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On The Clock: Tough Choices in 2021 Fantasy Leagues

On The Clock: Tough Choices
by Alan Seslowsky – Twitter: @Alanseslowsky

It doesn’t matter how much off-season research you do. It doesn’t matter how much draft preparation you do. It doesn’t matter how you think you value players. When you are on the clock in your meaningful drafts you are tested. That is when you find out what your real rankings are. Good thing for you, RosterWatch has battle tested our rankings for you and baked all of our offseason intelligence into one simple sheet of paper. The “Ultimate Draft Cheat Sheet” is our signature tool that allows you to walk into your draft and dominate. While we have been continuously testing the magical piece of paper against a variety of ADP sources, we encountered a few tough choices while on the clock. You should be prepared when you face these choices in your draft.

Tough Choice:  Early Round One 

Derrick Henry vs Ezekiel Elliot

It is seemingly an impossible and agonizing choice to have to make on the clock. Both runners are unquestioned starters for their team and have shouldered heavy workloads the last few seasons. Zeke is a competent pass catcher whereas Henry gets you close to nothing in the passing game. Both have been very durable, and rarely even show up on the mid-week injury report. Let’s look at them side by side. Though Henry will undoubtedly have significantly fewer receptions, he faces zero threats from his primary backups for goal line work. Zeke will give away some third down work and mid-field snaps to the electric Tony Pollard. The path to a top three finish seems easier for Zeke but the safer floor is certainly Derrick Henry. You can’t win your fantasy football league in the first round but you certainly can lose it. When RosterWatch was on the clock, we opted for Derrick Henry. Who would you take? Comment below


Tough Choice:  Early Round Two

Najee Harris vs Antonio Gibson

If we knew Antonio Gibson was going to get the third down snaps he would be an obvious choice here. Last year he was relieved by Jd Mckissic often. That trend continued during the 2021 pre-season. Gibson was a college WR who is a more than capable pass catcher. Social media blurbs insinuating Gibson will be used in the Christian McCafferty role are also appetizing. 

Najee Harris has THE safest floor of any RB in the league. He is a great bet to lead all running backs in total touches. The Steelers drafted him in the first round to deploy him accordingly. The Steelers have a long history of leaning on one runner. Questions about the Steelers offensive line and efficiency of the offense are legitimate causes for pause. RosterWatch was put to the test once again and we chose Najee. Nothing is more important in fantasy football than opportunity. Harris should get close to 80% touch share. That is good enough to choose him. Comment below who you would pick and why.


A few Other tough choices RosterWatch had on the clock: 

  1. Robert Woods vs Cooper Kupp: We chose Woods
  2. Antonio Brown vs Tyler Boyd: We chose Brown
  3. Justin Herbert vs Russell Wilson: We chose Herbert


Comment below your tough draft choices and who you decided to take.


  1. Boys… the latest 2QB sheet has cook and Allen deleted.

  2. Post By PhillysPhinest

    You guys going to have an updated 0.5ppr tomorrow? Just wondering since I am drafting tomorrow night. Thanks for all the work you do!

    1. Post By Byron Lambert

      We updated for the Dobbins news earlier.

      1. Post By PhillysPhinest

        Byron, I have the 1st pick plus I kept Gibson in the 5th. Would you look for the top 2 WR at the 2/3 turn? I have a feeling I my be able to snag James Robinson there, but not sure if that is better than having two possible stud receivers. 12 team, 0.5 ppr

  3. Got draft next week. Wondering what rounds should I go off the cheat sheet and force draft each of the following: a qb
    a kicker
    and a defense?
    Note: kickers lose points if miss.

  4. Post By Byron Lambert

    Unless you are in a 16 team league- you do not need to reach for QB. Just follow the sheet. It will deliver you the appropriate QB at the appropriate time based on how your draft is unfolding. If you have a shot at Brady in the mid-late rounds I would be a proud papa if you find a way to land him without going too far off script. Otherwise, just get Hurts Stafford or Tannehlll late and you will be fine. Honestly, even if you end up with Cousins, Mayfield, Ryan, or some of the others in that area you will be totally fine. Lots of good options late if that’s the course your draft takes

    1. Post By Byron Lambert

      I wouldn’t draft a defense until very late and I would not even draft a kicker. Here are some defenses to consider:


      SEA is a good WK1 desperation play if Wentz is somehow out. CAR is also an interesting WK1 desperation play at home vs Jets w/ a rookie QB

  5. Don’t you think Eckler should be higher on the rb list?

    1. Post By Alan Seslowsky

      There is some risk with Ekeler, but very reasonable to take him higher if you are 100% in on him

  6. I’m in a 12 team, 1 pt ppr, 1 qb league. It is a keeper league. I already have D Cook and J Taylor. When I pick, should I target the top wr or fill my flex with another rb if someone like Gibson is still there? For context it looks like the following could be around:

    1. Post By Alan Seslowsky

      A rule of thumb in keeper leagues, is just take the BPA on your board. especially if its an RB. But if those elite WRs are available go for it.

  7. 12 team full point ppr redraft league. I drafted Jonnu Smith as my TE. Irv Smith was dropped to waivers. I remember Irv Smith was mentioned as one of the TEs worth reaching for in drafts. Would you drop Jonnu Smith for Irv Smith? I already have Justin Jefferson on my roster.

    1. Post By

      Per Fantasy Pros, Smith had meniscus surgery and will be out for the start of the regular season

  8. I would. By most accounts Minnesota has the better offense and smith didn’t have to split time with Hunter Henry. Outside of the top three or so the te position has a lot of room to make mistakes too

  9. 12 team league .5 ppr

    Can keep 1 of

    CeeDee Lamb or Gus Edwards, both in the 8th round..

    What do you think?

    1. Post By Byron Lambert

      Prob gotta be Gus at this point

  10. Post By Show Me Your TDs

    Here to brag a bit. Don’t wanna give away my secret on Twitter. 5th year pro member. 10 team work league 1PPR from the 3 slot

    Qb: hurts
    RBs: cook, Carson, Gus, Davis, Harris, Henderson, sermon
    WRs: Diggs, Hopkins, Cooper, AB, Hardman
    TE: Higbee
    K: Gay
    def: washington

    The magical sheet does it again! Now to prep for my 16 team and 12 team drafts

    1. Post By Byron Lambert

      Oh lord and absolute mega throbber!!!!

  11. Playing in two leagues and got the 12th draft spot in both – snake drafts. I finished the first one and got Najee and D. Adams. I followed the sheet and have James Robinson as my RB2 and got lucky drafting Gus Edwards who is now a starter. Also, grabbed some nice rookies I hope will pay off.

    Next draft is Thursday and I’m trying to make some improvements, especially with JK Dobbins out. Any thoughts on how to use the sheet when drafting 12th and seeing runs start on positions? I need value.

    1. Post By Byron Lambert

      Stay patient, follow the sheet is the best way to accumulate value. You will see it emerge clearly on the sheet as the draft progresses. The only time I ever consider going off the sheet is if after RD4- my team is becoming majorly lopsided- then you can go a tiny bit of course to balance the roster. But, you shouldn’t do that unless you are like 4 RBs in don’t have any WR and for some reason you get to RD5 and the sheet is telling you to go RB again (which really never happens) – but that is it. And, never go to far off the sheet. The players still need to be close to “reach” for balance

      1. Post By Byron Lambert

        BTW, NASTY haul in that first draft! Nice work!

  12. Draft question…0.5 PPR 12 team league keeper league. I have the second overall pick but D Cook, Zeke and D Henry are all available. I’m pretty sure Cook is going first who would you choose between Henry and Zeke? Hoping Cook falls to me but not counting on it. Thank you in advance.

    1. I’d go with Henry in that case.

  13. I have the 9th pick in a PPR. Mock drafts using the cheat sheet typically give T. Hill and Harris. Would I be crazy to go Harris and Gibson. Even though the cheat sheet has Kelce lower he outscores other TE so much. RW seems to be a little down on Kelce compared to others. Any reason why you don’t have him ranked higher. A lot of your simulations get you a low end TE like Logan Thomas or Noah Fant.

    So what is better
    Hill and Harris
    Hill and Gibson
    Gibson and Harris
    Kelce or any names listed (Diggs as well)

    1. You’d have to ask alex personally about his reasonaning there, but I’m fine taking Kelce and a top tier WR in a full PPR format. Hill and Gibson in a PPR is probably what I’d aim for, as Gibson is a great pass-catcher as well.

  14. have stafford as my qb Lawrence is a FA. (also Cousins and Mayfiled avaiable)

    would have to drop one of mike pittman, mike carter, or gio bernard. should i do that and if so who do i drop and who do i pick up?

    1. if It’s a 10 team league I think you’re fine not having another QB, and in fact I rarely carry two QBs in any format. Chances are that one of those guys will be available regardless. I would wait a week or two to see what you have in those players before dropping one of them. There’s no urgency there.

  15. Tough choice I had earlier today. And I’ve gone back several times since the draft and I’m starting to kick myself more and more. 10tm 1PPR 2flex
    1.06 Aaron Jones
    2.05 Diggs
    3.06 Antonio Gibson(no idea how he fell this far) I’ve never seen it.
    4.05 CD
    5.06 Godwin
    6.05 Gus Edwards
    7.06 Jamarr Chase
    8.05 Jerry Jeudy
    9.06 Darrell Henderson
    10.05 Trey Sermon
    11.06 Jarvis Landry
    12.05 Stafford
    13.06 Trey Lance(little over draft, but wanted potential league winner)
    14.05 Gerald Everett
    Here’s the tough decision. I had 3 balling WR and 2 Awesome RB’s.
    6.05 Gus Bus or Pitts? took Gus per sheet. Because they weren’t really close on sheet. Next pick was Pitts.
    If knew I had Henderson later I probably would have gone Pitts? Also hurts I ended up with Gerald Everett cause all the other TE’s were over drafted.
    ESPN has me currently listed as projected finishing 10/10. My team is super deep but they don’t like it.

    1. Those major formats don’t like gibson or the younger players as much as we do, but they also don’t go to pro days or training camps to scout them. depth is paramount in the age of covid. As injuries and absences stack up, you’ll have the depth to make trades that can bolster your starting lineup.

  16. Where would you put Ty’son Williams and Jaret Paterson on the sheet? Would you take a shot on Juwan Johnson late if he qualifies as a TE?

    1. I’m only bothering with them in 14 or 16 team leagues as 4th RBs. They’re not draft priorities otherwise. You can almost certainly pick them up off the waiver early in the season in 12 teams or smaller. If you have a TE that you would play Johnson over, be my guest. Just seems like a game day headache right now.

  17. Post By

    I have my keeper draft on Sunday night and have pick 1.7. Based on who’s been kept, I’ve mocked myself into the following 3 guys available at my pick. It is 1 pt. ppr, 0.25 pt per carry. What do you guys think?

    Travis Kelce
    DeAndre Hopkins
    Najee Harris

    1. who are your keepers?

      1. Post By

        I have Kamara (6th), Courtland Sutton (9th), Josh Allen (10th) and Justin Simmons (15th – IDP, but that’s not relevant to this part of the conversation).

  18. Post By

    10 Team, PPR, standard 1 QB roster, 7th pick–would you ever consider going Kelce, then Waller at 14? Could use one as TE and one as Flex. Also, thinking of the blood pressure of the other players going up!

  19. Post By

    New to Rosterwatch and thinking of signing up for premium, so I can use the draft sheet. Does it have the ability to account for keepers and the rounds they were kept?

  20. Post By

    Used your sheet for the first time picking 12th in FFPC… pretty happy with my team.. Little light on TE but here was a mad run on them and after Kelce and Waller went in the first round i decided to wait until the 16th and 18th round….Thanks..
    QB -Allen… Tannehill
    RB- Chubb, Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Michel, Fournette, Ingram
    WR- Woods, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Chark, Alghlor, Lazard, Gabriel Davis, Sammy Watkins
    TE- Juwan Johnson
    Def- NO

  21. Post By

    also grabbed Hunter Henry

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