Before I get into my top 5 players at each position, I do want to point out I will give out an updated list and probably add more players as the offseason goes on. Will do another list after training camp is over, and I will do my final list that has at least a top 15 at each position right after week 2 of preseason, since a lot of people like to do their drafts right around the preseason, hopefully as close to the season as possible so you dont get stuck in a situation with Andrew Luck as your QB1 just a week or two before he retires. I really love any feedback too, even if it's just saying your list sucks, i'm willing to talk through any and all of the players I have ranked here, or if you thought a player should've been talked about and wasn't I'm willing to talk through my process and why I did or didn't talk about a player.
Coming in at the number one spot in my rankings is no other than the best QB in all of football right now. He is coming back with a much better offensive line, the same core of weapons, minus Watkins, who is almost never on the field enough to count as a weapon. But he comes back with a dynamic top 3 in Hill, Kelce, and Clyde Edwards Helaire, he is going to come back and show everyone why he’s the best QB in fantasy. One of the rarest things to see in fantasy is a QB repeating at the number one spot, last year we saw Josh Allen at the top spot, so seeing that it probably won't be him and Mahomes coming off a down year, were we saw him hurt briefly should bounce back to have the number one spot once again.
2. Kyler Murray
It's not too often we see that many repeat guys in the top 3, but I have Kyler coming in at the number two spot in fantasy for back to back years. These young mobile QBs really have redefined the measure of a top fantasy QB, with 8 of the top 10 fantasy options last year being mobile QBs. Kyler Murray is another perfect example, he might not have the arm strength of a Mahomes or Allen, and he might not be as big. But he makes up for that with a deadly accurate arm, being super quick and avoids taking big hits. He was number 2 last year, he has the potential to be number one this year and I have him getting pretty close. The addition of another weapon in Rondale Moore from the draft does add another exciting option to this offense with his ability to take any pass to the house, if he’s able to stay healthy in this offense he could be another reason Murray takes another step.
I have had trouble figuring out the rest of these guys but the draft has certainly helped clear things up for now. After adding Villanueva to the offensive line, adding another big guy in Ben Cleveland to the OL and two bigger wide receivers in the draft in Batemon, and Wallace. This team should have a more spread open offense with the two rookies, Watkins, M.Brown and Andrews out there and Dobbins in the backfield Lamar shouldn’t see nearly as many stacked boxes against him. I think that rushing upside we saw two years ago comes back, and hopefully another off-season of working on the passing opens up his game even more. I think people have forgotten that this guy just two years ago had arguably the best fantasy season ever by a QB, now he had a off year last year but I think we get closer to that number one season than the top 10 season he had this past year.
4. Josh Allen
Someone who was the best fantasy QBs in the league in 2020, and definitely won people some weeks and leagues last year. Now while I love Josh Allen, I do think he will have some regression this year, he scored a bunch of TDs and probably hit his ceiling as a fantasy quarterback probably. But that does not mean he won't still be one of the five best at his position this year too. He still has plenty of weapons on offense, no real RB yet to steal a bunch of his rushing TDs, we could still see Zac Moss take over this backfield, I loved his tape coming out last year and am happy he gets another shot at top back. Allen may have hit his fantasy ceiling last but doesn't mean he can't be a consistent high end QB for fantasy for the years to come. I have him going around the same rounds as Murray and Jackson in redraft leagues, and he has the same upside as both of them, any of them could be the number one QB in fantasy.
5. Dak Prescott
Now with Dak Prescott he is a tough guy to rank, he suffered a major injury but before he got hurt he was on pace to be a top 3 fantasy QB. The injury does worry me, but the offense he is one doesn’t one bit. The offense is still all together and if he plays 17 games this season he could easily jump in the top 3. Coming back from that kind of injury could lead to a slow start and less designed rushing plays for him. A slow start is the main reason for having him at 5, once the schedule is released we will know a lot more about his early season schedule and just how long it might take for him to get in a rhythm. But I do think even without the rushing he could do just as much damage for fantasy from the pocket. I still think we see a good amount of rushing TDs from inside the 5, he gets Jarwin back, has his big 3 in Lamb, Gallup and Cooper and gets some offensive lineman back that were hurt last year too. I see Dak having a bounce back season and might not pick up right where he left off before the injury, but I think he eventually gets there.
I've been really back and forth between Russ and Dak, with Dak coming off a major injury and Russ coming off a season where the first half had him a lock for MVP and a 2nd half that people putting out a missing persons report for him. He has the same weapons as last year and he is still one of the 3 best QBs in the game of football, he just might not be a top 5 fantasy QB. Pete Carrol and the new OC are never looking to let Russ cook for a full season, and that’s what keeps him from my top 5 here. I’ve seen Dallas let Dak have full control of this offense and he was the number 2 QB in fantasy in 2019 and was on his way there in 2020 before the injury. I just like that trend and the odds of Dak having a bigger season for that reason.
Another easy start at the top here, while having an injury plagued season last year, he wasn't able to finish as the top RB, but with a QB that can throw downfield, these defenses can't crowd the line of scrimmage. Hopefully a Sam Darnold breakout away from the curse that is Adam Gase can even help increase Mccaffrey's output this year. The rushing and pass catching ability are both A+ parts of his game. Now while they did add Chubba Hubard in the draft, he won’t be as good as Mike Davis last year and we should see the bounce back in McCaffery in a year, also the loss of C.Samuel, should keep the back up WR out of the backfield. Not much else has to be said about this man, just if you have the number one pick in your draft or have him as a keeper in keeper leagues congrats and enjoy the season with him as you're RB1.
Let's start off by saying this man is an absolute beast, if you've never seen this man's workout videos, he's gonna have you wanting to draft him number one overall after you watch them. But top 3 Running back for 3 straight years? I think so, he hasn't finished worse than 3 in 2 years with Tannehill as his QB. Which is crazy in it’s own sense, he might not have as many touchdowns this year since it is tough to get 15+ TDs in 3 straight years, but with basically no weapons on offense other than him and A.J Brown, he should be the most involved he has ever been in this passing game. I know the Titans say every year they’re going to involve him more and never do but this year they might have no choice but to pass to him. Usually we see running backs start to take a dip in their ability and numbers as they get older, unless you are a freak of nature, he's built like a mac truck, I see him having a longer prime, like another freak of nature in Adrian Peterson. In dynasty it might be time to sell here soon, but in redraft leagues I see him having one or two more massive seasons for the Titans.
3. Dalvin Cook
One of the best RBs in fantasy last year, he can break away any run for a touchdown and did a lot of times last year, 16 to be exact. Now while I do think there will be regression in the TD department, he is still in a good run first offense that should be running a lot more now with a much improved defense from last year. With a decent offensive line still and his ability, as long as he is healthy he’s gonna have a chance to be the best running back each week. But that is the biggest if, he had his healthiest season yet these last two years and he played in 14 games in both of them. Now we add another game to the NFL season, and we have seen what happens to RBs who are already fragile that come off years with big workloads. I still have him at number 3 due to talent and opportunity alone, and like all RBs any of them can get hurt at any sec, it’s just the hazard of the job. He is just a little more likely coming off an injury in every year he has been in the league, he is one of the highest risk/reward guys in the first round of fantasy drafts.
4. Alvin Kamara
Kamara is by far one of the hardest players to rank in this top RB tier, with Brees gone and a QB competition ensuing between Hill and Winston, there is just a lot of uncertainty with this offense right now. Kamara’s ranking will by far change the most this offseason as more information becomes available. Right now it is definitely tough to tell if he will continue to get his 100+ targets and the goalline attempts like he has been. The starting QB will help solidify this ranking a lot more, but right now I’d still feel comfortable drafting him in the top ten and rolling him out as my RB1. We still have Sean Payton as the head coach and he knows how important Kamara is to this offenses success, he might not have Brees anymore, he might not get as many catches but he was number one in fantasy last year whether it was ppr, half-ppr or even standard if people still play those leagues. After the QB competition is over he probably won't move up in my rankings from here. But he could definitely move around more as the offseason goes on, and more information about Payton’s plans for this offense becomes available.
Everyone was hyping Taylor coming into last year’s fantasy drafts, especially after seeing how giant he looked in training camp. It took him a while to get hot but in the 2nd half of the season he went scorched earth and actually finished the year as a top 10 RB in Half-PPR. Now a lot of people are wondering if he is going to get the passing work again with check- down Rivers now retired or if Mack is going to get more work now coming off injury. I’m here to say no, in Wentz’s last year with Reich as his coach they gave their RBs over a combined 100 targets and 70+ receptions. Frank Reich is a really smart coach too, after seeing what happened when they gave Taylor the full time role and his improvement in the passing game as a receiver and pass blocker, they should not hesitate to give him that role for this entire year. Especially when he has had a full year in the offense and a full offseason this year, I see big things happening with JTT this year. Running backs are there best early in their careers now, I see 300+ touches for Taylor, and probably 50+ receptions.
Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott
Well, with the Aaron Jones pick here we got a couple that just missed the cut, and by just missed I mean I’ve been going back and forth between this group of three guys, Aaron Jones, Saquan Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliot. Jones ended up being the pick due to his durability and big play ability, Saquan coming off a major injury, Elliot coming off a season where he was just an average runner and showed some signs of slowing down. Now I think Elliots demise is a little over-stated, but he is coming off his worst season since his sophomore year when he only played ten games. He will be grabbed as a discount this year and I do like him for a comeback season, just not one where he’s better than Jones or Barkley. Saqaun was someone I’ve struggled with a lot this offseason, coming off of a major injury and I’m just not ready to slot him back in the top 5 like a lot of people.
1. Tyreek Hill
I had him at one in my pre-draft rankings before the Rodger’s news even dropped, and I thought I was being bold with that statement. But with the news Rodger’s wants out, and that he’s been telling teammates he is not coming back to play for the Packers this year. That has me keeping Hill on top of my WR rankings, Mahomes coming back being more protected and giving him more time to throw downfield to Hill and no more Watkins so that should mean more targets for Hill. It’s hard to bet against the top offense in football, with a super creative QB and play caller, this offense is just getting started. Now like some of the other receivers in my top 5, Hill has a big boom to average by the game log, he does stay up around 10-12 ppr points on his off games and that’s definitely not what you want, his boom weeks can win you that matchup, like when he went off against Tampa last year.
This was going to be my only tie in the rankings and that was purely about the unknown that comes with this Rodgers drama. But no one likes ties, especially in the NFL, so I won't have any here either. Adam’s unlike Jones is the one that is the most directly affected by a trade of #12, Jones would still get a massive workload, maybe more of a workload if Rodger’s gets traded. But right now Rodger’s is still on the roster and with the chemistry these two have, the only way he doesn't have a top 3 season is if he can’t stay healthy. All the news I’ve been seeing out of Rodgers' closest friends have said the situation is fixable between him and the Packers, and these last couple days we’ve seen contract extension talks between him and the Packers have started to get going again.
3. Stefon Diggs
Originally this spot was for Davante Adams, but with the Rodgers news as discussed in the Hill post he is slipping down this board. Stefon Diggs gets another year and offseason with Josh Allen, they were clicking all of last year together and they could have an even bigger year this year together. Hill had some really big weeks last year but due to Josh Allen still being a little inconsistent as a passer, Diggs also had weeks where he disappeared last year as well. But he is one of the best wide receivers in the league, in an offense that still doesn't have a bell cow back on the squad so they will still be passing a ton. That means big thing for Diggs this year, he was number 3 last year in half-ppr and he could be an even better player this season. He was by far Josh Allens favorite target last year and they have been building a great chemistry, the only thing keeping him below Adams and Hill is that with no real run game still teams will be able to really just lock onto Diggs and throw that double team at him, and his QB doesnt have the ball placement that Mahomes or Rodger's has.
4. A.J. Brown
I had this guy on a couple of squads last year and he didn't disappoint, but if we thought he was a beast last year, just wait in till this season. The pass catching options in this offense are him, Anthony Firkser and Henry who is going to get a boost in targets, just like Firkser will. But A.J. Brown could breakout this year and take the league by storm even more than he already has, he is going to get a massive target share, in a play-action offense that Brown thrives in. We could see him take over as the number one receiver in all of fantasy, his upside is huge and the floor is pretty high up there. I preach talent and opportunity to make a fantasy star, there are not too many more guys with more talent or targets coming in 2021. He has all the looks of a number one fantasy wide reciever, and I think that year is this year, we've seen a different player take the number one receiver in all of fantasy spot every year for the last 5 years, Now it could be Diggs, but I just think Browns ability to take any play to the house with his break-away speed, that strength for him to just stiff arm defensive backs like his team Henry.
He is one of the most consistent receivers in fantasy history right there with Fitzgerald especially with the QB play he has dealt with in the early part of his career. This spread out offense actually got worse at RB somehow this year and it looks like they are going to be throwing the ball more and more, and with a full offseason with Murray and Hopkins together they should be even more in sync this year. Plus with more good receivers on the field that is less guys they can throw at the Hopkins double team. With a better offense this year we should see more touchdowns from Hopkins and in full PPR leagues he could be even higher, but in a half PPR league he is going to be a very consistent top 5 receiver in fantasy. If you don't want to take a big risk with your first round pick after an injury riddled first two rounds last year, this guy suits up every week, plays through injuries and just goes out there and balls out. He might not give those high end weeks where he wins your teams matchup but he will never lose you a matchup.
Keenan Allen was amazing at the end of the year, a full offseason with Herbert and no more Hunter Henry, that means more targets and better chemistry this season. I still need to do all the projections so a lot of these are based on thought and situation, so they should be pretty close still after projections, Allen is definitely one of those guys that could fluctuate a couple spots in my rankings. But right now he is in line for a massive target share, with a really good young QB that loves to throw the ball around and his QB now has a much improved offensive line. The chargers are right up there with the chiefs as most improved o-lines this offseason. So while he just misses my top 5, I have him right there with Hopkins, they’re both the same kind of player, a possession guy, that will get a ton of targets, and play in most of their games. Lately Allen has been very reliable these last couple years contrary to popular belief.
I wasn’t going to have multiple “Just Missed” players for wide receiver, but I had Ridley 7 on my board, and with the Julio Jones news (That he’s “Out of there”) breaking on FS1’s undisputed, get ready for Calvin Ridley season, with no Julio, his target share is going to be even more massive than it already was. Now of course a big chunk of those Julio targets are going to go to Kyle Pitts too, but with no Julio, Ridley could have an even better season this year, than last when he finished as a top 5 fantasy wide receiver. Ridley has been one of my favorite wide receivers to watch in the league with his super smooth route running and just his ability to always get wide open. So we should be looking at a Davante Adams like target share this year, and while it’s not AAron Rodgers throwing to him, it is still a borderline HOF in Matt Ryan.
1. Travis Kelce
A stunning turn of events, Travis Kelce is my number one Tight End in these way too early rankings. He is one of the most consistent players in fantasy from year to year and someone you can consistently count on week to week to be in the top 3 of players at his position. Playing on one of the best offenses with an amazing offensive minded head coach and the best QB in the league right now, there is not much else I have to say, but this guy might deserve to be the first pass catcher drafted in fantasy drafts this year. I think he deserves to be drafted in the first round, then I would try to get a good running back in the 2nd since the draft is so deep at wide receiver, and you can get some really good ones in the in the 3rd round and later.
I know a lot of people are putting Darren Waller as the 2nd tight end in most of their rankings but I think people are forgetting about Kittle almost, he only played in 8 games last year and was probably only fully healthy in a handful if any. Before last year there were discussions of him being the first tight end off the board. He is going to be back and healthy this season, injuries are the only thing that can stand in this man’s way from making a comeback into the top 3 of fantasy tight ends. Since most the top player makers on the 49ers are coming off of injuries last year, that goes for the whole team whether that was Mostert, Deebo, or Jimmy G. This offense under Shanahan wants to run the ball and throw the ball to the tight end, Kittle is one of the toughest tight ends to tackle with the ball in his hand, this is going to be a bounce back year for the 49ers as a whole. I'd say back end of the 2nd round, early 3rd round is a good spot to go after the tight end.
The man that goes by many nicknames and with two straight top 3 fantasy finishes I have him projected for a third straight one coming this season. He has all the traits of a guy that can be a number one tight end in fantasy, being 6’5 and being able to run as fast as he can after the catch, it’s tough to keep him behind Kittle but it takes a while to earn that trust from a tight end, when there are so few consistent options year to year. I do believe this will be the year that Waller shows us that he deserves our trust, he has a QB throwing to him that I like too, people talk way too much shit about Derek Carr, he is a top 15 quaterback in this league, might not be top 15 in fantasy, but as a real life QB he is. Love this guy, and his comeback story to even get back in the league, let alone be one of the 3 best tight ends in the league right now. He is a beast, and could very well switch spots with Kittle this year. I would be comfortable drafting him in right around the same range as Kittle, probably a 3rd round pick would be a good value.
Young breakouts coming up next, I know Jared Goff isn’t everyone's favorite QB, but in his time in LA he did like to target his tight ends in Higbee and Everett, and when he had protection he was a very capable quarterback. With a decent O-Line with Decker and Ragnow still there both very good and getting the best tackle in the draft with Sewell only bolsters it more. He finished 4th last year and he has the talent to finish better this year, it just comes down to whether or not he gets enough opportunity too. But he is as talented as anyone at the position, and if he gets a full 16 as the number one option he could easily get the targets in and out of the redzone to be top 3. He does need to have solved his drop issues by the time the season starts, he has to gain the trust of a brand new QB in Goff this year, but I beleive his talent and opportunity will lead him to another top 5 tight end finish in Fantasy. He would be a great pick around the 6th or 7th round, ince there is still quite a drop off after the top 3 guys.
5. Mark Andrews
He is the definition of a boom or bust player, last year he had a handful of 20+ point fantasy games and a handful of games where he scored less than 5 fantasy points. He is not overly athletic and he plays in a run-first offense that just added more offensive weapons through the draft and guys that can score in the red zone. Mark Andrews has been a very touchdown dependent in his career for his fantasy success, and we all know regression comes for everyone when they start relying on touchdowns. I’m projecting the ravens to get back to pounding the rock and scoring more rushing touchdowns in the red zone with Lamar and Dobbins, plus with the additions of Watkins and Batemon I don't think Andrews gets as many red zone targets this year. But with all that said he has been durable, reliable and doesnt drop many balls. While his touchdowns might go down, he might get more open looks in the middle of the field with more weapons out there.
Kyle Pitts coming into the draft was seen as a generational can't miss prospect. He went to a team that loves to throw the ball around, a team that has talent around him so he won't be getting the number one cornerback treatment from other teams when they have to worry about Ridley. Getting Aurther Smith as the head coach and play caller is an even bigger positive, he loves his tight ends and with his talent all he needs is the opportunity. I know Hayden Hurst is still there and while he may take some targets away from Pitts I don't think he takes enough away. There are also those Julio Jones rumors out there about him getting traded and right now the odds are right at 99% he gets moved, the Falcons desperately need cap space and Julio wants out, he has basically demanded a trade out of there as discussed in the Calvin Ridley post. So talent and opportunity are both there and while his ADP is going to sky-rocket to high for me to get him in really any re-draft leagues, he is going to have the best rookie season by a tight end ever this year.
This is my guy this year, as long as him and that tight end loving quarterback both stay healthy watch out for this guy. They should finally have an offense that can stand out, Washington did not have an offense that could go downfield at all last year. Fitzpatrick should be the starting QB for the entire season with no one really behind him, and Fitzpatrick has loved to target tight ends throughout his career and in a Ron Rivera offense that has shown big tight end seasons for Greg Olsen as the most recent example. This guy is a strong 6’6 that can move down field, he could be looking at a Waller like breakout season. Now while he is right there and I debated putting him and Pitts both as th 5 over Andrews, but for right now they both just miss the cut. But who knows once training camps finish up and we start getting closer to the pre-season these guys spots could change for sure.
If you have any questions for me or if you want to discuss this at all, my DMs are always open give me a follow and HMU.
Written By: Zachary Dennison
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