Fantasy Football’s Top 10 Fantasy Busts from Week 5
We’re back for the Week 5 edition of Fantasy Football’s Biggest Busts, and this week we have a few usual suspects hitting the ol’ bust list again! Week 5 was a pretty solid week for quarterbacks, as only one makes the not Top 10 this week. Some of the NFL’s top glamour boys (wide receivers), turned in complete no-show performances this week for our fantasy box scores. A future Hall of Fame tight end shows up this week, as well as the current top tight end in the game. There are some new names that hit the Fantasy busts list for the first time this season, but let’s just say things are back to normal at the No.1 spot.
We’re here to take a look at some Week 3 busts, but also give some fantasy analysis for Week 4. Let’s take a closer look at the Top 10 players who were the biggest fantasy disappointments from Week 5:
1. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
Just when you thought you might be able to justify drafting Chris Johnson in the first round of your fantasy draft, you realize that you just can’t. After his 140+ yard performance in Week 4, many CJ owners thought that Johnson might finally stay off this list for a while. Well, think again. Not only does he appear on the list again, he shoots to the No.1 spot for the fourth time in five weeks.
On Sunday, Johnson ran the ball 15 times for 24 yards as he posted a 0 in his owners’ box scores. 0. I was closely watching CJ this weekend, and I finally realized that it just might be time to bench him. Johnson was locked down by the Vikings defense, and now gets to look forward to facing a Steelers defense that is getting healthier as we speak on Thursday Night Football. If you have a Mikel Leshoure, C.J. Spiller, Doug Martin, or a Rashard Mendenhall on your bench, I’d start all of them over CJ this week. If you want to win games in fantasy, bold moves need to be made.
2. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans 5-0 start might be exactly what Andre Johnson’s fantasy owners did NOT want. The Texans are so good that it seems they can win even without the services of their star wide receiver. With Dre’ being double teamed almost every play, and the Texans running the ball so efficiently, it also seems like the Texans don’t have to dial up No. 80 all that much. Last night, Johnson only caught one pass for 15 yards, while the Texans offense still seemed very much under control. Houston has many weapons, and they don’t have to ride him down the field much like the Lions do with Megatron. This week, Dre takes on a putrid Green Bay Packers defense that was just lit up by rookie Andrew Luck. If Reggie Wayne could burn them for 200+ yards through the air, I love the Andre Johnson play this week.
3. Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming off a bye and into Week 5, Mike Wallace was having a solid fantasy season scoring a touchdown in every game thus far. Wallace was coming off a monster game in the Black Hole when he caught 8 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. This week the Eagles’ Nnamdi Asomugha stuck on Wallace all day holding him to 2 catches for 17 yards in the ugly Steelers victory. It was a tough matchup for Mike Wallace owners because the Eagles/Steelers games are played old school style, ground and pound football.
Looking ahead, I love the matchup for Mike Wallace this week, actually just two days from now on Thursday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans defense has allowed 30 points or more in every game this season. I expect a nice Thursday night performance from Wallace to jump start your team for Week 6.
4. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
It’s about time that we put Antonio Gates in the Top 10 because he has yet to register a nice fantasy day. Gates has put up all of 12 fantasy points in his four starts, and hasn’t caught more than four passes in any game. In fact, the one game he did miss in Week 2, backup tight end Dante Rosario caught three passes for three touchdowns. Rivers has been looking his way quite a bit; it’s just that they have been unable to connect. Gates’ red zone targets are still there so we are going to give him another start versus the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. This a big divisional game for both teams, and if the Chargers want to slow down the Broncos by keeping Peyton Manning off the field, they are going to have to look at Antonio Gates often.
5. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Chicago Bears had Maurice Jones-Drew totally accounted for on Sunday, bottling him up pretty much every time he touched the ball. MJD carried the ball just 12 times for 56 yards, and mustered up just 5 fantasy points. This coming a week after Jones-Drew scored only 7 points against the Cincinnati Bengals by running for just 38 yards on the ground. Here’s what gets me nervous if I’m a MJD owner; Jones-Drew has only carried the ball 20 or more times in a game just once this season, and he has only broke the plane once as well. Jones-Drew’s workload is not as large as recent years, but his upside is still awesome. I would start MJD in every game this year because the Jacksonville offense still operates around No.32. MJD is on bye this week, if you need a desperate backup, be sure to give Cedric Benson’s backup Alex Green a look for a spot start.
6. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
A bit of sophomore slump continues for Carolina QB Cam Newton in 2012. In Week 5, the stifling Seattle defense gave Newton nothing as Cam threw for just 141 yards, and failed to score the ball. Newton stayed away from the interceptions on Sunday, but lost a fumble in the process. A week after his best performance of the season against the Atlanta Falcons, Newton made a number of bad throws to an offense that just seemed dazed. We are still waiting for that game where Newton breaks loose with 300+ yards passing and 100+ rushing yards. I think Newton has some big performances up his sleeve, but he’s a quarterback I will play the matchups with. Newton is on bye this week so there’s no decision to be made here.
7. Steve Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills
Why so serious Stevie owners? Well, in Week 5 Steve Johnson couldn’t produce more than three fantasy points yet again. Given it was against the formidable San Francisco defense in their place, this is two straight weeks that Stevie put up a dud performance. In week 4, Johnson scored only 2 fantasy points catching just two passes for 23 yards in a big divisional battle with the New England Patriots. I’m a little concerned as a Steve Johnson owner because he has not even come close to a 100+ yard game, and his reception totals are low. In Weeks 1-3, Johnson was bailed out by scoring a touchdown in each of those games. Without the scores, his performances were very ordinary. He plays against another strong defense on the road this week at Arizona, but I do like his red zone targets so I’m giving Steve Johnson the start this week.
8. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Either the Broncos defense did a really good job of containing Gronk, or the Patriots are just looking at other receivers like Wes Welker a lot more? Could the loss of Aaron Hernandez have a real effect of Gronk’s fantasy value? I’m not buying that. Although it’s been Gronkowski’s second dud outing in the last three weeks, he is still the best tight end in the NFL and playing alongside the best quarterback in the NFL. Gronkowski is an easy player to own because he is always a must start, and defenses usually have no player to cover this guy one on one. Gronk still has 3 touchdown catches this year and still sees a lot of targets. He faces a tough Seattle defense on the road this week, but when Brady is under pressure he will look toward his massive target No. 87. As I always say, Keep Calm and Gronk On.
9. Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints
In Week 5 against San Diego, Darren Sproles failed to work his way in the New Orleans offensive game plan yet again. In the last few weeks, Sproles has taken on a few more carries after not running the rock at all through the first two games, but his reception total (which Sproles’ fantasy owners rely on) has gone down a bit. Sproles is one of the better flex options in fantasy, but has failed to deliver as we all thought he would. Sproles put up just 2 fantasy points this week, but he still plays for the #1 ranked passing attack in the NFL. Sproles owners are still looking forward to the games when he can tally up big numbers in the passing game, and I think they are coming soon. The Saints have a bye week this week, so I would look to a Brian Hartline type of player to fill his flex shoes for the week. However, I still believe that Sproles is still one of the best flex players in the league.
10. Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
Could it be that Fred Jackson was possibly rushed back into the Bills lineup following his injury? Maybe. Could it be that they have found a more explosive every down back in C.J. Spiller when he was out? Maybe. All that I know for sure is that if I own Fred Jackson in fantasy, I am highly disappointed. Fred Jackson was one of the NFL’s rushing leaders before getting injured last year, and had pretty high expectations once again in 2012. In his last two games since returning from injury, Jackson has carried the ball 22 times for just 58 yards and no touchdown scores. The Bills look like they have plans to split carries in their backfield now, which really hurts Jackson’s fantasy value. Looking ahead, Jackson and the Bills travel to Arizona to face another pretty good defense after getting punished by the 49ers defense last week. I do not like this matchup for Fred-Ex, but unless I am super deep at RB, he gets the go for Week 6.
My Week 5 fantasy busts list includes five players that are on bye for Week 6, so let’s take a closer look at the five other players who will be in action this week.
Every week I usually pick one player to break out and get off this list in a hurry, this week my pick is Andre Johnson. I think that the Packers will throw everything at the Texans to score points, so I think Matt Schaub will look to Dre’ to answer. The Packers do not have anyone who can stop Johnson, so I’m expecting a 100+ yard game and possibly a score from Andre Johnson in Week 6.
Depending on what you have on your roster at RB, you might have to give Chris Johnson another start in Week 6. Be careful because this game is on Thursday Night against the Steelers and you definitely don’t want to start off with a dud. But if you strapped for RB options, pray that the Steelers fall asleep on a few plays and CJ can bust a few long ones at home.
Mike Wallace will also be in action on Thursday Night, but unlike CJ, I love this matchup for Wallace. The Titans defense is awful, I expect the Steelers to make themselves at home in the red zone. If I had to pick my favorite player for Thursday Night Football, its Mike Wallace.
I’m not too crazy about my tight end matchups here, but I still predict good weeks for these two guys. Gronk will face a touch defense on the road, but like I said earlier, there’s nobody in this league one on one that can hold him. As for Gates, it’s a big AFC West division game at home on Monday Night Football, the Chargers will need to dial his number to be successful.
Don’t forget to check me out in Week 5.
*All statistics according to ESPN standard scoring.