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Fantasy football roundup: The busts of 2021

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In the hunt for fantasy football success, avoiding the land mines is crucial. You can find gold late in the draft, but if your first five fantasy draft picks all bust, you’re not going to win anything.

With that in mind, we performed a simple exercise. We asked the FTN Fantasy team, “Who is your fantasy bust for 2021?” From there, interpretation was up to them. Is it a first-rounder who returns mid-round value? A so-so starter who gets benched altogether? That depends on who you ask.

(Take advantage of the FTNFantasy Platinum package for the 2021 season!)

2021 fantasy football busts

Here are the FTN Fantasy team’s busts for fantasy football in 2021, along with their current ADPs per the FTN Fantasy ADP tool.

(Want to see our 2021 fantasy football sleepers? Check them out here!)

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

(ADP: 8.33, RB7)

I don’t question the talent, but I question the workload. Jonathan Taylor has minimal receiving upside with Nyheim Hines in the picture, and Marlon Mack will siphon some touches this season, as well. — Matt LaMarca

Taylor is really good, but I think he’s bad value considering how Indianapolis uses RBs. — Stefano Vaccarino

While I think Taylor is one of the more talented backs in the league, I think his current ADP is a little too rich for me. He is currently being drafted as the RB8, and there is a large majority of people in the fantasy community that believe he can be the overall RB1, but I don’t know that the usage will be there. — Nick Penticoff

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

(ADP: 13.71, RB9)

Austin Ekeler had only 8% of the Chargers’ inside-the-5 carries and 19% of the inside-the-10 carries in 2020, and the new coaching staff has stated they see him as an outside-the-20s back. A first-round running back needs to have TD upside to pay off their draft price. — Chris Wecht

Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team

(ADP: 18.12, RB11)

I like Antonio Gibson the player, and he should be a lock for first- and second-down reps as well as goal-line touches, but the fantasy community is assuming (hoping) he’ll be a bell-cow and he’ll get third-down reps, but I don’t believe he will. J.D. McKissic caught 80 balls last season, and he’s not going anywhere. A full 28% of Gibson’s fantasy points last season came against Dallas, he only had more than 16 carries in three games and he only topped 94 rushing yards twice. We’re not even sure how much of a workload the former wideout can handle on the ground. Top 15, but not a sure RB1. — Chris Meaney

Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

(ADP: 23.27, WR7)

Paying a premium for a previous season usually doesn’t end well. A dip in volume and efficiency for Justin Jefferson will make his second- or third-round draft capital difficult to return a profit or break even. — Matthew Davis

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

(ADP: 25.40, TE3)

I’m not sold the 49ers will have that great of an offense. With two decent WRs, I also expect George Kittle to get fewer targets than he did when healthy in the past. — TwoGun

Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

(ADP: 27.18, RB13)

This bust is solely based on the fact that the Steelers lost a whopping four starting offensive linemen — that’s not a great position to put a rookie RB like Najee Harris in, especially when the line is going to need to put a lot of focus on protecting their over-the-hill QB Ben Roethlisberger. — Brooke Kromer

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J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

(ADP: 32.71, RB16)

J.K. Dobbins is maybe the most talented of the second-year RBs, but his situation caps his ceiling. Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards will prevent him from being anything more than a high-end flex. — Daniel Kelley

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

(ADP: 39.71, WR12)

Dak Prescott’s injury concerns, plus lots of mouths to feed, plus being priced at ceiling, equals bust candidate. — John Laghezza

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

(ADP: 39.89, RB17)

With the Eagles’ new coaching staff clearly set on using multiple backs, Miles Sanders‘ ceiling could be capped with Jalen Hurts‘ ability to run and competition at the position. — Josh Collacchi

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago bears

(ADP: 42.42, RB18)

Drafting him in the top 30 due to late-season production is a fool’s errand — don’t pay for past production, pay for future production. David Montgomery has been a perennial disappointment when Tarik Cohen is healthy, and the team signed Damien Williams to work more in the pass game. Without the workhorse role, Montgomery’s production won’t pay off his price tag. — Eliot Crist

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

(ADP: 45.81, RB19)

Jacobs is firmly in the running back dead zone with a teammate that’s being drafted soon after him. That’s a recipe for disaster. — Matt Jones

Touchdown regression, bad O-line, and they arrival of Drake who is legit competition for touches. Jacobs is a gamescript-dependent for a team that could be playing from behind often. — Nelson Sousa

Jacobs is the consensus RB20, and that’s too high for me. He’s a gamescript-dependent RB who has new competition on a team only favored in two games in 2021. Hard to endorse him here. — Joe Metz

In all honesty, the Jacobs love has always been all about volume. When you bring in a second back who will take some of that volume, now you have a guy who is just the better half of a timeshare. I’d rather grab Mike Davis who is going a full round later and has no real competition. — Benny Ricciardi

Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee Titans

(ADP: 48.38, WR17)

Julio Jones is too injury prone at this point of his career but is still being drafted like a top receiver. In this offense, he’s third in the pecking order for options. He’ll have 1-2 games this year where he explodes but won’t be consistent enough to be a top-10 receiver again. — Gilles Gallant

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Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

(ADP: 59.28, TE6)

I absolutely love me some Kyle Pitts, but the expectations of him as a rookie just seem a bit out of control and unprecedented. I am comfortably going with T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews before Pitts for this season. — Brett Whitefield

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins

(ADP: 67.77, RB25)

Myles Gaskin is being drafted as the RB25 on FTN Fantasy ADP tool, and that’s still too rich for me. He was a waiver wire savior in 2020 as he stepped into a role nobody expected. The Dolphins brought in former Rams RB Malcolm Brown on a two-year contract, and that will carry some weight. Brown also got the nod in the Dolphins’ first preseason game. FTN’s advanced rushing stats don’t do Gaskin a whole lot of favors, either. — Dom Cintorino

Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons

(ADP: 76.01, RB27)

The “Mike Davis was great in place of Christian McCaffrey” narrative is all hype and no substance. He had 1,015 total yards from scrimmage and scored 8 TDs on the year. (McCaffrey had 6 scores in only three games.) If Davis lasts as a workhorse in Atlanta beyond October, color me shocked. — Tyler Loechner

Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals

(ADP: 77.34, RB28)

Chase Edmonds is averaging around six touches per game for his career, will lose carries to James Conner and offers little touchdown upside. Meanwhile, Rondale Moore will be used on screens and short passes, which could hurt Edmonds’ receiving work as well. — Adam Pfeifer

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

(ADP: 85.22, TE7)

I love Dallas Goedert as a player — he has immense talent, and I was beating the drum for him this offseason with the assumption Zach Ertz would be off the team. However, with Ertz still very involved in this offense, I really just don’t see a path to immense fantasy production this season for Goedert in an awkward 1A/1B situation at TE for the Eagles. Steer clear of Goedert this season at his ADP. — Luke Sawhook

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

(ADP: 95.95, WR34)

Deebo Samuel‘s ADP makes no sense. With only two red-zone and deep targets last year, he has no path to paying off this draft cost. — Derek Brown

Irv Smith, TE, Minnesota Vikings

(ADP: 114.35, TE12)

In 2020, Irv Smith finished TE24, averaging a measly 7.4 PPG. Despite the solid games played without Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Conklin now presents a threat to his volume. When Rudolph was out, Conklin and Smith’s opportunities nearly mirrored one another. This is not to say Smith does not take a leap this year, but with an ADP as a borderline TE1 it is far too rich and screams bust. — Stephanie Smalls

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