The 2021 NFL Draft saw a record 65 players selected from one conference, the SEC. The first of those picks set a record in itself, as Florida's Kyle Pitts became the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history when he went fourth overall to the Atlanta Falcons. In a Falcons' passing attack that just lost Pro Bowler Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans, how high should Pitts be in your 2021 Fantasy football rankings?
Everyone expects Pitts to measure up favorably against other rookies, but how he performs against the league's other tight ends will determine where you should target him with your 2021 Fantasy football picks. Will Pitts be one of the 2021 Fantasy football sleepers to select? 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: 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The former first-round pick out of Arizona State was thrust into a significant role offensively in his rookie season due to a number of injuries at the position in San Francisco and he delivered impressive results with 60 catches for 748 yards and five touchdowns in just 12 games.
Aiyuk was on the field for at least 70 percent of the offensive snaps in every game he played and his 96 total targets included 14 red-zone targets, which were 18th-most among wide receivers in the NFL. Aiyuk figures to be a major part of a Niners offense that should be improved by general health and the hope is that quarterback play will be improved with Jimmy Garoppolo and Lance battling for the starting job. That's why the model ranks Aiyuk as a top-20 wide receiver even though he's the 28th receiver off the board on average.
Top 2021 Fantasy football breakouts
The model is also projecting 49ers running back Trey Sermon as one of its top 2021 Fantasy Football breakouts. The shifty playmakers at both Ohio State and Oklahoma was a third-round pick (No. 88) in the 2021 NFL Draft and now will join a Kyle Shanahan rushing attack that has made Fantasy stars out of plenty of players.
Sermon averaged 6.5 yards per carry in four collegiate seasons and racked up 3,432 scrimmage yards while scoring 29 times in 45 games for two of the most dominant offenses in the nation. He was at his best in big games, rushing for 331 yards in Ohio State's Big Ten Championship win and 254 scrimmage yards in a national semifinal victory over Clemson. The model sees him as a top-35 option at running back despite the fact that he's 54th back off the board according to early 2021 Fantasy football ADP.
Top 2021 Fantasy football busts
As for players to avoid, the model lists Browns running back Kareem Hunt as one of its top 2021 Fantasy football busts. The former Chief was the No. 2 back behind Nick Chubb last season and had 841 rushing yards and six touchdowns while playing all 16 games.
However, Chubb has averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry in all three of his NFL seasons, while Hunt has never reached that mark. Last year, Hunt showed that he's more of a complimentary back and didn't perform as well when given more touches. In the six games he received 14-plus carries, he averaged 3.9 yards per tote. In the 10 games he ran the ball 13 or fewer times, Hunt averaged 4.6 yards per carry, showing his effectiveness with fewer touches. That's not the kind of running back you want to lean on, which is why SportsLine's model has Hunt barely cracking the top 30 running backs in its Fantasy football rankings 2021.
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 Jackson. You 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.