Saturday, June 12, 2021

Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft 2021: 12 Teams, 1st Pick

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.

Half-PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 2nd Pick

1.01 - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

If you drafted McCaffrey first overall in 2020, you likely find 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 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.

2.12 - Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Allen missed a couple of games and was limited in others, but he finished with 100 catches for the third time in four seasons despite playing with a rookie quarterback. Although just shy of the 1,000-yard mark and averaging a career-low 9.92 Y/R, Allen tied his career high (set as a rookie in 2013) with eight touchdowns. Along with Davante Adams and Diontae Johnson, Allen was just one of three receivers to get double-digit targets in 10 games in 2020.

More: Los Angeles Chargers 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

3.01 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

It was an injury-plagued 2020 season for Thomas, who failed to score in seven regular-season appearances. While Thomas played in the four Taysom Hill starts and had a pair of 100-yard games, both against the Falcons, the most-likely scenario for the 2021 Saints is that Jameis Winston takes over as the team's starter.

Before 2020, Thomas had improved every season -- 1,137 yards (2016), 1,245 (2017), 1,405 (2018) and 1,725 (2019). In his last full season (2019), he led the NFL in both receptions (149) and yards (1,725).

4.12 - Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Falling short of preseason expectations, Sanders missed four games and averaged just 3.1 yards per target after his catch rate dropped from 79.4% as a rookie to 53.8% in 2020. Although he averaged an impressive 5.3 yards per carry for the season, Sanders failed to exceed 3.8 YPC in four of his final five games. Even though the team added a number of backs to the roster, several of those will be cut before the season and I'm willing to bet on Sanders skill set.

5.01 - Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Few teams want to "establish the run" more than the Seahawks so returning to Seattle on a two-year deal was his ideal landing spot. Even though the Seahawks let Russell Wilson "cook" in the first half of the year, Carson performed as fantasy's RB13 or better in four of the team's five games before their Week 6 bye. In fact, he was a top-five performer through Week 5. Coming out of the bye, Carson sustained a foot injury in Week 7 that kept him out of several games. Carson's physical running style lends itself to a greater propensity to get banged up, but he will likely be undervalued in fantasy drafts this summer.

6.12 - Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns

While Chubb (RB9) was a top-10 fantasy running back in 2020, so was Hunt (RB10). Outside of Week 16, Hunt had double-digit touches in all of his other 15 games. Playing in one of the league's most run-heavy offenses, there is enough to go around for both Chubb and Hunt to be drafted as viable starters in 12-team leagues.

More: Cleveland Browns 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

7.01 - Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Playing on the franchise tag in 2020, Prescott was dominant before his season was cut short by a compound ankle fracture. From Weeks 2 to 4, Prescott threw for a minimum (yes, minimum) of 450 yards in three consecutive games with a total of 11 touchdowns (eight passing and three rushing). As noted in our Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Profile, Prescott (three) had more 450-yard passing games than the rest of the league (two) combined in 2020. During that three-game stretch before getting injured, Prescott performed as the weekly QB1, QB4 and QB1, respectively. With a talented trio of wide receivers, Prescott has tremendous upside if he can stay healthy.

8.12 - Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

In hindsight, there were a couple of opportunities where I could have selected a safer WR3 for this squad. For example, the Chris Carson pick at 5.01 (a pick I really like in a vacuum) is where I could have selected Tyler Lockett (5.02), Brandon Aiyuk (5.04), Odell Beckham (5.05), Ja'Marr Chase (5.06), as examples.

9.01 - Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team

Thomas was the only tight end in the league to have a minimum of four targets in every game last season. While he was consistent throughout the season, he was especially productive down the stretch.

From Weeks 6 to 17, Thomas scored the third-most fantasy points with 58 receptions (third-most), 564 yards (third-most) and five touchdowns (tied fifth-most) amongst tight ends. The breakout tight end will enter 2021 as a viable TE1 (top-12 option).

10.12 - Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

In 2018, Williams had 10 touchdowns. In 2019, he led the NFL with 20.4 Y/R and posted his first (and only) 1,000-yard season. Not only were overall numbers (48/756/5) disappointing, but he had only four top-36 performances (half-PPR) out of his 15 games last season.

11.01 - Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

Singletary followed up his rookie season with 687 rushing yards (4.4 YPC) and two touchdowns to go along with 38 catches for 269 yards. While I would prefer Moss over Singletary, both are not much more than a flex option heading into 2021.

More: Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

12.12 - Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons

With the Falcons trading Julio Jones to Tennessee, Gage should rank second or third on the team in receiving behind Calvin Ridley and possibly rookie Kyle Pitts in 2021. Gage set career highs across the board in 2020 with 72 catches, 110 targets, 786 yards and four touchdowns.

13.01 - Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

It was a disappointing rookie season for Reagor and even though the Eagles used a top-10 pick on DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman Trophy recipient, Reagor is worth a roll of the dice here as my WR6.

14.12 - Ravens DST, DST, Baltimore Ravens

15.01 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

16.12 - Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears

Down the stretch, Kmet moved ahead of Jimmy Graham on the depth chart in terms of snaps played. The rookie out of Notre Dame averaged 6.0 targets per game over the five final regular-season games. Kmet could be poised for a breakout sophomore campaign.

- View Full Mock Draft Results

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Fantasy Football Projections 2021: Los Angeles Chargers

Our 2021 Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team.

Below you will find our 2021 fantasy football projections for the Los Angeles Chargers.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams

QUARTERBACKS

PlayerAtt.Comp.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Justin Herbert632.94244651.832.2810.7656243.63.92341.55
Chase Daniel19.613.2127.40.610.537.216.20.078.52

Justin Herbert: The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Herbert had at least 300 passing yards and/or multiple touchdowns in 13 of his 15 starts as a rookie. Even with a new coaching staff in place for the upcoming season, the second-year quarterback should benefit from a more normal offseason as he enters the season already entrenched as the starter. It wouldn't surprise me if he makes a sophomore leap that catapults him into the top five or so QBs.

RUNNING BACKS

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Austin Ekeler238.41060.94.7772.16934.9269.46
Justin Jackson76.3343.41.5318.6167.3175.55
Joshua Kelley64.42641.2917.5131.40.860.83
Larry Rountree III23.8101.20.483.335.80.219.43
Gabe Nabers2.40.10.083.323.90.25.73

Austin Ekeler: Missing a significant chunk of time due to injury and playing at less than 100 percent when returning to the field, Ekeler averaged 5.5 yards per touch and scored only three touchdowns, both of which were career lows. Especially given his immense upside as a receiver, however, Ekeler is a top-12 running back across all formats when healthy.

WIDE RECEIVERS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Keenan Allen126.81242.67.21.250.02231.48
Mike Williams62.3860.36.41.24.70.04156.29
Josh Palmer20.8250.91.81.24.80.0146.83
Tyron Johnson14.2215.11.52.410.80.0438.93
Jalen Guyton8.7191.21.32.47.80.0232.17
Joe Reed4.459.70.400010.57
K.J. Hill2.223.90.20004.69

Keenan Allen: Allen missed a couple of games and was limited in others, but he finished with 100 catches for the third time in four seasons despite playing with a rookie quarterback. Although just shy of the 1,000-yard mark and averaging a career-low 9.92 Y/R, Allen tied his career high (set as a rookie in 2013) with eight touchdowns. Along with Davante Adams and Diontae Johnson, Allen was just one of three receivers to get double-digit targets in 10 games in 2020.

Mike Williams: In 2018, Williams had 10 touchdowns. In 2019, he led the NFL with 20.4 Y/R and posted his first (and only) 1,000-yard season. Not only were overall numbers (48/756/5) disappointing, but he had only four top-36 performances (half-PPR) out of his 15 games last season.

TIGHT ENDS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Jared Cook42.64663.500088.9
Donald Parham28.4346.52.600064.45
Tre' McKitty4.447.80.30008.78
Stephen Anderson3.335.80.20006.43

Jared Cook: Cook replaces Hunter Henry atop the Chargers' depth chart, which disappointed many fantasy managers hoping for a Donald Parham breakout season. Entering his age-34 season, Cook has 22 touchdowns over his past three seasons combined, but he averaged only 33.6 YPG -- a five-year low -- in 2020. Meanwhile, NJ.com's Mike Kaye listed the Chargers as "probably ... the ideal spot" for a Zach Ertz trade.

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Friday, June 11, 2021

Fantasy Football Projections 2021: Tennessee Titans

Our 2021 Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team.

Below you will find our 2021 fantasy football projections for the Tennessee Titans.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams

QUARTERBACKS

PlayerAtt.Comp.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Ryan Tannehill506.23293923.130.889.3643.9212.92.2296.21
Logan Woodside15.79.7108.30.620.319.3140.027.71

Ryan Tannehill: Since taking over as the starter in 2019, Tannehill has averaged only 28.9 pass attempts per game in Tennessee's run-heavy attack, but he's been extremely efficient. Tannehill has averaged more than 22 fantasy points per game and has averaged 8.54 Y/A with a 7.3 TD% over his past 26 games. From Week 7 to 17 (his run as the starter) in 2019, Tannehill was fantasy's QB3. In 2020, he was the QB7.

With Tennessee trading for Julio Jones, Tannehill has a chance to once again outperform his preseason ADP.

RUNNING BACKS

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Derrick Henry359.4177916.3523.72521.9324.45
Darrynton Evans67.9288.62.2117.8191.51.579.17
Jeremy McNichols31.9137.20.810.280.60.635.28
Brian Hill16720.323.430.20.215.04
Khari Blasingame1.35.10.032.520.20.25.16

Derrick Henry: The clear favorite among the top six running backs in my rankings to finish last in receptions, 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.

WIDE RECEIVERS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
A.J. Brown81.31108.69.2000206.71
Julio Jones78.71038.17.7000189.36
Josh Reynolds33.9393.13.100074.86
Dez Fitzpatrick11.91311.200026.25
Cameron Batson7.670.50.62.711.20.0515.87
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine3.440.30.30007.53

A.J. Brown: Brown missed a couple of games, but he followed up a strong rookie campaign (52/1,052/8) with career highs across the board -- 70 catches, 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns on 106 targets. Despite playing in a run-first offense, Brown has averaged 17.4 Y/R and scored a touchdown on 15.6% of his receptions through his first two NFL seasons.

There is the potential for even better numbers in 2021 for the ascending third-year receiver, but many of the vacated targets left by Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and Adam Humphries will be soaked up by Julio Jones and (to a much lesser degree) Josh Reynolds.

Julio Jones: Jones missed nearly half of the season, but he finished with at least 94 yards in five of his nine games played in 2020. Averaging 85.7 YPG last year, Jones was still on a full-season pace of 1,371 yards. Before last season, he had a minimum of 1,394 yards in six consecutive seasons. As Jones transitions to Tennessee's run-first, Derrick Henry-centric offense, his per-game numbers is certain to drop. That said, he's still a high-end WR2.

TIGHT ENDS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Anthony Firkser40.6453.53.300085.45
Geoff Swaim18.6181.41.400035.84
Jared Pinkney5.140.30.40008.98

Anthony Firkser: Moving up to TE1 on the depth chart now that Jonnu Smith is in New England, Firkser has some sleeper appeal. That said, he's no better than the fourth option behind running back Derrick Henry and receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. Firkser had 39/387/1 in 2020 as a situational player, so it's certainly possible that our projections are too conservative.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Joe Mixon 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

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.

Since 2017 when the Bengals used a second-round pick on Mixon, Mixon has averaged 3.2 targets per game. Over that same span, Bernard averaged 3.5 targets per game.

Before last season's injury-shortened campaign, Mixon ranked top-seven in touches in the two previous seasons -- 280 (sixth) in 2018 and 313 (seventh) in 2019, respectively.

The team's offensive line ranked bottom-three in the NFL in PFF's end-of-season offensive line rankings last year.

Even though the team passed on Oregon's Penei Sewell, they bolstered their offensive line considerably this offseason. Not only did they sign Riley Reiff in free agency, but they added Jackson Carman (Round 2), D'Ante Smith (Round 4) and Trey Hill (Round 6) via the draft.

In addition, reuniting Ja'Marr Chase with Joe Burrow should help the offense overall be able to sustain drives and lead to more scoring opportunities for the entire team including Mixon.

Joe Mixon Fantasy Football ADP

Based on scoring format, here are the current Fantasy Football ADPs for Joe Mixon:

Scoring FormatCurrent ADP
Non-PPR Fantasy ADP2.09 (RB15)
Half-PPR Fantasy Football ADP2.11 (RB13)
PPR Fantasy Football ADP2.09 (RB13)

Below is a chart of Joe Mixon's half-PPR ADP over the past month:

Joe Mixon Average Draft Position

[Source: ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator.]

Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)

Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed in 2020 by their opponents this season, here are the ranks for Joe Mixon and the Bengals running backs rank in 2021 strength of schedule:

Scoring FormatWeek 1-17 RankWeek 15-17 Rank
Non-PPR Fantasy RB SOS20th18th
Half-PPR Fantasy RB SOS19th18th
PPR Fantasy RB SOS19th16th

Mixon has a middle-of-the-road fantasy strength of schedule across all scoring formats in the regular season and when isolating for the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15 to 17).

+ MORE: Game-by-game Fantasy Football SOS for the Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon Full-Season Projections

Here are our full-season projections for Mixon:

RushRuYDRuTDRec.ReYDReTDHalf-PPR
Points
272.711596.6855.7516.93253.52

- Cincinnati Bengals 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

- More Fantasy Football Projections

Bottom line

Relative value: Undervalued

Mixon's ADP has gradually begun to rise, but he still offers fantasy managers some value at his current ADP near the end of Round 2. Durability is a concern for the position overall, but if Mixon is able to stay healthy, he should rank near the top of the league in workload and should be even more involved as a receiver with Giovani Bernard now in Tampa. An upgraded offensive line and addition of a playmaker like Ja'Marr Chase on the outside should lead to higher efficiency from Mixon and more sustained drives and potential scoring opportunities for the offense overall.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Fantasy Football Projections 2021: Atlanta Falcons

Our 2021 Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team.

Below you will find our 2021 fantasy football projections for the Atlanta Falcons.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams

QUARTERBACKS

PlayerAtt.Comp.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Matt Ryan586.4384.74339.426.6811.7331.7101.41.11273.64
A.J. McCarron18.111.4121.30.620.324.511.30.058.12

Matt Ryan: Coming out of the draft, it was good news for Ryan that the Falcons used their top-four pick on the most dangerous playmaker in the draft instead of selecting his future replacement. The bad news coming out of the draft were reports that the team would trade Julio Jones, who was recently traded to the Titans.

RUNNING BACKS

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Mike Davis238916.37.1447.5379.22.7212.34
Qadree Ollison79.3309.33.178.978.10.464.61
Javian Hawkins32.9134.90.66544.60.326.21
Keith Smith4.59.50.09333.50.16.94

Mike Davis: Filling in for a mostly-injured Christian McCaffrey in 2020, Davis performed as a top-15 (half-PPR) fantasy running back last season. With limited competition for running back touches, Davis will have flex appeal (or more), especially with Arthur Smith (most recently OC in Tennessee) taking over as Atlanta's head coach.

WIDE RECEIVERS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Calvin Ridley1011293.67.64.520.30.09228.03
Russell Gage59.46583.72.390.03118.78
Olamide Zaccheaus32.7379.22.21.13.30.0167.86
Cordarrelle Patterson16.8178.4154.42721.6369.22
Christian Blake19.8211.91.300038.89
Frank Darby6.978.10.400013.66
Tajae Sharpe344.60.20007.16

Calvin Ridley: Ridley closed the season the same way he started it -- with 100-plus yards in four of five games. Along with Davante Adams (six) and Stefon Diggs (three), Ridley was one of three receivers to finish as a top-two weekly fantasy receiver at least three times in 2020. Ridley finished last season with 90 catches on 143 targets for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns and should be a top-five fantasy wide receiver in 2021.

Russell Gage: With the Falcons trading Julio Jones to Tennessee, Gage should rank second or third on the team in receiving behind Calvin Ridley and possibly rookie Kyle Pitts in 2021. Gage set career highs across the board in 2020 with 72 catches, 110 targets, 786 yards and four touchdowns.

TIGHT ENDS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Kyle Pitts47.5624.54.1000110.8
Hayden Hurst40.6423.82.900080.08
Jaeden Graham322.30.20004.93
Lee Smith111.20.10002.22

Kyle Pitts: It's typically a difficult transition to the NFL for rookie tight ends, but Pitts isn't the typical tight end. The definition of a mismatch player in the mold of Darren Waller, Pitts has the potential to develop into fantasy's TE1 within a few years. The John Mackey Award winner, Pitts won't turn 21 until October, runs like a receiver (4.44 forty) and no pass-catcher has had a larger wingspan over the past 20 drafts.

Hayden Hurst: Hurst performed as the TE9 in half-PPR and PPR formats and the TE11 in non-PPR formats as he set career highs in targets (88), receptions (56), yards (571) and touchdowns (six) in year one in Atlanta. Unfortunately for fantasy managers, his weekly performance was inconsistent as he had five games with single-digit receiving yards. While Arthur Smith will run a TE-friendly offense, Kyle Pitts will make Hurst even more of a TD-dependent option in 2021.

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Fantasy Football Projections 2021: Buffalo Bills

Our 2021 Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team.

Below you will find our 2021 fantasy football projections for the Buffalo Bills.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams

QUARTERBACKS

PlayerAtt.Comp.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Josh Allen610.2419.24759.637.8310.9880.93566.07391.76
Mitchell Trubisky32.121218.31.510.85.318.60.216.23

Josh Allen: 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.

Continuing to make major strides as a passer, Allen shattered previous career bests across the board in 2020. In his third season, 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.

RUNNING BACKS

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Zack Moss142.9621.65.3627.5236.52.2144.92
Devin Singletary145630.82.1833286.22.4135.68
Matt Breida33.6152.90.678.874.70.735.38
Antonio Williams2.19.20.062.212.40.24.82

Zack Moss: Many 2021 mock drafts linked the Bills to a first-round running back. Instead of adding an early-round running back, it's a positive for the outlook of Moss and Devin Singletary that the Bills only added Matt Breida in free agency. While I prefer Moss over Singletary, a concern for both is that Josh Allen has 25 rushing touchdowns over the past three seasons. Not only has Allen led the team in that category in each of the past three years, he has 56.8% (25 of 44) of the team's rushing touchdowns over that stretch.

Devin Singletary: Singletary followed up his rookie season with 687 rushing yards (4.4 YPC) and two touchdowns to go along with 38 catches for 269 yards. While I would prefer Moss over Singletary, both are not much more than a flex option heading into 2021.

WIDE RECEIVERS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Stefon Diggs121.11480.99.41.15.80.01265.68
Cole Beasley85.8945.85.2000168.68
Gabriel Davis45.1696.96.1000128.84
Emmanuel Sanders37.4435.6400086.26
Isaiah McKenzie14.3124.42.29.540.40.2438.27
Isaiah Hodgins4.449.80.500010.18

Stefon Diggs: 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.

Cole Beasley: The recipient of triple-digit targets in back-to-back seasons, Beasley posted career highs in receptions (82) and catch rate (76.6%) as well as in yards (967), yards per reception (11.8), per target (9.0) and per game (64.5) in 2020. Catching only four touchdowns last season, Beasley has now finished as a top-36 wide receiver in both of his seasons as a Bill and will likely outperform his ADP in 2021 as well.

Gabriel Davis: If the Bills did not sign Emmanuel Sanders to partially fill the void created by John Brown's release, there would be hype for Davis as a breakout candidate in 2021. As a rookie, the 2020 fourth-round pick ended the year with 35 receptions for 599 yards (17.1 Y/R) and seven touchdowns.

TIGHT ENDS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Dawson Knox42.9485.34.500096.98
Jacob Hollister12.199.61.400024.41
Tommy Sweeney5.549.80.600011.33

Dawson Knox: Knox missed four games in 2020 and his per-game numbers last season (2.0/24.0/0.25) weren't much different than his rookie averages (1.87/25.9/0.13). One of the more athletic tight ends in the league, there is the potential for a year-over-year improvement in his third season, but he will likely rank fourth or fifth in pecking order amongst the team's pass catchers.

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Friday, June 4, 2021

Fantasy Football Projections 2021: Cleveland Browns

Our 2021 Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team.

Below you will find our 2021 fantasy football projections for the Cleveland Browns.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams

QUARTERBACKS

PlayerAtt.Comp.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Baker Mayfield530.3334.63897.727.849.8154.6185.61.77276.83
Case Keenum19.212.1135.40.720.381.34.20.028.08

Baker Mayfield: Making major improvements over his 2019 campaign, Mayfield set a career high in passer rating (95.9) and a career low in INT% (1.6%). Outside of a four-game stretch near the end of the season (Weeks 12-15), however, Mayfield's efficiency didn't translate into a usable level of fantasy production.

Mayfield performed as a QB1 (top 12) in all four of those weeks (Weeks 12-15), but he had only one other top-12 weekly finish throughout the rest of the season (Week 7). Over the full season, he finished as fantasy's QB17. Leading a run-first playoff-caliber team likely means another season of modest passing volume that translates to mid-tier QB2 fantasy production.

RUNNING BACKS

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Nick Chubb279.31396.511.4524.32421.6254.3
Kareem Hunt127539.84.1936.4373.12.5149.63
Demetric Felton17.876.50.458.780.70.626.37
D'Ernest Johnson20.389.30.514.340.30.219.37
Andy Janovich1.32.90.011.720.20.13.82

Nick Chubb: Despite missing four games, Chubb still finished as fantasy's RB9 in 2020. Chubb has finished second and third in rushing yards per game in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Through his first three seasons, Chubb has never averaged fewer than five yards per carry in a season.

Even with the league's best No. 2 back (Kareem Hunt) on the roster, Chubb has averaged 18.05 touches per game since Hunt returned from his 2019 suspension. Only four teams in the league had a higher rushing play percentage than the Browns in Kevin Stefanski's first year as head coach.

Kareem Hunt: While Chubb (RB9) was a top-10 fantasy running back in 2020, so was Hunt (RB10). Outside of Week 16, Hunt had double-digit touches in all of his other 15 games. Playing in one of the league's most run-heavy offenses, there is enough to go around for both Chubb and Hunt to be drafted as viable starters in 12-team leagues.

WIDE RECEIVERS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Jarvis Landry71.9816.75.63.818.10.15153.93
Odell Beckham65826.85.92.512.50.08152.31
Rashard Higgins26.93632.600065.35
Donovan Peoples-Jones13201.71.400035.07
Anthony Schwartz6.11210.600018.75
KhaDarel Hodge0.910.10.10002.06

Jarvis Landry: While he has typically exceeded his preseason expectations, Landry finished 2020 as fantasy's WR36, identical to his final 2020 half-PPR ADP (via Fantasy Football Calculator). Landry set career lows in targets (101) and receptions (72) last season and his yards from scrimmage (850) and total touchdowns (four) were either the lowest or second-lowest of his career. Given that those numbers were mostly without Odell Beckham Jr. (torn ACL), it's unlikely that Landry outperforms last year's modest numbers (by much) in Cleveland's run-first offense.

Odell Beckham: While Beckham should be ready for the start of the 2021 season, he tore his ACL in Week 7 last year and has now missed at least four games in three of the past four seasons. Since becoming a Brown, Beckham has averaged 4.6 and 3.3 receptions per game in 2019 and 2020, respectively, both of which are the lowest per-game averages of his career. In addition, Beckham's per-game averages of 4.2/58.9/0.3 as a Brown are significantly lower compared to his per-game averages as a Giant (6.6/92.8/0.75).

Rashard Higgins: Higgins' 2020 averages of 46.1 yards per game, 11.5 yards per target and 16.2 yards per reception all set career highs. That said, Cleveland's run-heavy offense can barely support two fantasy-relevant wide receivers, let alone three, so Higgins will be off the fantasy radar in standard-sized leagues without an injury to OBJ and/or Landry.

TIGHT ENDS

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Austin Hooper52524.34.1000103.03
Harrison Bryant21.7242200047.05
David Njoku13161.31.400031.03
Stephen Carlson0.910.10.10002.06

Austin Hooper: While the team's overall passing volume is modest, Cleveland's passing offense is TE-friendly with 27.74% of 2020 targets going to the position.

Hooper, who has now missed three games in back-to-back seasons, underwhelmed in his first season in Cleveland. Hooper's 33.5 YPG and 9.5 Y/R were the second-lowest outside of his rookie season. Although Odell Beckham was sidelined with a torn ACL, Hooper was more productive down the stretch -- 25/211/3 on 40 targets over his final five games including the playoffs.

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