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Updated 2021 dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings

With the 2020 CFB season in the books, here’s a look at our top dynasty devy prospects in our updated 2021 dynasty rookie rankings.

Updated 2021 dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings

2021 Dynasty Rookie Rankings | Second Round

11) Terrace Marshall Jr. (WR7 – LSU)

Terrace Marshall Jr. has terrific ball skills and ideal size (6’3″, 200 pounds) for the wide receiver position. He has the ability and frame to be a featured WR that can be moved around the offense to create mismatches.

Marshall will be his QB’s favorite target when things go south. He is one of the best WRs I have seen in recent years who both works back to the ball and improvises to aid his scrambling QB, leading to a few extra touchdowns over his career.

The shortened season saw him average over 100 receiving yards per game in his seven games. He hauled in double-digit touchdowns in back-to-back years despite constantly being the bridesmaid in the LSU offense. Marshall could be incredible in the 2021 dynasty rookie rankings.

12) Kenneth Gainwell (RB4 – Memphis)

The reason Antonio Gibson only had 33 carries at Memphis was not because of Tony Pollard or Darrell Henderson. It was because of Kenneth Gainwell. He is shifty with solid vision and as a receiver, he is by far the best in the class.

When you throw on his film, you are not watching Gainwell run just swings and Texas routes. He is split out wide and running curls, slants, and even comebacks. While not my comp, there is so much Alvin Kamara in his game. I hope he sees a similar workload too of 10-12 rushes per game with 5-7 targets. If this happens, you have a PPR monster on your dynasty team.

After rushing for almost 1,500 yards in 2019, Gainwell opted out of the 2020 season. He is the start of the next tier of running backs in my 2021 dynasty rookie rankings, but unfortunately, this is not a deep running back class. 

13) Trevor Lawrence (QB1 – Clemson)

In 1QB formats, quarterbacks end up going undervalued. However, we all know what a QB means for our fantasy teams. Trevor Lawrence is a Day 1 starter that can make every throw on the field with pinpoint accuracy and athletic ability to make the defense respect his feet.

The expectations are just as lofty even if that is slightly unfair. Recommending patience with a player being talked about with Andrew Luck seems a touch off, but there is a learning curve in the NFL.

Since 2010, 33 QBs have been selected inside the first round of the NFL Draft. Of those quarterbacks, only five ended their rookie season inside the top 12 and just seven were top 18. In dynasty, we need to maintain a long-term approach, and if he does struggle, do not panic sell.

14) Elijah Moore (WR8 – Ole Miss)

Admittedly, the debate between Moore and Wallace is one I will flip back and forth on for some time. Wallace is more of a “Z” receiver, while Moore will be a slot guy, and that’s perfect.

He is smaller than some (5’9″, 185 pounds) but was a consistent producer at Ole Miss. If he was flying under radars, that has quickly changed following his pro-day workout. He ran a blistering 4.32-second 40-yard dash and showed off his ridiculous change of pace by running the three-cone drill in 6.65 seconds. His throwing window is a bit of an issue (71 3/4), but I don’t expect to see any slot or nickel DBs being able to keep up with him anyway.

Elijah Moore wins at virtually every level of the field and especially off the line with lightning-quick footwork. He creates separation and is a good enough athlete to produce right away in the NFL. He finished second to DeVonta Smith in both receptions and yards in 2020 (86 for 1,193 yards) and was a 2020 AP First-Team All-American. 

15) Tylan Wallace (WR9 – Oklahoma State)

If you need a receiver in the 2021 dynasty rookie rankings to go up and win a 50/50 ball, you would be hard-pressed to find a better option than Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace.

The former four-star recruit ended his Cowboys’ career with 3,429 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns. An impressive feat given he missed most of 2019 and the team’s shaky-at-best QB play.

16) Jermar Jefferson (RB5 – Oregon State)

Jermar Jefferson will be the guy that will rise the most from now until the draft, and if he gets the required draft capital, it’s going to take a pick this high to secure him. 

Jefferson broke out as a freshman and continued to perform in all three seasons at Oregon State. He ended his career with 3,200 total scrimmage yards and 29 touchdowns. He is not a pass-catching back at all, but he makes up for it on the ground with phenomenal vision. Jefferson doesn’t dance around, but he shows patience before using his burst to run with low-4.5 speed.

17) Pat Freiermuth (TE2 – Penn State)

Pat Freiermuth is a well-rounded TE who can play both inline as well as the slot. While his route tree and athleticism are nowhere near Pitts’ level, he is still excellent. Pitts is just that much better than everyone else. 

Freiermuth hangs on when getting hit and will be a great option over the middle — particularly in the red zone with his 6’5″ frame. Walking away with Freiermuth at this point in the 2021 dynasty rookie rankings shouldn’t be felt like a compromise. 

18) Michael Carter (RB6 – UNC)

Although he is undersized (5’8″, 200 pounds), Michael Carter makes up for it by using his quick feet so well. A plus receiver, Carter knows how to play with pace, using a hesitation in his speed to then bust past a defense.

He is not a player who will run through a lot of tackles at the next level, but in the right scheme, could be dangerous. He is more quick than effusive, while we did see him make cuts on a regular basis, his feet would drastically slow down or come to a complete stop. Because of his burst and acceleration, Carter is able to get away with this.

When he picks a direction, he commits, good and bad. In truth, Carter will likely be a very annoying running back in fantasy as he vultures carries and work from your second-round stud RB. The RB6 is a very fluid spot for me in my rankings and once we have a landing spot, Trey Sermon or even Chuba Hubbard could take this spot. Carter just squeezes his way inside our top 20 dynasty rookie rankings for 2021.

19) Justin Fields (QB2 – Ohio State)

As much as I love Trey Lance, OSU QB Justin Fields is still my QB2 in the 2021 dynasty rookie rankings. Velocity is effortless to him. He can run through his progressions and has a howitzer on his arm. Fields executes the far-hash throws and finds sideline windows as well or better than anyone else in the class.

Fields and Lance are the best dual-threat QBs in the class, but they do it in different ways. Since 2018, 22 of the top 30 QBs in fantasy had at least 200 yards rushing each season, including nine of the top 10 in 2019 and eight in 2020. When targeting QBs in dynasty drafts, prioritize the higher floor from the rushing upside.

20) Dyami Brown (WR10 – UNC)

Is UNC’s Dyami Brown the best value in both the NFL and dynasty drafts? He is 6’0″, 195-pound impact receiver, who made his presence known on a rather loaded UNC offense. Making 13 starts in his sophomore year, Brown was a third-team All-ACC player with 51 receptions and 1,034 yards along with a school-record 12 touchdowns.

He led the ACC and was sixth amongst Power 5 schools. The production continued into the 2020 season, a first-team All-ACC and third-team All-American, Brown led the Tar Heels with 55 receptions, 1,099 yards (20 ypr), and 8 touchdowns in 11 starts.

His route tree has not fully developed, but he is far from a one-dimensional deep burner. Regardless of what some stats or sites will tell you, he did have his fair share of drops in contested catches, but this is not something that is exclusive to Dyami Brown.

He is fluid off the line and tracks the ball extremely well on deep catches. Across the middle, Brown shows solid contact balance and will not go down easily. This wide receiver class is loaded. Landing someone with Dyami Brown’s talent at this point in my 2021 dynasty rookie rankings exemplifies this point.

2021 Dynasty Rookie Rankings | Third and Fourth Rounds

Third Round

21) Trey Sermon (RB7 – Ohio State)
22) Kadarius Toney (WR11 – Florida)
23) Chuba Hubbard (RB8 – Oklahoma State)
24) Trey Lance (QB3 – North Dakota State)
25) Tamorrion Terry (WR12 – Florida State)
26) Seth Williams (WR13 – Auburn)
27) Brevin Jordan (TE3 – Miami FL)
28) Zach Wilson (QB4 – BYU)
29) Amari Rodgers (WR14 – Clemson)
30) D’Wayne Eskridge (WR15 – Western Michigan)

Fourth Round

31) Kylin Hill (RB9 – Mississippi State)
32) Shi Smith (WR16 – South Carolina)
33) Sage Surratt (WR17 – Wake Forrest)
34) Hunter Long (TE4 – Boston College)
35) Nico Collins (WR18 – Michigan)
36) Mac Jones (QB5 – Alabama)
37) Tutu Atwell (WR19 – Louisville)
38) Jaret Patterson (RB10 – Buffalo)
39) Jonathan Adams Jr. (WR20 – Arkansas State)
40) Jaelon Darden (WR21 – Texas State)

Fifth Round

41) Javian Hawkins (RB11 – Louisville)
42) Kenny Yeboah (TE5 – Ole Miss)
43) Anthony Schwartz (WR22 – Auburn)
44) Rhamondre Stevenson (RB12 – Oklahoma)
45) Cornell Powell (WR23 – Clemson)
46) Demetric Felton (RB13 – UCLA)
47) Simi Fehoko (WR24 – Stanford)
48) Tyler Vaughns (WR25 – USC)
49) Davis Mills (QB6 – Stanford)
50) Tommy Tremble (TE6 – Notre Dame)

Want more fantasy football analysis and news?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay current with all things around the NFL and the upcoming 2021 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for Pro Football Network covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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