2021 NFL First Round Winners and Losers
As it does every April, the first round of the NFL draft brought plenty of surprises and meaningful picks. It is crucial for all fantasy football players to take a look at the draft results and know what it means for certain players. Let’s dive into the first 32 players selected, and discover the winners and losers of the draft when it comes to fantasy football and NFL production.
After putting in a full season’s worth of excellent fantasy production for Jacksonville – despite going undrafted in 2020 – the Jaguars selected Clemson RB Travis Etienne in the first round. Now, Robinson gets to learn right away just how replaceable and thankless his job as a NFL starting running back is. By finding out this early in his career, Robinson is no longer prisoner to the lie that his top-level production mattered. You’re free, James!
Goff’s first season in Detroit just got better. He is going to get protected by Oregon’s Penei Sewell, the top-ranked lineman in the class. Clean pockets mean Goff can now have an extra couple of seconds to get the ball to NFL superstars Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, and Quintez Cephus – and their fantasy value is skyrocketing. Sign us up!
The newly-acquired Giants WR can now breathe easily, as the team’s selection of Kadarius Toney at pick 20 signals that they truly believe Golladay can handle nearly all of the meaningful targets in New York.
Carolina had plenty of speculation about who they would take at the #8 pick, and the team went with South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn. By even further building up their defense, it’s clear the team plans to be on that side of the ball a lot, and that they do not believe in Darnold keeping the offense on the field for long periods of time. This pick is a clear indication D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson will not have great fantasy seasons.
The Bears traded up for Ohio State’s Justin Fields at pick #11. This is bad news for Allen Robinson. Denver, one of the best teams in recent years at picking elite quarterbacks in the draft, passed up Fields at #9. This confirms Fields is not better than Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater. Robinson can be lowered in all fantasy football rankings.
Calvin Ridley & Julio Jones
We covered Kyle Pitts, our favorite sleeper pick, earlier this week. Unfortunately, Atlanta found out about his talent too and took him at #4 overall in the draft Thursday night. The uber-talented rookie is already one of the top 5 NFL tight ends of all-time, and will garner at least 130 targets his rookie year – if not more. Ridley and Jones are nowhere near the talent Pitts it. God, I’m getting turned on just thinking about Pitts right now.