Fantasy Football

2021 Rookie Tight End Landing Spots and the Fantasy Implications

by RotoUnderworld, May 20, 2021

It should come as no surprise that the rookie tight with the best chance of being fantasy relevant in 2021 is Kyle Pitts. Shocking, I know. But when a team makes a player the highest-drafted tight end in NFL HISTORY, you have to assume that they have a plan to use him. The defense did not appreciably improve from the woeful unit it was last year, and should once again rely on Matt Ryan’s arm, which is good news for Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and of course Pitts.

Brevin Jordan joins a crowded tight end room, with players like Jordan Akins, Kahale Warring and Ryan Izzo for company. But the turbulent nature of the Texans means we don’t know who will be tasked with sending the ball their way in 2021 and beyond. Jordan could emerge as this year’s Chris Herndon. An unspectacular prospect who was able to post decent fantasy production as a rookie. But betting on anything positive emerging from the Texans at present is a gamble I would not like to take.


Why Kyle Pitts Will Disappoint Fantasy Gamers in 2021

by RotoUnderworld, May 19, 2021

Of the 138 tight ends drafted since 2011, only Evan Engram finished his rookie year with a top five fantasy point-scoring season. “But what about that Falcons offense? Wasn’t that the best possible landing spot and doesn’t that guarantee Kyle Pitts to be a top fantasy tight end this year?” When Pitts finishes closer to No. 10 than No. 5, those that took him early in their best ball and redraft leagues will be disappointed.

In best ball and redraft leagues thus far, Pitts is being drafted like a top five fantasy tight end. While he has an impressive profile and draft capital, we have seen players with similar profiles in the past have varying career success levels. Spending a top 60 pick in best ball or a top 2 pick in dynasty rookie drafts on someone other than Pitts is a smarter decision based on history.


Studs and Duds 2020 – Volume 8 – Brandon Aiyuk and Devin Singletary

by RotoUnderworld, May 15, 2021

Look for offensive fit and/or a unique opportunity when evaluating a rookie’s fantasy outlook. Brandon Aiyuk’s game is similar to Deebo Samuel’s, and seeing that he would fit right into the 49ers offense helped raise him as “my guy.” Ultimately, Aiyuk caught short passes, shed tackles, drew Deep Targets, and received rushing carries in a multi-faceted role, like Samuel’s in 2019.

Devin Singletarys’s rookie year efficiency and production led me to believe he would be the lead back with rookie Zack Moss behind him. Honestly, I got carried away staking my claim into the next “great” fantasy PPR running back, trying to find another Alvin Kamara, and his ADP for 2020 was low enough for me to believe he would be a high-reward RB2.


Post-2021 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers – Chicago Bears Edition

by RotoUnderworld, May 14, 2021

There are no other WRs like Allen Robinson on Chicago’s roster. He’s 6-2, 220-pounds. He’s fast – with a 103.2 (78th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) Speed Score, athletic – with a 129.8 (87th-percentile) Burst Score, and he has a 10.28 (91st-percentile) Catch Radius. Their other receivers – Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Darnell Mooney and newcomer Dazz Newsome – are older, tiny and/or late-round special teams candidates with average-at-best measurables.

Andy Dalton is a 34-year old, now average-at-best QB on a one-year deal. Per Pro Football Reference, he hasn’t been in the top half of QB rankings in the last four seasons. He doesn’t run. We could look further into his metrics but it really doesn’t matter. If Dalton starts all 17 games and/or Nick Foles has to come in, the GM and head coach will be fired and the new coach will not move into 2022 with Dalton at the helm.


Why J.K. Dobbins is the Next Nick Chubb

by RotoUnderworld, May 13, 2021

If Nick Chubb and J.K. Dobbins switched jerseys for a game, casual football fans would not bat an eye. Dobbins has a slighter frame at 5-10 and 209-pounds, compared to the larger Chubb who is 5-11 and clocks in at 227-pounds. Both running backs are built compact, which gives them their natural power but does not take away from their blazing speed. These traits are confirmed by their impressive 98th-percentile SPARQ-x scores.

Both backs set themselves apart from the rest of the pack by each ranking top 5 in advanced elusiveness statistics such as True Yards Per Carry, Yards Per Touch, Breakaway Run Rate, Juke Rate, Expected Points Added, and Yards Created Per Touch. In plain English, these dudes make defenders miss and can take it to the house. Unfortunately, the lack of receiving involvement has followed them from college into the NFL, at least thus far.


Five Undrafted Free Agent Dynasty Diamonds in the 2021 Rookie Class

by RotoUnderworld, May 12, 2021

While Josh Imatorbhebhe’s lack of college production can be explained, the landing spot isn’t ideal. The Jacksonville Jaguars are loaded up at the wide receiver position, but the good news is that the majority of those ahead of the Illinois product are expendable, and more than passable on the depth chart. He has the athleticism to turn heads and make an impression.

At 6-3 and 207-pounds, Tamorrion Terry ran a 4.50 (68th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) 40-yard Dash and posted a 103.7 (80th-percentile) Speed Score. D’Wayne Eskridge will have his opportunity and there are other players to pass along the depth chart, but should Terry impress early in camp, Pete Carroll has shown he’ll ride talent over draft capital (a la Russell Wilson). 


Studs and Duds 2020 – Volume 7 – Mike Gesicki and D.J. Chark

by RotoUnderworld, May 11, 2021

The success of Mike Gesicki and other late-round tight ends last season confirmed the process of fading the average draft positions outside of the “Big Three.” Past Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Darren Waller, the Fantasy Points per Game differential between TE1’s will be within two to three points per game. Buying early into a small differential carries a heavy opportunity cost.

Quarterback play was a factor I did not consider enough when drafting wide receivers in 2020. I valued D.J. Chark over the likes of Will Fuller and Stefon Diggs. This was bad process, and my most fatal error. If a receiver like Chark can only attain quality targets in shallow ranges, it will be difficult for him to produce.


Fade Rashod Bateman At Your Own Peril in 2021 Rookie Drafts

by RotoUnderworld, May 9, 2021

If you blame the situation for your favorite player’s failure, you never have to be wrong. You can push the blame onto the coach, or quarterback, or the helmet decal every time you miss. There is no such thing as a lock in the NFL draft. But if you’re going to make a bet on someone, you want to bet on prospects that produce like Rashod Bateman.

Is Rashod Bateman going to be Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson or A.J. Brown? Not likely in year one. But rookie picks demand positive assumptions because dynasty leagues are won when players hit their ceilings. If Bateman does, it will have an outsized effect on the way Baltimore runs its offence and how efficient of a passer Lamar Jackson can be.


Studs and Duds 2020 – Volume 6 – Justin Jefferson and Darnell Mooney

by RotoUnderworld, May 8, 2021

We have to pay attention to more than just one narrative. 2020 was a perfect storm for Justin Jefferson. Overall talent, a position of need, an aging veteran teammate, a shifting offensive scheme, and a skeleton defense all made it possible for him to succeed. 

With both Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles playing the majority of snaps in eight games apiece, Darnell Mooney hit double-digit points in four of Trubisky’s games, while only hitting double digits in Foles’ games once. Meanwhile, Foles was attempting 1.4 more Deep Passes per game; they were just wildly inaccurate. 


Studs and Duds 2020 – Volume 5 – Jonathan Taylor and D.J. Chark

by RotoUnderworld, May 6, 2021

A big takeaway from last season was not to rely on the production of rookie running backs during the first half of the season. Before his explosion in Week 12, Jonathan Taylor saw a huge drop in value and looked like he would not live up the hype. Believing in rookies walking into a new team and taking over the lead back role within a few weeks of the season starting is lofty thinking.

After watching D.J. Chark dominate in 2019 to the tune of 14.9 (No. 19 among qualified wide receivers) Fantasy Points per Game after going undrafted in most leagues, he was a target for me heading into 2020. After a rookie campaign with zero starts and under 200 yards, this sophomore breakout made it look like Chark had adjusted to the NFL. Add to this the stability around him within the Jaguars, he seemed like the perfect WR2 for fantasy teams.