This year we’re playing for keeps! For the six of you readers who haven’t already scrolled hastily down to the list, there’s a few matters to clarify regarding keeper leagues, dynasty leagues, rankings for both, and my neighbor, Bucky. Over the past month I gave you my early top 10 and top 20 rankings for 2021 dynasty leagues as well as my top 25 rankings for superflex dynasty leagues. It’s important to note that those rankings are intended for full fledged dynasty leagues where you retain your entire roster from year to year. In dynasty formats, the career longevity of both wide receivers and quarterbacks needs to be reflected in valuations along with the short shelf life of the running back position.

The keeper league rankings below are designed to reflect player valuations in leagues where you retain only a portion of your roster—maybe only one play even. These rankings assume all players have an equal cost associated with keeping them, if any. Of course, most keeper leagues have their own quirks like my neighbor Bucky who thinks the dinosaurs never existed and their bones were planted across the earth by visiting alien lizards. Nice guy, Bucky. Crazier than a juggling monkey on a unicycle, but really nice guy. Bucky aside, if you want some input regarding your specific keeper rules and options then feel free to hit me in the comments. Anyway, here’s an early look at the top 100 keepers for 2021 fantasy football:

*rankings geared towards 1/2 point PPR scoring

Rank Name Team Position Age on 9/1/2021 Year of Free Agency
1 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 25 2026 (2023 out)
2 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 26 2026 (2023 out)
3 Derrick Henry TEN RB 27 2024 (2022 out)
4 Alvin Kamara NO RB 26 2026 (2024 out)
5 Jonathan Taylor IND RB 22 2024
6 Nick Chubb CLE RB 25 2022
7 Davante Adams GB WR 28 2022
8 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 24 2023
9 J.K. Dobbins BAL RB 22 2024
10 Tyreek Hill KC WR 27 2023
11 Austin Ekeler LAC RB 26 2024 (2022 out)
12 D’Andre Swift DET RB 22 2024
13 Miles Sanders PHI RB 24 2023
14 Antonio Gibson WAS RB 23 2024
15 D.K. Metcalf SEA WR 23 2023
16 Travis Kelce KC TE 31 2026 (2022 out)
17 DeAndre Hopkins ARI WR 29 2025 (2023 out)
18 Stefon Diggs BUF WR 27 2024 (2022 out)
19 David Montgomery CHI RB 24 2023
20 Josh Jacobs LV RB 23 2024
21 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 26 2027 (2023 out)
22 James Robinson JAC RB 23 2023
23 Aaron Jones FA RB 26 2021
24 A.J. Brown TEN WR 24 2023
25 Michael Thomas NO WR 28 2025 (2022 out)
26 Justin Jefferson MIN WR 22 2025
27 George Kittle SF TE 27 2026 (2023 out)
28 Darren Waller LV TE 28 2024
29 Keenan Allen LAC WR 29 2025 (2022 out)
30 CeeDee Lamb DAL WR 22 2025
31 Cam Akers LAR RB 22 2024
32 Patrick Mahomes KC QB 25 2032
33 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC RB 22 2025
34 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 26 2023
35 Chris Carson FA RB 26 2021
36 Kyler Murray ARI QB 24 2023
37 Chris Godwin FA WR 25 2021
38 Mike Evans TB WR 28 2024
39 Terry McLaurin WAS WR 26 2023
40 D.J. Moore CAR WR 24 2023
41 Julio Jones ATL WR 32 2024
42 Allen Robinson FA WR 27 2021
43 Kenny Golladay FA WR 27 2021
44 Adam Thielen MIN WR 31 2025
45 Will Fuller FA WR 27 2021
46 Chase Claypool PIT WR 23 2024
47 Ronald Jones TB RB 24 2022
48 Joe Mixon CIN RB 25 2025 (2022 out)
49 Myles Gaskin MIA RB 24 2023
50 Robert Woods LAR WR 29 2025
51 Brandon Aiyuk SF WR 23 2025
52 Kenyan Drake FA RB 27 2021
53 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 24 2023
54 Josh Allen BUF QB 25 2023
55 Kareem Hunt CLE RB 26 2023
56 Melvin Gordon DEN RB 28 2022
57 Deshaun Watson HOU QB 25 2026 (2024 out)
58 David Johnson HOU RB 29 2022
59 Tyler Lockett SEA WR 28 2022
60 Diontae Johnson PIT WR 25 2023
61 Cooper Kupp LAR WR 28 2024 (2022 out)
62 Justin Herbert LAC QB 23 2025
63 Odell Beckham Jr CLE WR 28 2024
64 Amari Cooper DAL WR 27 2025 (2022 out)
65 Dak Prescott FA QB 28 2021
66 Mark Andrews BAL TE 24 2022
67 T.J. Hockenson DET TE 24 2023
68 Jalen Hurts PHI QB 23 2024
69 A.J. Dillon GB RB 23 2024
70 Chase Edmonds ARI RB 25 2022
71 Brandin Cooks HOU WR 27 2024 (2021 out)
72 James Conner FA RB 26 2021
73 Leonard Fournette FA RB 26 2021
74 Salvon Ahmed MIA RB 22 2022
75 Robby Anderson CAR WR 28 2022 (2021 out)
76 Juju Smith-Schuster FA WR 24 2021
77 Corey Davis FA WR 26 2021
78 Jarvis Landry CLE WR 28 2023
79 DeVante Parker MIA WR 28 2024 (2021 out)
80 Tee Higgins CIN WR 22 2024
81 Russell Wilson SEA QB 32 2024 (2022 out)
82 Jamaal Williams FA RB 26 2021
83 Benny Snell PIT RB 23 2023
84 Marquise Brown BAL WR 24 2024
85 Nyheim Hines IND RB 24 2022
86 Jerry Jeudy DEN WR 22 2025
87 Raheem Mostert SF RB 29 2022
88 Deebo Samuel SF WR 25 2023
89 Tyler Boyd CIN WR 26 2024 (2021 out)
90 Zack Moss BUF RB 23 2024
91 Devin Singletary BUF RB 23 2023
92 Curtis Samuel FA WR 25 2021
93 Courtland Sutton DEN WR 25 2022
94 Preston Williams MIA WR 24 2022
95 T.Y. Hilton FA WR 31 2021
96 Mike Williams LAC WR 26 2022
97 D.J. Chark JAC WR 24 2022
98 Darnell Mooney CHI WR 23 2024
99 Dallas Goedert PHI TE 26 2022
100 Rashaad Penny SEA RB 25 2023

 

  1. m2b says:
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    Do you have a suggestion on how to weight these ranks vs round value? Let’s say you’re weighing Cam Akers (rank 31, keep round 5) vs Brandon Aiyuk (rank 51, keep round 11). Is it basically weighing the value or Akers+whoever you can get in rd11 vs Aiyuk+whoever you can get in the 5th?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Yes that’s one way to look at it. Of course how your league values RBs should be factored into that as well.

      For me I’d rather lock in the upside RB in most instances.

  2. Yes says:
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    Where would you rank waller in full ppr? He was top 10 flex in our league. Also why are you so high on dobbins? Isnt miles sanders in a similar situation and he was consensus 1st round last yr.

    Thx!!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Waller and Kittle would both get a slight bump in full PPR but only a couple spots.

      As for Dobbins, Ingram should be gone next year. He’s clearly more talented than Gus and I expect his workload to grow big time in 2021.

      I still love Sanders but I’ve bumped him down slightly because of Jalen Hurts. I think Hurts ends up stealing a chunk of the rushing TDs…

      No problem!

      • Yes says:
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        Re: JKD that is v solid reasoning…i think ill throw waller back and find the next waller baller.

        Re; sanders true but i have him JKD and Ekeler so i might go for keeping all 3 and hoarding top % RBs

        Thx again

        • Yes says:
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          I can only keep3, i should have added

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            I think that’s what I’d do as well, no problem!

  3. King Daddy Crunch says:
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    I am curious about your low ranking for Ridley. He seems poised for big production in the next few years as he takes over the #1 mantle in Atlanta from Julio Jones. Ranking him as the 10th WR and 34th overall for Keeper leagues seems harsh. Why no love for Calvin?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I might be under rating him a little. I’ve never been a huge fan, but gave to admit he was very consistent this year. I’ll say, odds are Julio plays a full season next year and there’s a decent chance Matt Ryan will be gone in 2022.

  4. M says:
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    Taylor in the 2nd or Dobbins in the 6th?

    Hard to put Taylor back but feels like Dobbins is the longer term value.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Yeah think I’d take the value on Dobbins but wouldn’t blame you for going with Taylor either.

  5. Jeff says:
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    Hi, which two would you keep in a 10-Team Standard League:

    Henry (1st round … 2021 only)
    Jacobs (1st round… 2021-22)
    Taylor (2nd round …. 2021-22)
    Dobbins (6th round… 2021-22)
    Gibson (13th round … 2021-22)
    Herbert (10th round… 2021-22)

    If I keep the two 1st rounders, they will cost me a 1st and a 2nd.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Hey Jeff,

      For me Gibson would be a must keep at that cost. From there I could see going with any of Henry, Taylor or Dobbins. Do you know when your 1st round pick will be? I think if you know you’re in the back end then I’d just lock up Henry. If it’s random or you know you’ll be at the front end then I’d lean Taylor.

      Really tough to go wrong with these options, nice team!

      No problem.

  6. Connor says:
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    Hey, I was in my first Dynasty league this year and I finished second to last. However, through the draft and some trades I really like the makeup of my team moving forward. All-keeper and standard league (not super flex).

    QBs: Ben Roesthlisberger, Jalen Hurts
    RBs: Jonathan Taylor, JK Dobbins, D’Andre Swift, Antonio Gibson, AJ Dillon, Marlon Mack, Joshua Kelley, Tony Pollard, Gus Edwards
    WRs: Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Deebo Samuel, Sterling Shepard, Bryan Edwards, John Brown
    TEs: Dalton Shultz, Harrison Bryant

    I also have 2 of the top 5 draft picks and my question is more about the draft. Originally I planned on reaching for Trevor Lawrence, but after seeing how Jalen Hurts played at the end of last season I feel better at the quarterback position. I wonder if I should stockpile another young running back like Najee Harris or Travis Entienne, or if I should try and double up on wide outs like Jamarr Chase and Devonta Smith? Or should I try and stick with my core and package my picks for one of these more established players? Any advice would be great! Thank you.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Hey Connor,

      That’s a great young team! I think Najee Harris will end up being the prize of this draft class. If you could land him and one of Devonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, Etienne or Jaylen Waddle that’d be a great haul. But a lot does depend on where guys land in the NFL draft, so I’d keep an open mind. We’ll have plenty of predraft and post draft dynasty rookie content in the coming months, stay tuned!

  7. Stan says:
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    Hey Donkey Teeth.

    Just finished 8th in my 10 team standard league, meaning I’m 2nd most likely to get the top pick in the draft next year. We get 3 keepers, here are my options.

    I feel like picking these two is a no-doubter:
    Jonathan Taylor – 3rd rd
    Antonio Gibson – 10th rd

    Then for my third, I have a choice between:
    Cam Akers – 5th rd
    Darren Waller – 6th rd
    Claypool – 15th rd

    I’m leaning picking Waller as my 3rd since I’ll most likely have a high draft pick to grab another top RB. Plus, Akers had a lot of volume late in the season, but I feel a bit less confident in his production.

    What are your thoughts? Anything else you think I should I consider when making my decision? Any reason I shouldn’t pick Waller over Akers?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Hey Stan!

      DT’s taking a well-deserved trip to Ghostbusters Fantasy Camp for a few weeks, so he’ll be back in February to give his opinion.

      From my point of view, I think it’s a coin flip. If you take Waller, you’ve got a premium TE and don’t need to worry about getting one of the few TEs that garner points in 2021. For example, there are 6 TE that made DT’s Top 100 list…that’s pretty scarce! Of those TE, Kittle has basically been injured every minute of his NFL career (waits for thrown tomatoes) and the bottom two are the Lions’ TE and the Eagles TE. Adam Gase has a real chance of being the Eagles’ head coach! (Of course, this list was made before the Pederson firing!). So, I think you grab Waller and take the sure value at a scarce position, and don’t overthink it too much.

      Good luck!

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