The fantasy regular season is in the books and I already laid out rankings for the playoffs. So what else is there to do but look ahead into the crystal ball and see what 2021 could have in store. As always, this is not format specific but a general ranking based simply on who I’d rather see on my roster in 2021. I am happy to talk specifics in the comments, as the note section is not meant to be a thesis explaining the position of each ranking. 

I have included some choice rookies for 2021, although in all likelihood there will be more that make their way into the top 80 by season’s end. This year there are currently 5 rookies in the top 50 WR in fantasy points per game. With offenses using more 3 and 4 wide formations, rookies can get on the field early and often. Earning snaps is the biggest hurdle for most rookies but that is not as hard as it used to be when only 2 WRs were featured. Rookie receivers should continue to be assets even in redraft leagues, so I have been generous in my rankings with 2 rookies already in the top 36. 

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

And without further ado… 

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If you aren’t familiar with the history between Justin Herbert and Marcus Mariota, I’ll clue you in on the story. Back in middle school the two NFL quarterbacks actually played on the same youth hockey team. It was a rag tag bunch of kids, coached by a down on his luck attorney with a drinking problem. That’s the plot to Mighty Ducks, Hebert and Mariota played college football for the Oregon Ducks, and not even at the same time. Alright, fine random italicized voice, you win. You always win. The point is, they’re both ducks! And one of these ducks quacked just a little louder on Thursday night: rookie Justin Herbert. The kid went off in primetime going 22/32 for 314 yards, 4 carries for 14 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown–he now has 27 passing touchdowns on the year, tying the all-time rookie record. Unfortunately, the quarterback he’s just tied isn’t a legend like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, it’s Baker Mayfield. Wah, wah. It’s an impressive feat regardless, and Herbert still has two full games remaining. He’s going to be good for a long time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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Your WR top 80 14.0 is here!  This is a playoff specific edition of the WR ranks, with extra weight given to the next 3 matchups specifically. Nothing matters but the path ahead so a few players jumped up because of their schedule. Additionally guys who are currently injured might as well be off the list, although some are straggling around like Kenny Golladay, but there is no guarantee he’ll suit up for our fantasy teams.  

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

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All season long, we’ve been grinding through the top-60 rest of season running backs. There has been a lot of turnover, an excess of movement both in and outside of the top-24, and a heck of a lot of injuries and COVID-19 to navigate around — both in the fantasy realm and the real world. But, alas, we’ve finally made it to Week 14. Hopefully, for many of you, this means the start of a successful playoff run, as Weeks 14-16 is when the vast majority of fantasy playoffs occur. For this very reason, I find myself feeling sentimental as I write this. At times, I led you stray, and at others, I did my job well. Now, as we leave the regular season behind and enter the postseason threshold, I have the opportunity to provide you with one last set of running back rankings as it relates to the 2020 season. In this final installment, I’ll be focusing on the set of matchups each running back faces over the next three weeks, as I’ve replaced the previous “bye” week component in the rankings with a look at each respective player’s “upcoming schedule.” And before you ask, yes — I do have David Montgomery ranked as a top-10 rest of season, fantasy playoff run option for that very reason, among others.

But before we get to the rest of that top 10, let’s take one final, albeit emotional trip around the league together. Feel free to bring a pack of Kleenex or, if you wish, simply deploy your own makeshift snot sleeve. Personally, I haven’t cried this hard since I said goodbye to my foreign exchange student in 10th grade. It was emotional. We played a lot of ping pong together. To fully appreciate this last ROS top-60 segment, I highly recommend playing the song “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. Blast it from the speakers as you digest the fickle words to follow.

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Team: Atlanta Falcons

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

WR1: Julio Jones

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Marshon Lattimore

Julio Jones vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 22 7.2 109.5 0.5 17.6
Vs. Shadow Coverage 16 6 81.3 0.4 13.4
vs. Marshon Lattimore 1 3 79 0 9.4

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Ok, let’s try this again! After Lattimore missed week 11 and Julio left early we still don’t have much to go on when these two play each other. Back in 2018 the Saints used Marshon Lattimore on Calvin Ridley and tried to double Julio with Eli Apple as the primary CB. Let’s just say that didn’t go well as Julio went for 11-147. In 2019 the Saints wised up and used Lattimore on Julio; however, Lattimore left the game early due to injury and only played half the snaps. Still Julio only finished with a modest 3-79 all of which came after Lattimore left the game.  Later in the year Julio missed the second game vs. the Saints so you see we truly don’t know how this matchup will pan out.

Week 13 Recommendation – WR3/Flex

With Julio dealing with another injury in 2020 it is hard to trust him as his usual #1 self in week 13. The good news for Julio is Lattimore has only shadowed Mike Evans in 2020 and with his counterpart Janoris Jenkins out the Falcons should be able to move the football more this week. Most fantasy teams won’t have the depth to fade Julio and with his career 13.4 PPG vs. shadow coverage, Julio should do enough to get the job done in season long leagues

DFS Recommendation – Price FD $8,000 / DK $6,600

Julio is priced as a top 8 option on FD making him a full fade at that price. On DraftKings you are able to get him at a reduced cost at roughly top 16 value, but even at that price playing on a bum wheel it might make him tough to trust. Players I would pivot to include Allen Robinson vs. DET and Adam Thielen vs JAX.

 

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Your WR top 80 13.0 is here!  Even though week 12 hasn’t ended yet, we’re on to the final countdown. If you’re 7-5 or better you can probably coast but a playoff seed may be on the line. If you’re rolling at 6-6 or in some leagues maybe even 5-7 this is do or die. Obviously “rest of season” doesn’t really mean much with one game left in the regular season but this is still a relative ranking of the best WRs in our game. As a rule, injuries will always bump guys down. I am generally pessimistic that players will return on time at full strength without a setback. 

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

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In a casual conversation with my future mother-in-law this past week, she adamantly described Derrick Henry as “sexy.” Now, I’m no expert on the perceived attractiveness of 6-foot-3, 250-pound behemoth running backs, but I do know one thing: there’s only one. There’s only one Derrick Henry, and as he approaches a fantasy playoff schedule as easy as hiding a piece of Thanksgiving stuffing in Matt Patricia’s beard at the end of No-Shave November, we’re likely to see history repeat itself yet again. Remember, Henry averaged 24.2 half-PPR points in his final five games of 2019, which was only slightly better than the 23.1 points he averaged across the final five games of 2018. Historically, Henry is stretch-run hero — a fantasy playoff superman in a class all his own. Even if Henry hadn’t erupted for 37.5 half-PPR points in Week 12, he would likely enter the Week 13 rankings as the RB1 overall, as an upcoming matchup with the Browns is the only thing that stands between him and a remaining schedule against the Jaguars, Lions, Packers and Texans. No matter how your league is structured, those matchups scream league-winning upside, and there’s no doubt in my mind Henry will again have a high ownership percentage on championship rosters. But, since Henry did pop off in Week 12, let’s unpack it: 27 carries, 178 yards, three rushing touchdowns; two receptions (four targets), seven yards. All three of Henry’s rushing touchdowns came in first half, as he legitimately provided three healthy weeks of fantasy value in a single half. Now I understand the “sexy” part. 

While Henry is up to RB1 this week, there’s a lot of other movement on the top-60 list and, as always, an overwhelming amount of injury updates to digest. So, before we get to the rankings, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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Shadow Coverage Tracker
WR Finish Total
1 15
2 8
3 8
4+ 25
Grand Total 56

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: New England

WR1: DeAndre Hopkins

WR2: Christian Kirk

Shadow Coverage Matchup: Stephon Gilmore

                                                  J.C. Jackson

DeAndre Hopkins vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents 27 7.4 96.3 0.4 16
Vs. Shadow Coverage 17 6.5 76.2 0.6 14.4
vs. Stephon Gilmore 3 6.7 72.7 0 10.6

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

According to PFF this season DeAndre Hopkins has yet to face any shadow coverage in 2020. This comes after back to back seasons where he saw shadow coverage in 50% of his games.  This “softer” cornerback schedule has led to a solid season so far in 2020 as Hopkins is the WR7 in PPG. Overall, throughout his career Hopkins has been solid vs. shadow coverage as his 14.4 PPG is still borderline WR1 numbers.

As for Christian Kirk he has never seen shadow coverage in his career, but that doesn’t stop the Patriots from using shadow coverage on multiple players. In weeks 9 and 11 of 2020 the Patriots used multiple CBs to shadow the opposing teams WRs and in 2019 used Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson in similar roles down the stretch.

Week 12 Recommendation DeAndre Hopkins – WR3/Flex

                                   Christian Kirk – SIT

Hopkins’ 10.6 vs. Stephon Gilmore doesn’t make him a sit, but tempering expectations on the road vs. the Patriots isn’t a bad idea. Hopkins has yet to score a TD or top 80 yards receiving in any of the games vs. Gilmore since he joined the Patriots back in 2017. These numbers leave Hopkins as solid WR2/flex in week 12.

As for Christian Kirk J.C. Jackson has been playing at a very high level slowing down a white-hot Will Fuller (6-80) while leading the NFL in interceptions so far in 2020. This season the Patriots have yet to allow a team to have multiple WRs hit double digit fantasy points in .5 PPR at home in 2020.

DFS Recommendation – DeAndre Hopkins Price FD $8,500 / DK $8,100

                                           Christian Kirk Price FD $6,100 / DK $5,800

Hopkins vs. Gilmore doesn’t equal DFS success as his 10 PPG will not justify his cost on both sites. At this price point you can pay up for Tyreek Hill in a game which should be a shootout in TB. As for Christian Kirk his price point on both sites is between WR 24-30, and with not a lot of WR success overall when the Patriots play at home its best to pivot. Players I would use over Kirk include DeVante Parker vs. NYJ and Curtis Samuel vs. MIN.

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Your WR top 80 13.0 is here!  As a rule, injuries will always bump guys down. I am generally pessimistic that players will return on time at full strength without a setback. 

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Your WR top 80 12.0 is here! Despite DeAndre Hopkins’ heroics, Davante Adams remains in a tier all his own. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of fantastic options to choose from in tier 2. As a rule, injuries will always bump guys down. I am generally pessimistic that players will return on time at full strength without a setback. 

This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 rest-of-season projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Read all of the QB, RB and TE Razzball Rest of Season Positional Rankings now!

Please, blog, may I have some more?