2021 NFL Big Board

2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Big Board

2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Big Board

Welcome to my 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Big Board. For some background, this is my 7th year dissecting and analyzing the NFL Draft. I do it from both the lens of real world implications, as well as for Fantasy Football purposes. I read the tea leaves of Draftniks, and what they hear being whispered behind the scenes. I consider all of the fantasy pundits, and the various metrics and algorithms factoring ‘break out ages’ and ‘dominator ratings’. I add my own personal feelings on what my eyes see. And of course, as the founder of an advanced statistical website, I incorporate the raw black and white data of what these prospects have produced in their careers. What you see below is my Overall Big Board accounting for the Fantasy Football relevant positions. In other words, just the offensive playmakers.


One thing that should remain constant, is to not be stagnant. Even if you have a refined model you trust and believe in, and has by and large worked, the game is constantly evolving. You must be able and willing to adapt, recognize you may be missing things, and try to account for those shortcomings. I have had great success in past drafts, as well as big failures. Everyone has. There is no 100% accuracy in this game. That is the only guarantee. This year, I decided to try a new model. One that incorporates a player’s stat line, plus their athletic testing, and adding in a film analysis grade. I think it could be beneficial to compare these numbers to past successes in the league, but at the same time, they are only going against themselves – not the past. So, I took all of these numbers and compared this class only against itself. You can find all of the data used in the 2021 XTB NFL Draft Guide, yet another reason you should purchase the guide.


There are varying opinions on ‘what makes a great player’ and what numbers we should concentrate most on. Some will argue that you should only look at certain years of a players résumé. I decided to account for his entire body of work. For the Statistical portion of my grading (vSTAT), I accumulated each players full stat line throughout their college career. I then used a fantasy multiplier of 1 point per 10 yards Rushing/Receiving, 1 point per 25 yards Passing, 6 points per Rushing/Receiving TD, 4 points per Passing TD, 1 point per Reception, and -2 points per Interception thrown. I then took each players total career points, and divided by games played to create a per game ‘Fantasy Points’ total. Because I didn’t feel every conference could be weighted equally, I averaged out each conference’s passing totals per team, to create a variable for where a player called home. The sum of these per game totals were then averaged out by each position. As an example, the xPer Game for Wide Receivers is 9.24 points per game. The next step was to create an additional multiplier to account for Competition level of each conference (see chart). Each player was then measured against their per game number to see how above or below average he was to his peers. Sticking with the Wide Receivers, Rondale Moore of Purdue scored the highest, with a 2.001 grade. This means he produced more than twice the average of this class. Ja’Marr Chase of LSU, who is largely considered the top receiver in this class, scored an impressive 1.392, and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith of Alabama measured in with a 1.420. This huge disparity was too big to ignore on what Moore actually contributes on the field on a per game basis. Thus, the vSTAT grade born.

Stands for ‘versus Class Athletic Testing‘. Similar to how the statistics were calculated, I wanted to see how players athletic scores compared to each other. I didn’t want to get into the weeds with height, weight, age, etc, so it was just a straight line measurement of four categories: 40 Yard Dash, Vertical Jump, Broad Jump, and 10 Yard Split. From most accounts in my experience, these are the core group of measurements factoring into a players quickness, burst, and speed. Yes, you can certainly make the case that strength and size matter. But, as just one factor in the total evaluation, how do these players compare when stacked against each other in just their pure athleticism. Again, each position was tallied for an average score of each of the categories, and then weighed against the class individually. With four categories, and 1.0 being the average, a score of 4.0 is the bar. Continuing with Wide Receivers as the example, Rondale Moore once again scored tops in the class with a 4.271 grade. Ja’Marr Chase was a close second at 4.266. There were a few players that didn’t participate in these tests, most notably DeVonta Smith and teammate Jaylen Waddle. For them, I had to make some assumptions, which was to assign them the average class grade. With those two in particular, I tweaked their scores closer to the top end of the average. This concept seemed to hold true amongst all of the positions, making me comfortable with vCAT as a viable measuring stick.

2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Big Board

XTB Grade (Film Analysis)
In years past, I watched much more film, formulating my own opinions on players. What I found was that this leads to more biased based observations, either falling in or out of love with particular prospects. This year, I was buried behind the scenes working on getting the XTB Draft Guide together. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as my trusted team of scouts collectively watched over 10,000 hours of film, and jointly came up with grades for each player to comprise the guide. All of their review was film based, making their final grades on players ones I felt comfortable trusting as a score to apply for film analysis. Again, there are full scouting reports for 378 prospects at every position, all with 8 trait grades plus a final overall score. Seriously, if you don’t have the XTB Draft Guide yet, you are severely missing out!

Final Score
When tallying up the combination of vSTAT + vCAT + XTB Grade, I noticed the differences in the size of the numbers. The statistical grade was in the range of 0.5 to 2, the athletic grade was in the range of 3.7 to 4.2, and the film grade was in the range of 5.3 to 7. This firmly backed up what I felt mattered most, and was appropriate in what percentage of the total grade was most important. In order, Film mattered most, followed by Athleticism, and lastly College Production. The total grade at each position, albeit a couple of outliers, all lined up with what most consensus opinions say. Then, when I put all of the positions side by side, they too fell in line pretty well with each other. It also confirmed why I wanted to do things this way in the first place: to not be persuaded and dictated into a stance based on opinions. What does the raw data say? Am I missing something that should be more obvious? Is Sage Surratt really the 5th best Wide Receiver in this class? Do any of us really have that answer at this point in time? My personal opinions include Trey Lance as QB2, Javonte Williams as RB1, and Terrace Marshall, Jr as WR5. But again, I did this to try to be as uninfluenced as possible. There is obvious room for debate, but I think the exercise is also quite revealing. You be the judge.

Last Word

I have also worked on a measurement to add in a grade for Landing Spot/Opportunity. There will be an update to this 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Big Board once the draft is complete, and we know where players end up starting their professional careers. Until then, enjoy the remaining week of Draft SZN!

ps – have you seen my 1st RoundMock Draft yet? The final version is here

Rondale MooreWR 12.0014.2716.813.072
Kyle PittsTE 11.6104.157712.767
Ja'Marr ChaseWR 21.3924.2667.112.758
DeVonta SmithWR 31.4204.144712.564
Travis EtienneRB 11.3664.0756.812.242
Rashod BatemanWR 41.4244.0566.712.180
Trevor LawrenceQB 11.1723.5467.412.119
Matt BushmanTE 21.7573.9126.412.070
Sage SurrattWR 51.6043.9576.512.061
Tylan WallaceWR 61.6803.886.512.060
Zach WilsonQB 21.5673.5666.912.033
Najee HarrisRB 21.2413.9716.812.0131
Pat FreiermuthTE 31.5243.8806.612.010
Kenneth GainwellRB 31.3444.0166.611.961
Jaylen WaddleWR 70.8824.144712.027
Amon-Ra St.BrownWR 81.4744.0706.411.944
Brevin JordanTE 41.4903.9886.411.878
Justin FieldsQB 31.0433.7047.111.848
Hunter LongTE 51.3233.9716.511.795
Javonte WilliamsRB 40.9954.0516.711.746
Elijah MooreWR 91.2554.0516.411.706
Chuba HubbardRB 51.4374.0676.211.705
Terrace Marshall JrWR 101.0594.1376.511.697
Tutu AtwellWR 111.3113.9786.411.690
Javian HawkinsRB 61.0444.0666.511.611
Kadarius ToneyWR 120.6794.2846.611.564
Dyami BrownWR 131.2854.0706.211.556
Seth WilliamsWR 140.9944.0346.511.529
Elijah MitchellRB 71.0774.2476.211.525
Michael CarterRB 80.9483.9386.611.486
Jaret PattersonRB 91.1233.8426.511.466
Josh ImatorbhebheWR 151.0364.4125.911.349
Simi FehokoWR 161.2713.9666.111.338
Trey LanceQB 41.0493.5726.711.322
Pooka WilliamsRB 101.2493.9496.111.298
Nico CollinsWR 170.9634.1156.211.279
Kylin HillRB 110.9224.0436.311.266
Trey SermonRB 120.8994.1646.211.263
Jaelon DardenWR 181.2964.0395.911.235
Noah GrayTE 60.8934.0076.311.201
Austin WatkinsWR 191.0463.8466.311.192
Dazz NewsomeWR 201.0763.8916.211.167
Rhamondre StevensonRB 130.9563.7766.411.133
Dax MilneWR 211.0793.8026.211.082
Kenny YeboahTE 70.8693.9086.311.077
Khalil HerbertRB 140.7683.9046.411.072
D'Wayne EskridgeWR 220.6954.0756.311.070
Tamorrion TerryWR 231.2403.9635.811.003
Amari RodgersWR 240.8003.8786.310.979
Jonathan Adams JrWR 250.8974.1775.910.974
Anthony SchwartzWR 260.6604.0136.310.973
Marquez StevensonWR 271.0853.9585.910.943
Tommy TrembleTE 80.79934.135610.934
Tim JonesWR 280.9854.1295.810.915
Rico Bussey JrWR 291.0784.0985.710.877
Demetric FeltonRB 150.7093.8516.310.860
Dez FitzpatrickWR 301.0274.0235.810.851
CJ MarableRB 161.1833.9675.710.850
Kyle TraskQB 50.9493.4946.410.844
Quintin MorrisTE 91.3873.9945.410.782
Tyler VaughnsWR 311.2763.7975.710.774
Cornell PowellWR 330.6034.0626.110.765
TJ VasherWR 341.1214.0385.610.760
Kylen GransonTE 100.9624.0855.710.748
Tony PoljanTE 110.8233.8236.110.746
Mac JonesQB 60.6773.5686.510.746
Cade JohnsonWR 350.9233.9165.910.740
Warren JacksonWR 361.0673.8665.810.733
Tre NixonWR 370.8684.0485.810.716
Ihmir Smith-MarsetteWR 380.7294.0825.910.711
Sam EhlingerQB 71.4593.6425.610.701
Gerrid DoaksRB 170.7544.1435.810.698
Ian BookQB 81.3883.6045.710.693
Frank DarbyWR 390.8723.9045.910.676
Stevie Scott IIIRB 181.2463.8275.610.674
Briley MooreTE 120.8424.1195.710.662
Tre McKittyTE 130.6673.8916.110.659
Jermar JeffersonRB 191.1123.8455.710.657
Damonte CoxieWR 401.0043.7465.910.650
Shi SmithWR 410.8274.0225.810.650
Chris EvansRB 200.6454.2835.710.629
Brenden KnoxRB 210.9333.8875.810.620
Davis MillsQB 90.9083.5096.210.618
Elijah MitchellWR 420.2264.1906.210.617
Cary AngelineTE 141.1113.6815.810.592
Whop PhilyorWR 431.1563.8185.610.574
Isaiah McKoyWR 441.1263.7245.710.551
Rakeem BoydRB 220.9143.7215.910.536
Jamie NewmanQB 101.0823.5515.910.533
Nick EubanksTE 150.8343.9895.710.523
JaQuan HardyRB 230.8283.9505.710.479
Ben SkowronekWR 450.7893.9855.710.474
John BatesTE 160.8243.8355.810.460
Tre WalkerWR 461.1583.6865.610.444
Josh PedersonTE 171.1703.6595.610.430
Zach DavidsonTE 180.8184.0075.610.425
Trey RagasRB 240.9183.8885.610.406
Trevon GrimesWR 470.6393.9635.810.403
Larry RountreeRB 251.0263.6555.710.381
Marlon WilliamsWR 480.8323.8465.710.378
Kellen MondQB 110.8523.6255.910.377
Josh JohnsonRB 260.7823.9445.610.327
Jhamon AusbonWR 490.8153.8055.710.320
Blake ProehlWR 500.9244.0765.310.300
Damon HazeltonWR 511.0203.9775.310.297
Pro WellsTE 191.0843.6785.510.263
Luke FarrellTE 200.6593.9805.610.239
Brandon SmithWR 520.7584.1505.310.208
Shaun BeyerTE 210.6193.8595.710.178
TJ SimmonsWR 530.8483.9225.410.171
Asim RoseRB 270.5703.9935.610.163
Michael StrachanWR 540.7944.0415.310.135
Jalen CampWR 550.6634.1595.310.122
Miller ForristallTE 220.5613.9305.610.091
Feleipe FranksQB 120.6573.6315.810.089
Josh PalmerWR 560.5123.9675.610.079
Peyton RamseyQB 131.0003.4645.610.065
Brady WhiteQB 140.9613.4855.610.047
Shane BuecheleQB 150.9913.4605.59.952
Racey McMathWR 570.4464.0045.59.951
Dylan SoehnerTE 230.3643.7725.69.737
Brady DavisQB 160.5473.5855.49.532
KJ CostelloQB 170.6903.2535.49.344