Skip to main content

The Ultimate Dynasty Guide: April Edition (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 20, 2021

 
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, people of all ages, it is time. It’s time for the NFL Draft and all that it encompasses for Dynasty leagues. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching the NFL Draft unfold through the lens of fantasy football and discovering which players will see their “stock” rise and fall throughout those three glorious days.

With that in mind, we’re going to be pressing pause on the normal format of the Ultimate Dynasty Guide and focusing in on the NFL Draft. In this edition, we focus in on everything that you need to get prepared for this year’s event, plus a Listener Mailbag!

Practice mock drafts with our FREE Dynasty Draft Simulator >>

Let’s build a Dynasty, shall we?

2021 Prospect Buzz

Quarterback – Davis Mills (QB – Stanford)

Davis Mills has heard his name in the late 1st-round discussion of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Reaction: There’s a better chance that pigs fly on draft night than Mills being selected anywhere near the first round. If a NFL team does select him in the first round – or even the second round – they’re perfectly fine with being fired shortly afterwards. Mills is about as much of a project as you’re going to find at the QB position with poor accuracy, poor mechanics, and an extensive injury history.

Running Back – Jermar Jefferson (RB – Oregon State)

Jermar Jefferson has seen his NFL Draft stock take a tumble after a poor outing at his Pro Day.

Reaction: Jefferson’s tape was inconsistent, but he had the chance to buoy his draft stock with a dominant showing at the Oregon State Pro Day. Unfortunately, Jefferson didn’t hit the marks that scouts would have loved to see, which puts his draft stock in serious flux now.

Wide Receiver – Elijah Moore (WR – Ole Miss)

Elijah Moore could potentially be in play for the No. 4 WR off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Reaction: If Elijah Moore is selected before Rashod Bateman, it will be the Jalen Reagor selection over Justin Jefferson all over again. Moore is a slot receiver through and through and there are countless of those options available in this draft. Bateman has the chance to truly be a dominant WR1 for a NFL team, while Moore is unlikely to ever be the top producer on his team.

Tight End – Tommy Tremble (TE – Notre Dame)

Tommy Tremble could move past Brevin Jordan to be the 3rd TE taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Reaction: With the testing numbers that Tremble put up at his Pro Day, it’s possible that a NFL team is more willing to be on Tremble and his game versus Jordan and the average athleticism. Jordan is still TE3 for me, but it’s not a significant gap.

5 Prospects To Know

D’Wayne Eskridge (WR – Western Michigan)

Eskridge is flying under the radar in this pre-draft process, but he has the skills and talent to be an impact player at the next level. He’s incredibly twitchy at the line of scrimmage in release, has game-changing speed, and has incredible start/stop ability that he utilizes in his route-running. Eskridge has the potential to be drafted on day 2 of the NFL Draft and land in a great spot for fantasy football.

Check out our in-depth Rookie Profile on Eskridge here >>>

Jaelon Darden (WR – North Texas)

Darden’s a sleeper in this 2021 NFL Draft due to the small school narrative, but don’t get caught doubting him. He’s incredibly elusive, shifty, and will make big play after big play. He has solid hands and thrives out in space, but could use some development in the finer nuances of the game. It might take a little bit for him to adjust to the NFL after playing at North Texas, but he has the talent to be a Dynasty rookie draft steal.

Check out our in-depth Rookie Profile on Darden here >>>

Kenneth Gainwell (RB – Memphis)

Gainwell was a 2020 CFB opt out, so it’s been a little while since we’ve seen him on the football field. However, he needs to be regarded as a special player in this class. He has absolutely incredible hands in the receiving game and should be a PPR force for fantasy rosters.

Check out our in-depth Rookie Profile on Gainwell here >>>

Trey Lance (QB – North Dakota State)

If you follow the NFL Draft at all, you most likely have heard Lance’s name by now. However, you may have pre-conceived notions about Lance and his projection to the next level based on some things that you’ve heard from the national media. Lance is a special talent and there’s a reason why he’s my QB1 in this class, especially for what he can be for fantasy football.

Check out our in-depth Rookie Profile on Lance here >>>

Pat Freiermuth (TE – Penn State)

If Kyle Pitts wasn’t in this class, we’d be talking a lot more about Freiermuth and what he brings to the table. Freiermuth is a smooth mover in space for his size, he carries his weight extremely well, and he has incredibly reliable hands in the receiving game. He’ll be able to be a force in-line or he can line up out in the slot and be a mismatch against linebackers. If you miss out on Pitts in your Dynasty rookie drafts, don’t forget about Freiermuth.

Check out our in-depth Rookie Profile on Freiermuth here >>>

The Scouting Notebook

We’ve worked tirelessly to produce rookie profiles on the top prospects in this year’s draft class. If you’re interested in reading in-depth thoughts on players like Devonta Smith, Justin Fields, Javonte Williams, etc. you can find those here! However, those are obviously not the only players in this class and there are some solid Dynasty options that will rise up out of the later rounds to be key contributors for your roster down the road. Below, you’ll find several players that are worth highlighting, along with my scouting notes for each prospect.

Dazz Newsome (WR – North Carolina)

Newsome is a smooth and fluid athlete that also has a bit of grit and toughness to him. Brings some experience as both a kick and punt returner too. Has the experience playing out wide and in the slot. Runs a bit too wild sometimes. Has speed to spare and he tries to get too shifty with his routes sometimes where he would be better off taking a bit off the top. Carries his momentum very well though and snaps in and out of his breaks. Has some JUICE coming off the line of scrimmage. Explodes off the line and able to get downfield quickly. Able to plant his foot in the ground and change direction easily. Has an extra gear when he’s in the open field and creates separation so easily. Solid hands. Reels in essentially anything that’s thrown his way, whether that’s downfield or a rocket pass into a tight window. Able to hold onto the ball through contact extremely well. Could be used over the middle of the field frequently. Excellent after the catch and is able to pick up chunk plays routinely. Has tremendous burst and acceleration that allows him to break defender’s angles in the open field. Solid release at the LOS, but mostly plays in the slot or off-coverage. But the agility and movement skills are there to indicate that he can succeed on the inside or outside. Able to track the ball well while it’s in the air deep downfield. Only a couple of instances on tape where he was thrown the ball deep, but was able to show good tracking ability.Great top-end speed and should keep NFL defenders on their heels when he’s on the field. Overall, Newsome is a solid prospect that has some juice to his game. Will bring an added benefit of being a kick and punt returner and coaches will love his grit and attitude. Needs some refinement in his movements and trying to reign things in, but the talent is there. Should be a Day 3 steal.

Jake Funk (RB – Maryland)

Funk’s an intriguing late-round prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft that should have some teams interested in bringing him into their building. He doesn’t show great vision in between the tackles and he needs to work on improving his footwork. His feet can get a little wild, which prevents him from being able to make sharp cuts in between the tackles or out in the open field. Decent burst for his size, but works better when he’s able to build up a head of steam versus being shifty in small windows. Struggles to throttle down his momentum in the open field and this could be due to his feet getting out in front of him. Willing to lower his shoulder and engage with defenders, but doesn’t have the pure size to bring much overall power to the table. Fantastic speed when he’s able to get out into the open field. Doesn’t have great burst, but somehow finds a second gear after the initial 10-yard and has fantastic straight line speed. Decent contact balance and shows that he’s able to keep his weight and momentum in check if he’s making movements out in the open field. Good pass-catcher. Limited sample size on film, but didn’t show a natural ability in the instances. Certainly not a liability, but it’s not going to be the focal point of his game. Good in pass protection and able to diagnose where the pressure is coming from and meet them at the hole. Keeps his head up and textbook form. Overall, Funk might have to start out on special teams and work his way up a depth chart, but the overall talent is there to turn into something down the road.

Cade Johnson (WR – South Dakota State)

Johnson is an intriguing slot receiver in the NFL that has a tremendous ceiling. He was used primarily out of the slot at SDSU and this is where he’ll live in the NFL. He has some room to grow as far as refinement in his routes, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen him in action (SDSU didn’t play in 2020). Will be able to pick apart linebackers on choice routes all game long in zone coverage.Tremendous burst and acceleration. Pops off the line of scrimmage and is able to shift his momentum laterally extremely well. Solid hands and is able to make some grabs outside of his catch radius that surprise you for a player of his size. Able to hold on through contact well and make difficult grabs with defenders bearing in on him. Solid RAC ability and is able to use his acceleration and burst to break angles in the open field. Won’t consistently pull away from defenders, but has enough to be a threat. Solid release in the times where he did face press from the slot. Able to rock back, take the contact and get the defender lurching, and then explode through. Able to track the ball well while it’s in the air, but was the victim of poor QB play. Was consistently getting open downfield, but wasn’t even given the opportunity to make a play on the ball. Great top-end speed and can be a true three-level threat from the slot for a NFL team. Overall, Johnson has questions regarding his lack of 2020 tape. But the talent is there for him to be an impact player from the slot in the NFL.

Demetric Felton (WR – UCLA)

Felton’s an intriguing offensive weapon that requires some projecting for the next level. He was used heavily as a receiving weapon out of the backfield at UCLA, which is his best trait, but he also lined up primarily as a RB. Felton lacks the traits to succeed as a RB in the NFL, but he doesn’t have the tape to determine whether or not he can win on the outside or from the slot as a wideout. Has good burst off the line of scrimmage when he is lined up out wide, but lacks the acceleration to pull away from defenders and break angles in between the tackles. Able to halt his momentum well in the open field, but then struggles to accelerate again to take advantage of it. Can sidestep defenders rather than truly making them miss in a phone booth.Very little power to his game at his size. Lacks elite top-end speed. Won’t be able to pull away from defenders at the second level, but does have enough speed to be serviceable in the NFL. However, he’s simply not going to provide the explosive plays that NFL teams will be looking for given his skillset. Has a good understanding of space and how to work in small areas. Can be knocked off his spot slightly and still fall forward or pick up additional yardage. However, won’t be known for breaking tackles at the next level.Great pass-catcher and should be viewed as a developmental project to flip to WR in the NFL. Solid route-runner out of the backfield and does have the ability to move all over the formation. Natural receiver and soaks in everything thrown his way.Little to no reps in pass protection on film. Was moved out as a receiver versus being asked to stay in and protect. Usually a sign that the coaching staff doesn’t trust him in pass protection, but did show a solid ability to diagnose where pressure was coming from in the couple of reps that he stayed in. Overall, Felton’s a complete projection at the next level due to how he was deployed in college. He has the receiving ability to be a solid and reliable option in the passing game, but he might not have the overall athleticism required to succeed in that role. Should start out on Special Teams and work his way up a NFL depth chart from there.

Sage Surratt (WR – Wake Forest)

Surratt’s an overall solid athlete that had the size to win on the outside in college. He primarily lined up out wide, but also kicked inside from time to time, which might be his best projection at the next level. He shows a solid understanding of technique and how to set up defenders. Not the overall most refined route runner and is not going to consistently create separation in the NFL, but has the tools to compensate for that. Has enough agility to set up defenders at the LOS in release and then get on top of them in the route. However, might not be able to do that routinely against NFL corners.Fantastic hands and reels in nearly everything in his catch radius. Able to hold onto the ball well through contact and understands how to create windows of separation at the catch point. Thrives in being able to separate without getting flagged for it. Decent RAC ability, but this won’t be his best attribute in the NFL. Can pick up yardage if he’s given open space, but doesn’t have the overall athleticism to be viewed as a true RAC threat. Able to get defenders to flip their hips, but might not have the true acceleration and burst required to take advantage of it against NFL corners. Might be best being moved into a big slot role in the NFL. Excellent at tracking the ball deep downfield and being able to adjust and get his hands up at the last second. Doing this doesn’t allow the defender to telegraph the throw and get his hands into the catch point.Good, but not great, speed. Could pick up chunk gains if he’s schemed open, but won’t be able to blow by defenders. Overall, Surratt has the makings of a great big slot receiver in the NFL. He has the size to win on the outside, but the athleticism might not be there. It’s been a while since we’ve seen him on the field due to opting out in 2020, but he certainly has the talent to make an impact in the NFL.

Seth Williams (WR – Auburn)

Williams is a long and lean receiver that has the frame to win on the outside. He was used in a wide variety of ways at Auburn with everything from WR screens to Deep Posts. He has good snap in his hips and is able to quickly work his way back to the QB. Doesn’t have many examples of in or out breaking routes to display his fluidity there, but it does show up in other areas. Decent athleticism for his size and is able to pick up steam when he has space to work. Struggles on WR screens to move laterally and shift his momentum. Shouldn’t be used much in this capacity in the NFL. Inconsistent receiving on tape. Has the ability to make some truly jaw-dropping grabs and plays, but then can struggle in the intermediate levels of the field. Has some bad drops on his tape and can tend to shrink back when he knows he’s going to get hit. The ability is there, it’s just about refining it and making sure it shows up on a snap-to-snap basis. As mentioned above, has the ability to make some truly incredible catches by going up and over defenders or tracking the ball on back shoulder throws. However, can struggle when he’s asked to operate in tight windows and when he knows he’s going to engage with a defender. However, plays with a wide catch radius and the potential is there. It’s just about consistency. Will not be effective in the NFL if asked to create in small spaces. Lacks the lateral agility for that. However, does have long strides and can pick up steam when he’s able to get out in the open field. Evidenced by TD catch against Ole Miss. Very solid release at the LOS and has a good understanding of how to get defenders to flip their hips and then exploit it. Very good on quick slants. Has enough upper body strength to fight off contact as well. Excellent ability to track the ball while it’s in the air. Able to make some highlight reel grabs deep downfield by putting his big frame in the best position to make a play.Good speed when he’s in open space. Able to use his long strides to gain momentum and should be able to win deep downfield with this skillset. Overall, the only thing standing in Williams’ way of projecting nicely to the next level is his lack of effort on running plays and consistency snap-to-snap. For teams that are looking for a big-framed WR that can win on the outside, but can afford to be a bit patient with him, Williams is a solid Day 3 bet.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette (WR – Iowa)

Smith-Marsette is a smooth athlete that has the potential to carve out a role for himself in the NFL sooner than later. He’s not the most diverse route-runner, but he has a solid understanding of how to create separation within his routes and has good snap in his hips. Good, but not great, agility and ability to create separation through burst and acceleration. Solid hands. Dropped a couple of very tough catches on tape, but nothing that would be an indication of something greater. Able to hold onto the ball well through contact downfield, but was never really utilized over the middle of the field on the tape that I watched. Good RAC ability, but nothing outstanding. Good release off the line of scrimmage and knows how to lower his shoulder to create leverage and get on top of the defender. Was used heavily out of the slot at Iowa, but could be highly productive out of the slot in the NFL. Solid deep ball tracking ability. Wasn’t able to adjust to underthrows – which happened frequently – but it’s hard to put that blame on him. Really solid speed to get downfield from any position on the formation. Overall, Smith-Marsette is an intriguing name to monitor heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Has the potential to make an impact at the next level if he gets an opportunity.

Dax Milne (WR – BYU)

Milne’s an intriguing developmental WR that certainly has a future as a solid depth piece on a NFL roster. He’s a diverse route-runner and lined up all over the field at BYU. Left and right side but also frequently in the slot. He doesn’t possess much snap in and out of his routes, but he has an uncanny ability to play outside of structure and give his QB a way out. Decent athlete, but lacks the lower-half juice that could help create separation at the next level. Good hands. Incredibly reliable as a receiver and is able to make difficult catches look routine. Won’t be able to go up and over receivers, but tracks the ball extremely well while it’s in the air. Decent speed and athleticism. Able to be a factor downfield through his ball tracking ability moreso than his true athleticism. Good understanding and technique in release off the line of scrimmage. Shows the know how to dip his shoulders and get positioning on a defender, but he simply might not have the athleticism to create that separation at the next level. Overall, has the potential to stick around in the NFL for a long time, but might never be given a true starting opportunity with a team.

Austin Watkins (WR – UAB)

Watkins is a strong and big WR prospect that shows some potential on tape. He’s a diverse route-runner and can work underneath to the intermediate to deep levels of the field. Has good snap in his hips at the top of his breaks to continue the separation. Might not have enough burst in his lower half to continue momentum on in or out breaking routes. Decent agility and should have enough to succeed in the NFL, but might not give you a ton after the catch unless he’s already carrying momentum. Solid hands and able to absorb the ball through contact. Lacking in true RAC ability. Won’t be able to make defenders miss moving laterally. Has a good understanding of release at the line of scrimmage in press, but didn’t see it a lot and might not have the lower half explosiveness to compensate against bigger corners. Could work well though as a field stretching option in off-man. Able to track the ball well while it’s in the air and completely adjust his body. The QB play at UAB wasn’t great and he consistently had to adjust to where the ball actually was versus where it should be. Good top-end speed, but nothing spectacular. Could be profiled as a developmental field stretching receiver at the next level if the testing numbers check out.

Shi Smith (WR – South Carolina)

Smith is a smaller slot receiver in the NFL that has the potential to be an impact depth piece on a depth chart. He’s not a refined route runner and really didn’t do much to create separation from nickel corners. He tore up Tennessee on Slants, but that was pretty much it. Otherwise, he’s going to need to be schemed open to be effective. Solid hands when he’s in uncontested situations. Able to reel in the ball naturally, but struggles immensely in contested situations to reel in the pass. Is able to take shots over the middle of the field and get right back up, but has plenty of drops on tape in situations where a NFL slot receiver needs to bring in that reception. Has good speed to be able to be a factor after the catch if he’s schemed open and already has momentum, but won’t be able to make much happen on his own. Has good acceleration off the line of scrimmage, but was consistently in the slot or facing off-man coverage. Able to track the ball in the situations he was targeted more than 15 yards downfield, but then failed to be able to bring in those catches. Some were back shoulder, others right in his chest, but failed to bring in the catch. Good speed and should be able to be a threat for a team that doesn’t need to ask its slot WR to create much on their own, but that can create separation on drags, outs, deep overs, etc. Overall, most likely a depth piece for a NFL roster and a Day 3 player.

Tommy Tremble (TE – Notre Dame)

Tremble is an exciting, well-rounded TE prospect that has a bright future as a H-back in today’s NFL. He’s not a refined route-runner, but he has a solid understanding of how to drop into soft spots in zones and help out his QB. He is diverse in the type of routes he runs from multiple different spots in the formation though, which should help him as he adjusts to the NFL. Smooth mover for his size and plays much bigger than he is. Able to engage with EDGE defenders one-on-one in blocking and then use his size to shield off LBs as a receiver. Good get off the line of scrimmage. Solid hands and didn’t have any drops on tape. Unlikely to make any jaw-dropping catches, but certainly can fill a role as a reliable receiving option that can be moved around the formation. Able to use his frame to shield off defenders as a receiver, but most likely won’t be the type of player to go up and highpoint the football in contested situations down the seam. Relies more on being schemed open from creative spots on the formation versus creating on his own. Solid athleticism to indicate that he wouldn’t be a liability after the catch. Won’t be breaking away for chunk gains consistently, but has enough athleticism to pick up additional yardage after the catch. Fantastic in-line blocking ability. Able to engage with any defender on the field and hold his own. Great technique and loves engaging in contact. Willing to be the lead blocker in short yardage situations or can be utilized as a pulling blocker. Solid top-end speed, but not anything that’s going to blow you away. Has more than enough to be a mismatch on bigger and slower LBs, but could struggle to consistently create separation against bigger safeties coming down in man coverage. Will need to rely more on being schemed open, which he certainly has the skillset to exploit. Overall, Tremble is a perfect fit for the Jonnu Smith role in a NFL offense. He’s consistently sent in-motion and used as a deception piece for the Notre Dame offense. He’s not the type of athlete Smith is, but he can fill that type of role and provide a little bit extra as a blocker too.

Check out Mike Tagliere’s latest Dynasty Trade Value Chart >>

Dynasty Mailbag

Q1. On a QB needy 12 team SF roster (Teddy B and D Lock) I have 1.05, 1.06, and 1.10. How bad of an idea is it to take BPA at 5-6 and not whatever QB is left?
@FFBuddyGuy

If you do not have a QB in Superflex leagues, you’re simply not going to be able to compete. It’s simply a matter of fact. With Teddy Bridgewater – who currently doesn’t have a starting job – and Drew Lock – who might lose his starting job in less than two weeks – you’re going to need to invest in the QB position. If one of the top four QBs falls to you, that’s an easy decision to pull the trigger and invest in that position. However, if the draft starts out as four straight QBs, don’t feel like you have to just take the next QB available. Mac Jones – who is the most likely to be still available – is not worth taking as a top-5 option. Go BPA there and then see if you can snag Jones at the 1.10. After the draft, see if you can make some moves to acquire some more QB depth. But don’t panic and reach at the 1.05 if the top-4 QBs are off the board.

Q2. How are fantasy players supposed to know who to trust when it comes to draft evaluations? Essentially, how do we know who is good at doing their jobs?
@FPLMahomes

This is such a great question. At FantasyPros, we have an incredible team that has built out a way to measure accuracy for fantasy football rankings. However, that is able to be done because there’s an end result and it’s only a year – or week – process. With draft prospects, there isn’t a way to measure the success of these players outside of just production on the field and that needs to be evaluated within a longer time frame. Draft pundits typically say that we need to give these prospects three full seasons before we look back and ascertain whether or not our ranking of them was correct. That’s simply too long. The best way for you to figure out who to trust in draft evaluations is really to keep track of it on your own and gather a few names together over the course of a couple of years. Don’t simply just listen to one analyst, but instead look to bring in a few different and respected voices that can provide you with varying levels of analysis. It’s simply then up to you to make your decision later on on who you trust the most out of that grouping. Essentially, limit the field over the course of time.

Q3. Why are you so high on Eskridge? Eskridge is a super senior and played against weaker/younger competition. Can you name the last successful WR drafted after his super senior year?
@JopRipler

Let me be clear, my following response is not directed solely at you. This is simply a platform for me to be able to build off of your question and answer a larger question that bothers me. With that being said, it doesn’t quite matter what the track record is of players behind this year’s prospect. Each player is completely different and each situation is completely different. This goes along with the argument that Justin Fields won’t be successful in the NFL because no previous Ohio State QB has been successful. By that logic, Patrick Mahomes shouldn’t be the league MVP because there had never been a truly great Texas Tech QB prospect. Or Josh Allen shouldn’t be leading the Buffalo Bills to the AFC Championship game because there hadn’t been a good Wyoming QB before him. One of my favorite phrases this time of year is “scout the player, not the helmet.” So with Eskridge, I’m high on him because his tape is really good and his traits translate to the NFL level. Players develop at different speeds in college and that’s something that we need to remember. For example, Trey Lance wasn’t even viewed as a QB prospect by recruiters coming out of high school, so he had to go play at the FCS level and now he’s in consideration for a top-5 pick in the NFL Draft this year. Eskridge might have needed that extra year to take his game to the next level, but I believe that he hit that mark at the right time. Don’t doubt a single player simply because there’s not a proven track record at their school, position, or even age. Watch the player and evaluate whether or not they have the traits to make it in the NFL. It’s that simple sometimes.

Q4. Are you comfortable thinking Darnold could be a solid QB2 with any QB1 potential in SF with the Panthers?
– @_RichieRichFF06

Absolutely. Darnold being a QB2 on my Superflex roster is something that I’m perfectly comfortable with this season. However, anything above that is where I start to get a bit more weary. In this offense, Darnold certainly has the chance to reach QB1 production for fantasy football, but he also has a lot that he has to work on and fix from his time with the Jets. There’s a wide range of outcomes with Darnold, but I think the floor is low-end QB2 production with the weapons he has around him.

Q5. Win now window in a 14 team SF. Large playing rosters also. Have Dak, Brady, Fitz. Do I have to draft a QB at 9? I’m thinking of going all in and trading for a player who can contribute right now like Mixon.
– @Herms33

I say this all the time, if you have a chance to compete for a championship in a Dynasty league, then do whatever you have to to chase it. If you believe that you’re in a win now window, then acquire the talent you need to go chase a ring. You can figure the rest out later. As for the specific trade you mentioned, absolutely. I’m sending away the 1.09 to go get someone like Joe Mixon.

Kyle Yates’ Updated Dynasty Rankings

 

 


Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

Dynasty, Featured, Featured Link, NFL