I say this every year, but I don't like writing about busts in early March. And it has nothing to do with free agency or the NFL Draft, but more about the lack of Fantasy drafts at this time of year.
The thing that truly makes a player a potential bust is his Average Draft Position, and we don't have clear enough data at this point about anyone's value to you. We can project a player's ADP and use mock drafts we've already done, but it's not close to being accurate.
Jamey's 2021 Sleepers 1.0 | Breakouts 1.0
For this Busts 1.0, I'm looking mostly at players who exceeded expectations in 2020 with the chance for them to regress this season. Some of these names could change following free agency or the NFL Draft, but these are players I will likely be avoiding at their expected ADP.
That is, once we figure out what their ADP is likely going to look like later this summer.
GB Green Bay • #12
Age: 37 • Experience: 17 yrs.
I had Rodgers in this spot last season, and I was clearly wrong. It was great to see him play like he did in 2020 when he was the NFL's MVP and finished as the No. 1 Fantasy quarterback at 29.2 points per game. But now he has to produce at that level again, and I'm not sure that's realistic at 37. Now, I still have Rodgers as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback and a top-10 option. But I'm expecting him to regress, and I'm not sure I would be targeting him on Draft Day. Remember, prior to 2020, he averaged 23.0 Fantasy points per game or less for three years in a row. If he's closer to that range, which is still respectable, you'll regret drafting him as a potential top five Fantasy quarterback. At best, wait for Rodgers with a mid-round pick in all leagues.
SEA Seattle • #3
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Like Rodgers, I still have Wilson as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, and I'm working off the idea that he'll remain in Seattle in 2021. But what will this season look like for Wilson based on a contentious offseason with coach Pete Carroll? And will Carroll win in wanting the Seahawks to be more run-oriented instead of letting Russ cook? We saw what happened last year when Wilson averaged 34.4 Fantasy points per game through the first eight games of the season, and he was averaging 37.1 pass attempts per game over that span. But in the final eight games of the season, Wilson averaged 17.4 Fantasy points per game on 32.6 pass attempts per game. Carroll wants to run the ball and play defense, and that's not great for Wilson. I still like Wilson as a starting Fantasy quarterback, but I'd rather wait for him with a mid-round pick instead of targeting him on Draft Day.
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Montgomery helped many Fantasy managers win championships in 2020 with how he finished the year, and he ended up as the No. 4 PPR running back. He was amazing over the final six games of the season with at least 19 PPR points in each outing, and he averaged 24.8 PPR points per game over that span. But it's doubtful he produces at that level if Tarik Cohen (ACL) is ready for Week 1, which should be the case barring a setback. In 19 career games with Montgomery and Cohen both healthy, Montgomery averaged just 10.7 PPR points per game. He'll be better than that, and he's still worth drafting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues. But the earliest I would consider Montgomery is Round 3, and I'm afraid he'll get selected in Round 2 in most formats.
JAC Jacksonville • #30
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
I loved Robinson last year, and I love that CBS was among the first sites to recommend drafting him thanks to our insiders with the Jaguars, including NFL Senior Writer Pete Prisco. But Robinson was in a perfect situation last year with little to no competition. That won't be the case in 2021, especially with a new regime coming into Jacksonville in the front office and coaching staff. Robinson should have every chance to compete for the No. 1 job, but it's doubtful he'll get 289 total touches (49 receptions) and finish as the No. 7 PPR running back. This posting will change if the Jaguars don't add anyone of significance in free agency or the NFL Draft, but I'm worried about selecting Robinson in the early part of Round 2 based on his expected workload.
Kareem Hunt RB
CLE Cleveland • #27
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Hunt proved to be a great handcuff for Nick Chubb in 2020, but Hunt struggled to produce when Chubb was active. Chubb suffered a knee injury in Week 4 against Dallas and missed four games. Including Week 4, Hunt averaged 14.0 PPR points over his next five outings with Chubb sidelined. But after Chubb returned in Week 10 against Houston, Hunt scored more than nine PPR points just three times over his final eight games. He also had 10 total touches or less three times over that span. Hunt can still be a potential flex option in tandem with Chubb, and Hunt is worth drafting with a mid-round pick in all leagues. But he's not someone to target as a Fantasy starter as long as Chubb is healthy heading into Week 1.
Will Fuller WR
MIA Miami • #15
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
I loved Fuller last season, and he was awesome at 16.8 PPR points per game, which was good for No. 8 at his position. But we all know how last year ended for him with a six-game suspension, and one of those games will carry over to this year. He's a free agent, so his destination will ultimately determine his final Fantasy value, but it's hard to trust Fuller given his injury history and the potential of playing without Deshaun Watson again, even if Fuller returns to Houston. We'll continue to monitor what happens with Fuller and where he plays in 2021, but I'm only drafting him as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with a mid-round pick in all leagues.
SEA Seattle • #16
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
For the season, Lockett was the No. 8 PPR receiver in total points, and he led the Seahawks in targets with 132. He had a tremendous year with 100 catches, 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he was far from consistent. While he averaged 16.3 PPR points per game, he only had six games with more than that total and seven games with eight PPR points or less. When Lockett was on, he was really on, scoring 53 PPR points against Arizona in Week 7 and 33 PPR points against San Francisco in Week 17. He can clearly win you some Fantasy weeks by himself. But he also can lose them for you as well, and if the Seahawks throw the ball less in 2021, you can expect Lockett's production to decline. He's worth drafting as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues, but he's not someone to covet as a starter. He's too inconsistent to trust heading into the year.
Adam Thielen WR
MIN Minnesota • #19
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Thielen is a standout receiver and Fantasy option, and he should be drafted as a starter in all leagues. But if his touchdowns decline from 2020 -- he was third among receivers with 14 behind Davante Adams (18) and Tyreek Hill (15) -- he could struggle to be a star. He was No. 27 among receivers in targets with 108 last year, No. 25 in receptions with 74 and No. 24 in receiving yards with 925. You should expect Justin Jefferson to keep improving after an amazing rookie campaign, as well as a potential upgrade at tight end with Irv Smith, along with Dalvin Cook. Prior to 2020, Thielen had three seasons with at least 92 targets, and he averaged six touchdowns a game in those years. That's probably closer to his touchdown total in 2021, which is respectable, but he should be drafted no sooner than Round 5 in most leagues.
Logan Thomas TE
WAS Washington • #82
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
We'll see what Washington does at quarterback to replace Alex Smith, but Smith leaving is likely bad for Thomas since Smith relied on Thomas as a safety blanket. Washington also will likely upgrade its receiving corps to help Terry McLaurin, so Thomas could lose targets in 2021. In 2020, Thomas was great with 72 catches for 670 yards and six touchdowns on 110 targets, and he finished as the No. 3 PPR tight end. It's hard to expect Thomas, who turns 30 in July, to repeat that type of performance. He's worth drafting as a low-end starting option, with his value higher in PPR, but don't be surprised if Thomas ends up on the waiver wire by the middle of the season if his production is lacking.
GB Green Bay • #85
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Tonyan was great for Fantasy managers in 2020 when he finished as the No. 4 PPR tight end. He had 52 catches for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns, but it's highly doubtful he comes close to finding the end zone that much again this year, especially since he had just 59 targets. That number was No. 24 among tight ends in 2020 -- behind guys like Gerald Everett (62) and Tyler Eifert (60). Tonyan still has the chance to be a low-end starter in all leagues, especially as a key weapon for Rodgers, but he's someone to settle for on Draft Day instead of target.