Week 1 Fantasy Busts: D’Andre Swift, Darrell Henderson among players…


Week 1 has arrived, and it’s time to make those difficult start/sit decisions. We’re not here to tell you to bench Josh Allen (against. Steelers) since he’ll be facing one of the greatest defenses in the league. There is a time for that, but it isn’t Week 1. (and not Josh Allen).We’re also avoiding including players that are so low on the totem pole that they may never make it into your starting lineup in even deep leagues. Injury, workload, and matchups are all factors in our Week 1 fantasy busts list, which warns of possible poor weeks from players you undoubtedly drafted to start (looking at you, D’Andre Swift, Darrell Henderson, and Zack Moss).

Keep in mind that this is only Week 1. Someone on this list could, and most likely will, appear in our weekly fantasy sleepers list. Don’t be alarmed if you see a few of your teammates here. You don’t always get unfavorable matchups from the start.Also, don’t feel obligated to bench these players. Start them if they’re your best alternatives, either because they have the best chance of scoring or because they’re the healthiest. It is, after all, your team!

WEEK 1 FANTASY: Sleepers | Start ’em, Sit ’em

Check back every week for our picks on who is likely to bust, as well as our sleeper picks.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Week 1 Fantasy Busts: Running backs

Bills versus. Steelers: Zack Moss (Jackson Sparks). This offseason, the battle for the RB position between Moss and Devin Singletary has gotten a lot of attention. It’s difficult to see any of them winning in Week 1. The Steelers allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game (FPPG) to running backs last season (17.1). This timeshare is a stayaway in all forms because they’ll be towards the top once more.

Rams versus. Bears: Darrell Henderson (Vinnie Iyer). Do you believe Henderson will be the trusted leader over Sony Michel in Sean McVay’s rushing attack, even if the latter is getting warmed up? Do you really want to risk it against the Bears’ defense? Nope.

Lions against. 49ers: D’Andre Swift (Matt Lutovsky). Swift has a lot of potential for the rest of the season, but facing a good 49ers defense in Week 1 while nursing a sore groin? That doesn’t pique my interest. Swift’s potential for check-down/short receptions is appealing, especially in garbage time, but if Detroit falls behind large in this one, Jamaal Williams or Jermar Jefferson will likely be in there instead of a grumpy Swift. When he’s on the field, he’s a threat, but there’s a lot of risk here.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Week 1 Fantasy Football Busts: Quarterbacks

Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa vs. Patriots (Sparks). We’ve been preaching all offseason that Tagovailoa is one of our top sleeper quarterbacks heading into the season; but, getting paired up with New England on the road in Week 1 is plain bad luck. With the return of Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, as well as the signings of Matt Judon and Davon Godchaux, the Patriots should be able to reclaim their defensive dominance. This list could include a variety of Dolphins. Even though Stephon Gilmore (quad) is sidelined, the Patriots will still dominate Tua.

Chargers against. Washington Football Team, Justin Herbert (Iyer). With Chase Young and the WFT D poised to push him, Herbert will have a difficult sophomore debut, aided by an upgraded back seven led by Jamin Davis and William Jackson III.

Saints versus. Packers: Jameis Winston (Lutovsky). The Saints offense is normally a well-oiled machine, but with Winston at quarterback, things rarely go as planned. After two offseasons in the Saints system and much off-field training, he may have transformed, but even if he’s less of a gunslinger, he has fewer weapons. This isn’t the Drew Brees-led high-flying Saints we’re used to. Alvin Kamara is a stud, and Marquez Callaway seems decent, but this isn’t the Drew Brees-led high-flying Saints we’re used to. We’re not interested in Jameis playing a “home game” in Florida, especially with the possibility of Taysom Hill grabbing short TDs.

WEEK 1 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | Yahoo | FanDuel

Week 1 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receivers

Giants versus. Broncos: Kenny Golladay (Sparks). The Giants added a lot of weaponry this offseason, but they’ll have to get off to a sluggish start. After all, Golladay (hamstring) hinted at a slow start at a post-practice media session. He appears like he’ll play in Week 1, but he’s been out for much of the summer, and Denver’s defense should be much better under Vic Fangio this season. You don’t “need” Golladay to start for you since he dropped down draft boards.

Saints vs. Packers, Marquez Callaway (Iyer). With Michael Thomas (ankle) out, he’ll be New Orleans’ top wideout option to start the season, but it doesn’t bode well considering he’ll be seeing a lot of Jaire Alexander.

Broncos versus. Giants: Courtland Sutton (Lutovsky). Sutton (knee) will return with a new, more accurate quarterback after almost a year away. Isn’t it fantastic? Maybe not, though. On offense, Denver has a lot of mouths to feed, and a matchup in New York against James Bradberry and the rest of the Giants secondary isn’t exactly a warm welcome back. Give Sutton a game to see how he looks and how the target share shakes out on your bench.

MORE WEEK 1 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder

Week 1 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight ends

Bears against. Rams: Cole Kmet (Sparks). This season, Kmet could be a breakout candidate, but it is unlikely if Andy Dalton is the starter in Chicago. If you were considering starting him in Week 1, a difficult matchup against the Rams is a good enough reason to bench him.

Seahawks vs. Colts, Gerald Everett (Iyer).

While following offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, Everett has been mentioned as a likely crucial third target for Russell Wilson. That could change with more time and better matchups, but the Colts’ excellent tight end defense from 2020 will continue.

Dolphins against. Patriots, Mike Gesicki (Lutovsky). Last year, the Pats stopped Gesicki to three catches for 30 yards in his lone game against them, and this year, New England has new (and improved) LBs all over the field. Many Dolphins could have a difficult game, with Gesicki being the most important because he’s one of the few who many owners start without hesitation. This week, you’re having some doubts.

Week 1 Fantasy Busts: Defenses

Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Sparks). New Orleans was a top-seven fantasy defense last season, but they’ll be tough to play in Week 1 against Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams. They were meant to play at home (which would have aided their argument), but Hurricane Ida caused issues, thus the game was shifted to Jacksonville.

Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Iyer).

This is why, even if you have a fantastic defense with big-name playmakers, you shouldn’t choose a defense first. On the road, they can still run into a buzzsaw offense and belong on the bench.

Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills (Lutovsky). It’s easy to believe Ben Roethlisberger is old, slow, and prone to interceptions. He’s obviously one of the first two, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to sacks. Last season, Roethlisberger was only intercepted 10 times and was only dropped 13 times. Last year, Buffalo caused significant problems for the Steelers (one sack, two interceptions, and 15 points allowed), but that game was in December. A new Steelers offense with a new, flashy running back? The Bills D/ST will have a low-ceiling day.

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