The 2021 NFL Draft is over and we now know where the top rookies will be playing this season. Landing spot is still a bigger piece of the puzzle when scouting what rookies to add to your dynasty fantasy football teams this season. No matter how good a player is, if he doesn’t get his chances on the field, he’s not going to get you any fantasy points. You can bet on a player’s talent to win a competition, but it’s always safer to go with the guy who has an undisputed path to touches.
Happy dynasty drafting all!
Kyle Pitts, TE, Falcons
If you want to win now, go Najee Harris with the No. 1 pick, but if you’re looking for longer production at a weak position, Pitts is your guy. Can I guarantee he’ll be in Travis Kelce/George Kittle range for his career? No, but I’d bet that he is. That’s worth more than 4-5 big fantasy years from a running back.
Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
The offensive line is a problem in Pittsburgh, but their talent at running back was part of their problems last year. They won’t have that now, as Harris is instant offense while also being a capable receiver. He should quickly become the workhorse for the Steelers and see enough touches to be a Top 10 back this season
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals
We know that Chase won’t have a big learning curve playing with his college quarterback and he’s a player I feel is destined to be a Top 20 receiver in this league without much problem. The Bengals should be on the upswing sooner than later. I could see grabbing him over Najee Harris depending on your needs.
Devonta Smith, WR, Eagles
I don’t know if Jalen Hurts is the guy to turn Smith into the player he’s destined to be, but Smith could surpass Chase sooner than later. I see him having a long and productive career no matter who his quarterback is.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins
The Dolphins are building something special in Miami and Waddle will be a big part of their success. I still believe Tua Tagovailoa makes a big leap in his second year and I can see Waddle putting up fantasy numbers quickly. With Devante Parker and Will Fuller there, he won’t be the No. 1 guy to start, but he has the chops to get their fast.
Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars
Etienne will likely be in a committee to start his career, but his talent should win him work as the season goes on. The Jaguars are going to have a lot of talent to work with after this draft and Etienne is going to find ways to get the ball sooner than later.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars
Lawrence’s rushing ability will elevate him in fantasy quicker than say Mac Jones, who has no rushing ability. But quarterbacks don’t hold as much value in fantasy as the other positions unless you’re in a 2QB league. Can he become so dominant that you see people reaching for him in the first round of drafts in years to come? Sure, but you shouldn’t reach for a quarterback in the first round.
Trey Lance, QB, 49ers
Lance probably has more fantasy upside than Lawrence due to his rushing ability, team, and coach, but Lawrence is still the safer bet to be a top starter five years from now. But I am super excited about Lance in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and you should be too.
Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos
I very much wanted Williams to go to Miami, and Miami probably did as well. Unfortunately for them, the Broncos had other ideas and traded up to cut them off at the pass. Williams will need to deal with Melvin Gordon in fantasy, which will hurt him early on, but he’s good enough to still be a great player to draft in dynasty. And he could take over the job as early as this season. Don’t worry too much about Gordon.
Elijah Moore, WR, Jets
Moore going to the Jets means that Jamison Crowder is gone either this season or next and Moore should be the starter at slot receiver sooner than later. The Jets are, well, the Jets, but they do have something cooking and if Zach Wilson can just be better than Sam Darnold, Moore has a shot at fantasy relevance early on.
Terrace Marshall, WR, Panthers
Speaking of Sam Darnold, Marshall will be receiving passes from him in Carolina across from D.J. Moore. Marshall has the ability to be one of the best receivers in this draft and I like him longterm enough to look past the Darnoldization of the Panthers passing game.
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Steelers
The Steelers get a reliable, sure-handed tight end who can block. He may not be Gronk in fantasy upside, but he has some similar qualities. And for Steelers fans, Heath Miller will come to mind, but Freiermuth should have more fantasy upside.
Trey Sermon, RB, 49ers
Lance is a perfect fit for the 49ers run game. As usual, they have plenty of running backs to choose from and they will all play. But, Lance has the fresh legs and can take his one cut and get through the gap with the best of them. Give him his five-yards per carry and move on until they discard him for a younger version.
Michael Carter, RB, Jets
The Jets went all in on offense this draft, especially in comparison to recent drafts. And they got a good deal on an above-average running back at overall pick 107. Carter won’t be a bell cow back, but he’s stout for his 5’8” height. He projects as a good receiving back who can get a handful of carries between the tackles when needed. His fantasy upside will be as a PPR back, but with Tevin Coleman as the No. 1 in the backfield, Carter should have plenty of opportunity for work in his rookie year.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles
I thought Gainwell would go earlier than the fifth round, but he’s still a player I love for fantasy. His low draft capital won’t force the Eagles to get him on the field, but he should force them by his play. Think of him as a stouter Darren Sproles. I envision him getting just a few touches per game, so his fantasy upside will be low early on with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott there, but I think he will end up carving out a nice role for himself in Philadelphia.
Tylan Wallace, WR, Ravens
Wallace isn’t destined to be a great receiver, but he has the skills to be a very good one and should be able to win a starting job in Baltimore. The Ravens offense needs a receiver like Wallace in the red zone to click with Lamar Jackson and there’s a real chance they can connect.
Dwayne Eskridge, WR, Seahawks
Eskridge won’t cut deep into D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett’s targets, but the man is an athletic specimen, who will add yet another dimension to this offense. He is great for Russell Wilson, but I love his upside in fantasy if they let Russ cook and what not.
Overall Rookie Dynasty Rankings
|18||Amon-Ra St. Brown||21||WR||DET|