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.
The majority of this series has centered around team-specific questions, but it’s important to address the general landscape of fantasy football land as well in an effort to, you know, make the best picks we can.
For this reason, today’s goal is simple: Who are the best and worst players compared to their average draft position (ADP)? PFF’s fantasy football rankings aren’t identical among analysts, so I’ll just be using my personal ranks against full point-per-reception (PPR) average draft position to determine which players I’m higher and lower on.
Without further ado: my top current values and fades against ADP in re-draft formats ahead of the 2021 season.
Top value: Washington Football Team QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Ian: QB16, ADP: QB23)
Fitzpatrick is my favorite late-round quarterback available. The man has been nothing other than a fantasy QB1 over the past three seasons:
- 2018: Fantasy QB1 in Weeks 1-3 while Jameis Winston was suspended
- 2019: QB2 in Weeks 7-17 upon taking over full time from Josh Rosen
- 2020: QB8 in Weeks 1-6 before “losing” his job to Tua Tagovailoa
Perhaps I’m being overly kind here considering you could also point out that Fitz has been involved in constant QB competitions over the past three years; just realize they usually haven’t come down to performance. Rather, both the Bucs and Dolphins (rightfully) wanted to see what their young QBs had. This was more clear than ever in 2020, as Fitzpatrick outplayed Tua in terms of PFF passing grade (72.7 vs. 70.7), big-time throw rate (4.5% vs. 2.4%), yards per attempt (7.8 vs. 6.3) and adjusted completion rate (78.2% vs. 74.2%) alike. Basically the only thing the rookie did better than the longtime journeyman was posting a lower turnover-worthy play rate (3.1% vs. 4.7%).
Now the artist known as FitzMagic can throw the ball to Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas, Dyami Brown, Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and more. His competition for the starting job features journeyman Taylor Heinicke, token “knows the system” backup Kyle Allen and 2020 undrafted free agent/Taysom Hill doppelganger Steven Montez. The risk that Heinicke parlays his solid playoff performance into a starting job is worth the reward of a consistent QB1 at half the price: Fitz is barely being drafted as a QB2 despite the likelihood that he’d be inside the consensus top-15 quarterbacks if we decided to make a Week 1 rankings list today.
Top fade: Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (Ian: QB19, ADP: QB14)