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Joe Mixon 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Updated: Wednesday, June 9th

Leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season, we will post 2021 Fantasy Football Profiles for several fantasy-relevant players.

There were a few reasons why Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon disappointed in 2020.

  1. Not only did he miss the final 10 games of the season, but the coaching staff strung fantasy managers along by making Mixon a weekly inactive instead of shutting him down earlier.
  2. Mixon's 3.6 yards per carry was a non-rookie low and his 6.6 yards per reception was a career low.

That said, there are reasons for optimism in 2021.

As you know, volume is king in fantasy football and only Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (123) had more touches than Mixon (119) through the first six games last season. Before missing the resting of the season, Mixon had at least 19 touches every week and he was also top 10 among running backs in targets (26) over that same span.

Durability is a concern for running backs in general. But it has also been an issue for Mixon specifically as he has missed multiple games in three of his first four seasons.

With good health, however, Mixon is poised to receive as much volume as he can handle. In addition, he should be even more involved as a receiver with Giovani Bernard now in Tampa.

Continue reading our Joe Mixon 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

CeeDee Lamb 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Updated: Monday, March 15th

Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, few mock drafts, if any, projected the Dallas Cowboys would select Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.

There were two reasons for this:

  1. Few mocks expected him to still be on the board when the Cowboys picked (17th overall)
  2. Wide receiver ranked low amongst the team's priorities of needs

In fact, the Cowboys had a pair of young 1,100-yard receivers -- Amari Cooper (1,189) and Michael Gallup (1,107) -- in 2019. That said, Randall Cobb (828) and tight end Jason Witten (529) both departed in free agency last offseason.

Providing the Cowboys with an upgrade over Cobb, no rookie receiver produced more from the slot than Lamb.

Minnesota's Justin Jefferson had a historic rookie season (88/1400/7) and other rookies like Cincinnati's Tee Higgins and Pittsburgh's Chase Claypool made significant impacts. That said, Jefferson was the only rookie to finish with more receiving yards than Lamb (935).

Lamb scored the 25th-most fantasy points among WRs (half-PPR scoring) as he finished with 74 catches for 935 yards and five touchdowns. If it weren't for the season-ending injury to quarterback Dak Prescott, however, Lamb's numbers would have likely been much better.

Continue reading our CeeDee Lamb 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Tee Higgins 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Updated: Monday, March 8th

If it weren't for the season-ending injury to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow in Week 11, it would have been an even better 2020 season for fellow rookie Tee Higgins.

Leading the team in both receiving yards and touchdowns, Higgins finished his rookie campaign with 67 catches for 908 yards and six touchdowns on 108 targets. Meanwhile, Higgins (14) had twice as many 20-yard receptions as any other receiver (Tyler Boyd, seven) on the roster.

In addition, only two rookies -- Justin Jefferson (1,400) and CeeDee Lamb (935) -- had more receiving yards than Higgins in 2020.

The rookie barely played in Week 1 (15 snaps, zero targets) and Burrow was injured in Week 11, as noted above. Before Burrow's injury, however, Higgins was really hitting his stride from Weeks 3 to 10.

During that seven-game span, Higgins averaged 14.3 fantasy points per contest and only 10 receivers scored more fantasy points than the rookie. He had at least 62 yards in six consecutive games from Weeks 4 to 10 with an average of 88.0 per game over that stretch.

Higgins performed as fantasy's WR27 (half-PPR scoring) from Weeks 1-11 (43/629/4). The table below breaks down Higgins per-game splits with/without Burrow.

SplitRec.Rec. YardsY/RRec. TDTGT
With Burrow (W1-11)4.362.914.630.47.1
W/O Burrow (W12-17)4.046.511.630.336.0

Continue reading our Tee Higgins 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Updated: Tuesday, March 2nd

Entering the league as a fourth-round pick, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had immediate success as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.

While Prescott missed the final 11 1/2 games of the 2020 season, he has never finished any worse than fantasy's QB11 in any of his four full seasons.

In his last full season, he scored the second-most fantasy points behind Baltimore's Lamar Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP. In addition, Prescott and the Cowboys' offense finished as the league's top-ranked offense in 2019.

Before suffering his season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 last year, Prescott was off to a terrific start -- from a statistical standpoint. Prescott was fantasy's QB4 through the first five weeks of the season.

That said, the trio of Patrick Mahomes (138.86, QB2), Josh Allen (138.66, QB3) and Prescott (138.64, QB4) were separated by a mere 0.22 fantasy points -- equivalent to 5.5 passing yards -- over that stretch to begin the season.

The Cowboys defense was terrible in 2020, which forced Prescott into high passing volumes. That said, Prescott threw for a minimum (yes, minimum!) of 450 passing yards in three consecutive games from Weeks 2 to 4.

In Week 1, he faced the league's top-ranked passing defense (Los Angeles Rams) and threw for 266 yards against them. That was the third-most allowed by the Rams in 2020. And in Week 5, he left midway through the third quarter with his season-ending injury.

Even though the NFL is a passing league, there were only five games of at least 450 passing yards and Prescott had three of them. In other words, Prescott (three) had more 450-yard passing games than the rest of the NFL combined (two) in 2020. Atlanta's Matt Ryan (450, Week 1) and Mahomes (462, Week 12) were the other two quarterbacks with 450-yard games last season.

Continue reading our Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Cam Akers 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Updated: Thursday, February 25th

Despite a modest start, Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers emerged as a workhorse down the stretch in 2020.

Making his NFL debut against the Dallas Cowboys with 15 touches, Akers exited early -- after three touches -- with a rib injury sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. That rib injury kept him out of Week 3 and 4 as well. From Weeks 5 to 12, he never exceeded 10 touches.

In that Week 12 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, however, Akers was clearly the team's most productive back as he carried the ball nine times for 84 yards and a touchdown. After that point, he became the clear lead back.

"Probably about midseason, that's when I started to get a good grasp on the run concepts, what the coaches wanted," Akers said after the season (per ESPN). "I just kind of settled in, played football and it showed."

Even though he missed Week 16, only four running backs had more touches than Akers (94) from Weeks 13 to 17.

(Weeks 13-17)
Per Game
1Derrick Henry12725.4
2David Montgomery12424.8
3Dalvin Cook10827
4Jonathan Taylor10721.4
5Cam Akers9423.5

Continue reading our Cam Akers 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Darrell Henderson 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Updated: Tuesday, March 9th

The Los Angeles Rams entered 2020 with Sean McVay openly planning to use a hot-hand approach with the team's backfield.

Throughout the first two-thirds of the season, he kept his word, although rookie Cam Akers missed time early in the season.

Down the stretch, the Rams abandoned the committee approach and turned to Akers as the team's workhorse back.

As noted in our Cam Akers 2021 Fantasy Football Profile, Akers handled the fifth-most running back touches (94) from Weeks 13 to 17 and another 49 touches in two playoff appearances.

Not only did McVay turn to Akers late last season, he has recently referred to the (now) second-year back as an "every-down back."

Despite Akers' late-season role, the former Memphis Tiger set career highs in 2020 -- 624 rushing yards, 4.5 YPC, 16 catches, 159 receiving yards and six total touchdowns.

Continue reading our Darrell Henderson 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

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