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My Top 10 Potential Busts for Week 5

Welcome back to the Top 10 Busts of the Week column, where I tell you why the early round draft-pick you made is going to stink.

It's OK.  It happens to everyone.

I'm here for you if you drafted C.J. Anderson.  If you want to cry, you can.  Nothing to be ashamed of.


Top Ten Fantasy Football Busts for Week 5

Bust No. 1 - Jeremy Hill, CIN


Yeah, this was a poor pick last week, as Hill scored three touchdowns in the Bengals' game against the Chiefs.  That's what I get for trusting Andy Dalton to throw touchdowns.  However, this week's opponent is much more stout defensively - the Seahawks haven't allowed a rushing touchdown at all this season.  For an RB who has been useless - and that's a charitable way to describe it - without scoring a touchdown, this is a nightmare scenario.  If for some reason, you're feeling an overwhelming nostalgia for Week 2 of the 2015 season, Jeremy Hill's stat line will take you back to a time when everything was better.  Maybe you got a job offer.  Maybe you got engaged.  Maybe that was the week when you finally realized that fantasy football has all the control in your relationship and it makes you miserable, so you decided you were just done with it and the whole damn season can hang.  I don't know.  I don't live your life.

I wish I did though, it sounds nice.

Bust No. 2 - C.J. Anderson, DEN

Oh, C.J., how did I forget about you last week?  You were almost certainly someone's RB1, and yet it's entirely possible that Carlos Hyde outscored you in Week 1.  Not for that week - for the whole season.  I'm not entirely sure that's true, but if someone off the street asked me "Hey, has C.J. even put up 30 points in total this season?"  I'd be like "probably not, no."  There's nothing entirely intimidating about the Oakland defense, but come on, man.  The Lions weren't that great either.

Oh hey, I just did the math on C.J. Anderson's scoring totals - he hasn't hit 20 points combined through four weeks yet.  Not even 20!  Through four weeks!  I'd write a list of all the 20-point games that have been scored so far, but no one wants to read a list that's like 100 entries long.

True story: My fantasy draft could have somehow been WAY worse, as one of the guys in my draft tried to get me to pick Gronk in the first and swap first-rounders since he wasn't going to be able to make the draft.  I mean, I shot him down immediately because I'm not a charity. And if you can't make the draft you don't deserve to pick Gronk, but if I had made that pick swap, autopick would have selected C.J. Anderson for me.  I'm 1-3 on the year but I still thank God every day I didn't make that pick.  So just remember: it could always be worse.  Your first-rounder could've been C.J. Anderson.

This platitude doesn't apply if you drafted C.J. Anderson.  If you did, you've hit rock bottom.  I'm sorry.

Bust No. 3 - Calvin Johnson, DET

Poor Calvin Johnson.  Has there ever been a player as dominant whose career was wasted by incompetence quite like his?  If you say LaDainian Tomlinson, I have two counterpoints. 1: the Chargers never went winless, and 2: screw you, dude, Norv Turner still hurts my heart.  Anyway, Johnson was a force of nature as recently as 2013, but the combination of injury and awful quarterback/offensive line/just pretty much all of it play have led to a horrendous nosedive in fantasy production.  That doesn't look to change any time soon, as the Lions match up against the Cardinals this week, whose defense is good enough to force Matt Stafford into a veritable host of mistakes (read: their defense can put 11 people on the field at the same time).

Bust No. 4 - Latavius Murray, OAK

I actually really have nothing mean to say about Latavius Murray.  The Raiders have been a pleasant surprise for fantasy investors, and Murray has played well.  This is just a poor matchup with the Broncos.  If you've got someone else, I'd start them, but Murray should find his way back into your lineup soon enough.

Wait, did I just say something positive about the Raiders?  What year is it?

Bust No. 5 - Carlos Hyde, SF

This makes me sad.  I like Hyde a lot.  However, his 30-point breakout game in Week 1 looks increasingly like an aberration after the last three weeks, in which the 49ers reminded everyone that Jim Harbaugh might have hypothetically maybe been more responsible for their recent success than they'd like.

This goes double for Colin Kaepernick.  Probably triple, if I'm being honest.

Going back to Hyde, the 49ers play the Giants this week, and the Giants have given up the least rushing yardage in the league.  It's a bad matchup coming off a disastrous two-point effort for Hyde last week.  On the bright side, though, the Giants' D/ST is a pretty solid streaming play, because now that Kaepernick has thrown four picks (two for TDs) in one game, you feel pretty comfortable starting the defense playing against him.

Bust No. 6 - Jimmy Graham, SEA

Well, it turns out taking an elite receiving tight end and stranding him in a power-running WR wasteland is just disappointing for everyone involved.  He has scored in two games this season, but in the other two games, he's scored less than three. Graham put up only 29 yards receiving against Detroit and 11 against the Packers.  This week, he has a matchup against Cincinnati, and it's been almost a calendar year since the Bengals have given up a touchdown to a tight end (Week 7 of 2014).  I'm not optimistic.  Although you probably knew that already considering you're reading a "busts" column.

Bust No. 7 - Joseph Randle, DAL

Can you just imagine what it's like being Bill Belichick right now, game planning against the Cowboys?  He could've had to worry about Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, but instead he has Brandon Weeden and... well let's be honest, the receivers don't matter: it's Brandon Weedon.  He throws a jillion (scientific term) picks and I'm pretty sure half of them are intentional so he can get to the Golden Corral in time for the early bird special.

"Weeden is old" jokes are still funny, right?

More to the point, Randle managed only 26 yards on 11 carries against the Saints, rescuing his day with a touchdown that may have landed him in the doghouse (there was a dive over the pile and an overturned fumble involved).  Belichick is infamous for scheming against his opponents' strengths, and the Cowboys are definitely run-reliant without the two stars in their passing game.  He will load up against the run and dare the Cowboys to air it out, and also the air around him will smell suspiciously of brimstone as he laughs sadistically with every pass.

Bust No. 8 - Andrew Luck, IND

Our second returning player, Luck has a lot going against him this week.  He's hurt, first, so he might not start.  Even if he does, he's been limited in practice and is playing on a short week.  He'll be going up against a Texans defense that has J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on it, and I'm pretty sure those two guys were grown in a lab by scientists who got shoved into a locker by their high school quarterbacks one too many times.

Of course, I've taken him from the desolate touchdown-free wasteland that is my starting lineup and put him into the magical wonderland of fantasy points and unicorn giggles that is my bench.  So he's got that going for him.  We'll just have to see, won't we?

Bust No. 9 - Andy Dalton, CIN

He wasn't drafted high, but he's found his way into starting lineups on the backs of the Bengals' strong start.  With the emergence of Tyler Eifert and the resurgence of Gio Bernard, Dalton has many fantasy owners believing in him and this high-flying Bengals offense.

Pity them, for they know not the pain of "Big Game Andy Dalton."

Dalton has drawn the Seahawks this week, and Kam Chancellor has returned to the Legion of Boom.  This is how you draw up a "the Bengals win early to give fans false hope" scenario.  The only way it could be better is if it was a night game.  The Legion is still the most fearsome secondary in the league even without Byron Maxwell.  Prime Time Andy choked hard against the Browns last year in a marquee Thursday matchup.  I'm expecting a vintage Prime Time Andy performance.  I'm talking a hoity-toity, monocled, "hmmm, yes, 2015 was a wonderful year for Prime Time Dalton games," style effort.

Bust No. 10 - Marcus Mariota, TEN

Because the Titans are playing the Bills, which means I had to put someone from Tennessee in here. But it's not like anyone is starting the running backs (both unremarkable and stuck in a RBBC) - and "tight end busting" implies every tight end besides Gronk isn't just situationally started in a constant "hope for a touchdown" situation anyway.

I don't like the Titans this week at all, so Mariota wins by default.


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