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9 Early Rankings Standouts (Fantasy Football)

Apr 22, 2021

 
It’s never too early to start looking ahead at the fantasy landscape and see what expert consensus rankings you disagree with the most. There’s plenty of value out there being overlooked as some in the space may be overreacting to disappointing seasons specific players had last year. The inverse is also true as some fantasy managers may ignore changing circumstances and draft athletes higher than they should based on last year’s stats. Which players do our featured experts project differently than their peers? Read on to find out.

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Q1. Which half-PPR RB consensus ranking do you disagree with the most and why?

Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): ECR – RB9
“Everybody is afraid to put Elliott back as a top-five running back after 2020, but there is no sound logic behind this. Over the first five weeks of the season, he was averaging 107.4 total yards per game with six total touchdowns. If not for the Dak Prescott injury, he would likely have gone on to be one of the best first-round picks at the position. Concerns about the offensive line are overblown, as they will address the position on Day Two of the NFL Draft and through free agency. Elliott should be an early first-round pick in fantasy drafts, not available toward the turn.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

“I am trying to wrap my mind around getting Ezekiel Elliott in the second round, which is where the current ECR has him. That’s bananas for a running back who’s finished top-12 every single year he’s been in the league. Seriously, his finishes are RB2, RB10, RB5, RB4, and RB11. We all saw the dip in production once Dak Prescott went down last year, which is what’s weighing down his draft position. With Prescott back, and likely a little less mobile, Elliott will rise and finish as a top-five running back once again.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Chris Carson (SEA): ECR – RB20
“Carson as the RB20 is too low. The Seattle Seahawks re-signed the 26-year-old to a three-year deal over the offseason shortly after Pete Carroll made it known he wants to run the ball more. Carson has been the model of fantasy consistency over the past three seasons, finishing as the RB17, RB10, and RB16, respectively. While he doesn’t boast the ceiling of the RBs ranked ahead of him, the Oklahoma State product has an elite floor and is one of the safest selections you can make on draft day.”
– Jacob W. Dunne (New Life Fantasy)

Miles Sanders (PHI): ECR – RB14
“Sanders has RB14 upside, however, the prevailing notion that the removal of Doug Pederson cures everything in the Eagles’ offense is wishful thinking. The truth is, we don’t know how this offense is going to come together (or if it will). It’s a new regime and a new playbook. Typically, that takes time to gel. J.K. Dobbins, Chris Carson, and David Montgomery all have the upside for more consistent weekly touches and are all behind him in ECR. I just refuse to pay for the ‘best-case scenario.'”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Joe Mixon (CIN): ECR – RB13
“It’s hard to be picky about Mixon sitting at RB13 in half-PPR rankings, but this is the placement that stands out the most to me. He certainly has injury risk, but everything else that you could want in a top-tier RB is on the table. He’s young, talented, has an incredible workload awaiting him, and he’s part of a dynamic offense. I’ll take Mixon at that price tag every single draft I’m in if he’s at that spot.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Q2. Which half-PPR WR consensus ranking do you disagree with the most and why?

Cooper Kupp (LAR): ECR – WR23
“In 2020, Kupp caught 92 passes on 124 targets while Robert Woods caught 90 passes on 129 targets. Yet, somehow Woods is ranked as the WR17 and Kupp is WR23. Woods did offer some rushing production, gaining 155 yards and two TDs on end-arounds, but Kupp missed a week so his per-game reception averages were higher by 0.5 receptions and 6.4 yards. With Matthew Stafford in town, we don’t know which receiver he might favor, but I anticipate a higher volume, which favors Kupp, with fewer handoffs to Woods. Should they break even in production, the one-round discount is enough to make Kupp the better pick on draft day.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

D.K. Metcalf (SEA): ECR – WR5
“It was a tale of two halves for Metcalf in 2020. The 23-year-old lit the fantasy world on fire in the first half, scoring eight touchdowns in eight games while averaging 98.5 receiving yards a game. His production came crashing down in the second half, scoring only two touchdowns while averaging 64.4 yards a game. Metcalf’s impressive fantasy finish in 2020 suggests that he should be trusted as an elite WR1, but fantasy managers should tread lightly on the third-year receiver heading into 2021, especially with Pete Carroll wanting to emphasize the run game.”
– Jacob W. Dunne (New Life Fantasy)

Tee Higgins (CIN): ECR – WR24
“As of right now, it has to be Higgins, who is simply too low. To be fair, it’s possible the Bengals select a pass-catcher in the first round which would certainly affect his outlook, but if they take an offensive lineman (like I expect them to), Higgins’ stock should be inside the top-15 wide receivers … not the No. 24 wide receiver he currently is. While playing in a full-time role with Joe Burrow from Weeks 3 through 10, Higgins was the No. 11 wide receiver in fantasy football, and that was while A.J. Green was getting plenty of targets (6.6 per game during that time). Now going into his sophomore season, Higgins should be a mid-tier WR2, at worst.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Tyler Lockett (SEA): ECR – WR26
“The undying love for Lockett is perplexing to me. He had two monstrous three-touchdown games last season, but had 10 games where he scored single-digit points in half-PPR formats. The 10 receivers after him offer intriguing upside as WR3s. ‘Settling’ for Tyler Lockett as a safe pick I just don’t think cuts it anymore. There are far too many WR3s capable of double-digit weeks to overpay for him.”
– Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Julio Jones (ATL): ECR – WR13
“Jones is still one of the most talented WRs in the game. While he might not be a lock for top-five production for fantasy football, he’s in too good of an offense to have his ranking all the way at WR13. The Falcons are still going to have to throw the ball a ton in 2021 due to their defense, and when Jones’ on the field, he’s going to deliver top-12 production.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)


Thank you to the experts for naming their early rankings standouts. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.


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