When you are drafting best ball teams, you are looking to maximize your weekly output in terms of Fantasy points. There is no better way to do that than to find some of the more explosive 2021 best ball stacks. In drafts, especially in best ball tournaments, you want exposure to high-volume passing offenses that project to score a lot of points.
Let’s dive into some offenses that are going to put up points this season and should be on your radar as viable 2021 best ball stacks.
We know that we are getting a high volume of plays with the Arizona Cardinals. Last season, Arizona was third in plays per game (67.7) and scored 25 points per contest. In year three for Kyler Murray, and DeAndre Hopkins’s second year in the offense, this could be the best Cardinals team we have seen with coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Hopkins will be looking to net his fourth straight season with 100 catches. That volume feels pretty secure. He only had six touchdowns last year, his lowest output in that category since 2016. As I have illustrated before, he is a tier one wide receiver who ends tier break at WR4 in the middle of the second round, sometimes in the back half according to Underdog ADP. While the second round is high draft capital, you can feel good about the value as he is the last wideout of that tier to be drafted in most cases.
Kyler falls into a similar category to Hopkins. Murray is being taken in the middle/back half of the fifth round and is firmly being taken as the QB4, again at the end of the tier. Like Hopkins, Murray can easily finish at number one overall at his position. Even if Murray’s rushing numbers decrease from last year (819) he should still be able to provide a safe floor on the ground with his legs. With the added pass catchers, however, I am looking for this to be Murray’s best Fantasy production through the air.
The Cardinals drafted Rondale Moore and added veteran A.J. Green to join Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Deep threat Andy Isabella should make the team as Arizona’s fifth option. Moore should be used out of the slot and on gadget plays. He does not project to get sustainable Fantasy volume in year one but is certainly a viable flyer at the end of drafts.
It is Green and Kirk that I am interested in adding, especially if I have already drafted Kyler. Green has made some noise early on at Cardinals camp and will be opposite of Hopkins as the obvious starter/WR2 in this offense. While Green has been more than disappointing in recent years, it should be noted that he did see 97 targets last year and most of them were from a hodgepodge at quarterback after Joe Burrow went down with a devastating leg injury. Green possesses upside and has the ability/physicality to lead the team in receiving touchdowns. He is being taken at WR74 at the end of drafts.
The Cardinals have great value in drafts. I love how their elite positional pieces fall in Underdog drafts specifically. These players make up perhaps the biggest upside of any of the 2021 best ball stacks.
The Jaguars’ offense with Urban Meyer coming in has a lot of questions. That is built into ADP. Trevor Lawerence, one of the highest-graded prospects ever, is sitting there at QB15, one spot behind fellow rookie Trey Lance who is not even the starter for the 49ers (yet). Even if Lance was the starter, I would still have Lawerence ranked higher.
I don’t know if we have seen a rookie quarterback set up for greater success in his first year in terms of the playmakers around Lawerence. D.J. Chark (71.4 ADP), Laviska Shenault (77.6), and Marvin Jones (116) should all return value in 2021 because of the projected volume of the passing offense. Last year’s 38.4 pass attempts per game were sixth in the NFL, and a big part of that was Jacksonville’s poor defense.
It is not unreasonable to believe that Lawerence could see 600-plus pass attempts in his rookie season, especially when you consider the Jags drafted Travis Etienne in the first round to pair with their star quarterback. Etienne, Lawerence’s running back at Clemson, saw 85 total receptions in his final two years as a Tiger. Lawerence will have no problem dumping it off to a familiar face who can break off a 20-yard run on any play he has the ball.
Etienne is going off the board at RB22 and can certainly be stacked with the players above. Of the wide receivers, I like Shenault and Marvin Jones the best to stack with the first-year quarterback. In most cases, Lawerence will be your QB2, making this a no-brainer in terms of 2021 best ball stacks.
Can Justin Herbert improve in year two?
It sounds silly to ask, but if we thought that he could actually get better (for Fantasy) in his sophomore season, we would be drafting him higher than QB7/mid-seventh round.
The narrative that Herbert will throw less due to The Chargers being healthier on defense is legit. Los Angeles will look to be a competitive team and control the clock as opposed to being in situations when they have to pass a lot. Herbert’s 39.6 pass attempts per game (595 passes in 15 games) in 2020 allowed him to throw for 31 touchdowns and 4,336 yards (QB8 finish). What I love about Herbert is that you can snag him two rounds later than the tier 1 guys like Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson.
I am here to tell you not to be scared of the passing volume. Even if volume decreases, efficiency should still be there for Herbert in his sophomore year.
The Chargers’ best running backs specialty is catching the ball. In fact, Austin Ekeler’s 7.1 targets per game with Herbert in 2020 would extrapolate to 120 targets for 17 games. The other Chargers’ backs, Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree, are uninspiring. In other words, they are going to manufacture targets for their great pass-catcher and not force the run. Despite their heavy volume of pass plays, Los Angeles still had 466 rushes last year, which was ninth in the NFL.
The Chargers are some of my favorite 2021 best ball stacks because you can pair the running back with the quarterback and/or the WR1. While I would not recommend over-exposure of teams with Herbert, Ekeler, AND Keenan Allen, this could be a viable build.
Keenan Allen will be looking for his fifth straight season with at least 97 catches. So, we know foundationally he is safe as a third-round pick. Yet, there is upside here that many are not realizing. I expect Herbert to be as good as last year, if not better, and it is likely he increases his touchdown output in year two. It is not a coincidence that Allen, had his most touchdowns since his rookie year (eight) with Herbert, but he was able to do this in only 13 games started.
Allen, who was banged up last year, missed time for the first time since 2016. If he stays healthy he legitimately has Top 5 upside that many are ruling out.
Mike Williams, Jared Cook, and Tyron Johnson are all late-round guys to target if you snag Herbert. Wiliams is a known touchdown threat and should have more success this year than in 2020. He had injuries of his own and never was a focal point of the Chargers’ offense. He possesses the upside of a WR2. Johnson is a last-round flier I like to stack with Herbert and Cook is being drafted as the TE21 despite finishing as a TE1 the past three seasons.
– Steven Toroni @FFProfessorST3
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