In the last article we highlighted which NFC players have the most to gain if their current teams don’t draft a player at a similar position. In this article we will discuss which current AFC players have the most to gain in the upcoming NFL draft. What this means is if a team passes on a skill position player or quarterback in the first few round which players currently on those rosters today will have the most to gain.

Each section we will highlight the team, how many picks each team has overall, how many picks they have rounds 1-3 and the players who have the most to gain. This article isn’t a mock or predicting any picks. Most likely at least half of these players we talk about today will be impacted by draft picks, but just in case they aren’t here is why we think they can improve in 2021.

Baltimore Ravens
Total picks: 7
Round 1: No. 27 overall
Round 2: No. 58
Round 3: No. 104

Impacted Player: Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown turned it on in the second half of 2020 increasing his production in nearly every metric. This spike in production coincides with Mark Andrews missing time due to COVID. However, even after Andrews returned Brown was still producing at a high level. Below are his stats side by side before Andrews went out with Covid and after he returned. The 13.2 points per game (PPG) in those final 6 weeks (including playoffs) would have made Brown the wide receiver 15 in 2020. Brown’s current Best ball average draft position (ADP) is wide receiver 36.

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I woke up this morning, ice rain falling on my car. Three different densities of fog developed from my exhaling breath: one the usual, everyday fog representing my life force; a second the worried fog that danced a little more, caused by 2020 itself; the third, the devastated fog of living in the northern midwest that fell straight to the ground, caused by having Kirk Cousins stuck as the Vikings quarterback for the next three years. 

But if I’m wearing my fantasy forecaster hat, I really should be dancing in the ice rain: Kirk Cousins is bringing some teams to fantasy playoff glory. 

That’s the funny thing about fantasy sports compared to real life sports: there are inadequate real-life signal callers who are fantasy gold, and there are great real life quarterbacks who are absolute sleepers in fantasy. The midwest writers for The Athletic point out that Cousins is rigid in following his reads — he doesn’t innovate and he doesn’t deviate from his play call. He’s won less than 10 games against teams with winning records in nearly 80 career starts. He went 0-9 on Monday Night Football before finally grabbing his first career win this year. From a real-life standpoint, Cousins is about as exciting as owning a Toyota Camry: yes, you know he’s ready to go every week, but once you start going, you can’t help but look at every other “car” you could have had. And yes, I did avoid the Derek Carr pun there. 

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It was the best of Cams, it was the worst of Cams, it was the age of Akers wisdom, it was the age of Newton foolishness, it was the epoch of Akers belief, it was the epoch of Newton incredulity, it was the season of Akers Light, it was the season of Newton Darkness, it was the spring of Akers hope, it was the winter of Newton despair. It was certainly the spring of hope for Cam Akers’ owners Thursday night as the rook toted 29 carries for 171 yards and hauled in 2 catches for 23 yards. We speculated last week that Akers was taking the Rams’ backfield by the horns but even I didn’t expect the kid to out touch Darrell Henderson (2 carries for 5 yards) 31-2. Neither did the brilliant Pigskinonator, who was extra bullish on Akers this week ranking him #14 among RBs compared to the expert consensus of #25, but only projected him for 15 touches. The L.A. runner just might be a league winning RB1 down the stretch, at the very least he looks like a rock solid RB2.

Unfortunately, it was the winter of despair for Cam Newton owners as the “quarterback” went 9/16 for 119 yards, 7 carries for 16 yards and 1 interception before being bench for Jarett Stidham (5/7 for 27 yards). This game scared the Dickens out of anyone who happened to make the unwise decision to start Newton in their playoff matchup. Odds are this is Stidham’s team for the final three weeks. Add him up in superflex league and ignore him everywhere else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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I woke up the other morning with visions of Flacco in my head. I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. “You’re a Super Bowl winning quarterback with millions in your bank account, not the backup QB on a winless team that’s tanking! Go get ’em tiger!” I put on my Pumas and raced outside, not quite realizing it’s 15 degrees when I stepped out the door. Still, I ran. I ran like Rocky ran, sweat-banded and sweat-shirted. And when I cross the mile threshold, I told myself, “It’s three weeks until the fantasy championships! All your friends will validate you! They’ll say you’re handsome and smart and five years from now they’ll remember that Kirk Cousins brought you the fantasy championships!” I looked around, slightly crazed and slightly lost, and realized I was far from home. But aren’t we all. With Joe Flacco on my mind, I started to retrace my steps, one-by-one. Russell Wilson started strong. James Robinson was a fluke FAAB win that brought me to the playoffs. Derrick Henry surged through the defenses while Ryan Tannehill sliced secondaries. And all the while, Corey Davis grabbed first down after first down. There were so many Titans I couldn’t figure out if I was talking “Attack on” or “Remembering the.” But one thing stuck with me: it was the fantasy friends I made along the way. If I made you a fantasy friend of mine or the site, please show some love by getting an ad-free membership or checking in on the basketball or baseball sides and following the fantasy fun all-year round. 

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Well, well, well. Week 12. Do I need to introduce what ended up being one of the weirdest weeks in NFL history? From a fantasy perspective, we watched Patrick Mahomes chase the Chiefs’ record for single-game passing yards (held by Elvis Grbac, you Trivial Pursuit maniac), while also watching Denver Broncos practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton make his NFL debut as a QB. One of those situations did not end well. On top of all of that, we’re looking forward to Tuesday Wednesday Night Football. In case you forgot, when Tuesday Night Football that happened earlier in the year wreaked havoc on stats providers who hadn’t prepared for “Y2K,” and some fantasy providers went weeks without accurate scoring. And now we’ve got a WNF, which is also the name of my favorite Korean boy-band. SEW (<- not a boy band). I’m giving you the best information that’s available at the time of writing, and hopefully Week 13 will be a bit easier to navigate. Next week will be the final installment of the rest of season QB rankings, so if you’re hoping to follow me here at Razzball, I’ll ask you to navigate over to the basketball section, where I’ll be doing a weekly player highlight column. 

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Who’s ready for Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving means three things: Matt Stafford, the turkey and contentious political commentary. Wait, what’s an Oxford comma again? OK, that was one thing. Hopefully you’ll be safe in your mansions this week. For the rest of us, let’s take a look at the thing keeping us hopeful: the upcoming fantasy playoffs and the quarterbacks that lead our teams through darkness. 

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When Covid isn’t flattening QBs and teams left and right, massive windstorms have completely shut down QBs several times this year. In Week 10, another Vortex Giant (CR25 for you nerds) stomped into many stadiums, leaving giant killers like Nick Chubb and [checks notes] Ben Roethisberger (hmmm) to save the villagers. I’ve asked fantasy managers to be proactive about rostering useful streaming QBs, if not to provide options in case of Covid or weather, but at the very least to deprive your opponents of a starting QB. This last week, your opponents would have gotten useful streaming games from bottom-tier QBs like Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins, and Philip Rivers. Now, I’m not applauding their games. But when other QBs are facing off against sustained 25MPH winds, gusts to 50MPH, and rain/sleet, those fair weather QB streamers look awfully nice. 

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What a weekend! Masters Sunday in November due to pandemic scheduling. College football hanging on by a thread with virus outbreaks and cancelled games. But the NFL? No worries, mon. It was a light news cycle this week with lots of wind and weather, but one man had the gall to go off.  Wayne Gallman toted 18 carries for 53 yards, caught 1 pass for 7 yards and hit pay dirt for his 4th and 5th touchdowns. Wayne Enterprises’ stock spiked this past week when Devonta Freeman (hamstring) was placed on the IR. Somehow Gallman’s only owned in 50% of Yahoo leagues. Most of those leagues are probably abandoned but make sure yours isn’t one of them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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Earlier in the summer when I was ranking pitchers over on the baseball side, there was a moment early in the baseball season when less than 60 starting pitchers had played; the rest were injured or quarantined or got caught at the club and sent home. The starting quarterback landscape is increasingly looking that way: tons of injuries are taking their toll, and the NFL has a baffling Covid policy where they’re punishing teams for practicing during the week yet still marching teams out every Sunday rather than delaying the games. Was Tuesday Night Football really that bad? I mean, other than screwing up the fantasy scoring systems for like two weeks. ENYWHEY. Outside of Dak Prescott, most of the injuries and quarantines haven’t affected the bulk of fantasy managers playing in standard leagues. Those who are in deep leagues, dynasty leagues, or superflex leagues, however, are probably in massive frustration mode. Here’s how I’m seeing the QB landscape unfold. 

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Our expectations for Monday night’s Patriots against Jets showdown were lower than my expectations for the art fair my lady made me attend over the weekend. Or as I call it, the fart fair. One of these events yielded more entertainment than expected (hint: it wasn’t the fart fair).  Two under the radar receivers put on a show for us as the Jets attempted to steal their first win and the Patriots attempted to avoid the embarrassment of losing to the Jets. Breshad Perriman erupted for 5 catches for 101 yards and his 1st and 2nd touchdowns. But on the other side of the ball, Jakobi Meyers had a response, reeling in 12 catches for 169 yards (nice). I’m not sure I’ve ever properly highlighted the boldness factor which makes our Pigskinonator projections bot so valuable. For instance, this week the Bacon-bot ranked Jakobi Meyers as it’s #11 fantasy wide receiver, ahead of some big name players who busted like Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas and Marquise Brown. This hunk of metal certainly ain’t shy! Now, it’s worth pointing out that these computer generated projections and rankings aren’t intended to be used as gospel, but they’re a phenomenal complementary data driven reference point which pays off week in and week out. Sign up now for your free trial! And to answer your question regarding Meyers and Perriman moving forward: they’re both worth adding if you’re needy at wide receiver; Meyers and his 14 targets should be prioritized first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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