So you just reached the pinnacle of your existence by winning your fantasy football championship, now what? First, finish that pile of celebratory drugs, then slip your pants back on and put the Jergens away. Now it’s time to get back to work, with an eye toward 2021. A couple weeks have passed since I shocked the world with my top 10 dynasty rankings for 2021 fantasy football. December 4th, 2020 is a date which will live in infamy. The date when Donkey Teeth declared D.K. Metcalf as the top dynasty asset in all the land and then took his first shower in three months.
This year I brought in a ringer to keep me in check: Pat Fitzmaurice. Pat is currently sitting at #1 (out of 160 experts) in this year’s FantasyPros’ Ranking Accuracy Competition, he also finished #2 (out of 162 experts) in FP’s Draft Ranking Accuracy Competition in 2019 and he holds the title of #1 most accurate draft ranker from 2017-2019. In short, the man is a fantasy football ranking sorcerer and he was kind enough to record a YouTube show with me discussing each of our top 10s—subscribe and give us a like if you don’t hate it. Full disclosure: I haven’t had a professional haircut since February. Anyway, here’s that show, followed by my top 20 dynasty rankings for 2021 fantasy football:
*note: these rankings are geared toward single QB, half PPR, full fledged dynasty leagues
Rank. Player | Position | Age on 9/1/2021 | Free Agency Year
11. Nick Chubb | RB | 25 | 2022
12. Justin Jefferson | WR | 22 | 2025
13. CeeDee Lamb | WR | 22 | 2025
Nick Chubb just might be the best pure runner in the NFL, but the uncertainty of 2022 free-agency lingers; not to mention the split backfield with Kareem Hunt leaving my Chubb at half-mast from time to time. But again you need stud running backs if you want to contend for a title.
What El Jefe J-Jeffe has done as a rookie is nothing short of incredible. Through 16 weeks he’s already destroyed Randy Moss’s Vikings’ rookie receptions record (79) and sits 46 yards shy of Moss’s rookie receiving yardage record (1,313). He’s also #7 in percentage of his teams air yards this year (36.1%), right next to names like Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill and D.K. Metcalf. Remember, Justin Jefferson has done all of this in a season with a watered down training camp, no preseason, and Kirk Cousins at quarterback–I might actually be selling him short at #11.
It’s easy to forget what CeeDee Lamb was up to prior to the Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert saga/nightmare. Let me refresh your loins: in the first five weeks with Dak under center, Lamb caught two touchdowns while averaging 6 catches and 87 receiving yards. For reference, through the first five weeks Jefferson had one touchdown while averaging 4 catches and 74 receiving yards. I’m expecting Dak to be back in Dallas long term and Lamb should quickly becomes his #1 option.
14. Patrick Mahomes | QB | 25 | 2032
Pat Fitzmaurice and I discussed dynasty quarterback valuation philosophy a bit during our top 10 dynasty rankings show. Cliff notes on my philosophy: elite quarterbacks are a stable store of value and as dynasty leagues age they tend to become top heavy with the majority of the prime fantasy assets on the top couple teams as other rebuild. When this happens, the team with the best quarterback can often decide the championship. This is why I value Patrick Mahomes and the other elite fantasy QBs higher than most, they’re a rock you can count on and build around for the next ten years.
15. Stefon Diggs | WR | 27 | 2024
16. Michael Thomas | WR | 28 | 2025
I’ve long been a Josh Allen apologist, so when Stefon Diggs was dealt to Buffalo I leaned in hard. Diggs was never happy in Minnesota and the still developing Allen had never enjoyed a high end wide receiver to chuck it up to–no offense to John Brown and his mother who’s one of our loyal readers. As I mentioned above, Diggs is just behind Jefferson at #9 in percentage of his teams air yards (35.6%) which is the air yard domination we love see from our fantasy receivers. It seems like Diggs has been around for a decade but he’ll only turn 27 next year, there’s no reason to think his connection with Allen won’t continue to grow over the next couple seasons.
2020 was not friendly to the man who was considered the consensus number one dynasty wide receiver heading into the season: Michael Thomas. Injuries to himself, injuries to his quarterback and boneheaded moves have made Thomas one of the biggest busts of the season. And I don’t mean big bust in the good way. Now we have to wonder whether this is the end of the road for Drew Brees and his 854 broken ribs. And is Taysom Hill the future? I always devalue dynasty assets for uncertainty, but Thomas’s talent isn’t in question.
17. J.K. Dobbins | RB | 22 | 2024
18. D’Andre Swift | RB | 22 | 2024
It might be a little controversial to rank these youngsters so high after a season of ups and downs but remember, just like Jefferson and Lamb, these kids experienced a stunted training camp and no preseason due to COVID-19. The training wheels stayed on for the majority of the year, but now they’re off and the sky’s the limit for these three rookie running backs.
It was obvious to anyone who watch Ravens game this year that J.K. Dobbins is the most talented back in Baltimore. We have to imagine the Ravens will opt out of Mark Ingram’s contract this spring but Gus the Bus may remain a headache as he’s a restricted free agent this offseason. Even while in a committee with Edwards, Dobbins has seen double digit carries and found the end zone each of the past 5 games. I just hope Harbaugh eventually realizes the young RB has fantastic hands which have gone terribly under-utilized.
Does it pain me to rank D’Andre Swift so high after how Detroit treated my man Kerryon Johnson? Of course. But the Matt Patricia era is mercilessly over and it’s hard to ignore what Swift has shown us when healthy. I’m excited to see if Swift can finally break the Curse of Barry Sanders with AP gone and a full offseason and preseason under his belt.
19. Miles Sanders | RB | 24 | 2023
20. Derrick Henry | RB | 27 | 2024
Jalen Hurts’ emergence seems to have opened things up for Miles Sanders, even behind an injury weakened offensive line in Philly. If I trusted Doug Pederson at all Sanders would be higher on the list, but Doug P has gotten way too cute with the Eagles backfield way too many times for my liking. Then again, maybe Pederson’s days are numbered in the City of Brotherly Love.
I initially ranked Derrick Henry outside my top 20 due to my preference for youth and pass catching upside. But after more thought and after watching him continue to plow thru every NFL defense while carrying countless fantasy teams to 2nd place, I had to bump The Predator up. Just beware, he’s not an asset that should be held by rebuilding teams. After nearly 400 carries in 2019 (including the playoffs), he’ll come close to 400 carries again this year and the wheels could fall off sooner than his owners would like to admit. Like the 1986 Geo Metro I’m driving.
Just Missed: Antonio Gibson, Keenan Allen, Terry McLaurin, Josh Jacobs, Calvin Ridley, Kyler Murray, Aaron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, James Robinson, Chris Godwin, D.J. Moore, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Austin Ekeler, Allen Robinson, Mike Evans, Chase Claypool, Chris Carson, George Kittle, Tee Higgins, Brandon Aiyuk, Jerry Jeudy
Stay tuned for 2021 dynasty positional rankings in the coming weeks.