Way Too Early Fantasy Football Rankings

Jonathan Taylor fantasy ranking

It’s the most wonderful (okay, 2nd most) time of the year for most NFL fans, the offseason. This is the time of the year where our attention shifts to free agency, the NFL Draft, NFL best player lists, etc. Like me, a lot of NFL fans wish there was more fantasy football content this time of year, but with no games, it’s challenging. Based on previous performances, my analysis, and how I project players moving forward, I put together my initial fantasy football player rankings for 2021:

***-Player Spotlight

Fantasy Rankings 1-50:

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Dalvin Cook
  3. Alvin Kamara
  4. Derrick Henry
  5. Jonathan Taylor*

The former Wisconsin Badger had a lot of hype surrounding his fantasy capabilities after being drafted in the second round to the Indianapolis Colts due to his skill set and the team’s incredible offensive line. He was rather underwhelming to start the year, amassing 18 touches one time in the first 9 games despite starting all but one. However, all that changed week 11 vs. Green Bay when he was given 22 rushing attempts and 4 targets out of the backfield. In his last 6 games to close out the 2020 regular season, Taylor averaged 23.15 points per game en-route to being the third best RB during that stretch. There’s no reason to believe he will slow down in 2021, and his value goes up with Wentz at QB who loves throwing checkdowns. Here is how the Colts as a team will do now that they added Carson.

  1. Nick Chubb
  2. Saquon Barkley
  3. Davante Adams
  4. Tyreek Hill
  5. Aaron Jones*

A top 5 fantasy RB in the last two years, Jones is rather low on this list not because of his play, but because of the uncertainty around where he will play. His offseason decision will either boost him into the top 5 RB conversation or make him a borderline first round pick.

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Stefon Diggs
  3. Ezekiel Elliott
  4. Deandre Hopkins
  5. DK Metcalf
  6. Cam Akers*

A similar situation as Jonathan Taylor—but not as lucrative—Akers finally took control of the RBC (running back by committee) with his week 12 and 13 performance. Headlined by a 171 rushing yard 20.4 point performance in week 14, look for Akers to take the next step in 2021 with their improved offense after adding Stafford in the offseason.

  1. Josh Jacobs
  2. Austin Ekeler
  3. Calvin Ridley
  4. AJ Brown
  5. Miles Sanders
  6. JK Dobbins
  7. George Kittle*

We saw with Travis Kelce (and Waller) how valuable having a top TE in fantasy really is. They scored 260 and 225 respectively with the next closest TE scoring 150. Simply put, the TE position can be a league winner. George Kittle sits at #2 in these fantasy football rankings behind Travis Kelce.

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Joe Mixon
  3. Julio Jones
  4. Justin Jefferson
  5. Antonio Gibson
  6. Mike Evans
  7. James Robinson
  8. Deandre Swift
  9. Allen Robinson*

Another guy whose position on the rankings fluctuates with his free agency option. Robinson is a top receiver in the NFL but a lack of a great QB in Chicago really limits his fantasy value. A WR’s destination are way more important/impactful to their ranking than a RB’s decision like Aaron Jones, so fingers crossed he doesn’t resign in Chicago if they stick with Mitch Trubisky.

  1. Keenan Allen
  2. Adam Theilen
  3. Chris Godwin
  4. Josh Allen
  5. Michael Thomas*

One of the biggest drops from 2020 to 2021 is a combination of injuries, lack of success on the field, and an uncertainty at QB. As of writing this post Drew Brees has yet to retire, which means there are a possibility of 3 QBs who could logically start for them in 2021. If its Taysom, his ranking plummets; Winston, he stays the same; Brees, he jumps up.

  1. Darren Waller
  2. Mark Andrews
  3. Kenny Golladay*

Golladay is pretty much in the same boat as Allen Robinson, except Robinson is a little bit more talented. Be on the lookout for where Kenny decides to take his talents.

  1. Terry McClaurin
  2. David Montgomery*

In his last 6 games to close out 2020, the former 2019 3rd round pick finally played like we all thought he would when he got drafted into a lucrative fantasy situation. Whether he continues that in 2021 is a great question because Tarik Cohen will be back to take away some 3rd down snaps and the QB situation is up in the air. If he plays like he did to close out the season, as ranked 41 he could be a league winner.

  1. Robert Woods
  2. Kyler Murray
  3. DJ Moore
  4. Chris Carson
  5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  6. Will Fuller*

Yet another free agent WR decision looming but with a twist. He is a Texan until the new league year starts and if he resigns will his partner in crime even be there? It’s hard to judge what’s going to happen in Houston right now with any certainty so he is lower on the list because of that.

  1. Amari Cooper
  2. Diontae Johnson

Halfway mark analysis

The top 50 fantasy football rankings have come and gone with a lot of big names yet to pop up. To summarize the first 50 there were: 22 WRs, 21 RBs, 4 TEs, and 3 QBs. Most of the top 10 consisted of running backs, but after that the wide receivers took over. Fantasy football is all about opinions and speculation as well as stats, so who was a snub from the top 50 rankings?

Fantasy Rankings 51-100:

51. Lamar Jackson

52. Deshaun Watson*

Our first QB on the list with some uncertainty behind where he will play in 2021. It has been reported that he never plans on playing another down for the Texans, so if he is not traded we may have a Le’Veon Bell lockout situation. Regardless of where he ends up his fantasy ranking won’t fluctuate too much as he was a fantasy stud in the Texas wasteland last year.

  1. TJ Hockenson*

Targeted the fourth most out of all TEs, Hockenson is quickly climbing most people’s fantasy football rankings. He has the targets and the ability to be an A-tier TE in 2021. His new QB, Jared Goff, loved throwing to his TEs in Los Angeles so that bodes well for him too. If TJ takes another step up like he did from his rookie year, we may have another addition to the top of the TE food chain.

  1. Odell Beckham Jr
  2. Kenyan Drake
  3. CeeDee Lamb
  4. Brandon Aiyuk
  5. Tyler Lockett
  6. Dak Prescott
  7. Cooper Kupp
  8. DJ Chark
  9. AJ Dillon*

Here is a guy whose fantasy ranking and value rides on the decision of another RB listed way higher on the board. If Aaron Jones decides to leave Green Bay, the Dillon is next in line to take his place even if Jamal Williams stays. Have your fingers crossed for Jones to leave the Packers if you have AJ in a dynasty league, and that they don’t do something crazy in the draft (you can read Timaira Butler’s Packers draft needs here).

  1. David Johnson
  2. Melvin Gordon
  3. Ronald Jones
  4. Kareem Hunt
  5. Aaron Rodgers
  6. Russel Wilson
  7. Tee Higgins
  8. Justin Herbert
  9. Chase Claypool
  10. Courtland Sutton
  11. Juju Smith-Schuster
  12. Raheem Mostert
  13. Tyler Boyd
  14. Hunter Henry
  15. Deebo Samuel
  16. Damien Harris*

If New England decides to sway away from a true RBC, Harris, an underrated skilled runner, will be the lead bell cow. At this late in the draft there aren’t many sure fire RBs to choose, but Damien has the skill set to be one of the better pure runners in the NFL if given the chance.

  1. Noah Fant
  2. Miles Gaskin
  3. Robert Tonyan
  4. Dallas Goedert*

Reports are saying that Zach Ertz has probably played his last game in Philly as he underwhelmed in 2020 (along with a lot of others on that team). Goedert will finally have almost all of the target share at the position in 2021; however, his success will rely on Jalen Hurts’ ability to take the next step in his second year.

  1. Davante Parker
  2. Corey Davis
  3. Mike Gesicki
  4. Marquise Brown
  5. Jarvis Landry
  6. Brandin Cooks
  7. Robbie Anderson
  8. Jonnu Smith
  9. James Conner*

Its likely the former Pitt RB played his last game in black and gold, as the Steelers will look to move on after a disappointing season last year. Injuries have plagued him throughout his short 4 year career, but he has shown some explosiveness in the games he has played in. Only going to be 26 this season, if he lands in the right situation, we may see him regain his fantasy football success from 2018 and bump up the rankings.

  1. Ryan Tannehill
  2. Joe Burrow
  3. Matthew Stafford
  4. Christian Kirk
  5. T.Y. Hilton
  6. Matt Ryan
  7. Irv Smith Jr.*

With the fresh news of Kyle Rudolph’s release from the Vikings after 10 seasons, the former Alabama TE is set to have a huge increase in volume in 2021. Smith is more of a receiving TE than Rudolph is which is certainly a plus, but the fact that he will be the sole starter at the position makes him a great value pickup at the position in the mid to late rounds with huge upside.

99. Hayden Hurst

100. Tom Brady

Draft Strategy

I am a big believer in the draft strategy of taking as many stud running backs as I can in the early rounds, hence why theres so many at the top of the rankings. The drop off from the third best RB (Dalvin Cook) and the fourth best (David Montgomery) was 78 points, while the WR position is fairly spread out. In addition to that, I tend to usually wait on QBs as well because there is usually one really impactful sleeper and the mid-tier guys are not as much of a downgrade from the top-tier as they are at other positions like TE. However, it all depends on personal preference and draft position as well. Also, if you have been playing fantasy for as long as I have, you probably have developed some superstitions and trust in some players over another that will lead you to value them higher.

The rankings will fluctuate a lot with signings and the draft so be on the lookout for important news throughout the offseason that may impact it. More fantasy football articles will be on the way with potential busts, sleepers, more rankings, and an NFL draft focused one as well.

Leave a Reply