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Fantasy Football Busts: Tight End (2021)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Aug 30, 2021

Every season we see fantasy stars emerge out of nowhere and highly-touted players falter. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at the latter. Here are four tight-end busts for the 2021 season.

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Logan Thomas (WAS)
Thomas broke out in 2020 thanks to his 72 receptions and six scores, though Washington addressed its need for depth at receiver by adding Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, and Adam Humphries in the offseason. Don’t forget Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, and J.D. McKissic are still on the team, too. It’s unlikely Thomas commands such a hefty target share this season with so many other mouths to feed, and it seems highly unlikely he’ll approach the same number of receptions he did a year ago.

Irv Smith Jr (MIN)
Smith is one of this season’s most popular breakout candidates, but he’ll need some breaks in order for that breakout to happen. Last season, he posted career marks in receiving yards (364) and touchdowns (5), so surely he’s on his way up now that Kyle Rudolph is gone? Minnesota’s passing attack runs through Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, leaving limited work for Smith. The Vikings are likely to throw less this season as long as the defense can improve. Smith’s path to TE1 value will likely be heavily reliant on touchdowns, making him a prime bust candidate if he can’t hit regularly hit pay dirt. And this was all before he suffered his preseason injury. Avoid Smith.

Noah Fant (DEN)
I have a really tough time buying into Fant as more than a high-end TE2, though he’s surprisingly ranked TE7 in the latest ECR. In two seasons, he’s finished as TE16 and TE12 while scoring just six total touchdowns. There’s reason to be optimistic in 2021 if Teddy Bridgewater can get this offense humming, but the fact remains that there are a lot of mouths to feed in Denver.

This talented young receiving corps features Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Courtland Sutton in addition to some talented backs in Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams. There are only so many passes that can go Fant’s way. If you’re looking for a boring option at TE with potential top-12 upside, Fant is your man, but even at TE11 or TE12, you’re drafting him at his absolute ceiling. Taking him as a top-10 option is sure to disappoint.

Dallas Goedert (PHI)
Goedert is still being drafted as a TE1, but as long as Zach Ertz is on the team, can we really count on top-12 production? We’ve seen Goedert produce with Ertz in the lineup, but that was with Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson. Will Jalen Hurts really be able to support two fantasy-relevant tight ends? Will new head coach Nick Sirianni’s offensive gameplan provide Goedert the opportunities he needs to succeed?

Heading into the season, there are too many question marks about Goedert’s usage and volume for me to feel comfortable drafting him as a TE1, which is why he falls just outside that range.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

Busts, Featured, Featured Link, NFL