Arguably, the most frustrating thing in fantasy football is seeing someone in your starting lineup struggle that week. Therefore, the logic behind this article is simple – identify fantasy football lineup landmines.
These are players you’re leaning towards starting this week but could end up being a landmine that blows up and destroys your starting lineup, potentially costing you your matchup.
Brace yourself and take cover. These six players could blow up in your face this week.
- Fantasy Football Start/Sit Advice
- Waiver Wire Picks
- Weekly Fantasy Football Expert Rankings
- Fantasy Football Trade Tools
Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 3
Things couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start this season for Fields and the Bears. The team has a 0-2 record, and the quarterback has played awful. Fields has scored under 15 fantasy points in both matchups this season, totaling only 427 passing yards and three total touchdowns. By comparison, he has four turnovers, including three interceptions. More importantly, the former Ohio State star isn’t running like he did in 2022. Last season, Fields averaged 10.7 rushing attempts per game. This year, he has 13 total rushing attempts.
Unfortunately, starting left tackle Braxton Jones won’t play this week and could be out for the season with a neck injury. Meanwhile, the matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs is awful for fantasy players. The Chiefs have surrendered 234.5 passing yards, 0.5 touchdowns, and only 11.6 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. Maybe this is the week Fields decides to run all up and down the field and score 30 fantasy points. Hopefully, I’m wrong, and that’s the case, but fantasy players should be nervous starting Fields this week.
After a subpar Week 1 performance against the Washington Commanders, Conner had a top-15 finish last week against the New York Giants. The veteran running back had 106 rushing yards and a touchdown, scoring 16.6 half-point PPR fantasy points. However, the former Pittsburgh Panther had 23 rushing attempts against the Giants, with the Cardinals leading 28-14 entering the fourth quarter. Yet, Conner only had three rushing attempts in the fourth quarter despite the two-touchdown lead. Unfortunately, Arizona won’t have a two-touchdown lead at any point this week against the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas earned two easy wins this season and could get their third win by at least 20 points on Sunday against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, that’s awful news for Conner’s fantasy outlook, as Arizona will be in a negative game script early in the contest. Meanwhile, the veteran running back had one target last week on Joshua Dobbs‘ 31 pass attempts. More importantly, the Cowboys have shut down opposing running backs, surrendering 3.6 yards per rushing attempt and only 6.6 fantasy points per game to the position. Conner won’t be a top-30 running back this week unless he has a significant role in the passing game.
Everyone freaked out in Week 1 after White averaged only 2.3 yards per rushing attempt and scored 5.9 half-point PPR fantasy points against the Minnesota Vikings. Then he rebounded last week and had a top-10 finish, totaling 18.8 fantasy points. However, the second-year running back averaged only 4.3 yards per rushing attempt. Furthermore, he had five targets, with nearly 30% of his fantasy points coming via the passing game last week. While White had an impressive performance in Week 2, fantasy players should explore the trade market before the Monday night matchup.
The Philadelphia Eagles have struggled to stop the pass this season, including to the running back position. However, their run defense is arguably the best in the league. The Eagles have surrendered only 3.1 yards per rushing attempt and 44.5 yards per game to running backs. Furthermore, they have held running backs to only 12.3 fantasy points per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. White will need a massive role in the passing game to sneak into the top 24 running backs this week. Consider selling high on the second-year player before Monday night.
Unfortunately, Nick Chubb‘s season is over, meaning Ford is now the No. 1 running back in Cleveland. While the former Cincinnati Bearcat had a limited role as a rookie, in Week 1, he was outstanding after Chubb got hurt. Ford had 106 rushing attempts, three receptions for 25 receiving yards, and a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, scoring 22.6 half-point PPR fantasy points. The second-year player would have had a second touchdown if he hadn’t run out of gas after a long run. While Ford has significant upside moving forward, he belongs on the bench this week.
There might not be a more puzzling defense in the NFL than the Tennessee Titans. They have an awful pass defense, surrendering 305 passing yards per game this season. Yet, the Titans have stopped opposing running backs in their tracks, giving up only 49 rushing yards and 6.9 fantasy points per game in 2023. Therefore, expect the Browns to have a pass-heavy game plan this week. Some are worried about Ford’s season-long outlook after the return of Kareem Hunt. However, that’s not the case, as Ford is by far the better running back. The only reason to sit him in Week 3 is the matchup against the Titans.
Kareem Hunt averaged, 3.8 YPC, 2.92 YPC after contact, and a 4.1% breakaway run rate last year.
Jerome Ford averaged 6.6 YPC, 6.94 YPC after contact, and had a 6.3% breakaway run rate vs the Steelers.
This is still Ford’s backfield. https://t.co/9Cg9kfeVWH
— Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2) September 20, 2023
Hopkins battled an ankle injury last week, causing the veteran wide receiver to miss practice. Yet, he played in the Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hopkins led the team in targets and had the second-most routes run, but only saw the ball five times in the game. He finished third on the team in receiving yards (40) and fifth in half-point PPR fantasy points (six). Unfortunately, Hopkins has an awful matchup this week against the Cleveland Browns and their talented cornerback unit.
Last week, George Pickens had 127 receiving yards and 20.7 fantasy points against the Browns. However, he averaged 1.93 yards per route run and only 0.79 fantasy points per target outside of the one-blown coverage play that resulted in a 71-yard touchdown. Denzel Ward is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Meanwhile, Martin Emerson Jr. plays on the other side, surrendering only on reception for six yards on eight targets this year, according to PFF. More importantly, Ryan Tannehill has been pressured on 36.2% of his dropbacks this season. That number will likely be higher this week against Myles Garrett.
After seeing only two targets in Week 1, Moore had seven in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he had fewer targets than Chase Claypool and only one more than Cole Kmet. Furthermore, Moore had to run 13 more routes than Kmet to see one more target in the game. Yet, the former Maryland star had 104 receiving yards and 13.4 half-point PPR fantasy points in the loss. While fantasy players hope last week’s performance is a sign of better things to come, that isn’t the case.
The Bears are massive underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs this week for good reason. Chicago’s offense has been a disaster over the first two weeks, and now they face an underrated defense. The Chiefs have held their opponents to only one offensive touchdown and 15 points per game this season. More importantly, L’Jarius Sneed and Kansas City did an excellent job shutting down Calvin Ridley in Week 2, holding the star wide receiver to two receptions on eight targets for 32 receiving yards and 4.2 fantasy points. Don’t be surprised if Moore has another Week 1-like performance against the Chiefs.