Players You Shouldn't Forget About in 2021 - Part Two
(Photo Credit: Mark J. Reblias)
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 two of players you don’t want to forget about in 2021.
1. Kirk Cousins
It is surprising to note that Kirk Cousins was the QB11 on the season in 2020. He finished ahead of Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield and Mathew Stafford.
The emergence of Justin Jefferson and the dominating presence of Adam Thielen both helped Cousins' cause.Cousins was eighth in the league in passing yards, and sixth in the league in passing touchdowns.
The Vikings have the sixth-toughest schedule next year according to Pro Football Focus, which may force them to abandon their run-first mindset with Dalvin Cook earlier on in games. Especially if you don’t pick one of the top quarterbacks in the first few rounds, Kirk Cousins is someone to target in the sixth round or later to acquire at a value.
2. Myles Gaskin
In 10 games, Myles Gaskin averaged 16.4 points per game, which would have put him at RB9 had he played a full season. Like Mixon, Gaskin was hampered by an injury that will cause most managers to overlook his value.
The arguments used to support drafting Tua Tagovailoa are similar to the ones drafting Gaskin. Overall, a better offense will provide more usage for Gaskin, increasing his value. Taking Gaskin after the first three rounds will be extremely valuable to your team.
3. Odell Beckham, Jr.
Odell Beckham, Jr. was another victim of a torn ACL, which occurred during Week seven of the 2020 regular season. Even before his injury, OBJ was not having his greatest year. In fact, he was on pace to have the least productive year of his career.
Oddly enough, Baker Mayfield had better stats when OBJ is off the field. In the 11 games without OBJ, Baker Mayfield threw for 20 touchdowns and one interception. There has been an increasing narrative that Mayfield is a better QB when not targeting OBJ. I don’t think the statistics paint the whole picture.
Head Coach of the Browns, Kevin Stefanski, began his tenure this past year. It takes a little while for a team to grow accustomed to a new offensive, especially without a preseason. Also, losing Nick Chubb for half the season limited their offense; they have a run-first style. The Browns were one of the hottest teams going into the playoffs and were narrowly defeated by the eventual AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Next season, the Browns will be under their second year with Kevin Stefanski and will look to build upon positive growth in Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb and one of the most dominant offensive lines in football. Don’t fade on OBJ in 2021.
4. Blake Jarwin
Blake Jarwin was yet another player who tore his ACL in the 2020 season. He was a promising player that was projected to flourish in the offense with Dak Prescott. Once Prescott went down due to injury, the Cowboys offense was truly a shell of what it was during the first few weeks of the season.
Despite all the mishaps, Dalton Schutlz, who filled in for Jarwin, was the TE19 on the season, and was No. 9 in targets. All this with the red rifle Andy Dalton at quarterback who is passed his prime.
In 2021, Dak Prescott will return, assuming he is signed or franchise tagged again, and you will want a piece of this offense. There will be a large pile of targets to go around, especially if the defense does not improve. The Cowboys will be forced to compete in shootouts each week.
Blake Jarwin may not even be drafted in most leagues and you could pick him off the waiver wire. Even if Jarwin does not have a quality start to the season, there would be zero risk in obtaining him. And if you don’t have a Kelce or a Waller, you are basically looking for anyone with a pulse.