November 29, 2021

2021 Fantasy football draft strategy: Rankings, sleepers, cheat sheets, mock drafts, projections, latest ADP… – The Athletic

Welcome to fantasy football 2021! What you see below is an ever-growing link-fest to our fantasy football draft coverage. Rankings, projections and cheatsheets will be updated frequently, we’ll have regular chats and mailbags, and your feedback isn’t just welcome — it’s encouraged. If you see something missing, drop it in the comment section and if we can do it, we’ll get on it.

One big thing we’d like to point out is Jake Ciely’s customizable cheat sheet. It’s a tool Jake built (with the help of hockey cheat sheet guru Dom Luszczyszyn) that allows you input your league settings and have his award-winning projections spit out a customized series of rankings. You can tweak Jake’s projections and the sheet will auto-adjust your personalized rankings. You can adjust a team’s pass/run percentages. You can give D’Wayne Eskridge as much of the Seattle target share as you’d like. It’s awesome.

We expect this kit to hit about 100 columns by September — with strategy, mock drafts, projections, rankings, deep analytics and everything in between. We even brought back IDP expert Gary Davenport! We’ll have new content coming nearly every day in August. And if you aren’t already a subscriber, we’ve unlocked this page so you can get a taste of what we offer.

You don’t just get this draft kit (and the full season…and offseason… and “Jeopardy James” Holzhauer!!) with a subscription — you get the entire site. For those who can legally bet and enjoy the occasional sports wager, BetMGM is running a free year special offer. For everyone else, there are subscription deals attached to all of the linked stories.

Now let’s get moving on the road to a fantasy title…

The 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

Jake Ciely’s 2021 rankings

Our fully customizable cheat sheet with auction values

Jake Ciely’s dynasty/keeper league rankings

SuperFlex rankings

Fantasy football QB tiers (updated for Mac Jones as the Patriots starter)

Brandon Funston’s Big Board: Top 100 fantasy players

The Athletic staff’s 2021 Sleepers: Phillip Lindsay, Darnell Mooney and more AND we updated them for late August!

Fantasy football 2021 IDP rankings

Running back tier rankings

Our updated 2021 fantasy football sleepers (August 24)

Our pre-camp 2021 fantasy football sleepers (July 14)

Hater’s Ball: Everything that’s wrong with the Top 50 players in fantasy football

Michael Beller’s ‘My guys’ for 2021: Raheem Mostert, Rondale Moore and more

Sammy Watkins, Devontae Booker and more players with a new-team value boost

Discount defenses: Cheap fantasy D/STs with significant upside

14 fantasy football super stashes, deep dives and waiver wonders of the future

Early-round running backs to target and avoid

KC Joyner’s top overvalued players: DK Metcalf, CeeDee Lamb, Ryan Tannehill

KC Joyner’s top rankings outliers: Robert Woods, CEH and more

Dominick Petrillo‘s ‘My guys’ for 2021: Kirk Cousins, David Johnson and more

12 second-year players who will make a big jump in 2021

12 players who will take a big leap forward in 2021

PPR sleepers: 6 RBs to target

Jake Ciely’s 2021 Top 5 breakout QBs

J.K. Dobbins and the Top 5 breakout RBs for 2021

CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Reagor and 8 more breakout WRs

Kyle Pitts, Tyler Higbee, Cole Kmet and 2 more breakout TEs

Justin Herbert, Julio Jones and more overhyped fantasy football players for 2021

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and 10 more top bounce-back candidates for 2021

Dynasty mailbag: Stashing Chris Evans, Larry Rountree, valuing 2nd-round picks and more

Dynasty league look ahead: Early ranking of the Top 12 rookies for 2022 drafts

Jake Ciely’s dynasty/keeper league rankings

Jeff Haverlack’s dynasty league rankings

Top 10 dynasty buy-low targets

Top 12 dynasty league storylines for 2021

Dynasty mailbag: Darrell Henderson’s booming value, late-round targets for a start-up draft and more

Pumping the brakes on dynasty league draft trends

Kellen Mond, Kylin Hill and more dynasty league rookie sleepers

Blowing it all up: 7 steps to performing a successful dynasty league rebuild

Results, analysis from a 12-team, PPR SuperFlex mock draft (feat. Ryan Zimmerman)

Results, analysis from a 12-team, half-point PPR mock draft

RB roundtable: Ezekiel Elliott’s draft position, RB obsessions and more

QB roundtable: SuperFlex duos to target, the value of rookies as starters and more

Results from a 14-team, 20-round, PPR, NFFC-style mock draft (from August 6)

Draft board breakdown: Chris Vaccaro’s observations from a recent NFFC draft

July Roundtable: Get Michael Carter, avoid Kenny Golladay and more

12 team PPR mock draft (from July 27)

Favorite reaches: Deebo Samuel, Kareem Hunt and more of KC Joyner’s draft darlings

Is starting your draft by picking four consecutive receivers a prudent move?

WR/TE strength of schedule: Pats TEs have upside, Keenan Allen is overvalued and more

QB strength of schedule: Jimmy Garoppolo is undervalued and Derek Carr is a risky QB2

RB strength of schedule: Broncos, Browns backfields looking good, but not the Bucs, Saints

Best picks for each of the first nine rounds of a typical 2021 fantasy football draft

Why drafting running backs in Rounds 2-3 is a waste

Why we shouldn’t have separation anxiety with Ja’Marr Chase and other top receivers

Why the Chargers, Chiefs are among the O-lines to be trusted, and why the Rams are not

How to draft tight ends: Why you need to pay up for the top-tier options in 2021

The Athletic’s analytics glossary: Defining football’s most meaningful numbers

How to target the seven rookies likely to be relevant in fantasy football 2021

The art of waiting on Chase Edmonds: How reaching for ‘your guy’ early is a profit-killing ego trip

Fantasy football 101: Auctions, waivers, dynasty tips, ‘helium’ and more

Stacking QBs and WRs in season-long leagues

32 bold and not-so-bold NFL predictions for 2021 (Sheil Kapadia, NFL senior writer)

One fantasy football sleeper pick for each from The Athletic team of NFL beat writers

One fantasy football breakout pick for each from The Athletic team of NFL beat writers

One burning fantasy football questionfor each from The Athletic team of NFL beat writers

What to make of Ja’Marr Chase’s drops (Paul Dehner Jr., Bengals beat writer)

Houston Texans fantasy projections: Who to draft, who to avoid (by Aaron Reiss, Texans beat writer)

What the Saints’ WRs look like after the Michael Thomas injury (by Kat Terrell, Saints beat writer)

Lions fantasy projections: The numbers on Jared Goff’s offense, sleeper picks and T.J. Hockenson’s importance (by Chris Burke, Lions beat writer)

Isaiah Hodgins wants to show the Bills the wait was worth it after missing his first year to injury (by Matthew Fairburn, Bills beat writer)

Jameis Winston, Damien Harris and more last-minute draft risers and fallers

Assessing the ADP validity of each of the Top 20 running backs

Hacking the draft room: Exploiting the WR rankings at ESPN, Yahoo, MFL

Hacking the draft room: Exploiting the RB rankings at ESPN, Yahoo, MFL

Hacking the draft room: Exploiting the QB rankings at ESPN, Yahoo, MFL

Stock watch: Saints Jameis Winston, Marquez Callaway trending up

ADP risers/fallers: Antonio Brown, Justin Fields surging, Miles Sanders dropping

ADP wild cards: Jakobi Meyers, Justin Herbert and 4 more with cloudy position data

Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones and more high-ceiling, and high-floor, RB values

Targeting Courtland Sutton, fading Julio Jones and more value-based guidance at WR

ADP Report: Jonathan Taylor drops out of first round, Dallas Goedert falls and more

NFL training camp report: Killing the buzz on Trey Lance, Travis Etienne and more

ADP dissonance at RB: Joe Mixon, Myles Gaskin among top bell-cow bargains

ADP dissonance at WR: Laviska Shenault is a discounted alpha

ADP dissonance at TE: Doubting Logan Thomas

Injury mailbag: OBJ cleared for takeoff, D’Andre Swift iffy for Week 1 and more

A breakdown of Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury, clarifying Tyreek Hill’s knee tendinitis and more

2021 fantasy football injury watch: Concern for Saquon Barkley, Tom Brady, optimism for Julio Jones and more

JuJu Smith-Schuster’s knees ‘are clearly an issue’ and 6 more ‘healthy’ players with elevated injury risk this season

NFL injury mailbag: Michael Thomas’ long road to recovery, Saquon Barkley will be back later than you think and more

Carson Wentz surgery fallout: The effect of his injury on the Colts, Eagles, fantasy, odds and more

Is Ryan Tannehill the most underrated quarterback in fantasy football?

Should you invest in a Clyde Edwards-Helaire post-hype breakout?

A Kyle Pitts deep dive: Does the hype meet reality?

Can Adam Trautman be a No. 1 tight end in an offense that relies on them? (by Kate Terrell, Saints beat writer)

Rebuilding Joe Burrow: Bengals QB cleared for more of everything as training camp begins (by Jay Morrison, Bengals beat writer)

The QBs who will go over 300 rushing yards in 2021

Mailbag: When to draft Travis Kelce, Zeke vs. Derrick Henry and more

A beginners mailbag, curated by IndyCar driver (and fantasy rookie) Scott McLaughlin

Most fun fantasy football team: Justin Herbert, Travis Etienne among top young bargains

Mailbag: The dynasty value of Michael Thomas, stacking Chiefs and more

Sunday Sermon, and 176 more of the best fantasy football team names for ’21

14 tricks to pull off in your fantasy football league

Mailbag: Strategy for drafting on the turn, Mike Davis’ value and more

17 ways the new 17-game NFL schedule affects fantasy football

35 pretty sweet ways to run your fantasy football draft lottery

39 fantasy football rule ideas for the 2021 season

The best league and scoring settings for fantasy football

Aaron (Rodgers), Backups and Comebacks: A fantasy football player’s A-to-Z guide to the NFL offseason

It’s time to ban kickers from fantasy football

(Top photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)