2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Most Accurate Experts
From the moment fantasy managers completed their drafts, right up until kickoff of the Browns-Steelers game on Monday night of Week 17, one overriding question was on everyone’s mind: Who do I start this week? Make the right start/sit calls consistently and you found yourself in the playoffs and, hopefully, with a fantay football championship. Choose poorly and a feeling of regret would dominate the rest of your week.
The fantasy football industry is chock full of outstanding analysts who produce content that entertain while also making readers and listeners better fantasy football players. Managers often devour as much information as they can, seeking to gain any advantage, no matter how minor, to help them set their best lineup.
And, of course, they consult expert rankings.
At FantasyPros, we want to provide you with the most information to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy team, and part of that is showing you which experts have been the most accurate with their rankings. Over 170 fantasy football analysts submitted rankings to the accuracy competition each week of the 2021 season. To be among the best at the end of the year required a sustained level of dedication and excellence.
With the 2021 fantasy football season now closed, and the accuracy results finalized, the full accuracy leaderboard (170+ experts) is available. Here are the 10 most accurate season-long experts:
|Top 10 Experts – Overall Leaderboard*|
|1.||Jeff Ratcliffe – FTN|
|2.||Jake Ciely – The Athletic|
|3.||Dan Harris – FantasyPros|
|4.||Mike MacGregor – Draft Buddy|
|5.||Nathan Jahnke – Pro Football Focus|
|6.||Kevin Hanson – EDSFootball|
|7.||Sean Koerner – The Action Network|
|8.||Bart Wheeler – Hail to Fantasy Football|
|9.||Nick Mariano – RotoBaller|
|10.||John Paulsen – 4for4.com|
There are some familiar names on the list of 2021’s most accurate experts. Nathan Jahnke (Pro Football Focus) has finished in the top-five in accuracy in each of the past three seasons. John Paulsen (4for4.com) makes his second home on the top-10 list, placing on it in 10 of the past 12 seasons, with nine finishes inside the top-6. Sean Koerner (The Action Network) has won the accuracy competition three times before, and returns to the top-10 list after three straight finishes just outside it.
But, after years of consistent excellence and near-misses, Jeff Ratcliffe (FTN) finally climbed the mountain and finished as the year’s most accurate expert. Ratcliffe entered Week 17 second in the accuracy competition, but he had a solid final week of rankings to narrowly push him over the top. Like many of the analysts mentioned above, Ratcliffe has demonstrated a level of consistency that is difficult to believe. He has participated in the accuracy competition since 2011, and has finished within the top-10 eight different times, including eighth in 2019 and sixth in 2020. His three non-top-10 finishes were 26th, 15th, and 13th. Simply put, if you’ve followed Ratcliffe’s advice over the last decade, you almost certainly have multiple fantasy football championships to show for it.
The key to Ratcliffe’s success this year was consistency at every position: 3rd at quarterback, 12th at running back, 11th at wide receiver, and 18th at tight end. There were no holes in his game from Week 1 through Week 17.
Ratcliffe needed to be just about perfect because there was no shortage of challengers. Jake Ciely (The Athletic) returned to his rightful place in the top-10 after a one-year hiatus, and now has six top-10 in-season accuracy finishes on his ledger. Dan Harris (FantasyPros) has been in the top-15 in four of his five years in the competition, Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball) finished 9th in 2020, Bart Wheeler (Hail to Fantasy Football) has improved his accuracy finishes for three straight years, and Nick Mariano (RotoBaller) has finished in the top-11 three times over the last five seasons.
But no one challenged Ratcliffe quite as much as Mike MacGregor (Draft Buddy). In just his second year of the competition, MacGregor dominated for much of it, finishing in the top-7 of rankings in five different weeks. He was the most or second-most accurate expert at three different positions (quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end) and he and Ratcliffe battled for the top spot all season long, with MacGregor leading the competition heading into Week 17 until Ratcliffe narrowly edged him out. MacGregor may not have been in the compeition for as long as any of the other top-10 finishers, but his future in the competition is equally as bright.
If you followed any of this year’s most accurate experts on Twitter or subscribe to his content, you likely had a successful fantasy season. If you haven’t done so, make sure you remedy that before you enter next year’s drafts.
Congratulations to everyone in the top 10 and the year-long positional accuracy champions:
Quarterbacks: Mike MacGregor (Draft Buddy)
Running Backs: Bart Wheeler (Hail to Fantasy Football)
Wide Receivers: Mick Ciallela (Fantrax)
Tight Ends: Richard King (King Fantasy Sports)
Kickers: Andrew Seifter (FantasyPros)
D/ST: Nick Zylak (Fantasy Football Advice)
IDP: Ryan Sitzmann (The IDP Guru)
We’ll be back again next season with a new competition to track the most accurate predictions. Until then, be sure to check out BettingPros to help with your post-fantasy football decisions.