Football season is finally approaching, and that means it is time to start studying up for the fantasy football season so you can be this year’s champion. Although it is often hard to predict who will play well in a season due to injuries, setbacks, or breakout/slump seasons, here is our take on the top 10 players to draft/own in this upcoming season.
#10 – Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill is one of the fastest players in the league. It certainly does not hurt when he has the former MVP and one of the top quarterbacks in the league, Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball. His ability to separate from defenders is unlike most as he breaks from his route and with his speed he is instantly separated by like 10 yards.
Last season he had just under 1,300 yards receiving with 15 touchdowns. He is without a doubt one of Mahomes top targets and will continue to be so with the speed and separation he is able to create. Tyreek Hill is a top receiver in the league and he is a great player to pick up on your fantasy team as he can get an 80 yard touchdown bomb from Mahomes on any given play.
#9 – Stefon Diggs
Stefon Diggs breakout. That pretty much sums up his season in 2020. The young Josh Allen-Stefon Diggs connection in 2020 was amongst the best in the league, and has no looks of slowing down. Following Josh Allens historic contract extension this off-season he still is out to prove he is a top quarterback in the league.
Diggs had a league leading 1,535 yards receiving this past season with 8 touchdowns. This seems to be just the beginning for Diggs as he showed last season that his route running is amongst the top of the league. Expect Diggs to have another great season as the Allen-Diggs duo is on point yet again.
#8 – Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones is somewhat of an under the radar running back. He seems to quietly produce big numbers although he does not typically get the recognition he may deserve. After posting over 1,100 yards on the ground and 9 rushing touchdowns, he seems to have found his groove with the Packers offense.
Although he may not be the first red zone target (that being Devante Adams) he certainly carries the load near the goal line. Jones has a unique ability to break lots of tackles which results in big runs and long touchdown runs. He also gets receptions out of the backfield as he has improved his receiving game in recent years. Expect Jones to keep his groove in the 2021 season and earn recognition amongst the league as a top tier running back.
#7 – Saquon Barkley
After a disappointing season in 2020 where Barkley had just 19 rushes for 34 yards before an injury put an end to his 2020 campaign very early, Barkley looks to bounce back in a big way in 2021. Saquon is still a very young player however already amongst the running back elites in the league, he is looking to showcase that again in 2021.
Barkley when healthy, has shown us what he can do, and in a Giants offense that is not great, he will have to carry the load this season as he will get plenty of opportunities to show what he is capable of, and I expect a big bounceback season from Barkley this year.
#6 – Davante Adams
Davante Adams is one of the players who exceeded expectations in the 2020 season and beyond. He had over 1,300 yards receiving and a league leading 18 touchdown catches, as he was clearly Aaron Rodgers favorite target in the red zone all season long and rightly so.
With some of the talk in the off-season about Rodgers not wanting to return to Green Bay, that raised many questions regarding star receiver Devante Adams. However, now that Rodgers is back and playing for the Packers despite thoughts he may not return, Adams looks to repeat his great 2020 season with an even better season in 2021.
#5 – Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is coming off what many would call a disappointing season in 2020. He ran for under 1,000 yards for just the second time in his 5 seasons in the league and had just 6 touchdowns on the ground.
Although this may be concerning for some, much of this was due to the defenses stacking the box against him because Dak Prescott was injured and out most of the season.
However, with Dak looking near full health again, and the Cowboys offense ready to make some noise in the 2021 season, Zeke should get back to his productive ways in 2021 and I expect him to have a big bounceback season and be back near the top of the league in rushing yards and touchdowns. Look for Elliott to have a big year as he is ready to carry the load for the Cowboys offense.
#4- Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook’s NFL career to this point has been anything but smooth sailing. Unfortunately he has been injured in just about every season he has been in the league, and is still yet to play a full 16 games.
Although this may be a concern to some, he has still been extremely efficient on the field. Last season in just 14 games played he had over 1500 yards on the ground with 16 rushing touchdowns which were both second in the league despite missing 2 games in the season. If Cook can stay on the field, he is a top pick in this year’s draft as he can produce big numbers on the ground at any given time.
#3 – Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara is a special type of running back. He may not see an overwhelming amount of carries per game like Derrick Henry and other backs around the league do. But he gets his fair share of touches, many of which are dump downs and receptions as he is a great route runner out of the back field.
Following the news of Drew Brees’ retirement at the end of last season, Kamara could see an upshare in touches. With a new Saints quarterback under center for the 2021 season, it is common to see an increase in run plays as well as dump offs/short passes to the running back. Kamara could benefit from this as he will have to carry a bigger load in the Saints offense this year which could see his fantasy numbers peak and have a breakout season.
#2 – Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry seems to be getting better every season he is in the league. Coming off a breakout season in 2020 where he ran for just over 2,000 yards on the ground, as well as adding 17 rushing touchdowns, Henry is looking to build on that and get even better.
The Titans after adding Julio Jones in the off-season are ready to make some serious noise in the AFC. However, that all starts with their workhorse Derrick Henry. Henry typically sees over 20 carries per game, as his opportunities are always there and he is a man who takes advantage of every carry he gets. On top of that, at 6 foot 3 inches tall and about 240 pounds Derrick Henry is a very hard man to take down which makes him that much more special.
I would be very surprised to see Henry slip out of the top 3 in fantasy drafts, as I see him as the 2nd option behind Run CMC.
#1 – Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey is coming off a season that he would like to forget. Coming off a fantastic season in 2019 where McCaffrey had over 2,000 total yards and 19 touchdowns, his 2020 season was cut short due to multiple lingering injuries which forced him to miss 13 games and only play in 3.
McCaffrey, who is certainly one of the most talented running backs in the NFL, is ready for a big bounce back season after a long off-season of recovery. He is one of the main parts of the Carolina Panthers offense and is ready to carry the load, as when he is healthy he is sure to see about 20-30 touches in most of his games.
McCaffrey is one player who is sure to be taken off the board very early in fantasy drafts, as most won’t see him slip past the first or second pick.