2020 Fantasy Football Busts: Nate Hamilton goes over the Top Busts of the Year for 2020 fantasy football.
It happens every season. Players that we have big expectations for often underperform and disappoint us. We draft them high only to get minimal in return. Sometimes they will start the season on fire and burn out and others, well, they just never show up as expected.
In this article, I will put together a team, all of which have “busted" considering the draft price you likely paid for them. I will not include players that missed many games due to injury as I feel injuries do happen and are not a fair assessment of a player’s true production.
The All-Bust Team format is QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/TE/Flex. All stats are based on PPR scoring.
2020 Fantasy Football Busts
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
“But Nate, he finished as the QB6 in fantasy." That’s the problem with stats at season’s end. It’s not the complete story.
In the case of Russell Wilson, it’s a tale of two stories.
In his first eight games of the 2020 season, Russell Wilson was everything you drafted and more! He threw a total of 28 touchdowns and had 2,541 passing yards. If only he continued this production in the most important time of the fantasy football season.
In his last eight games of the regular season (including the fantasy playoffs), he was less than mediocre. Wilson threw just 12 total touchdowns and almost 900 fewer passing yards (1,671). If you rostered Russell Wilson, chances are you were reluctant to play him in the fantasy playoffs, and if you did, he could have been the reason you lost your matchup.
Russell Wilson was the QB19 in his last 8 games of the 2020 season. Considering he was the second quarterback off the majority of fantasy draft boards, I’d say he busted for your teams down the stretch.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
I wrote an article before the NFL season titled “Is Clyde Edwards-Helaire The Biggest Fantasy Football Bust of 2020?" To answer the question, I believe he was. People were drafting CEH as a top-five running back as we got closer to the season.
Based on where he was likely drafted versus where he ended up, he busted.
In that article, I was worried about many things when it came to Edwards-Helaire’s expected production.
One big contention for me was that the Chiefs would not have to rely on their rookie running back to produce in that offense. In fact, the Chiefs had the sixth-fewest rushing attempts in 2019. CEH would have had to be very efficient with his touches in 2020 at that rate.
I was also worried about the Chiefs leaning on CEH to protect $500M quarterback Patrick Mahomes. If he wasn’t able to do that as a rookie, he would undoubtedly lose snaps. One final point I’ll bring up was my concern for Edwards-Helaire’s ability to push the pile. Even in his first primetime game in Week 1, he had a fantastic game. No doubt about it. He rushed for over 100 yards and scored his first NFL touchdown. Something most wanted to turn a blind eye to was the fact that he was stuffed on all six of his goal-line attempts.
CEH had just five games with 15 or more carries, just two games with over 100 rushing yards, and failed to reach 70 rush yards in 10 games this year.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire finished the 2020 season as the RB22 — 17 spots lower than his late-August/early-September draft value indicated.
Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
Todd Gurley was, personally, my most disappointing running back of 2020 and one of my top busts of the year. I believed he would find new life in the Atlanta Falcons offense.
Unfortunately, he was a complete dud for the majority of 2020.
Gurley had just one 100-yard game this season. That was all the way back in Week 5. His next best game was two weeks prior when he rushed for 80 yards. The only thing Todd Gurley had going for him from a fantasy perspective was touchdowns. He scored nine touchdowns in his first nine games. Sadly, Week 9 would be his last touchdown of 2020 as he went scoreless in his last six games.
He finished the season 26th in rushing yards despite getting top-12 attempts. He was rarely utilized in the passing game with just 25 catches on the year.
It’s safe to say Todd Gurley is a complete fade for me in fantasy football moving forward.
Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team
Terry McLaurin was high on many draft boards this past season. He was taken as a top 10-12 wide receiver in the majority of drafts. Looking back on his stats for 2020, he had a pretty good year. So what makes him a bust?
Although “Scary Terry" provided a safe floor in most weeks, he didn’t produce many “boom" performances. In full PPR, McLaurin scored 20+ fantasy points just four times. He scored fewer than 15 fantasy points in eight games and single-digit fantasy points in three of those games. McLaurin hauled in just four touchdowns on the year. One of which came in a meaningless (for most fantasy leagues) Week 17. What makes Terry McLaurin a bust for 2020 is his drop off at the most crucial time of the fantasy season.
In Week 13 (the week before the fantasy playoffs), McLaurin put up a dud. He had just two receptions for 14 yards. He then followed that performance up in Week 14 with two receptions for 24 yards. If you made it through those performances and actually played him in Week 15, he had a decent game scoring 14.7 PPR fantasy points. Unfortunately, McLaurin was inactive for championship week.
I know there were quarterback issues for the Washington Football Team this season. I am expecting a better year out of Terry McLaurin in 2021, but he wound up as one of the busts of the year.
D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Chark’s 2019 season gave a lot of us hope that he was trending up for this season. He did not trend up. Like a lot of us, he had an awful 2020.
He did produce decent numbers in his first three games, each had double-digit fantasy points and scored three touchdowns in that span. He had two other productive games in Week 9 and 16. That about wraps up the positives.
Now it’s time to discuss what the majority of his season contained. A string of uninspiring performances made him a non-factor for fantasy football. Chark had seven games under 10 fantasy points in full PPR. He had fewer than 50 receiving yards in seven games as well. D.J. Chark never provided a safe floor for fantasy managers. He completely busted in the majority of games in 2020. He caught just five touchdowns and two of them came in Week 4.
Chark finished the year as the WR48. Given his fantasy output throughout the season, you most likely found him on the bench or waiver wire.
Evan Engram, New York Giants
It’s very easy to bust at the tight end position. Just ask Evan Engram managers.
Engram was drafted in the top 4-6 TEs this year. If we’ve learned anything in fantasy football over the years, it’s that anyone outside of the few elite options at tight end can’t be trusted. At least not on a consistent basis.
Evan Engram was anything but consistent in 2020. He had just five games with double-digit fantasy points, all just sprinkled in on random weeks. He had a massive 12 games with fewer than 50 receiving yards and caught just one touchdown on the year.
He ended his 2020 season as the TE15. A rank of “top 15" in any position isn’t bad at all. It is bad for the tight end position. Engram scored less-than half the fantasy points of the #1 tight end (Travis Kelce) who played in one less game. Engram scored 137.6 fewer fantasy points than the #2 tight end (Darren Waller).
Maybe we should be lowering our standards when it comes to tight ends or maybe we should all adopt “TE Premium" scoring to keep them more relevant.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
If you were lucky enough to draft Tyler Boyd as a high-end WR2, you were not lucky, as you landed another one of the busts of the year. The first half of the season wasn’t bad, but you did not get what you wanted out of him in the second half. Even worse, he was a complete non-factor in the fantasy playoffs.
Similar to Terry McLaurin, Boyd provided a safe floor in most weeks. Safe floors won’t typically lose your fantasy matchups but they certainly not win you them either.
After Week 8, Boyd scored just one touchdown. He eclipsed 50 receiving yards just twice and had fewer than 15 fantasy points in 6 of 7 games. In the fantasy playoffs, he scored a combined 9.3 fantasy points. This includes a zero he put up in Week 15 before leaving the game with a head injury which left him inactive for the fantasy championship week.
Given Tyler Boyd’s volume (110 targets), I do believe he will be a viable asset in 2021 with a healthy Joe Burrow.
2020 Fantasy Football Busts is just the beginning for offseason fantasy coverage
After you read about the worst Busts of the Year, stay tuned for more fantasy football offseason content as football heads into free agency and the NFL Draft.
You can still play daily fantasy football for the NFL playoffs, though!
🏈 After you read 2020 Fantasy Football Busts, maybe you could pick one of the busts of the year if they’re in a good spot to produce in the playoffs!
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And here’s Nate’s DFS fantasy football tips for the Divisional Round: