With the season soon beginning and many fantasy drafts planned for the next few days, it’s time to prep for your 2021 Fantasy Football team. Here is my advice/predictions as it relates to tight ends, kickers, and defenses:
- Obviously, the other skill positions are the sexier in fantasy football, but having an elite (or at least solid) tight end can be the difference between a championship and a consolation prize. One year I won the league because Jason Witten threw a touchdown, no joke, it happens, so don’t forget about this position come draft day. Travis Kelce is the undisputed #1 TE and the only one that should be drafted at all high. The Chiefs will score, he’ll be the recipient often, and you should try to pair him with Mahomes if you can, that would be pleasant. After Kelce, the Tier Two guys can sure help, but aren’t worth as much of a reach: Andrews, Kittle, Waller, and Pitts. I really like Pitts this season with his new team and I think Matt Ryan will throw to him a lot; he won’t put up Jimmy Graham In New Orleans numbers, but he could still help your team immensely. If you don’t get someone from those groups, try your luck at the next bunch of serviceable options: Hockenson, Tonyan, Logan Thomas, and Higbee. Gronk, Cook, Ertz, and Everett have become a little old & unreliable, so avoid those guys unless you want to take a chance at having them as backup in case they still have some surprises left.
- Again, pulling from personal experience, a kicker has saved my bacon more than once, and Justin Tucker has turned my mediocrity into a championship a few times. I’ve had him five or six years in a row now, in my book he’s the absolute best, and I wouldn’t pick any kicker over him. Still, there are some guys who might be projected to score more points: Butker, Myers, maybe Gay. You can’t go wrong with that first tier, and those guys could really make a huge difference, so don’t wait too long to get your franchise kicker. The next tier you can wait a while for: Gano, McManus, Parkey, Sanders, Lambo. These are solid, week-in-week-out kickers, so don’t be afraid to pull the trigger. After that, wait till your final pick to choose anyone else: Prater, Succop, Bass, Zuerlein, Gould, Folk. Just don’t undervalue the position; it’s more important that most amateurs would think. Nab a great kicker before anyone else has even thought about it, and rest easy the rest of the season knowing that you have guaranteed points for every matchup.
- Defense seems to be a position that can be picked up in free agency later in the season, but the flip side philosophy is to be the first team to select one, that way you get the absolute best. Tampa Bay is at the top of the list, then Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Denver, Buffalo, and New England. Get one of those teams before other people think about defenses and you’ll be set for the season. Otherwise, you can wait a while or even simply pick one up in free agency after teams show their true colors. Still, there is a solid group after the first tier, and they are worth consideration. Washington, San Francisco, Minnesota, the Rams; can’t go wrong with those solid teams, they will (probably) not let you down. After that, the third group might be the last to really even consider: Cleveland, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Miami, Green Bay, Chicago. The other teams just pick who you like and hope for the best, replacing them as you need. Defenses shift in power throughout the year, so keep an eye on the waiver wire.