2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

by Jon Witt
2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings, post NFL draft update.

These rankings are based upon a PPR dynasty league format and could change based upon your league settings.

The top 55 offensive players (QB/RB/WR/TE) have been ranked in this article. There will be future articles that are more positional rankings driven, but for the purpose of this article, we ranked the rookies in one overall list.

The positional breakdown for the top 50 is as follows:

  • 9 QB
  • 17 RB
  • 21 WR
  • 7 TE

This is a very offensive-oriented draft that should yield plenty of fantasy potential.


Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco was aggressive in their move up to secure the rights to Lance. Shanahan sees something in Lance that made him want to go up and get him, so that makes me take notice.

It is still unknown whether Lance will start outright, or will sit a year behind Jimmy G, but I am still comfortable taking him as my QB2. He is super athletic and just as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm.

Lance will have plenty of weapons to help him succeed in San Fran. George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, Debo Samuel, Trey Sermon should all help make the transition to the NFL easier for Lance.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

The Bears stop the fall of Fields by trading up to get their future franchise quarterback.

With only Andy Dalton ahead of him, there is a real good chance that Fields could be the day one starter.

Given how much Fields used his legs at Ohio State, regardless of what Nagy puts around him in year one, he should be a fantasy contributor.

Running Backs

Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

Harris was not only my top-rated running back in this draft, but he is also my top pick in non-super flex rookie drafts going into the draft, and landing in Pittsburgh did nothing to change that.

With very little competition ahead of him, Narris will enter camp as the starter and has all the backing of a bell-cow back for the Steelers.

At 6’3” 230 LBS, there is not much Harris cannot do on the field and projects to be a prototypical lead back at the next level. During his senior season, Harris had a career-high in rushing yards (1,466), receptions (43), and rushing TDs (26).

Harris is the perfect combination of size and speed. His size allows him to barrel over would-be tacklers for the extra yards while his speed gives him that game-breaker potential every time he touches the ball.

What I like most about Harris is his natural ability to catch the ball. Almost doubling his receptions from his Junior to Senior year (27 to 43) is impressive.

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

There is a case for both Williams and Etienne to be the RB2 of the class, and both should be in the talks most of the season. The reason I put Williams slightly ahead, is I prefer the landing spot of Denver a little better.

Melvin Gordon is still in the backfield for Denver, but not only is he in the last year of his contract, but the rumors are already swirling of him being a possible June 1st cut.

His 5’10”, 225 lb frame makes him a power runner that is hard to bring down at the first level. He combines his athleticism with an aggressive approach every time he touches the ball, making him as dangerous as any runner in this draft.

Williams continues to rise up the draft boards, and with a good combine/pro day, it would not be a surprise to see him go early round two.

Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers

Similar to going up and getting Lance, Shanahan traded up for Sermon whose skill set fits his running scheme.

Sure the backfield is very crowded in San Fran, but Sermon's talents should be on full display during camp, allowing him to rise atop the depth chart.

Sermon's north/south running ability, paired with his patient vision makes him the perfect fit for San Fran.

Shanahan is no stranger to producing fantasy useful backs and it will not be long before Sermon is the next one up.

Wide Receivers

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

  • I did drop Bateman a bit because of his injury but he has been seen running again at practice. I still remain high on him and think he can lead the team in both targets and receptions.

Despite the narrative of Baltimore not having a passing attack, Bateman still ranks very high for me. Yes, his success rests squarely on the arm of Lamar Jackson, but Bateman is the most talent WR that Jackson has had to throw to.

Bateman runs crisps routes and has a great quick release off of the line. He can stretch the field with his downfield speed but he also possesses the ideal ball skills to win in the slot.

Whoever drafts Batman will and should line him up all over the field. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

The fit is ideal for Moore in Arizona for a few reasons. Moore can start right away in the slot, he has an established QB throwing to him and he has two vets in Hopkins and Green to learn from.

Moore is on the shorter side of most of the WRs in the draft (5’9”, 180 lbs), but he is a jack-of-trades type of receiver that pops on film.

He is a speedster who runs hard and has a sturdy frame for his size, making him tough to take down.

Moore can be a Swiss Army knife, do it all slot receiver at the next level, leaving no down he will have an impact at the next level.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

Sign me up for as many St. Brown shares as I can get my hands on.

With the deplete WR core in Detroit, as of this moment, it is safe to pencil St. Brown into the starting slot for the Lions.

St.Brown had his most successful season at USC when he operated out of the slot his sophomore season. He caught 77 balls for 1,042 yards and six touchdowns that year.

Outside of Hockenson, St.Brown is the best passing weapon that Jared Goff has to throw to. He has developed an early rapport with Goff, and should play the Cooper Kupp role in that offense.

Tight Ends

After Kyle Pitts, the TE position is a bit of a cluster, and many may not see huge production early on. Kyle Pitts has a good shot at leading the Falcons in touchdowns this year. Do not shy away from him this season.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Landed in a TE-friendly environment, but how much longer does Big Ben have.

Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans

The most athletic TE after Pitts, Jordan can make a push to start week one with a weak TE room around him. If he secures the job, he jumps way up the rankings, based solely on his athleticism.

Hunter Long, Miami Dolphins

Purely a dynasty stash as of right now Mike Giescki is not under contract after this season.

Quick Hitters:

Nico Collins - Houston Texans

Love what I am hearing out of camp. Has the chance to start day out opposite Brandin Cooks. It would not surprise me if he lead the Texans in receptions.

Jacob Harris - Los Angeles Rams

Freak of an athlete and has been showing off at camp. May only play in red zone packages and two tight end sets to start the season, but his long term dynasty appeal is on the rise.

Kylen Granson - Indianapolis Colts

Was a favorite of Carson Wentz before Wentz got hurt. The TE spot in Indy is up for grabs, and they run a lot of TE-heavy sets. Granson seems to be the most athletic pass catcher they have at the TE spot.

Rhamondre Stevenson - New England Patriots

I see a lot of LeGarrette Blount in him. The NE backfield is a bit of a mess, so take a wait-and-see approach, but he is worth a late-round gamble if you have a deep bench.

2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

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Keep an eye out for more Fantasy Football content from the Fantasy Six Pack team as the season approaches.

Check out the rest of our 2021 NFL Draft coverage.

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