Love hurts. Love scars. Love wounds our fantasy football lineups. Here are the guys we love that did us wrong, the biggest busts of week one Sunday football.
Luke Falk – Nobody was starting Luke Falk, but I wanted to include him here because of just how terrible he was. He threw for only 120 yards, 2 interceptions and lost a fumble. For the time that Luke Falk is starting in the NFL, you should be streaming defenses against him.
Philip Rivers – The Chargers offense got off to a slow start in this game and never really recovered. It’s clear the injuries are catching up to them and even Philip Rivers can’t save them. He threw to Austin Ekeler almost as many times as the Steelers threw to James Conner and Jaylen Samuels combined last week, indicating he lacks a downfield presence. If you can trade Rivers at all, now’s the time, as he has 3 very tough matchups scheduled ahead of him.
Derek Carr – It was a tough matchup so you likely benched Derek Carr this week and that turned out to be the right decision. Even though the Raiders played well and beat the Bears, it was due to the running game. Carr is a streamable asset best utilized in games where the Raiders are facing high-scoring offenses and will be playing from behind.
Aaron Rodgers – The only reason Aaron Rodgers is on the fart list is that Aaron Jones got all of the touchdowns. This isn’t likely to be a weekly occurrence, so I wouldn’t fret if I was an Aaron Rodgers fantasy owner. If he had two of those four touchdowns, his day would look a whole lot different.
Jacoby Brissett – I was expecting a shootout Sunday night between the Colts and Chiefs, but it turned into a ground and pound type of game for the Colts. The Colts played bully ball and from a fantasy football perspective, that does not bode well for Jacoby Brissett’s production. He’s still an excellent week to week option in most leagues.
Jaylen Samuels – If you were counting on a repeat performance from Jaylen Samuels, you were sorely disappointed. Samuels did next to nothing as he only had 6 touches in this game. He’s not a week to week volume play and he’s a risky flex option even in positive matchups.
LeSean McCoy/Damien Williams – As mentioned above, the Colts played bully ball on both sides of the ball. Even still, the Chiefs running game was sorely underutilized, as the running backs had only 10 carries, and one of those was to Anthony Sherman. The Chiefs should lean on Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy more going forward.
Melvin Gordon – After finally ending his holdout, Melvin Gordon returned to action and potentially to your fantasy football lineup. I personally would not have played Gordon and it turns out, I was right. It will take a few games for Gordon to knock out the rust, but at least he got 16 touches in this game.
Ronald Jones – Is there a more frustrating player in fantasy football right now? Ronald Jones is playing well, but he’s just not playing enough. The game script wasn’t favorable, but even still, RoJo needs to be on the field more often than human Robitussin candidate Peyton Barber. Whenever RoJo gets the volume required, he’s successful, but predicting when that happens is a crapshoot.
Duke Johnson – This is one of the best games Duke Johnson has had on the season and it still wasn’t very good. The most egregious stat for Duke Johnson is that he has only 9 receptions on the season. Overall, Johnson has been a total bust for fantasy football owners who drafted him highly after the Texans traded for him.
Royce Freeman – Even though he had almost as many carries as Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman didn’t find the end zone, meaning he didn’t have a great game. More so than Phillip Lindsay, Freeman is touchdown-dependent. He’s getting a decent amount of volume, but he’s hard to trust week to week unless you’re completely desperate.
Mike Evans – Marshon Lattimore absolutely has Mike Evans’ number, as he covered him for most of the day, holding him to 0 catches. It’s still unbelievable that a wide receiver as big and talented as Mike Evans could goose you in fantasy football, but it happened. Because it happened, Mike Evans has re-entered the discussion as a buy-low target for trade offers.
Emmanuel Sanders – The Broncos ran the ball over 30 times against the Chargers, mitigating the need for their passing attack. As such, Emmanuel Sanders didn’t do much of anything on Sunday. Considering Joe Flacco is his quarterback, Sanders has played above his means and came back down to earth this week. He’s still playable going forward.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – This hurts me deeply. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is one of my most drafted players and you’d figure with Davante Adams out he would see a healthy target share. MVS had a measly 4 targets in the game, tied with the backup tight end. He’s simply not being utilized as a downfield threat which is where he makes his hay. This is the week I feel like I’m giving up on MVS, so odds are this is the week he starts going off.
Keenan Allen – For the second straight week, Keenan Allen has found himself on the Poo Poo Platter. Allen has less than 70 yards and no touchdowns in two weeks. Even still, he’s the sixth-highest scoring wide receiver on the year. An overcorrection is likely coming but it’s going to be tough as his next three games are against the Steelers, the Titans, and the Bears.
Julio Jones – Apparently Julio Jones has begun hibernation early this year, as he’s also struggled for two straight weeks now. After starting the first three games of the year on a tear, Julio has two straight games with under 60 yards and without a touchdown. Things should loosen up against a shaky Cardinals defense this week.
TY Hilton – Already playing through a hamstring injury, TY Hilton was held in check Sunday night against the Chiefs. However, this wasn’t due so much to the defense as it was due to a lack of targets. The Colts leaned on the run heavily in this game, limiting Hilton’s opportunities to make plays. He’s still a fine play going forward.
OJ Howard – #ForeverSit
Delanie Walker – The Titans offense was held in check by a fantastic Buffalo Bills defense and Marcus Mariota only completed 13 passes during the game. Delanie Walker caught 1 of 2 targets and did nothing for you in fantasy football. This passing attack is unpredictable week to week and you’ll never know when you can count on Old Man Walker.
Vernon Davis – The Redskins never had a chance against the New England Patriots and neither did Vernon Davis. If you tried to play him for fantasy football, he didn’t pay off as he delivered a solid dud as I had predicted in my start/sit article.
Vance McDonald – If not for two touchdowns on the season, Vance McDonald would be considered one of the biggest tight end busts of the season. Between injuries to the Steelers quarterbacks and injuries to Vance himself, you haven’t had much occasion to do any Vance dances this year, and I don’t see many opportunities yet to come.
Jimmy Graham – After a decent game last week, Jimmy Graham turned back into his new-old self by catching a whole 3 passes for under 50 yards. If Graham doesn’t find the endzone, he doesn’t find a productive stat line for your fantasy football team.
Chicago Bears – The vaunted Bears defense is supposedly the best defense in the league, but they got surprisingly man-handled by the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders offensive line pushed the Bears around and Josh Jacobs put in work, leading the Raiders to an improbable win in jolly ol’ London. The Bears will have a much-needed bye week to recover from the loss and are still a solid play for the rest of the season, as they’re still third on the year in fantasy scoring.
Dallas Cowboys – Even with how good the linebackers on this team are, the Cowboys are not an every week defensive play. They likely weren’t streamed against the Packers and it was the right decision to bench them this week. However, I’ve included them here because even though they had a bad game, they’re my pickup of the week as they’ll be facing a Jets team that’s desperately waiting for Sam Darnold to return.
Cincinnati Bengals – If you’ve been streaming against the Cardinals offense, this was the week where it stopped paying off. Kyler Murray looked spectacular running the ball, taking ten carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. He also looked decent passing the ball. The Bengals team is sliding and the defense is following suit. At this point, you shouldn’t be looking to stream the Bengals, you should be looking to stream against them.
Atlanta Falcons – The Houston Texans came out and stomped a mudhole in the Atlanta Falcons defense. The Falcons are a bottom-three defense currently and they shouldn’t be trusted in any scenario. Similarly to the Bengals as mentioned above, this is a defense you should now be targeting to stream your offensive players against. That means fire up your Cardinals players.
Baltimore Ravens – Injuries and departures have affected the Ravens defense drastically and they are not even a streamable option at this point. In the leagues where I did have the Ravens defense, I outright dropped them. At this point, the Ravens are more of a name brand landmine that you should drop in hopes that another team tries to pick them up and play them. When it comes to starting this defense for fantasy football; quote the Raven… nevermore.