Top 10 Fantasy Football Lineup Busts - Week 5

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Some anecdotes from my home league that illustrate some thought processes about a few of last week's bust picks:

Two weeks ago, two teams in my league made a trade: Dez Bryant for Amari Cooper. This was before Cooper stopped existing the past two weeks and I was, at the time, surprised someone would give up on the talented Cooper for a Dez Bryant who is not really as good as he once was. Flash forward to this week's waivers and Amari Cooper--the wake of the news that E.J. Manuel will be the Raiders starting quarterback for at least a few weeks--gets dropped. The original Cooper owner was ahead of me in priority and grabbed him.

Here's another great one: I bought into the Isaiah Crowell hype before the draft. I grabbed him round four and thought I was getting a big steal. That was... not true. After Greg Olsen went down and the waiver wire looked absolutely desolate at the position, I was offered Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick for Crowell. I was pretty low on him at that point, so I took the trade. Fast forward to now and I've dropped Ebron and Riddick and the team I traded Crowell to has taken him out of his lineup. It's funny how often, regardless of how you feel about it at the time, some fantasy football trades just don't work for anyone. Anyway, time to look at who is going to be bad this week and who was or was not bad last week!

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Week 3 Recap!

Yep, Busted.

I hit on four of the ten bust picks this week. 40% is a bad percentage and I am sorry. Then again, if this were baseball that would be a tremendous batting average. Isaiah Crowell continued to be very, very inefficient, Amari Cooper had his second game in a row with less than ten receiving yards, Pierre Garcon suddenly looked like the third option at wide receiver in San Francisco, and Marcedes Lewis--look, we knew this regression was coming. London Lewis is not going to appear when the game is not played in London.

 

Look, I Know They Salvaged Good Fantasy Days But The Bust Signs Were There.

LOOK I AT LEAST AVOIDED THE MIDDLE GROUND THIS WEEK GIVE ME SOME CREDIT FOR THAT.

 

Nope, Did Not Bust.

Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor Sr. did a lot better against the Chiefs defense than I expected. Jameis Winston had a big game. Lamar Miller went from teetering on the brink of irrelevance to suddenly alive as Deshaun Watson breathed life into the Texans offense. I have no explanation for Ameer Abdullah looking so good all of a sudden. And Evan Engram is the real deal.

 

Top 10 Busts - NFL Week 5

Philip Rivers (Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers)

He's on the road against a Giants defense that has defended quarterbacks well in both real life and fantasy this season. Add in that Rivers has looked lost at times--remember that Kansas City game?--and you get a recipe for a mediocre start. Rivers is fine in two-quarterback formats, but if you're like most people and you only get one--hmm, maybe think a different direction.

Ben Roethlisberger (Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Steelers play Jacksonville. Here are the fantasy numbers they have allowed to quarterbacks this season: Houston (Tom Savage + Deshaun Watson): 4.2, Tennessee (Marcus Mariota): 13, Baltimore (Joe Flacco): -2.9 (yes, that is a negative), and the Jets (Josh McCown): 5. I mean... look, I know the Steelers are a high-scoring team, but the Jacksonville defense has just been destroying passing games this season. They have been give 19.3 points TOTAL to these quarterbacks. TOTAL. I'm not playing any quarterback against them at this point.

DeMarco Murray (Running Back, Tennessee Titans)

Normally with a starting quarterback out, teams turn to the run game. That could be true in the Titans game against Miami, but the Dolphins defense is giving up just 3.1 yards-per-carry and allowing only 77.7 rushing yards each game. Factor in that Murray will be spelled by Derrick Henry at least some and the team has the potential to go down early since their quarterback is Matt Cassel and you probably want to look for a better option.

Tarik Cohen (Running Back, Chicago Bears)

I'm low on Cohen for a number of reasons this week. Mitchell Trubisky will make his NFL debut, which likely means the team will try to run the ball early. Jordan Howard is their guy for that. When the team turns to the passing game, I expect Trubisky to look down the field more, which isn't great if you're hoping for Cohen to be a PPR monster. The Vikings have also only allowed one touchdown to running backs. Cohen only out-snapped Benny Cunningham by two snaps in Week 4. Don't trust him.

Martavis Bryant (Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers)

Can I just copy/paste everything from the Big Ben write-up? The Jaguars allow an average of 147 passing yards each game. They haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver this season. Bryant is a good option most weeks as the second wideout on a prolific offensive team, but not this week.

Kelvin Benjamin (Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers)

He'll match up with Darius Slay, who has been phenomenal in 2017. The Lions don't allow number one receivers to score. Benjamin has the chance to break out against Detroit because he's still a very talented player, but the Panthers offense figures to struggle and I wouldn't put your team in his hands.

Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver, Oakland Raiders)

Per Pro Football Focus, Amari Cooper is the worst-graded wide receiver in the NFL this season. He has three catches over the past two games. He didn't even have double-digit YARDAGE in either of those games. E.J. Manuel isn't the disaster people think he is, but he isn't Derek Carr. Throw in that even before this bad stretch he was dropping passes--including a series where he dropped multiple end zone targets--and that Michael Crabtree might be back. Just... no. Cooper has the talent to turn this around, but Carr's injury is terrible timing for him.

Will Fuller (Wide Receiver, Houston Texans)

Fuller was a popular add after his two touchdown game last week against the Titans, but it's going to be hard to trust him against the Chiefs. Kansas City has allowed a lot of yards this season, but they're also allowing the lowest completion percentage in the league and are facing a rookie quarterback. I'm expecting Deshaun Watson to try getting the ball out quick, which doesn't help a downfield threat like Fuller.

Jason Witten (Tight End, Dallas Cowboys)

Witten has two catches for twelve yards over the past two games and now faces a Packers team that has allowed just eight catches to tight ends. Witten is what he is at this point--an aging player whose primary value doesn't lie in the passing attack. His first two games of this season will look more and more like outliers are the season moves along.

Eric Ebron (Tight End, Detroit Lions)

If you're still waiting for the talented but poorly-handed tight end to make a splash, you might want to get a nice blanket and take a long nap. Ebron's drop issues in Week 3 seemed to affect his playing time in Week 4, as "backup" tight end Darren Fells saw twenty more snaps than Ebron. What's worse than an inconsistent tight end? An inconsistent tight end who doesn't see the field.

 

More Week 5 Lineup Prep