. Cook will get his chances on the ground, but will he be able to capitalize? Chicago is one of just four teams that hasn't allowed a rushing or receiving touchdown to a running back in three games. They're giving up the fourth fewest fantasy points per game (12.1) to the position.

Others: Devonta Freeman (Vs. Titans), Sony Michel (@ Bills)

 

Potential Wide Receiver Busts for Week 4

Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints Vs. Cowboys

Thomas just isn't the same WR1 with Drew Brees (thumb) on the shelf. After being targeted 13 times each of the first two games, he saw only seven targets and caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 with Teddy Bridgewater at the controls. He's averaging only 10.9 fantasy points a game, and that's unlikely to go up drastically without Brees.

Unless the Saints are forced to throw a lot to play catch-up on Sunday night -- it's clear New Orleans would prefer to limit Bridgewater's attempts if possible -- Thomas could easily disappoint if he doesn't find the end zone for the second time this year. The Cowboys have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points per game (19.0) to opposing receivers.

Chris Godwin - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Rams

A second straight dud? After scoring each of the first two weeks, Godwin took a distant back seat to Mike Evans in Week 3 and caught three passes for only 40 yards. He's dealing with a hip injury and might not be 100 percent this Sunday. On top of that, the Rams secondary is one of just two teams that have not allowed a score to a wideout this year. They're allowing only 13.2 fantasy points per game to the position.

John Brown - Buffalo Bills Vs. Patriots

The other defense that hasn't allowed a TD to a receiver? That'd be the Patriots. They've given up the fewest fantasy points per game to the position, too, at 11.6. Brown is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead in targets (23), but his target share has dropped steadily each of the last three weeks. If the 29-year-old can't find a way to get behind New England's defense for a big play or two, it might be a long game for him.

Others: Josh Gordon (@ Bills), Adam Thielen (@ Bears)

 

Potential Tight End Busts for Week 4

Greg Olsen - Carolina Panthers @ Texans

Olsen's first game with Kyle Allen at quarterback was quite nice -- six catches, 75 yards and two scores -- but it came against Arizona's bad defense against tight ends. The Texans, on the other hand, are giving up 3.0 fantasy points per game to tight ends and no touchdowns. The 34-year-old veteran is a nice safety blanket for the inexperienced signal-caller, but Houston will likely force Allen to beat them deep.

Delanie Walker - Tennessee Titans @ Falcons

Walker leads the Titans with 21 targets, 16 catches and two touchdowns through three games. He's often Marcus Mariota's first read, but the inconsistent and inaccurate QB is on the hot seat and Walker hasn't practiced this week due to a knee injury. A hobbled Walker could disappoint on the road against an Atlanta defense that's allowed 6.3 fantasy points per game to tight ends and zero touchdowns.

Others: Jason Witten (@ Saints), Mark Andrews (Vs. Browns)

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