Sport Fantasy Football Fallers: Players Stock on the Decline
Fantasy Updates: Irv Smith Jr. injury, Chris Herndon traded, John Brown released
Irv Smith Jr. and Chris Herndon receive significant news that impacts fantasy rankings at tight end, and John Brown's release opens the door for other Raiders WRs to emerge as sleepers. Get the latest updates.Before diving into those, get an updated look at Michael Thomas' fantasy value here. For a take on whether you should draft Deshaun Watson, go here. We also have help for those wondering if they should draft Saquon Barkley in the first round (click here). For position battle news, click here.
These players are dropping down fantasy football draft boards, but it's possible some of them are becoming draft day values
We are inching closer and closer to the start of the 2021 NFL season, and with that, we also see an obvious increase in the number of fantasy drafts. I was in two over the weekend, drafting in the King's Classic League (14 teams) at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the first annual Hall of Fame League (HOFL), a 10-team format.
During these drafts loaded with the top analysts in the business, I noticed some big changes in the value of several players. Whether these players ultimately pan out or not, it's still notable when the industry folks make a move on them (or don’t) in drafts.
2021 Fantasy Football RB Sleepers: Potential running back breakouts, draft steals
Looking back for a running back sleeper? Join the club. Everyone wants to find RB steals during their fantasy football draft, but with a virtually unlimited amount of candidates, it's tough to know who to pick. We highlight our favorite potential breakouts for 2021.The list below is far from a complete list of 2021 RB sleepers (again, any backup has potential if a starter gets injured), but after looking at consensus rankings and average draft positions, these guys stand out as candidates to outproduce their preseason outlooks.
Let's look at some of the players who are on the decline as we enter mid-August.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger finished as the QB14 a season ago, averaging just fewer than 18 fantasy points a game. However, he's taken a major slide in 2021 drafts, coming off the board in the late rounds as a low-QB2. That's largely due to the projected decrease in pass attempts (he had 608 last season) with the addition of rookie runner Najee Harris. It also makes sense that at 39 years old, Big Ben is projected to see a decrease in numbers.
QB Cam Newton, New England Patriots
Newton, who finished one spot behind Roethlisberger among quarterbacks last season, has fallen so far in 2021 that he wasn’t even selected in the 14-team Jim Brown division of the King’s Classic. While most think he’ll open the season as the Patriots starter, Mac Jones has earned first-team reps in training camp and is making a push for the starting job. Regardless, it would be a surprise if Jones wasn’t the starter at some point in 2021. That train of thought has made Newton far less appealing among most fantasy analysts.
Fantasy Football Sleepers 2021: One breakout pick from every team
Does every team really have a fantasy sleeper candidate heading into 2021? Maybe not, but we still look for the most underrated player from all 32 NFL clubs ahead of your fantasy football draft.With that in mind, we're spreading the good vibes to all 32 teams and trying to find one player (or D/ST) from each who has the potential to outperform his average draft position. Some teams have several viable candidates; others don't really have any. That doesn't stop us, though. Our job is to give you a name, and even if it's someone buried on a depth chart who might spend more time in street clothes than a uniform this year, well, it's a name.
RB Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins
Gaskin was once considered a very attractive flex starter in drafts as the projected top back in Miami. After all, he led the team with a 23 percent touch share in the 10 games he played last season. But in the first week of the preseason, Gaskin played behind Malcolm Brown in the backfield rotation. That doesn’t mean he won’t be the starter in the regular season, but it does put into question his role as the team’s top runner. That has caused him to fall a few rounds as more of a low-end flex option in recent drafts.
RB James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
The top rookie running back last season, Robinson's value has taken a massive hit with the addition of Travis Etienne. I haven't been in a single draft, mock, best-ball, or redraft, where Robinson has been selected ahead of Etienne despite his 2020 success. In the King's Classic, he went two rounds behind his new teammate. However, Robinson did draw the start in the Jaguars' first preseason game, and he could be the better of the two backs in terms of value. Neither should be drafted as more than a flex option.
Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on Justin Fields, D'Andre Swift, Justin Jefferson, more ahead of 2021 fantasy drafts
Key players, such as Justin Fields, D'Andre Swift, Justin Jefferson, and Chase Claypool, continue to bounce off and on the practice field. Get the latest injury updates ahead of your fantasy football drafts.For updates on injured QBs Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz and banged-up RB Saquon Barkley, click here. For news on injured WRs Michael Thomas, Kenny Golladay, and DeVonta Smith, click here.
RB David Johnson, Houston Texans
Johnson was projected to be the Texans' top back in a committee this year, but that wasn't the case in the team's first preseason game. Phillip Lindsay handled the early-down work, while Johnson played on third downs. What's more, reports indicate the Texans could use Johnson in that role rather than as the top back on the depth chart. With Mark Ingram also mixing in, Johnson’s stock has sunk like a stone. At this point, it appears that Lindsay could be the best bet for fantasy value among the trio.
WR D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars
Chark’s value was rising when the Jaguars landed Trevor Lawrence with the top pick in the NFL draft, but he hasn't moved up in the wide receiver rankings. In fact, he was selected as a No. 4 fantasy wideout in the 14-team King's Classic. That has much to do with the addition of veteran Marvin Jones Jr., the presence of sleeper receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. and talk of Etienne being used prominently in the passing game. Chark is also coming off finger surgery which has limited him in camp to this point.
Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on Michael Thomas, Rashod Bateman, DeVonta Smith, more WRs ahead of 2021 fantasy drafts
Wide receiver injuries are piling up this preseason affecting fantasy rankings and potential sleepers. Get the latest updates and outlooks on Michael Thomas, Kenny Golladay, DeVonta Smith, and more ahead of your 2021 draft.We have latest news on these receivers below. For updates on injured QBs Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz and banged-up RB Saquon Barkley, click here.
WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans
Cooks has produced 1,000-plus yards in five of his last six seasons across four teams, but the Deshaun Watson situation has his value on the decline. With journeyman Tyrod Taylor expected to open the season as the starter, Cooks has gone from last season's WR17 to a borderline No. 3 or 4 fantasy option in 2021 drafts. However, the Texans are going to be a bad team, and someone has to catch passes in the offense. As a result, I like Cooks at a discounted price. He's barely a top-100 pick at this point.
WR Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills
Beasley finished last season ranked 27th in fantasy points among wideouts, but he has seen his stock decline in part because of his stance on the COVID-19 vaccination. Yet, he did report to camp on time and isn’t retiring (which had been rumored), so he is set to retain his role as one of Josh Allen’s favorite targets. Another season of 107 targets and 82 catches might not be in the cards, but Beasley has fallen out of the top 60 wideouts in some drafts (I landed him as the WR65 in the King’s Classic). While he does come with some risk due to not being vaccinated, Beasley has become a bargain.
TE Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
Henry had been one of the better fantasy tight ends in the league during his time with the Chargers, but his move to the Patriots has caused a decline in value. In fact, he's now being picked as more of a mid to low-end No. 2 option in drafts. Henry is also being picked behind his teammate, Jonnu Smith. Both players are dealing with minor injuries, as Henry has a bum shoulder and Smith is nursing a sprained ankle. Regardless, the duo has canceled each other out in fantasy drafts. Neither should be seen as a TE1.
Week 2 Fantasy Sleepers: Trey Sermon, Rondale Moore among players on the start-or-sit bubble
Trey Sermon and Rondale Moore headline our Week 2 fantasy sleepers. Both rookies carry some risk, but sometimes you gotta swing for the fences with your start 'em, sit 'em decisions. See all our favorite under-the-radar plays for Week 2.We won't bore you with obvious starters, so don't be too shocked when you see Trey Sermon on the list, who indeed carries more risk this week than he did footballs in Week 1. Rondale Moore showed signs of fantasy relevancy early, even with a talented group of WRs around him. Also, please don't cringe when you see the Raiders' defense -- we have good reasons.
TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gronkowski was inconsistent during his first season with the Buccaneers, but he still put up a TE8 finish and was a big contributor in the team’s Super Bowl run. Regardless, the future Hall of Famer is being picked as a low-end No. 2 fantasy tight end in 2021 drafts. The presence of Antonio Brown for a full season and the return of O.J. Howard are big reasons for the decline, as the Bucs have many mouths to feed in the passing game. Gronkowski will have his share of good games, but analysts are down on him in drafts.
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is an award-winning analyst on and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. . You can follow Michael on , , , and for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!
Updated 2021 Fantasy Football TE Auction Values: Dollar projections, rankings for standard & PPR tight ends .
Travis Kelce will command a large chunk of your auction budget, at least relative to other tight ends. Is he worth paying for? We break down FantasyPros' projected TE dollar values for standard and PPR leagues ahead of your 2021 fantasy football auction.Most fantasy owners can't stomach the hit of paying upwards of $40 for Kelce -- not when they can get someone like Dallas Goedert for over $30 cheaper. But, as we pointed out in our standard-league TE rankings, Kelce outscored Waller by 36.2 fantasy points last year, and Waller outscored No. 3 TE, Robert Tonyan, by 47 points. After that, Nos. 3-19 were closer in points than Tonyan was to Waller.