The 2021 Fantasy Football season gave us some outstanding player performances in Fantasy Football. Its time to put those players together into one amazing team and reflect on the outcomes from the year. We’re going to lovingly call this group the 2021 Fantasy All-Star team.
In today’s article, I’ll cover a lot of top scoring players who smashed at their respective positions while adding in a few players with extraordinary outcomes relative to pre-season ADP. The idea here is to highlight the top scorers at the position while also noting players who shocked the Fantasy world with their performance in 2021.
Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
Despite a slow start to the 2021 season, Josh Allen finished 1st amongst QBs scoring417.7FPTS and 24.6FPTS/G. Allen didn’t lead the league in any of the major categories such as passing yards, rushing yards, CMP%, passing TDs, rushing TDs or yards/ATT. Instead, he finishes off the season as a top 5 in nearly every category you can think of while leading the Bills into a strong playoff run. This speaks volumes to how well-rounded he is as a QB. If you wanted to attach a “safe floor” label to any player at the QB position, Josh Allen is your guy.
Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
While both Tom Brady and Jalen Hurts spent portions of the season as the QB1, Justin Herbert finished the season with the best trajectory amongst NFL QBs. Herbert ranked as a QB1 from weeks 11 to 18, nobody else even came close during that same stretch. When looking towards the 2022 season with the intent of projecting success, Herbert will be the QB I put my money on.
Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford
Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
Outside of what Derrick Henry did leading up to his injury in 2021, Jonathan Taylor was the NFL’s best player at the position from start to finish. He matched an NFL record held by LaDainian Tomlinson with 9 consecutive games of 100+ yards from scrimmage and 1+TD. Taylor lead the NFL in Rushing Yards (1,811), total Yards (2,171) and TD’s (20) on his way to being regarded as the consensus 1.01 pick going into 2022. At just 23y/o its very likely that we are having the same conversation this time, next year.
Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler finished off the season 2nd amongst RB’s with 343.8FPTS and 3rd with 21.5FPTS/G. Ekeler separated himself from the pack in 2021 by recording the most receiving yards (647) while finishing 2nd to only Najee Harris with 70 receptions. Ekeler makes a lot of sense to me as the consensus 1.02 leading into PPR drafts in 2022. His blend of pass catching and red zone usage is as good as it gets across the league.
Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
Did you see this bounce back season coming for Joe Mixon? Joe Mixon was the most discredited RB inside the top 50 ADP leading into 2021. Fast forward to the end of the year and Mixon had racked up 7 top-4 weeks at the position. If it weren’t for the Bengals resting Mixon in a meaningless week 18 matchup with Tennessee we would be celebrating the fact that he played every single game on the year. The RB4 in 2021 earned back the respect of many as a competitor and will be a lock inside my top 10 players drafted in 2022.
Honorable Mentions: Leonard Fournette, James Conner, Cordarrelle Patterson
Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
Where do we start with the greatness that Cooper Kupp achieved in 2021? He led all NFL WR’s in Yards, Receptions, Targets, YAC and TD’s. He didn’t stop there though, Kupp led all Fantasy Players in PPR FPTS scored. While it would have been nice to see Kupp break either Calvin Johnson or Michael Thomas’ NFL records for receiving yards or receptions, its safe to say that the value he returned as compared to his 4th round ADP was astonishing enough. Kupp enters 2022 as my WR1 and will be the only WR I consider inside the first 5 picks of 2022 drafts.
Deebo Samuel – San Francisco 49ers
Here is another guy who falls into the same category as Joe Mixon but whos pre-season ADP clocked in as low as the 8th round of redraft leagues. Samuel made the most of his opportunities as a pass catcher tallying the most Y/R of any WR1 on the year while also ranking 2nd in YAC. What separates Deebo from every other WR1 is the way that San Francisco deployed him as a high level runner, even lining him up in the backfield as a traditional ‘singleback’. Samuel rushed the ball 59 times in for a 6.18 Y/A avg and 8 TDs on the year. I was thrilled to see him compete in 16 or 17 games this season coming off the injury riddled seasons of years past.
Ja’Marr Chase – Cincinnati Bengals
Rookie WR production, to this extent, shouldn’t be as common as it has been these past two years. Especially if we narrow our focus on the elite level production that has come from LSU in 2020 and 2021. Ja’Marr Chase was available into the 6th round of redraft leagues in 2021 and finished the season as the WR5. His year was highlighted by putting up 56 FPTS in the championship week of Fantasy playoffs. Now unanimously ranking as one of the top 3 dynasty WR’s Ja’Marr Chase will be a reliable pick in the early 2nd round of redraft leagues in 2022.
Honorable Mentions: Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Hunter Renfrow
Mark Andrews – Baltimore Ravens
The TE landscape shifted enough in 2021 that its worth shuffling up the consensus rankings which we’ve been working with over the past 2-3 years. Mark Andrews 2021 performance is a big reason why many analysts are regarding him as a top 2 dynasty TE. He finished the year as the TE1 and as the only TE who cracked the 300FPTS mark. It would be one thing if Andrews accomplished these totals playing with Lamar Jackson all season but that wasn’t the case. He showed us stand alone value playing, and succeeding, with 3 different QBs.
Dalton Schultz – Dallas Cowboys
This one might surprise a few readers to see featured, but it is as deserved as can be. Schultz finished the season as the PPR TE3 and as one of only 3 players at the position to score more than 200 FPTS. Schultz went undrafted in many redraft leagues and was one of the best players you could have added off waivers in 2021. With the difference between pre-season rankings and final season rankings factored, Schultz checks in as a very realistic 2nd TE on the 2021 Fantasy All-Star Team.
Honorable Mentions: Travis Kelce, Zac Ertz, Rob Gronkowski
QB: Josh Allen
RB: Jonathan Taylor
RB: Austin Ekeler
WR: Cooper Kupp
WR: Deebo Samuel
WR: Ja’Marr Chase
TE: Mark Andrews
FLEX: Joe Mixon
Thanks for checking out my 2021 Fantasy All-Star team. This was a ton of fun to put together and aspire towards amassing in 2022 leagues. I hope you all enjoy the NFL Football Playoffs responsibly this weekend!
David Carey – @87_Carey