The 2014 NFL season is here, and with it comes the daunting task of assembling your fantasy football lineup. We’ve got you covered with rankings and numerous advice columns, and we’re continuing right along with another one, this time looking at some major bust candidates for the first week of action.
Keep in mind that old adage – “start your studs”. But don’t say we didn’t warn you on a few of them (see: rankings, other articles). With that said, we’ll refrain from bashing the studs that you in know way truly want to consider benching in the first week of the year (ex: yes, you still need to start Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy vs. the Seahawks) and lead you away from other guys that might sound good, but perhaps if you have another alternative, you should consider using it.
Matchups are usually what should deter you, as well as injuries or roster changes that could negatively impact certain players. If Sam Bradford had gone down a day ago, maybe don’t use Rams wide receiver. That probably mostly goes without saying anyways (even with Bradford, really), but you get the idea. With that, here are seven fantasy football busts for week one:
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
A lot of people like Manning as a sleeper to magically turn it on in 2014 or even this week. Detroit’s secondary isn’t amazing and Manning does have weapons, so that’s not impossible. I’m just not buying it with how bad he was last year and all summer. I have half the mind to rank him dead last in my week 1 fantasy player rankings.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
The Red Rifle could surprise with an explosive week one, but I’m not willing to bet a 1-0 start on it. Dalton’s offense is slowing down a bit and he’s without Marvin Jones. That, and I think his opponent this week (the Ravens) will be much better than they were a year ago.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I actually love The Muscle Hamster for 2014 – just not in week one. Carolina is deadly in general and specifically against the run. I love Martin’s role and upside, but I have him almost outside of the top-20 this week. That’s bad enough to consider an alternative option if you happen to be deep at running back.
Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts
It’s probably not a huge shocker to see this sad sack grace my week one bust list, but I know there are still some lost souls out there that are believing in T-Rich this year. Perhaps he’s worth something in the long run, but I’m not betting it comes in week one. Denver has a fairly stout run defense and Richardson has shown zero life thus far. He’s not the worst Flex play in the world, but I wouldn’t feel great with him as a starter this week.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
V-Jax is facing a tough Panthers defense that is pretty underrated against the pass. Truly, from top to bottom, that defense is not to be messed with. They also know Jackson and they kept him under wraps pretty well in 2013. With a new quarterback and system in place, there could be a bit of an adjustment in week one with such a tough matchup. Jackson is probably an elite you’ll be forced to play, but if you have a third WR you can swipe him for, now might be a good time to do it.
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
I like Allen. He’s a solid talent and a starter in a very balanced and methodical offense. But he’s facing Patrick Peterson in week one and he isn’t a freak athlete. San Diego also throws curve balls on offense and often will run the ball to death. Just go look at how they did things at the end of the year in 2013. I think Allen will be very solid over the course of 2014. I just don’t love him in week one.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns
I know Cameron is all the Browns have in the passing game, but being the only guy out there isn’t always a blessing. That means Pittsburgh – which happens to be a solid defense – can cover him however they like and target him physically, as well. Also, Cameron’s quarterback is Brian Hoyer. Also, Cameron was less than spectacular in two games against the Steelers last year. If he’s all you got (just like anyone else on this list), you could do worse, but you may want to rethink your options.