2021 Outlooks for Fantasy Rookies
by Ani Sridhar – Twitter: @anisri23
During the RosterWatch Podcast (#350), Alex Dunlap was joined by Chris Trapasso from the CBS Sports to break down rookie RBs and WRs for Fantasy Football in 2021. Which RBs does he like? Which WRs should you target late? Is there a TE that we aren’t paying attention to that we should? The guys answer those questions and more, let’s get into it!
Being a Buffalo Bills fan himself, Chris talked about the Bills draft and which players he felt can make an impact for fantasy in their rookie seasons. He thinks WR Marquez Stevenson was the most dynamic small speedster in this draft class and we could see him catching deep passes from Josh Allen this season. Stevenson isn’t someone to actively target in your drafts outside of dynasty, but he is someone you could throw a dart at in later rounds.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the Bills offense this year is which RB will emerge as the primary ball carrier between Devin Singletary & Zack Moss. Chris thinks that Singletary has better pure running ability and hears he has put in the work this off season. However, he thinks that the home run hitter in this backfield is Matt Breida and we could see him break off long TD runs this season. Despite a crowded backfield, Chris thinks the Bills will throw the ball more this year and sees Josh Allen finishing in the Top 5 in completions & Top 7 in attempts in 2021.
A running back we see going early in best ball drafts right now is Steelers rookie Najee Harris. Harris was Chris’s top-graded RB prospect in this draft class and thinks he will be used as more than just a ball-carrier. He sees Harris having a lot of value in the passing game because he has legitimate receiving skills. With Big Ben not having the same arm strength as he used to, Chris thinks Harris will receive a lot of check downs, screen passes and could see north of 20 touches per game.
The guys agreed that the 49ers RB situation is tough to gauge but it is a great system for any running back but it’s tough to pick which RB will receive the majority of the touches in the backfield. They like the skillset Trey Sermon brings to the table but he might not get to showcase his talent this year in a crowded RB room. Chris doesn’t think that Michael Carter will be as effective on the ground as he was at North Carolina but will be an asset in the passing game. In PPR formats, Carter is a RB to target since he will see a lot of check downs from rookie QB Zach Wilson and is a dynamic runner after the catch.
One of the RBs that intrigues Chris is Falcons rookie Javian Hawkins. With the wide-open backfield in Atlanta and the speed he brings to the table, Chris sees Hawkins as the new change-of-pace back for the Falcons. They do agree that Mike Davis will be the lead runner, but Hawkins is someone to keep an eye on for on the waiver wire.
Moving on to the Rookie WRs, Chris thinks that Elijah Moore is going to be a consistent producer for fantasy since he has a steady role on the Jets. On the opposite end, Rondale Moore is entering a crowded WR group with the Cardinals and might not see a lot of volume as a rookie.
The only concern Chris has with Ja’Marr Chase is his inability to release off the line of scrimmage well. He does think the Bengals will force feed Chase targets from the beginning and he could be the WR1 in Cincinnati sooner than later. Another WR Chris thinks will be peppered with targets is amon-Ra St.Brown because he is the most capable WR on the Lions roster. He thinks St.Brown could have a similar connection with Jared Goff that Robert Woods did.
One of the sleeper WRs that Chris likes is Dazz Newsome of the Chicago Bears. The 6th round pick out of North Carolina was a great returner in college and that shows he has skills to be dangerous after the catch. This is a guy who has great route running & could have late fantasy value this year.
After Pitts & Freirmuth, Chris thinks that Noah Gray is the next TE who could have fantasy value. Gray is the backup to Travis Kelce right now but is one injury away from being the TE1 in a Patrick Mahomes-led offense. He might not have redraft value right now but is definitely worth a gamble in dynasty leagues. The last TE Chris says to keep an eye on is rookie Quintin Morris. With only Dawson Knox ahead of him in Buffalo, Morris could overtake him as the TE1.
Stay locked into RosterWatch all offseason long so you can dominate your leagues in 2021.