Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Week 14 Busts for Fantasy Football: Matt Ryan, Amari Cooper, Delanie Walker & More


Week 14 Fantasy Football Busts

Matt Ryan (QB, ATL)

Ryan has struggled with consistency this year, with 11 of his 13 interceptions coming in five games. With a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 14, he is bound for another frustrating performance.

The Panthers have the third most sacks in the league, the fifth most recovered fumbles and the most interceptions. Even if Julio Jones is not shut down by Josh Norman, the Falcons' top target will likely be contained to the point where Ryan will have to rely on a mediocre supporting cast. The receiving corps behind Jones is not strong to begin with, and with Leonard Hankerson lost for the season, Ryan has even fewer options.

Devonta Freeman is poised for a 30-touch game between rushes and short throws. Carolina's one "weakness" on defense has been stopping running backs from catching the ball out of the backfield. Seven different running backs have had at least four receptions against the Panthers, and six backs have actually had more receiving yards than rushing yards.

In Week 9 vs. the 49ers, Freeman made up for his poor showing on the ground by catching eight passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. With Carolina's strong defensive front, Ryan and Freeman might have to rely on that strategy. But no, that will not be enough to warrant starting Ryan this week in anything but the deepest of leagues. Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston are all significantly more trustworthy options this week.

Jeremy Hill/Giovani Bernard (RB, CIN)

While the Cincinnati Bengals have had an excellent season as a whole, their running game hasn't turned out quite as expected. Head coach Marvin Lewis came into 2015 with what he thought would be a two-headed monster in Hill and Bernard. However, neither of the two backs have been consistently productive throughout the year, with the only 100-yard game coming from Bernard in Week 2.

Hill struggled early on to the point that he lost his starting job, and while he has actually had season highs in each of the past two weeks, he has failed to collect 25 yards on three separate occasions earlier in the season. Additionally, all eight of his rushing touchdowns came in just four of his 12 games. Bernard has been the better of the two backs for the large majority of the season, but he has just two touchdowns on the season, and none since Week 6.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have effectively kept backs out of the end zone all year. Their run defense as a whole is stingy, but even if Hill or Bernard are able to pick up chunks of yards, it would be a surprise to see either of them cross the goal line against a unit that has allowed just three rushing touchdowns all year.

Last time the Bengals and Steelers met, Hill gained 60 yards on 15 touches and Bernard saw just one carry for 12 yards. Neither scored a touchdown and neither made it to 10 fantasy points. Again, the tandem has been coming together as of late, but both backs are still prone to a disappearing act, and against a defensive unit like that of the Steelers, it is not worth the risk.

Amari Cooper / Michael Crabtree (WR, OAK)

The Oakland Raiders are battling for a chance at the playoffs, but that path will not be easy, as they face a very strong Denver defensive unit in Week 14. Denver has only allowed two receivers -- Travis Benjamin and Marquess Wilson -- to collect 100 yards receiving this year.

The Broncos have also allowed just 11 receiving touchdowns, the fewest in the NFL. While Crabtree and Cooper are both in the midst of breakout years -- Crabtree's is actually more of a rebirth -- but as of late, both have quieted down. Crabtree has failed to garner 60 yards in any of the past four games, and Cooper has struggled mightily with drops in his rookie campaign.

The last time these two teams met, each receiver had just four receptions-- Crabtree for 54 yards, Cooper for 47. While quarterback Derek Carr has improved since Week 5, the Broncos' defense has continued its strong play, and Carr has struggled a bit against the stout defenses of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings.

Travis Benjamin, Doug Baldwin and Brandin Cooks are three less-started players who are more reliable options this week. Neither Oakland receiver is a horrible start, as they always have big-play upside, but their floors are unusually low this week for players of their caliber. Don't necessarily avoid Carr's top weapons at all costs, but definitely look for a more appealing option.

Delanie Walker (TE, TEN)

Walker has been the best fantasy tight end over the last four weeks, with 344 yards and touchdown over that span. On the year, he ranks fifth in standard and 0.5 ppr leagues in total fantasy points. This week, however, he has much less fantasy appeal. Walker averages roughly 73 receiving yards per game, but the New York Jets, his Week 14 opponents, have allowed only Rob Gronkowski to reach that mark so far this year.

Walker is not a huge red zone threat -- 16 other tight ends have as many or more touchdowns than he has (four) -- so his strong numbers almost always come from a heavy workload. If he is unable to consistently get open against a physical Jets' linebacking corps, the veteran tight end could be in for a forgettable day. Guys like Coby Fleener and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, both of whom are typically backups, might be better plays this week given their favorable matchups with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints, respectively.

 

NFL & Fantasy Football Chat Room

More Recent Articles

 

Keep Stashing Running Backs the Right Way

Hells to the yeah, my fellow #AllBenchRB truthers. For those of you who don’t know what #AllBenchRB is, let me give you a short recap before I get to the goods. #AllBenchRB is a strategy I’ve coined where you fill your bench with, as the name implies, only RBs. Or at least as many running... Read More


Warning Signs: Saquon Barkley, David Johnson, Aaron Rodgers

Another week, another bout of crazy results. While survivor pools came to a screeching halt with the Saints and Colts losing, there were also some worrying situations that crept up for fantasy teams. This week brings many questions. What should we do with the Atlanta run game? The answer there is nothing. How do we... Read More


NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 11) - Targets and Avoids

Doomsday finally arrived. The Falcons' domination of the Saints eliminated the majority of remaining entrants in survivor pools. If you avoided the Saints, odds are you took the Colts in the late game. Of course, the Dolphins beat them as well. More upsets were found as the Titans beat the Chiefs, the Steelers manhandled the... Read More


Quarterback Leaderboards At Midseason - NFL Next Gen Stats

We've consumed our first "double-digit week" set of games. That means we've entered the final part of the season and, in fact, the fantasy football playoffs are closer than you may realize. There are just three more weeks to go until we hit Week 14 and celebrate our presence in the run for the chip,... Read More


Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Cooper Kupp

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More


The Tape Tells All - Christian Kirk Fantasy Analysis

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, who broke out in Week 10, catching three touchdowns. Kirk seems to have... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Darius Slayton, Christian Kirk, Kareem Hunt

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 11 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's crunch time, with precious few games left before the fantasy regular season ends. There aren't many new names emerging on the waiver wire at this juncture but the RB situations in Atlanta and Detroit bear watching, while the Jets passing game has shown signs of life. No, really. Each week, we will advise you... Read More


Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 11

Rotoballers, if you're not active on the waiver wire this time of year, there are only two reasonable explanations: 1) You're sitting at 3-7 (or worse) and don't find it enjoyable to play spoiler to your league mates, or 2) You're 8-2 (or better) and have nothing but matchup-proof studs on your starting lineup and... Read More


Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 11 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More


Week 11 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 11, and we're getting closer and closer to the fantasy football playoffs. The consistent options are getting more and more clear, especially at the kicking position. We're also going to start dealing with everyone's favorite factor, which is inclement weather, especially up north. The margin for error in these weeks is slim, and... Read More


Week 10 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!

In Week 10, Christian Kirk, Darius Slayton, Tyreek Hill, and Michael Thomas all had beatable cornerback matchups and finished as the top-four wide receivers in PPR scoring. At running back, Derrick Henry exploited a poor Chiefs run defense and rumbled for 188 yards and two touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 running back on the week. Ronald... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 11)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 11. Some of you are in the favorable position of only needing slight modifications to rosters that are destined to enter the fantasy playoffs. But many of you are still searching for the most effective... Read More