2021 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

by Tyler Mulligan
2021 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

In fantasy football, each year has its busts. With the 2021 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts, we’ll be taking a look at some of the players you should avoid like the plague.

JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, and Akili Smith.

When NFL fans hear those names, only one thing comes to mind—total busts.

Lofty expectations, undue pressure, and a myriad of other factors come together to create some of the poorest selections in NFL draft history.

Every team has had its share of busts over the years, but quarterbacks, in particular, take the most heat because of their position. They’re usually the most important player on the field and either lead their team to success or dismay.

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2021 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

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Not only is there strife between Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, but fantasy owners should also be worried about the off-field issues that have plagued Watson’s offseason. 

Numerous sexual misconduct allegations have stacked up against Watson and his status within the league is in limbo. Uncertainty is not exactly the kind of trait fantasy owners look for in their quarterback.

Watson has already said he doesn’t want to be a Texan, but it’s unlikely he’ll be picked up by any teams due to the off-field distractions that have upended an otherwise productive football career. 

If he does play this year, he’ll be on a lackluster Houston squad that has allowed most of their key pieces to walk. The departures of Will Fuller and J.J. Watt headline this year’s exodus of stars from Houston. Last year, of course, the head-scratcher of a trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona, did nothing to help Watson’s stock. Add that to a porous offensive line and you have a recipe for disaster.

Last season, however, Watson had the most passing yards of his career, throwing for 4,823 yards and a career-high 33 touchdowns. He also threw with 70.2% accuracy and just seven interceptions. Nonetheless, Watson’s off-field problems with even fewer offensive weapons make him a top bust candidate heading into 2021.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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Russell Wilson is undoubtedly one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL. In the nine seasons, he’s been a starter in the league, he’s made the playoffs in eight of those seasons. His big-name and post-season presence makes him one of the top quarterbacks off the board in most drafts, but fantasy managers should proceed with caution.

Sizzling through the first half of the season, it seemed that the self-proclaimed “Mr. Unlimited” had limitless production. Through Week 8, Wilson averaged 307 passing yards and 3.7 touchdowns per game, while becoming the top quarterback in fantasy football.

Football is a tale of two halves and the season is no different. The second half of the season for Wilson was starkly different than the first. He averaged just 229 yards and 1.8 touchdowns. While Wilson’s production fizzled in the second half of the season, Pete Carroll leaned on his rushing attack, despite a banged-up Chris Carson headlining the backfield.

Russell Wilson certainly has an abundance of talent and with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf out wide, he’s got a couple of reliable options. All I’m saying is that fantasy owners can extract more value from his current draft spot (Round 8 ADP). Also, the contentious offseason between Wilson and Carroll that featured trade talk doesn’t help Wilson’s upside heading into 2021.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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I don’t expect Aaron Rodgers to be a bust per se, but regression is sure to rear its ugly head.

Last season Rodgers was a top-three fantasy quarterback, averaging 24.2 fantasy points per contest. Only Josh Allen and Kyler Murray had more total points than the California kid. 

Rodgers was the NFL’s offensive MVP, leading the Packers to a 13-3 record with 4,299 yards and a mind-boggling 48 touchdown passes. It seems like he’s aged like fine wine, so why are there red flags heading into 2021?

Well, for starters, Rodgers is clearly not happy being in a Packer uniform. On draft day, the nine-time Pro Bowler’s intentions were dramatically announced when Ian Rapoport’s tweet of Aaron Rodgers wanting a trade sent shockwaves through the football universe. Since then, not much has changed on the Rodgers/Packers front, as he continues to hold out. 

Besides not knowing whether Rodgers will actually suit up as a Packer, or continue his holdout it's important to ponder whether last year's numbers will be replicable for this upcoming season. Considering he’s a consensus first-ballot hall of famer, it’s certainly possible. At 38-years old, though, it’s unlikely.

Rodgers’ numbers in 2020 dramatically increased over his totals over the previous three seasons. In 2017, a shortened season for Rodgers, he averaged just 18.51 points per game. In 2018,  he had 19.54 points per game, and in 2019, he averaged 17.65.

While these numbers are generally good enough to be denoted as a QB1, they’re nowhere near his output in 2020. This leads me to believe that last year was somewhat of an outlier and that 2021 will be a year of regression. 

While I don’t think your season will be in Jeopardy if you draft A-Rod, the problems between Rodgers and the Packers head office don’t help the cause.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers!

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