Bust. It’s the dirtiest four-letter word in fantasy football.
Fantasy managers who selected players like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders, Michael Thomas and Zach Ertz last season are well aware of the term (and its consequences). Selecting a bust in the early rounds of your draft can be detrimental to your chances of fielding a contender, so it’s obviously something we all want to avoid.
Fabiano’s Top 10 Lists
Sprouts | Sleepers | Deep sleepers | Busts | Rookies
Fantasy busts include players who fall short of their draft position or who are selected to play prominent roles on their roster and who fail on stat sheets. Someone you choose to be your backup quarterback or tight end in the later rounds is not defined as a failure for me, as a disappointing last-round pick can often be replaced on the waiver.
With that in mind, here is a list of 10 players to avoid with your precious draft capital who could be the worst of the worst when it comes to the bust class of 2021 fantasy football.
D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
Swift has gone from being a potential breakout candidate to a player who now worries me in 2021. The Lions added Jamaal Williams, whom new CEO Anthony Lynn called “a classic A running back,” and even brought in Todd Gurley. for a low season visit. I’m not saying Williams will be at the top of the team depth chart, but he could put more dent in Swift’s touches than we project. Oh, and don’t forget the Barry Sanders curse.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Montgomery was a league winner for countless fantasy coaches last season, adding up massive totals in his last six games. Of course, his opponents on that stage were terrible against the run. He also ranked sixth in goals and tied for fifth in receptions at his position. You won’t hit any of those totals with Tarik Cohen back in the mix and don’t forget the addition of Damien Williams. Regression monster is coming, folks.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Jacobs was inconsistent at times last season, but still ranked eighth in fantasy points among running backs. He’ll have a hard time doubling that finish or the nearly 21 touches he averaged after the Raiders added Kenyan Drake. Jacobs is guaranteed to see fewer touches and really have little presence as a pass catcher in what could end up being an even timeshare. At this point, it’s a risk-reward fantasy # 2 in most drafts.
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson was one of the biggest upsets in fantasy football last year, finishing seventh in points among running backs as an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately, the new Jaguars regime decided to pick another running back, Travis Etienne, in the first round of the NFL draft. The team also added Carlos Hyde, who is the favorite of new coach Urban Meyer. Even if Robinson is still the starter, last season’s high-touch participation is in real jeopardy.
Kenny Golladay, WR, New York Giants
Golladay missed most of last season due to a hip injury, but was still able to sign a four-year, $ 72 million contract with the Giants. However, New York has many mouths to feed in the passing game, including Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Darius Slayton and rookie Kadarius Toney. Oh, and let’s not forget the return of Saquon Barkley. One also has to wonder if Daniel Jones will hurt Golladay’s value as a fantasy wide receiver.
Will Fuller, WR, Miami Dolphins
Fuller scored big numbers last season in Houston, averaging a career-best 17.1 Fantasy points per game. However, he was doing that with Deshaun Watson at center, and he still never finished as a fantasy wide receiver in the top 30 at the NFL level. Now in Miami, he will have to fight DeVante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki and others for goals from Tua Tagovailoa. That leaves Fuller a fantasy No. 3 wide receiver.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
Friends, don’t let the name or the motivational talk distract you. Beckham Jr’s days as one of the elite fantasy catchers are over. Well, as long as it remains in Cleveland. He failed to average more than 13 fantasy points per game during his time with the Browns, and coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense is not built to produce a top receiver. After a major knee reconstruction, I wouldn’t trust OBJ as more than No. 3.
Deshaun Watson QB, Houston Texans
Watson’s off-field woes have his status in limbo, and even if he’s eligible, he’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to play in Houston. A fantasy quarterback in the top five under normal circumstances cannot be chosen as more than a number 2 option in the later rounds at this point. While he’s proven effective regardless of the talent around him, you’d also have to think that losing DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and having a porous O-line will wear him down.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fournette was a disappointment in fantasy circles last regular season, rushing for 367 yards and finishing as the RB35. So how can you be a failure in 2021? Fournette was significantly more productive in the playoffs, during which time he earned the nickname “Lombardi Lenny” when the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Don’t let that success fool you. He will continue to share work with Ronald Jones and will lose goals to the new addition Giovani Bernard.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers
Tonyan came out of nowhere last season to score 11 touchdowns and finish fourth in fantasy points between tight ends. Regression is coming, however, as Tonyan scored one for every 4.7 catches. He was also the only fantasy tight end in the top five who didn’t have at least 101 goals (Tonyan had a modest 59). With or without Aaron Rodgers at the helm, he wouldn’t chase last season’s fantasy points as far as Tonyan is concerned in 2021.
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Michael Fabiano he is an award-winning fantasy football analyst in Illustrated Sports and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Y Instagram for your latest great news and the best analysis in the industry.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.