Week 5 Fantasy Busts: Samaje Perine, Miles Sanders among those with usage, matchup worries
Information about Week 5 Fantasy Busts: Samaje Perine, Miles Sanders among those with usage, matchup worries
Busts are always a part of fantasy football, and 2021 has been no different. Whether it’s because a player loses opportunities, gets injured, faces tough matchups, or is just due for a cold spell, there are a number of reasons they can fall flat in your lineups. Identifying possible busts is paramount and can help prevent you from having disastrous weeks — or at very least prepare you for them if you have no choice. We’ve picked out potential Week 5 fantasy busts at every position, such as Miles Sanders and Samaje Perine, so you know who to be leery of when making start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
As always, even perennial stars can bust — like CeeDee Lamb in Week 4 — but we know players like him are “must-starts.” We’ll stick to naming guys on the start-or-sit bubble. As mentioned above, you can’t always avoid players on this list. Sometimes you don’t have the depth to reasonably bench these guys (or you might just totally disagree with our assessments).
Week 4 was easily the best week for our sleeper and bust picks. For busts, we identified Damien Harris, Myles Gaskin, Chuba Hubbard, Cole Beasley, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Robert Tonyan. We hit on the Panthers, Washington Football Team, and Broncos defenses, as well. We also noted Derek Carr and Ryan Tannehill could bust. They didn’t necessarily completely flop, but they played well below expectations. Mike Gesicki, Dalton Schultz, Kenny Golladay, and Kadarius Toney proved us wrong, though. Overall, it was a solid week, so here’s to stacking another nice week on top of it.
Overall, our busts have been more on point than our sleeper picks, and we’re back again to figure out who might struggle in Week 5.
Week 5 Fantasy Busts: Running backs
Miles Sanders, Eagles @ Panthers (Jackson Sparks). Some might say this is too easy of a choice, but Sanders still does have some kind of upside and is still the starting RB in an offensive that can be explosive in spurts. However, the Panthers are the No. 3 defense against running backs in fantasy. They were No. 1 before Ezekiel Elliott ran wild on them last week. Kenny Gainwell just looks like the better back in every aspect and has stolen many opportunities from Sanders, especially in the passing game. It’s safe the assume the Eagles won’t be able to run the ball in this game, so it will likely be Gainwell’s time to shine again. Sanders didn’t seem like a guy you could ever bench prior to this season, but now you can.
Samaje Perine, Bengals vs. Packers (Vinnie Iyer). He won’t suddenly be featured, a la fellow former Sooner Joe Mixon, with rookie Chris Evans in the mix. The game script also calls for Cincinnati to throw a lot more with Joe Burrow.
James Conner, Cardinals vs. 49ers (Matt Lutovsky). Conner has scored in each of the past two games, but he’s averaging just 3.2 yards/carry. Because he’s getting a good amount of carries, he doesn’t seem as “TD-or-bust” as he is, but rest assured, if he doesn’t score, he won’t have much value. San Francisco is fairly middle of the road against the run, so this is really more about not trusting Conner. Kyler Murray is always a candidate to steal goal-line TDs, and Conner can’t afford to lose any chances.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Busts: Quarterbacks
Taylor Heinicke, Washington vs. Saints (Sparks). Heinicke has continued to impress ever since he faced the Bucs in the playoffs last year. However, the Saints defense is top six in points allowed to quarterbacks. Daniel Jones had success against them, but we think that was just an uncharacteristic day for the Saints’ D. With Logan Thomas (hamstring) likely out, New Orleans can focus all of their defensive attention on Terry McLaurin. This spells bad news for Heinicke.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars vs. Titans (Iyer). The matchup might say “yes,” but the Titans can turn this into a grinding game focused on the running backs.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Bears (Lutovsky). Carr saw his torrid start to the season slow down last Monday, but he still managed a pair of TDs. The Bears are slightly above average against QBs, so this isn’t exactly a favorable matchup. Carr won’t completely flop, but chances are, you can do better.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receivers
Brandin Cooks, Texans vs. Patriots (Sparks). Cooks looked quarterback-proof and matchup-proof prior prior to getting shut down in Week 4 against the Bills, and he’s probably going to be a dud in Week 5, as well. New England has been the fourth-best defense against WRs, and we just saw them shut down Chris Godwin and limit Antonio Brown. Put simply, all they have to do is focus on stopping Cooks and the Houston offense won’t be able to move the ball at all.
Courtland Sutton, Broncos at Steelers (Iyer). Drew Lock isn’t the key to opening up his production, and Teddy Bridgewater (concussion) has helped it in only one game. We still view Pittsburgh as one of the top secondaries in the league.
Odell Beckham Jr., Browns @ Chargers (Lutovsky). OBJ is averaging eight targets/game, but he’s been decidedly average in his first two outings this year. The Chargers are limiting WRs to the second-fewest fantasy points per game (FPPG). Put it together, and there’s no real reason to trust Beckham this week.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight ends
Kyle Pitts, Falcons vs. Jets (Sparks). We don’t blame you if you decide to play Pitts at such a weak position, but know there is bust potential. Your first reaction when you see a matchup with the Jets might be to jump for joy, but when you actually dive deeper into what the Jets’ have done on defense, this is not a favorable matchup. They possess one of the top defensive lines in football, which is bad news for an awful Falcons’ offensive line. The best tight end the Jets have faced is Noah Fant. They limited Fant to just two catches on three targets and 15 yards. Additionally, a large time-zone gap from Atlanta to London could spell a sluggish offensive game for both sides.
Tyler Higbee, Rams @ Seahawks (Iyer). Higbee should be in theory more involved — just not when all of the Rams wide receivers are getting the job done all over the field.
Jared Cook, Chargers vs. Browns (Lutovsky). Outside of Travis Kelce in Week 1, the Browns have completely shut down tight ends this year. We won’t hold Kelce’s 76 yards and two TDs against them since he doesn’t really count as a normal TE. Cook does, though, and he’ll likely join the rest as useless fantasy plays.
Week 5 Fantasy Busts: Defenses
Los Angeles Rams @ Seahawks (Sparks). The Rams were exposed by Kyler Murray and co. in Week 4, and the Seahawks’ offense has the firepower to do the same. Jalen Ramsey will likely limit DK Metcalf, but this feels like a great spot for Tyler Lockett to have an explosive week. Freddie Swain has emerged as another explosive deep threat, and Russell Wilson bounced back nicely against the 49ers’ after a tough Week 3 performance. The Seahawks are riding high off the win heading into a quick turnaround on Thursday Night Football. This could end up being a classic NFC West shootout.
New Orleans Saints @ Washington (Iyer). The Saints initially looked good back at home against the Giants before things got out of hand. It’s hard to feel inspired they will rebound on the road against a potent WFT offense.
Buffalo Bills @ Chiefs (Lutovsky). There’s no other position in fantasy where you’d consider benching the top-ranked player, but D/ST is a different animal. Buffalo has been fantastic this year against the likes of Miami, Washington, and Houston, but Kansas City, despite some uncharacteristic turnovers, gives up the fifth-fewest FPPG. You can’t count on Buffalo producing more than five points, but there are definitely D/STs on the waiver wire that can. Do you really want to take a chance on the Bills and hope for a defensive touchdown against the NFL’s scariest offense? You know they’re not going to get many sacks or keep the score low.