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No one likes to embrace the thought that one of their players could be a potential bust candidate, especially if they were someone you spent a high draft pick on, regardless if it’s Week 2 or Week 10. It’s uncomfortable for most people to ponder and many fantasy managers just start those guys no matter what and hope for the best.
I’m here to give you that push you may need to at least think about sitting a player you never would or at minimum, lower any expectations you may have for a high-producing week. Here is this week’s crop of potential disappointers.
Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
You’ve been holding onto Elijah Moore all season or just spent the rest of your FAAB on him this week and are excited to use him, right? Well, this week may not be the best time to plug Moore into your lineup. I know he’s coming off a 23.9 half-PPR performance as the fantasy WR1, but the rookie gets a really tough Buffalo defense on Sunday.
Whether it’s Mike White or Zach Wilson at the helm this week, it could be a difficult day for the Jets’ offense, as the Bills are yielding the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing WR corps (19.2) and also rank first against the run. I know it’s not fun to sit someone you just acquired and were excited about, but you may want to at least consider it, or just temper your outlook.
D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The second-year back has been on the injury report in every game so far this season and was finally granted a full week to rest via the Lions’ bye in Week 9. Swift’s 15.2 half-PPR points per game sit 14th among RBs so far this season which is pretty decent considering he’s been playing on a questionable tag in each matchup and he’s on arguably the worst offense in the NFL.
This week he’ll line up opposite one of the league’s best run defenses in the Steelers, a unit that only allows 16.2 half-PPR points per contest to enemy backfields. Not only are they solid against the rush, but Pittsburgh has yet to allow a receiving score to any RB this season. The Lions also boast the lowest implied team total in this week’s slate with a meager 17 points. It could be tough sledding for Swift on Sunday afternoon, so diminish any expectations for an RB1 performance, and consider the Detroit rusher as more of an RB2.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers
Cousins has surprisingly been a fantasy QB1 this season, with an average weekly score of 19.9 points per tilt. He hasn’t been very consistent though and has been bailed out a few times by some late-game shenanigans.
This week the 33-year-old could be on the lower end of his fantasy spectrum. The Chargers defense is so soft against the run, we’ll most likely see a very rush-centric gameplan from Minnesota. It may be not in the cards to bench Cousins due to injuries and bye issues, but it could pay off if you can swing starting another QB this week.
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Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Similar to Swift, Gibson has been playing through an injury for multiple games and was also granted a bye at the perfect time. However, both the matchup and possible game script could work against the 23-year-old in Week 10.
Tampa Bay is yielding a meager 56 rushing yards per contest to the RB position so far in 2021, which is the second-fewest in the league, and is only allowing 18.4 half-PPR points to opposing backfields in each game. There’s also a decent chance that the Football Team falls behind early, causing a more J.D. McKissic-scripted game than Gibson starters would like. If sitting the sophomore back is not something that’s desirable or even plausible, then at least bank on lower RB2 numbers from him this week.
Zach Ertz, TE, Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
We’ve seen a dip in Ertz’s production over the past three weeks, as the TE went from a 3-66-1 line in Week 7, to just 42 yards the next week, followed by three catches for 27 yards last week. Having Colt McCoy under center wasn’t exactly great for business as he only attempted 26 passes against the 49ers in Week 9, with a fairly even spread between Ertz, the WRs, and James Conner.
It’s still unclear whether Kyler Murray will be back from the calf and ankle injuries that shelved him last Sunday, and coach Kliff Kingsbury isn’t giving up any info yet, but either way, this could be a down week for Ertz against a fairly stout Carolina defense that is allowing single-digit half-PPR points weekly to TEs. This game projects to be a low-scoring affair with the second-smallest over/under of the week, so even if Murray is able to go, Ertz’s floor is still low and it may benefit you to find another TE this week.