Fantasy Football 2021: Dynasty Rankings, Cheat Sheet and League Names

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 24, 2021

Fantasy Football 2021: Dynasty Rankings, Cheat Sheet and League Names

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    One of the best parts about regular fantasy football leagues is the opportunity for a fresh start. Didn't fare well in 2020? No problem. Every NFL player is back in the pool, and you get to draft a new team for 2021.

    If you're playing in a dynasty league, though, you don't have that luxury. Your decisions carry over from year to year, and your roster stayed the same when the calendar flipped from 2020 to 2021. The only draft that takes place will feature the new rookies entering the league.

    So it can be a challenge to build a perennial contender in dynasty leagues. That's why it's important to always think about ways to upgrade your team and to factor in age when making transactions.

    Here are dynasty rankings and tips heading into the 2021 season, as well as some league names to consider.

Top-30 Dynasty Rankings

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

    2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

    3. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

    4. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

    5. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

    6. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

    7. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

    8. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

    9. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

    10. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

    11. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

    12. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

    13. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

    14. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    15. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

    16. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

    17. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

    18. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    19. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

    20. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team

    21. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

    22. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    23. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

    24. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

    25. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    26. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    27. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team

    28. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

    29. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

    30. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Sleeper Rookies to Target

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Everybody knows to take Steelers running back Najee Harris, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and other big-name rookies. But here are some under-the-radar targets who have a ton of long-term potential for your dynasty league without as much hype.

    These players likely won't have much (if any) value in redraft leagues, but they could end up being great in future seasons.


    Amari Rodgers, WR, Green Bay Packers

    It's always tough to tell who will be the Packers' No. 2 wide receiver behind Davante Adams. They've rotated through different players in the role in recent years, but they typically don't get a ton of production from any receiver other than the 28-year-old.

    That may be the case again in 2021, but Amari Rodgers is a player to watch for the future. The former Clemson standout was taken by Green Bay in the third round of this year's draft, which could end up being a steal when considering how high his NFL ceiling may be.

    Maybe injuries or underperformance from other receivers will create opportunities for the 21-year-old this season. But it's more likely he'll be developing in 2021, before potentially getting into the mix in future years. Still, keep an eye on him now and consider him in dynasty formats.


    Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets

    It seemed like Michael Carter was going to get a substantial number of touches as a rookie in 2021, but the Jets' actions of late have made that seem less of a possibility. It could end up being Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson and/or La'Mical Perine getting more work early in the season.

    In New York's 23-14 preseason win over Green Bay on Saturday, Carter led the Jets in carries (10) and rushing yards (52). However, he didn't enter the game until after Coleman, Johnson and Perine, and the 22-year-old never got any time with quarterback Zach Wilson and the first-team offense.

    The North Carolina product has exciting potential, especially because of what he may contribute to the passing attack down the line. But he may not make much of a short-term impact for fantasy managers.

    Still, Carter is more than worth drafting in dynasty leagues considering it should be only a matter of time before he earns more touches, especially after he gains NFL experience.


    Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Falcons' Kyle Pitts is the only rookie tight end who can be drafted and immediately inserted into lineups for the 2021 season. But there are reasons to believe Pat Freiermuth will eventually carve out a role with the Steelers and become fantasy-relevant.

    The 22-year-old was the second tight end taken in the 2021 NFL draft, when Pittsburgh selected him in the second round. He has the skills and potential to develop into a key member of the Steelers' offense, but right now, there aren't a ton of targets to go around.

    However, Eric Ebron is set to become a free agent after the 2021 season. And with Freiermuth waiting in the wings, he may not return. So, the former Penn State standout is a great player to have in dynasty leagues with an eye toward 2022, as he could eventually provide stability at tight end for years to come.

Top League Names

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    No Fun League

    Any Given Sunday

    League of Legends

    Gridiron Gang

    Fellowship of the Super Bowl Rings

    The Dirty Dozen

    Fantasy Island

    Playing for Keepers

    Sunday Funday

    The Greatest Show Online

    The Motley Crew

    No Punt Intended