Fantasy football: Boom or bust?


Jonathan Witt

Fantasy Football is a fun game were your team performs depending on how football players perform in real life.

by Patrick Lyons, Reporter

The NFL season has finally begun and many NFL fans are excited to see their fantasy football teams in action. Every year, there are some players that “boom” and totally demolish expectations, while others “bust” and leave the team owner rethinking their decisions. It is vital that fantasy players make sure they have these boom players on their roster if they are looking to win their leagues this year. Take a look at my “boom or bust” projections below to see if you will have a successful fantasy season or not.


1. Michael Pittman Jr.

The first player that I can see taking a huge leap this year is Michael Pittman Jr., a wide receiver (WR) for the Indianapolis Colts. Pittman Jr. is a young player with lots of promise, as he tallied 1,082 yards, 6 touchdowns and 88 receptions last season. This was a very solid year which placed him as the 17th best fantasy receiver. However, I believe that was only the start, and he has a good chance to land himself within the top 5 fantasy receivers this year.  

The Indianapolis Colts have a very lackluster WR core besides Pittman. Their WR2 did not reach the top 140 fantasy receivers last year, and their WR3 is a rookie who only received 2 targets and 0 catches in the first game of the season. This benefits Pittman greatly as he will get a greater percentage of the targets. 

The Indianapolis Colts also made a big off-season move that will really help to propel Pittman’s game. The team upgraded at the QB position from Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan. Ryan is a more experienced and reliable QB, which will only help Pittman to get more good looks and opportunities. 

Pittman’s situation definitely seems to be working so far as he produced a solid performance this season. Pittman has only played two games so far and has managed to rack up 193 yards and a touchdown. It remains to be seen if Michael Pittman will continue to build on his great start to the season and rise to the top like I think he will.

 2.Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton jumps up and makes a tough catch in the back of the end zone. (Keith Allison)

Another player that I have high praise for this season is Courtland Sutton. Courtland Sutton is a tall and athletic WR that excels most with the deep ball. Sutton did not have a great season last year; however, he has shown that he is capable of high-end numbers as he showed up big in 2019 with 1,112 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Just like the Colts, the Broncos have also been busy in the off-season. The Broncos have upgraded massively at quarterback (QB) as they went from an unreliable Drew Lock to arguably a top 7 talent in Russel Wilson. Wilson is a very clutch QB who has been playing for a while and can definitely feed Sutton many accurate deep balls. 

While Sutton has some solid competition with his teammate Jerry Jeudy, another promising receiver, his situation has definitely improved due to Broncos WR 3, Tim Patrick, being ruled out for the season. 

Many NFL fans believe that the Broncos’ above-average run game will play a role in slowing down Sutton, but I believe it will do the opposite. These Broncos running backs will pull a lot of attention from opposing defenses and allow for the passing game to open up greatly. Do not be surprised when you see Courtland Sutton sitting nicely in the top 10 fantasy receivers at the end of the season.



1.Cam Akers

Cam Akers is not going to even come close to meeting expectations this season. Cam Akers is projected to be a top 15 fantasy running back (RB) this year, and I do not understand it at all. Akers had nothing more than a decent year in 2020 as he tallied 748 total yards and 2 touchdowns. Then, when it came to 2021, he had a devastating injury that put him out for the whole season. When NFL players experience this high level of injuries it is rare that they come back and are able to perform at the level they did before the injury. 

In addition, during the season that Akers missed, he was somewhat replaced. While Akers was out, Darrel Henderson came in and had a better year then Akers did in 2020, playing one less game. With this in mind, it looks like Henderson will continue to be the number 1 guy as he saw a lot more action in the first week of this season. Comparing the two players, Henderson managed to rack up 18 touches with 74 yards, while Akers only got 3 touches and 0 yards. 

Even if Cam Akers does somehow manage to get his number 1 spot back, I still do not think he will be able to produce. The Rams have a top-12 talent QB in Mathew Stafford, and they have Cooper Kupp, last year’s offensive player of the year. The Rams are much more invested in their passing game, rather than their rushing game, and this duo will keep the touches away from Akers. Cam Akers has nothing going for him this year, so do not fall into the hype.

2. Devonta Smith

Devonta Smith with the ball into his hands and securing the catch. (All-Pro Reels)

The final player I am predicting will have a “bust” season is Devonta Smith. Devonta Smith is a promising young WR on the Philadelphia Eagles. Smith was very solid last year and finished as a top-30 fantasy receiver with 916 yards and 5 touchdowns. Although he was productive last year, I do not see him being able to withstand this any longer. Over the off-season, the Eagles made a big move as they acquired their new WR1, AJ Brown. AJ Brown is a top-10 WR in the NFL with multiple 1000 yard seasons under his belt. With this new presence of Brown, Smith will see a big decrease in targets, which will not be any help to his stats. 

In addition to their new WR1, the Philadelphia Eagles are also known to be a very run-heavy team. Last year, the Eagles fed many rushes to their QB, Jalen Hurts, and  their  deep running back core, as they tallied up over 100 more rush attempts then pass attempts. This will cause Smith to get even fewer targets and move him closer to an unproductive season. If I have still not succeeded in convincing you,  just take a look at Smith’s first game this season. He went the entire  game without a catch and only received 4 targets. If you are looking for a consistent, trustworthy receiver for your fantasy team, make sure to stay away from Devonta Smith.

With the first couple of weeks going by, fantasy players are bound to get themselves into a tricky boom or bust situation. Whether it is a trade request or a sneaky waiver wire player, they will find themselves in a place where they must decide if a player will boom or bust. The NFL season is always very unpredictable, so I hope this article will provide some insight and allow fantasy football enthusiasts to pick the right player.

This poll has ended.

Which boom or bust prediction do you have the most faith in?


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