One of the prevailing storylines to emerge from fantasy football Week 2 was the rash of injuries that affected running backs across the league. None of those guys were eligible for the All-Bust team, so that means there were relatively slim pickings for the running back slots this week.
Wide receivers, however, were a different story entirely. Five of Yahoo’s top six ranked receivers for the week underperformed their projections, with four falling short by at least 5 points.
Read on to see which players disappointed the most in Week 2, and what that could mean going forward.
Note: All projected point totals were pulled Sunday morning from Yahoo’s standard scoring system. Skill players must be owned in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues to qualify for All-Bust “honors.”
QB: Eli Manning, Giants
Projected points (position rank): 20.9 (4th)
Actual points (position rank): 12.3 (26th)
Eli Manning wasn’t an unmitigated disaster this week, but the infamously inconsistent gunslinger vastly underperformed his projection. He logged fewer fantasy points than Trevor Siemian and Josh McCown, a shocking development considering the circumstances.
Last season, the Giants and Saints took part in a 52-49 shootout that produced more than 1,000 yards and 13 passing touchdowns, including 350 yards and six scores for Eli Manning.
The same matchup culminated on Sunday with wildly different results. New York’s offense couldn’t reach the end zone a single time, with the team’s touchdown coming on a blocked field goal return. Though Manning racked up 368 passing yards, he lost a fumble and couldn’t quite crack a Saints defense that was missing No. 1 cornerback Delvin Breaux (broken leg) and lost another starting corner in P.J. Williams to a scary neck injury midway through the contest.
The Giants inexplicably still won, but most of Manning’s fantasy owners probably couldn’t say the same this week.
RB-1: T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars
Projected points: 13.2 (5th)
Actual points: 3.8 (T-46th)
After Chris Ivory was unexpectedly sidelined by an undisclosed health issue in Week 1, T.J. Yeldon thrived as Jacksonville’s lead back against the Packers. That raised expectations for Yeldon’s encore without Ivory splitting carries in Week 2, especially against a Chargers defense that ranked 27th in total run defense last year.
But with the Jaguars stuck in a 21-0 hole at halftime, Yeldon didn’t get many opportunities to spark the run game. He finished with 28 yards on seven carries, while his team-high eight receptions somehow netted just 10 yards. That’s good news for those who played him in PPR leagues, but all the screen passes he accumulated didn’t move the needle much otherwise.
T.J. Yeldon screens will haunt my nightmares
— School Hanx (@HankJoness) September 18, 2016
RB-2: Mark Ingram, Saints
Projected points: 13.2 (6th)
Actual points: 4.7 (41st)
Ingram didn’t score in the 52-49 barnburner between the Saints and Giants last year, but he did rack up 119 all-purpose yards on 20 touches. In the same fixture this time around, Ingram only mustered 47 all-purpose yards on 13 touches.
It’s the second straight disappointing outing for Ingram, who’s averaged just 10.5 carries per game thus far after averaging 13.8 attempts last year and 17.4 rushes per game in 2014. He should fare better against Atlanta’s soft run defense next week.
WR-1: Antonio Brown, Steelers
Projected points: 16.4 (1st)
Actual points: 3.9 (T-68th)
Even the NFL’s biggest stars have off days occasionally. Antonio Brown, the consensus No. 1 pick in fantasy drafts this year, hauled in just 4-of-11 targets for 39 yards on Sunday against Cincinnati.
Brown simply wasn’t in sync with Ben Roethlisberger, as the pair struggled with timing on several routes. Brown only had one game in 2015 with lesser fantasy production than his output on Sunday.
WR-2: A.J. Green, Bengals
Projected points: 13.8 (3rd)
Actual points: 3.8 (72nd)
The Bengals and Steelers were obviously both intent on preventing their opponent’s star wideout from dominating them on Sunday.
Just as Brown was largely bottled up by Cincinnati, the Steelers held A.J. Green to two catches – on eight targets – for 38 yards. Andy Dalton threw 27 passes in the second half, but only two of them went Green’s way, and neither of those were caught.
He did draw a pass interference call in the third quarter, but that does no good in fantasy.
TE: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Projected points: 7.9 (3rd)
Actual points: 3.4 (27th)
Alex Smith was eaten up by Houston’s pass rush on Sunday, as he was sacked four times and lost two fumbles. The former No. 1 overall pick and his 3.6 fantasy points would’ve been a surefire selection for the All-Bust team if he was owned in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
The usually steady Kelce couldn’t quite fulfill his role as Smith’s safety valve. Only one of his five catches came on third down, and he totaled 34 yards on seven targets.
Kelce’s ho-hum day was a byproduct of Kansas City’s inability to manufacture any vertical passing threat amidst Houston’s pressure. No Chiefs receiver or tight end recorded a reception that gained more than 17 yards, and Kelce’s longest gain was an 11-yard catch.
FLEX: Golden Tate, Lions
Projected points: 9.5 (22nd)
Actual points: 1.3 (T-101st)
On paper, Golden Tate seems like the perfect fit for Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s quick-strike offense. A diminutive speedster who can operate in the slot or outside the numbers and gobble up yards after the catch, Tate indeed saw his stats perk up after Cooter took over play-calling duties last season.
But he’s been overshadowed thus far by virtually every other notable skill player on Detroit’s roster, ranking sixth in receiving yards (54). His dismal average of 6.0 yards per reception is a reflection of how close his targets have been to the line of scrimmage.
Tate and Matthew Stafford connected just twice on nine targets for 13 yards in Detroit’s surprising 16-15 upset loss to Tennessee. Despite his past success in the Motor City, it’s hard to have much faith in Tate as a flex option heading into the Lions’ Week 3 clash against Green Bay’s underrated pass defense.
D/ST: Oakland Raiders
Projected points: 8.1 (5th)
Actual points: -1.0 (32nd)
Oakland’s defense figured to be improved this year after adding pass rusher Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson during the offseason. But the Raiders have been torched by NFC South offenses in consecutive weeks to kick off their season, with the Falcons largely following the pass-heavy blueprint laid out by the Saints in Week 1.
Smith was underrated for years in Miami and Kansas City, but he’s been an obvious weak spot thus far. Smith was benched against the Saints after being burnt several times by Brandin Cooks, and Julio Jones also had his way with him on Sunday.
It hasn’t been just one person struggling, though. The entire unit has looked sluggish, registering just two sacks and two turnovers thus far. As a result, Oakland is the first team to allow at least 500 yards in each of its first two games since the 1967 Falcons (h/t to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez and Pro Football Reference).
K: Roberto Aguayo, Buccaneers
Projected points: 7.8 (19th)
Actual points: 1.0 (32nd)