Fantasy Football Busts Week 6: Jonathan Taylor, Brock Purdy, Zack Moss among risky ‘starts’ in tough matchups


As we inch closer to the stretch run of the fantasy football season, the margin for error shrinks with each passing week. We’ve passed the stage of the season where fantasy owners can chalk up losses to “bad luck” and poor start-sit decisions. We’re not tolerating excuses. There’s enough data at our disposal to make informed moves to bolster our chances of ending the week in the win column. Some of those moves require benching prime dud candidates, and our Week 6 fantasy bust list will help you find “worthy” sits like Jonathan Taylor, Zack Moss, and Brock Purdy.

Of course, even “must-starts” can have off-days (it was a rough day at the office even before the injury for Justin Jefferson), but you won’t see those types of players among our bust picks unless we legitimately advise benching them. We’re looking for players on the start-sit bubble — not obvious starters and not players owned in just a small percentage of leagues. You might not have enough depth to bench the players below — or you might just disagree with our picks — but either way, it’s your team, so make the decisions that work best for you.

We hit on our Week 5 bust picks at a higher clip than Week 4, but we know we’re capable of predicting no-shows at an even higher rate. Let’s continue trending in the right direction.

WEEK 6 FANTASY ADVICE: Sleepers | Projections | Start ’em, sit ’em

Be careful with this week’s crop of potential bust picks.

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Fantasy RB Busts Week 6

Jonathan Taylor, Colts @ Jaguars (Nick Musial). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Taylor was on a “pitch count” in his season debut and got out-snapped 53-to-10 by Zack Moss, and we think another low snap count is in store this week. It’s only a matter of time until the franchise’s cornerstone returns to a bell-cow role, but don’t expect it to come this week. Even if Taylor assumes a big workload, a matchup against a solid Jaguars defense front isn’t enticing enough for us to warrant starting him.

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Zack Moss, Colts at Jaguars (Vinnie Iyer). The Jaguars are great against the run and destroyed the Bills’ backfield, and a weird, unknown split with Jonathan Taylor says “stay away” despite Moss gathering another big game in Week 5. Gardner Minshew starting in a negative game script doesn’t help.

Jerome Ford, Browns vs. 49ers (Matt Lutovsky). Ford always has a solid ceiling because of his explosiveness and pass-catching ability, but we have a tough time trusting him against San Francisco’s No. 2 run defense. Cleveland is going to have a tough time scoring, so Ford has an especially low floor this week.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Fantasy QB Busts Week 6

Brock Purdy, 49ers @ Browns (Musial). Picking Purdy to post a dud is rather ambitious, but we think the 49ers offense could be held in check by Jim Schwartz’s stop unit. A lethal Browns’ defensive line could consistently get into San Francisco’s backfield, pressuring Purdy at a high clip. Cleveland’s defense enters Week 6 allowing the fewest fantasy points per game (FPPG) to QBs, and with an extra week to prep for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, look for a human-like effort from the 49ers QB1.

C.J. Stroud, Texans vs. Saints (Iyer). He’s been solid but cooled down last week in Atlanta, and it doesn’t get much easier against a tougher NFC South defense. He has a limited ceiling and a low floor this week.

Jared Goff, Lions @ Buccaneers (Lutovsky). Goff is coming off a four-TD day, but that was at home against an inferior opponent. Fantasy owners know about his infamous home/road splits, and the outlook isn’t nearly as rosy against a rested Bucs’ defense allowing the ninth-fewest FPPG to QBs.

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QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Fantasy WR Busts Week 6

Jahan Dotson, Commanders @ Falcons (Musial). Dotson hasn’t lived up to his second-year hype, posting fewer than 50 yards in every game this season. He’ll now face a solid Falcons coverage unit that’s held its own against wideouts. Dotson couldn’t even reach 50-plus receiving yards in a game in which Sam Howell attempted 51 passes, so don’t expect him to put up starter-caliber numbers this week.

Nico Collins, Texans vs. Saints (Iyer). The Saints’ pass defense has been on point all over the field, and Collins will find it hard to get open deep with Marshon Lattimore and friends roaming in coverage. This will be another middle-of-the-field game for C.J. Stroud with his secondary receivers.

Michael Thomas, Saints @ Texans (Lutovsky). Thomas hasn’t gotten hurt this year, but he also hasn’t produced much. He’s maintained a decent floor with between four-seven receptions and 50-65 yards every week, but he’s yet to dent the end zone. The Texans are allowing the third-fewest FPPG to WRs, so we don’t have high hopes for Thomas this week.

Fantasy TE Busts Week 6

Dalton Schultz, Texans vs. Saints (Musial). Schultz had his best game as a Texan in Week 5, totaling seven catches for 65 yards and a score on 10 targets. Even though C.J. Stroud’s making a legit case for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, it’s a rite of passage to bench tight ends facing the Saints.

Darren Waller, Giants vs. Bills (Iyer). You can sit key parts of the Giants’ offense in tougher matchups, and even with the Bills’ injuries, this looks like an absolute boat race in Buffalo’s favor. Waller also might not be targeted enough should Daniel Jones (neck) not start on Sunday night.

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Kyle Pitts, Falcons vs. Commanders (Lutovsky). We had a Pitts sighting last week, but it’s too early to declare him “back.” He actually played his lowest percentage of snaps all season (53 percent), and Jonnu Smith still had at least six targets for the fourth-straight game. Washington is allowing the fifth-fewest FPPG to TEs, too, so there’s nothing to get excited about here.

Fantasy Defense Busts Week 6

New York Jets vs. Eagles (Musial). The Jets’ defensive line feasted against Russell Wilson, but that won’t be the case against the Eagles’ steady group of blockers. 

Dallas Cowboys vs. Chargers (Iyer). Kellen Moore knows this defense well and will follow the 49ers’ lead in picking it apart. It’s the most overrated unit in the league against more explosive offenses, and you can do better than playing a group on the road with a rested Justin Herbert on the other side.

Cleveland Browns vs. 49ers (Lutovsky). Cleveland can limit Brock Purdy and the 49ers’ offense without turning in a big fantasy day. Expect the Browns to get a few sacks and hold the Niners to around 20 points, but that will be the extent of it.

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