Just because a player is listed as a “fade” doesn’t mean they are automatic sits. As the adage goes, “Always start your stars.” What a “bust” designation does mean, however, is that you’ll want to consider higher upside options in the flex.
How are you holding up, fantasy managers? It’s been a challenging week, with a number of key contributors to your fantasy football teams heading to IR, including QB Anthony Richardson, RB James Conner and this year’s consensus WR1, Justin Jefferson. At this point in the year, it may be difficult to just complete a lineup, let alone sit a guy because he has a tough matchup. Even if that’s the case, remember the intro above in italics; a “fade” doesn’t always designate an automatic sit. It just means to temper expectations. A “bust”? Well … you’ll really need to temper expectations.
Bust: C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans
Houston Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud has been one of fantasy football’s biggest surprises so far in the 2023 season, entering Week 6 as the overall QB13. However, Stroud is facing one of the league’s most underrated defenses in the New Orleans Saints this week, which should have fantasy managers seeking other options if they’re available. The Saints are allowing the second-lowest completion rate in the league at 57.5%, while sitting as just one of five defenses in the league that have forced more interceptions than they have allowed touchdowns. All of this has translated to allowing opposing quarterbacks the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game, giving managers a good reason to look toward other streaming options for the week.
Bust: Brian Robinson, RB, Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders are coming off of a brutal Week 5 beat down from … *checks notes* … the 1-4 Chicago Bears. However, that’s not the inspiration for fading lead running back Brian Robinson. Things won’t get any easier for the Commanders this week, traveling to face the Atlanta Falcons, who have held up surprisingly well against the run this season. The Falcons defense is averaging just under 11 fantasy points per game allowed to running backs — the third-fewest in the league — while also sitting as one of just five teams yet to give up a rushing touchdown to a running back this season.
Fade: Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets
I’m not here to ask that you sit New York Jets RB Breece Hall after an outing where he posted 194 scrimmage yards and a touchdown to (hopefully) bring your fantasy football teams a W in Week 5. However, it might be best to temper expectations ever-so-slightly with the Jets set to face the vaunted Philadelphia Eagles defense.
On paper, the Eagles appeared to have one of the most suffocating defensive lines in the league in 2023, and boy, have they delivered, especially in defending the run. The Eagles are the only team in the league allowing fewer than 10 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Opposing backs are averaging just 3.1 yards per attempt against th