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Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 3

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Saturday, September 25th

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Jalen Hurts is listed below as a "start" for Week 16. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 3 with him as my starting quarterback.

Then again, Hurts may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you own both Patrick Mahomes and Hurts, you should start Mahomes and, in turn, bench Hurts.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 3 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (at DAL)

Given his dual-threat abilities, Hurts is able to overcome modest passing numbers to have a productive fantasy outing. For example, Hurts threw for 190 yards and no touchdowns on Sunday, but he still scored 21.8 fantasy points to finish as the week's QB10 by rushing 10 times for 82 yards and a score.

Since becoming a starter in Week 14 last year, Hurts has rushed a minimum of seven times in every game and has exceeded 60 rushing yards in five of six games. During that span, he has a rushing line of 63/416/4. That is an average of 10.93 fantasy points based on his rushing production alone.

With a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Hurts will look to start three-for-three in top-10 fantasy outings to start the 2021 season.

Continue reading our Week 3 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

More positions:

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 3

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, September 20th

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

For a player to be listed, he must be rostered in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire

1. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (19%)

Doing their part to surround Jones with more talent, the Giants' front office signed Kenny Golladay to a big free-agent contract this offseason and drafted Kadarius Toney in the first round. Neither Golladay nor Toney has contributed as much as one might expect given the capital required to add them to the roster and the team has also been without last season's target leader (Evan Engram, 109) as well.

Even though Sterling Shepard has been productive (16/207/1), Jones has had limited passing success against two difficult defenses. Throwing one touchdown in each of those two games, Jones has passed for 249 and 267 yards, respectively, against the Washington Football Team and Denver Broncos.

Even so, he has scored 21-plus fantasy points in back-to-back games to open the season and has more than 50 fantasy points through two games. Heading into MNF, he's the QB5.

One of the reasons why I was higher on Jones in the preseason (QB18) compared to the FantasyPros ECR (QB25) was his sneaky rushing upside (in addition to the upgrades to the receiving corps). Jones had the seventh-most QB rushing yards (423) in 2020 and he leads the Giants in rushing (15/122/2) through two weeks.

Not only should Jones get more help from the team's bolstered receiving corps, but he gets a couple of favorable matchups in the near future. The Giants face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire

1. James White, New England Patriots (42%)

Once again, White appears on this list.

In his two final seasons playing with Tom Brady (2018-2019), White had a minimum of 95 targets, 72 receptions and 645 receiving yards each season. Through two games with Mac Jones, White is on pace to better those numbers.

White now has six receptions in back-to-back games and has a total of 32 rushing yards and a touchdown plus 12 receptions for 94 yards on 13 targets. Heading into Monday Night Football, White is fantasy's RB14 (half-PPR) and the RB9 in full PPR formats.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire

1. Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (33%)

Fantasy managers can't always count on 77-yard touchdowns, but Moore showed off his elite speed in Sunday's win. It wasn't just one big play for the rookie, however, as he actually led the team in targets (eight) in Week 2 and finished with seven catches for 114 yards and a score.

Moore now has solid performances in back-to-back games. He finished with 4/68 in Week 1. The Cardinals get a soft matchup in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have now lost 17 consecutive games.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire

1. Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (43%)

There are 16 tight ends that are rostered in more than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues. In other words, it is slim pickings when were are discussing tight ends that fall into the TE17+ category.

While Cook has yet to score a touchdown (and most TEs in this range are TD-dependent), the 34-year-old veteran has seen at least five targets in each of his first two games as a Charger. In fact, he is one of seven tight ends to average at least 6.5 targets per game through Sunday Night Football. (That list includes Detroit's T.J. Hockenson, who had 10 targets in Week 1 and plays on MNF.)

Facing Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City's high-powered offense in Week 3, the Chargers could be forced to throw often. Only three teams have allowed more points through Sunday night than the Chiefs.

Continue reading our Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire

2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will update our consensus NFL Power Rankings from a variety of national sites.

Below you will find a table of our NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 2, sorted by their average ranking. The table also lists their respective rankings at various sites.

+ Previous: 2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

[Note: Positive number in Change column = week-over-week improvement in ranking. Negative number = week-over-week decline.]

RankTeamRecordLastChg.Avg.ESPNNFLThe
Athletic
CBSUSA
Today
1Tampa Bay Buccaneers1-01.4021211
2Kansas City Chiefs1-01.6+0.212122
3Los Angeles Rams1-03.4+2.643343
4Seattle Seahawks1-05+5.234486
5Pittsburgh Steelers1-07+7.285778
5San Francisco 49ers1-07+1.3795311
5New Orleans Saints1-07+10.2910565
8Cleveland Browns0-17.4-1.4687124
9Buffalo Bills0-17.8-4.6569910
10Arizona Cardinals1-09.6+5.412141057
Full Week 2 Consensus NFL Power Rankings

Fantasy Football Sleepers 2021

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Saturday, September 4th

Ask 100 people and you're likely to get 100 different answers.

Not only does no universal definition of a fantasy football sleeper exist, many would argue that there is no such thing as a sleeper in today's age of year-round fantasy football content published on the interwebs.

While that may be true, our definition of the term for this post will be a player that we are targeting in the double-digit rounds of 12-team leagues. Of course, our fantasy football rankings will list the players we prefer in sequence, but the goal of this post is to highlight later-round players that you should know for your upcoming drafts.

So, in other words, the fantasy football sleepers referenced in this article have an average draft position (ADP) greater than 108 (nine rounds times 12 picks).

Some players that just missed the cut based on our self-imposed ADP requirement include A.J. Dillon (ADP: 81), Laviska Shenault Jr. (ADP: 92), Michael Pittman (ADP: 99), Tyler Higbee (ADP: 106), among others.

Fantasy Football Sleepers for the 2021 NFL Season

Here are ten sleepers for the 2021 season with their Fantasy Football ADP in parenthesis (N/A = currently undrafted):

QB - Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 120)

Look at 2020's top 10-scoring fantasy quarterbacks and you'll notice a common theme. Almost all of them are prolific runners. The average top-10 quarterback had a rushing line of 79.5/416.5/5.1.

To highlight the importance of rushing production, look no further than the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). Of course, Brady isn't known for his rushing prowess (six rushing yards in 2020). But in his first season in Tampa, Brady threw 40 touchdowns (second-most of his Hall-of-Fame career) and 4,633 yards (fifth-most). Even so, Brady only finished as fantasy's QB8. Winning from the pocket used to be enough -- Brady has nine seasons where he finished as a top-seven fantasy QB.

Nowadays, quarterbacks that are exclusively pocket passers need to have career-type seasons to warrant a high ranking. On the other hand, QBs with elite rushing upside can be mediocre passers (on a good day) and still be strong fantasy plays.

So, while the rookie version of Lance won't have the passing success that Brady (or Aaron Rodgers) will have in 2021, his elite rushing upside puts him squarely in the top-10 mix (or better) once he becomes a starter. Lance is more talented than Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts, as an example, and Hurts was the QB7 from Weeks 14-17 last season after the team benched Carson Wentz.

Especially considering that he was a redshirt sophomore that played only one game in 2020 at the FCS level in such an unusual year, it may be a lot to expect him to start Week 1. Lance may not start Week 1 (although I wouldn't rule it out). PFT's Mike Florio ponders a Jimmy Garoppolo release before Week 1. The 49ers have the earliest possible bye (Week 6) and that could be a natural transition point to this year's No. 3 overall pick (if he's not the starter sooner).

One of the common things I've often done in a fantasy football mock draft is pair someone like Joe Burrow, on my list of undervalued players in fantasy football, with Lance for two high-upside options.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers

2021 Fantasy Football Rankings

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Tuesday, September 7th

FantasyPros tracks fantasy football rankings accuracy and Kevin Hanson's 2020 rankings were 9th-most accurate (among 149 experts tracked). Hanson has now finished top 20 in accuracy six times since 2011.

With the NFL season fast approaching, we have updated our fantasy football rankings once again for those that have more fantasy football drafts.

2021 Fantasy Football QB Rankings

Here are our fantasy quarterback rankings for the 2021 season:

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is my top-ranked fantasy quarterback given the combination of elite skill set, supporting cast and coaching. The only real decision for fantasy managers is whether or not to invest the early draft capital necessary to secure Mahomes (or another high-end quarterback) as their starter. Leading the NFL with 316.0 passing yards per game, Mahomes was only a 260/2 game away from a second 5,000/40 season before the Chiefs rested him in Week 17.

2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

One of the league's best young dual-threat quarterbacks, Allen has exactly 300 rush attempts in his three NFL seasons and has racked up 1,562 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground. Remarkably, he has rushed for at least eight touchdowns in all three of his NFL seasons. Since his rookie season (2018), Allen has 22.32% of the team's rush attempts, 27.11% of the rushing yards and 56.82% of the rushing touchdowns.

Shatterering previous career bests across the board in 2020, Allen threw for 4,544 yards (284.0/G, 7.9/A) and 37 touchdowns (6.5 TD%) with only 10 interceptions (1.7%). Despite last year's unusual offseason, the trade for Stefon Diggs paid immediate dividends as the duo's instant rapport allowed Diggs to post career highs across the board as well.

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

It's not a surprise that Jackson's year-over-year numbers dipped following his elite 2019 MVP season. Jackson threw 10 fewer touchdowns in 2020 and threw for 208 yards or less in 12 of 15 games. Even so, his real fantasy success comes from his rushing ability and he has now rushed for 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.

Over the final five weeks of the season, Jackson averaged only 161.8 passing yards per game, but he threw 11 touchdowns and rushed for 430 yards and four more scores. During that span, he averaged a massive 27.67 fantasy points per game.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football QB Rankings

2021 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

Here are our fantasy running back rankings for the 2021 season:

1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

If you drafted McCaffrey first overall in 2020, you likely found little solace that he was fantasy's top-scoring back over the three-week window in which he appeared (Weeks 1, 2 and 9). In those games, however, CMC handled 76 touches including 17 receptions, racked up 374 yards from scrimmage and scored six total touchdowns. All of those numbers were either first or second among running backs in that split timeframe.

Before his lost season due to injury, McCaffrey was nearly an every-snap iron man in 2019. Heading into his age-25 season, he remains the top choice for me in 2021 drafts.

2. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Once again, Cook has missed multiple games, but he set career highs in touches (356), yards from scrimmage (1,918) and touchdowns (17) and scored the third-most fantasy points (half-PPR) among running backs. The clear lead back in one of the league's most run-heavy offenses, Cook averaged a career-high 5.0 YPC in 2020 and has a minimum of 40 catches in each of the past three seasons.

3. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

If there's a concern with Henry, it's his relative lack of involvement in the passing game. That said, Henry more than compensates for his smaller role as a receiver with his dominant rushing production. Not only is he the back-to-back rushing champion coming off a 2,000-yard campaign, but Henry has led the league in rushing touchdowns in each of the past two seasons with 33 rushing scores in 31 games.

No running back scored more fantasy points in non-PPR formats, but Henry also finished second in half-PPR and third in (full) PPR as well. In other words, the limited passing-game role hasn't hurt his value much, even in leagues that reward a full point per reception. Regardless of format, Henry is a top-three option for me in 2021.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

2021 Fantasy Football WR Rankings

Here are our fantasy wide receiver rankings for the 2021 season:

1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Not only did Adams miss two games in 2020, but he has missed multiple games in three of his past four seasons. Even so, the seven-year veteran led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (18) and yards per game (98.1) and also set a career high in receptions (115). With double-digit touchdowns in four of five seasons, Adams has a total of 58 scores in 71 games over that span. With Aaron Rodgers still playing at an MVP level, Adams moves back into the WR1 spot with the Rodgers drama behind us.

2. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Few players at any position have as much upside as Hill to erupt for a massive performance in any given week. Setting a career high in touchdowns (17), Hill had 87 receptions for 1,276 yards and 13 carries for 123 yards in 2020.

3. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

Things could not have gone better for Diggs in his first season with the Bills. Buffalo's starters played fewer snaps than usual in Week 17, as Diggs played a season-low 48% of the team's offensive snaps in the regular-season finale. Even so, that Week 17 performance (7/76) was the only game over the final five weeks where Diggs had fewer than 128 receiving yards. A top-three performer across all scoring formats, Diggs led the league in targets (166), receptions (127) and yards (1,535) in 2020.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football WR Rankings

2021 Fantasy Football TE Rankings

Here are our fantasy tight end rankings for the 2021 season:

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Tampa Bay's Rob Gronkowski finished as fantasy's TE8 (126.8) last season and Kelce (260.26, TE1) was so good in 2020 that he actually doubled Gronk up.

Kelce extended his 1,000-yard streak to five seasons and broke the single-season receiving yardage record (1,416) for tight ends in the process. In fact, he set career highs across the board (105/1,416/11) in his age-31 campaign. Kelce ended the regular season with eight consecutive games with at least seven catches.

Regardless of how you slice it, Kelce is not only the slam-dunk TE1 heading into 2021, but he's worth considering towards the end of Round 1.

2. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

Waller set career highs across the board -- 107 receptions on 146 targets for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns -- and was dominant down the stretch. Not only did Waller have a 13/200/2 game in Week 13, but he exceeded the 100-yard mark in four of his final five games of the season. No team makes their tight end the focal point of the offense than the Raiders do with Waller.

3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

Missing exactly half of the 2020 season, Kittle had 48/634/2 in eight games, comparable to a 96/1,268/4 (16-game) pace. In the previous two seasons, Kittle had 85/1,053/5 in 2019 and 88/1,377/5 in 2018. As long as his health cooperates, Kittle should approach another 1,000-yard campaign even if the team transitions to rookie Trey Lance early in the season.

Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football TE Rankings

NFL Predictions 2021: AFC North Preseason Predictions

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Tuesday, August 24th

With training camps and the preseason now underway, we are this close to the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Before the start of the NFL season, we will post predictions for each division as well as make our playoff and Super Bowl 56 predictions. For other divisions, visit our home for our NFL Predictions 2021.

With that said, here are our early AFC North projections for each team including their win total:

[Note: We assign a win probability to each team in all 272 regular-season games. Of course, no team will win fractional games.]

1. Baltimore Ravens - Projected Wins: 10.2

Since drafting Lamar Jackson with the last pick of Round 1 in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Ravens have won double-digit games and made the playoffs in all three seasons. During that span, no AFC North team has won more games than the Ravens (35) -- Steelers (29), Browns (24) and Bengals (12).

In his first full season as a starter (2019), Jackson was named league MVP. While he regressed from his unsustainable 9.0 TD% in his MVP season, Jackson once again rushed for more than 1,000 yards. The Ravens' dominant rushing attack led the NFL, but the passing offense ranked dead last. The trio of Jackson, second-year back J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards gives Baltimore a top-three rushing attack (or better), but the team invested in more weapons for Jackson to continue to develop as a passer. That said, the team's top receivers are either dealing with an injury -- Marquise Brown (hamstring) and Rashod Bateman (groin) -- or have struggled with durability -- Sammy Watkins (multiple missed games in five of past six seasons).

Meanwhile, their defense has been one of the league's best as well. The defense has ranked top-three in scoring defense for three consecutive seasons and no worse than seventh in total defense during that span. In addition, they were one of four teams to rank top eight against both the run (eighth) and pass (sixth) in 2020. Their offensive-defensive balance has helped them rank first in yardage differential (2018), scoring differential (2020) or both (2019) in the past three seasons.

If Jackson and the passing offense are able to improve upon last year's numbers, the Ravens will be as dangerous as any team in the league. If not, it may be difficult for them to keep up with the extremely potent Buffalo and Kansas City offenses in the playoffs.

Continue reading NFL Predictions 2021: AFC North Preseason Predictions

2021 Fantasy Football 16-Team PPR Mock Draft

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Sunday, August 22nd

The best way to become good at something is to practice. So, what should you do if you want to draft a better fantasy football team?

Practice, of course!

Leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season, we will use the 2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros) to complete fantasy football mock drafts.

We will use a variety of scoring formats -- PPR, half-PPR, standard scoring and even 2-QB leagues, league sizes and draft slots. The goal is to give you a good representation of the team that you may be able to construct given your league settings and the rationale of why we made the picks we did.

+ Our mocks will be tracked here: Fantasy Football Mock Drafts.

That said, nothing beats practicing yourself so (check out the simulator) and complete a mock in a matter of minutes.

1.08 - Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

Based on this mock's settings, each team starts two RBs and two WRs in addition to a flex (RB/WR/TE). If there are a minimum of three WRs to start, I likely would have taken a receiver here, but I feel really good about my Jones/D.K. Metcalf start.

One year after leading the NFL in touchdowns (19, 2019), Jones averaged a career-high 5.89 yards per touch for the league's top-scoring offense. Through four NFL seasons, Jones has averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry in three of them. Even though he missed two games and scored eight fewer touchdowns in 2020, he has finished as a top-five fantasy running back in consecutive seasons.

2.09 - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

The sky is the limit for Metcalf, who is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign (83/1,303/10). Through Week 9, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks passing offense were unstoppable and Metcalf had more than 90 yards in seven of his first eight games. Through Week 9, only Tyreek Hill had scored more fantasy points than Metcalf. The only concern for Metcalf (and Wilson) is the Seahawks' desire to establish the run.

More: Seattle Seahawks 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

3.08 - J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have had a 1,000-yard rusher in back-to-back seasons. Unfortunately (for the team's running backs), that player is quarterback Lamar Jackson. For a team that loves to run the ball, however, Dobbins could potentially be a steal if the coaching staff follows through on an offseason "main offensive point of emphasis" (getting the RBs more involved in the passing game)

4.09 - Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

From Week 2 until Week 11 (Joe Burrow's knee injury), Higgins scored the 19th-most fantasy points (half-PPR scoring) amongst wide receivers. With the Bengals drafting Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell, it took some steam out of Higgins' opportunity to build upon his strong rookie season. On the other hand, A.J. Green and his 104 targets (6.5/G) are no longer on the roster.

5.08 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

It was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. In his first eight games, Wilson averaged 29.52 fantasy points per game and scored no fewer than 21.9. In his final eight games, he averaged only 17.08 and scored more than 21.9 only once during that span.

Despite Pete Carroll's prioritization to establish the run, Wilson has never finished worse than the QB11 (2016) and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in five of the past seven seasons.

Continue reading our 16-Team PPR Fantasy Football Mock Draft

More Fantasy Football Mock Drafts 2021

NFL Predictions 2021: AFC East Preseason Predictions

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, August 9th

With training camps and the preseason now underway, we are this close to the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.

For other divisions, visit our home for our NFL Predictions 2021.

With that said, here are our early AFC East projections for each team including their win total:

1. Buffalo Bills - Projected Wins: 11

Bills quarterback Josh Allen has improved by leaps and bounds each season and has emerged as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. Outside of Patrick Mahomes (+500) and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers (+800), no other player has shorter odds to win the 2021/22 MVP than Allen (+1000), per Bovada.lv. And now he's paid like it, as the Bills locked up their franchise quarterback with a massive contract extension that keeps him under contract through his age-32 season (2028).

Allen's next-level ascension coincided with Tom Brady leaving the division in 2020 and it was only the third time since 2001 that the Patriots didn't win the division and have the best quarterback in the division. It's clear that Allen is head and shoulders above the rest of the quarterbacks in the division, but future seasons could be very interesting with the other three teams rostering a high first-round quarterback entering either his first or second season. Helping Josh Allen take such a massive step forward was Stefon Diggs, who led the NFL in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) despite the absence of a traditional offseason. Beyond Diggs, Allen has a talented group of receivers at his disposal with Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis.

Even though the Bills ranked in the bottom half of the league in rushing, the Bills ranked second in the NFL in total offense (behind Kansas City) and scoring offense (behind Green Bay). NFL.com's Cynthia Frelund predicts that Zack Moss will be Buffalo's most-improved player in 2021. If true, it would help take some pressure off of Allen. While the Bills added depth to their offensive line via the NFL Draft, their offensive line is solid, but not spectacular, and is better as a unit in pass protection than run blocking.

Given their elite offense, their defense doesn't need to be elite and it's not. The Bills defense ranked middle of the pack -- 14th in YPG allowed and 16th in PPG allowed. The team used its first two draft picks this year on bolstering its pass rush by selecting Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham.

Buffalo's first six games before their Week 7 bye are the most difficult part of their schedule. Four of their first six games are against AFC opponents that won double-digit games in 2020 including an AFC Championship Game rematch on the road. That Week 5 matchup against the Chiefs could later be significant for seeding and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Continue reading NFL Predictions 2021: AFC East Preseason Predictions

10 Undervalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football Drafts

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Friday, August 6th

Using a baseball analogy, my goal is to hit doubles with each of my picks in fantasy football drafts. While I may swing for the fences with some late-round picks, I believe consistently finding value in each round will best position my team to compete.

The purpose of this post is not to list every single player that is undervalued but instead to highlight some players that offer value compared to where they are currently being drafted by fantasy managers.

For a better idea of which players I'd draft over others, my fantasy football rankings answer those questions.

With that said, here are 10 players that are currently undervalued in fantasy football drafts (half-PPR ADP):

QB - Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 100)

Before Burrow's rookie season was cut short by a season-ending knee injury in Week 11, the only quarterback with more pass attempts than Burrow (404) was Tom Brady (433). After factoring in byes, however, Burrow (40.4/G) averaged more pass attempts per game than Brady (39.4) through Week 11. Only Dak Prescott, lost for the season after Week 5, averaged more pass attempts per game (44.4).

Going into the 2021 season, Burrow has a more talented receiving corps than he had as a rookie. Not only should Tee Higgins be even better in his second season, but Burrow has been reunited with his former LSU teammate, Ja'Marr Chase. In addition, Tyler Boyd is one of the more underrated slot receivers in the league.

Early camp reports haven't been positive, but the No. 1 overall pick in 2020 should turn things around as he works back from injury. If some negative reports push his ADP down a bit further, so be it. Even with some young core players that offer optimism for the future, the Bengals should be one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2021 and Burrow has a legitimate shot at leading the NFL in pass attempts. Due to that expected volume, Burrow is ranked inside my top-10 fantasy quarterbacks for 2021.

Continue reading 10 Undervalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football Drafts

2021 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule

Fantasy football strength of schedule helps fantasy managers determine which teams and players have favorable (or unfavorable) schedules for the 2021 NFL season.

Based on each team's scheduled opponents for 2021, we have tallied the average fantasy points allowed by each of their opponents to the position.

[Note: Our SOS includes all 17 opponents given the expectation that the NFL will implement a 17-game regular-season schedule in 2021.]

While strength of schedule should not be the sole factor in determining who to draft/add, it could help potentially break a tie between two players that you may view as comparable.

The complete strength of schedule for quarterbacks is below:

RankTeamPlayerFantasy SOSPlayoffs
1New York JetsZach Wilson18.80662.16
2Pittsburgh SteelersBen Roethlisberger18.74963.05
3New England PatriotsCam Newton18.62859.65
4San Francisco 49ersJimmy Garoppolo18.62266.5
5WashingtonRyan Fitzpatrick18.52358.39
6Denver BroncosDrew Lock18.45461.34
7Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor Lawrence18.44856.13
8Indianapolis ColtsCarson Wentz18.44760.13
9Buffalo BillsJosh Allen18.29962.5
10Miami DolphinsTua Tagovailoa18.29656.51
View full Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS)

Note: Fantasy SOS = Average fantasy points per game allowed in 2020 of each team's 2021 opponents.
Playoffs = Cumulative total from Weeks 15 to 17.

More positions:

Chase Edmonds 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Wednesday, July 28th

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

The Arizona Cardinals gave nearly all of their 418 running back touches in 2020 to two backs -- Kenyan Drake (264, 63.16%) and Chase Edmonds (150, 35.89%) -- and one of them (Drake) is no longer on the roster.

A couple of weeks prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cardinals gave James Conner a one-year deal for less than $2 million to fill part of the void created by Drake's departure.

Heading into the draft, a few analysts had linked the Cardinals to a first-round running back, but that would not have made much sense from a roster-construction standpoint, especially given that the franchise had only three picks in the first five rounds.

So, the net effect of losing Drake and adding Conner ultimately bodes well for Edmonds' 2021 fantasy outlook.

Prior to NFL free agency, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the following of Edmonds (via PFT):

"As far as Chase goes, you've seen when he's had his opportunity, he's played at a starting running back level. We all understand that he's unfortunately been nicked up a couple times, which we want to keep him on the field. But we have all the confidence in the world in Chase and him being able to be the bell cow if that's how this plays out."

Fantasy managers shouldn't expect Edmonds to become a "bell cow," but he will most likely become the 1(a) to Conner's 1(b) given the relatively modest one-year deal that the Cardinals gave to Conner.

Continue reading our Chase Edmonds 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

2022 NFL Mock Draft

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Monday, May 10th

Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is in our rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead to the upcoming NFL and college football seasons and even further ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft.

The pre-draft process should be more typical (fingers crossed) in 2022 with the NFL Scouting Combine, private workouts, etc. returning.

Perhaps the on-location draft weekend in Las Vegas will be anything but normal; I mean that in the best way possible. I'm looking forward to seeing the spectacle of a Vegas draft week(end)!

Speaking of Vegas, the draft order for this mock is based on the inverse order of Super Bowl odds from Bovada.lv. Minimal adjustments were made to account for proper playoff structure.

With that said, here is my way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Offseason trade demands and ongoing legal issues make Deshaun Watson's future with the Houston Texans anything but certain. If Houston is picking first in the 2022 NFL Draft, the organization could use this opportunity to draft a quarterback.

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux will top my initial 2022 big board, but Howard is my QB1 a little less than a year out and a potential top-five pick. Like Watson, Howell has the ability to elevate the play of those around him and he's been one of the best deep passers in college football since his freshman season.

2. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

If the Lions are picking this high in 2022, it's possible that they could look to reset at quarterback. The Lions would only incur a $10 million cap hit if they moved on from Jared Goff next offseason. In addition, Lions general manager Brad Holmes recently said they "would have had to strongly consider" a quarterback at No. 7 if Penei Sewell weren't their highest-ranked player available.

Since 2018, two Sooner quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray) have been selected first overall and another (Jalen Hurts) was a second-round pick. If there's a quarterback that will challenge Howell for the honor to be 2022's QB1, it's most likely Rattler. Based on props from Bovada, Rattler (11/2) is the early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy over Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei (6/1), who's not eligible until the 2023 NFL Draft.

3. Cincinnati Bengals: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Arguably the top college football recruit in 2019, Thibodeaux has lived up to the hype so far with 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss over 21 games in his first two seasons. In a pair of Pac-12 Championship Games, he's been virtually unblockable -- 18 QB pressures, 4.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks in those two games combined.

Current Oregon (and former Texas A&M) DC Tim DeRuyter has compared Thibodeaux's explosiveness to that of Von Miller, one of DeRuyter's former players, as he said that Kayvon is "probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von" [Miller].

The Bengals (17) ranked last in the NFL in sacks last season. Even though they signed Trey Hendrickson to a four-year deal, Carl Lawson (team-high 5.5 sacks) departed via free agency.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Although not as dominant last year as he was in 2019, Stingley's true freshman season was as good as it gets for any defensive back regardless of level of experience. When the Detroit Lions selected Jeffery Okudah third overall in 2019, ESPN's Ryan Clark said that some coaches agreed with him that Stingley "would've been the number one cornerback drafted in that draft" at only 18 years old. Given his elite combination of size, speed and ball skills, Stingley will be a top-five pick in 2022 (or whenever he declares).

Even though the Jaguars have selected C.J. Henderson (2020) and Tyson Campbell (2021) with top-33 picks in back-to-back drafts, I don't think that precludes them from passing on a talent like Stingley.

5. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

No safeties were drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but Hamilton will hear his named called early in 2022 and potentially inside the top-five picks. Leading Notre Dame in tackles last season, Hamilton has tremendous size and length (6-4, 219) at safety with the versatility to impact the game in a variety of ways.

Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft

We are more than two years away for the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held in Kansas City, MO.

While we have posted a 2021 NFL Mock Draft and 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we've decided to take a way-too-early look at how the top of the 2023 NFL Draft could play out.

For our 2021 (and 2022) mock draft(s), we know which prospects have declared early (or decided to return for another season). For the pool of players for our early top-10 mock draft for 2023, we've limited our pool of prospects to only players that will become draft-eligible beginning in 2023.

The draft order used is based on the inverse order of NFL wins over the past decade.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

As noted in our 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars own the rights to their first-ever No. 1 overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. More than likely, the Jags won't be picking first again in 2023 given their treasure trove of draft picks and ability to spend in free agency.

Nonetheless, they have the first pick based on our criteria for determining the draft order and get a disruptive edge rusher in Anderson. Among SEC defenders, only Georgia's Azeez Ojulari and former teammate Christian Barmore had more sacks in 2020 than Anderson had as a true freshman. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (17) had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (18) in 2020.

2. Cleveland Browns: Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite (2020), Bresee enjoyed immediate success for the Tigers. The ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC performer finished his true freshman season with 6.5 tackles for loss including four sacks and 33 tackles. With a rare combination of first-step explosiveness for a man his size, Bresee has the versatility to line up at various alignments along the defensive line.

3. New York Jets: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy stepped onto the Clemson campus with NFL-ready size and athleticism. As a true freshman, Murphy led the Tigers in tackles for loss (12.5) and forced fumbles (three), had four sacks and was as good as it gets against the run.

Continue reading our way-too-early Top-10 2023 NFL Mock Draft

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