2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

2021 Overall Rookie Rankings

2021 Overall Rookie Rankings
Fantasy Football

More Rankings:   QB  |  RB  |  WR  |  TE  |  IDP  |  OVERALL

With each position now covered individually, it is time to put them all together for an Overall view. There are so many different league types these days for Fantasy Football, from PPR to Half PPR, to Superflex, TE Premium, start 3 Wide Receivers, and on and on and on. I have no clue what type you are in, so this is essentially just my Post NFL Draft Fantasy Rookie Big Board. Adjust how you need to for your league type, or ignore these entirely. Don’t let anyone fool you, creating Rankings is neither fun or easy. It’s a necessity, and an arduous task. If you have any specific questions, find me on twitter @PeoplezPen. I did some player write ups in the individual positional ranks, but will expand with a few thoughts, before the Top 60 listed below.

Landing Spots and Draft Capital

Landing Spots and Draft Capital are constantly disputed in the Football world. Do they matter? Yes. Kinda, sorta. But not entirely. I agree with Drew that those hours we poured into scouting and analyzing the NFL Draft, prior to it actually happening, should not be ignored. Especially this year, which was famous for a pandemic and lack of a Combine. Nothing was traditional in 2020. Nothing. The same way we fall in love with prospects, is exactly the same way NFL executives and scouts fall in love with prospects. It’s relevant because they, like the humans we are, make just as many mistakes in their selections. So we cannot completely dismiss the notion of who we think good players are versus how those paying them see their value. It is why you will see I have some UDFA’s ahead of guys drafted, and how and why I have completely left players off of this list. While it is true Kene Nwangwu was a 4th round selection of the Minnesota Vikings, it is also true his athleticism was seen as a good profile to gamble on. He has never been a lead running back, and despite his size, he doesn’t look the part of someone who could be an every down back. Additionally, Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are not relenting carries anytime soon. So in that regard, Draft Capital is most certainly overrated. But, if true that he ran a 4.29 forty, you absolutely select him within the first 125 picks of the NFL Draft. If nothing else, he has been a dynamic kick returner for Iowa State, averaging 26.8 yards per return over 92 returns in four years. The potential is there, but just because the Vikings took the gamble doesn’t mean we have to in fantasy. In other situations though, that may not be the case. Take Tight Ends for example, and someone like Brevin Jordan who was universally believed to be one of the top players at the position, sliding to ninth off the board. While I still have his upside as elite, and my personal TE4 amongst the rookies, the Draft Capital is enough to make you take a second look. Especially when a player like Tre’ McKitty gets selected four players and fifty picks sooner to the Los Angeles Chargers. However, the Landing Spot for Jordan in Houston could not be any more ideal. There is nothing on the roster ahead of him that poses any serious threat to prohibit his upside. McKitty, meanwhile, sits behind newly signed veteran Jared Cook, and fan favorite Donald Parham. Draft Capital and Landing Spots, they do matter. But it should be more of a yield sign than a red light at a train crossing. 

When To Relent

On the other end of the spectrum is not giving enough, or any, credence to Landing Spots and Draft Capital. Of course we all want to be right, and regarded as the smartest football mind and fantasy player to ever roam the earth. But it will never happen, and we all know it. How much do you want to hold onto those contrarian beliefs versus hopping on the bandwagon of hype. The good news is that these two things will always exist. Human nature demands it. For me personally, an example of this is Trey Sermon. Pre-draft I was not high on him, really at all. Rhamondre Stevenson of the Patriots also fits this bill. But, because of Landing Spots and Draft Capital I would have to be completely oblivious, or downright ignorant to not revisit my opinions. I still don’t necessarily trust Sermon, and it all is because I don’t love his vision and anticipation. But the 49ers sure seem to, as the rookie RB is the highest drafted player currently on the San Francisco roster. They have a plan, and he is going to be fed an opportunity. Stevenson, on the other hand, has a decent chance on paper to carve out a role, regardless of what happens with Sony Michel’s roster status. But he currently ranks third on New England’s roster in terms of Draft Capital, meaning he might be the newest, not necessarily the best. 

Anyways, I’m not here to rewrite the manual on ranking rookies, just to give you some context on how I arrived at the below list. Use them however you want. From framing them and displaying in your living room, to alternate means when toilet paper is once again out of stock. They will undoubtedly change between now and training camp, so make sure to follow on twitter and check the site for a constant stream of Football goodness. And before I forget to address the elephant in the room… Yes, Kyle Pitts is my number one player. He is just that good (potentially), at a position that is virtually barren. Would I take him first in a Superflex league? Probably not. But almost anywhere else, in a vacuum, I absolutely would. If you want in depth analysis on any of these prospects, make sure to get your eyes on the XTB Draft Guide!

How accurate was our Draft Guide? Compared against the rankings from other major sites (TDN, PFF, PFN, Walter Football, DraftTek, B/R) XTB was No. 1 by FAR (62.3% correlation)! Get yours now 2021 XTB NFL Draft Guide

Top 60 Fantasy Football Rookies

RankPlayerPosTeamDraft CapitalCollege
1Kyle PittsTEAtlanta(1) 4Florida
2Najee HarrisRBPittsburgh(1) 24Alabama
3Jaylen WaddleWRMiami(1) 6Alabama
4DeVonta SmithWRPhiladelphia(1) 10Alabama
5Ja'Marr ChaseWRCincinnati(1) 5LSU
6Elijah MooreWRNY Jets(2) 34Mississippi
7Kadarius ToneyWRNY Giants(1) 20Florida
8Javonte WilliamsRBDenver(2) 35North Carolina
9Travis EtienneRBJacksonville(1) 25Clemson
10Rashod BatemanWRBaltimore(1) 27Minnesota
11Rondale MooreWRArizona(2) 49Purdue
12Terrace Marshall Jr.WRCarolina(2) 59LSU
13Michael CarterRBNY Jets(4) 107North Carolina
14Trey SermonRBSan Francisco(3) 88Ohio St.
15Kenneth GainwellRBPhiladelphia(5) 150Memphis
16Chuba HubbardRBCarolina(4) 126Oklahoma St.
17Trevor LawrenceQBJacksonville(1) 1Clemson
18Trey LanceQBSan Francisco(1) 3North Dakota St.
19Justin FieldsQBChicago(1) 11Ohio St.
20Zach WilsonQBNY Jets(1) 2BYU
21Dyami BrownWRWashington(3) 82North Carolina
22Josh PalmerWRLA Chargers(3) 77Tennessee
23D'Wayne EskridgeWRSeattle(2) 56West. Michigan
24Nico CollinsWRHouston(3) 89Michigan
25Tylan WallaceWRBaltimore(4) 131Oklahoma St.
26Amari RodgersWRGreen Bay(3) 85Clemson
27Tommy TrembleTECarolina(3) 83Notre Dame
28Mac JonesQBNew England(1) 15Alabama
29Tutu AtwellWRLA Rams(2) 57Louisville
30Cornell PowellWRKansas City(5) 181Clemson
31Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDetroit(4) 112USC
32Pat FreiermuthTEPittsburgh(2) 55Penn St.
33Kenny YeboahTENY JetsUDFAOle Miss
34Javian HawkinsRBAtlantaUDFALouisville
35Khalil HerbertRBChicago(6) 217Virginia Tech
36Brevin JordanTEHouston(5) 147Miami (FL)
37Davis MillsQBHouston(3) 67Stanford
38Sage SurrattWRDetroitUDFAWake Forest
39Marquez StevensonWRBuffalo(6) 203Houston
40Dazz NewsomeWRChicago(6) 221North Carolina
41Hunter LongTEMiami(3) 81Boston Col.
42Stevie ScottRBNew OrleansUDFAIndiana
43Austin WatkinsWRSan FranciscoUDFAUAB
44Josh ImatorbhebheWRJacksonvilleUDFAIllinois
45Chris EvansRBCincinnati(6) 202Michigan
46Cade JohnsonWRSeattleUDFASouth Dakota State
47Jonathan AdamsWRDetroitUDFAArkansas State
48Briley MooreTETennesseeUDFAKansas State
49Jermar JeffersonRBDetroit(7) 257Oregon St.
50Trevon GrimesWRPhiladelphiaUDFAFlorida
51Anthony SchwartzWRCleveland(3) 91Auburn
52Jaelon DardenWRTampa Bay(4) 129North Texas
53Rhamondre StevensonRBNew England(4) 120Oklahoma
54Kylin HillRBGreen Bay(7) 256Mississippi St.
55Matt BushmanTELas VegasUDFABYU
56Tre' McKittyTELA Chargers(3) 97Georgia
57Kylen GransonTEIndianapolis(4) 127
58Ihmir Smith-MarsetteWRMinnesota(5) 157Iowa
59Mike StrachanWRIndianapolis(7) 229
60Jaret PattersonRBWashingtonUDFABuffalo