Week 5 Busts: In the Weekly Fantasy Unit, there are crimes committed that would shock and appall you: Negative points, underwhelming superstars and outright busts. These are the findings of one man on a mission to expose the NFL’s biggest perpetrators before they strike again.
These are…..the Fantasy Files.
Welcome back to the W.F.U., fantasy fans! We had ourselves an exciting Week 4 and though we had some set backs (more on that in a moment), we successfully rounded up a group of busts once again this week. Let’s take a look at how last week’s suspects performed:
- Derek Carr (33 Points)
- Isaiah Crowell (0.3 Points)
- Chris Godwin (2 Points)
- Kyle Rudolph (5 Points)
- Robbie Gould (9 Points)
- Miami D/ST (0 Points)
- Mitch Trubisky (43 Points)
A solid four out of six; break it down and you’ve got two out of three (Meat Loaf would be pleased). However, there are two names in particular that slipped through the cracks that I’d like to discuss.
In this business you learn quickly that nothing is certain, one week’s bust is another week’s boom, but like most things in life there’s a grey area hiding just out of plain sight. Mitch Trubisky and Derek Carr were two names I listed as busts last week with good reason, neither were particularly flashy in the prior three weeks, and both showed little potential to grow in their current offenses. To their credit they shocked me and many others with outstanding performances (Trubisky had the greatest game by a Bears Quarterback in franchise history), but that doesn’t make either of these men trustworthy on a weekly basis. No, this is a learning experience for all of us here on the force, because there’s nothing more dangerous than a bust that breaks out in a good match up.
Players are going to want to add and start Trubisky and Carr with confidence moving forward but I’m here to say that would be a grave mistake. While both men showed they can perform well in ideal scenarios, they can just as easily revert back to the norm. Trubisky in particular troubles me, he faced a 31st ranked Tampa Bay defense in Chicago and tore them apart (as he should have); that shouldn’t be considered the new normal . His point totals prior to this week were 14/16/6 points. If you need to pick him up I suggest putting him on your bench and think things over during his Week 5 bye, Trubisky hits the road to Miami in Week 6.
With that out of the way it’s time to dive back into the data to find out who the biggest bust candidates are for Week 5:
Fantasy Files: Tales From The WFU (Weekly Fantasy Unit)
Eli Manning (New York Giants)
Eli Manning is one of more polarizing quarterbacks in the league. On one hand, he’s constantly mocked for his weekly “Manning Faces”, and goofy mannerisms. On the other hand, he’s the only man that can say he’s defeated the modern Patriots dynasty twice in the Super Bowl; he’s Belichick and Brady’s kryptonite.
Unfortunately for Manning, the only kryptonite he’s around presently is his offensive line. The Giants quarterback has already been sacked 15 times over the first month of the 2018 season. By comparison, he was sacked 31 times all of last year. Those numbers wouldn’t bode well for a young, spry quarterback much less an aged veteran like Manning. His TD:INT ratio of 4:1 is efficient mathematically but impotent in practice. One TD per week isn’t going to get it done against a Carolina team with weapons on both sides of the ball. This Giants team has playmakers, but it’s captain is beginning to fear his own shadow in the backfield. The G-Men need this win, but I’d shy away from Eli on the road this week.
Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings)
Shhhh…can you hear that? That distant screaming is the collective sound of Dalvin Cook owners after the first month of the season. Those who banked on Cook to bounce back from his shortened inaugural campaign have been left wanting more bang for their high second round buck. As a Cook owner myself I share my deepest sympathies to all others struggling during this time, but I must be the bearer of bad news. Running against the Eagles isn’t fun, in fact it’s miserable, and that’s just the unit Cook finds himself lined up against in Week 5.
Philly’s reeling from an OT loss in Nashville, and their fierce front seven will be chomping at the bit to swallow up a bottom-third ranked Minnesota offensive line. The Eagles defense currently ranks first in the league against the run, allowing just 63 YPG, and they play markedly better within the raucous confines of Lincoln Financial Field. With Cook playing at less than 100 percent and no real timetable for his complete recovery I urge owners to look elsewhere for RB help this week.
Michael Crabtree (Baltimore Ravens)
I had a more intriguing WR pick for this week, but Michael Crabtree dropped it. Sorry, I had to. It’s true though, the Ravens off-season acquisition has struggled so far to hold onto the ball in his new home. Despite being targeted 34 times he’s hauled in just 18 balls for an average of 40 yards per game and 1 TD through the first month. While John Brown seems to have been born anew in Baltimore, Crabtree has wilted, even in plus matchups (Buffalo/Pittsburgh).
This week Crabtree travels to First Energy Stadium to take on a Browns team with a new lease on life, and a first-round corner (Denzel Ward) that likely can’t wait to make his acquaintance. Ward has been a breakout talent thus far in his rookie year, and that doesn’t bode well for Crab’s chances to get back on the horse this week. I’d fade him in this divisional matchup.
Ben Watson/Josh Hill (New Orleans Saints)
The resident TE tandem in the Big Easy is a mixed bag. Ben Watson’s the veteran in the twilight of his career, Josh Hill is the 28-year-old journeyman. Both men are looking to latch onto the magic that is the Saints offense this season, but neither man can seem to catch fire. Due to the near cataclysmic lack of available (healthy) talent at the position, fantasy owners are looking anywhere for plug in plays at the position.
I’m here to tell you to stay away from these two against Washington in Week 5. The Redskins have corralled tight ends effectively through the first month, allowing just 110 yards and 1 TD, and giving up an average of just 30 YPG game to the position. With Mark Ingram set to return to the lineup and the star power of Kamara/Thomas, I find it hard to believe Drew Brees will be calling Watson/Hill’s number often in this one. Keep panhandling for the gold on the waiver wire, you’ll find someone better out there than these two this week.
Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis Colts)
First things first: a hearty congratulations to Adam Vinatieri for kicking himself further into the record books this past week. He officially passed Morten Anderson to become the most successful field goal kicker in NFL history (556 made). It’s just unfortunate that his entire team went to the IR as soon the game was over. It’s an overstatement, but it’s not far from the truth.
The Colts lost much more than just a football game this past Sunday, they lost star WR T.Y. Hilton, rookie LB Darius Leonard, CB Quincy Wilson and Vinatieri himself. The legend is nursing a groin injury on a short week against his former team, the New England Patriots. It’s hard to believe he won’t be out there if he can help it, but I wouldn’t play him regardless. This game could get out of hand quickly with most of Indy’s starters sidelined on both sides of the ball. The opportunities for field goals will be limited.
Detroit Lions D/ST
While the Lions are reeling from a close loss to the Cowboys, there’s a simple two word answer for why they’re my bust defense for Week 5: Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers may still be recovering from the leg injury he sustained courtesy of Khalil Mack, but the orchestrator of the “Miracle in Motown” knows a little something about winning in Ford Field. Rodgers is 13-3 in his career playing in Detroit and has posted as astounding TD:INT ratio of 17:3 dating back to 2008. His completion percentage averages out at 67 percent and he’s thrown for 300 or more yards in the majority of his match-ups in Ford Field. In short, Rodgers owns the Lions. More importantly, he owns them in their own home. Stay away, stay far, far, away.
PRIMARY SUSPECT: (Avoid at all costs)
Lamar Miller (Houston Texans)
Another fantasy football season, another year of waiting for the “potential” of Lamar Miller to morph into on field brilliance. As someone who’s fallen for this trap over and over again throughout my time playing fantasy football, I’m about at my wits end with Miller.
His initial appeal was that he could manufacture high fantasy totals on minimal touches in Miami, which is why he ended up in Houston to begin with. Houston then began feeding him the ball 18-20 times and game and the league found out just what Miller is; the living definition of average.
Through the first month he’s had the backfield largely to himself and has zero rushing TDs and just over 200 yards from scrimmage to show for it. He’s had prime matchups (this past week against Indianapolis), and he hasn’t done anything with them. So you can understand where I’m coming from when I say I want no part of him against an improved Dallas Cowboys front 7 in Week 5. The Battle of Texas will be waged once again this weekend, and Miller will be the first one to throw up the white flag. Don’t allow him to sink your fantasy team again this week. Steer clear.
That’s another week in the books! Best of luck in your matchups heading into week 5 everyone. As we near the midway point of the fantasy season I have encouraging insight for those currently riding high in the win column, and those struggling to stay afloat. If you’re 3-1 right now, stay focused. Don’t allow yourself to get too comfortable, stay the course and do your due diligence when checking the wire during the week. If you’re 1-3 or 0-4, your season IS NOT over. Keep your chin up and listen to the chatter from league insiders. If you hear about an injury or a player with promise, jump on them immediately. That’s how you find the breakout talents before anyone else, you listen and take action. Have a great week and keep your eyes peeled for these bust candidates.