2021 Fantasy Football cheat sheet, rankings, projections, auction values, sleepers, team names, draft tips
Some call it a “draft kit;” others call it a “draft guide.” We call it our 2021 fantasy football cheat sheet, and it’s here to help you win your league. Dominate your draft with our rankings (standard, PPR, superflex, IDP), sleepers, busts, projected dollar values, tiers, mock drafts, draft strategy tips (snake, auction, best ball, dynasty/keeper), consistency ratings, team names, college fantasy rankings, and much, much more.
It doesn’t matter where you play (Yahoo, CBS, NFL.com, ESPN, DraftKings, FanDuel, Sleeper, etc.) or what your scoring format is — there’s something below that can help anyone. Yes, even the psychos who play in IDP leagues or are in Year 12 of a dynasty league with a taxi squad and dedicated slots for college players. (Those really exist.)
Week 1 kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 9 with the Cowboys and Buccaneers, and we’ll be updating the articles below and producing all sorts of new content throughout the preseason, so bookmark and check back often for the latest links (or follow SN Fantasy on Twitter). There’s plenty more to come as you get ready for your drafts!
Cheat Sheet: Fantasy football rankings (standard)
Top 200: If you like lists with Blake Jarwin on them, then you definitely need to check out this one.
Kickers: What’s the most important article we write every year? Definitely not this one.
Superflex Top 200: You know that super-deep QB position we mentioned earlier? It doesn’t look quite as deep when everyone is gunning for three of them, huh?
IDP: The No. 8 DB makes no difference to at least 75 percent of you, but we’re here to serve the few, not just the many.
Rookies: Najee Harris, Ja’Marr Chase, and Kyle Pitts were easy choices for No. 1 at their respective positions, but things are very much up for debate after them.
Offensive lines: Sure, you’re not drafting any O-linemen, but don’t you just feel smarter knowing the Saints were fifth in yards before contact last year?
Comparing Yahoo and ESPN rankings: If you play on both sites, this is an invaluable tool for knowing which players you can wait for and which you’ll need to reach for.
Fantasy football PPR rankings
Top 200: We have a different No. 1 RB, WR, and overall player in PPR than in standard. (Don’t worry, Blake Jarwin is on this list, too.)
Running backs: The J.D. in J.D. McKissic stands for “Just Draft.” (It doesn’t, but what if it did?)
Wide receivers: Jakobi Meyers is the new Julian Edelman. Jarvis Landry is still Jarvis Landry, though.
Tight ends: The most exciting thing we can say about these rankings is Logan Thomas moves up slightly from our standard TE rankings. Cool, huh?
Superflex Top 200: This is the same as the standard top 200 superflex, only with the QBs a few spots lower. Honestly, you don’t really need to click on this, but we’d appreciate it if you did.
PPR risers: See the biggest risers in PPR leagues compared to standard formats (aka “The Nyheim Hines All-Stars”).
PPR fallers: See the biggest fallers in PPR leagues compared to standard formats (aka “The Gus Edwards Non-Stars”).
Fantasy football sleepers
One from each team: Normally, we say “You’ll never guess who we picked for Washington!” just to ensure you scroll through the whole list and give us more page views, but this year, you seriously might never guess who we picked for Washington.
Quarterbacks: OK Daniel Jones, this is your last chance…
Running backs: The “Gus Bus” is leaving the station bound for Sleepertown, and whoever isn’t on it is going to feel like a real a-hole.
Wide receivers: We could really just put any receiver outside of the top 40 on this list, couldn’t we?
Tight ends: The term “Hog Rate” is included in the Anthony Firkser section. There’s no better way to sell the TE sleepers article than that.
Defense/special teams: Our list of the best early-season D/ST matchups is one of the most useful things we publish every year.
Draft-day steals: Before you ask — yes, you can find steals as early as the first round.
All-Sleeper Team: Actual first names of some of the guys on this list: Algiers, Laviska, Tuanigamanuolepola, and…Michael. We shouldn’t have put that one last.
Deep-Sleeper Team: Some — maybe most — of these guys won’t even play in Week 1. That will make it all the sweeter when they break out in Week 7, though.
Fantasy football tiers and draft strategy
Quarterbacks: We do our best to humble Tom Brady a bit with a “Tier 3” designation. Take that, pretty boy! (Click here for bonus breakdown of Mahomes vs. Allen vs. Murray)
Running backs: Does anyone still do the “Zero-RB” thing? If so, we even have a blueprint for them. (Click here for bonus breakdown of Henry vs. McCaffrey vs. Kamara vs. Cook)
Wide receivers: We have just 11 guys in Tiers 1 and 2, which is another way of saying you don’t want to be the last person in your league to draft a WR1. (Click here for bonus breakdown of Adams vs. Hill)
Tight ends: Tier 1 was probably the easiest call of any position, but figuring out the best way to approach TE on draft day remains difficult. (Click here for bonus breadown of Kelce vs. Waller vs. Kittle)
Defense/special teams: If we had to summarize this article in one word, it would be, “Wait.”
IDP guide: Ever wondered where to draft your first LB in an IDP draft? No? Well, some weirdos do, and this comprehensive IDP guide is for them.
Snake draft strategy: If you only listen to one of these tips, make it the last one.
Fantasy football stat projections
Stat Projections: Coming soon
Fantasy football mock draft
Mock Draft Simulator: FantasyPros’ fully customizable mock draft simulator lets you practice any draft strategy in minutes (or hours if you have a lot of time to kill at work).
12-Team PPR Mock Draft: Having the No. 1 overall pick is awesome…for the first round. Then what, though? Check out our strategy.
Fantasy football busts
Do Not Draft List: If any of these guys fall, they can go from potential busts to values really quickly, but in general, buyer beware.
Boom-or-Bust Team: Most owners wouldn’t be mad if this was their starting lineup on Week 1 — and that’s why we felt the need to highlight the risks of these players.
Fantasy football consistency ratings
Quarterbacks: It’s awful lonely in Tier 1A.
Running backs: Chris Carson at No. 14 is a good reminder that Chris Carson is a really good running back. Feels like people forget that sometimes, doesn’t it?
Wide receivers: Speaking of Seahawks, Tyler Lockett is awesome … for those six games a year when he’s awesome. The other 10 — err, 11? Well…
Tight ends: If a player is “touchdown reliant” but scores a touchdown most weeks, is he actually consistent or just lucky? We present Robert Tonyan…
Fantasy football dollar value projections (standard and PPR)
Overall: From Christian McCaffrey to Wil Lutz, here’s who’s worth your auction dollars this year.
Quarterbacks: You want Josh Allen? Get ready to spend. You want Ben Roethlisberger? Apparently, the rest of your league will pay you to take him.
Running backs: You can get 6.5 Zack Moss’s for one Dalvin Cook.
Wide receivers: Michael Thomas for $5 just looks weird, doesn’t it?
Tight ends: Travis Kelce ain’t cheap.
Defense/special teams: Three D/STs are listed at $2, but we still don’t recommend paying more than $1 for this position.
Kickers: This list is useless, but we still published it, which shows we’re always willing to go the extra mile for you.
Fantasy football auction tips
Auction draft strategy: A step-by-step guide on how to budget, nominate, and bid.
Fantasy football best ball strategy tips
Best Ball draft strategy: Looking for a fantasy format where you get even more screwed by injuries? Welcome to best ball!
Fantasy football dynasty league tips
Dynasty/Keeper draft strategy/advice: Want to pretend you’re an NFL GM without having millions of fans hating you? Join a dynasty league, and check out these strategy tips to ensure you don’t wind up hating yourself.
Fantasy football team names
Best team names: The rookies come through this year — especially Kyle Pitts — and we have plenty of COVID-related ideas if that’s your thing (whether you favor “Dakcine Mandates” or you’re not worried about the “Odellta Variant.”)
More fantasy football help
Player updates: How else are you going to know who added four pounds of muscle this offseason?
RB handcuff chart: Goal: Never needing to look at this article. Reality: Needing to look at this article many, many times.
Available targets and touches: One player’s departure is another player’s potential gain. See who’s line for increased opportunities this year.
New coaches and play-callers: After checking out this list, you’ll probably think, “Wait, there’s another LaFleur and another Kubiak? When did that happen?”
Position battles: Saints QB, Jaguars starting RB, Saints WR1 — we cover all the fantasy-relevelant camp battles. Yes, even Gerald Everett vs. Will Dissly for that one person in a two-TE league.
Bye Week Strategies: Get a list of every team’s byes (they start later this year!) and figure out how to handle them.
Injury Predictor Tool: Draft Sharks gives SN Fantasy readers a sneak peek of its invaluable Injury Predictor index so you can avoid too many injury-prone risks on draft day.
College fantasy football rankings
Top 200: The top overall player might make even casual college football fans say, “Wait…who?” That’s how you know it’s going to be a wild year.
Quarterback: Why do all college QBs have cool names? Spencer Rattler, Grayson McCall, Emory Jones — I mean, these guys were destined to be college quarterbacks, right?
Running back: OK, forget what we said about college QBs having cool names. This list features guys named Deuce, Tank, Master, and Sincere. Come on, now…
Wide receiver: A Big 10 receiver at No. 1? Just four Big 12 WRs in the top 50? What’s happening in college football?!
Tight end: There’s no Kyle Pitts this year, but there are still some pretty good college TEs who can help later in drafts.
D/ST: Don’t be so shocked — some teams still play defense in college.
Kicker: We make fun of people who still have kicker as a position in NFL fantasy leagues, so imagine our thoughts on college fantasy leagues with a kicker slot.
Sleepers: Transfers, redshirts, players in position battles — don’t let these potential breakouts fall through the cracks during your draft.
NFL Picks Advice
Pick ’em pool strategy tips: Coming soon
Survivor pool strategy tips: Coming soon