Each week of the 2021 NFL season, I will be listing certain players as potential fantasy football busts for the upcoming week. No, this does not mean I believe these players are trash and should not be rostered.
The players I name in this article each week may have unfavorable matchups, situational changes that negatively impact their value, injury concerns, and other various reasons to avoid having them in your lineups for that specific week.
The adage “stick with your studs" only applies to a few elite fantasy options. You should not be married to all of your starters every week, but instead, pick and choose which players have the best matchups and highest potential of fantasy points each week.
I know that can be a lot of work, but don’t worry, I have you covered with fantasy football tips!
This weekly fantasy football bust article, partnered with my weekly waiver wire article, will assist you in your sit/start decisions every single week for the 2021 season.
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2021 Fantasy Football Busts for Week 3 - Quarterback
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots
Jameis Winston looked like a highly-efficient quarterback with major fantasy upside in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. He quickly resembled someone you wouldn’t even want to roster in Superflex leagues against the Carolina Panthers defense in Week 2.
If you’re hoping for another Week 1-type performance from Winston, odds are, it’s not happening this week against the New England Patriots.
Bill Belichick is very good at exposing young and mediocre quarterbacks. Considering we’ve seen that Winston is wildly inconsistent, this falls right into the Patriots’ defensive strengths.
New England has given up just one touchdown pass and the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. It’s very rare the Patriots’ defense allows a decent fantasy performance from opposing quarterbacks in Gillette Stadium.
Just avoid Winston at all costs this week.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns vs Chicago Bears
The Browns’ offense isn’t terrible, but they succeed in most weeks because of their running game.
Baker Mayfield threw for 321 yards in Week 1 against the Chiefs but failed to throw a touchdown against the middle of the pack defense. In Week 2, in a game where the Browns scored 31 points, Mayfield only threw the ball 21 times.
The Bears have been much better against the run so far this season, but they have not seen a backfield with two legitimate threats like Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. I expect the Browns to attack the Bears with their running game and keep Justin Fields on the sidelines as much as possible.
Jarvis Landry — a reliable target for Mayfield — was placed on the injured reserve, and Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to be a game-time decision. If he’s a go, this will be his first game since the ACL tear he suffered late last season.
I’m not expecting OBJ to blow up against the Bears this week, which doesn’t bode well for Mayfield’s fantasy outlook.
More Week 3 Busts To Avoid:
- Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals
- Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars vs Arizona Cardinals
Find better Week 3 fantasy football players to start with our 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers Predictions.
2021 Fantasy Football Busts for Week 3 - Running Back
Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team @ Buffalo Bills
Antonio Gibson is one of my favorite running backs this year. Just not this week. He’s been efficient with his touches so far this season, but a few things are stacking against him in Week 3.
Taylor Heinicke will be the starting quarterback against the Buffalo Bills, who have given up the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. You’d think that would favor the running back, though the Bills have held opposing running backs to the third-fewest fantasy points.
They have given up a combined 108 rushing yards to running backs in the first two weeks of the season. Najee Harris of the Steelers has the best statistical performance from the running back position against Buffalo, and it amounted to 45 rush yards without scoring. In fact, they haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown on the season.
Not only do the Buffalo Bills have an amazing defense, but they are able to provide a ton of offense given their weapons. I expect Josh Allen to be successful in exposing the weakness of Washington’s defense and throw a ton.
Washington is middle-of-the-pack against quarterbacks and bottom-10 against wide receivers when it comes to fantasy points allowed. All of this is a formula for Gibson to have a less-than-desirable day for fantasy purposes.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
I was much higher on Miles Sanders than the consensus heading into this season, so it pains me to mention him as a potential bust in Week 3.
Sanders has a decent touch count of 33 after the first two weeks of the season. It still isn’t enough for him to be truly as effective as I know he can be.
The focus has been on the passing game, and I expect that to continue against the Dallas Cowboys. This game will take place on a national stage on Monday Night Football, and it has the feelsof a shootout. Any time you hear this, the running backs involved are a secondary thought.
The truth is, Miles Sanders is off to a slow start, and the Cowboys held Austin Ekeler to 54 rush yards and zero touchdown, though Ekeler did have success in the receiving game.
Unless Sanders is the primary option through the air in that backfield Monday Night, it doesn’t appear he’ll be very effective in this one. The Eagles have split receiving duties evenly between Sanders and rookie Kenneth Gainwell.
We will have to wait another week to see if the Eagles decide to treat Sanders as a workhorse back.
More Week 3 Busts To Avoid:
- Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders
- James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs Arizona Cardinals
2021 Fantasy Football Busts for Week 3 - Wide Receiver
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals
It’s clear that JuJu Smith-Schuster has fallen behind Diontae Johnson as the No. 1 target for Ben Roethlisberger. This already places him at a disadvantage in this matchup.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been decent against opposing wide receivers this season. Typically, “decent" wouldn’t be enough for me to fade someone, but seeing how Smith-Schuster isn’t getting quality volume, this decreases his potential impact.
Roethlisberger is another factor here. To put it simply, he hasn’t been great. He’s thrown a single touchdown in each of the first two games and has yet to top 300 passing yards. As a result, Smith-Schuster has a combined 93 yards on the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals held Allen Robinson to just 2 catches for 24 yards last week. The Bengals’ secondary will be motivated to silence a divisional rival in Week 3.
Until the Steelers offense improves, you can expect Smith-Schuster to put out mediocre performances.
Kenny Golladay, New York Giants vs Atlanta Falcons
The target share has been there for Kenny Golladay, but the first-year New York Giant doesn’t appear to be on the same page with quarterback Daniel Jones. With only 7 receptions for 102 yards on 14 targets through Week 2, it’s unclear if things will click in Week 3.
Sterling Shepard and Jones already had a rapport heading into the 2021 season, and it’s showing early on. Shepard leads the Giants in targets, receptions, and receiving yards.
Darius Slayton, the anticipated WR3 in this offense, has even out-performed Golladay through the first two weeks.
Golladay was seen on the sideline yelling at Jones in frustration. Whether it’s warranted or not, it’s not the way for him to gain more targets moving forward, especially when he and Jones have already been disconnected.
I’d give it another week with Golladay on your bench to see how much he’ll be involved this week. Otherwise, it’s a risky play.
More Week 3 Busts To Avoid:
- Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers
- Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders
Find better Week 3 fantasy football players on the waiver wire with our 2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Top Pickups.
2021 Fantasy Football Bust for Week 3 - Tight End
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team @ Buffalo Bills
Just fade all Washington players except Terry McLaurin.
The Buffalo Bills are a top-10 defense against all offensive positions in fantasy football. They have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to the tight end position.
Logan Thomas had just 3 targets in Week 1. Even with 7 targets in Week 2, it only amounted to 45 yards. Not the type of production you want to have on your starting rosters, especially given the matchup.
Taylor Heinicke will have his hands full against the Bills and will most likely have a terrible week. I expect his only viable option will be his biggest playmaker, Terry McLaurin.
Although it’s encouraging to see an increase of involvement for Thomas, he’s just not reliable to start this week.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders
Similar to Logan Thomas, Mike Gesicki hasn’t been very productive yet this season. Held without a catch in Week 1, Gesicki has a total of 41 yards on the year.
The chips are stacked against him in Week 3. He’ll be without Tua Tagovailoa, and managing targets from Jacoby Brissett instead.
Gesicki has a tough matchup as well. The Las Vegas Raiders have given up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. They held one of the league’s best, Mark Andrews, to just 20 yards in Week 1.
I expect Gesicki to finish as a top-12 tight end by the end of the season, he’s just not a safe option at the moment.
More Week 3 Busts To Avoid:
- David Njoku, Cleveland Browns vs Chicago Bears
2021 Fantasy Football Bust for Week 3 - Defensive Team
Indianapolis Colts, @ Tennessee Titans
The Titans got off to an awful start against the Cardinals in Week 1. The offense found its groove quickly last week against the Seattle Seahawks, scoring 33 points and winning the game.
The Titans just have a balanced attack. They have one of the best runners in the game, Derrick Henry, amazing options at the wide receiver position between A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, and an efficient quarterback who can run when needed in Ryan Tannehill.
That’s a tall order for any defense, never mind an Indianapolis Colts’ defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and seventh-most to wide receivers.
Stay away from this matchup if you can.
More Week 3 Busts To Avoid:
- Kansas City Chiefs DST vs Los Angeles Chargers
- Los Angeles Rams DST vs Tampa Bay Buccanneers