2021 Fantasy Football Big Board: Latest Player Rankings for Every Position

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystAugust 20, 2021

2021 Fantasy Football Big Board: Latest Player Rankings for Every Position

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    We're in the thick of it now.

    With the first full slate of preseason games completed, there's less than a month before the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off the 2021 regular season.

    And that means there are just a few short weeks for fantasy football enthusiasts to assemble their teams in pursuit of championship glory.

    There are a number of tools that fantasy managers use to prepare for drafts, but none is more important than player rankings—the lists of the top players at every position that forms the backbone of draft strategy.

    In that regard, we have you covered here at Bleacher Report, with the second Fantasy Football Big Board of draft season. Want to know who the No. 8 running back is? We got it. The No. 27 wide receiver? We got that too. The No. 64 player overall? Consider it done. The No. 32 kicker?

    No. Just no.

    Let's light this candle!


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    Rich Schultz/Associated Press

    This past weekend, I had the privilege of competing in the King's Classic fantasy football drafts at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, against many of the industry's top experts. There isn't a more accomplished and knowledgeable group to match wits against in the game.

    And it's a group that knows better than to draft a quarterback early.

    In the snake draft I participated in, the first quarterback (Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills) came off the board at Pick No. 54—halfway through Round 5 in a more standard 12-team league (The Classic is 14 teams). I was able to get a quarterback with legitimate top-five upside with the 122nd overall pick.

    You don't have to draft a quarterback early to win your league. As a matter of fact, unless you play in a "superflex" or two-QB league, given the lack of scarcity at quarterback relative to other positions, taking a signal-caller early on will probably do more harm than good.


    Undervalued Quarterbacks

    Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

    ADP: 102.3, QB12

    My Rank: QB10

    Hurts is that quarterback I mentioned that I got late in Round 9 of a 14-teamer. Is Hurts a fantastic passer? No. But the Eagles have spent the offseason tailoring the offense around the second-year pro, and he's a legitimate threat to sail past 800 rushing yards this season. If he does that and is even OK as a passer, a top-five finish is absolutely possible.


    Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

    ADP: 155.6, QB21

    My Rank: QB16

    It's not all that uncommon for fantasy managers to abandon aging players after so-so seasons, and it's happening with Roethlisberger in 2021. But even in last year's "down" campaign, the 39-year-old still flirted with 4,000 passing yards, threw 33 touchdown passes and finished as a top-12 fantasy option. He's a great late-round target as depth or part of a platoon at the position.


    Overvalued Quarterbacks

    Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    ADP: 64.7, QB7

    My Rank: QB8

    I have caught some flak on social media for being a "Herbert Hater," and his average draft position has dipped into a bit more reasonable area of late. Nonetheless, I have seen far too many drafters select Herbert within the top-five signal-callers, and the second-year pro is coming off the board ahead of Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks on average. That's drafting at ceiling. Drafting at ceiling is bad.


    Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

    ADP: 123.3, QB15

    My Rank: QB21

    Lawrence will still all but certainly be Jacksonville's Week 1 starter, regardless of what Urban Meyer might say about Gardner Minshew II. The Jaguars could be highlighting Minshew as trade bait, And Lawrence's long-term future remains bright. But at this point, if we're talking about just the 2021 season, I'd rather draft Justin Fields of the Bears as my "lottery ticket" backup.


    Sleeper Quarterback

    Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

    ADP: 160.3, QB23

    My Rank: QB17

    Yes, Tagovailoa's first preseason action of 2021 ended with an ill-advised throw that was intercepted. But prior to that pick, the second-year quarterback completed eight throws in a row. Tagovailoa is talented. He's mobile. He's healthy. And he's at the helm of a Miami offense with no shortage of passing-game weaponry. He's a fantastic QB2 target with top-12 upside.


    Top 50 Quarterbacks

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Patrick Mahomes, KCC (12)
    2. Josh Allen, BUF (7)
    3. Lamar Jackson, BAL (8)
    4. Dak Prescott, DAL (7)
    5. Kyler Murray, ARZ (12)
    6. Russell Wilson, SEA (9)
    7. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (13)
    8. Justin Herbert, LAC (7)
    9. Tom Brady, TBB (9)
    10. Jalen Hurts, PHI (14)
    11. Ryan Tannehill, TEN (13)
    12. Matthew Stafford, LAR (11)
    13. Matt Ryan, ATL (6)
    14. Joe Burrow, CIN (10)
    15. Kirk Cousins, MIN (7)
    16. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (7)
    17. Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (14)
    18. Ryan Fitzpatrick, WFT (9)
    19. Baker Mayfield, CLE (13)
    20. Justin Fields, CHI (10)
    21. Trevor Lawrence, JAX (7)
    22. Daniel Jones, NYG (10)
    23. Derek Carr, LVR (8)
    24. Sam Darnold, CAR (13)
    25. Trey Lance, SFO (6)
    26. Zach Wilson, NYJ (6)
    27. Deshaun Watson, HOU (10)
    28. Taysom Hill, NOS (6)
    29. Jared Goff, DET (9)
    30. Cam Newton, NEP (14)
    31. Drew Lock, DEN (11)
    32. Jameis Winston, NOS (6)
    33. Carson Wentz, IND (14)
    34. Jimmy Garoppolo, SFO (6)
    35. Mac Jones, NEP (14)
    36. Teddy Bridgewater, DEN (11)
    37. Andy Dalton, CHI (10)
    38. Gardner Minshew II, JAX (7)
    39. Tyrod Taylor, HOU (10)
    40. Jacob Eason, IND (14)
    41. Marcus Mariota, LVR (8)
    42. Mitchell Trubisky, BUF (7)
    43. Jacoby Brissett, MIA (14)
    44. Taylor Heinicke, WFT (9)
    45. Davis Mills, HOU (10)
    46. Jordan Love, GBP (13)
    47. Joe Flacco, PHI (14)
    48. Chad Henne, KCC (12)
    49. Mason Rudolph, PIT (7)
    50. Mike Glennon, NYG (10)

Running Backs

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The running back position rules fantasy football—it's that simple.

    This isn't to say that you can't build a winner by going "Zero RB" or "Anchor RB" (drafting one high-end starter and then fading the position for several rounds) or that bust rates for running backs aren't higher than at wide receiver.

    All of that is true. But it's also true that as the number of "workhorse" backs decreases, running back is easily the shallowest position in fantasy.

    If you are a relative newcomer to fantasy football or a manager who isn't a big fan of taking risks, attack the running backs early. It's much easier to find value at wide receiver and quarterback in the later rounds.


    Undervalued Running Backs

    Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons

    ADP: RB23, 45.8

    My Rank: RB19

    Davis isn't an elite talent by any stretch—he averaged 3.9 yards a carry in Carolina last year filling in for an injured Christian McCaffrey. But he has shown he can handle a big workload, he was a top-12 points-per-reception running back in 2020 and he's easily the most experienced back on Atlanta's depth chart.


    Phillip Lindsay, Houston Texans

    ADP: RB48, 118.1

    My Rank: RB41

    As Heath Cummings reported for CBS Sports, not only was Lindsay listed above David Johnson on Houston's first depth chart, but he played eight first-quarter snaps in the Texans' first preseason game. By weight of comparison, Johnson played two. Lindsay is also the best pure runner on the roster.


    Overvalued Running Backs

    Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    ADP: 13.9, RB10

    My Rank: RB15

    Harris is rapidly becoming this year's Clyde Edwards-Helaire—a rookie back who will be blasted after the season as a "bust" despite the fact his relatively disappointing numbers aren't at all his fault. Pittsburgh's offensive line might be the worst in the NFL, and though two preseason games, Harris has nine carries for a ho-hum 32 yards.


    Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins

    ADP: 42.9, RB22

    My Rank: RB28

    It is entirely possible that Gaskin ceding first-team reps to Malcolm Brown in the team's first preseason game was just a matter of head coach Brian Flores seeing what he has in his new grinder. But at this point, it is becoming awfully difficult to justify drafting Gaskin as a low-end fantasy RB2, especially with Miami seemingly headed toward more of a committee attack and players like Atlanta's Mike Davis coming off the board after him.


    Sleeper Running Back

    Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles

    ADP: 165.9, RB65

    My Rank: RB56

    Scott didn't do much in the preseason opener against the Steelers, but there continues to be buzz from Eagles camp that he's getting a lot of first-team reps and looks from Jalen Hurts in the passing game. Throw in Miles Sanders' durability issues, and Scott has "sleeper" written all over him.


    Top 75 Running Backs

    Bye week listed in parentheses

    1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (13)
    2. Dalvin Cook, MIN (7)
    3. Alvin Kamara, NOS (6)
    4. Derrick Henry, TEN (13)
    5. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (7)
    6. Aaron Jones, GBP (13)
    7. Nick Chubb, CLE (13)
    8. Austin Ekeler, LAC (7)
    9. Saquon Barkley, NYG (10)
    10. Joe Mixon, CIN (10)
    11. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KCC (12)
    12. Jonathan Taylor, IND (14)
    13. Antonio Gibson, WFT (9)
    14. J.K. Dobbins, BAL (8)
    15. Najee Harris, PIT (7)
    16. David Montgomery, CHI (10)
    17. Chris Carson, SEA (9)
    18. D'Andre Swift, DET (9)
    19. Mike Davis, ATL (6)
    20. Josh Jacobs, LVR (8)
    21. Kareem Hunt, CLE (13)
    22. Darrell Henderson Jr., LAR (11)
    23. Miles Sanders, PHI (14)
    24. Chase Edmonds, ARZ (12)
    25. James Robinson, JAX (7)
    26. Melvin Gordon III, DEN (11)
    27. Travis Etienne Jr., JAX (7)
    28. Myles Gaskin, MIA (14)
    29. Javonte Williams, DEN (11)
    30. Leonard Fournette, TBB (9)
    31. Trey Sermon, SFO (6)
    32. Zack Moss, BUF (7)
    33. Damien Harris, NEP (14)
    34. James Conner, ARZ (12)
    35. Raheem Mostert, SFO (6)
    36. Kenyan Drake, LVR (8)
    37. Michael Carter, NYJ (6)
    38. David Johnson, HOU (10)
    39. Ronald Jones II, TBB (9)
    40. Malcolm Brown, MIA (14)
    41. Phillip Lindsay, HOU (10)
    42. Latavius Murray, NOS (6)
    43. Devin Singletary, BUF (7)
    44. Jamaal Williams, DET (9)
    45. Tony Pollard, DAL (7)
    46. Gus Edwards, BAL (8)
    47. Nyheim Hines, IND (14)
    48. AJ Dillon, GBP (13)
    49. J.D. McKissic, WFT (9)
    50. James White, NEP (14)
    51. Tevin Coleman, NYJ (6)
    52. Alexander Mattison, MIN (7)
    53. Devontae Booker, NYG (10)
    54. Damien Williams, CHI (10)
    55. Giovani Bernard, TBB (9)
    56. Boston Scott, PHI (14)
    57. Darrel Williams, KCC (12)
    58. Rashaad Penny, SEA (9)
    59. Salvon Ahmed, MIA (14)
    60. Chuba Hubbard, CAR (13)
    61. Justin Jackson, LAC (7)
    62. Marlon Mack, IND (14)
    63. Kenneth Gainwell, PHI (14)
    64. Sony Michel, NEP (14)
    65. Darrynton Evans, TEN (13)
    66. Joshua Kelley, LAC (7)
    67. Tarik Cohen, CHI (10)
    68. Rhamondre Stevenson, NEP (14)
    69. Xavier Jones, LAR (11)
    70. Mark Ingram II, HOU (10)
    71. Benny Snell Jr., PIT (7)
    72. Ty Johnson, NYJ (6)
    73. Carlos Hyde, JAX (7)
    74. Samaje Perine, CIN (10)
    75. Wayne Gallman, SFO (6)

Wide Receivers

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    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    Though high-end wide receivers like Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers and Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs are fantastic players and valuable fantasy options, they also cost a ton of draft capital.

    Consider this piece of information Matt Dunleavy of Player Profiler wrote in 2020. While the fantasy bust rate percentages for running backs and wide receivers are similar in the first few rounds and almost identical in the late rounds (when just about every pick is a dart throw), the bust rate at running back is nearly 12 points higher than at wideout in Rounds 5-8.

    Having one "anchor" receiver is a good thing, but that mid-round sweet spot is the optimal part of the draft to really attack the position—after loading up on running backs.


    Undervalued Wide Receivers

    Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

    ADP: 97.1, WR39

    My Rank: WR31

    With the arrival of fifth overall pick Ja'Marr Chase and the emergence of Tee Higgins in Cincinnati, Boyd has become something of a forgotten man in the Cincy passing game. However, Boyd was a top-30 fantasy wideout even in a "down" 2020 season, and Chase and Higgins will draw coverage away from the sixth-year veteran.


    Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

    ADP: 104.1, WR42

    My Rank: WR30

    Yes, the Texans will be abjectly terrible in 2021—especially if Deshaun Watson doesn't play for the team, but Cooks is the unquestioned No. 1 wideout for a team that will be playing catch-up (and throwing the ball) just about every week. He also has five seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards in seven years in the league.


    Overvalued Wide Receivers

    Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers

    ADP: 67.4, WR27

    My Rank: WR33

    This call isn't about the low-ankle sprain Claypool suffered in practice this week—although that doesn't help matters. It's about a crowded Steelers receiver room, an unsustainable touchdown every 6.9 targets from last year and a Steelers O-line that may not give Ben Roethlisberger time for the vertical passes Claypool thrives on.


    Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

    ADP: 36.5, WR13

    My Rank: WR18

    This isn't any kind of knock on Woods, who finished at the back end of fantasy WR1 territory in 2020. But there has been quite a bit of speculation that Cooper Kupp (and not Woods) could be the primary beneficiary of the arrival of Matthew Stafford in Los Angeles.


    Sleeper Wide Receiver

    Jakobi Myers, New England Patriots

    ADP: Not Listed

    My Rank: WR63

    Granted, it's not easy to get excited about any of the wide receivers in New England. But per Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Meyers has been the team's most consistent wideout in camp. Any player with a real shot to be his team's No. 1 receiver is worth at least a late look from fantasy managers.


    Top 75 Wide Receivers

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Tyreek Hill, KCC (12)
    2. Davante Adams, GBP (13)
    3. Stefon Diggs, BUF (7)
    4. Calvin Ridley, ATL (6)
    5. DeAndre Hopkins, ARZ (12)
    6. DK Metcalf, SEA (9)
    7. A.J. Brown, TEN (13)
    8. Keenan Allen, LAC (7)
    9. Allen Robinson II, CHI (10)
    10. Justin Jefferson, MIN (7)
    11. Terry McLaurin, WFT (9)
    12. CeeDee Lamb, DAL (7)
    13. Chris Godwin, TBB (9)
    14. Cooper Kupp, LAR (11)
    15. Amari Cooper, DAL (7)
    16. Mike Evans, TBB (9)
    17. DJ Moore, CAR (13)
    18. Robert Woods, LAR (11)
    19. Julio Jones, TEN (13)
    20. Brandon Aiyuk, SFO (6)
    21. Adam Thielen, MIN (7)
    22. Tyler Lockett, SEA (9)
    23. Ja'Marr Chase, CIN (10)
    24. Diontae Johnson, PIT (7)
    25. Courtland Sutton, DEN (11)
    26. Tee Higgins, CIN (10)
    27. Odell Beckham Jr., CLE (13)
    28. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (7)
    29. Kenny Golladay, NYG (10)
    30. Brandin Cooks, HOU (10)
    31. Tyler Boyd, CIN (10)
    32. DJ Chark Jr., JAX (7)
    33. Chase Claypool, PIT (7)
    34. Antonio Brown, TBB (9)
    35. Jerry Jeudy, DEN (11)
    36. Robby Anderson, CAR (13)
    37. Deebo Samuel, SFO (6)
    38. William Fuller V, MIA (14)
    39. Laviska Shenault Jr., JAX (7)
    40. Curtis Samuel, WFT (9)
    41. Michael Thomas, NOS (6)
    42. Jarvis Landry, CLE (13)
    43. DeVante Parker, MIA (14)
    44. Michael Gallup, DAL (7)
    45. DeVonta Smith, PHI (14)
    46. Bryan Edwards, LVR (8)
    47. Mike Williams, LAC (7)
    48. Michael Pittman Jr., IND (14)
    49. Corey Davis, NYJ (6)
    50. Russell Gage, ATL (6)
    51. Jaylen Waddle, MIA (14)
    52. Marquise Brown, BAL (8)
    53. Marvin Jones Jr., JAX (7)
    54. T.Y. Hilton, IND (14)
    55. Henry Ruggs III, LVR (8)
    56. Emmanuel Sanders, BUF (7)
    57. Mecole Hardman, KCC (12)
    58. Darnell Mooney, CHI (10)
    59. Tre'Quan Smith, NOS (6)
    60. Rondale Moore, ARZ (12)
    61. Gabriel Davis, BUF (7)
    62. Sterling Shepard, NYG (10)
    63. Jakobi Meyers, NEP (14)
    64. Nelson Agholor, NEP (14)
    65. Tyrell Williams, DET (9)
    66. Jalen Reagor, PHI (14)
    67. Christian Kirk, ARZ (12)
    68. Elijah Moore, NYJ (6)
    69. Cole Beasley, BUF (7)
    70. Parris Campbell, IND (14)
    71. Allen Lazard, GBP (13)
    72. Terrace Marshall Jr., CAR (13)
    73. Jamison Crowder, NYJ (6)
    74. Breshad Perriman, DET (9)
    75. Darius Slayton, NYG (10) 

Tight Ends

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The first week of preseason games did virtually nothing to alter the pecking order or draft strategy at tight end.

    Want a high-end stud like Travis Kelce of the Chiefs, Darren Waller of the Raiders or George Kittle of the 49ers? Be prepared to invest heavily—a first-rounder for Kelce, second-rounder for Waller and third-rounder for Kittle.

    Second-tier tight ends like Mark Andrews of the Ravens aren't as costly. But everything would need to fall perfectly into place for one to crash the party above them.

    After that, it's a muddled mess of lower-end weekly starters, low-ceiling veterans and unproven youngsters. It's possible a third-tier tight end could crack the top five, but there's no consensus on which one has the best chances.


    Undervalued Tight Ends

    T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

    ADP: 54.3, TE6

    My Rank: TE4

    There may not be a single player in 2021 I have more shares of than Hockenson. He was third in PPR points among tight ends in 2020, he's easily the best pass-catcher on Detroit's roster, and he could battle for the lead in targets among all tight ends this season. Hockenson has elite upside available at a discount.


    Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers

    ADP: 155.1, TE19

    My Rank: TE11

    Here's another tight end I am banging the drum for hard in 2021. I got Cook essentially for free in both King's Classic drafts. If he sees the target load (or close to it) Hunter Henry did in 2020, he'll be a top-10 fantasy option in PPR points per game. Book it.


    Overvalued Tight Ends

    Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

    ADP: 42.1, TE4

    My Rank: TE6

    I almost feel bad for the amount of praise I've showered Pitts with this summer. He's a ridiculously talented player who will likely be a star one day, but at his current ADP, he has to be a star from the get-go to justify his asking price. That is just about unheard of for a rookie tight end.


    Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints

    ADP: 150.1, TE17

    My Rank: TE21

    There isn't exactly a high price tag involved in selecting Trautman—he's being drafted in Round 13 on average this year. But with a banged-up Michael Thomas and an uncertain situation at quarterback, I'm not rushing out to load up on shares of the Saints passing game this year.


    Sleeper Tight End

    Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans

    ADP: Not Listed

    My Rank: TE19

    Firkser has demonstrated the ability to post a robust stat line, topping 100 yards with a score in a start against the Texans in 2020. Ryan Tannehill has demonstrated some affinity for targeting tight ends, and with A.J. Brown and Julio Jones tormenting secondaries, Firkser should be open over the middle all game every game.


    Top 50 Tight Ends

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Travis Kelce, KCC (12)
    2. Darren Waller, LVR (8)
    3. George Kittle, SFO (6)
    4. T.J. Hockenson, DET (9)
    5. Mark Andrews, BAL (8)
    6. Kyle Pitts, ATL (6)
    7. Logan Thomas, WFT (9)
    8. Dallas Goedert, PHI (14)
    9. Robert Tonyan, GBP (13)
    10. Noah Fant, DEN (11)
    11. Jared Cook, LAC (7)
    12. Tyler Higbee, LAR (11)
    13. Mike Gesicki, MIA (14)
    14. Irv Smith Jr., MIN (7)
    15. Jonnu Smith, NEP (14)
    16. Rob Gronkowski, TBB (9)
    17. Evan Engram, NYG (10)
    18. Hunter Henry, NEP (14)
    19. Anthony Firkser, TEN (13)
    20. Austin Hooper, CLE (13)
    21. Adam Trautman, NOS (6)
    22. Gerald Everett, SEA (9)
    23. Blake Jarwin, DAL (7)
    24. Zach Ertz, PHI (14)
    25. Eric Ebron, PIT (7)
    26. Hayden Hurst, ATL (6)
    27. Cole Kmet, CHI (10)
    28. Jordan Akins, HOU (10)
    29. Dawson Knox, BUF (7)
    30. Mo-Alie Cox, IND (14)
    31. Chris Herndon, NYJ (6)
    32. Dan Arnold, CAR (13)
    33. O.J. Howard, TBB (9)
    34. C.J. Uzomah, CIN (10)
    35. Jimmy Graham, CHI (10)
    36. Pat Freiermuth, PIT (7)
    37. Tyler Conklin, MIN (7)
    38. Harrison Bryant, CLE (13)
    39. Will Dissly, SEA (9)
    40. Jack Doyle, IND (14)
    41. Kyle Rudolph, NYG (10)
    42. Dalton Schultz, DAL (7)
    43. David Njoku, CLE (13)    
    44. Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN (11)
    45. James O'Shaughnessy, JAX (7)
    46. Drew Sample, CIN (10)
    47. Maxx Williams, ARZ (12)
    48. Donald Parham, LAC (7)
    49. Tyler Kroft, NYJ (6)
    50. Geoff Swaim, TEN (13)

Defenses and Kickers

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    Corey Sipkin/Associated Press

    The strategy for drafting a team defense and kicker is easy—wait until the last two rounds of your draft.

    Period. End of story.

    Most team defenses are equal parts volatile and unpredictable from season to season. Schemes change. So does personnel. And even if you do accurately predict the top defense in a given season, the advantage you'll gain over a mid-range starter drafted rounds later is minimal.

    It's the same story with kickers. The position relies as much on the offense around that kicker as said kicker's skill, and the margin between the top-scoring fantasy kicker and, say, the No. 10 one is usually just two or three fantasy points per game.

    Use your late picks on "handcuff" running backs. "Sleeper" plays. Depth.

    It all beats wasting draft capital on two positions that really don't matter.


    Undervalued Defenses and Kickers

    Denver Broncos Defense

    ADP: 162.0, DEF12

    My Rank: DEF6

    Smart fantasy drafters should be all over Denver's defense late. Not only do the Broncos have a talented unit helmed by a defensive mastermind in Vic Fangio, but the first three opponents they face combined to go 9-39 last season. That's a tasty trio of matchups.


    Greg Zuerlein, Dallas Cowboys

    ADP: 150.1, K7

    My Rank: K2

    Zuerlein is the embodiment of what fantasy managers want in a kicker. The veteran has a big leg and plays his home games indoors. The offense he plays on should have no problem moving the ball this season. And sometimes, he's available in the final round of drafts.


    Overvalued Defenses and Kickers

    Kansas City Chiefs Defense

    ADP: 161.8, DEF11

    My Rank: DEF16

    Why the Chiefs are being drafted one slot ahead of Denver on average is one of life's great mysteries. Their pass rush is a significant question mark, and the Chiefs are likely to be involved in plenty of high-scoring games—including in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.


    Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons

    ADP: 142, K3

    My Rank: K9

    Koo is a good kicker coming off a second-place finish at his position in fantasy points a year ago, after ranking second with 39 field-goal attempts in 2020. However, he's also a prime candidate to regress on what could be a bad Falcons team. Prior to last year's career highs in attempts and success rate, Koo had never attempted more than 26 field goals in a season and hit on 88.5 percent of those tries. Let someone else overspend for him.


    Sleeper Defense

    Jacksonville Jaguars Defense

    ADP: Not Listed

    My Rank: Not Listed

    That's right. The Jaguars defense didn't make it into the ADP info at Fantasy Football Calculator or my top 25 defenses. But if you're looking for a one-week rental in a deep league, the Jags are worth a look. Joe Cullen's defense opens the 2021 campaign against what's left of the Houston Texans.


    Top 25 Defenses

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Washington Football Team (9)
    2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7)
    3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9)
    4. Los Angeles Rams (11)
    5. Baltimore Ravens (8)
    6. Denver Broncos (11)
    7. San Francisco 49ers (6)
    8. Indianapolis Colts (14)
    9. Miami Dolphins (14)
    10. New England Patriots (14)
    11. Cleveland Browns (13)
    12. Buffalo Bills (7)
    13. New Orleans Saints (6)
    14. Chicago Bears (10)
    15. Arizona Cardinals (12)
    16. Kansas City Chiefs (12)
    17. Los Angeles Chargers (7)
    18. Seattle Seahawks (9)
    19. Green Bay Packers (13)
    20. New York Giants (10)
    21. Minnesota Vikings (7)
    22. Dallas Cowboys (7)
    23. Carolina Panthers (13)
    24. Philadelphia Eagles (14)
    25. Tennessee Titans (13)


    Top 25 Kickers

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Justin Tucker, BAL (8)
    2. Greg Zuerlein, DAL (7)
    3. Harrison Butker, KCC (12)
    4. Ryan Succop, TBB (9)
    5. Tyler Bass, BUF (7)
    6. Wil Lutz, NOS (6)
    7. Jason Sanders, MIA (14)
    8. Matt Prater, ARZ (12)
    9. Younghoe Koo, ATL (6)
    10. Jason Myers, SEA (9)
    11. Robbie Gould, SFO (6)
    12. Matt Gay, LAR (11)
    13. Mason Crosby, GBP (13)
    14. Mike Badgley, LAC (7)
    15. Daniel Carlson, LVR (8)
    16. Rodrigo Blankenship, IND (14)
    17. Brandon McManus, DEN (11)
    18. Chris Boswell, PIT (7)
    19. Dustin Hopkins, WFT (9)
    20. Tucker McCann, TEN (13)
    21. Nick Folk, NEP (14)
    22. Cody Parkey, CLE (13)
    23. Joey Slye, CAR (13)
    24. Jake Elliott, PHI (14)
    25. Josh Lambo, JAX (7) 

Top 100 Players Overall

6 of 6

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    "No plan survives first contact with the enemy."

    That's a paraphrased quote from Helmuth von Moltke, a 19th-century German field marshal. It's a motto that fantasy managers should keep in mind when draft day rolls around.

    Using a "top 100" list like this one can be valuable when comparing the relative value of players at different positions or breaking ties between two guys you're considering. Using this list as a "Draft by Numbers" template, though, will backfire more often than not.

    Every draft is its own animal. In "superflex" formats, the value of quarterbacks skyrocket. They also go early in many casual leagues, where managers aren't familiar with how positional scarcity affects player values. In standard scoring formats, running backs fly off the board even more quickly than in a PPR format like this.

    The personalities of individual drafters can have a real impact on how the draft unfolds. So can good old-fashioned homerism. This isn't to say that having a strategy going into the draft isn't wise—it absolutely is.

    But the best drafters are willing to ditch that strategy in a heartbeat and let the draft come to them. Take the best value as it presents itself.

    In fantasy drafts, the most important ability is flexibility.


    Top 100 Players Overall

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR (13)
    2. Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN (7)
    3. Alvin Kamara, RB, NOS (6)
    4. Derrick Henry, RB, TEN (13)
    5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL (7)
    6. Aaron Jones, RB, GBP (13)
    7. Nick Chubb, RB, CLE (13)
    8. Travis Kelce, TE, KCC (12)
    9. Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC (7)
    10. Tyreek Hill, WR, KCC (12)
    11. Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG (10)
    12. Davante Adams, WR, GBP (13)
    13. Joe Mixon, RB, CIN (10)
    14. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KCC (12)
    15. Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF (7)
    16. Calvin Ridley, WR, ATL (6)
    17. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, ARZ (12)
    18. Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND (14)
    19. Antonio Gibson, RB, WFT (9)
    20. DK Metcalf, WR, SEA (9)
    21. J.K. Dobbins, RB, BAL (8)
    22. A.J. Brown, WR, TEN (13)
    23. Najee Harris, RB, PIT (7)
    24. Darren Waller, TE, LVR (8)
    25. Keenan Allen, WR, LAC (7)
    26. David Montgomery, RB, CHI (10)
    27. Allen Robinson II, WR, CHI (10)
    28. Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN (7)
    29. Chris Carson, RB, SEA (9)
    30. Terry McLaurin, WR, WFT (9)
    31. George Kittle, TE, SFO (6)
    32. D'Andre Swift, RB, DET (9)
    33. Mike Davis, RB, ATL (6)
    34. CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL (7)
    35. Josh Jacobs, RB, LVR (8)
    36. Chris Godwin, WR, TBB (9)
    37. Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR (11)
    38. Patrick Mahomes, QB (KCC) (12)
    39. Amari Cooper, WR, DAL (7)
    40. Mike Evans, WR, TBB (9)
    41. Josh Allen, QB, BUF (7)
    42. DJ Moore, WR, CAR (13)
    43. Robert Woods, WR, LAR (11)
    44. Kareem Hunt, RB, CLE (13)
    45. Julio Jones, WR, TEN (13)
    46. Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL (8)
    47. Darrell Henderson, RB, LAR (11)
    48. Miles Sanders, RB, PHI (14)
    49. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SFO (6)
    50. Chase Edmonds, RB, ARZ (12)
    51. Dak Prescott, QB, DAL (7)
    52. Adam Thielen, WR, MIN (7)
    53. Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA (9)
    54. T.J. Hockenson, TE, DET (9)
    55. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, CIN (10)
    56. James Robinson, RB, JAX (7)
    57. Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT (7)
    58. Kyler Murray, QB, ARZ (12)
    59. Courtland Sutton, WR, DEN (11)
    60. Melvin Gordon III, RB, DEN (11)
    61. Travis Etienne Jr., RB, JAX (7)
    62. Mark Andrews, TE, BAL (8)
    63. Tee Higgins, WR, CIN (10)
    64. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA (9)
    65. Myles Gaskin, RB, MIA (14)
    66. Kyle Pitts, TE, ATL (6)
    67. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, CLE (13)
    68. Javonte Williams, RB, DEN (11)
    69. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT (7)
    70. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GBP (13)
    71. Kenny Golladay, WR, NYG (10)
    72. Brandin Cooks, WR, HOU (10)
    73. Tyler Boyd, WR, CIN (10)
    74. Leonard Fournette, RB, TBB (9)
    75. Trey Sermon, RB, SFO (6)
    76. Justin Herbert, QB, LAC (7)
    77. DJ Chark Jr., WR, JAX (7)
    78. Chase Claypool, WR, PIT (7)
    79. Antonio Brown, WR, TBB (9)
    80. Zack Moss, RB, BUF (7)
    81. Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN (11)
    82. Logan Thomas, TE, WFT (9)
    83. Damien Harris, RB, NEP (14)
    84. Tom Brady, QB, TBB (9)
    85. Robby Anderson, WR, CAR (13)
    86. James Conner, RB, ARZ (12)
    87. Deebo Samuel, WR, SFO (6)
    88. Raheem Mostert, RB, SFO (6)
    89. Dallas Goedert, TE, PHI (14)
    90. Kenyan Drake, RB, LVR (8)
    91. Michael Carter, RB, NYJ (6)
    92. Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI (14)
    93. David Johnson, RB, HOU (10)
    94. William Fuller V, WR, MIA (14)
    95. Ronald Jones II, RB, TBB (9)
    96. Malcolm Brown, RB, MIA (14)
    97. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, JAX (7)
    98. Phillip Linsday, RB, HOU (10)
    99. Latavius Murray, RB, NOS (6)
    100. Robert Tonyan, TE, GBP (13)


    ADP data courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator.

    Fantasy scoring data courtesy of My Fantasy League.


    Gary Davenport is a two-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association Football Writer of the Year. Follow on Twitter for fantasy advice at @IDPSharks.