In this article we will take a quick look at the dynasty fantasy football landscape, noting who is rising, who is falling, and who are some players you should target or avoid in 2021.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Risers
The biggest riser of this past week is Darrell Henderson due to the unfortunate injury suffered by Cam Akers. An Achilles tear is a notoriously awful injury for running backs in particular and shrouds Aker's future at this point. What that means is Darrell Henderson is immediately promoted to a workhorse position in one of the top offenses in the league. With Matthew Stafford likely to take the team to new heights and with little depth behind him, Henderson looks to have an RB2 floor at worst and could be set up for success for multiple years to come.
Also ascending is Antonio Gibson. This is a player who had 33 carries TOTAL in college as he split time in the backfield and out wide as a receiver. His big-play appeal was obvious but Gibson showed he could get the tough yards last year as well. Now a full season into truly being a running back, there is major upside here.
Other risers include Tyler Higbee, who will no longer have Gerald Everett siphoning catches and playing time. Higbee will see a big jump in usage which will likely correspond to significantly better fantasy outputs. I'm also cautiously putting Carson Wentz here, who fell into the perfect situation in Indianapolis. The Colts have a plus offensive line and running game and won't ask Wentz to do too much. With Pittman Jr. (also a riser) looking like a budding star, Wentz could all of a sudden be useful in fantasy again.
Finally, a rookie to watch is Nico Collins. Despite low production in college (not his fault) he has the size and skills to make an impact in the NFL. Not to mention the Texans' WR depth chart is Brandin Cooks and absolutely no one else. He is moving up rookie draft boards.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Fallers
A couple of names to watch out for here. Obviously, we touched on Akers above. Wishing him a speedy recovery but his current and future dynasty prospects take a massive hit. Additionally, with the departure of Julio Jones, Matt Ryan looks like his shelf life as a fantasy starter might be over. He averages about thirty yards less and almost half an interception more when Julio Jones is not playing.
Additional fallers are the entire Jets passing game. Zach Wilson will have growing pains and is no sure thing to pan out and the depth chart is kind of a mess. Jamison Crowder might be useful in PPR but the biggest hit is for Denzel Mims who is currently listed as the 5th WR on the team. Someone, please get him out of New York.
Two other names to watch out for are Anthony Firkser and Kenyan Drake. There is a lot of buzz on Firkser with Jonnu Smith no longer in town, but the word is that the Titans are still looking for another TE and Julio Jones will likely dampen any target uptick. As far as Drake, he landed in a middling offense behind a three-down back in Josh Jacobs. I doubt he sees the volume in Vegas to warrant fantasy consideration this year.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Players to Target
A couple of thoughts on some players you could target for trades or drafting heading into the 2021 season. The first is a couple of old quarterbacks. Playing in a 2QB league? Need a player who is going to vastly outperform what you pay for him? Can I introduce you to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ben Roethlisberger, or Tom Brady? Obviously, these guys don't have many years left, which is going to make their trade value low, which is perfect if you are trying to compete this year. Roethlisberger especially can probably be had for a 4th round pick at this point, and still has a ton of weapons and potential to finish a top 18 QB. They are definitely worth a look if you need help.
Beyond those old guys, it might be worth checking in on whoever drafted Tua Tagovailoa. Tua definitely wasn't good last year and was vastly outperformed by Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. But there seems to be an unnecessary panic both around the league and with dynasty owners on Tua. He's heading into his first fully healthy season and has a year of the NFL defensive speed under his belt. With significantly better weapons in 2021, I think he makes a big step forward.
Two pass catches you can check in on would be the aforementioned Gerald Everett and Julio Jones. Just like Higbee is freeing himself from Everett, Everett is likely heading into a starring role in his own right in Seattle. With Russel Wilson throwing him passes and Lockett/Metcalf preoccupying the secondary, Everett could have a huge year. I also mention Jones because their dynasty owner might be trying to offload him at this point. He's now 32 and heading into a run-first offense, but still is likely to perform at high WR2 levels for at least a couple more years. He could be a relatively cheap add that puts you over the top.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Players to Avoid
Just a couple of players I'm avoiding at the moment. There's been a lot of buzz on Jerry Jeudy this off-season including some very slick-looking workout videos, but until he gets a better QB, it doesn't matter if he is wide open. Aaron Rodgers could change the outlook here, but without him, Jeudy will be hardly playable.
Speaking of Rodgers, I'm also avoiding the entire Green Bay offense for the time being given the uncertainty surrounding his situation. A Jordan Love start would destroy most of the fantasy value of their positional players, so it's a risky place to try and find value at the moment. Another offense I am avoiding is Dallas, specifically their wide receivers. Amari Cooper is still recovering from January ankle surgery and may miss the beginning of the season. There's a ton of buzz on CeeDee Lamb but he still was ceding time to Michael Gallup last year. And Gallup is a bit of a forgotten man, but still won't put up big numbers when competing with the other two. Not to mention all of their value is contingent on a healthy Dak Prescott. Overall, just too much uncertainty for me to buy in at the moment.
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