Landing Justin Jefferson on the waiver wire had to feel good for the fantasy owners who picked him up after his breakout game. The first-round pick of the Vikings exploded onto the scene in Week 3 and should be a key part of their offense moving forward. That said, as exciting as Jefferson is, it may not be the best week to start him in a tough matchup against the Texans that could have high bust potential. Jefferson isn’t alone in being on the wrong side of start ’em, sit ’em decisions this week. Future Hall-of-Fame QB Tom Brady, starting RBs David Montgomery, Mark Ingram, and Jerick McKinnon, and WRs T.Y. Hilton and Julian Edelman all could disappoint, as well.
This week, more than anything else, we’re fading players in bad matchups that have either proven to be ineffective in such situations this year or don’t yet have a consistent record of success. It’s important to note that these predictions are just educated guesses. So, if you disagree with our analysis or don’t have anyone better or comparable to play, feel free to fire these players up. Just note that they may have a low floor, low ceiling, or both.
Last week, our Week 2 busts were, once again, solid at the RB, TE, and D/ST position. The only miss we had in that position group was Mike Davis, but the likes of Devonta Freeman, Melvin Gordon, Evan Engram, Austin Hooper, and Jared Cook had their share of issues, while the Rams, Bills, and Ravens defensive units all surrendered at least 30 points to their opponents.
Quarterback was the one area we had trouble with last week, as Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, and Drew Brees all did well in Week 3. This time around, we’ll look to improve in that area, though we are going back to the well a bit with one of these players as a potential bust.
Week 4 Fantasy Busts: Running backs
Mark Ingram, Ravens @ Washington (Jacob Camenker). Ingram may be the Ravens’ backfield leader in name, but at this point, it’s hard to trust him as anything more than a potential flex. Between splitting snaps with Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins, Ingram also has to compete with Lamar Jackson for touches in the run game. Washington has a strong defensive line and may focus on stopping Ingram, so this could be another game where Jackson does most of the work on the ground with his legs.
David Montgomery, Bears vs. Colts (Vinnie Iyer). You can’t trust Matt Nagy’s usage of him even with Tarik Cohen down, and the matchup isn’t so easy.
Jerick McKinnon, 49ers vs. Eagles (Lutovsky). It’s still unclear if Raheem Mostert (knee) will play this week. If he does, McKinnon will have a secondary role against a defense that’s been solid against RBs all season. That could lead to some moderate PPR numbers, but nothing major. If Mostert is out, McKinnon will have more upside, but Jeff Wilson Jr. is still a touchdown vulture and had just two fewer touches than McKinnon last week. A lot has to go right for McKinnon to pay off against a defense allowing just 3.7 yards per carry to RBs.
Week 4 Fantasy Football Busts: Quarterbacks
Cam Newton, Patriots @ Chiefs (Camenker). The Chiefs are one of the best defenses in the league against quarterbacks so far, as they allow just 15 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to the position. The Chiefs also just contained Lamar Jackson, so if they can force the Patriots to beat them on the ground without Newton making plays with his legs, it could be a middling day for Cam.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans vs. Steelers (Iyer). He stays slumping as Pittsburgh will play with the lead and tee off on the pass rush where he has little aid from play-action passing.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers vs. Chargers (Lutovsky). The Chargers have some key defensive injuries (Melvin Ingram, Chris Harris Jr.), but Brady figures to be without top receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring). L.A. can still make him uncomfortable with a decent pass rush, and that should be enough to limit Brady’s effectiveness. In Week 2 without Godwin, Brady threw for just 217 yards and one TD, and while that was partly due to Tampa’s dominance running the ball, Brady still doesn’t seem to be fully on the same page with his other receivers.
Week 4 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receivers
Justin Jefferson, Vikings @ Texans (Camenker). The Vikings might have more success running against the Texans and their porous run defense than they’ll have passing. Houston has allowed just 356 receiving yards to WRs, the third fewest in the NFL, so this may not be the time to trust Jefferson even after his breakout Week 3 performance.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts at Bears (Iyer). Has Hilton really done anything worth starting with Philip Rivers yet? He seems more like an obligatory play, even with Indy’s wideout injuries. You can do better.
Julian Edelman, Patriots @ Chiefs (Lutovsky). Edelman’s career game in Week 2 was so big that it’s overshadowed his mediocre Week 1 (5-57) and nonexistent Week 3 (2-27). The Pats offense isn’t the same, and he’s not the same automatic PPR play he used to be. The Chiefs are allowing the second-fewest FPPG to WRs, so this won’t be easy for Edelman.
Week 4 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight ends
Logan Thomas, Washington vs. Ravens (Camenker). The targets are there, as Thomas has averaged eight per game so far this season. However, he only has a grand total of 94 yards and one TD. He’s a TD-dependent TE option facing a tough Ravens defense that should make Dwayne Haskins uncomfortable frequently in Week 4.
Jared Cook, Saints at Lions (Iyer). On paper he should be doing a lot more with Michael Thomas (ankle) hurting, but the phasing out of him beyond limited work in the red zone has begun.
Hayden Hurst, Falcons @ Packers. It would stand to reason that Hurst would see more targets with Julio Jones (hamstring) and Russell Gage (concussion) dinged up, but that was the case for most of last week and he received just three targets. Hurst will always be a TD threat, but against the Packers, who have allowed 4.6 FPPG to TEs, he’s a low-percentage play.
Week 4 Fantasy Busts: Defenses
Philadelphia Eagles @ 49ers (Camenker). The 49ers might be banged up, but they just dropped 30 points on the Giants and might be getting Deebo Samuel (foot) back for Week 4. The Eagles just can’t be trusted after such a poor start to the season, though they have upside in terms of pressuring the quarterback after sacking Joe Burrow eight times.
Tennessee Titans vs. Steelers (Iyer). The Titans’ defense is big-play oriented but massively overrated against an offense of this caliber.
New Orleans Saints @ Lions (Lutovsky). In two games since their monster Week 1, New Orleans has four sacks and one takeaway while allowing 71 offensive points. The Lions will allow sacks, but they’ve turned it over just twice all year and are scoring 23.3 offensive points per game. New Orleans has a pretty low ceiling here.