Fantasy Football Rankings 2021: Sleepers, breakouts, busts from model that nailed Allen’s huge year

Written by on August 17, 2021

The quarterback competition to replace Drew Brees in New Orleans may have gotten a clearer after Week 1 of the preseason despite the Saints committing six turnovers. Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill each accounted for one of those giveaways, as both players threw an interception. However, Winston’s was the receiver’s fault, while Hill could have easily had another pick. Based solely on this one game, Winston appears to have the early edge and thus could be one of the the 2021 Fantasy football sleepers.

How much faith should you put in the notoriously volatile Winston in your 2021 Fantasy football rankings? Even without star receiver Michael Thomas, you could do far worse than nabbing Winston with a late-round pick in your Fantasy football 2021 draft. Before setting your 2021 Fantasy football draft strategy, be sure to check out the 2021 Fantasy football cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last year, the model accurately predicted that Bills quarterback Josh Allen was being drastically undervalued. His Fantasy football ADP was barely in the top 70, but the model pegged him as a top-five Fantasy quarterback, a QB1 who would finish well ahead of players like Kyler Murray, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Allen ended up being the No. 2-scoring Fantasy QB, outscoring all three of those other quarterbacks and even surpassing Patrick Mahomes. Fantasy players who followed SportsLine’s advice reaped plenty of value with that pick. 

The same model has a proven track record providing Fantasy football tips, also identifying A.J. Brown as another sleeper in 2020 and players like Devin Singletary and JuJu Smith-Schuster as busts last season. Additionally, it’s called past Fantasy football sleepers like Derrick Henry in 2019, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2018, and Davante Adams in 2017. Anybody who banked on players like those made a run at their league title.

The model is powered by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy sites, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you’re always getting the best Fantasy football advice.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy football rankings 2021, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them

Top 2021 Fantasy football sleepers 

One of the 2021 Fantasy football sleepers the model is predicting: Ravens running back Gus Edwards. Without ever being the lead option in the Ravens’ backfield, Edwards has been incredibly consistent by rushing for 718, 711 and 723 yards in his three NFL seasons. He even displayed chops in the passing game in 2020, as his nine grabs for 129 yards were more than he had in his first two seasons combined.

Edwards could see more time on the field now that the team moved on from Mark Ingram. The Ravens are the most run-heavy team in the league, and coaches love Edwards’ ability to fall forward. Since 2018, he’s gained positive yardage on 89.1 percent of his carries, which is the highest percentage in the entire league.

The gap between Edwards and starter J.K. Dobbins is much closer than their 2021 Fantasy football ADP would lead you to believe, as Edwards is being drafted nearly 100 spots after Dobbins. That’s exactly why SportsLine’s model likes Edwards as one of the Fantasy football sleepers 2021 since he will likely outperform his ADP.

Top 2021 Fantasy football breakouts 

The model is also projecting Rams running back Xavier Jones as one of its top 2021 Fantasy Football breakouts. As a redshirt senior at SMU in 2019, Jones amassed 25 total touchdowns, all while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

Jones has a chance for meaningful playing time after Cam Akers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in July. He’s currently listed as the No. 2 running back on Los Angeles’ depth chart, behind only Darrell Henderson. If Henderson misses any time this season, Jones could be in line for the majority of the work in Sean McVay’s explosive offense.

Jones is currently being drafted in the 19th round according to the latest 2021 Fantasy football ADP. However, SportsLine’s model says Jones will outperform fellow running backs like Zack Moss (13th-round ADP), Devin Singletary (13th) and Tarik Cohen (14th), making him one of the top Fantasy football breakouts 2021 you should be all over.

Top 2021 Fantasy football busts

As for players to avoid, the model lists Washington running back Antonio Gibson as one of its biggest 2021 Fantasy football busts. After playing as a slot receiver who routinely carried the ball on misdirection plays at Memphis, Gibson quickly adjusted to playing running back for Washington and wound up with 1,042 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns.

However, there are questions about his durability after he dealt with a lingering toe sprain that cost him two games and kept him on the injury report for five weeks as well as an ankle sprain. There are also concerns about whether his touchdown rate (5.3 percent) is sustainable, especially with J.D. McKissic still playing a large role on third downs. That’s why the model ranks Gibson behind fifth-round backs like Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders despite a third-round 2021 Fantasy football ADP.

How to find proven 2021 Fantasy football football rankings

SportsLine is also extremely high on a surprising quarterback you aren’t even thinking about being drafted in the middle rounds of 2021 Fantasy football drafts. This quarterback is listed as a shocking top-five option ahead of superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar JacksonYou can only see who it is, and the 2020 Fantasy football rankings for every player, at SportsLine.

So which 2021 Fantasy Football sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get 2021 Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen’s huge season, and find out.


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