Fantasy Soccer: Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith among the many robust newcomers
CLEVELAND, May 6th (UPI) – Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle are among the newcomers to the NFL.
Waddle, Harris, Smith and Chase entered the league as part of last week’s NFL Draft 2021.
Chase joined the Cincinnati Bengals as number 5 overall. Waddle went to the Miami Dolphins at # 6 overall.
Smith joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 10th place overall. The Pittsburgh Steelers voted Harris in 24th place overall. The Denver Broncos put Williams in 35th place overall in the second round.
While most of the rookie roles have yet to be determined, these four players have clear paths to immediate game time and will meet the needs of their respective teams. They should all play a lot of snapshots and become a critical part of their crimes.
Chase, the first wide receiver selected in the draft, has high expectations for the 2021 season. He has the skills necessary to achieve these goals.
“I want to win Rookie of the Year and have 10 touchdowns and at least 1,000 yards this year,” Chase told reporters at the NFL Draft on April 29 in Cleveland.
Justin Jefferson, the Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Justin Herbert of Los Angeles Chargers and Jonathan Taylor of Indianapolis Colts who ran back were among the top offensive rookies last season. They helped many fantasy football teams reach the playoffs.
Here are my top fantasy football newbies for 2021:
Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
I expect Najee Harris to have the biggest impact as a rookie for fantasy football teams in 2021. Of all these players, Harris has the clearest path to immediate production. The former Alabama star could be the next in a long line of stellar Pittsburgh Steelers to roll back.
The Steelers finished last season in the rush, but I expect Harris will give the game a jolt. He should deserve more attention as a passport catcher and offer an RB2 value throughout the season.
Harris should be a late second or early third round in most fantasy football designs for leagues with 14 or more teams.
Projection: 1,300 meters from the scrimmage, 12 touchdowns
Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos swapped out Javonte Williams in the second round, showing the team didn’t want to miss the former North Carolina playmaker. Melvin Gordon is still used as the Broncos running back in 2021, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Williams move up to RB2 / Flex level relevance for fantasy football teams.
Williams showed in college that he can excel in a two-back system and has an addiction to the end zone. I think the Broncos will try to balance the game in progress this season and get Williams the ball as much as possible.
Aim for Williams in the mid to late rounds of your draft and in the keeper leagues. It could be a home run for your team at some point, but it should probably start the year from your bank.
Projection: 750 meters from the scrimmage, eight touchdowns
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase was the first wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. He will reunite with former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow in 2021 as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
I assume that the burrow-chase connection will evolve over time. I don’t see the rookie receiver creating sensational statistics right away.
Burrow’s pass-catching options include Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, and Drew Sample, which likely means the rookie isn’t getting enough looks to post consistent weekly stats.
Chase still got enough touchdowns to deliver WR3 production in good matchups or in bye weeks. It should not be selected until the sixth round unless you are in a goalkeeping league.
Projection: 60 catches, 675 yards, six touchdowns
DeVonta Smith, WR Philadelphia Eagles
Like Najee Harris, DeVonta Smith has the clearest path to immediate production for his position. The Philadelphia Eagles desperately need a wide receiver playmaker.
Smith will reunite with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.
That camaraderie and opportunity – coupled with Smith’s ability to be frank and make hard catches – should make for a dependable fantasy football option to add to your weekly lineup. I expect Smith to release similar stats to 2020 that former LSU playmaker Justin Jefferson released. His touchdown total probably won’t be that big, but he should be a magnet for hurts if he stays healthy for 16 games.
Smith can deliver a WR2 / WR3 score in Point-per-Reception leagues with at least 14 teams this season. It will be a mid to late choice in fantasy football drafting.
Projection: 85 catches, 1,000 yards, 5 touchdowns
Jaylen Waddle, WR Miami Dolphins
Another former Alabama star, Jaylen Waddle, was seen as one of the most explosive players in the 2021 draft class. Waddle lit up opposing defenses in college and can play in various formations indoors or outdoors. I expect him to thrive in Miami when he catches passes from former Crimson Tide teammate Tua Tagovailoa.
I think waddle has the highest cap of any broad receivers in the draft.
“We love his athletic skills, his run-after-catch [ability]obviously the speed; But it’s also toughness, “Dolphins’ general manager Chris Grier told reporters on April 29 during a Zoom conference call.” He’s a very competitive kid. “
The dolphins’ desperate need for a quick pass catcher and waddle’s post-catch skills make this an ideal solution. I can see Waddle posting WR2 numbers in some matchups and acting as the low-end WR3 in lower leagues this season. It’s probably a better fantasy football game in point-per-reception formats.
The dolphins should also use waddle as a punt-returner, which increases its value and potential. Waddle should be a late pick in fantasy football designs.
Projection: 50 catches, 800 yards, six touchdowns