Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Football Rookie Scouting Report! This colossal resource was compiled by the intrepid fantasy football minds at PFF to offer essential fantasy insight and analysis into the 2021 NFL rookie class.
We've profiled — and ranked — the top-75 (or so) fantasy names in this year's class, focusing on metrics that have proven to be predictive for fantasy purposes, including dominator rating, breakout age, target share, air yards share, yards after the catch, quarterback rushing and receiver slot splits. Each profile is broken down into five categories: overview, measurables, workout metrics, fantasy outlook and player statistics.
View PFF's 2021 NFL Draft position rankings:
With dynasty rookie drafts quickly approaching and best ball drafts already in full swing, our intention is to build off PFF’s excellent 2021 NFL Draft Guide in order to hone in on each rookie's short- and long-term fantasy outlook. These rankings were consolidated by PFF consensus and will be updated once landing spots are determined by the 2021 NFL Draft.
A few statistical notes: Dominator rating for receivers considers the number of touchdowns and receiving yards a player commands within his own offense. Breakout age is the age at which a receiver reaches a 20% dominator rating for the first time. For tight ends, the benchmark is set at 15%.
When a receiver produces at a young age, it’s a solid indicator that he will continue his stretch of production into the pros. Breakout age isn’t as significant for running backs, but dominator rating still provides important insight and considers both rushing and receiving yards, along with TDs.
Without further ado: Here is PFF's 2021 Fantasy Rookie Scouting Report. Enjoy!
1. LSU WR JA’MARR CHASE (WR1)
|Player comp||Justin Blackmon|
Ja’Marr Chase would have certainly been the first receiver off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft had he declared. The LSU wideout took home the Biletnikoff Award as college football's top wide receiver in 2019.
At just 19 years old, Chase led the nation in receiving yards (1,780), touchdowns (20) and receptions on targets 20-plus yards downfield (24). He also was uber-efficient, ranking seventh in average yards per route run (3.52) and sixth in PFF receiving grade (91.3).
Most impressive is the fact that Chase thrived against top talent. He went for 221 receiving yards and two touchdowns in LSU's national championship victory over the Clemson Tigers.
The superstar receiver also showed that he will have no problem overcoming press coverage at the next level. He faced the third-most targets against press looks and posted the No. 1 PFF receiving grade (92.2) against it.
And although Chase was unable to directly improve his draft stock after sitting out the 2020 season, former LSU teammate Justin Jefferson indirectly inflated it for him. The Minnesota Vikings first-round selection put together arguably the best season from a rookie wide receiver — and Chase was the more productive of the two when they played together in Baton Rouge.
|Season||Overall grade||Receptions||Yards||Target share||Yards per route run||YAC per reception||Slot snap %||aDOT||Air yards share|
|Career dominator rating||Highest single-season dominator rating||Breakout age|