September 19, 2021

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Fantasy Football Rankings 2021: Sleepers, breakouts, busts from same model that nailed Allen’s big year

5 min read

Aaron Rodgers was a winner earlier this month when he teamed with Bryson DeChambeau to defeat Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson in “The Match,” a made-for-TV golf event. Anyone hoping Rodgers would spill the beans on his 2021 plans were left wanting. Rodgers was asked on air if he played to return to the Green Bay Packers, but he deferred by saying, “I’m just having a good time out here with Tom. I’m trying to talk to him about if he’s going to keep playing or not.” Rodgers playing coy is consistent with his offseason silence surrounding his displeasure with Green Bay’s management, so how should you approach him in your 2021 Fantasy football rankings?

Should you draft Rodgers, hoping he returns to Green Bay or forces a trade, or should you ignore a three-time MVP with the expectation that he sits out the entire season? The Packers’ quarterback situation is only one of several offseason storylines that have an impact on the Fantasy football rankings 2021. Before setting your 2021 Fantasy football draft strategy, be sure to check out the 2021 Fantasy football cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last year, the model accurately predicted that Bills quarterback Josh Allen was being drastically undervalued. His Fantasy football ADP was barely in the top 70, but the model pegged him as a top-five Fantasy quarterback, a QB1 who would finish well ahead of players like Kyler Murray, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Allen ended up being the No. 2-scoring Fantasy QB, outscoring all three of those other quarterbacks and even surpassing Patrick Mahomes. Fantasy players who followed SportsLine’s advice reaped plenty of value with that pick. 

The same model has a proven track record providing Fantasy football tips, also identifying A.J. Brown as another sleeper in 2020 and players like Devin Singletary and JuJu Smith-Schuster as busts last season. Additionally, it’s called past Fantasy football sleepers like Derrick Henry in 2019, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2018, and Davante Adams in 2017. Anybody who banked on players like those made a run at their league title.

The model is powered by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy sites, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you’re always getting the best Fantasy football advice.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy football rankings 2021, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them. 

Top 2021 Fantasy football sleepers 

One of the 2021 Fantasy football sleepers the model is predicting: Broncos running back Melvin Gordon. The 28-year-old veteran flew under the radar in his first season in Denver, rushing for 986 yards and nine touchdowns. He also finished last season with 32 receptions for 158 yards and another score. Gordon produced those numbers while splitting work with Phillip Lindsay, who is now a member of the Houston Texans.

Gordon has scored at least nine touchdowns and averaged at least 75 total yards per game in each of his past five seasons. Gordon will likely enter the 2021 season atop Denver’s running back depth chart, but owners are sleeping on him again. In fact, Gordon currently has a 2021 Fantasy football ADP of 76.77. However SportsLine’s model says Gordon will outperform fellow running backs like Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and Mike Davis, all of whom are being drafted before Gordon. 

Top 2021 Fantasy football breakouts 

The model is also projecting Jaguars running back Travis Etienne as one of its top 2021 Fantasy Football breakouts. Jacksonville spent the No. 25 pick in the NFL Draft to reunite Etienne with college quarterback Trevor Lawrence, whom the Jaguars selected with the No. 1 overall pick. Their familiarity has even led Urban Meyer to express a desire to play Etienne on the outside at wide receiver this season.

After catching just 12 passes for 78 yards while rushing for 1,658 yards as a sophomore, Etienne made a concerted effort to improve as a receiver and caught 85 passes for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns in his final two seasons at Clemson while also rushing for 2,528 yards and 33 more scores. Etienne’s burst should be used in a variety of ways in Meyer’s offense, a big reason why the model ranks him ahead of third-round picks like J.K. Dobbins despite the fact that he’s been available in the fifth round.

Top 2021 Fantasy football busts 

As for players to avoid, the model lists Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert as one of its top 2021 Fantasy football busts. The former South Dakota State product caught 46 passes for 524 yards and three touchdowns in 2020. He missed five games with a small fracture in his ankle.

Splitting time is never optimal for a tight end, and the Eagles still have veteran Zach Ertz for his ninth season in the City of Brotherly Love. Ertz could be destined for a trade before the NFL season officially begins, but if he remains in Eagles green, it will spell greatly reduced reps for Goedert. SportsLine’s model ranks Goedert below tight ends like Jared Cook, Robert Tonyan and Tyler Higbee.

How to find proven 2021 Fantasy football football rankings

SportsLine is also extremely high on a surprising quarterback you aren’t even thinking about being drafted in the middle rounds of 2021 Fantasy football drafts. This quarterback is listed as a shocking top-five option ahead of superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. You can only see who it is, and the 2020 Fantasy football rankings for every player, at SportsLine.

So which 2021 Fantasy Football sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get 2021 Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen’s huge season, and find out.

CBS Sports Staff
2021-07-22 13:01:47

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