The 2020 NFL season just concluded, which means I am already behind on 2021 fantasy football rankings! With the NFL Draft and free agency quickly approaching, let’s dive into the 2021 fantasy rankings and look at the top five players at each position following the Super Bowl.
Note: Please keep in mind that these are PPR rankings.
Top 5 fantasy quarterback rankings for 2021
Whether you are a 1QB kind of person or Superflex is your cup of tea, having an elite quarterback can help give you an edge. Yes, I am usually a late QB person, but I’ll take value when it falls to me in the draft. If I am on the clock and any of these top five QBs in my rankings are still on the board a round or more past ADP, I might have to pull the trigger.
1) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
3) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
4) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
5) Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
The only time you are worried about Patrick Mahomes having a bad game is when he is benched in Week 17, and we aren’t even playing then. He just put up 380 points in 15 games while averaging 25.4 fantasy points per game. Over the past three years, he has the most points at the position. Placing anyone else at the top of the quarterback fantasy rankings for 2021 would be foolish.
Fantasy rankings for 2021: QB2 debate
This is a question that will be discussed frequently in the offseason. Who do you take at QB2 in fantasy drafts, Josh Allen or Kyler Murray?
Allen was incredible in 2020. He threw for 4,544 yards, rushed for 421 yards, and scored 45 total touchdowns. Allen was the only QB to have more than 400 fantasy points in 2020. He’s likely to regress, but by how much?
If he doesn’t have the rushing touchdowns, can his arm sustain the success between him and Stefon Diggs? For me, I am not going to overthink it, and I’ll take whoever falls to me, but my preference is Allen.
Kyler Murray finished as the QB2 in fantasy, and hardly anyone even mentioned it. He ended the 2020 campaign just shy of 4,000 yards passing, with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. In addition, he also rushed for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns. Arizona will upgrade the offensive line, and we know the danger he is on the ground.
Allen and Murray make up the tier of QBs just behind Mahomes in my post-Super Bowl fantasy football rankings for 2021. Coin flip it if you need to — they are both two of the top fantasy players for 2021.
QB4 is another interesting spot in fantasy rankings for 2021
This range of quarterbacks in fantasy rankings for 2021 will fluctuate from now until we are sitting in our draft rooms. The three quarterbacks to discuss in this range are Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, and Dak Prescott. I have Prescott on the outside for now because we need to see where he will land in 2021 (as of this writing, he’s a free agent).
The same applies for Watson, but there’s a strong chance he’ll remain with the Texans in 2021. Despite trading away DeAndre Hopkins and facing constant pressure, Watson put up staggering numbers. He led the NFL in passing yards (4,823), had a 70.2% completion rating, threw for 33 touchdowns, and rushed for 444 yards. Those are MVP-caliber numbers.
Depending on where he lands, Watson could be a top-three selection. QB5 in my post-Super Bowl fantasy rankings for 2021 almost seems like his floor. He will be one of the top fantasy players in 2021 no matter where he plays.
Top 5 fantasy running backs for 2021
1) Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
2) Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
3) Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
4) Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
5) Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Is Christian McCaffrey playing in 2021? Yes. Okay, moving on.
Dalvin Cook had an incredible season and showed when he is healthy, he is as good as there is in the NFL and fantasy. The 25-year-old finished the regular season with 1,557 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns in 14 games. His 21.0 fantasy points per game were the most by any RB not named McCaffrey, who played in just three games.
For the second season in a row, Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing yards with 2,027. The question is, however, what was the toll of 378 carries? The wheel might fall off someday, but given how he hits harder than he gets hit, I’m riding with him until proven wrong.
Jonathan Taylor breaks into the top five post-Super Bowl fantasy RB rankings for 2021
Yes, Kamara has proven over the years, but I have too many questions about his QB situation. Consequently, we saw what it did to his value. It’s early February, so it’s not like these are written in stone.
I mean, look what Jonathan Taylor did to end the season. From Weeks 13 through 17, Taylor was the RB1 in fantasy with 130.0 points with 651 rushing yards and 8 total touchdowns. He finished the season as the RB6 despite Indianapolis doing everything possible to use either Nyheim Hines or Jordan Wilkins.
Jonathan Taylor was my “ride or die” last season, and I am all-in on 16 games of him leading the Colts’ rushing attack. Furthermore, he is going to be one of the top fantasy players in 2021.
Alvin Kamara’s 2021 fantasy value will be all over the place
Kamara is going to be a guy not only myself but the whole industry debates. We saw what happened with Drew Brees out of the lineup, and when Taysom Hill was under center. Hence, what is the Saints’ plan for 2021 if Brees does retire as expected?
If Sean Payton leans on Hill as the starting QB over Jameis Winston, Kamara could slide in rankings. Given the unknowns, talent trumps what we don’t know, and Kamara comes in as the RB5 in my post-Super Bowl fantasy football rankings for 2021. Even if his end of season ranking doesn’t show it, he is one of the top fantasy players in 2021 if given the chance.