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Erickson: 2021 PPR Fantasy Football Rankings & Tiers

Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) completes a touchdown reception on a pass from quarterback Matt Ryan (not pictured) against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too early to start prepping for the 2021 fantasy football season. The first step is to break every position into tiered rankings — these groupings offer a picture of where value may lie as other drafters begin to stray from the consensus. 

Redraft PPR rankings will differ somewhat from best ball rankings, so I’ll detail why the two formats call for slightly altered stances on players. Some players are “better in best ball” and need to be ranked accordingly. 

The following is my freshest collection of top-300 fantasy rankings for 2021 PPR fantasy football leagues. Find breakdowns of positional tiers below the overall 300 and more of PFF's fantasy rankings here

2021 PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
Rank Player Team Position
1 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB
2 Dalvin Cook MIN RB
3 Saquon Barkley NYG RB
4 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB
5 Derrick Henry TEN RB
6 Alvin Kamara NO RB
7 Davante Adams GB WR
8 Aaron Jones GB RB
9 Austin Ekeler LAC RB
10 Tyreek Hill KC WR
11 Jonathan Taylor IND RB
12 Stefon Diggs BUF WR
13 Nick Chubb CLE RB
14 Calvin Ridley ATL WR
15 DeAndre Hopkins ARI WR
16 Najee Harris PIT RB
17 Travis Kelce KC TE
18 Cam Akers LAR RB
19 Darren Waller LV TE
20 Joe Mixon CIN RB
21 George Kittle SF TE
22 Justin Jefferson MIN WR
23 Michael Thomas NO WR
24 Antonio Gibson WAS RB
25 Keenan Allen LAC WR
26 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC RB
27 A.J. Brown TEN WR
28 D.K. Metcalf SEA WR
29 Allen Robinson II CHI WR
30 CeeDee Lamb DAL WR
31 Terry McLaurin WAS WR
32 Chris Carson SEA RB
33 Amari Cooper DAL WR
34 D'Andre Swift DET RB
35 Chris Godwin TB WR
36 D.J. Moore CAR WR
37 J.K. Dobbins BAL RB
38 Travis Etienne JAC RB
39 Patrick Mahomes II KC QB
40 Diontae Johnson PIT WR
41 Josh Allen BUF QB
42 Robert Woods LAR WR
43 T.J. Hockenson DET TE
44 Julio Jones TEN WR
45 Kenny Golladay NYG WR
46 Mark Andrews BAL TE
47 Mike Evans TB WR
48 Ja'Marr Chase CIN WR
49 Cooper Kupp LAR WR
50 Tyler Lockett SEA WR
51 Javonte Williams DEN RB
52 Josh Jacobs LV RB
53 Miles Sanders PHI RB
54 Tyler Boyd CIN WR
55 Kyler Murray ARI QB
56 Lamar Jackson BAL QB
57 Courtland Sutton DEN WR
58 Dak Prescott DAL QB
59 David Montgomery CHI RB
60 Myles Gaskin MIA RB
61 Brandon Aiyuk SF WR
62 Raheem Mostert SF RB
63 Kyle Pitts ATL TE
64 Kareem Hunt CLE RB
65 Adam Thielen MIN WR
66 Chase Claypool PIT WR
67 Odell Beckham Jr. CLE WR
68 Tee Higgins CIN WR
69 Dallas Goedert PHI TE
70 Justin Herbert LAC QB
71 Russell Wilson SEA QB
72 Jerry Jeudy DEN WR
73 D.J. Chark Jr. JAC WR
74 Mike Davis ATL RB
75 Chase Edmonds ARI RB
76 Robby Anderson CAR WR
77 Brandin Cooks HOU WR
78 Trey Sermon SF RB
79 Noah Fant DEN TE
80 Jalen Hurts PHI QB
81 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT WR
82 Jaylen Waddle MIA WR
83 Aaron Rodgers GB QB
84 Laviska Shenault Jr. JAC WR
85 Will Fuller V MIA WR
86 DeVonta Smith PHI WR
87 Michael Carter NYJ RB
88 Antonio Brown TB WR
89 Zack Moss BUF RB
90 James Robinson JAC RB
91 AJ Dillon GB RB
92 Damien Harris NE RB
93 Deebo Samuel SF WR
94 Curtis Samuel WAS WR
95 Corey Davis NYJ WR
96 Melvin Gordon III DEN RB
97 Leonard Fournette TB RB
98 Michael Gallup DAL WR
99 Jarvis Landry CLE WR
100 Joe Burrow CIN QB
101 Ryan Tannehill TEN QB
102 Tom Brady TB QB
103 Ronald Jones II TB RB
104 Trevor Lawrence JAC QB
105 Jamaal Williams DET RB
106 Trey Lance SF QB
107 Kenyan Drake LV RB
108 Mike Williams LAC WR
109 Gus Edwards BAL RB
110 James Conner ARI RB
111 Tony Pollard DAL RB
112 Mike Gesicki MIA TE
113 Logan Thomas WAS TE
114 Evan Engram NYG TE
115 Irv Smith Jr. MIN TE
116 Adam Trautman NO TE
117 Marquise Brown BAL WR
118 Michael Pittman Jr. IND WR
119 Elijah Moore NYJ WR
120 Terrace Marshall Jr. CAR WR
121 Justin Fields CHI QB
122 Matthew Stafford LAR QB
123 David Johnson HOU RB
124 Nyheim Hines IND RB
125 Darnell Mooney CHI WR
126 Gabriel Davis BUF WR
127 Tarik Cohen CHI RB
128 Giovani Bernard TB RB
129 Alexander Mattison MIN RB
130 Latavius Murray NO RB
131 Hunter Henry NE TE
132 Jonnu Smith NE TE
133 Darrell Henderson LAR RB
134 Rondale Moore ARI WR
135 Rashod Bateman BAL WR
136 Devin Singletary BUF RB
137 Anthony Firkser TEN TE
138 Robert Tonyan GB TE
139 Sterling Shepard NYG WR
140 Jalen Reagor PHI WR
141 Mecole Hardman KC WR
142 Tyler Higbee LAR TE
143 Blake Jarwin DAL TE
144 Matt Ryan ATL QB
145 Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS QB
146 Tua Tagovailoa MIA QB
147 Daniel Jones NYG QB
148 Baker Mayfield CLE QB
149 Kirk Cousins MIN QB
150 Jameis Winston NO QB
151 Cole Beasley BUF WR
152 Wayne Gallman SF RB
153 Nelson Agholor NE WR
154 Parris Campbell IND WR
155 Austin Hooper CLE TE
156 Henry Ruggs III LV WR
157 Deshaun Watson HOU QB
158 Cole Kmet CHI TE
159 Gerald Everett SEA TE
160 Ke'Shawn Vaughn TB RB
161 Tevin Coleman NYJ RB
162 Elijah Mitchell SF RB
163 Ty Johnson NYJ RB
164 Rob Gronkowski TB TE
165 Kenneth Gainwell PHI RB
166 Jared Cook LAC TE
167 DeVante Parker MIA WR
168 Nico Collins HOU WR
169 Rhamondre Stevenson NE RB
170 John Brown LV WR
171 Russell Gage ATL WR
172 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET WR
173 Christian Kirk ARI WR
174 Bryan Edwards LV WR
175 Jimmy Graham CHI TE
176 Denzel Mims NYJ WR
177 Khalil Herbert CHI RB
178 Chuba Hubbard CAR RB
179 Mike Boone DEN RB
180 Rashaad Penny SEA RB
181 Javian Hawkins ATL RB
182 Dyami Brown WAS WR
183 Allen Lazard GB WR
184 Breshad Perriman DET WR
185 Tre'Quan Smith NO WR
186 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB WR
187 Van Jefferson LAR WR
188 Marvin Jones Jr. JAC WR
189 DeSean Jackson LAR WR
190 Jamison Crowder NYJ WR
191 James White NE RB
192 Cam Newton NE QB
193 Zach Wilson NYJ QB
194 Derek Carr LV QB
195 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB
196 Mac Jones NE QB
197 Zach Ertz PHI TE
198 Chris Herndon IV NYJ TE
199 Carlos Hyde JAC RB
200 Phillip Lindsay HOU RB
201 Josh Palmer LAC WR
202 Josh Reynolds TEN WR
203 Darrynton Evans TEN RB
204 Amari Rodgers GB WR
205 Eric Ebron PIT TE
206 Teddy Bridgewater DEN QB
207 Taysom Hill NO QB
208 Kadarius Toney NYG WR
209 Darrel Williams KC RB
210 Devontae Booker NYG RB
211 Marlon Mack IND RB
212 Joshua Kelley LAC RB
213 Darius Slayton NYG WR
214 T.Y. Hilton IND WR
215 Scotty Miller TB WR
216 Jakobi Meyers NE WR
217 D'Wayne Eskridge SEA WR
218 Boston Scott PHI RB
219 O.J. Howard TB TE
220 Jordan Akins HOU TE
221 Carson Wentz IND QB
222 Jared Goff DET QB
223 Drew Lock DEN QB
224 Sam Darnold CAR QB
225 K.J. Hamler DEN WR
226 Salvon Ahmed MIA RB
227 Olamide Zaccheaus ATL WR
228 Sony Michel NE RB
229 Todd Gurley II FA RB
230 Tylan Wallace BAL WR
231 Benny Snell Jr. PIT RB
232 Dan Arnold CAR TE
233 Emmanuel Sanders BUF WR
234 James Washington PIT WR
235 Keelan Cole Sr. NYJ WR
236 Jaelon Darden TB WR
237 Deonte Harris NO WR
238 Collin Johnson JAC WR
239 Hayden Hurst ATL TE
240 C.J. Uzomah CIN TE
241 Jeff Wilson Jr. SF RB
242 Jermar Jefferson DET RB
243 Kellen Mond MIN QB
244 Tim Patrick DEN WR
245 Anthony McFarland Jr. PIT RB
246 A.J. Green ARI WR
247 J.D. McKissic WAS RB
248 Preston Williams MIA WR
249 Dawson Knox BUF TE
250 Tutu Atwell LAR WR
251 Matt Breida BUF RB
252 Justin Jackson LAC RB
253 Damien Williams CHI RB
254 Anthony Schwartz CLE WR
255 Tyler Johnson TB WR
256 Randall Cobb HOU WR
257 Harrison Bryant CLE TE
258 N'Keal Harry NE WR
259 Quintez Cephus DET WR
260 Zach Pascal IND WR
261 Sammy Watkins BAL WR
262 Devin Duvernay BAL WR
263 Ihmir Smith-Marsette MIN WR
264 Malcolm Brown MIA RB
265 Jaret Patterson WAS RB
266 Keke Coutee HOU WR
267 Cade Johnson SEA WR
268 Hunter Renfrow LV WR
269 Seth Williams DEN WR
270 Kerryon Johnson PHI RB
271 Rex Burkhead HOU RB
272 Pat Freiermuth PIT TE
273 Anthony Miller CHI WR
274 Mike Strachan IND WR
275 Demetric Felton CLE WR
276 Andy Isabella ARI WR
277 Rashard Higgins CLE WR
278 Tyrell Williams DET WR
279 Larry Rountree III LAC RB
280 La'Mical Perine NYJ RB
281 David Njoku CLE TE
282 Kylen Granson IND TE
283 Tyron Johnson LAC WR
284 Austin Watkins Jr. SF WR
285 Shi Smith CAR WR
286 Tamorrion Terry SEA WR
287 Marquez Stevenson BUF WR
288 Le'Veon Bell KC RB
289 Sage Surratt DET WR
290 Dazz Newsome CHI WR
291 Duke Johnson Jr. FA RB
292 Mark Ingram II HOU RB
293 Kylin Hill GB RB
294 Simi Fehoko DAL WR
295 Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE WR
296 Davis Mills HOU QB
297 Tyler Conklin MIN TE
298 Tyrod Taylor HOU QB
299 Jimmy Garoppolo SF QB
300 Marlon Williams HOU WR

QUARTERBACKS

Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

TIER 1: THE FANTASTIC FIVE

PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
JOSH ALLEN, BUFFALO BILLS
KYLER MURRAY, ARIZONA CARDINALS
LAMAR JACKSON, BALTIMORE RAVENS
DAK PRESCOTT, DALLAS COWBOYS

TIER 2: TOP-TIER UPSIDE

JUSTIN HERBERT, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
RUSSELL WILSON, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
JALEN HURTS, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS
JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS

TIER 3: POCKET PASSERS AND MOBILE ROOKIES

RYAN TANNEHILL, TENNESSEE TITANS
TOM BRADY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
TREVOR LAWRENCE, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
TREY LANCE, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
JUSTIN FIELDS, CHICAGO BEARS
MATTHEW STAFFORD, LOS ANGELES RAMS
MATT RYAN, ATLANTA FALCONS

Ryan Tannehill had major red flags entering the year with so many pieces missing from last season. With Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith out the door, Tannehill’s uber-efficient passing numbers were likely to come crashing down. He was one of the players on my early fade list

But with Julio Jones traded to the Tennessee Titans, that’s no longer the case. Tannehill and Matt Ryan have swapped places in the rankings, with Tannehill entrenched as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. Ryan is now outside looking into the top 15. 

Tannehill has been a low-end fantasy QB1 over the past two seasons on a points-per-game basis — adding Jones cements that for 2021. He finished fourth in yards per route run (2.60) last season, averaging 19 fantasy points, 16.5 expected fantasy points and 100 receiving yards per game in seven games with at least a 75% snap share (all of his healthy games).

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) attempts a pass during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan's fantasy production crumbled without Jones, making him almost unusable at times. His fantasy points per game fell nearly seven full points without his longtime playmaker. Ryan's loss is a massive win for Tannehill and the entire Titans offense. 

There’s also a disparity between the redraft rankings and best ball rankings for quarterbacks. The rookie quarterbacks are ranked slightly lower for redraft because some of them aren’t projected to start Week 1. In traditional one-quarterback leagues, it's not necessary to draft non-starting rookies very high.

Here, Trevor Lawrence moves ahead of the two other rookies. Lawrence has an awesome matchup in Week 1 versus the Houston Texans — with few draft picks, Houston wasn’t able to dramatically improve a defense that ranked 31st in PFF grade in 2020.

Tom Brady has moved up as well, leapfrogging several rookies and Matthew Stafford. Brady versus Stafford comes down to their opening schedules. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open the year against the Cowboys and Falcons two extremely favorable matchups for pass-happy offenses. Stafford draws the Bears and Colts, two much more formidable defenses. 

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