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.
Marcus Mariota – In arguably the worst game of his career, Marcus Mariota was easily the worst fantasy football quarterback this week for those unfortunate enough to start him. He was pulled for Ryan Tannehill and it’s fair to wonder if he can ever recover from this while still wearing a Titans uniform.
Jameis Winston – He was able to save his fantasy day thanks to a garbage time touchdown and 400 yards through the air, but Jameis Winston still turned the ball over 6 times, throwing 5 interceptions and losing a fumble. Winston is firmly a streaming quarterback only, to be used in perfect matchups.
Jared Goff – It was an awful day for the Rams offense, none more-so than Jared Goff. Goff is an average, game manager type who is struggling to make anything happen behind a bad offensive line. Goff has two matchups upcoming against the Falcons and Bengals that should help him turn things around.
Gardner Minshew – Minshew Mania stumbled out of the gate against a great defense. It was Gardner Minshew’s worst game of the season and yet he still played better than Jared Goff or Marcus Mariota. Minshew will now get the Bengals in an excellent rebound game.
Jimmy Garropolo – The problem with Jimmy G is that he is winning. The 49ers remain undefeated and Jimmy G is doing just enough to not get in the way of his team’s excellent running game and defense. Even in what looks to be passing game scripts, the 49ers defense is flipping those scripts and making Jimmy G virtually unusable for fantasy football.
Derrick Henry/Dion Lewis – It was a rough day for the Titans offense in general, so it’s no surprise that Derrick Henry would make the Poo Poo Platter. I included Dion Lewis here as well, because he’s been irrelevant for the 2019 fantasy football season. A lot of running games failed this week, but perhaps none more spectacularly than the Titans.
LeSean McCoy/Damien Williams – Patrick Mahomes’ struggles can be directly linked to the lack of a running game in Kansas City. The Chiefs are stuck in a committee right now, which is an aberration of Andy Reid’s coaching career. Hopefully they figure out which guy they want to lean on, because currently the timeshare is hurting all the Chiefs running backs fantasy value.
Austin Ekeler/Melvin Gordon – The Steelers shut down the Chargers for the better part of the game on Sunday and weren’t able to do much of anything until late. The surprising result was Austin Ekeler’s lack of involvement in the passing game, which I feel will be over-corrected in the coming weeks as the Chargers have some tough matchups. Sell Gordon if you can, but hold on to Austin Ekeler.
Malcolm Brown/Darrell Henderson – The Rams got mopped up by the 49ers and couldn’t do much with the running game which actually didn’t look terrible in the first half. I expect the Rams to lean heavily on whichever running backs are available next week against the Falcons, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the Rams offense (at least for this week).
Joe Mixon – It is not getting better in Cincinnati, it is getting worse. The Bengals offensive line is a sieve and Joe Mixon is unfortunately stuck doing a rendition of Todd Gurley circa 2016 when he was running under Jeff Fisher. There is nothing you can do with Joe Mixon at this point except bench him, or keep playing him and hope for the best.
Aaron Jones – What a rough day for Aaron Jones. With his family in attendance, he lost a fumble and dropped a surefire touchdown pass. He was subsequently scripted out of the game as Jamaal Williams took over and had a good day. Aaron Jones might have been the most valuable running back last week, but now you don’t know what to do with him, and neither do I.
Emmanuel Sanders – Part of the reason Emmanuel Sanders had a bad fantasy day is he exited from the game after halftime. The other reason is Joe Flacco. Sanders cannot be counted on until he is fully healthy, as Joe Flacco struggles to make healthy receivers relevant in this offense.
Amari Cooper – Unfortunately, Amari Cooper exited the game with an injury, which killed his potential production before it could start. The Jets played surprisingly tough and won a huge upset game after Cooper exited, demonstrating his importance to this roster. If he can play against the Eagles, it will be a very nice bounceback spot for Cooper.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – Duck Dynasty could not lift JuJu Smith-Schuster from the fantasy doldrums. The 4th string quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers relied heavily on short passes and is not looking to push the ball downfield. Even when Mason Rudolph comes back, JuJu’s value receives only a slight boost. At least he’s on a bye, so he can’t hurt you this week.
Keenan Allen – The Maurkice Pouncey injury hasn’t only affected the running game, it’s affecting Philip Rivers’ ability to buy time and find his receivers. I’m sure Allen will be fine by the end of the season, but right now he’s likely costing you wins given his recent performances.
Cooper Kupp – It was an awful day for the entire Rams offense and it resulted in the first real dud of the season for Cooper Kupp. Kupp has been incredible in his last three games, so it was somewhat surprising he only managed 17 yards. However, he still led the team in targets and can’t be blamed too much when his quarterback throws for less than 80 yards in the game.
DJ Chark – For only the second time this season, DJ Chark did not catch a touchdown. He also had his lowest yardage total of the year, posting only 43 yards on 3 catches. However, he still had 7 targets in the game and has a wonderful bounce
OJ Howard – #ForeverSit. Sadly, this was OJ Howard’s best game of the year so far and he still managed to show a lack of chemistry with Jameis Winston, including a play in which Winston misread where Howard was going and threw an interception instead.
Zach Ertz – I’m not sure what to make of Zach Ertz anymore. This week, in what should have been an ok matchup, he was outpaced by Dallas Goedert. There was always some concern that Goedert could eat into Ertz’s workload and those worries came to fruition on Sunday. He’s probably fine going forward, but this is not what you drafted him to be.
Travis Kelce – He’s managed to slip under the radar, but Travis Kelce hasn’t performed up to expectations yet this year either. Kelce was considered the de facto tight end one in fantasy football because of Patrick Mahomes, but the two aren’t quite clicking yet this year. I’m sure this will rectify itself by the end of the season, so swat down any trade offers you might be getting for Kelce.
Vance McDonald – There hasn’t been much opportunity for Vance dances this year and Sunday was no different. The passing attack is broken and even though Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph live on underneath routes, they’re not utilizing Vance McDonald. Given the state of tight ends, you probably still have to start Vance McDonald going forward.
Jimmy Graham – You would think the exit of both Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would mean more targets for Jimmy Graham, but then you’d be wrong. It was close to being a good day for fantasy though, because Graham dropped a touchdown catch early in the game, so don’t give up on him just yet.
Los Angeles Chargers – The Chargers are banged up and it shows, as they couldn’t even take advantage of the Duck. James Conner had a field day against them and at this point, I’m streaming players against the Chargers. The offense is good enough most weeks to force the other team to score a little more and the defense is making it easy for opposing offenses.
Dallas Cowboys – In a laughable turn of events, the Dallas Cowboys went into MetLife Stadium and lost to a winless football team. Granted, Sam Darnold is much, much better than Luke Falk, who was released from the team, but I still didn’t expect Dallas to fold the way they did on Sunday. They were my streaming option of the week and they failed to make even 10 points for fantasy football. Hopefully, you started Denver instead.
Tennessee Titans – The Titans might have had a better day defensively if not for the complete disintegration of their offense. The Titans have only allowed 40 points in their last 3 games, including just 16 against Denver. However, the offense is so bad that they’re literally taking away opportunities from the defense to score. They weren’t the worst play of the week, but they weren’t winning you anything either.
Los Angeles Rams – The Rams are reeling and are suddenly the third
Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens have traditionally had a good defense but that is not the case this year. It’s becoming clear that the free agent departures combined with injuries have left gaping holes in this defense that are being exploited on a weekly basis. Even against the lowly Bengals, the Ravens allowed 17 points. They now go on the road to Seattle, then onto the bye week, then a home matchup versus the Patriots. Yikes.