Most of the NFL's 32 teams have their quarterback depth charts set entering training camp, but the New Orleans Saints will have a QB competition. Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill will battle to replace the retired Drew Brees, and whomever emerges as the starter could shake up the 2021 Fantasy football rankings. Replacing Brees with the athletic Hill could cause the Saints' offense to look much different than what we're used to seeing, while Winston becoming the starter carries its own baggage as well.
Would you downgrade Michael Thomas in your Fantasy football rankings 2021 if the turnover-prone Winston is throwing slant routes to him? Would you take Alvin Kamara later with your 2021 Fantasy football picks if Hill steals red zone carries? 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: Saints tight end Jared Cook. The 34-year-old has been a quality receiving option throughout his career, but he's elevated his game in his 30s, making a Pro Bowl with the Raiders in 2018 before becoming an integral part of a dynamic Saints offense the past two years.
Cook wasn't thrown to often with Drew Brees at the helm of the offense, receiving 125 targets the last two years, but he's been one of the most productive tight ends on a per-target basis in the NFL with 80 catches for 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns during that span. Now that Brees has retired, you can expect Cook to be a safety valve for Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill while continuing to be a valued red-zone option. That's why the model ranks him ahead of tight ends like T.J. Hockenson, Dallas Goedert and Noah Fant, who are all being drafted at least two rounds earlier according to the latest 2021 Fantasy football ADP.
Top 2021 Fantasy football breakouts
The model is also projecting Rams running back Cam Akers as one of its top 2021 Fantasy Football breakouts. Akers' season-long 2020 numbers (145-625-2) don't jump off the page, but a closer look indicates he could be on the cusp of a major explosion. That's because the Rams clearly anointed the Florida State product as their RB1 late in the season.
Over the last four weeks of the regular season and two postseason games, he averaged 22 carries for 93.5 yards and scored three times. He also proved to be a viable option as a receiver, totaling over 20 yards four times during that span. The latest 2021 Fantasy football ADP lists Akers going off the board at No. 22 overall, but SportsLine's 2021 Fantasy football cheat sheets say he'll outperform players like D'Andre Swift (ADP of No. 20) and Ezekiel Elliot (No. 16).
Top 2021 Fantasy football busts
As for players to avoid, the model lists Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as one of its top 2021 Fantasy football busts. A torn ACL ended the flashy receiver's season after just seven games in 2020, and he posted 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns before getting hurt. It marked the third time in the last four years that Beckham's season ended on injured reserve.
All signs point to Beckham being fully recovered for the 2021 season, but a bigger obstacle to posting All-Pro numbers is the Browns' offense. Cleveland has a run-heavy attack with the one-two punch of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, as the Browns ranked fourth in rushing attempts last year and only 28th in passing attempts.
Beckham also has to compete with Jarvis Landry for targets, as Landry had more receptions and receiving yards than Beckham in the seven games they played together in 2020. Thus, he may be no higher than fourth in the Browns' pecking order for touches most games, so Beckham is someone to avoid with your early 2021 Fantasy football picks.
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.