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Best Ball Risers and Fallers for July (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Jul 15, 2021

The best ball landscape is everchanging. Therefore, the following tables reflect notable average draft position (ADP) changes — or in some cases, positional changes despite a static ADP — in 12-team BestBall10 non-auction drafts using May 1 through May 31 and June 1 through July 13 as the timeframes.

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Russell Wilson and Jalen Hurts have both moved up a spot within the top-10 quarterbacks. Despite that, Hurts's ADP remains unchanged. The big risers at the position are Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Trey Lance. Tannehill's surge is undoubtedly related to the Titans' acquisition of Julio Jones via trade. I support the move.

Ditto for Fitz and Lance climbing draft boards. In fact, I think both should be rising higher. Fitzmagic is throwing to the most talented collection of weapons he's played with since shining in a part-time role with the Buccanneers in 2018. It's unclear when Lance will earn the starting quarterback job for the 49ers. However, his rushing ability should make him a top-10 option at the position immediately when he does.

Justin Herbert has slipped behind Wilson in the quarterback pecking order. The slide is noteworthy because it's in the top 10. However, he's actually being drafted incrementally earlier than he was from May 1 through May 31.

Aaron Rodgers is falling. Yet, I believe he should be falling farther and faster given his dissatisfaction with the Packers and what feels like a legitimate threat to holdout. Deshaun Watson's fall doesn't require any analysis, as it's clearly related to the mounting lawsuits against him. He's completely off of my draft board.

Ben Roethlisberger has dipped a bit. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston has slipped more than a round. So, admittedly, I've cooled my jets on Winston. Earlier in the offseason, I was open to the idea of drafting Winston and Taysom Hill together in the hopes of one winning the job and performing at a high level. Frankly, I could see this turning into a tandem quarterback situation with Hill being featured in goal-line packages. But, instead, I'm just avoiding the situation altogether.

Derrick Henry has crept up the running back position by one spot. I view the addition of Jones as a plus for his outlook, so I support the move. Austin Ekeler's rising, too. However, I'd draft him even earlier than his current ADP.

Najee Harris is primed for a workhorse gig after the Steelers spent a first-round pick on him. Of course, he can pay off for gamers who select him as an RB1 like he's being drafted now, but that's a little rich for my blood.

Fellow rookies Trey Sermon and Michael Carter are skyrocketing up draft boards. I'm fine with Sermon's climb, but I also still like Raheem Mostert. I'll take stabs on both in best ball leagues. I'm bearish on Carter. While it's possible he'll earn the feature role for the Jets, I'm skeptical and worry about him having merely a committee role with Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson.

Saquon Barkley's returning from a serious knee injury that included a torn ACL. Uncertainty about when the Giants will allow him to take on a full workload is the likely reason for his slide behind Henry. I'll gladly absorb the risk of a reduced workload early for Barkley's sky-high ceiling where he's being selected in drafts.

Aaron Jones's fall is presumably tied to the uncertainty around Rodgers. He's the one member of Green Bay's offense who I'm not concerned with regarding Rodgers. Sure, his touchdown upside will be reduced if Rodgers holds out. However, the team could opt to lean on him more heavily on the ground and with short designed passes to make Jordan Love's transition to starting easier if he's pressed into duty. I trust the volume will be there, and I'm treating him as a top-10 running back.

Anthony Lynn's chatter about Jamaal Williams as a "classic 'A' back" clouds D'Andre Swift's outlook on a bad Lions team. Swift's pass-catching prowess is excellent. Swift's the better back, and his pass-catching ability is more valuable in fantasy. Regardless, Williams will be involved, capping Swift's ceiling. I barely have Swift inside my top-20 running backs.

The Texans are arguably the worst team in the NFL, and they have a crowded running back room. I'm a bit higher on David Johnson than his current average draft position. Nonetheless, I'd assume avoid selecting him. As for Kenneth Gainwell, I'll gladly scoop up the dynamic pass-catching rookie back at his reduced cost. Sure, Miles Sanders is ahead of him on the depth chart, and Boston Scott provides competition for touches. Regardless, Gainwell's ability as a receiver could allow him to carve out a viable pass-catching role quickly.

Calvin Ridley's poised to be a target hog with Jones dealt to the Titans. CeeDee Lamb has leapfrogged teammate Amari Cooper, being selected one spot ahead of him. I'm in alignment with that order. Teddy Bridgewater's a middling quarterback. However, he's more accurate than Drew Lock, which should presumably help Jerry Jeudy in year two.

Antonio Brown and Mike Williams are a couple of receivers who I've pounded the table for selecting. I fully support their rise, and there's still room for them to exceed expectations at their current ADPs.

Elijah Moore is an intriguing rookie who the Jets demonstrated their interest in by spending an early second-round pick on him. I understand the infatuation. Nonetheless, the potential for a full-blown committee at receiver leaves me only lukewarm on drafting him. The Jets lack high-end talent in their receiver room, but they offset that with depth.

A.J. Brown is unquestionably an elite talent. New teammate Jones is excellent, too, and the offense could continue to run through King Henry. I have him ranked as WR7, identical to his current ADP.

I can't pinpoint a specific reason for Will Fuller's ADP fall. I'm fine with where he's being selected. Denzel Mims is the receiver on the Jets who looks most like the odd-man-out. His fall is warranted.

Jamison Crowder agreed to have his salary significantly reduced to return to the Jets. The team made a splash signing Corey Davis, and they also brought in Keelan Cole. Davis is the receiver I'm most interested in, but that's relatively speaking, and I don't envision having many shares of him, either. Zach Wilson is the real winner of their deep receiver room with varying skill sets.

Josh Reynolds's best ball value evaporated with the arrival of Jones. So he's an easy fade now.

Darren Waller is the top pass-catcher on the Raiders. He's a stud who can count on a heavy diet of targets. Ambiguity at the quarterback for the previous TE2 presumably aids his move up. Struggles are typically par for the course for rookie tight ends. Kyle Pitts is a rare breed, and his pathway to a boatload of targets is clear in the wake of Jones being dealt to the Titans.

Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett were teammates. Separated from one another, each has a chance to flourish. So I'm buying the rise for both.

George Kittle boasts elite efficiency. Regardless, the potential for Kyle Shanahan crafting a run-first offense for Lance, limiting his pass attempts, creates some volume risk for Kittle. Despite that legitimate concern, I'm buying Kittle. I'm torn between him and Waller, and I intend on varying my exposure to both in best ball formats.

Robert Tonyan hauled in a whopping 11 touchdown passes last year. Further, he efficiently snagged 52 or 59 targets in a breakout campaign. Unfortunately, his 3.3 receptions and 36.6 receiving yards per game, according to Pro-Football-Reference, aren't exciting marks. Tonyan's fantasy value is largely tied to Rodgers ending his holdout and leading a high-scoring offense again this year. I'm avoiding Tonyan.

Austin Hooper's fall is negligible. He's an adequate dart throw as low-end TE2 or TE3 for gamers opting for quantity over quality.

I'm not an Anthony Firkser truther. Regardless, the drafting community is probably overreacting to Jones joining the Titans. Firkser's a pass-catching tight end who should benefit from Jonnu Smith leaving in free agency. I'm a little higher on him than drafters, slotting him as my TE23.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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