Week 2 Fantasy Busts: Malcolm Brown, Nyheim Hines go from hot waiver pickups to risky 'starts'Sporting News — firstname.lastname@example.org (Sporting News)
Sorry, Rams fans -- it's nothing against you that our fantasy football busts for Week 2 include a Los Angeles running back once again. Last week it was Cam Akers, and now it's Malcolm Brown. Can you blame us? One of the biggest factors in predicting busts is uncertainty about roles, and is anyone really confident that they know what will happen in the Rams backfield against the Eagles? Don't worry, we're struggling to believe in another hot waiver claim this week, too, with Nyheim Hines joining Brown in headlining our "sit 'em" picks.
Hines was given an unusual workload relative to what he's seen in his career, and people might be going overboard in how much Philip Rivers' dump-off passes matter for Hines. Don't forget Jonathan Taylor can catch passes, too.
Our busts outside of the RB position include some more proven names -- Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and Cam Newton at QB and Rob Gronkowski and Evan Engram at TE. In their cases, it's more about matchups (and some disappointing Week 1 performances by Gronk and Engram). Cornerback matchups are our main concern at WR, while a few celebrated defenses might struggle in Week 2, as well.
Our Week 1 busts had some good calls. Both Akers and D'Andre Swift didn't receive adequate workloads in their NFL debuts (though Swift scored and should have had a second TD). Carson Wentz and Daniel Jones both had issues with tough defenses. Austin Hooper and Rob Gronkowski struggled, too. It was really only Aaron Rodgers totally blowing up in our face -- and it probably won't be the last time Rodgers makes our busts article, anyway.
Week 2 Fantasy Busts: Running backs
Nyheim Hines, Colts vs. Vikings (Billy Heyen). In Week 1, Hines was used in both short-yardage and red-zone situations that we've never seen him utilized in before. Could that continue with Marlon Mack (Achilles') out? Sure, but it's much more likely Jonathan Taylor becomes the workhorse here and Hines is relegated to Rivers' dump-off buddy. That still gives him value in PPR formats but not much in standard leagues.
Melvin Gordon, Broncos @ Steelers (Vinnie Iyer). Expect him keep hitting a wall against Pittsburgh’s front with his straight-ahead running style.
Malcolm Brown, Rams @ Eagles (Matt Lutovsky). Brown looked much better than rookie Cam Akers last Sunday night, scoring twice and averaging over 1.5 more yards per carry. However, it's worth noting that Brown had just four more carries, and L.A.'s prized rookie back isn't simply going to be "phased out" of the offense. Brown has had big games in the past (like Week 1 last year), only to regress quickly, so we're not exactly bullish on him as he faces an Eagles defense that allowed just 2.3 yards per carry to Washington's RBs last week.
Week 2 Fantasy Football Busts: Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan, Falcons @ Cowboys (Heyen). Ryan had a big Week 1 on the back of garbage-time production. We’ve seen him do that before, so he could do it again in Week 2, too, but at some point, Ryan’s bound to see his early-game struggles carry on for four quarters and just not put up the same kind of numbers.
Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. Rams (Iyer). The offensive line isn’t doing him many favors and neither are the wide receivers. The Rams really did well to limit Dak Prescott in Week 1, too.
Cam Newton, Patriots @ Seahawks (Lutovsky). Newton looked close to his old self running the ball last week, but the passing left a lot to be desired. To be fair, he threw just four incompletions and didn't "need" to pass much, but New England's lack of true receiving talent was once again on display. Seattle was roasted by Atlanta's passing game in Week 1 (though garbage time inflated those numbers), but this is still a stout defense with playmakers all over the field. Newton always has a decent floor because of his running ability, but his ceiling is a lot lower as he heads out to face a team that has given him fits over the years.
Week 2 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receivers
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. Patriots (Heyen). Will Stephon Gilmore follow Lockett to his various alignment points in Seattle’s offense? Maybe. Even if he doesn’t, Bill Belichick will know that slowing down Russell Wilson’s security blanket in Lockett will slow down Russ himself.
Sammy Watkins, Chiefs @ Chargers (Iyer). He had another big opening game but will immediately cool off against the Chargers' cornerbacks. Also be wary of deploying Tyreek Hill in DFS because of that, as this will be more of a Travis Kelce game with no Derwin James.
Russell Gage, Falcons @ Cowboys (Lutovsky). Gage was a nice surprise in Week 1, but his stat line was padded by garbage-time production. It's possible Atlanta finds itself trailing big in the second half again, but with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley always ahead of him on the pecking order and TE Hayden Hurst destined for an uptick in production, Gage will have a tough time replicating his opening-week performance.
Week 2 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight ends
Evan Engram, Giants @ Bears (Heyen). The Bears still have a pretty solid defense, and even though T.J. Hockenson performed well against them to open the season, Engram and Daniel Jones looked like they were reading totally different books against the Steelers.
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers vs. Panthers (Iyer). O.J. Howard looks like the preferred receiver from the position for now for Tom Brady, and they won’t need much of Gronk to light up Carolina.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions @ Packers (Lutovsky). This might be dependent on whether Kenny Golladay (hamstring) plays. If he does, Hockenson figures to lose some targets, particularly in the red zone. Even if Golladay is once again out (Update: He is.), Hockenson is probably a touchdown-or-bust option against a team that shut him down last year (four catches, 21 yards in their lone meeting).
Week 2 Fantasy Busts: Defenses
Minnesota Vikings @ Colts (Heyen). The Vikings have talented individuals that gave up 43 points in Week 1. Philip Rivers topped 360 passing yards in Indy’s opener, and the Jonathan Taylor/Nyheim Hines combo could cause problems. Minnesota isn’t a sure thing this week (although a late-game Rivers INT probably is).
New England Patriots @ Seahawks (Iyer). The Patriots’ defense rocks against bad offenses without elite mobile quarterbacks. Russell Wilson and Seattle on the road isn’t one of those teams.
Denver Broncos @ Steelers (Lutovsky). Ben Roethlisberger looked particularly immobile and sack-prone on Monday night against a pretty bad Giants defense, so it's not that we're particularly scared of the Steelers. This is more of a pick against Denver, who really didn't do much of anything well on Monday night against Tennessee. If the Titans could kick, they would have had 10 more points and won comfortably. Denver will get some sacks, but it lacks the playmakers to really put up big D/ST points.