2021 Fantasy Quarterback Busts
Don’t Eat The Cheese is back! Which 2021 fantasy quarterback busts make the list? Don’t pick one of these three options! (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Don’t Eat The Cheese: 2021 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

The Don’t Eat The Cheese series brings back memories. It was the first set of articles I ever wrote when I first entered the sports media world. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Half the battle of winning your fantasy league is avoiding the outright disasters, especially at quarterback… there are so many capable ones that if you find a dud, your season is probably over.

Of course, real men play in two quarterback leagues, so EVERYBODY is on the table here. Here is your Don’t Eat The Cheese list of 2021 Fantasy Football quarterback busts.

Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans)

I get the appeal on Tannehill, trust me. The last couple of years, Tannehill has been super undervalued. However, there is a lot of crash and burn potential here. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of it. Tannehill is also being consistently ranked as a top 10 option, so he’s essentially being ranked as if he’s guaranteed to repeat last season’s performance.

Tannehill threw 33 touchdown passes in 2020, which was easily a career-high. His previous high mark was 27 in 2014. I’m now supposed to believe that he is a lock to repeat or even surpass that 33 mark? Not… buying… it.

The former first round pick out of Texas A&M also had some goofy rushing touchdown luck a year ago. Tannehill had seven rushing touchdowns a year ago, which is nothing to sneeze at. In six years as a starter for Miami, Tannehill had six total rushing touchdowns. Even if Tannehill has, say, five this year (a really good total for a quarterback), it’s still short of the mark from a year ago.

I just think people are really missing the mark here. I’m not going to deny adding Julio Jones helps. Well, that’s if Julio is healthy. What we’re not talking about enough is the fact that the sum of the parts around Tannehill is probably worse than a year ago.

Do you trust Anthony Firkser? Because I don’t. Losing Jonnu Smith shouldn’t be undersold here. Shit, I don’t even like Corey Davis, but the guy had a really good year. We’re also assuming we’re getting the same Derrick Henry again after 681 carries the last two years. Did we forget running backs are ticking time bombs?

Most importantly, we’re missing the boat on the most important part. We know the impact that play-callers have on offenses. That Arthur Smith guy who guided Tannehill to the year of his life is gone. Ask Matt Ryan if he misses Kyle Shanahan. Offensive coordinators probably matter more than the guys who are actually on the field in reality.

The new offensive coordinator this year is Todd Downing, who has one year under his belt at the position. That year came in 2017 with the Raiders. Downing was fired after one year by the Raiders, who went from 12-4 to 6-10 while he ran the offense.

I’m not saying Downing can or can’t coach, but there is no denying the resume isn’t the greatest thing in the world. Best case, let’s call Downing unproven. Do you put your eggs in unproven? There’s too much unnecessary risk when the alternatives are as fail-proof as it gets.

Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

No question; I was wrong (semi wrong) about Tom Brady last year. Trey is human, and the universe proves it by making Trey wrong once a year. Last year, that was Brady. I slapped myself in the face live on camera for being semi wrong. That’s honor and integrity. That’s the standard I hold myself to.

I’ll gladly double down here. Truthfully, I almost put Aaron Rodgers on here, but they fall into the same category. Quarterbacks that produce zero rushing fantasy value make me uncomfortable. Brady isn’t exactly the fleetest of foot. It’s hard for me to stomach taking Brady over these other quarterbacks I know I’ll get a rushing baseline out of.

There’s also the blessing and curse of the Super Bowl hangover. Brady’s stock is high from winning the Super Bowl and also in jeopardy of being hit with the hangover curse. Another year older, maybe a few slow starts cause of motivation, a ready made defense, etc. In all likelihood, Brady will be fine because he’s a robot. The pricetag here makes me pass.

Daniel Jones (New York Giants)

This one is just a combination of things. I won’t take up too much time here. The overreliance of Saquon Barkley, a very underrated defense, and Jason Garrett has me out on this stock. This is the same guy that had 11 passing touchdowns in 2020. I honestly don’t see how things are much different.

Adding Kenny Golladay helps, but I don’t love the game script or surrounding circumstances here.

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