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Fantasy Football Rankings 2021: Busts by proven NFL model that nailed Smith-Schuster's disappointing season

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 9/8/2021 CBS Sports Staff
a baseball player holding a bat: Jan 20, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) catches a pass for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter of the NFC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. © Provided by CBS Sports

Jan 20, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) catches a pass for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter of the NFC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to repeat as NFL champions. What does that mean for your 2021 Fantasy football rankings? With Tom Brady entering his 22nd year in the league, is this the year he finally becomes one of the 2021 Fantasy football busts? The Bucs aren't projected to fall far from last year's performance, and neither is their quarterback. With Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski all back, the defending champs have a litany of players owners might consider for their 2021 Fantasy football picks.

Also not projected to fall off this season in the Fantasy football rankings 2021 is the Buccaneers' defense. For your 2021 Fantasy football strategy, who's worth picking up from the defending champs? Before you go on the clock for your Fantasy football 2021 drafts, be sure to check out the 2021 Fantasy football cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last year, the model accurately predicted that Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster would be a bust. He had a fourth-round ADP, but the model ranked him as just the No. 14 receiver, behind players like A.J. Brown, Adam Thielen and Calvin Ridley. The result: Smith-Schuster finished 20th among wide receivers.

The model is powered by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy sites, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you're always getting the best Fantasy football advice. 

Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy football rankings 2021, identifying several potential Fantasy football busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2021 Fantasy football busts 

One of the 2021 Fantasy football busts the SportsLine model is calling: Titans receiver Julio Jones. A hamstring injury derailed his 2020 campaign, and the legendary receiver has been off to a slow start in his first training camp in Nashville. He didn't appear in any preseason games and has been limited with what the team designated an undisclosed injury. There are plenty of mouths to feed for the Titans as well with Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown in that offense.

Name recognition goes a long way, and Jones is still going off in the fifth round, according to the latest 2021 Fantasy football ADP. SportsLine's model has pinpointed several superior values, however. D.J. Moore, Jerry Jeudy and even seventh-rounder Chase Claypool are all projected to outperform Jones, making him one of the Fantasy football busts 2021 to steer clear of.

Another bust that SportsLine's Fantasy football rankings 2021 have identified: Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette. The fifth-year running back out of LSU is only entering his age-26 season, but his last few years have been a roller-coaster. The former No. 4 overall pick served a reliable role with the Bucs after the Jaguars cut him from their roster, but his stats leave something to be desired: 367 rushing yards and six touchdowns, adding 233 yards and zero scores through the air.

In 2021, Fournette will have to compete with Ronald Jones, Giovani Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn for opportunities. While he could emerge as a reliable passing-downs back, that's not worth a pick by his current 2021 Fantasy football ADP. Fournette is going off the board at an average of around pick No. 93, slotting him as an eighth-rounder in 12-team leagues. However, SportsLine's model does not project his performance to live up to that draft slot. If Fantasy owners wanted someone with similar production, they could grab Kenyan Drake or Jamaal Williams in the 10th round instead.

How to find proven 2021 Fantasy football rankings

SportsLine is also down on a young quarterback who was one of the top Fantasy performers down the stretch last season. This quarterback is listed outside the top 15 in positional Fantasy football 2021 rankings, behind veteran options like Kirk Cousins and Derek CarrYou can only see who it is, and the 2021 Fantasy football rankings for every player, at SportsLine.

So which 2021 Fantasy Football busts should you avoid? And which QB fails to replicate last season's production? Visit SportsLine now to get 2021 Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called JuJu Smith-Schuster's down season, and find out.

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