Fantasy Sports

Top Fantasy Football Picks in 2021

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The NFL season is nearly upon us and it can’t come soon enough. Seven months without the greatest game on earth is cruel and unusual punishment but we have made it through the wilderness and have, at last, found our sports nirvana in our midst. But what makes watching the NFL even better is having a vested interest in the form of daily or season-long fantasy football teams. Let’s check out some of the sure things and a few sleepers along the way.

Top Guns

  1. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) – When it comes to quarterbacks, Mahomes is the Maverick of all the top guns in the league. His projections in 2021 are as follows: 414/629 for 4922 yards with 36 passing and 10 rushing touchdowns. He’s got more weapons than a Swiss army knife and should be the top QB on any team if you can get him.
  2. Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals) – The 24-year-old gunslinger will thrive this season in the desert with the immaculate DeAndre Hopkins catching leather from the kid. They have had one year to get to know each other but this year will be sensational. And by the way, J. Green is not a bad No. 2 target, wouldn’t you say?!
  3. Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills) – The former seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft came alive when the Bills acquired Stefon Diggs but our biggest concern with Allen being so highly touted is that his No. 2 wideout on the depth chart is Emmanuel Sanders. Don’t you think the defensive coordinators around the league will be blanketing Diggs like white on rice? If so, Allen’s stock plummets and maybe he grows too content after the mega-contract he signed in the offseason.

Top Tailbacks

  1. Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers) – This is the first overall pick in an overwhelming percentage of the season-long drafts and the highest salary player on the DFF side of things. The former Stanford standout was an absolute steal for the Panthers at No. 8 overall in the 2017 draft. But unfortunately, they can’t seem to put enough talent around him to make the team competitive. Even the best online sportsbooks are dealing fantasy football props and McCaffrey is always included in those. Barring injury, he’s tops at the tailback position.
  2. Saquon Barkley (New York Giants) – Many will take a pass on Barkley in the first round because he was sidelined with injuries last year. But if his rookie season is any indicator then he will be due for another breakout year after getting a clean bill of health. Don’t pass on this guy.
  3. Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) – If you look at Kamara’s numbers over the last several years then you already know he is one of the most highly used and consistent running backs in the game. The only possible downturn will be a new quarterback replacing the incomparable Drew Brees. This could result in him not getting as many passing yards and receptions (important if you are in a PPR league) as before. But we’d take a chance!

Top Wide Receivers

  1. Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers) – Adams was the top point-getter at his position and he did it while missing 2 ½ games last season. Aaron Rodgers can’t get enough Davante Adams as evidenced by his being targeted nine times or more in 14 of his 15 games last season. Rodgers is back in the ring to take another swing at a Super Bowl title and Adams will be an enormous part of the Packers’ success if he even gets close.
  2. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) – Like teammate Travis Kelce (see below), Hill has the luxury of a dynamic passer targeting him early and often. Getting looks from your quarterback is one thing, but cruising past defensive backs and getting open is another issue entirely but one that Tyreek Hill does with aplomb. Don’t miss him if you can get him.
  3. DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona Cardinals) – It didn’t take long for Kyler Murray to get used to his shiniest new toy, DeAndre Hopkins after he was dealt from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals for the corpse of David Johnson. In his first season in the desert, Hopkins dropped his fourth consecutive top-five WR fantasy season and finished second among wideouts in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. This will be the dynamic duo’s second season together and they’re just getting started.

Top Tight Ends

  1. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) – This could be the last year that Kelce holds the top spot in this category. After all, professional athletes north of 30 aren’t built to last and Kelce will be 32 in October. Nevertheless, he has the most lethal quarterback launching lasers in impossibly tight windows which has benefitted not only Kelce but all the Chiefs’ receivers. One more year of uber-production out of Kelce and then look elsewhere.
  2. George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers) – Kittle has taken his place amongst the best tight ends in the game and at age 27 is entering the prime of his career. If Jimmy Garoppolo can stay healthy then it could be a career-best for the talented receiver out of Iowa.
  3. Kyle Pitts (Atlanta Falcons) – At 6’6” and 245 pounds, Pitts is an athletic freak and although he is untested at the NFL level, the Falcons had enough confidence to select him with the fourth overall pick in April’s draft. He is one of the highest-rated tight end prospects in NFL history and should pile up the stats with the veteran, Matt Ryan, connecting early and often.

About Andy Stitzer

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