You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Fantasy Football Rankings 2021: Sleepers, breakouts, busts by the model that nailed Allen's huge year

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 9/8/2021 CBS Sports Staff
a football player holding a baseball bat: Aug 17, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) rushes against Tennessee Titans outside linebacker James Folson (48) during the second half at Nissan Stadium.  © Provided by CBS Sports

Aug 17, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) rushes against Tennessee Titans outside linebacker James Folson (48) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. 

Just days before Thursday's 2021 NFL Kickoff Game, Dak Prescott has declared himself ready to go for the season-opener. With his shoulder injury and last year's broken ankle behind him, Prescott should be the catalyst of what could be the best offense in the league. Ezekiel Elliott is rejuvenated and the Cowboys have a talented a receiving core with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Lamb, in particular, is getting plenty of attention as one of the 2021 Fantasy football breakouts since many think he will overtake Cooper as the team's WR1.

Lamb nearly hit 1,000 receiving yards last year while catching passes from four different quarterbacks, so he's being taken with early 2021 Fantasy football picks with Prescott back in the fold. Will he be able to outperform his rising 2021 Fantasy football ADP with so many mouths to feed? 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: Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor. He is listed as a starter alongside Jakobi Meyers in the Patriots' offense. Head coach Bill Belichick rarely makes mistakes, and he made it a priority to sign a big-time wide receiver during the offseason. Agholor spent time with Philadelphia before resurrecting his career with the Raiders.

He now has a chance to be the No. 1 wide receiver for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Agholor is coming off a career-best season, finishing second in the NFL in yards per catch. He is being drafted behind receivers like Henry Ruggs III, T.Y. Hilton and Russell Gage, but SportsLine's model is expecting a standout year from the former first-round pick. 

Top 2021 Fantasy football breakouts 

The model is also projecting 49ers running back Trey Sermon as one of its top 2021 Fantasy Football breakouts. The third-round rookie rushed for over 2,000 yards in three years at Oklahoma before spending last year at Ohio State. He proceeded to be named Second-Team All-Big Ten after finishing runner-up in the conference in rushing yards.

Sermon was expected to be part of a committee with the 49ers, but that committee shrunk by one when San Francisco cut Wayne Gallman. That, in part, shows the confidence the team has in Sermon, who has the type of size that all other Niners' backs lack.

Sermon is primed to take over lead-back duties in San Francisco sooner rather than later. SportsLine's model puts him on par with Darrell Henderson, despite the rookie being drafted two rounds later than Henderson on average.

Top 2021 Fantasy football busts

As for players to avoid, the model lists Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert as one of its biggest 2021 Fantasy football busts. Philadelphia's tight end finished the 2020 season with just three touchdown receptions, the fewest of his brief NFL career.

Goedert is expected to enter the NFL season as the Eagles' No. 1 tight end, but he'll have to share targets with teammate Zach Ertz, who's a proven red zone threat. In fact, Ertz has recorded six or more touchdown receptions in three of the last four seasons, which could be detrimental to Goedert's Fantasy value in 2021. That's one of the main reasons why the model ranks Goedert (11th-round ADP) behind 13th-round options like Jared Cook and Rob Gronkowski.

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 JacksonYou 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.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from CBS Sports

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon