All-Undrafted Team (2021 Fantasy Football)
The All-Undrafted Team represents my favorite late-round picks. Only players with an average draft position (ADP) after pick 150 in point-per-reception (PPR) formats qualify for inclusion. Also, since my preference for defense and kicker is to stream, and most are being selected after pick 150 anyway, I’m not including those positions. So, without further ado, the 2021 Fantasy Football All-Undrafted Team.
Trey Lance (SF): 163.0 ADP
I’ve been pounding the table for selecting Lance all offseason. Quarterbacks who run are where it’s at in fantasy football, and I specifically highlighted Taysom Hill and Jalen Hurts as examples of successful running quarterbacks in 2020 while singing Lance’s praises. I also demonstrated how Kyle Shanahan had gotten a ton out of Nick Mullens, despite Mullens’ lackluster skills, as a reason to be excited about what the toolsy Lance could be capable of in San Francisco’s offense.
I’m still all in on Lance, and camp reports and highlights add fuel to the fire.
– Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) July 29, 2021
Trey Lance DIME to Brandon Aiyuk 🎯
– PFF (@PFF) August 3, 2021
– Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 3, 2021
Every positive preseason report and demonstration of superior skills to Jimmy Garoppolo bodes well for the rookie’s chances of starting Week 1. Regardless, he’s a locked-in QB1 whenever he takes the reigns who’s worth stashing if he opens the year as the backup.
Rashaad Penny (SEA): 170.8 ADP
My ranking of Penny has been a rollercoaster ride. I opened the offseason high on his 2021 outlook, cooling my jets after a report of cleanup surgery in June on the left knee he previously had surgery on to repair a torn ACL.
The rollercoaster is climbing again, though, with reports of a slimmer Penny looking explosive.
Rashaad Penny practiced fully to begin training camp as the RB2 behind Chris Carson, and looked fast, fully back from that reconstructive knee surgery.
Pete Carroll says Penny is 225 pounds, and looks “the best we’ve seen him.” #Seahawks
– Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) July 29, 2021
Penny’s averaged 5.1 yards per rush attempt in his career, gashing defenses for 5.7 yards per attempt when last fully healthy in 2019. Further, among running backs who carried the ball 20-99 times in 2019, he ranked first in Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) and Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), per Football Outsiders. As a result, he could quickly emerge as a complement to Chris Carson and offer flex appeal, with the added benefit of being a handcuff whose value would skyrocket with an injury to Carson.
Matt Breida (BUF): 264.5 ADP
Breida joins Lance as a player I’ve pounded the table for repeatedly in the offseason, calling him a must-have running back, a running back dart throw, and a top running back outside the ECR top 50. Check those linked pieces out for the rationale as to why I’m enamored with him. In the last linked piece, I acknowledged he’s not a lock to make the roster, needing a strong camp and preseason to sew up a spot on the roster.
However, camp reports are positive, suggesting his roster bubble status might be overblown.
Bills GM Brandon Beane on @WGR550: “Matt (Breida) a seasoned vet. He’s very smart. Came in a picked up the offense well. We were looking for a little juice……gives Brian (Daboll) a variety based on who we are playing and matchups.”
– Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) August 2, 2021
Lots of discussion of Kumerow, Groot & Epenesa rightfully…
– Greg Cover 1 🏈 (@GregTompsett) August 1, 2021
– Justin Edwards (@Justin_Redwards) July 28, 2021
“Matt Breida has really shown off his speed and quickness through the first four days. He works well in tight spaces, but also gets to where he’s going in a hurry. He could wind up being more of a factor in the offense than many anticipated when they signed him as a free agent” https://t.co/OCUcSGo9hg
– Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) August 1, 2021
I’m all about snagging a super-cheap piece of Buffalo’s offense, namely since Breida only needs a few touches with his home-run speed to deliver flex or low-end RB2 value. If he ends up cut or a healthy inactive in Week 1, cut him and move on. The situation should be made clear quickly.
Rashod Bateman (BAL): 179.5 ADP
The Ravens have added talent at receiver, signing veteran Sammy Watkins and spending a first-round pick on Bateman. The additions join Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews as viable weapons in the passing attack, increasing the floor and ceiling for Baltimore’s passing game. Regardless, tempering expectations for their play calling is wise since offensive coordinator Greg Roman has always run the ball at an extreme rate.
Still, Bateman has a chance to emerge as the top receiver. Brown’s yet to demonstrate he can be a true No. 1. Andrews is my favorite to be the most productive pass-catching option. Yet, grabbing a player the Ravens used first-round capital to select with leading Baltimore in targets within his realistic range of outcomes is a no-brainer move.
Nelson Agholor (NE): 179.5 ADP
Agholor is another player in this space who could be his team’s No. 1 receiver. His primary competition for that distinction is Jakobi Meyers. But, of course, fellow free-agent additions, tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, are also candidates to be the most-targeted player in the run-heavy offense.
The good news with Agholor is that he doesn’t need a high volume of work to help fantasy teams. Agholor was efficient as a deep threat for the Raiders in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, Agholor ranked 21st out of 84 receivers targeted at least 50 times with 2.04 yards per route run (Y/RR). In addition, he ranked sixth out of 153 qualified pass-catchers in yards per target (10.9), per Pro-Football-Reference,10th DYAR, and fourth in DVOA among receivers targeted at least 50 times.
There’s a boom-or-bust element to selecting a field-stretching receiver, namely in PPR formats, in what’s likely to be one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses. Nonetheless, there’s a decent chance Agholor’s regularly in the WR3/flex discussion weekly.
Gabriel Davis (BUF): 187.2 ADP
I highlighted Davis as a top receiver outside the ECR top 50 back in early July. However, camp reports are favorable for free-agent addition Emmanuel Sanders, creating competition for targets. Regardless, I’m still a Davis fan.
Teammates and coaches have spoken highly of his work ethic and skills, and the Bills used four-receiver formations at the second-highest rate behind only the Cardinals in 2021, per Sharp Football Stats. So, even if Davis opens the year as the fourth receiver, a sophomore surge isn’t out of the question.
Jordan Akins (HOU): 179.0 ADP
There are other tight ends outside the top-150 players in ADP who I have ranked ahead of Akins. Still, I wanted to highlight him since he’s literally often undrafted and has a realistic path to fantasy relevance. I discussed Akins extensively for numberFire. Teasing the linked piece, Akins’ yards per target through his first three seasons puts him in good company among tight ends since 2001. He’s a nifty last-round pick.
Randall Cobb (GB): 220.2 ADP
Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers ended his holdout, rejoining the Packers. He stumped for the team to acquire Cobb and Cobb’s back with his former running mate. As a result, the slot wideout joins last year’s highest-scoring offense at the wishes of Rodgers. That’s a heck of a starting point for warranting attention in fantasy football leagues.
Cobb played in only 10 games last year. Still, his 9.2 yards per target was a stellar mark, following a 2019 season in which he was even better, recording 10.0 yards per target in 15 games for the Cowboys. Further, out of 80 receivers targeted between 10 and 49 times last year, he ranked third in DYAR and 15th in DVOA.
It looks like he has something left in the tank, making him worth a late-round dart throw in the hopes he recaptures something resembling the form he displayed in his peak years playing with Rodgers. Even a reversion to his 2019 form would do the trick, as he finished as WR48 in PPR points per game during the fantasy season (Week 1 through Week 16) out of receivers who played at least 10 games, according to our Fantasy Leaders page.
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