2021 Fantasy Football Players to Fade

by Joe Bond
2021 Fantasy Football Players to Fade

Welcome to my 2021 Fantasy Football Players to Fade.

So we are nearing the season and drafts are in full swing, or about to be. Rankings and ADP are fairly set and they help a lot when determining who to draft and when.

However, they are not a bible and never should be used as that.

I firmly believe there are always players being overhyped and therefore overdrafted. There are many reasons for this.

  • New team
  • Injured player at same position
  • Finished previous season strong
  • and more

I'm here to give you my top-10 players I'm fading at their current ADP.

*ADP numbers come from FantasyPros using their half-PPR scoring.

2021 Fantasy Football Players to Fade

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Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

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Look I get it, Taylor had an amazing final five weeks of the season in 2020. He finished as the RB1 for those weeks in half-PPR leagues.

I like JT, but I have a few concerns with him.

First off, his stats were off the charts good for those weeks. He averaged 130 yards a week, boosted by a 253 yard game against the Jags in Week 17. Taylor also averaged 1.4 touchdowns a week during that stretch. Something that is not repeatable.

Another concern is the lack of involvement in the passing game. Most of us play in half or full PPR leagues. Even in the weeks where we saw JT go off he only caught a couple of passes a game.

The last one is this is a shared backfield for sure. Not only is there Nyheim Hines, but Marlon Mack is returning. Mack isn't going to take over for JT, but he is going to take carries away. That matters for me when you're talking about a back going early in the drafts. I might be wrong, but I'm not going to risk it.

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

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I really want Dobbins to be a stud. I'm just not sure he is on the team to make it happen.

This one is easy. He is going to struggle with touches between Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards.

I know he averaged six yards per carry, but that is not realistic to expect. Even if he does, I don't think the workload is going to be enough to warrant a second-round pick, which is what he will cost you. The inconsistency for me is enough to pass.

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

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This one was tough to add to the list. I'm a huge Miles Sanders fan but the situation in Philly is not great.

The team was bad last year and probably not getting any better. They now have a QB who likes to run too in Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles also like to use multiple running backs and this year won't be any different. Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Corey Clement. All of these guys take away from Sanders.

Despite Sanders being a very talented player, his team situation and also injury risk makes me want to pass.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

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Another hard one to include on this list since I was a believer from day one of his career. I'll eat crow though.

It is hard to buy in on Jacobs since they seemed dead set on finding a way to not give him the ball last season. All that, despite a mediocre cast behind him of Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard.

Jacobs was very inconsistent last year even though he scored 12 touchdowns. Those 12 were scored in seven different games and the games he didn't score he was not very good since he doesn't catch the ball.

This year, the Raiders brought in a very capable back in Kenyan Drake. I don't expect Drake to take over, but he will do more than Booker and Richard did combined.

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

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I have no doubts about Michael Thomas's talent. He has been one of the best WR when healthy the last few seasons. However, I do have major issues with this season that makes me want to fade him despite his discounted ADP.

The first one is his injury history and the injury he is dealing with currently. He missed most of last year with a high ankle sprain and a hamstring injury.

Then this year he is got surgery late on that same ankle. Had he gotten it earlier he would have been able to start the season on time. Instead, he delayed it and now will miss time. How much is to be determined.

He also seems very reluctant to play for the Saints this year thanks to a poor relationship with the coaching staff apparently. Perhaps part of the reason for the delayed surgery.

On top of that, you have to add that he won't have Drew Brees as his quarterback. Instead, he will have a mix of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.

Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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This one is going to be short.

I can't trust any Tampa running backs. I know people are looking at the season that RoJo had and expecting him to be the guy, but don't be fooled.

First off, RoJo and Leonard Fournette shared the snaps last year at around 47% each. Then when it counted, Fournette took over.

In the playoffs Fournette dominated. Not only did he lead in yards and catches, but he caught 18 passes compared to RoJo's zero.

Mix in the fact that the Bucs brought in Gio Bernard to help with pass-catching out of the backfield this season and I'm off all of these backs.

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

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I love Kittle's talent and actually have him in a dynasty team. When he is on the field Kittle is a monster and most likely the favorite target for the 49ers quarterback.

I have three issues with Kittle that make me want to pass on Kittle this season.

One is he plays very physical and that's why he gets injured and misses games. That isn't likely to change.

Two is he now had to play with both Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Both are very talented and will take away from the high target share that Kittle was getting.

The third is the quarterback. Jimmy Garroppolo is not elite and I'm not sure he can carry multiple targets. So even Jimmy G is the quarterback it's not a guarantee he is going to be a target hog like before.

If the 49ers move to Trey Lance, I'm even less confident in Kittle. I think Lance does take over eventually and his rushing ability alone will take away from all three options I mentioned.

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

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Chase is a fantastic talent and I have no doubt he will become a great NFL receiver. However, this season I'm a bit reluctant.

The first reason is he joining a stacked WR corp with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.

The second is he is coming off a full year away from football thanks to taking the 2020 season off due to COVID.

Third, which relates to the second, I believe, he is dropping passes in practice. Maybe he gets past this but this stinks of Jerry Jeudy all over again.

I get that we had a lot of rookie WR perform well last year, Higgins included, but since Chase hasn't played in a full season I'm a bit worried.

Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams

With the Cam Akers injury, Henderson jumped up in ADP and ranking. Understandably so.

I personally don't think the coaching staff believes in Henderson to make him an RB2. Even in a season where Todd Gurley was bad, Henderson was not relied upon as a trusted back. He only carried the ball 39 times, playing behind Malcolm Brown as well.

Even last season when he was handed the job early on, he didn't run away with it. This allowed Cam Akers to take over late.

Of course, we all know Akers is injured now so Henderson is expected to be the guy, but I'm not so sure. Considering his body of work, I think we get more Xavier Jones and even Jake Funk now Sony Michel more than those who draft them would like.

I think Henderson is going to be more of a FLEX play than an RB2 most weeks, unfortunately.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

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I'll admit right away this one was supposed to be James Robinson, but with the Travis Etienne injury that is clearly off the table.

I'll go to kind of an obvious one or at least it should be in my opinion, with Dak.

He has all the talent and weapons to produce as a top quarterback as we saw last season before the injury. However. I just can't do it with Dak this season despite all that.

Not only is he coming back from the awful ankle injury last season, but he has also been dealing with a shoulder strain all camp. It has limited him in camp and there are some that believe he won't be 100% all season.

I just can't spend the draft capital on Dak that I will have to at this point with all those question marks.


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