Players You Shouldn't Forget About in 2021 - Part One
Updated: Feb 19
(Photo Credit: Kirby Lee)
At the end of the fantasy football season, there will always be players in your mind that you’ll want to target right away during the next season. Guys such as David Montgomery, Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers – all these players ended the year strong and will be heavily invested in next year.
They are the kind of players that will build a good foundation for your team, but the players that will win you a league are the ones you draft at a great value. Those who were injured throughout the previous season, those who performed under their expectations and other players that are not as flashy and receive less attention. These are the players that are the most important.
You know that song from the band Simple Minds, “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Don’t do it folks! Here is part one of players that you don’t want to forget about in 2021.
1. Tua Tagovailoa
When first seeing this name, you may think, “How could I forget this guy, he was the fifth overall pick in 2020!” Tua Tagovailoa did not play as well as expected in 2020. There are several reasons as to why I think his second year will be much better.
The Dolphins will likely invest in their offensive line during the draft which will allow Tua to function better in the pocket. The Dolphins may also pick a top receiver in the draft. Perhaps, Devonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, and in free agency, JuJu Smith-Schuster? All of these players would provide more quality targets on the field and will improve the efficiency of the offense.
A bright spot of the offense last year was the production of Myles Gaskin. He will hopefully stay on the field for the entirety of 2021, something he was not able to do in 2020.
And finally, the departure of Ryan Fitzpatrick will ensure that the Dolphins team belongs to Tagovailoa. The fantastic rookie seasons of Justin Herbert and the return of Joe Burrow in addition to other already prominent quarterbacks will push back Tagovailoa’s Average Draft Position. You should be one of the managers that invests heavily in 2021.
2. Joe Mixon
In six games in 2020, Joe Mixon averaged 16.6 points per game in PPR scoring. That would have put him at RB8, just behind Jonathan Taylor and James Robinson. He was projected to have the most receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in his career, while he was on pace to match his high totals in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Not bad for having the PFF-rated third-worst offensive line in the NFL.
The Bengals are projected to pick Kyle Pitts with the fifth overall pick, and will look to strengthen their O-line during the rest of the draft and throughout free agency. Joe Burrow, who will look to be back for the start of the 2021 season, will look to continue his promising start in the NFL.
The worrying factor regarding Joe Mixon was his foot injury that kept him out for the majority of 2020. A long offseason will certainly benefit Mixon as he plans on returning completely healthy once the new season starts. Picking Mixon in the late second-to-third rounds would certainly be a steal.
3. Courtland Sutton
Remember this guy? Sutton was the No.1 receiver for the Denver Broncos before he tore his ACL in Week 2. In 2019, Sutton was the WR19 on the season, but that was before the Broncos drafted Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. In 2021, Sutton will not be the focal point of opposing defenses given the skill of the younger receivers, and teams may have forgotten Sutton’s ability.
The Broncos are projected to take Micah Parsons with the ninth overall pick, and will get Von Miller back from injury in 2021. Both will solidify what was an average defense in 2020, and this will keep their offense on the field.
Given Sutton’s absence in 2020, Sutton may not be drafted until the seventh or eighth rounds. Don’t sleep on Courtland Sutton next year in your draft.
4. Dallas Goedert
Dallas Goedert really could've been something in 2021 had it not been for a broken ankle. He averaged the 10th-most fantasy points among tight ends despite his injury and poor play from Carson Wentz. It is looking increasingly likely that Zach Ertz will be leaving during the offseason which will allow Goedert to take complete control.
Goedert is a big body that looks to get into the open field between the numbers. After coming back in Week 8, he averaged 7.1 targets per game, putting him behind only Travis Kelce and Darren Waller among tight ends. The Eagles will look for more offensive weapons in the draft and in free agency for Jalen Hurts, but I expect Goedert to maintain his target volume next season due to the trust of Hurts and the new offensive staff.
Goedert will certainly be overlooked due to players like Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson and Hunter Henry, but Goedert will be able to keep up with them at a discount. Goedert may fall to the sixth round or lower and will be a great pick for a position that is a total wasteland.