Busts are always a part of fantasy football, and 2021 has been no different. Whether it’s because a player misses opportunities, gets injured, faces tough fighting, or is simply due to a cold streak, there are a number of reasons why they can slip in their rosters. Identifying potential failures is paramount and can help prevent disastrous weeks, or at least prepare for them if you have no other choice. We’ve handpicked potential Week 5 fantasy busts in each position, like Miles Sanders and Samaje Perine, so you know who to be wary of when making decisions to start, seat them.
As always, even perennial stars can fail, like CeeDee Lamb in Week 4, but we know players like him are “must-have beginners.” We will just name the guys in the start or sit bubble. As mentioned above, you can’t always avoid the players on this list. Sometimes, you don’t have the depth to reasonably evaluate these guys (or you may just totally disagree with our evaluations).
WEEK 5 FANTASY: Sleepers | Get started, feel them
Week 4 was easily the best week for our sleeper and chest picks. For the busts, we identified Damien Harris, Myles Gaskin, Chuba Hubbard, Cole Beasley, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Robert Tonyan. We also hit the defenses of the Panthers, the Washington Football Team and the Broncos. We also noticed that Derek Carr and Ryan Tannehill could go bankrupt. They didn’t necessarily fail completely, but they played well below expectations. However, Mike Gesicki, Dalton Schultz, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney proved us wrong. Overall it was a solid week so here we have another good week on top.
WEEK 5 PPR RANKINGS:
Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Overall, our failures have been more accurate than our dormant picks, and we go back again to find out who might be in trouble in Week 5.
Fantastic busts of week 5: runners
Miles Sanders, Eagles @ Panthers (Jackson Sparks). Some might say this is too easy a pick, but Sanders still has some sort of edge and remains the starting running back on an offense that can be explosive in streaks. However, the Panthers are the No. 3 defense against running backs in fantasy. They were number one before Ezekiel Elliott went crazy on them last week. Kenny Gainwell looks like the best running back in every respect and has stolen a lot of opportunities from Sanders, especially in the passing game. It’s safe to assume the Eagles won’t be able to run the ball in this game, so it will probably be time for Gainwell to shine again. Sanders didn’t seem like a guy you could do on the bench before this season, but now you can.
Samaje Perine, Bengals vs. Packers (Vinnie Iyer). He won’t be popping up all of a sudden, like former Sooner Joe Mixon, with rookie Chris Evans in the mix. The game’s script also calls for Cincinnati to pitch a lot more with Joe Burrow.
James Conner, Cardinals vs. 49ers (Matt Lutovsky). Conner has scored in each of the last two games, but is averaging just 3.2 yards / carry. Because you’re getting your fair share of carries, it doesn’t look quite as “TD-or-bust” as it is, but rest assured that if you don’t score, you won’t be of much value. San Francisco is pretty halfway against the race, so it’s more about not trusting Conner. Kyler Murray is always a candidate to steal TDs at the goal line, and Conner can’t afford to miss any opportunities.
WEEK 5 STANDARD RATINGS:
Field marshal | Running backwards | Wide receiver | Tight end | D / ST | Kicker
Fantasy Football busts from week 5: quarterbacks
Taylor Heinicke, Washington vs. Saints (sparks). Heinicke has continued to impress since he faced the Bucs in the playoffs last year. However, the Saints defense is in the top six in points allowed to quarterbacks. Daniel Jones was successful against them, but we think it was an uncharacteristic day for the Saints’ D. With Logan Thomas (hamstring) likely out, New Orleans can focus all its defensive attention on Terry McLaurin. This is bad news for Heinicke.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars vs. Titans (Iyer). The showdown might say “yes,” but the Titans can turn this into a running back-focused grinding game.
Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Bears (Lutovsky). Carr saw his torrid start to the season slow down last Monday, but he still hit a pair of TDs. The Bears are slightly above average against the quarterbacks, so this isn’t exactly a favorable matchup. Carr won’t completely fail, but chances are, you can do better.
DFS LINE OF THE WEEK 5: FanDuel | DraftKings | Yahoo!
Fantasy Football busts from week 5: wide receivers
Brandin Cooks, Texans vs. Patriots (Sparks). Cooks looked quarterback and match-proof before being knocked out in Week 4 against the Bills, and will likely be a flop in Week 5 as well. New England has been the fourth-best defense against WR, and we just saw them close out. Chris Godwin and limit Antonio Brown. Simply put, all they have to do is focus on stopping the Cooks and the Houston offense won’t be able to move the ball at all.
Courtland Sutton, Broncos at Steelers (Iyer). Drew Lock is not the key to opening his production, and Teddy Bridgewater (concussion) has helped him in just one game. We continue to view Pittsburgh as one of the top secondaries in the league.
Odell Beckham Jr., Browns @ Chargers (Lutovsky). OBJ averages eight goals per game, but has 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.
Fantasy Football busts from week 5: tight ends
Kyle Pitts, Falcons vs. Jets (Sparks). We don’t blame you if you decide to play Pitts in such a weak position, but know that there is potential for failure. Your first reaction when you see a showdown with the Jets might be to jump for joy, but when you really dive deeper into what the Jets have done on defense, this is not a favorable showdown. They have one of the best defensive lines in football, which is bad news for the Falcons’ terrible offensive line. The best tight end the Jets have faced is Noah Fant. They limited Fant to just two sacks on three goals and 15 yards. Also, a large time zone difference between Atlanta and London could mean slow offensive play for both sides.
Tyler Higbee, Rams @ Seahawks (Iyer). Higbee should be more involved in theory, but not when all of the Rams’ wide receivers are doing the job across 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 keep Kelce’s 76 yards and two TDs against them, as it doesn’t actually count as a normal TE. Cook does, however, and will likely join the rest as useless fantasy games.
Fantastic busts of week 5: defenses
Los Angeles Rams @ Seahawks (Sparks). The Rams were exposed by Kyler Murray and company. 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 place for Tyler Lockett to have an explosive week. Freddie Swain has emerged as another deep explosive threat, and Russell Wilson rebounded very well against the 49ers after a tough showing in Week 3. The Seahawks are on top of victory and heading for a quick turnaround on Thursday. Night Football. This could end up being a classic NFC West shootout.
New Orleans Saints in Washington (Iyer). Initially, the Saints looked good at home against the Giants before things got out of hand. It’s hard to be inspired that they bounce back on the road against a potent WFT offense.
Buffalo Bills @ Chiefs (Lutovsky). There is no other position in fantasy where you would consider benching the highest ranked player, but D / ST is a different animal. Buffalo has been fantastic this year against teams like Miami, Washington and Houston, but Kansas City, despite some unusual turnovers, is yielding the fifth fewest FPPGs. You can’t count on Buffalo to produce more than five points, but there are definitely D / STs on the exemption cable that can. Do you really want to take a chance on the Bills and hope for a defensive touchdown against the most terrifying offense in the NFL? You know they are not going to get a lot of sacks or keep the score low.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.