Week 1 Fantasy Football Busts

Matt Brandon recaps the disappointments from Week 1 with actionable advice

Lamar Jackson

Week 1 is officially in the books and it’s time to evaluate some of the surprise poor performances around the NFL in Week 1. Several superstars who were expected to do big things fell flat on their faces. Will these players continue to struggle or will they right the ship? Let’s take a look at the Week 1 fantasy football busts and what we should do in Week 2. 



Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)The Ravens may have defeated the Houston Texans comfortably but there are many things to address in Baltimore. First of all, Baltimore’s running attack took a major hit as JK Dobbins went down with a season-ending torn Achilles. With Gus Edwards and Justice Hill filling in, it will be even more important for Lamar Jackson to bounce back after a dreadful debut to the season.

Although he was efficient, finishing 17 of 22 on dropbacks, Jackson only accumulated 169 passing yards. He added 38 rushing yards on six attempts but fumbled twice, one resulting in a turnover. Despite not having Mark Andrews on the field, Jackson had one of the juiciest matchups heading into the opener but failed to live up to the hype. He produced two turnovers (one interception and a fumble) and failed to find the end zone.

Jackson did develop a nice rapport with rookie wideout Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. even showed a few flashes. That said, fantasy owners will be hoping for a much better outing from their star quarterback on Sunday. Things will only get tougher for Jackson in Week 2 as the Ravens host their AFC North rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals. However, Jackson should get back on track despite a difficult matchup. Deshaun Watson’s numbers against the Bengals in poor weather should be encouraging for Jackson owners and the return of Mark Andrews should help the electric signal caller get back on track in Week 2. Fantasy owners shouldn’t overreact to Jackson’s dismal Week 1 performance. There are brighter days ahead. 

Week 2 Decision: Start


Running Back

D’Andre Swift (Philadelphia Eagles)I am the first to admit that Swift’s Week 1 performance has me shaking in my boots. I thought he would be one of the biggest steals in fantasy football. But the Eagles didn’t give Swift the rock. The newest addition to the Philadelphia offense only managed two touches for a meager three yards. Despite the fact that Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch.

Surprisingly, it was Kenneth Gainwell who absolutely dominated the touches in the backfield. We knew Gainwell would start but he also finished with 74 all-purpose yards on 18 touches. While we expected the Eagles to utilize Gainwell from time to time, nobody in their right mind expected that much of a difference in the workload.

Swift only played approximately 35% of the Lions’ offensive snaps in 2022 and most thought that number would increase in his first year in Philly. However, the dynamic running back played just 19 of a possible 66 offensive snaps in Sunday’s 25-20 victory over the New England Patriots. Meanwhile, Gainwell turned his 41 snaps into a fairly productive outing and Boston Scott was even slightly in the mix (eight snaps).

We will have to wait another week to see if Swift can get out of the dog house. However, I would recommend taking a wait-and-see approach after his uneventful Week 1 outing. Fantasy owners simply cannot trust him heading into Week 2 even if Penny is a scratch again against the Minnesota Vikings. It also doesn’t help that the Vikings allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs in Week 1. Even if that was against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rachaad White finished with just 39 rushing yards on 17 carries as Tampa’s RB1. Things aren’t looking good for Swift heading into Week 2.

Week 2 Decision: Sit


Wide Receiver

Tee Higgins (Cincinnati Bengals)Higgins entered the season as perhaps the most talented WR2 in the entire NFL. Unfortunately, the weather was bad in Cinatinnati’s season-opening loss to the Cleveland Browns. And Higgins finished with an embarrassing goose egg. However, it was encouraging to see Burrow target the versatile wideout eight times despite missing each connection.

I wouldn’t overanalyze this one. Joe Burrow is still an elite quarterback despite his terrible Week 1 performance. Higgins should still be the second option in the passing game behind Ja’Marr Chase.

The volume was there so there’s no reason to get too worried just yet. Fire Higgins up in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens. It’s not an easy matchup but Higgins can only improve from here, right?

Week 2 Decision: Start


Tight End

Dallas Goedert (Philadelphia Eagles) It’s very surprising to see two members of the defending NFC Champions on this list. But Dallas Goedert was Week 1’s biggest bust at the tight end position after finishing with a whopping 0 fantasy points on just one target. The Patriots did a very good job defending Goedert but the weather didn’t do the big tight end any favors. The rain limited the Eagles’ offensive game plan and forced them to be an even more run-heavy team than they perhaps would have liked.

That said, head coach Nick Siraianni made a point to mention Goedert’s lack of involvement in his post-game interview. “We can’t go a game without getting Goedert the football,” he said. Fantasy managers can rest assured that the Eagles will be working all week to find ways to get their playmaker the ball more in open space.

Although Goedert will always be third in the pecking order behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, Goedert should bounce back in Week 2 in what could be a high-scoring affair against the Minnesota Vikings. Fantasy owners should still start him with confidence as he should produce top-six numbers from the competitive tight end position. 

Week 2 Decision: Start

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