Top 10 Fantasy Lineup Busts - Week 3

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Another week in the NFL and another disappointing fantasy performance by [insert the name of someone or, more likely, someones from your lineup here]. I saw on Reddit earlier that there's only been 11 100-yard receiving games through two weeks after there were 30 last season, so it's not just you who's thinking that something is up with offense right now. The quarterback play is down this year and that's making it harder for receivers to put up big games.

It also feels like injuries are up. I don't have a stat to back that assertion up, but as someone who has David Johnson and Greg Olsen, it feels that way. Lots of players already banged-up, which makes this feel like it's going to be an unpredictable fantasy season. Buckle up!

Let's talk about what players you need to avoid this week. As always, I'll recap last week's picks first and then move on to 10 names that you should probably avoid this week.

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Week 2 Recap!

Yep, Busted.

My picks went better this week. Kirk Cousins continues to lead a disappointing Washington defense. Paul Perkins played exactly as expected and is about to lose carries to Orleans Darkwa. Isaiah Crowell faced a tough Ravens team and couldn't get anything going. T.Y. Hilton didn't look much better with Jacoby Brissett under center. And Austin Hooper? Another two-catch game, but this time instead of 128 yards he had... seven yards.

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

The Cowboys were even worse than expected in their blow-out loss to the Broncos. That might have actually helped Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant's fantasy numbers--in a low-scoring Broncos win, I don't think Bryant gets the touchdown that salvages his day. Both of these players weren't very good, but their fantasy numbers are inflated by the touchdowns so... you didn't have it too much if you had them on your team.

Nope, Did Not Bust.

I don't know how Carson Wentz and Carlos Hyde had good days. Wentz faced a tough Chiefs defense and threw all over them, while Hyde faced a tough Seahawks defense and ran all over them. Run those games back and it's not likely we see those levels of performance, but...well, it's what we saw. Hunter Henry is less of a mystery; the Chargers actually tried to get him the ball! Henry is a good player when he's actually involved in the offense.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let's look at ten players who will not be great in Week 3.

 

Top 10 Busts - NFL Week 3

Marcus Mariota (Quarterback, Tennessee Titans)

I think Mariota is a very good quarterback, but the Titans play the Seahawks this week. They held Brian Hoyer to 99 yards and an interception last week. Mariota might be better than Hoyer, but I expect the Titans game plan to look similar to the 49ers from last week: run the ball, run the ball, throw an incompletion, punt the ball.

Russell Wilson (Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks)

The other side of this game won't be great either. Titans have an underrated pass defense and Wilson hasn't looked all that great through two games. Seattle's offensive line just can't protect him. Expect Seattle to run the ball with Chris Carson a lot. Low scoring affair. (Really glad I own Mariota AND Wilson. Wonder if Alex Smith's still available on waivers?)

Tyrod Taylor (Quarterback, Buffalo Bills)

It's possible you're still playing Taylor because his rushing ability provides a good floor, but the Buffalo Bills are a huge mess. We've basically seen a microcosm of Taylor's season through two games, though. He excelled against a bad Jets team and he struggled big time against a much better Panthers team. I'd feel confident playing Taylor against some of the bad defenses they play later in the year, but he isn't sniffing my lineup against the Broncos.

LeSean McCoy (Running Back, Buffalo Bills)

Shady isn't going full Week 2 Ezekiel Elliott this week, but he won't find many openings against a Denver team that just held Elliott to eight yards. It is never a good sign when a top running back gets so few yards that I can spell the number out. I could see McCoy doing something in the 30-40 yard range and only salvaging his day with a touchdown, but I'm also not confident he would see the goal line work to get a score. I see you, Mike Tolbert.

Leonard Fournette (Running Back, Jacksonville Jaguars)

I was wrong about Fournette busting in Week 1, but I feel safe this week saying it because the Ravens have been absolutely dominant in run defense in 2017. I don't want to start someone who is running against this team. Fournette will still likely see a large volume, but he could very well end up with a pretty low yards-per-carry average when all is said and done. Also, it's a London game. Those don't usually go too well.

Jordan Howard (Running Back, Chicago Bears)

Sigh. I was a big believer in Howard, but he's got an injured shoulder and he isn't involved in passing situations, which really limits his upside. The Steelers can put this game away fairly quickly and force the Bears into throwing the ball. Howard could rebound in the sense that he puts up more yards on the carries he gets, but I don't know if I see him getting as many carries as fantasy owners would like.

Jermaine Kearse (Wide Receiver, New York Jets)

Kearse has emerged as the Jets top receiving threat through two games, a player who is racking up the targets. But he's not...that good, is he? And Miami has a good secondary, right? This is one of those situations where someone thinks they're going to outsmart their league by playing Kearse and they quickly realize it isn't happening.

DeAndre Hopkins (Wide Receiver, Houston Texans)

Of all the players on this bust list, this is the one I feel the least confident about. Hopkins is the only real receiving weapon that Houston has and they're likely to be down big against New England, so he could see a high volume of targets and score big. But also, he has a rookie quarterback on the road against New England, so the ball might just never get to Hopkins. I'm avoiding.

Dez Bryant (Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys)

Another bad match-up this week. The Cowboys are going to likely rely on the run and on a bounce back game from Ezekiel Elliott. Also, Dez Bryant isn't the same player he used to be. I said this last week. It is still true this week. Avoid.

Jason Witten (Tight End, Dallas Cowboys)

I think there's a lot to like at the tight end position this week, but one player I'm avoiding is Jason Witten in a road game against Arizona. The Cardinals haven't looked great this year, but a lot of that is the offense's fault. I think Witten will find it tough going this week.

 

More Week 3 Lineup Prep