2021 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

by Dennis Sosic
2021 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2021 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day celebration, whether you were shooting off or just watching fireworks, having a cookout, or just hanging out with your family and friends.

I want to share my Fantasy independence from players not living up to expectations. Immediately after the draft, everyone's roster looks excellent on paper. However, there are inevitably going to be busts or players that produce below expectations.

In my last article, I tackled the 2021 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Sleepers. In my latest, I analyze the other end of the Fantasy spectrum. I provided five wide receivers that Fantasy managers should avoid as they will bust your roster in 2021. Find out who they are and why they are the 2021 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts.

2021 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Busts

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D.J. Chark,  Jacksonville Jaguars

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The former second-round pick has had an up-and-down career in Jacksonville from his high point in 2019. Chark broke out with 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. His downside was showcased last season with 53 catches for 706 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games with a shaky quarterback.

The Jaguars' offense will be drastically different in 2021, with Urban Meyer being named the head coach. The 2021 first overall pick Trevor Lawrence takes over as the team's signal-caller will have plenty of Jaguars' offense options.

In addition, the team added veteran receivers Marvin Jones and Phillip Dorsett and drafted ultra-talented running back Travis Etienne, which will provide the firepower that Fantasy managers should look to advantage.

The most significant caveat for Chark is the criticism from Urban Meyer, who said that he expected more from him. Chark is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the wide receiver additions made by Meyer displays that he was not happy with the wide receiver room, including Chark, as he takes over in 2021.

Chark produced his career 2019 season when the team had limited talent and MinshewMania was trending. His weekly volatility and various weapons, including Laviska Shenault, one of my wide receiver sleepers on the Jaguars offense.  Chark currently owns a WR30 ADP while Shenault possesses WR45 ADP, and I would take Shenault on all my teams. Selecting Chark at this ADP has BUST written all over him.

Corey Davis, New York Jets

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Corey Davis finished with career-highs in catches (65), receiving yards (984), and touchdowns (five) in 14 games last season with the Tennesee Titans. The New York Jets desperately needed to improve their weak wide receiver corps that had issues staying on the field last season.

Davis is entering his prime. He will be the Jets' No.1 receiver option for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson behind center in 2021. He is an excellent possession target and solid route runner who will be a nice security blanket for Wilson.

The former Titan will have a versatile wide receiver core to contend with targets in New York. Denzel Mims, a second-round pick in 2020, showed flashes but struggled to stay on the field. The Jets also signed Keelan Cole in free agency, who scored five touchdowns with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.

Cole provides an excellent depth option and will work with veteran slot receiver Jamison Crowder, who finally agreed to sign and play with the Jets this season.  The most exciting prospect in New York was Elijah Moore, drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Moore will add much-needed juice to the Jets' offense and be a big-play threat for Wilson.

Davis will face stricter competition being the go-to guy for the Jets offense. What bothers me with Davis is that he had never stepped up when he was placed in the featured role. Last season, we saw AJ Brown explode, and consequently, Fantasy managers witnessed Davis achieve his career season.

His ceiling will be a similar year to last season. There are questions about how Zach Wilson will perform this season, and I would rather avoid the uncertainty with limited upside at the price point of Davis as a WR3.

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

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DeVante Parker was a Fantasy disappointment for the first four seasons of his NFL career. However, he finally lived up to his 14th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft hype in 2019, when he put up 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns. Parker was one of the best Fantasy wide receivers that season.

However, Parker took a huge step back last season due to injuries and an unstable quarterback situation. Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa took over as the primary signal-caller from Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 6. In addition, Parker dealt with a hamstring injury towards the end of the season as he was trying to develop chemistry with Tua.

His numbers dropped to 63 catches for 793 yards and four touchdowns last season. The disappointment for Fantasy managers was very familiar with Parker, who has disappointed in five of his seasons in his career.

The Miami Dolphins front office went to work this offseason accumulating significant upgrades for Tua and the Dolphins offense. First, the Dolphins signed Will Fuller from the Houston Texans, who scored eight touchdowns on 53 catches and 879 yards last season. The Dolphins also reunited Tua with his most trusted college weapon at Alabama in Jaylen Waddle.

Tua will have multiple robust options in the passing game. These additions force Parker to get knocked down the target hierarchy in Miami. He enters this season as the WR3 at best. Additionally, tight end Mike Gesicki was feeling the love from Tua, with the former Nittany Lion averaging over five targets per game with Tua behind center.

I don't see the upside for Parker this season. He is currently being drafted as the WR49. Still, while the cost is negligible, several wide receivers are going within that same vicinity that I would draft ahead of Parker, including Darnell Mooney, Laviska Shenault, Jr., and Gabriel Davis.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

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JuJu Smith-Schuster set the league on fire in 2018. However, his Fantasy production has been significantly regressed in the last two seasons. His upside is limited in the Pittsburgh Steelers, with a pair of younger wideouts in Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool emerging as better Fantasy options as we look into the 2021 season.

Speaking of regression, Ben Roethlisberger cannot throw the long ball any longer as he enters his 18th NFL season. Roethlisberger finished 31st in deep-ball completion last season, and his offensive line play has to be a concern to the Steelers faithful. In addition, Juju saw his average depth of target fall to a meager 5.5 yards. Nonetheless, his 2020 overall stats of 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns led to a WR18 finish last season.

JuJu spent 74 percent of his snaps in the slot, settling in as a volume-dependent option in the Steelers' offense. Johnson and Claypool are the better options in the passing game and are being drafted this far in Fantasy drafts.

He has been a glorified PPR hog with a solid floor but limited upside in an offense that will shift away from the passing game in 2021. Last season, the Steelers attempted the most passes in the NFL, which allowed for each of the receivers to accumulate stats.

However, the addition of rookie running back Najee Harris should allow new offense coordinator Matt Canada to focus more on the traditional running game play-calling. Without the passing volume, JuJu is being overdrafted at WR36 and should be avoided at the draft capital in 2021.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

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Mike Williams is one of the most inconsistent wide receivers in the league. Since being drafted seventh overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, Williams has moments where he looks like a game-changer. At other times, you have to confirm if he is on the field. He has never hit 50 receptions in a season, but he had only four top-36 performances (half-PPR) out of his 15 games last season.

The former Clemson product finished last season with 48 receptions and 756 yards with five touchdowns. Williams profiles as a home-run hitter, but last season we witnessed his average yards per reception drop five yards last season from his 2019 season.

Williams is playing in a contract season. The buzz surrounding the Chargers is that Williams is being overpaid and is putting the team in a tough salary cap bind.

Last season, we saw the emergence of Justin Herbert, who won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Herbert had at least 300 passing yards and multiple touchdowns in 13 of his 15 start as a rookie. In 2021, the Chargers will have a new offensive coordinator in Joe Lombardi. Lombardi served as the New Orleans Saints quarterback coach and assisted Sean Payton on the Saints' passing game.

Williams is a capable deep ball receiver but is no threat in the short passing game. Herbert does not throw the deep ball frequently, and the Chargers receiving consist of rookie Josh Palmer, Jalen Guyton, and Tyron Johnson will provide the deep passing options for Herbert. As a result, Williams will be limited to targets as a jump ball receiver in the red zone. The opportunities will be scarce, and therefore Williams will bust in 2021.


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

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