Saquon Barkley is fantasy football’s biggest bust of 2021

Fantasy football often involves unpredictable madness. There are injuries, recently also COVID-19. There are players who don’t perform as well as expected, and some who face surprisingly stiff competition for work. 

Any of these scenarios can result in a draft-day busts. And everyone knows draft busts are just the worst. You are hesitant to give up on those players, because you’ve invested so much in them. 

Here are the Madman’s busts this season — the players who, for reasons other than extensive injury, did a fantasy face-plant when on the field. 

Bust of the year: Saquon Barkley (RB, Giants)

Yes, he missed time due to injury, but he was never out long enough to drop, so he likely held onto a spot on your roster. When he did play, he rarely displayed the magic we anticipated when drafting him in the late first round. His average draft position was 11th overall. But he ranks No. 32 among just RBs in PPR. 

Saquon Barkley
AP

QB bust: Russell Wilson (Seahawks)

He also missed some time, but he even came back early. But then again, he never really came back. The sixth QB drafted on average, Wilson ranks just 23rd at his position, 17th in weekly average.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Tannehill (Titans). 

Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson
AP

RB bust: Mike Davis (Falcons)

Certainly, you shouldn’t expect the world out of someone drafted in rounds 4-5, but there was reason for hope for Davis. He performed well when filling in for Christian McCaffrey the last season in Carolina. The Falcons gave him a big contract in the offseason. Atlanta had little in the way of decent RB depth on its roster. But then Cordarrelle Patterson happened. Davis, who the Madman thought would be a decent RB2 or strong Flex option, ranks 35th at RB, never scored more than 16.9 in PPR, and has nine single-digit outings over the past 12 games.

Honorable mentions: Miles Sanders (Eagles), Josh Jacobs (Raiders), Trey Sermon (49ers). 

Allen Robinson
Allen Robinson
AP

WR bust: Allen Robinson (Bears)

Routinely drafted in rounds 3-4 to be a weak WR1 or strong WR2, Robinson would easily be the bust of the year were it not for Barkley’s higher draft cost. The reluctance to bail on Robinson was amplified by a robust 11 targets in Week 1, which foretold better things to come after a sorry opener. He scored a TD in Week 2 to break double digits and keep fantasy owners comfy in their decision to continue starting him. He didn’t reach double digits in PPR again until Week 9, and then barely (10.9). But even dealing with recent injury, Robinson had poisoned fantasy rosters for far too long.

Honorable mentions: DeAndre Hopkins (Cardinals), Julio Jones (Titans), Courtland Sutton (Broncos). 

Darren Waller
Darren Waller
AP

TE bust: Darren Waller (Raiders)

He was drafted to be dominant, routinely being drafted in the second or third round as the second tight end behind Travis Kelce. But instead of being elite, he was just run-of-the-mill, ranking 13th. Waller has missed five games, but his weekly average is four full points behind position leaders Mark Andrews and Kelce, which is the realm Waller was supposed to be in.