The NFC East is unlikely to be the home of the next Super Bowl champion. It’s unpredictable. However, it can still play a crucial role in your fantasy football championship. While there is undoubtedly talent in the division, it’s sometimes about knowing which players to avoid at their average draft position (ADP) and which are most likely to be 2021 fantasy football busts.
Fantasy football busts in the NFC East
All ADPs are PPR scoring and taken from Sleeper.
The Dallas Cowboys had one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses in the NFL during the first few games of the 2020 season, so it’s difficult to think that any players will be NFC East fantasy busts. Before his season-ending injury, Dak Prescott was QB1, Ezekiel Elliott was RB4, Amari Cooper was WR1, CeeDee Lamb was WR16, and Dalton Schultz was TE6.
Andy Dalton struggled behind some makeshift offensive lines, and production quickly fell off. With Prescott healthy, the offense will retake its place among the elite.
Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver | ADP: 41 (WR15)
Labeling Amari Cooper as a potential bust is harsh. As mentioned, he was the top-scoring wide receiver in fantasy football before the quarterback change. He’s exceeded 1,100 yards in the last two seasons and is clearly an outstanding talent. His injury raises concerns, though. Cooper expects to be practicing again before too long, but there will always be questions until we see him at 100%.
His absence has also opened up an opportunity for other players. Prescott and Lamb will be building chemistry. If Lamb becomes Prescott’s favorite target and the Cowboys, who face the second-weakest strength of schedule in the NFL in 2021, lean on their workhorse running back, Cooper could see fewer opportunities.
New York Giants
The New York Giants are approaching a crossroads. Daniel Jones has shown some promise, but last year’s regression is troubling. He continues to be plagued by fumbling issues, having coughed up the ball 29 times in just 27 games. The Giants have until May to decide whether they will exercise his fifth-year option, and the team will need to see growth.
Jones will be given every opportunity to succeed, with Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney joining pass catchers Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard. Saquon Barkley’s return from a torn ACL gives New York a talent capable of taking over any game, but a lot depends on the offensive line giving him a fighting chance.
Kenny Golladay, Wide Receiver | ADP: 58 (WR24)
Matthew Stafford to Daniel Jones is a downgrade for fantasy. Jones attempted fewer passes, threw considerably fewer touchdowns, and was less accurate. The Giants have lacked a dominant WR1 since Odell Beckham Jr. departed for the Cleveland Browns, and they hope Golladay can fill the role.
Still, he missed the majority of the 2020 season with injuries. Even when healthy, Golladay didn’t look like the same player who led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2019.
DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs showed that we shouldn’t fear pass catchers moving to new teams. However, we shouldn’t expect an increase in production either. Golladay beat up on bad defenses, as wide receivers of his standard should, but he will need to show more in 2021.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a team with a wide range of outcomes. They clarified their position on the quarterback situation when they traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a haul of draft picks. Jalen Hurts had an inconsistent rookie season, but he has been handed the keys to the offense.
Drafting DeVonta Smith in the first round was a welcome move for a team lacking talent at wide receiver. Yet, the passing game will struggle again unless Nick Sirianni can have a similar effect on Hurts that his mentor, Frank Reich, had on Nick Foles during the team’s unlikely Super Bowl run.
Miles Sanders, Running Back | ADP: 32 (RB18)
Miles Sanders has teased greatness throughout his career. He has the talent to produce but consistently finds himself in the dreaded running back by committee. Doug Pederson is out, but Sirianni relied on a stable of RBs during his time in Indianapolis. Jonathan Taylor eventually became the workhorse, but Nyheim Hines was a huge part of the passing game.
Sanders will lead the backfield. Still, the Eagles used a fifth-round draft pick on Kenneth Gainwell, re-signed Jordan Howard and Boston Scott, and added Kerryon Johnson for good measure. With a quarterback who can convert with his legs in the red zone, Sanders could be a fantasy football bust. And it could be another frustrating season for managers.
Dallas Goedert, Tight End | ADP: 80 (TE8)
Dallas Goedert is clearly a talented player and, if the stars aligned, could be a stud. The problem is that the stars don’t look as if they’re going to align. He’s being drafted as the TE8, and that’s probably his ceiling. Despite trade speculation, Zach Ertz is still in the picture, and Goedert will be limited as a result.
We’ve seen veterans prove a thorn in the side of talented young playmakers before — think of how many seasons we convinced ourselves that Jonnu Smith would render Delanie Walker obsolete.
Goedert is 26 years old and one of the top dynasty tight ends. But he was out-snapped by Ertz in 2020, and he’ll be competing for playing time again. A “wait and see” approach might prove sensible with the Eagles’ unpredictable and inconsistent passing game if you don’t want to end up with one of the NFC East fantasy busts.
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team is coming off a bizarre season. A disappointing 7-9 finish somehow earned a home playoff game as division winners. Despite offensive deficiencies, a late Taylor Heinicke comeback almost saw them surprise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The offense has been completely revamped since, with new additions at quarterback and wide receiver. Additionally, Antonio Gibson will look to build on an impressive rookie season.
Logan Thomas, Tight End | ADP: 104 (TE11)
Logan Thomas was one of the surprises of 2020. He finished the year as TE4, and his ADP reflects that. He benefited from the lack of explosiveness in the passing game. The ball rarely moved far downfield, and Thomas was the safety blanket. Despite elite athleticism, he finished 77th in yards per catch at the position.
The expected starter under center this season couldn’t be more different. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a gunslinger. If he sees a player deep, he will take the shot, regardless of whether they are open or not. Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel are more than capable of winning deep, and that’s not good news for Thomas, who gets his production within 10 yards.
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