Ranking 2021 fantasy football rookies may seem extremely arbitrary, but in fact, creating 2021 rookie rankings is only slightly arbitrary! While there are certainly more talented 2021 NFL Rookies than others with better prospect profiles via their film and analytics (aka college production mixed with when it occurred and their combine testing), a team occasionally takes a liking to a certain NFL rookie due to non-quantifiable factors such as attitude, work ethic, blocking, etc. This
These sorts of situations are much more impactful early on than down-the-road with rookies who impress coaching and have enough of a skill-set to stay on the field while holding off a potentially more talented player. That’s what makes fantasy football rookie rankings tough and creates this sort of “truther-ism" that some folks hold onto online.
What these rankings do is give you a clean slate of who the most likely players to hit/produce in fantasy football thanks to their profiles and partially due to 2021 NFL Draft pick capital along with landing spot. The landing spot factors in less so than draft capital but definitely is a good tie-breaker among prospects.
Keep track of these 2021 fantasy football rookies when making your daily fantasy football picks for the upcoming NFL season. Use these 2021 fantasy football rookie rankings to make predictions at Monkey Knife Fight.
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2021 Fantasy Football Rookies: Top 40 Rankings For Redraft & Dynasty Leagues
|Player Name||Pos||Team||.5 PPR||Superflex PPR||Dynasty PPR||Dynasty Superflex|
|Najee Harris||RB||Pittsburgh Steelers||1||5||5||8|
|Travis Etienne||RB||Jacksonville Jaguars||2||6||1||4|
|Ja'Marr Chase||WR||Cincinnati Bengals||3||7||2||5|
|Rashod Bateman||WR||Baltimore Ravens||4||8||3||6|
|Javonte Williams||RB||Denver Broncos||5||11||7||10|
|Kyle Pitts||TE||Atlanta Falcons||6||10||6||9|
|Terrace Marshall||WR||Carolina Panthers||7||9||4||7|
|DeVonta Smith||WR||Philadelphia Eagles||8||13||10||13|
|Trevor Lawrence||QB||Jacksonville Jaguars||9||1||13||1|
|Justin Fields||QB||Chicago Bears||10||2||14||2|
|Jaylen Waddle||WR||Miami Dolphins||11||12||8||11|
|Rondale Moore||WR||Arizona Cardinals||13||14||11||14|
|Elijah Moore||WR||New York Jets||14||15||12||15|
|Trey Sermon||RB||San Francisco 49ers||15||16||15||16|
|Nico Collins||WR||Houston Texans||16||17||9||12|
|Trey Lance||QB||San Francisco 49ers||12||3||16||3|
|Michael Carter||RB||New York Jets||17||18||19||21|
|Kadarius Toney||WR||New York Giants||18||19||25||27|
|Zach Wilson||QB||New York Jets||19||4||26||17|
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR||Detroit Lions||20||20||17||18|
|Dyami Brown||WR||Washington Football Team||21||22||18||20|
|Amari Rodgers||WR||Green Bay Packers||22||21||20||22|
|Kenneth Gainwell||RB||Philadelphia Eagles||23||24||23||25|
|Chuba Hubbard||RB||Carolina Panthers||24||26||22||24|
|Pat Freirmuth||TE||Pittsburgh Steelers||25||25||24||26|
|Mac Jones||QB||New England Patriots||26||23||35||19|
|Tutu Atwell||WR||Los Angeles Rams||27||27||27||29|
|D'Wayne Eskridge||WR||Seattle Seahawks||28||28||32||35|
|Javian Hawkins||RB||Atlanta Falcons||29||29||34||38|
|Chris Evans||RB||Cincinnati Bengals||30||30||28||30|
|Tommy Tremble||TE||Carolina Panthers||31||31||36||39|
|Brevin Jordan||TE||Houston Texans||32||32||33||36|
|Tylan Wallace||WR||Baltimore Ravens||33||33||21||23|
|Anthony Schwartz||WR||Cleveland Browns||34||34||31||34|
|Rhamondre Stevenson||RB||New England Patriots||35||35||29||31|
|Seth Williams||WR||Denver Broncos||36||36||30||33|
|Hunter Long||TE||Miami Dolphins||37||37||37||40|
|Kellen Mond||QB||Minnesota Vikings||38||38||38||28|
|Davis Mills||QB||Houston Texans||39||39||39||32|
|Kyle Trask||QB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||40||40||40||37|
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Half-PPR
Half-PPR is the most common “base" fantasy football league format as far as I know. Standard leagues with no reception bonuses are relics of the past, but half-PPR rankings can essentially be utilized for them as well, The half-point is not a major needle-mover aside from boosting pass-catching scat-backs and volume tight ends.
These 2021 fantasy football rookie rankings follow the traditional mindset of running backs RBs remaining king while WRs are valuable but plentiful at the end of the day. There is a drastic difference in availability among the two positions that will prop up the likely workhorses and lead backs like Najee Harris and Travis Etienne.
Nothing too out of the ordinary here from my perspective.
2021 Fantasy Football Rookies: PPR Redraft Superflex Rankings
QBs rank from 1 to 4 because you basically have to, unless the settings call for major point deductions due to incompletions, sacks or interceptions thrown.
All four top rookie QBs this year possess plus mobility to add secure floors to their strong arms and solid offensive environments. There really isn’t a poor landing spot for any of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, or Justin Fields.
Mac Jones is dropped further since there is no guarantee he starts over a COVID-less Cam Newton, and his talent is still questionable. The lack of mobility really kills his fantasy upside, too, making “safer" picks like slot receivers with nearly guaranteed roles more palatable.
The rest of the 2021 fantasy football rookie rankings are fairly normal and go along with the 0.5 PPR list, aside from a few discrepancies with pass-catching backs or possession receivers here and there. Kyle Pitts gets a slight boost but not enough to jump him up outside of TE premium leagues.
2021 Fantasy Football Rookies: PPR Dynasty Rankings
You will notice Travis Etienne jumps Najee Harris here relative to the half-PPR fantasy football rookie rankings. Why?
1. Etienne is the better receiving back despite Harris running better routes and having softer hands. Explosiveness with the ball in his hands will get him plenty of work in the passing game
2. Etienne is tied to Trevor Lawrence (a super prospect who happened to be his college QB) for the foreseeable future, while Harris is tied to a decrepit Ben Roethlisberger for a year or two.
Right now, Harris will be the lead back with next to no competition while Etienne is likely to share a backfield with last year’s breakout RB James Robinson. If anyone were to hit me with a rumor that Robinson is on the trade block, a flip in rankings would occur immediately, but that seems unlikely with the lack of RB value across the league. The Jaguars are better off holding Robinson and using him to take hits rather than selling him away for next-to-nothing.
The rest of the fantasy football rookie rankings are similar enough to half-PPR with a few players, in particular, that should be higher in the long term (Nico Collins, Chuba Hubbard) while the likes of Kadarius Toney and Zach Wilson are lower.
2021 Fantasy Football Rookies: Dynasty PPR Superflex Rankings
This is an insane format — no clue how you folks do it, but respect nonetheless.
These 2021 fantasy football rookie rankings are similar to the redraft fantasy football league with one big change: Zach Wilson, who I am not a particularly big fan of in general. As a caveat, YES, Wilson should be drafted more than one round ahead of where he is ranked, but if you so choose to command that “value", plan on selling to recoup it and then some in the form of players ranked higher (unless of course, that pick can be packaged).
Wilson and Mac Jones are similarly ranked here and that may seem crazy given their 2021 NFL Draft pick position, but I’d bet on Jones as a franchise QB before Wilson who has questionable decision-making skills and an overall game that may be better suited for college against weak competition.
The low-end QBs like Kellen Mond, Davis Mills, and Kyle Trask gain some draft helium as well due to their position (Mond more due to athleticism), but the trio is unlikely to be starting QBs, let alone become useful fantasy football players for a while if that. They are project picks who may not even see the field if the starter were to get hurt.