Okay, let’s try something. If you’re here, you like Fantasy Football. Odds are you really like football in the digital realm since Team Rise or Fall is DFS oriented. If you love some Fantasy points on a weekly basis, and you are in the large demographic of people that like Fridays, you came to the right place. This is the very first installment of Team Rise or Fall Fantasy Friday | 2021 Fantasy Football edition!
In this segment in-season, you can expect:
To get our feet wet, let’s use the first Fantasy Friday to sift through the latest at NFL training camp and how it will affect Week 1’s Fantasy landscape.
Saquon Barkley is back at Giants’ practice. Barkley was previously on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, making his 2021 Fantasy Football outlook murky.
While Saquon will get off to a slow start for himself, in particular, he is still a great draft pick. When Barkley is back to full strength, he is on the field often. In fact, in his first two seasons, Barkley saw 81 percent of the Giants’ offensive snaps. Even if it takes a few weeks to get to this point, the payoff will be worth it in 2021 Fantasy Football.
Underdog average draft position (ADP) has Barkley going off the board at RB7, 11 overall. This will vary in redraft leagues, and he may slip further down the draft as people will be afraid to touch him because of the concerns.
Go get him. Barkley will get back to being a three-down back this season, and it will happen sooner than later. We have seen backs such as Adrian Peterson, and more recently, Dalvin Cook returned to dominance after a torn ACL. Barkley has as good of a chance to recover as these other superior athletes have done.
If you find yourself starring down Barkley in the back-end of the first, or second round – Saquon, while a risk, should pay off in a big way for 2021 Fantasy Football because of his elite talent and perceived volume in the Giants offense.
According to Head Coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore Raven’s first-round wide receiver Rashod Bateman will have groin surgery in the coming days. He could return as early as “some point in September” per Harbaugh who is going into his 13th season with the Ravens. The rookie limped off the field with help of others after a non-contact injury.
Bateman, out of the University of Minnesota has projected to be a complete wide receiver. He is a polished route runner with strong hands and looked to challenge Marquise Brown for No.1 wide receiver target volume.
Brown has also been banged up with a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss time at training camp. Sammy Watkins looks to be the biggest beneficiary in terms of opportunity for Baltimore’s wide receiver corps, but Mark Andrews is, was, and has been the pass-catcher to get on the Ravens.
Mark Andrews is one of the best values at tight end for 2021 Fantasy Football redraft and best-ball leagues. As I often talk about tier-based drafting, Andrews finds himself in the same tier of tight ends such as George Kittle and Kyle Pitts but is consistently taken after those two.
After back-to-back seasons of at least 88 targets, seven touchdowns, and 700 yards – Andrews has a proven track record of being a top producer at the tight end position – and it could get even better. Without Bateman and Brown, Andrews will see more volume. With them both on the field, he will be so dangerous in the middle of the field and could be a Top 3 tight end.
The Raven’s are an interesting case this year, as adding Bateman and Watkins suggest they want to be more explosive in the passing game. Andrews will be great if this is the case, and he continues to be a great pick for 2021 Fantasy Football.
Injuries happen in the NFL and 2021 Fantasy Football will be no different as we are finding out in August. Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams is dealing with a hip flexor, which makes sense based on his history of back issues.
Williams is a big-body receiver and is primed for a big year (relative to ADP) with second-year star Justin Herbert at quarterback. If Williams were to miss time, Josh Palmer and Tyron Johnson would battle for playing time in that role. Johnson had back-to-back games with a touchdown and at least five targets in Williams’s absence last season.
Hunter Henry will miss a couple of weeks with a shoulder injury. While this is not labeled as anything serious, Jonnu Smith would find himself as the obvious go-to tight end in this New England offense. Both tight ends are viable later in drafts as a dart throw if you plan on streaming the position, but Jonnu Smith possesses true touchdown upside. His yards after the catch (238) were 11th at the tight end while his touchdowns (nine) were third in 2020.
I was excited when the Panthers drafted LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr. in the second round. He was my fifth-ranked rookie prospect at the wide receiver in this NFL Draft class, coming off back-to-back double-digit touchdown seasons at LSU.
Marshall had a great day at camp on Thursday, as it was reported from Panthers Twitter. Sam Darnold will have a big-bodied, athletic receiver to throw it up to in bailout situations, and as we saw in college, Marshall is likely to win in those situations.
Marshall is the favorite to be the third wideout on the field in three-wide receiver sets, either in the slot or outside. The Panthers’ offense appeared in this set 57 percent of the time in 2020, and that will likely increase this season.
Marshall is a great late-round flier and will have sneaky DFS value in 2021 Fantasy Football.
– Steven Toroni, @FFprofessorST3
Want more best ball and 2021 Fantasy Football? Check out the 100% FREE Team Rise or Fall Fantasy Football Draft Kit!