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Top 10 Fantasy Football Lineup Busts: Week 2


Last week in this column I made this little joke: "if I tell you to bench David Johnson, you have my permission to send me mean Tweets about it." Well--ugh. As a Johnson owner in my home league and someone who went light on drafting RBs after picking Johnson and Jordan Howard early, things look bleak. Meanwhile my wife has LeSean McCoy and Kareem Hunt and we are playing this week. Hi, 0-2.

Anyway, you came here to read about lineup busts for Week 2, not to listen to me complain about my own team! But first, let's take a look back at how I did picking busts last week.

Spoiler: not great.

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Week 1 Recap!

I told y'all about Joe Mixon. 2.4 points in Standard in his debut. He carried the ball eight times for nine yards! T.Y. Hilton had a tough game too--three catches, 57 yards, and a fumble. Things might get better this week with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, though! And Eric Ebron looked exactly how I expected he would look. Let's label these as Yep, Busted!

I picked three Chargers to bust. None of them look like busts on paper, but they all had fairly touchdown-dependent fantasy days. Rivers threw for three touchdowns, but he only had 192 passing yards on the day. Melvin Gordon's 18 carries for 54 yards don't look great, but he added a receiving touchdown. Keenan Allen's five catches for 35 yards would have been very bust-worthy if he hadn't scored a late touchdown. I'm putting all three of these firmly in the category of Look, I Know They Salvaged Good Fantasy Days But The Bust Signs Were There.

That leaves us with four names where I just have to shake my head and blame it on the Week 1 randomness. I said Leonard Fournette would touch the ball a lot and not do much, but I didn't expect A) Houston's defense to struggle like they did and B) Fournette to touch the ball 29 times. Nobody will be a bust if they get that many touches, which brings us to Ty Montgomery, who touched the ball 23 times. The yardage numbers weren't there, but he got into the end zone and put up 15.3 fantasy points. From a raw number perspective, he wasn't that different than Melvin Gordon, but Gordon had higher expectations, making Montgomery's performance more impressive and more worthy of being labeled not a bust without any caveats. Jordy Nelson had a solid stat-line--seven catches, 79 yards, one touchdown. The Packers offense didn't look great against Seattle, but of course I picked as busts the two Packers who played well! Also Matthew Stafford had 292 yards and four touchdowns, which is all I'm going to say about him. These four players make my Nope, Did Not Bust category.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let's look at ten players who will not be great in Week 2. We have a little more information about how the defenses they play against will look, so this should go a little smoother.

 

Top 10 Busts - NFL Week 2

Carson Wentz (Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles)

It was smooth sailing for Carson Wentz in Week 1, but this time he gets a road game against the Kansas City Chiefs. I've got him really low on my quarterback rankings this week--the KC defense is too good to let Wentz have another 300 yard, multiple touchdown game.

Kirk Cousins (Quarterback, Washington Redskins)

Take what the Rams did to the Colts last week, make it 30% less effective since they are playing an actual NFL quarterback, and watch Cousins still struggle. The Rams were all over Scott Tolzien, completely eliminating the Colts offense from that game. Cousins will perform better, but it won't be better enough to make him a good start. (By the way, Cousins opening the year with two straight poor performances is concerning, but it's also a chance to buy low on him.)

Dak Prescott (Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys)

Cowboys on the road against the Broncos will be an interesting one. We all know how good the Dallas offensive line is, but Denver's defense is also pretty good. This feels like a game where the Cowboys feed the ball to Ezekiel Elliott and the passing game becomes an afterthought. It won't help that his number one receiver, Dez Bryant, is going to make this list too--the Broncos corners should do a good job shutting him down.

Paul Perkins (Running Back, New York Giants)

Do I even need to explain this? You drafted Perkins because you thought okay, a starting running back is still available. Let me grab him just in case. Well, Perkins ran for 16 yards in Week 1. He's not startable at this point. There might be a train of thought that says Odell Beckham's return this week will help open up chances for Perkins, but no--just don't buy into that logic. Perkins is going to split time with Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa going forward. Avoid this backfield. Sit Perkins.

Carlos Hyde (Running Back, San Francisco 49ers)

I'm really high on Carlos Hyde this year--if he can stay healthy, he'll have a great year. But the 49ers go on the road this week against the Seahawks, who should rebound about their season-opening loss to the Packers. Hyde won't get many chances to see day light this week. He'll likely face a stacked box for most of the game. Hyde is still a good option moving forward, but his ceiling this week is pretty low.

Isaiah Crowell (Running Back, Cleveland Browns)

Crowell was a popular pick during fantasy drafts, but his 1.9 yards-per-carry average in Week 1 was bad and a match-up with a Ravens team that absolutely dominated the Bengals last week doesn't help things. He needs to get it turned around quickly if he doesn't want to start losing playing time, but this week doesn't look like one in which that'll happen. I still feel okay about Crowell going forward--his schedule for the next few weeks looks pretty good--but he doesn't have much upside this week.

T.Y. Hilton (Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts)

Is it cheating to have Hilton on here for a second consecutive week? Maybe, but I'm sitting him until either A) Andrew Luck is back or B) Jacoby Brissett starts and feeds him the ball. There's a definite chance that B happens this week, but you shouldn't count on it. Keep sitting T.Y. Hilton--I know you picked him early, but just keep waiting.

Dez Bryant (Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys)

Everyone seems to have Dez on their lists this week. I'm not going to be a contrarian here. Tough match-up. Also, look: I'm not necessarily saying I agree with Rotoballer's Real Talk Raph when he says that Bryant is "well past his prime," but I'm also not not saying that. I think the days of Bryant as an elite receiver are done, and I think he'll struggle going forward when he plays great defenses.

Austin Hooper (Tight End, Atlanta Falcons)

Hooper is currently the number one fantasy tight end, but he only had two catches against Chicago--they just happened to go for 128 yards and a touchdown. That is not sustainable. Falcons play a Packers team whose defense looked good against Seattle last week and there are a lot of mouths to feed in Atlanta. It wouldn't shock me to see Hooper with three catches and twenty-something yards--you don't want to trust your fantasy prospects to a tight end who was big-play dependent in Week 1.

Hunter Henry (Tight End, Los Angeles Chargers)

Hunter Henry was outsnapped by Antonio Gates in Week 1 and didn't record a catch. That doesn't HAVE to mean he'll be outsnapped by Gates every week, but it does seem to imply that Henry is not the vital piece of the Chargers offense that he was expected to be. Somehow, it is 2017 and Antonio Gates is still beating out younger players for playing time. Keep Henry on your bench until the Chargers show that they actually want to have him involved in their offense.

 

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