Week 4 Fantasy Busts: There still won’t be room in the Vikings offense for Stefon Diggs to produce and expect Jameis Winston to melt under the pressure of the Rams pass rush.
Welcome everyone to Week 4 of the 2019 NFL Season! Week 3 was a wild ride, wasn’t it? We saw two back-up quarterbacks completely transform their respective offenses (Daniel Jones/Kyle Allen), and we saw the continued rise of two shocking 3-0 teams (SF/BUF).
Expectations and speculations made before the year began are almost completely out the window already, and teams are starting to brush away the off-season rust. From here on out we should plan to see each squad at their best, but even the best can bust. Let’s take a look at our notes from last week to see how we did:
WHERE WE HIT:
- Jimmy Garoppolo (11 fantasy points)
- Jimmy Gorgeous left Sunday’s game with more than a few blemishes despite the Niners coming out victorious over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jimmy G has been a rollercoaster ride for fantasy purposes over the first three weeks with point totals of (11/23/11). He’ll be on bye this week but won’t be a recommended option in Week 5 against a fierce Cleveland pass rush.
- Jimmy Graham (0 fantasy points)
- Despite Aaron Rodgers constantly saying he wants to get Graham more involved in the offense, he was a total ghost in Week 3 at Mile High. He will continue to be a boom or bust option moving forward with match-up based upside.
- Denver D/ST (0 fantasy points)
- Jimmy Graham’s down day didn’t seem to matter for the Packers, who moved to 3-0 in that contest. The Denver defense continues to be one of the more confusing units in the league this year. After adding defensive guru Vic Fangio from Chicago most people thought this defense would get supercharged, instead, they’re just a winless mess at the moment.
- Baker Mayfield (10 fantasy points)
- If you reached to draft Baker Mayfield in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft this year there’s a strong chance you’re either 1-2 or 0-3 right now. The Browns offense as a whole has been one of the most disappointing units in the league through the first month. Mayfield is under fire constantly from opposing pass rushers, and his confidence seems to be waning because of it. He isn’t a flat out drop candidate yet, but if this offense doesn’t straighten things out `quickly, he may end up being an expensive paperweight on your bench by Week 5.
WHERE WE MISSED:
- Joe Mixon (16 fantasy points)
- Mixon had his best game of the year so far against a stout Bills defense on the road. However, we do advise caution in chasing that success. Mixon had his longest run on the year in this game (just 14 yards), and his touchdown came on a one-yard The Bengals premier back has yet to eclipse 100 yards on the ground this season, and he doesn’t have a rushing TD to his credit either. A week four match-up against a vulnerable Steelers run defense could be the big break he’s been waiting for, but we wouldn’t put too much stock in that.
- Terry McLaurin (16 fantasy points)
- “Scary Terry” must have read our write up before Monday Night Football this past week. The rookie came out like a house of fire against one of the league’s premier defenses and showed the burst and talent that have made him one of the breakout performers of the first month. The only thing that could possibly slow McLaurin’s meteoric rise would be the switch from Case Keenum to rookie Dwayne Haskins under center in Washington. McLaurin has built a clear rapport with Keenum as his top receiving option, and he’ll be in another smash spot in Week 4 against a bottom tier Giants pass defense.
NOW, with that out of the way, let’s jump into the bust candidates for Week 4.
Week 4 Fantasy Busts
QUARTERBACK: JOSH ALLEN (Buffalo Bills)
Say it with me now everybody: “THE 3-0 BUFFALO BILLS!”. That’s right, the Bills took care of business in their Week 3 home opener to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2011. Josh Allen has been one of the league’s most exciting young QB’s this year, and he’s made major strides in leading this team to its unexpected record.
This week will prove to be the biggest challenge yet though. This week the long-reigning monarchs of the AFC East stride into western New York to face a team that they are 30-3 against under the Brady/Belichick regime.
The Patriots defense will be the deciding factor in this game, and it’s a defense that’s shut down every single person they’ve faced through three weeks. This one has all the makings of a low scoring defensive slugfest, and that doesn’t bode well for Allen’s fantasy value. Stream another option and come back to Allen in Week 5.
RUNNING BACK: DAVID MONTGOMERY (Chicago Bears)
Matt Nagy is a liar. He’s a liar and he’s a bad man for what he’s done to fantasy owners this season. The Bears coach was the conductor of the David Montgomery hype train heading into Week 1of the season and has done little to nothing to pay off that hype through the first month of the year so far.
With Mitch Trubisky looking like a major regression candidate and names like Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson getting real carries out of the backfield, Montgomery has been relegated to a fringe FLEX play with upside. He will barely be a FLEX option against a tough Minnesota defense that will be looking to sure up its run defenses after getting gouged by Aaron Jones in Week 3.
You aren’t sitting him based on where you probably drafted him but keep your expectations in check until Nagy proves you should believe otherwise.
WIDE RECEIVER: STEFON DIGGS (Minnesota Vikings)
Our bust at wide receiver this week lines up on the other side of the field in that same game. Stefon Diggs has been a low-key, Baker Mayfield-level bust through the first three weeks of the fantasy season. Both players were drafted within the first five rounds in a good majority of leagues, and both have grossly underperformed.
In Diggs’ case, his issue is one of volume. Over the first three games, Diggs has seen a total of just 12 targets and hasn’t exceeded 50 yards receiving in any of those contests. The Vikings offense is simply not passing the ball enough to sustain weekly value to both Adam Thielen and Diggs, and Thielen has been the teams WR1 so far.
The 2019 Minnesota Vikings offense is a Mike Zimmer fever dream of rushing the ball on over 70 percent of plays, and that dream doesn’t leave much room for Diggs to produce. Look for that trend to continue against the fearsome Bears defense on Sunday.
TIGHT END: AUSTIN HOOPER (Atlanta Falcons)
The base value of Austin Hooper for fantasy purposes is highest in PPR leagues right now. The Falcons tight end has seen an impressive target share through three weeks (22 targets) and he’s caught 19 of those for 2 TDs. Those two scores came in the team’s most recent game in Week 3, but Hooper will remain a touchdown-dependent TE in standard leagues against a tough Titans defense in Week 4.
Tennessee will be looking to exact revenge for their lackluster performance against Jacksonville in Week 3, and we believe Hooper will have trouble finding room over the middle in this one.
DEFENSE: SEATTLE D/ST
This one will sound a little out of left field considering the opponent, but the Seahawks have their 2-1 record so far DESPITE their defense’s performance. This team has faced a QB group of Andy Dalton, Mason Rudolph, and Teddy Bridgewater through three weeks, and they allowed over 24 points to those last two guys.
Seattle has the talent with Jadeveon Clowney/Bobby Wagner/K.J. Wright to their credit, but they haven’t played up to that talent so far this season against mediocre offenses. This week they will face arguably the best QB they’ve seen so far this year in Kyler Murray, and we believe Murray’s dual-threat ability to throw and run the ball with pose a major issue for this defense on the road. Seattle could very well win this game, but it will be because of the actions of Russell Wilson, not their defense.
PRIMARY SUSPECT: JAMEIS WINSTON (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The Tampa Bay Bucs accomplished something in Week 3 that we didn’t think as possible. They somehow managed to MISS a game-winning field goal against the New York Giants. To miss that kick against a team that’s had a recent history of losing on 60+ yard field goals is an indictment on the Bucs as an organization and a telling sign of what they bring to the table as a whole.
This is a team that lacks organization from the top down. They pulled Bruce Arians out of retirement to try to revitalize an offense that doesn’t have a starting quarterback under center, to begin with. Tampa Bay will need to make a decision on whether to extend or cut bait on Jameis Winston at the end of the season, and we find it hard to believe they will opt to keep him.
If we’re being honest, Winston has been the portrait of mediocrity through five seasons in the NFL, and mediocrity melts in the face of adversity. Winston will melt under the pressure of the Rams pass rush this week, and any remaining faith the Bucs have in him as their franchise QB will melt along with it.