For the vast majority of you, whether you won or lost in Week 16, it's time to look to the future. Yes, I know some of you play into Week 17. Have no fear, there will be content for you throughout the week. But this week's Believe It or Not is all about the future. And boy does the future look bright for Jonathan Taylor and Calvin Ridley. Can we still say the same for Ezekiel Elliott and Jerry Jeudy? Let's take a look.
Jonathan Taylor is a first round pick in 2021.
Taylor's phenomenal finish to the 2020 season continued against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, as he rushed for 74 yards and added two more touchdowns to his total. In his past five games of 2020 he has now produced 488 rushing yards, 95 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. He's the No. 6 running back in PPR scoring since Week 11 and he missed Week 12. Taylor is delivering on his athletic promise to finish the year and should be drafted as a top-12 pick in 2021 drafts.
Verdict: Believe it.
Coming into this year we knew Taylor was an athletic outlier with a size/speed combination that made him comparable to Adrian Peterson. We had questions about his work in the passing game and his ball security. He's caught 92.1% of his targets and averaged 8.5 yards per catch and he's fumbled once in 237 touches. I would say we can put those concerns to bed.
Taylor's now running with a confidence worthy of his talent and there's no reason to think he won't be even better in 2021. It's hard to justify ranking Taylor as a top-five running back but he has the talent and the situation to produce as exactly that as soon as next year.
Ezekiel Elliott is still a top-five running back for 2021.
Remember those 15 minutes when we all thought Tony Pollard had supplanted Ezekiel Elliott. While it would have been very 2020, it's quite obviously not true. Elliott out-touched Pollard 23 to 10 on Sunday and produced 139 total yards. In a disaster of a year, Elliott is still the No. 7 running back in PPR scoring this season and still has an outside shot of finishing the year top five. If he can do that without Dak Prescott and with a banged up offensive line, there's no doubt he should be a top-five back heading into 2021.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
Even in this game, Elliott shared more with Pollard than ever. Elliott's Fantasy value was built on massive workloads and an elite offensive line. While he's certainly talented as well, it's unclear how big his workload will be next year and the offensive line will certainly remain a question mark until we see it in top form again. As we work on our way-too-early 2021 rankings I couldn't fit Elliott into my first round, much less my top five.
Calvin Ridley is a top five Dynasty wide receiver.
Ridley was one of our favorite breakout candidates this past offseason, and boy has he delivered. Heading into Week 17 he's the No. 5 wide receiver in PPR scoring with 82 catches for 1,322 yards and nine touchdowns. He's also younger than an every receiver who has outscored him this season. I'll be releasing my final 2020 Dynasty rankings later this week, but there's little doubt Ridley has established himself as a top five receiver in the format.
Verdict: Believe it.
What I love about Ridley is that he's done it as the No. 2 to Julio Jones, and he's done it by himself. Ridley averaged 95.4 yards per game in five full games with Jones and 100.4 yards in the other eight complete games he's played. Ridley's 16-game pace for his career is now 70-1,003-9, and he's just entering his peak. Whether Jones returns full strength or not, it appears Ridley is the No. 1 receiver for the Falcons moving forward and an elite Dynasty option as well.
Jerry Jeudy is a buy in Dynasty.
Week 16 was another disappointing one for Jeudy, with him turning 15 targets into just six catches for 61 yards. He had multiple drops, including one at the end of the game that cost the Broncos a chance to tie the game against the Chargers. While Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb have certainly passed Jeudy in the 2020 receiver class, he's definitely someone I'm looking to buy this offseason.
Verdict: Believe it.
Jeudy's drops have been quite shocking, but they haven't been enough to deter me. We know he has the ability to catch the football, otherwise he wouldn't have been a consensus first-round pick. We also know he has the ability to get open in the NFL, because he's done that consistently in his rookie season. Jeudy's route running is advanced for his age and I fully expect once he slows down this offseason, his hands will bounce back. I'll be offering a 2021 second-round pick for Jeudy in Dynasty leagues, and I would consider a late 2021 No. 1.