Fantasy Football Predictions 2021: Derrick Henry or Alvin Kamara in PPR?

    Known to dominate non-PPR fantasy football formats, will Derrick Henry outscore Alvin Kamara in PPR formats in these 2021 predictions?

    With the preseason underway, football season is officially here, which also means it’s time for some fantasy football predictions. This time of year is filled with hope and anticipation. It’s also a great time to start looking into the crystal ball and see what we think will happen with some specific situations.

    Fantasy football predictions for 2021

    I’m going to look at three fantasy football predictions that I have for the 2021 season. They start pretty mildly, but they definitely get hotter as we go along. The best part about predicting the future is when you get things correct, right? So let’s get into it!

    Prediction #1: Joe Burrow finishes as a top-12 fantasy QB

    First on my list of fantasy football predictions involves one of my favorite players on my favorite team: Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow.

    Burrow’s 2020 season ended abruptly when he tore his ACL in Week 11. From that moment on, all eyes were on the offensive line and how bad it was. There was so much attention given to it that it wound up being a draft debate in April.

    With the fifth overall pick, the Bengals selected a wide receiver instead of a tackle to help their line, and people went nuts. But the receiver they selected wasn’t just anyone — it was Burrow’s LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. He was the consensus top WR in the draft and definitely worthy of that pick.

    I’m not going to say that Chase should lead your list of fantasy sleepers or anything. Let’s remember, he’s still a rookie. But I think Burrow and the Bengals do enough to show they made the right pick, landing him in the top 12 of fantasy QBs by the season’s end. Not too spicy, I know, but just wait.

    Prediction #2: A.J. Brown and Julio Jones both finish as top-20 fantasy WRs

    Now we’re talking. Next on my list of fantasy predictions is where we start to get spicy. I believe that A.J. Brown and Julio Jones will both finish in the top 20 WRs in PPR scoring. But the only way this happens is if QB Ryan Tannehill has the best season of his career.

    Tannehill is someone that is being disrespected in fantasy drafts so far this summer. He’s got top-five QB upside without many of the question marks of those being taken around him. He’s currently going as QB10 in 1QB PPR drafts in the sixth and seventh rounds. That’s just insane, in my opinion.

    Tannehill proved last year that he could be very efficient with the ball. He finished as QB7 on the year with a 65% completion rate on 481 passes. Only Lamar Jackson attempted fewer passes of those that finished in the top 14 at the position. Now that the team has added some firepower to the offense, I fully expect Tannehill to go to work and make sure both of his guys see their fair share of targets.

    If I think all of that is true, then I have to think his WRs will both do well. Brown and Jones have the ability to be WR1 options in fantasy. Both will likely finish in that WR1-2 range, barring injury, of course. Jones can still dominate the game, and Brown can beat any coverage you throw his way. Now that they have Jones lining up opposite Brown, defenses won’t be able to focus on anyone in specific. This means they will both benefit together. Titan up!

    Prediction #3: Derrick Henry will outscore Alvin Kamara in PPR scoring

    Now we’re getting hot. Last on my list of fantasy football predictions is that non-PPR king, Derrick Henry, outscores PPR king Alvin Kamara at his own game.

    In 2020, Kamara finished as the RB1 in PPR scoring with 377.8 points. Henry finished third with 333.1 PPR points of his own. Henry even played in one more game but only averaged 20.8 PPR points per game. PPR scoring definitely favors Kamara, so why do I think that’ll change?

    For starters, repeating as the RB1 is almost impossible. Only a handful of running backs have done it before. The Saints are going to be a very different team this year. The QB situation is in flux, and now their top receiver — Michael Thomas — is creating drama. Needless to say, I’m a little worried about Kamara doing so well again this year.

    By contrast, Henry finished with a whopping 378 carries for 2,027 yards, an incredible 5.36 yards per carry. Unlike Kamara, I see the Titans using Henry very similarly this year. As I mentioned earlier, the Titans went out and got Jones to make their offense even better, which should open up the middle for Henry to do his thing yet again.

    For 2021 fantasy football purposes, I think Henry maintains a lot of what he did last year while Kamara has a drop-off. Kamara might not do much less, but it’s enough to make me favor Henry over him — even in PPR leagues. Should this happen, the fantasy community might flip out. And I’ll be able to look back at this as proof I got something right.

    Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewHallFF and find more of his work for Pro Football Network here.

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