2021 Projections

Robby Anderson

2021 Projections: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have typically been a run-heavy team in years past. This is due to them having Cam Newton and a revolving door at QB. Now that they have a stable passer in Darnold I think they will throw more often. In 2020 they had a pass to rush play ratio of 1.35 which is exactly league average. For 2021 I have them bumping up to a 1.41 ratio. As for their rush-to-pass touchdown ratio they have had a very low one of .85 in 2019 and .84 in 2020. Typically this sort of thing regresses to the league mean of 1.82, and I find it unlikely that we will see this low of a ratio again. So, for 2021 I am giving them a ratio of 1.25. Now let us look at what these trends do to the individual players.

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Scheme or Scam: Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders hired veteran defensive mind Gus Bradley to coordinate their defense in 2021. Bradley has a long history of creating studs for IDP fantasy football. This track record, however, has delivered no shortage of teases to the game as well. For every Derwin James, there has been a Ronnie Harrison and a Kyzir White for each Telvin Smith. The 2021 Raiders are sure to have equal parts boom and bust among their defensive players.

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2021 Projections: Denver Broncos

The wide receiver group for Denver also has a lot of ambiguity in itself too. Jerry Jeudy operated as the team’s top pass catcher in 2020 but Courtland Sutton was the lead dog in 2019. Who should we expect to be the alpha in 2021? I did my projections under the assumption the Jeudy would perform more so as the slot guy that may garner more targets but have lower yards per reception and touchdowns. While Sutton will be utilized as the mid to deep WR threat on the outside of the field and looked at more in the red zone. This means he can see fewer targets but achieve a similar yardage output and more touchdowns. My projections relay this well, and they both average within .5 fantasy points per game of each other. I think they will both be weekly mid-tier to low-tier WR2s so Sutton having an ADP of WR32 feels good and Jeudy having an ADP of WR41 feels awesome. I like them both at their ADP, but I do not like drafting two wide receivers from the same team in a typical redraft league. Therefore my recommended plan of action would be to pass on Sutton and draft Jeudy later. Jeudy also has a higher upside because he has the potential to see way more targets and produce more points in a more consistent way.

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2021 Projections: Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2019, but we got to see him bounce back with a good 2020 season where he threw for 3500 yards and 26 touchdowns. I have him projected to expand on this in 2021 and collect almost 4200 passing yards along with 29 touchdowns. Seems pretty reasonable to me. A small increase in throws per game and adding a 17th game certainly make up for that increase in pass yards. This leaves Baker averaging 20.9 fantasy points per game, resulting in a low QB2 ranking. Baker’s current redraft ADP is QB16, this is a tad high for me. I would feel much better about getting him at the QB20-24 range, I am fading him at his ADP and so should you. However, if he happens to fall a few spots I would gladly take him in that previously mentioned 20-24 range.

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2021 Projections: Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow looked awesome in 2020 when he was on the field. As a rookie, he was very impressive and I cannot wait to see how he grows in 2021. The team is giving him every chance to succeed and I think he will take advantage of these resources to have a great season and career. I have him projected for a very solid 4,700 passing yards and 35 total touchdowns. This results in him averaging 23.4 fantasy points per game, this leaves him easily in the top eight QBs for 2021. With his ADP being about QB12 I am loving him in drafts and find myself stacking him with a Bengals wide receiver very often. 

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2021 Projections: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo RB group is interesting. I gave Zack Moss more rushing work than Devin Singletary and gave Singletary more receiving work than Moss. Which matches the trend set when both were active in 2020. Unfortunately, this creates two RBs that I do not want. At first, I found it surprising that Singletary came out with more points than Moss because I thought Moss’s TD upside would trump the receiving upside. However, Singletary uses that receiving upside to achieve four receiving touchdowns. Both of these running backs ended up with seven total touchdowns, but Singletary had 30 more receptions which give him the point advantage. These RBs may not seem desirable, but at their respective ADPs, I could see myself owning some Singletary. He is currently being drafted after Zach Moss, so I would take advantage of this by fading Moss and scooping Singletary late.

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2021 Projections: Kansas City Chiefs

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a player that was hyped to Mars in the last off-season. I had been calling him a post-hype buy candidate all off-season so I was excited to see what my projections would have in store for him. In 2020 CEH had 45% of the team’s carries and that was with him missing three full games. So, in 2021 I have him projected for 50% of the team’s carries. I also gave him a 50% share of the rush TDs and a 10% target share. All of these comes together to make a 1,300 yard and 13 total TD season. One of CEH’s biggest issues last season was finding the endzone, I have him correcting this in a big way and seeing an elite TD floor. He is the main RB in the league’s most consistent offense. He should see a lot of TD opportunities this season.

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2021 Projections: LA Chargers

In this series, I am diving into each NFL team and putting forth my predictions on what I think they will do in the 2021 season. I think having a set of reasonable or expected projections can help us during our drafts. They can help differentiate between closely ranked players, not only by comparing floor but also by comparing potential upside. I will be showing a set of realistic or expected projections and telling you if I think anyone is being under or overvalued in best ball/redraft drafts right now. These can also be used in a dynasty mindset, especially if you are a contending team. But, even if you are in a rebuild these projections could outline a young, cheap player who may get more work than a lot of people think. Let’s dig in.

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2021 Projections: Baltimore Ravens

In this coming series, I will be diving into each NFL team and putting forth my predictions on what I think they will do in the 2021 season. I think having a set of reasonable or expected projections can help us during our drafts. They can help differentiate between closely ranked players, not only by comparing floor but also by comparing potential upside. I will be showing a set of realistic or expected projections and telling you if I think anyone is being under or overvalued in best ball/redraft drafts right now. These can also be used in a dynasty mindset, especially if you are a contending team. But, even if you are in a rebuild these projections could outline a young, cheap player who may get more work than a lot of people think. Let’s dig in.

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