Predicting The Five Biggest Fantasy Football Busts For 2021

Predicting The Five Biggest Fantasy Football Busts For 2021

Ryan Knuppel
1 year ago
5 min read
Predicting The Five Biggest Fantasy Football Busts For 2021

Fantasy football busts can be seen in many different ways, and they come out of nowhere every season.

It could be a hyped-up player expected to get more playing time, yet doesn’t produce.

It could be a player who is coming off a spectacular season but doesn’t reach the same production of the year before.

And then there are the overhyped rookies that are expected to make a big splash in their first season.

Last year, players such as Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and Courtland Sutton were written off as busts due to their season-ending injuries or constantly missed games.

While there are sure to be injuries that shape up the NFL season and fantasy football alike, we won’t be accounting for that in today’s list.

Looking back to last year again, the biggest true busts from 2020 on my board were Eagles teammates Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz, along with Saints receiver Michael Thomas.

We’re going to do our best to pick out five players to watch out for as potential busts on your fantasy football rosters.

Let’s get started.

Alvin Kamara, RB New Orleans Saints

After a stellar fantasy season last year where Alvin Kamara was able to capitalize on the absence of Michael Thomas, I don’t see Kamara putting up close to the same numbers. Kamara finished last season first or second in total points in most fantasy leagues, up there with Dalvin Cook.

He scored the most total touchdowns with 21 receiving and rushing TD’s combined and was third in total yards from scrimmage.

But much of that success came with an aging Drew Brees behind center, and with Thomas out of the lineup.

Insert Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston into the lineup, and you have a completely different running back.

Brees threw to the running back an astounding 28 percent of the time, and Jameis has averaged 16.4 percent of his throws to the running back from his time in Tampa Bay.

And if you look at Kamara’s production with Taysom Hill at the helm, things still do not look to be in his favor. In Hill’s four appearances when subbing in for Brees at QB, Kamara had his usage rates dip significantly. He was getting fewer carries, fewer catch opportunities, and was not finding the endzone.

This should have fantasy owners cautious of his outlook this season.

Ja’Maar Chase, WR Cincinnati Bengals

Here is my rookie bust of the year, and it has more to do with the cast surrounding him, than it has to do with Ja’Maar Chase’s actual ability as a football player.

Last year, an aging A.J. Green was non-existent for much of the season when he lined up for the Bengals offense. The bulk of the receptions and targets went to the new receiver duo that formed in front of phenom Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.

Boyd has been very consistent and effective dating back a few years to the time of Andy Dalton, and he has always been relatively productive from a fantasy standpoint. Higgins also had a very good start to his young NFL career putting up 67 receptions, 908 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns.

With these two remaining on the roster and the exit of A.J. Green, Chase is sure to slide into the top 3 receivers on the team, joining back up with former LSU teammate Joe Burrow.

But the number of weapons and the uncertainty on Burrow’s return have me concerned. While Chase and Burrow have a rapport with one another from their time at LSU, the NFL does not exactly translate. Burrow was successful last year with Higgins and Boyd prior to his injury, and I could see him continue to feed them when he returns, leading to fewer looks for Chase.

I still think he will put up solid numbers, but he should not be one of the top 30 receivers off the board.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB Kansas City Chiefs

The small hype over Clyde Edwards-Helaire needs to stop.

He fills the exact role that the Chiefs needed at running back, but he is in no way one of the best weapons on this offense, and his usage rates near the end of the season exemplified that.

While I could’ve named guys in this spot such as Josh Jacobs of the Raiders who is losing much of his monster o-line from last year, or David Montgomery who benefitted from a week schedule at the end of the season, I felt Edwards-Helaire was the least skilled out of that bunch.

The other key thing is his inability to find the endzone has really dampened his fantasy value.

To be fair, all of this is based on one year of production and he could very well have a solid season this year behind a revamped Chiefs offensive line, and no interruption from Le’Veon Bell, but his small frame and lack of scoring have me concerned about longevity, injuries, and his potential success.

Julio Jones, WR Tennessee Titans

This one is sure to turn some heads.

The superstar wide receiver who to this point spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons franchise hoped to move on this offseason and received his wish by being shipped off to Tennessee to team up with Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown, and Derrick Henry to form one of the now scarier offenses in the NFL.

But the scarier the offense does not always guarantee production.

This Tennessee team is so run-heavy on offense that it has been hard for me to pick Tennessee receivers high for the past few seasons, no matter how much I liked A.J. Brown and Corey Davis.

While they are going to do their best to incorporate the plays for Julio, and he will definitely produce, Derrick Henry should be and will still be the focal point of this team as long as he is in a Titans jersey.

He will sure to be seeing near 25+ touches in every game, slowing down the pace and energy of this offense compared to what Julio Jones was used to in Atlanta with Matt Ryan.

For those reasons, I am out on Julio Jones in the top tier of fantasy wide receivers.

Trevor Lawrence, QB Jacksonville Jaguars

This one could come as a surprise for other as well.

Trevor Lawrence was the first overall pick in this past NFL Draft, and for good reason. He had one of the best college football careers of any quarterback in history, and he looks like a great fit for the NFL game.

But with all of that said, other QB’s have looked the same, and have failed to make huge marks in their first season.

Since 2010, eight quarterbacks have been selected with the first overall pick, and out of those eight quarterbacks, only three finished their rookie season inside the top 12 in fantasy points. Those players being Kyler Murray in 2019 (QB8), Andrew Luck in 2012 (QB9), and Cam Newton in 2010 (QB3).

Plus we have to remember we are talking about the Jaguars here. Yes, they hired Urban Meyer to be their new head coach, but he has never coached at the NFL level. Yes, they added new outside threats in Marvin Jones, and Lawrence’s college teammate Travis Etienne, but success in the NFL doesn’t come together this quickly.

I fully expect Lawrence to be a great QB in this league, I just don’t think he is worth of being listed on average at the ninth best available fantasy QB.

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