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AFC Post-Draft Rookie Breakdown

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AFC Post-Draft Rookie Breakdown

Fantasy football is an information game. Which players are the most talented? Who’s in line for increased volume? Who’s going to see significant Week 1 snaps?

Information on incoming rookies is inarguably the toughest to find. My goal with this piece is to aggregate every meaningful nugget of fantasy rookie data I can to make it as easy as possible for both casual and experienced fantasy players to climb the information mountain that is the 2021 rookie class. Let’s break it down by team.

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills

Round 6, Pick 19: Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston

Week 1 Projection: Second-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 43 (WR21)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

A clear project, Marquez Stevenson has elite speed (4.4 40) and change of direction (6.46 3-cone!), but his on-field play certainly leaves something to be desired. He struggled in 1-on-1s in the Senior Bowl per PFF’s player grades, he’s consistently dropped passes throughout his career, and despite elite athleticism, has never produced downfield with just 17 deep catches in three years as a starter. Primarily a slot, Stevenson’s path to rookie playing time is almost nonexistent, but he still offers merit as a dynasty flier.

Miami Dolphins

Round 1, Pick 6: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 97 (WR44)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 5 (WR2)

BestBall10s ADP: 167.45 (WR50)

Underdog ADP: 96.3 (WR44)

Jaylen Waddle is one of the most intriguing players in this guide as he offers the athletic and efficiency profile of an elite prospect, but his later breakout age and lack of raw college production cast some doubt. With just 9% of his college receiving production coming on the outside, some believe Waddle is condemned to the slot, but our own Wes Huber disagrees, saying, “Waddle has every bit of what it takes to work on the outside. And modern NFL offenses use so many alignment variations that you’ll see nearly every single receiver in the game running a number of their routes from the slot. With that in mind, you can take it to the bank that his future NFL team will envision a role for Waddle that aligns him all over their formation. So, the potential options for his services are unlimited.”

Personally, I’m viewing Waddle as a super-talented version of Jakeem Grant. Grant, for those who don’t recall, was Miami’s primary “gimmick” player, leading all Miami WRs in jet sweeps/screens, but struggled on deep passes, recording a 36.4 PFF receiving grade on passes of 20+ yards. Waddle should steal those screens and jet sweeps, with the added bonus of being an elite deep-threat. Think poor man’s Tyreek Hill.

Round 3, Pick 18: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College

Week 1 Projection: Second-String TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 41 (TE3)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.99 (TE59)

Underdog ADP: 216 (TE43)

Hunter Long is an athletic, fundamentally sound TE with strong route-running ability, noted by both Greg Cosell in the Fantasy Points Draft Guide and Wes Huber in his dynasty draft profile. He primarily played in-line, but Wes notes that his route-running ability from that position was quite strong, demonstrated by a career 2.7 YPRR from that alignment. He’s not just an attached TE, however, as he ran 32.8% of his routes from the slot and 9% from out wide in his final season. He should see rookie targets here and there, but Mike Gesicki (who becomes a UFA in 2022) will prevent Long from recognizing his full receiving potential for at least another season. He’s undraftable in anything but dynasty, where his rookie ranking of TE3 displays a very bullish long-term outlook.

Round 7, Pick 17: Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati

Week 1 Projection: Practice Squad RB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 63 (RB18)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.97 (RB107)

Underdog ADP: 215.6 (RB77)

At 5’11”, 228, Gerrid Doaks is one of the more versatile between-the-tackles backs in this class. His 4.57 forty will limit his usage on field-stretching concepts, but logging a 39.5 vertical (96th percentile) and 120-inch broad jump (84th) demonstrates elite lower-body power that should move piles at the goal line. An extra sign of encouragement for Doaks is a very early breakout age (19) from his freshman campaign, where he looked elite as a runner and averaged a career-best 5.9 yards per carry in an anemic 2017 Bearcats offense that scored just 20.9 PPG. He struggled with injuries throughout the remainder of his college career, but was always a strong runner when healthy. If Doaks is in his freshman year form, he likely makes the roster over unexciting 28-year-old journeyman Malcolm Brown. If not, the practice squad is the most likely outcome for the former Bearcat.

New England Patriots

Round 1, Pick 15: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Week 1 Projection: Backup QB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 221 (QB34)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 29 (QB5)

BestBall10s ADP: 239.28 (QB36)

Underdog ADP: 213.8 (QB33)

Mac Jones has found himself in an ideal football situation, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to an ideal fantasy situation. With Cam Newton the most accomplished veteran QB on a team that spent a first-round pick on a QB this year, and Jones the latest of those first-round QBs picked, Jones is the least likely of the “Big 5” rookie QBs to see playing time this year. He’s simply too risky to draft in 1-QB redraft leagues for that reason. In dynasty leagues, however, he’s an ideal end-of-the-bench QB. As Greg Cosell points out in the Fantasy Points Draft Guide, “Jones has a lot of experience with NFL route concepts, with understanding of how to read those concepts versus different coverages.” That should make it clear why Belichick wanted him as the QB of the future. Once (and if) Belichick deems him ready, we could have a high-tier fantasy QB2 or even a lower-tier QB1 on our hands. I’d just be prepared for that to take some time, and potentially a couple seasons before he reaches his fantasy potential.

Round 4, Pick 15: Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma

Week 1 Projection: Practice Squad RB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 228 (RB71)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 22 (RB6)

BestBall10s ADP: 230.34 (RB64)

Underdog ADP: 204.1 (RB59)

Does Belichick like slow running backs, or does Belichick love slow running backs? Rhamondre Stevenson’s 4.63 forty, 230-pound frame, and overall skillset largely make him redundant to the plodding Sony Michel and lumbering Damien Harris, so I’m avoiding him in redraft since his path to rookie playing time is quite narrow. Granted, Wes Huber’s comparison to Ricky Williams did leave me wondering if his talent could overwhelm that of Michel (potentially making Michel a cut candidate) to become New England’s RB2 in 2021. Similar to Mac Jones, however, it’s reasonable to assume Belichick is planning in advance for the departure of Michel, making Stevenson much more valuable as a dynasty prospect, which is exemplified in Huber’s bullish ranking of dynasty RB6.

Round 7, Pick 15: Tre Nixon, WR, UCF

Week 1 Projection: Third-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 64 (WR32)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Trey Nixon has played outside his entire career at UCF, and interestingly, rarely contributed on special teams, meaning NE likely drafted him with the intent of him playing primarily offense. His 15.5 career college aDOT and larger frame (6’2”, 180) suggest he’s a depth deep threat, but Nelson Agholor’s presence likely keeps him off the field in year 1.

New York Jets

Round 1, Pick 2: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 194 (QB28)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 26 (QB4)

BestBall10s ADP: 214.96 (QB28)

Underdog ADP: 177.4 (QB25)

With James Morgan and Mike White as his primary QB competition, Zach Wilson offers immediate season-long value since he’s a lock to be under center for New York come Week 1. He enters a favorable scheme after Jets HC Robert Saleh poached 49ers pass game coordinator Mike LaFleur to be his new OC, which should make life easier on the rookie QB given how easily the Shanahan scheme earns wide-open looks. Interestingly, SI’s Albert Breer noted that “the Jets’ coaches actually discussed, at one point, how they preferred Wilson to Lawrence as a fit for their offense." In dynasty leagues I could be convinced otherwise, but this combination of coaching love and scheme fit plus immediate playing time makes Wilson the clear rookie QB2 in season-long formats. Obviously, that changes if Justin Fields or Trey Lance open the season as a starter, given their rushing upside.

Round 2, Pick 2: Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 126 (WR55)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 10 (WR6)

BestBall10s ADP: 211.41 (WR71)

Underdog ADP: 145.0 (WR63)

Ranking third in Scott Barrett’s rookie WR model and drawing serious praise from our own Wes Huber, Elijah Moore offers legit upside without a back-breaking ADP. Both Scott and Wes dive deeper into this, but his 2020 college production is as good as it gets. Scott notes his most impressive feat, averaging 157.1 YFS per game over the 2020 season, which is “the most by any WR since at least 2000, and maybe ever.” That was in his age 20 season, which makes it the 2nd-best age-adjusted receiving YPG season for a power-5 WR since 2002.

His modest size (5’9”, 178) suggests he’s doomed to the slot (just 10% of his college yardage came on the outside), but Robert Saleh indicated in his post-draft press conference that New York views Moore as a “do everything” type of WR. Saleh, the Jet’s GM, and OC Mike LaFleur all heaped praise Moore’s way, suggesting they didn’t think they had any chance to grab the WR at pick 34. Jamison Crowder’s presence clouds this situation a bit, but as Scott points out, he’s a serious cut candidate — New York would spend $1 million to save $10.4 million in cutting him. If Crowder isn’t on this roster come Week 1, Moore could be looking at a WR2 type of rookie year. Even if Crowder hangs onto his roster spot, Moore could just as easily usurp Denzel Mims for outside targets, and still wind up in the WR2/WR3 range.

Round 4, Pick 2: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

Week 1 Projection: Primary Receiving RB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 98 (RB33)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 14 (RB5)

BestBall10s ADP: 170.2 (RB44)

Underdog ADP: 88.1 (RB32)

Relatively undersized at 5’8”, 200, Michael Carter shapes up as a complementary back who, at least initially, will be primarily used in the passing game. Robert Saleh suggested the same, saying “He’s got the ability to make people miss. He’s good on third down, coming out of the backfield in the pass game, and he’s pretty stout in protection, so for him to be where he was at 107 was a major surprise to all of us.”

Carter did have a late breakout age and was rarely rushed in between the tackles as UNC preferred Javonte Williams for those hard-earned yards. Even so, Carter ranked highly in a number of important college efficiency metrics in 2020, like yards after contact per attempt (3rd), yards after the catch per reception (3rd), and missed tackles forced per attempt (5th). PPR dynasty and season-long owners should absolutely be taking a serious look at Carter, but it might be expecting too much for him to be a significant rushing contributor as a rookie.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens

Round 1, Pick 27: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 202 (WR79)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 9 (WR5)

BestBall10s ADP: 188.98 (WR62)

Underdog ADP: 125.9 (WR55)

An elite breakout age, superb college production, and a variety of experience in both the slot and outside made Rashod Bateman a consensus top-5 WR prospect. Despite this, it’s also worth noting Bateman’s 11% career drop rate ranked bottom-5 in this WR class, and Scott Barrett also points out “Bateman’s route profile is somewhat concerning. His route concentration over the past two seasons correlates to high-end NFL WRs at just a 0.68 R-squared correlation (RSQ), which ranks above only Tutu Atwell among my model’s top-10 WRs in this class.”

Regardless, I have little doubt about Bateman’s ability to immediately contribute to an NFL offense. The major issue is he’s on the Ravens, a team that threw the ball just 45% of time (32nd) and whose leading WR racked up just 95 targets in 2020. There are MAJOR volume concerns for Bateman, and he’s clearly being over drafted, especially on Underdog. I’m not touching him until at least the 14th round of 12-team best ball drafts.

Round 4, Pick 26: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

Week 1 Projection: Second-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 33 (WR15)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.64 (WR110)

Underdog ADP: 215.8 (WR120)

Tylan Wallace led all Power-5 WRs in receiving yards as a 19-year-old sophomore in 2018, making it one of the top age-adjusted/breakout age seasons in Scott Barrett’s database. His career production is nearly as impressive, as he averaged over 100 receiving yards per game for his entire career. The vast majority (85%) of Wallace’s career receiving yards came lined up on the outside, but interestingly, both PFF’s Mike Renner and our own Greg Cosell suggested he could massively benefit by moving to the slot due to his struggles against physical corners in college. Even if he does see the field, volume is obviously a major concern in this Ravens offense. I doubt we see him earn much playing time as a rookie, but he’s a great dynasty selection as he may be the slot-man-in-waiting after Sammy Watkins becomes a UFA in 2022.

Cincinnati Bengals

Round 1, Pick 5: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 58 (WR26)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 3 (WR1)

BestBall10s ADP: 118.27 (WR30)

Underdog ADP: 47.1 (WR20)

Ja’Marr Chase was the clear consensus WR1 for myriad reasons, with the primary one being that he is an amazing football player (imagine that). Per Scott Barrett’s rookie model, Chase is the top WR prospect to come out since at least 2015. At just 19 years old, Chase was more productive than the WR who broke the modern rookie receiving record (Justin Jefferson), and on 13 fewer targets. For WRs specifically, breakout age is arguably the most important predictor of NFL success. Chase is as elite as they come in that regard.

There were no poor destinations for Chase, but reuniting with his college QB on the team with the 10th-highest neutral-situation early-down pass rate is pretty close to optimal. Myself, the Fantasy Points projections, and the market all suggest Chase will lead Cincinnati in targets, and likely also receptions, yards, and TDs. Joe Burrow will be expected to feed the former LSU Tiger all the targets he can handle, and Burrow should also have more time to connect with Chase deep, as Cincinnati has invested more than you might think in offensive line improvements, with a couple of free agent additions and multiple draft picks. None of us would be surprised if Chase set the new rookie receiving record — he’s that good, and there’s an extra game this year.

Round 6, Pick 18: Chris Evans, RB, Michigan

Week 1 Projection: Primary Receiving RB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 47 (RB16)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.87 (RB103)

Underdog ADP: 216.0 (RB92)

The final notable fantasy addition to the San Diego of the Midwest is Michigan RB Chris Evans. He didn’t produce much on minuscule volume in college, recording just 97 carries in his final three seasons, granted he didn’t play at all in 2019 after being academically suspended that entire season. He’s an elite athlete, though, recording a 4.37 forty coming out of high school, and a 40.5-inch vertical leap and 6.85 three-cone on his pro day. Interestingly, despite being listed as an RB (and playing RB throughout HS and college) Evans actually participated in WR drills at the Senior Bowl and performed really well. That transition isn’t likely to follow him to the NFL, but Evans’ receiver-esque route-running ability and soft hands make him the favorite to replace Gio Bernard as the primary pass-catching back in this Bengals offense. In PPR dynasty formats I really like Evans (at cost) but anyone drafting him will need to come to terms with the fact he will likely never be anything close to a bellcow.

Cleveland Browns

Round 3, Pick 28: Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn

Week 1 Projection: Mecole Hardman-esque Gimmick Role

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 24 (WR13)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.79 (WR114)

Underdog ADP: 215.6 (WR114)

An elite high-school track star who set the 100-meter dash record in Florida (10.15), Anthony Schwartz brings a dimension of speed (4.25 forty, the 3rd-best WR time since 2000) to Cleveland that has yet to be seen in Kevin Stefanski’s tenure. At just 186 pounds, Greg Cosell notes that Schwartz’s game has “no physicality” and his overall ability as a receiver is largely unpolished. He’s an obvious project as the youngest WR in the class and is in need of serious coaching to become a starting NFL WR, but in a speed-deprived Browns offense, Schwartz should see jet sweeps, swing passes, and even some deep balls come Week 1 in Cleveland.

Round 6, Pick 27: Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA

Week 1 Projection: Practice Squad RB/WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 57 (WR28)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Demetric Felton was UCLA’s feature back over the 2020 season, but due to his size (5’9”, 189) and poor breakaway speed (4.55) he’s quite unlikely to ever enter the early-down rotation of an NFL backfield. Thanks to elite quickness and lateral agility, Felton’s biggest value add in the NFL will be as a slot WR/RB hybrid, likely similar to what we saw from Theo Riddick. Given Felton began his UCLA career as a slot WR, his projection to that role looks pretty strong, but his ability to carve out serious snaps in that role is still doubtful, due (in part) to a rather concerning 7.34 three-cone. I could see myself eyeing Felton near the end of PPR dynasty drafts, but I wouldn’t expect many (or even any) touches his rookie season in a stacked Browns backfield.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 1, Pick 24: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 15 (RB11)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 1 (RB1)

BestBall10s ADP: 78.96 (RB20)

Underdog ADP: 18.0 (RB13)

Najee Harris was a consensus top-3 RB in this draft class, but the Steelers fell so head-over-heels for the Alabama prospect that he was the first RB off the board. Both Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin stated they were “ecstatic” to land Harris, as Scott Barrett dutifully noted.

What makes this the ideal landing spot for Harris is Tomlin’s history of RB usage. He said himself last May, “I’m a featured-runner type guy by mentality… Usually when it’s going well, it’s because you have a lead dog out front, and that guy is the featured runner." Just look at his history of fantasy RB1s. Harris will see a large enough workload that he’s a high-end RB2 at worst (assuming he stays healthy) and more likely than not, a true bellcow RB1. Remember, there isn’t anything more valuable in fantasy than a bellcow RB.

Naysayers will point to a decline in positive gamescript (Vegas projects Pittsbugh to drop from 0.750 to 0.500 in Win% this year) and a bad run blocking OL. I expect Najee’s involvement in the passing game to more than make up for it, a-la Le’Veon Bell 2.0. That’s why I’m signing off on taking Najee with a top-12 pick.

Round 2, Pick 23: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn St

Week 1 Projection: Second-String TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 248 (TE36)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 21 (TE2)

BestBall10s ADP: 239.78 (TE36)

Underdog ADP: 215.4 (TE36)

In many other draft classes, Pat Freiermuth would have been TE1. Thanks to Kyle Pitts, that’s not the case, but Freiermuth is an all-around TE any way you slice it. The Penn State offense made him a featured piece of their passing attack in 2020, as he posted an absurd 27.8% target share. He’s no Pitts athletically, but our own Wes Huber absolutely believes he has the athleticism to play in the slot, granted that’s far from his ideal alignment as his college slot efficiency left a lot to be desired. His rookie year production will suffer massively from the presence of Eric Ebron, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play, as it’s nearly impossible to be worse at run-blocking than Ebron. With Ebron headed to free agency in 2022, Freiermuth will be staring at an 80%+ snap share square in the face by his sophomore season.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans

Round 3, Pick 3: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford

Week 1 Projection: Backup QB With Potential To Start In 2021

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 59 (QB8)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Due to the complete disaster that is the Deshaun Watson situation, Davis Mills is arguably the only QB drafted outside the first round with a shot at starting a game in 2021. That may sound enticing from a fantasy perspective, but our Draft Guide sheds light on why he fell to Round 3: poor accuracy (a death sentence for a pocket passer), lack of effective pocket movement, and difficulty working through his progressions. Those are some big red flags, and with Houston offering the worst supporting cast in the NFL, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Mills.

Round 3, Pick 26: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

Week 1 Projection: Second-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 235 (WR95)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 45 (WR20)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.39 (WR102)

Underdog ADP: 205.7 (WR90)

As a 6’4” WR who exclusively played outside at Michigan, Nico Collins has an excellent shot to see some immediate playing time thanks to Houston’s subpar group of outside WRs. Despite solid athletic testing, numerous scouts have cast doubts on Collins’ ability to separate, as he both struggled to do so against better corners in college and lacks the sudden explosiveness typically needed to separate at an NFL level. Houston will be heavily incentivized to get him on the field after giving up the 109th, and 158th picks plus a 2022 fourth-rounder to move up to pick 89 to grab Collins. With that being said, his most significant problem in 2021 will almost certainly be QB play, with Tyrod Taylor and third-rounder Davis Mills vying for the starting job in Houston.

Round 5, Pick 3: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami

Week 1 Projection: Second-String TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 49 (TE5)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.95 (TE51)

Underdog ADP: 216.0 (TE47)

Brevin Jordan is a bit raw as a TE prospect, but he offers the after-the-catch playmaking ability we love to see for dynasty rookie TEs. Incredibly, he’s the only TE to have more YAC in 2020 than Kyle Pitts. He also posted an elite forced missed tackles per reception rate of 0.2, making him come off, at least to me, as a Jonnu Smith clone. The primary concern for Jordan is a sub-par athletic profile, as Scott notes his sub-70th percentile SPORQ score typically spells problems for TEs at the next level. That will limit his rookie impact, and Houston’s abysmal QB situation doesn’t help either. With the uninspiring Jordan Akins as his primary competition, Brevin Jordan has a great shot to be the TE1 in Houston by his sophomore season. For that reason, I love him (at cost) in dynasty, and I’m optimistic about him in redraft leagues for 2022 and beyond.

Indianapolis Colts

Round 4, Pick 22: Kylen Granson, TE, SMU

Week 1 Projection: Third-String TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 56 (TE6)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.99 (TE60)

Underdog ADP: 216.0 (TE51)

A short (6’ 1”), athletic (73.9 SPORQ) TE, Kylen Granson is quite intriguing from a dynasty perspective. He spent his college career lining up more in the slot than in-line and was used as a receiver more than a blocker, which are both things we like to see from a fantasy perspective. That’s not even the best part; Frank Reich really loves the kid and has a history of feeding his TEs. Since 2016 (Reich’s first season), 27% of Indy’s targets have gone to TEs, the third-highest rate in the league.

31-year-old Jack Doyle and 27-year-old Mo Alie-Cox should block his route to much rookie playing time, but it appears the Colts may be thinking a few years ahead with this selection, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Granson emerge as a significant receiving option in a season or two.

Round 6, Pick 34: Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas

Week 1 Projection: Practice Squad QB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 65 (QB9)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

I won’t say Sam Ehlinger has no chance to ever start an NFL game, but I will say his college tape leaves a lot to be desired. He struggles with accuracy, exemplified by his 66.9 adjusted completion percentage in 2020, which ranked 72nd of 80 QBs with at least 200 dropbacks. Granted, he was fairly aggressive, recording the 14th-highest aDOT while also providing some value as a rusher, averaging 5.5 YPC and 8 total rushing TDs, plus an additional 16 (!) rushing TDs in 2018. There’s still room for his development at just 22 years old, but I’m not optimistic.

Round 7, Pick 1: Mike Strachan, WR, Charleston (WV)

Week 1 Projection: Third-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: N/A

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

The measurables for Mike Strachan are insane. 6’5”, 228 with a 4.46 forty and 34.25-inch arms. He’s an elite SPORQ athlete with a 91.3 score. He was immensely productive in 2019 at Charleston (they did not have a 2020 season), logging 19 TDs and 1,319 receiving yards on his way to DII 2nd-team all-America honors. The DII to NFL transition will take time, but the athleticism, college production, and speed are all there. With so little WR talent between their 2nd-team and practice squad, Strachan could be a legit contributor as early as Year 2.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Round 1, Pick 1: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Week 1 Projection: Immediate Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 117 (QB13)

Wes Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 12 (QB1)

BestBall10s ADP: 156.20 (QB16)

Underdog ADP: 118.5 (QB13)

We seem to hear the term “generational prospect” every year, but it couldn’t be more accurate with Trevor Lawrence. A 34-2 record as the Clemson starter combined with elite arm talent, a robust athletic profile, and simply incredible play led to Lawrence being anointed as the best QB prospect since at least Andrew Luck per multiple well-respected NFL talent-evaluators.

Talent and immediate playing time are not a concern with Lawrence, which is a luxury for any rookie. The most prominent remaining question mark is what an Urban Meyer NFL offense will look like. He’s always leaned on run-centric, read option-heavy offenses, but it’s fair to expect that changes significantly in the NFL. Meyer has never coached a QB with the talent of Lawrence (sorry Alex Smith), so I’d expect him to take full advantage of the QB’s NFL skillset with a (mostly) NFL-ready offensive scheme. On a final note, Meyer loved running his QBs in college. Still, given the massive investment Jacksonville has in Lawrence, I’d expect we see Lawrence’s designed rush attempts land much closer to Daniel Jones than Kyler Murray. I do think that’s a fair comparison, with both QBs having underrated rushing upside for fantasy. Lawrence averaged 8.1 rushing FPG and 39.9 rushing YPG over his last two seasons, which compares favorably to Jones’s 7.46 FPG and 49.6 YPG over his final two seasons at Duke.

Round 1, Pick 25: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Week 1 Projection: Primary Receiving RB + Percy Harvin role?

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 51 (RB22)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 8 (RB3)

BestBall10s ADP: 98.97 (RB23)

Underdog ADP: 48.0 (RB22)

Travis Etienne is the ultimate example of why Scott Barrett’s Post-Draft Presser articles are so valuable. After the draft, Urban Meyer discussed the player Jacksonville truly wanted at this pick was Kadarius Toney, specifically for what Meyer calls “the Percy Harvin role.” What the hell is that? As Scott points out, he’s likely referring to the college version of Harvin, who racked up close to 2,000 receiving yards and 2,000 rushing yards while at Florida.

That role bodes well for a player who ranked in the 95th percentile in receiving yards per route run in 2020 and whom our own Wes Huber loved as a receiver. On the other hand, it doesn’t look great for heavy rushing volume or really any goal-line work.

Given Meyer called James Robinson and Carlos Hyde a “1-2 punch” on early downs, and presuming he’s telling the truth (which we don’t know for sure), Etienne will need Kamara-like pass-game volume to be a serious fantasy producer in his rookie season. His deployment in the “Harvin role” could undoubtedly get him there, but it’s just as likely he’s condemned to a scatback-only type role, which kills his value in everything but PPR.

Round 5, Pick 1: Luke Farrell, TE, Ohio State

Week 1 Projection: Third-String TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: N/A

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Luke Farrell was unranked on most draft boards, making this pick somewhat confusing until you remember the Ohio State connection with Meyer. He ran a route on 37% of his career snaps (but never earned above a 60.0 PFF receiving grade in any individual season) and primarily played in-line with the Buckeyes. With just Chris Manhertz and James O’Shaughnessy in front of him, he could certainly earn some snaps in 2021, but I wouldn’t expect much from a fantasy perspective.

Round 6, Pick 25: Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech

Week 1 Projection: Third-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 66 (WR34)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Jalen Camp didn’t see much action for most of his college career due to the triple option and injuries. He led GT his senior season in yards (429), receptions (29), and TDs (4) while playing almost exclusively outside. Speaking post draft, Urban Meyer mentioned he wanted more speed, and Camp fits that request perfectly after posting a 4.43 forty and an explosive 40-inch vertical at his pro day, making him a SPORQ freak, as Scott notes here. Urban also threw some post-draft praise Camp’s way. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the team, but it would be pretty shocking if he gets any significant offensive playing time with Marvin Jones, DJ Chark, Phillip Dorsett, and Collin Johnson competing for outside snaps.

Tennessee Titans

Round 4, Pick 4: Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville

Week 1 Projection: Second-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 34 (WR16)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.69 (WR112)

Underdog ADP: 214.3 (WR101)

Dez Fitzpatrick is one of the more undervalued dynasty rookie WRs available in drafts right now, even with the addition of Julio Jones. The Fantasy Points Draft Guide helps elaborate why, with Greg Cosell telling us “Fitzpatrick is a strong prospect as you transition him to the NFL. He possesses a desirable size/stride length/build up speed/hands/body control/competitiveness profile that always plays well in the NFL. Fitzpatrick is not purely explosive, but he showed plus quickness and excellent play speed on both his 2019 and 2020 tape to develop as a more consistent route runner with coaching and experience.” The recent Julio Jones trade kills any redraft or best ball value Fitzpatrick had, but it doesn’t change the fact he’s talented enough to become a starting NFL WR (and could still step into that role this year with an injury), although it may take a bit longer for that to come true than initially hoped.

Round 6, Pick 21: Racey McMath, WR, LSU

Week 1 Projection: Third-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 46 (WR21)

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Playing on the same team as Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Kayshon Boutte and Terrace Marshall led to just 530 total snaps for Racey McMath in his four seasons at LSU. Despite strong athletic traits and good size, NFL analyst Lance Zierlein doesn’t see an easy transition, saying “McMath lacks the necessary position fundamentals to be labeled as anything more than a project”. He’s a great special teams addition, so he should make the roster, but WRs who fundamentally struggle with their releases, routes, and defensive reads like McMath rarely earn rookie year offensive playing time.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos

Round 2, Pick 3: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

Week 1 Projection: RBBC

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: 61 (RB25)

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 4 (RB2)

BestBall10s ADP: 114.52 (RB26)

Underdog ADP: 65.6 (RB27)

Javonte Williams had a great argument to be RB1 in this class. His tape is insane. He’s the youngest RB in the class at just 20.9 years-old. He recorded the best full-season grade PFF college has ever given to an RB last year. He broke the PFF record for broken tackles forced per attempt at 0.48, and his 75 broken tackles led the country last season. Scott Barrett’s rookie RB model also loves Williams in the passing game, writing that “Among 94 qualifying 50-catch Power-5 RBs since 2014, he ranks between the top 8% and 13% of RBs in career YPT, career yards after the catch per reception, and career missed tackles forced per reception.” Wes Huber called out Denver as an ideal landing spot for Williams due to their prevalent usage of power concepts (top-5 last year), as well as inside zone and counter concepts. Denver liked Williams so much they traded up to get him.

So what’s not to love? At least initially, it’s Melvin Gordon. The veteran RB’s presence likely relegates Williams to an RBBC in year one. Even so, the way Broncos brass discussed Williams made it seem like they’ll want him to be their bellcow sooner than later. I couldn’t be more bullish on Williams in dynasty, as it’s very likely he becomes a bellcow by early next season, and I think there’s a decent chance he’s just outright better than Gordon and gets close to a bellcow workload this year. However, it’s important to remember a full-season RBBC is the most likely outcome in 2021.

Round 6, Pick 35: Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

Week 1 Projection: Second-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 55 (WR27)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.98 (WR137)

Underdog ADP: N/A

Seth Williams has a lot of what teams look for in NFL receivers. Our own Greg Cosell said it best in the Fantasy Points Draft Guide, writing, “Three elements consistently stood out with Williams, and all three almost always lead to some form of a successful transition to the NFL — outstanding hands, clean route running, and the ability to make tough catches.” He’s big (6’3”, 211) and athletic (4.5 forty, 37” vertical) but he’s unfortunately trapped on arguably the deepest WR depth chart in the NFL. Unlike many other players in this guide who have a path to playing time in a season or two, the youth of the Broncos receiving core could prevent Williams from ever getting even a moderate snap share. If Tim Patrick or Courtland Sutton gets hurt, Williams is worth consideration on the waiver wire, but certainly not until then.

Kansas City Chiefs

Round 5, Pick 18: Noah Gray, TE, Duke

Week 1 Projection: Practice Squad TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: N/A

BestBall10s ADP: N/A

Underdog ADP: N/A

Unless something happens to Travis Kelce, Noah Gray likely won’t ever see the field in the NFL, at least early on. There are still things to like about Gray, he offers solid athleticism with a 6.83 3-cone (94th percentile) and 4.57 forty (90th), and PFF’s Mike Renner noted in their draft guide, “he’s so reliable at finding space (vs zone concepts) at the underneath/intermediate levels” which is something Kelce has perfected at the NFL level. Regardless, Gray’s not draftable in any format unless something on Kansas City’s TE depth chart drastically changes.

Round 5, Pick 37: Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson

Week 1 Projection: Second-String WR

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 38 (WR18)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.84 (WR116)

Underdog ADP: 213.7 (WR96)

Diving into his scouting reports, the only significant gripe against Cornell Powell is his late breakout age, as he didn’t earn significant playing time in the Clemson offense until his redshirt senior season, at age 23. That’s understandable given the depth of receiving talent Clemson has had. Our own Greg Cosell was a big fan of Powell’s game, saying “My sense watching Powell was that he is just scratching the surface of what he can become in the NFL with coaching and more experience — Powell is a strong prospect who will only get better at the next level. You have to evaluate the traits more than the one year of production to appreciate his game. Powell was one of my favorite receivers to study.

With his primary competition for snaps being Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson, Powell should see decent playing time his rookie season. The best part: his playing time will be with the greatest passing attack the NFL has ever seen. I’m in love with Powell (at cost) in dynasty since both Pringle and Robinson are UFAs in 2022, but I’ll lay off in other formats as he just won’t see serious snaps in his rookie year.

Los Angeles Chargers

Round 3, Pick 14: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee

Week 1 Projection: Fringe Starter

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 35 (WR17)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.76 (WR113)

Underdog ADP: 206.9 (WR92)

Josh Palmer never eclipsed 500 yards in a single season at Tennessee (due to poor QB play and an uncreative role), and he’s widely being overlooked as a result. He’s not an elite athlete (4.51 forty and 34” vertical), but makes up for it in other areas, including size at 6’1”, 210, and he did have the highest 1-on-1 win rate vs DBs at the Senior Bowl (81%), per PFF. He was primarily used as a deep-threat in college, posting a 16.6 aDOT. Greg Cosell doesn’t think that’s all he’s capable of, though, saying “Palmer aligned both outside and inside in 2020, and my sense is he could do the same in the NFL depending on team and scheme. He has the size and traits to play boundary X but could also be a big slot with his size/physicality/competitiveness profile.” You don’t have to take his word for it, as Chargers GM Tom Telesco agreed.

Mike Williams and Keenan Allen aren’t getting forced to the sidelines by Palmer anytime soon, but that #3 WR spot, the one currently being fought over by Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson, should be where Palmer ends up by Week 1. And remember, Williams is in the last year of his rookie contract.

Round 3, Pick 34: Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia

Week 1 Projection: Third-String TE

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 69 (TE7)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.98 (TE56)

Underdog ADP: N/A

Tre’ McKitty is a middling athlete for the position (4.71 forty and 7.38 3-cone) who was heralded for his run-blocking improvement in 2020 by both Greg Cosell and PFF’s Mike Renner. In his time in college, McKitty saw a wide variety of alignments and also flashed as a downfield receiver in his final year as a grad-transfer at Georgia and at the Senior Bowl (granted it was nothing spectacular, as demonstrated by his 63.9 PFF receiving grade from that season). Greg Cosell notes in the Draft Guide that he believes McKitty has untapped potential as a receiver. He’s a prospect you’ll want to keep an eye on, but he’s untouchable in redraft and barely touchable in dynasty, as his path to playing time is minimal and his likelihood of ever being an NFL team’s primary receiving TE is the same.

Round 6, Pick 14: Larry Rountree III, RB, Missouri

Week 1 Projection: Practice Squad RB

Fantasy Points Best Ball Consensus: N/A

Huber’s Dynasty Rank: 32 (RB11)

BestBall10s ADP: 240.80 (RB96)

Underdog ADP: 215.9 (RB87)

Over his entire college career, Larry Rountree was “the guy” for the Missouri rushing attack. Seeing 125+ carries and earning 700+ rushing yards for four straight years leaves little doubt over the kind of workload Rountree could handle at the NFL level. His athletic profile, though, casts major doubts on his chances to make a 53-man roster. His 4.62 forty (20th percentile), 4.47 shuttle (13th), 30” vertical (7th), and 108” broad (3rd) are all bad, to put it bluntly. A deeper dive into his college production also generated some concerns, as his yards after contact per attempt fell from 3.4 his sophomore year (his overall best season) to 2.9 his junior year and then to 2.4 his senior season. He also never logged more than 100 receiving yards in any individual season, despite playing 350+ snaps every year. One-dimensional backs who peak two years prior to being drafted are a tough pill to swallow, so I would only consider adding Rountree to my bench (in redraft leagues) if Joshua Kelley or Justin Jackson get injured, which would enable the rookie to actually dress for games in year one.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders didn’t select a skill position player in 2021.

Jake Tribbey is a recent college graduate and lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from NFL DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.