With 2021 fantasy football drafts approaching, here are some 2021 fantasy football QB busts and overvalued players to avoid.
2021 Fantasy Football QB Busts: Overvalued QBs To Avoid In Drafts
2021 fantasy football average draft position (ADP) and rankings for this 2021 fantasy QB busts list come from FantasyPros’ 0.5 PPR format rankings, current as of Monday, June 21.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (75.7 ADP, QB9)
Winning fantasy football championships doesn’t come without taking some risks, but in the case of Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts, it is difficult to weigh that risk against his current lofty average draft position. Hurts is already being drafted as a top-10 quarterback ahead of more proven stars like Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehilldespite having just four career starts under his belt.
While Hurts did deliver three excellent fantasy performances to wind down the 2020 regular season, he only completed 52% of his passes and posted an underwhelming 6-to-4 TD/INT ratio. He also fumbled the ball six times in those four starts (nine times overall) and had the highest percentage of uncatchable targets thrown (29.8%) by any quarterback last season.
If you draft Hurts, you’re banking on his superb rushing production, but that’s assuming new head coach Nick Sirianni crafts a run-pass option offense centered around his new quarterback’s strengths. Siriani has been non-committal on that, and the Eagles were rumored to be looking at quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft. They may still be looking to run a more traditional offense with a better passer under center, as they did with Carson Wentz.
Hurts certainly has some intriguing upside, but he’s also still very raw and inconsistent. He’ll also have to get comfortable with a new group of pass-catchers and learn Philadelphia’s new offensive schemes, which could pose a challenge. Whether he lives up to his lofty ADP will depend heavily on his legs, which may not be maximized in this offense. That makes the 22-year-old a relatively dicey fantasy play who profiles as more of a QB2 until we see how he fits into this year’s team.
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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (117.3 ADP, QB14)
Matt Ryan has been a reliable fantasy football starting quarterback for more than a decade, but the departure of Julio Jones this offseason is bound to have a negative impact on Ryan’s game. That duo regularly had one of the highest target shares in the league and regularly accounted for more than one-quarter of Atlanta’s passing production.
Julio Jones: Atlanta Falcons Target Share, 2017-2020
With Jones now in Tennessee, Ryan will quickly have to adjust to life without his go-to wideout. Of course, Calvin Ridley remains in town, but the Falcons have little depth at receiver and will fill Jones’s massive role. Jones’ main replacement will be first-round tight end Kyle Pitts. Hayden Hurst also will be a decent target whenever he hits the field.
However, among wideouts, the remaining options to offer Ryan some help don’t look great. The innocuous group includes Cordarrelle Patterson, Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake, and Justin Hardy.
The addition of free-agent tailback Mike Davis should also put more emphasis on the running game and help restore balance to an Atlanta offense that has been top-5 in passing and bottom-5 in rushing in each of the past three seasons.
Ryan has been a solid fantasy starter for most of his NFL career, but the growing depth in quality running quarterbacks has devalued Ryan’s old-school skill set. Instead of targeting Ryan as one of the final starting-caliber fantasy quarterbacks to target in the mid-to-late round of 2021 drafts, fantasy managers should view him as merely a streaming option, or as a solid QB2.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (157.3 ADP, QB20)
After missing most of the 2019 season, Ben Roethlisberger had a solid 2020 campaign, throwing 33 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. While the overall numbers were solid, Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired right elbow led to some troubling concerns.
Roethlisberger’s 6.3 yards per attempt marked the lowest average of his career, and he completed just 27.8% of his deep throws from 20-plus yards downfield. He also ranked 32nd among all quarterbacks with a lowly 3.1 air yards per attempt, and these struggles only became more apparent as the season wore on.
Roethlisberger’s elbow could heal after another offseason, but at 39 years old, Big Ben’s body might simply be breaking down. Playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league that afforded Roethlisberger the least amount of time to throw last season also isn’t going to help.
Also, by investing the 24th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Alabama running back Najee Harris, the Steelers are committed to repairing their NFL-worst rushing attack. This will inevitably lead to fewer passing attempts for Roethlisberger, who should be viewed as more of a QB2 than a reliable 2021 fantasy football starter.
For more of The Game Day’s 2021 fantasy football draft tips, listen to our Take The Points podcast with Marcus Mosher and Adam Kramer: