Avoiding busts in fantasy football is essential in any format to building a contender. While identifying RB busts to avoid is arguably the most important for your fantasy football team, knowing which WRs could break your team is also vital. Using Sleeper’s ADP, let’s take a look at which WRs could turn out to be busts for the 2021 fantasy season.
2021 Fantasy Football WR Busts | AFC
Which wide receivers from the AFC stand out as potential busts in 2021?
Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans | ADP: 35.6 (WR13)
Julio Jones will still be a good option to have on fantasy teams in 2021. But not to the level we are expecting. When news first broke that Jones was headed to Tennessee, my instant reaction was that his ADP would drop significantly. That wasn’t the case, however. In fact, it hasn’t really nudged at all.
While he’s obviously not going off boards as the WR3 as he did a year ago, Jones is hovering around the WR13 to WR15 range across various platforms as a high-end WR2 for fantasy in 2021. In my opinion, this is above his ceiling now that he’s with the Titans.
First and foremost, this is a running team. And when you have the dominant force that is Derrick Henry in the backfield, they should be. Matt Ryan has thrown 600+ passing attempts in each of the past three seasons. Ryan Tannehill, meanwhile, threw 481 attempts last year — his most since 2015.
Sure, with Jones now on the team, it’s likely the Titans will want to air out more than they have the past couple of seasons. Nevertheless, it won’t be to a great extent, and Tannehill certainly will not sniff anywhere near 600 attempts.
Jones is still one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL and will have terrific performances alongside A.J. Brown as the 2021 season goes on. However, even if Jones remains healthy for a full season, it’s unlikely he delivers on his WR13 ADP that he is currently going as. Although I still like Jones as an every-week starter, I doubt I’ll have very many shares, if any, at his current ADP.
2021 Fantasy Football WR Busts | NFC
Which wide receivers from the NFC could end the 2021 season as fantasy football busts?
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers | ADP: 37.8 (WR14)
Right behind Jones in ADP is Mike Evans, who seems to be a candidate for fantasy football WR bust year after year. And yet, he still manages to finish each year as a top-15 WR in the overall standings. The keyword there, however, is overall.
In truth, you really don’t know what you’re going to get from Evans on a week-to-week basis. Consistency is not generally a word to describe Evans when it comes to fantasy production. Nevertheless, as Tom Brady’s top red-zone threat, the opportunities for touchdowns will continue to be there. After all, he did finish 2020 with a career-high 13 touchdowns on a career-low 109 targets.
Those touchdowns are what helped Evans finish 2020 as the WR11 overall. Otherwise, it likely would’ve been the bust season we’ve been expecting of him. In addition to his career-low target total last year, Evans’ total receptions (70) and receiving yards (1,006) were the second-fewest in his career.
Moreover, everyone on Tampa Bay’s offense is returning, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown vastly outperform their 2020 seasons. Given where they are going in fantasy football drafts at their ADPs, I’d much prefer having either of them over Evans. Evans would again need to maintain last year’s touchdown rate along with his career-high catch rate (64.2%) in order to hit value in 2021. Even as Brady’s top option, this is unlikely.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks | ADP: 58 (WR24)
If you thought Evans was inconsistent for fantasy in 2020, wait until you meet our next guest.
No WR stands out as a potential bust for fantasy football more than Tyler Lockett. While Lockett did finish the year as the WR8 overall, it is deception. Lockett had six games last year in which he finished as a WR2 or better, including two weeks in which he was the WR1. On the contrary, he had seven games in which he finished as a WR5 or worse.
From Weeks 8-16, Lockett was the WR50 on average. In fact, yours truly made the decision to bench Lockett in the fantasy championship based on the poor performances — it was the right call. He finished the week as the WR59 with 5.9 PPR fantasy points.
Sometime between then and now, however, it seems that Will Smith has put on his black suit to reprise his role as Agent J from Men In Black and used the memory eraser on the fantasy football community.
Don’t get me wrong. Lockett is a great player and well-deserving of the extension the Seahawks recently gave him. However, after last season’s downfall, he should be nowhere near his current ADP. There are several other receivers going behind Lockett that I’d much rather target.
Assuming one of the top six tight ends is still on the board, I’d recommend targeting them in this range as well. Additionally, Dak Prescott (ADP – 59.1) and Justin Herbert (61.1) are going just behind Lockett in fantasy football drafts. Both have top-five upside with the potential to finish 2021 as the QB1. Thus, I would not hesitate to take either player ahead of Lockett if the situation arose.
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