Fantasy Football Column

In a continuation of last year, we will have a weekly fantasy football column again this year. We are just over a week away from kicking off the NFL 2021 season, and before we can get into our weekly start/sit column, we have plenty to talk about in preparation for fantasy drafts. Let’s begin with some players we think will do exceedingly well this season, followed by some players we think are being drafted too high.  The participants in this column are Sports Editor Brody Keiser and Sports Reporters Austin Arquette and Brandon Wirth.


Players I love this year:

James Robinson

The Jaguars will be a much better team this year, at least offensively. With rookie running back Travis Etienne’s season ending injury Robinson should return to the bell cow he was a season ago. Currently, he’s being drafted in the back end of the second round, but he has legitmate RB1 upside.

Lamar Jackson

I love Lamar this year. This might seem obvious, but most fantasy experts have Lamar ranked as a mid to back-end QB1. Of course, Lamar is being drafted as a starting quarterback, but I think he has a chance to be the top scoring QB again this season. Remember, he is only two years removed from an MVP season. With the elite rushing upside Lamar has, he is my top quarterback pick outside of Patrick Mahomes.

Players I hate this year:

Justin Jefferson

I think Jefferson will have another solid season in the NFL. Do I think he will repeat as fantasy’s number six wide receiver? No, I do not. In fact, I think that is his ceiling, at least until Adam Thielen is out of the picture. Currently being drafted as a top 10 WR, I just don’t think Jefferson could get any better than that, and he’s simply not a guy I’m willing to spend a top 20 pick on in fantasy.

Kyle Pitts

Rookie tight ends are so hard to predict in fantasy. I get it, the guy is crazy talented and probably already Matt Ryan’s second-best target. But he’s being drafted ahead of guys like TJ Hockenson, Logan Thomas and Dallas Goedert. Those guys are proven players in the NFL, albeit with some question marks. I still think Pitts will flirt with TE1 numbers but give me any three of those other guys before a rookie, even one as talented as Pitts.


Players I love this year:

Matthew Stafford

Now that Stafford finally has a good defense to keep him off the field so long, a strong receiving core, a decent backfield and a good offensive line, I think this is finally the year he goes crazy. While Stafford has had good receivers in the past, he has never played with the caliber offense that the Rams have. I think Stafford will have one of the best outings of his career and be in contention as a top 10 fantasy quarterback.

Mike Williams

I think this is Mike’s year. I say this because the Chargers have expressed that they need to get Mike involved more, and even his quarterback, Justin Herbert, said that they need to feed Williams. I think that even with Keenan Allen, Williams will be amazing and complement one another perfectly for an amazing offense.

Players I hate this year:

Antonio Brown

I say Brown is a hated wideout in fantasy this year because for starters he has a terrible attitude problem. While this isn’t the first time we have heard about Brown and his issues on and off the field, Brown also plays on the Buccaneers which has so many mouths to feed and in fantasy football that hurts your value. At this point with all his drama I’d rather spend my pick on a player who will play and be available for me every week instead of trusting in a guy who could be kicked off the team due to his poor attitude any moment.

Kenny Golladay

Do I think Golladay is a rising star sure, but do I trust his value in the Giants offense especially when Daniel Jones is his QB? The answer is no. With a terrible quarterback and the return of Saquon Barkley, plus all the offensive additions, I think Golladay is going to struggle with his new team. Not to mention he already is battling injuries and will only be a guy that is thrown to, if he gets thrown too, when it’s a 50/50 ball. I’d pick the Giants defense before anyone else on the offensive side other than Saquon from the Giants.


Players I love this year:

Darnell Mooney

As one of the most talented players on the Chicago Bears roster, the former Tulane standout had what many consider a ‘great’ rookie season in the Windy City despite dealing with the accuracy woes of Mitchell Trubisky. With the eventual leeway to the strong-armed Justin Fields, the possibilities with Mooney’s improved route-running and his 4.38 ‘forty’ speed bring no limits for the Bears offense. With the ability to take the ball deep and top coverage swaying to Allen Robinson, “Mad-Eye” Mooney should be able to exceed his 61 catches, 631 yards, and his 11th round draft projection.

Jonnu Smith

Assuming Cam Newton is the starter in New England, there is no better target on paper than the 6-3, 248-pound tight end. Smith had plenty of explosive plays in Tennessee with Ryan Tannehill. Despite only accruing 448 receiving yards on 41 catches, he found the endzone eight times. Throwing to his tight ends worked for Newton in Carolina, and I see Smith getting a ton of targets.

Players I hate this year

David Johnson

Despite being listed third on the Texans depth chart, the 29-year-old still cracks the top 40 RB rankings according to ESPN Fantasy. After a prime breakout season in 2016, Johnson has not been anywhere near that level recently. Johnson has only played in 42 games over the last four seasons due to various wrist, knee and back issues. As a franchise looking for a complete reset, bringing in an upstart Phillip Lindsay and veteran leader Mark Ingram means much less opportunity for Johnson.

Jalen Hurts

Do I love Jalen Hurts’ opportunity? Yes. Do I love his surrounding cast? Not enough. Adding DeVonta Smith was a step in the right direction but having Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert as your next best targets shows there is a lack of playmaking ability on paper. With the defense and offensive line depreciating from 2020 and a new head coach in Nick Sirianni, the unknowns have me concerned in Hurts’ potential as a surefire top-10 quarterback this season.