This is the inaugural fantasy football week 1 bust list. Every week I will give you the top 3 (and a bunch of honorable mentions) of who I think will be a bust fantasy starter for that week in football.
1 Cam Newton- QB Carolina Panthers
Every week, Cam Newton has the ability to win a game for his fantasy team. In five games last season, Cam managed to put up 27 or more fantasy points. At home vs Seattle last season, Cam posted up his worst numbers of the season (141 yards passing, 1 INT, 42 yards rushing, ZERO TD’S). Most importantly, he was an awful 12 of 29 passing. Am I saying Cam is due for another poor performance vs Seattle, or that the Seahawks simply have Newton figured out?
No, what I am saying is this, week 1 at home against quite arguably the best NFL defense (SEA only gave up 203 yards passing a game and 103 yards rushing) with a new offensive scheme, I’m not buying a good performance fantasy wise. With Cam it is tricky because he is more dangerous running the ball than passing and on any given week, one rushing TD can save him from flopping. I just think Seattle is going to force him to throw the ball more.
My prediction for Cam- 215 yards passing, 1 passing td, 33 yards rushing, 2 INT. Between 11-14 fantasy points
2 Colin Kaepernick- QB San Francisco 49ers
This is going on pure gut instinct and the belief that the Green Bay Defense has been waiting for this game since Jan 12th (Kaepernick embarrassed the Pack in the div playoffs 17 for 31 for 263 yards, 2 TD’s 1 INT, and 181 yards rushing with 2 TD’s). This should be more than a game for them, this is revenge. Since losing Michael Crabtree earlier this preseason, there seems to be only a love/hate alignment when it comes to the 49ers offense.
Some people think they’re still going to be just as threatening with new acquisition Anquan Boldin and Jon Baldwin at WR. Also, having one of the best TE’s in the game, Vernon Davis, and powerhouse RB Frank Gore doesn’t hurt either.
Others, see Kaepernick as another “Michael Vick clone”, (A running QB who looks good and flashy, but will be injury prone and undoubtedly be a sub-par passer). As of now, I stand on the latter side of things. I believe at the start of this season, Kaepernick is guilty until proven innocent. Defenses have had an entire offseason to plan against his style of passing/running, and the NFL is a constant evolving game. It took 1 season for defenses to plan against the “Wildcat”, and I believe it’ll be the same this year with running QB’s.
My prediction for Kaepernick- 234 yards passing, 1 passing TD, 38 yards rushing. Between 12-15 fantasy points.
3 Darren McFadden- RB Oakland Raiders
The Colts may not have the best Defense in the NFL, but they’re smart to know when going up against a running QB who’s making his first start in the NFL (Terrelle Pryor), to plan against the run. Also, in terms of star power, Darren McFadden is all Oakland has.
Make no mistake, Oakland is probably going to run the ball a lot in this game, so the carries for McFadden should be there (expect 22 at least).
Also, for you ppr players, there is a good chance that McFadden pulls off the same stunt that he did in last season’s opener (13 catches for 86 yards). There’s just two problems. 1) Terrelle Pryor is not Carson Palmer. 2) If I know this, Indy is sure as hell going to know this as well. I’d expect Indy to play against the run and dump passes, and force Pryor to beat them through the air.
My prediction for Darren McFadden- 27 carries, 71 yards, 4 catches 23 yards. Between 9-11 fantasy points.
Other busts this week
AJ Green- WR Cincinnati Bengals
The Bears only let up 214 yards passing a game last season. AJ Green was the prime (and sometimes only) offensive weapon for Cincy last year. I’d expect Chicago to double team him all game and have someone else from Cincy step up and beat them.
Anyone from the Buffalo Bills offense
A possible 3rd string QB starting or will EJ Manuel play? Don’t think it matters much. NE’s defense is highly underrated and will be looking to make a statement in this game, what better way than by shutting down one of the best up and coming RB’s in the NFL (CJ Spiller)?
Anyone from the NY Jets offense
Do I really need to explain this? Guilty until proven innocent. Maybe someone (NOT named Christopher Ivory) will step up, but they gotta catch the ball first, easier said than done.
Matt Forte and Jay Cutler- RB and QB Chicago Bears
Cincy had one of the scariest front Def lines last season. Forte and Cutler are in for a long day Sunday.