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Fantasy Football: Biggest risers/fallers in ADP from last year to 2021

Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) looks on during minicamp at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2021 season. Click here to read the series of questions answered so far.

A lot has happened in the fantasy football world over the past 12 months. More injuries, trades and workload shifts will inevitably continue to happen over the preseason as we get closer and closer to Week 1. The times they are always a changin in fantasy land; it’s up to us to sift through the noise and prioritize the most actionable information.

Today’s goal revolves around the latter point: Which players have experienced the biggest rise and fall in average draft position (ADP) from 2020 to 2021? While ADP is hardly a perfect measurement for evaluating the best and worst fantasy options, it does give us a clear look at how the public views individual assets. Determining which players the public might be excessively harsh or lenient with could help unlock some fantasy football value ahead of the season.

More of PFF's 2021 Fantasy Football tools here: 
Fantasy Football Draft Kit | Rankings & Tiers | Draft Guide | Cheat Sheets
Projections | Strength of Schedule | Expected Points Weekly Finishes

What follows is a breakdown on some of the biggest risers and fallers in ADP by position. I’ll be focusing mostly on the highly ranked players from 2020 (top-12 QB/TE, top-24 RB/WR) in an effort to avoid prolonged discussion on why last season’s WR70 is now the WR52, for example. Additionally, I tried to not focus on rising second-year players; rookies almost always have reduced ADP, and we’re trying to focus on situations with less obvious reasons for the rise and fall. The ADP data is supplied by the fine folks at Fantasy Football Calculator.


Featured riser: Josh Allen (2020 ADP: QB11 | 2021: QB2)

Allen has always been a great fantasy quarterback; 2020 marked the first time he also became an elite real-life signal-caller.

  • 2018: QB1 in fantasy points Weeks 12-17 after returning from injury
  • 2019: overall QB6
  • 2020: QB1

The only real argument against Allen replicating his fantastic 2020 campaign is the idea that he’ll regress because it’s hard to be so damn good two years in a row. There’s also some potential for Allen’s rushing upside to fall off now that the Bills have 258 million reasons to manage his workload a bit better.

Either way, Allen remains locked in as a consensus QB3 in fantasy land. I would only take Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson ahead of him in drafts of all shapes and sizes.

Featured faller: Matt Ryan (2020 ADP: QB8 | 2021: QB14)

Ryan finished 2020 as the fantasy QB12, although his status as the QB15 in fantasy points per game better reflects his up-and-down campaign. The returns when Julio Jones was banged up were especially rough. Overall, Ryan played in nine games with Jones either sidelined or limited to fewer than 50% of the offense's snaps. He largely struggled in those performances, limping to 238 pass yards-1 TD-1 INT, 285-0-0, 226-0-1, 232-0-2, 185-2-1, 224-1-3, 356-3-0, 300-2-0 and 265-2-0 lines.

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