The Poo Poo Platter – Biggest Fantasy Busts of Week 1
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.
Baker Mayfield – The cocky quarterback got his comeuppance in this game as he was harassed by an underrated Titans defense. The game was relatively competitive until a rash of turnovers in the third quarter flipped the game and turned it into a blowout. Baker still finished with 285 yards and a touchdown, but the 3 interceptions ate into his points.
Cam Newton – In a game where the Panthers scored 27 points, Cam Newton’s fantasy value was minuscule. Cam’s value as a fantasy football quarterback has always been influenced by his running ability, and what’s concerning is Cam only ran the ball 3 times for negative yardage. If this trend continues, Cam could end up being the biggest QB bust of the year.
Jameis Winston – Jameis Winston continues to display that he is on a diet, and is done with his W-eating days. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay fans, the mere presence of Bruce Arians has not elevated Winston from being what he’s always been; an unpredictable, turnover prone, boom or bust proposition from week to week.
Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben was on the road. If you played him, it was against common knowledge and my personal advice, so it’s totally on you. There wasn’t much of anything going on for the Steelers’ offense, and Ben finished with no touchdowns.
Sony Michel – 14 carries for 11 yards. This was a game in which the game script favored him, and still, Sony Michel couldn’t get anything done against Pittsburgh’s front seven. With the number of mouths to feed in New England, it’s tough not to be scared about Michel’s value on this team going forward.
James Conner – Sticking with the Sunday night game, James Conner found rough sledding against the New England defense. His floor was slightly boosted thanks to his four catches, but overall, Conner was held to 21 rushing yards on 10 carries. I expect more from Conner going forward, but this was a major disappointment.
Devonta Freeman – Devonta Freeman’s return from injury was anything but glorious. The fact is, Freeman ran into a staunch defense in the Minnesota Vikings. I expect Freeman to have better games this year, as the Vikings defense is one to watch out for as potentially avoiding in future matchups.
Joe Mixon – I saw this coming, but not to this extent. Joe Mixon, in spite of being one of the best young running backs in the league, found his way onto my sit list last week. I told you to temper expectations, but I didn’t expect Mixon to be shut down by the Seahawks. The fact that he was outworked by Giovanni Bernard isn’t encouraging, but I’m not selling on Mixon just yet.
Matt Breida – Despite leading the team in carries, Matt Breida was outgained by Raheem Mostert. Breida’s lack of involvement in the passing game is concerning, especially if he’s going to be splitting carries even without Tevin Coleman’s presence. I generally like running backs in Kyle Shanahan’s system, but I’m worried about Breida’s value on an offense that underperformed against Tampa Bay.
Mike Evans – I was very high on Mike Evans coming into the season, however, the projected high flying offense of Bruce Arians was quickly grounded on Sunday. Evans would finish with just 2 catches for 28 yards, but what’s most concerning is he was only targeted five times. It will be tough for Evans to bounce back against a game Panthers team, on the road and on a short week, as they play on Thursday Night Football.
Tyreek Hill – An early injury knocked Tyreek Hill out of the game, not just for Sunday but for the next couple of weeks. After a tumultuous offseason, this is not the start to the season Tyreek Hill was looking for following a quiet extension of his contract. When Hill comes back, if he’s healthy, he goes right back to being a WR1 in fantasy football; just ask Sammy Watkins.
Jarvis Landry – The entire Cleveland Browns offense struggled on Sunday, and it was primarily due to the offensive line’s inability to protect Baker Mayfield. I expect bigger days for Jarvis Landry, once the offense has caught up to speed and is able to properly deploy their weapons to create spacing in the open field.
Brandin Cooks – On a day where Jared Goff struggled mightily, Brandin Cooks found himself on the outside looking in when it came to team targets. While Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp accounted for 13 and 10 targets respectively, Cooks had just 6 targets in the game. Cooks is a big play receiver who will give up the volume to his teammates, and he could be a potential season long bust if you can’t predict his big weeks.
Stefon Diggs – Stefon Diggs’ reported hamstring injury may have limited him during Sunday’s matchup against the Falcons, but it was the game script that really limited his role. The Vikings threw the ball 10 times. Let me repeat that, the Minnesota Vikings threw 10 passes in an NFL football game in 2019. The Vikings may suddenly be run-heavy, but I don’t expect it to be this unbalanced all year.
OJ Howard – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were flustered by Jameis Winston’s bad play, and Mike Evans wasn’t the only one affected. OJ Howard did well with the targets he had, catching 4 of 5 for 32 yards. The real problem is Cameron Brate’s presence in the red zone. If this continues, it will severely impact Howard’s year long value.
Vance McDonald – People said I was crazy for not being as hyped on Vance McDonald. I think he’s a good but not great tight end who’s value to this offense has been overblown. McDonald had less targets than James Washington, Diontae Johnson and even Ryan Switzer. It’s not time to totally bail out on Vance McDonald, but definitely temper your expectations.
Zach Ertz – This felt like an aberration in a weird game that got away from the Eagles early on. Ertz ultimately finished second on the team in targets, and his day would look much different if he had gotten in the red zone. What’s encouraging is he got double the targets Dallas Goedert received, establishing a clear 1A in the Philadelphia tight end room.
Hunter Henry – The news isn’t all bad with Hunter Henry. I’m firmly entrenched in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” camp when it comes to the Chargers tight end, but he was the third most targeted on the team following Mike Williams’ exit from the game. If Williams misses extended time, Henry will definitely get a slight boost in my tight end rankings going forward.
Jacksonville Jaguars – If you played the Jaguars against the elite, top rated offense of the Kansas City Chiefs, well that’s your problem.
Philadelphia Eagles – If you told me Case Keenum was going to drop nearly 400 yards on the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, I’d have choked from laughter. Instead, that’s exactly what happened, as the young receivers for the Redskins went absolutely ham in the first half. The Eagles secondary remains an issue, and I’m off this defense until I see that unit perform better.
Cleveland Browns – The Browns were considered a favorite streaming option, and that blew up in everyone’s faces much like Cleveland Browns’ fans who went into the season with Super Bowl expectations. The defense should play better as the season wears on, but this was as ugly a start as it gets.