2021 Fantasy Football Busts Projections Week 17 | Sit ‘Em Picks & Players Who’ll Disappoint

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

The players I name in this article each week may have unfavorable matchups, situational changes that negatively affect 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 your starters every week, but instead, pick and choose which players have the best matchups and highest potential of fantasy points each week.

2021 Fantasy Football Busts for Week 17 - Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns

Ben Roethlisberger fooled a lot of us from weeks 11-14 when he threw a total of nine touchdown passes in four games. He’s fallen back down to earth recently, throwing just one touchdown in his last two games.

The Steelers offense is broken, and we are witnessing the end of an era in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger is a shell of his old self and cannot be trusted in the most important fantasy football week of the season, no matter how desperate you may be at quarterback.

The Cleveland Browns just gave up three touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers in Week 16. The Browns have held opposing quarterbacks to one or fewer touchdown passes in the five games prior to last week’s matchup against the Packers. I’m expecting Big Ben to continue his struggles in a division matchup this week.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs Miami Dolphins

You’d think when Derrick Henry went down for the season, Ryan Tannehill would throw a lot more and provide some upside in fantasy. Unfortunately, for fantasy managers, that has not been the case.

Tannehill has thrown multiple touchdown passes in just two games this season (Weeks 3 & 8). He’s only thrown a total of one touchdown in his last three games combined. You may think he offers some upside against his former team with A.J. Brown back in the lineup, but don’t fall for it.

The Miami Dolphins have given up the 6th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. They haven’t allowed a single touchdown pass from a quarterback in their last four games, and I highly doubt the “revenge game" narrative works out for Tannehill this week.

More Week 17 Busts To Avoid:

  • Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders @ Indianapolis Colts

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2021 Fantasy Football Busts for Week 17 - Running Back

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals

Tony Pollard has been a big part of the Cowboys’ backfield this season. Both he and Ezekiel Elliott have worked well together as a productive 1-2 punch.

It appears after his Week 16 performance, Elliott is fully healthy and is handling the majority of touches. In a 56-14 blowout against the Washington Football Team, Pollard ran the ball for just 34 yards on eight carries. This was his least productive fantasy game since Week 8. You shouldn’t base all of your roster decisions on last week’s performances, but this one feels different. If Elliott is efficient with his touches then Pollard will be less involved.

The Arizona Cardinals have given up the 6th-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.

Michael Carter, New York Jets vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Michael Carter is coming off an impressive performance. He rushed 16 times for 118 yards last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He looked explosive and possibly gave fantasy managers hope he can do it again this week.

Not so fast.

The New York Jets find themselves up against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. This is an almost guarantee negative game script for the Jets offense, which spells bad news for their run game.

Not only that, but the Buccaneers have given up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to running backs. They just held Alvin Kamara to 18 rushing yards in Week 15. This will certainly be a difficult week for Carter, and I wouldn’t expect much from him from a fantasy perspective.

More Week 17 Busts To Avoid:

  • Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans

2021 Fantasy Football Busts for Week 17 - Wide Receiver

Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team vs Philadelphia Eagles

The Washington Football Team has lost three consecutive games. Terry McLaurin’s last productive fantasy game came in Week 11 against the Carolina Panthers when he caught five balls for 103 yards and a touchdown. Since then, McLaurin hasn’t surpassed 51 receiving yards and has been held without a score in his last five games.

He will face the Philadelphia Eagles this week. The last time he played against the Eagles, McLaurin caught just two balls for 51 yards. That was just two weeks ago.

The Eagles have given up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year, and they haven’t allowed a wideout to reach 80 receiving yards since Keenan Allen had 103 in Week 9. Since Week 5, the Eagles have given up just five touchdown receptions to opposing wide receivers.

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns

With Roethlisberger playing as bad as he has, it’s going to be difficult to trust the majority of his pass-catching options. Chase Claypool is definitely going to be difficult to trust against the Cleveland Browns this week.

Claypool has been hit-or-miss all season, and he’s a high-risk option with a decent reward. He has just one 100-plus yard game and only one touchdown on the season, and they both came in the same game in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos.

Last week, the Steelers were up against the Kansas City Chiefs. If there was going to be a game Claypool could show his upside, it was that one. Unfortunately, he caught just four passes for 41 receiving yards. The Cleveland Browns defense is much better against wide receivers, so I suggest finding another wideout to replace Claypool this week.

More Week 17 Busts To Avoid:

  • Odell Beckham Jr., Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore Ravens

Find better Week 17 fantasy football players on the waiver wire with our 2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Top Pickups.

2021 Fantasy Football Bust for Week 17 - Tight End

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills vs Atlanta Falcons

I’m not sure why, but Dawson Knox is projected to score the 7th-most fantasy points from the tight end position this week.

Knox has scored a touchdown in two of his last three games, but only one of them presented true production that can be trusted. Last week, the Buffalo Bills were without Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis. You’d think that would have been a high-target kind of game for Knox. Instead, he caught just two balls on three targets for 11 yards. One of his two catches just happened to be in the end zone.

Both absent wide receivers from Week 16 are expected to return in Week 17, which will negatively impact Knox’s chances of having a decent fantasy day.

The Atlanta Falcons don’t do a lot right on defense, but they have held tight ends to the 12th-fewest fantasy points on the year. I’d find another tight end with a better situation and matchup this week.

More Week 17 Busts To Avoid:

  • Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Find better Week 17 fantasy football players to start with our 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers Predictions.

2021 Fantasy Football Bust for Week 17 - Defensive Team

Green Bay Packers Defense D/ST vs Minnesota Vikings

This is going to be another high-scoring game against the Vikings as it was back in Week 11 when both teams combined for 65 points. The Packers allowed the Vikings offense to score 34 points.

The Packers’ defense does offer a bit of upside with sacks and turnovers, but I don’t think it will be enough to overcome the Vikings’ offense this week. Dalvin Cook is expected to be back this week after clearing the COVID protocols. Cook totaled 115 yards, a touchdown, and a two-point conversion the last time he faced the Packers. Kirk Cousins threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers in Week 11.

It’s just not a good matchup for the Packers, as the Vikings have given up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to defenses this year.

More Week 17 Busts To Avoid:

  • Baltimore Ravens Defense D/ST, vs Los Angeles Rams

Thanks for reading our Fantasy Football Week 17 Bust Projections! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL pick of the day.


Nate Hamilton

Nate Hamilton is a regular contributor to the fantasy football industry. He has produced content for some of the top fantasy football sites including FantasyPros, The Fantasy Footballers, Fantasy Data, FantraxHQ, and currently The Game Day! He is a co-author of Amazon's #1 Best Selling "The Fantasy Football Black Book" with Joe Pisapia. Nate is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA).

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