2021 Fades & Targets (Rnds 1-5)

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By Jacob Bourgeois; Twitter: @JacobBourgieFFB

It’s already August 1st tomorrow and the Redraft season is upon us. As such, I’m preparing for my leagues by sifting through current ADPs and identifying my targets and fades in each round. I’ve found it a useful tool to take with me into drafts… so maybe you will too? Because it’s a lot, I’ve broken it into three parts with rounds 1 through 5 up first (Part 2: 6 – 12, and part 3: 13-17).

Here’s a cheat sheet with the same info compiled and selectable for draft day: Jacob’s Redraft Cheat Sheet.

League assumptions: 12 Team, 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1FLX, 1K, 1DST / PPR scoring.

Consensus ADP is from www.fantasypros.com.

Round 1

In the first round the name of the game (because they’re all really talented) is safety; remember: Safety First. Who is going to be a guaranteed contributor to my team every week, freeing me up to focus other places.

Fade: Saquon’s numbers weren’t the same with Daniel Jones, and he’s been banged up. His YPC relies on break-aways and if the injuries decrease their frequency or his top end, then he’s in for a tough year.

Fade: Jonathan Taylor is a beast and will eat, but with a stable of compliments to keep him fresh, it’s unclear that he’ll command both carries and targets to warrant the 6th pick.

Target: Ezekiel Elliott is still a beast of a man, and should dominate touches on an elite offense. His splits without Dak don’t concern me, save that it could indicate a “comfort” or “lack of competitive edge.” All accounts this offseason, he has something to prove.

Round 2

The second round is the same as the first. This is a locked in weekly starter, who is someone you start without having to worry about opposing LBs or CBs.

Target: Stefon Diggs is a target monster, he and Allen should be on the upswing still after year 1 together, has missed games each year, but is locked in otherwise.

Target: Najee Harris is worth the risk, plain and simple. He’s the best down-hill runner in his class AND the best pass catcher. Rarely combined. This year PIT is predicated on elite defense and a renewed emphasis on the ground and pound. Ben has said it. We all know it.

Fade: D.K. Metcalf was hard to figure out after the first five games, and I hate to say, that looks likely to be the case for most of this year as well. He’s an elite size speed guy, but it’s a run first team with an improving defense and holy offensive line.

Fade: Joe Mixon is looking to be the combination of Gio Bernard and Joe Mixon finally, except that he’s never proven he can stay healthy, he’s never been that efficient, and their defense is terrible, meaning negative game scripts. Chris Evans is an exceptional pass catcher, and Perine is a beast at the goal line. Too many ways to fail in my book.

Fade: Pat Mahomes is all about positional value, where he used to be in a tier by himself, it seems more now like he’s in an almost five-player tier with Allen, Murray, Lamar, and Dak (praying for the shoulder). You need to grab the fifth, or wait all together because there are options galore this year. You’ll find a weekly starter on waivers, guaranteed.

Target: Darren Waller is all about positional value. He, Kittle, and Kelce have proven they’re worth twice as much as their next of kin. Only push back, is the depth of upside guys like Gerald Everett, Hunter Henry, Adam Trautman, Irv Smith Jr. and Cole Kmet. No upside guys panned out last year but if you’re hard working and speculative, you could play the trends.

Round 3

Round 3 is about grabbing the rest of your top tier guys. If you go RB heavy like me, this is a great spot to grab your TE1 or WR1, but I wouldn’t have any qualms with starting Swift in my Flex.

Target: George Kittle or whoever is the 3rd of the top three tight ends, if they fall to me has been an autograb.

Target: Allen Robinson will have volume for days regardless of the terrible QB play he’s suffered his whole career. If it’s Fields and he’s an improvement it could mean Keenan Allen-like upgrade from last year.

Fade: Josh Allen is great but still not a value considering where the other guys in his tier are going.

Fade: Miles Sanders just doesn’t have round three Points Per Game and the team seemed frantic to build depth behind him.

Target: Josh Jacobs is an RB1 despite his lack of pass game volume. The O-line can’t get worse despite the gut job. Volume play here with post-hype breakout upside if the team uses him.

Round 4

Round 4 is where elite WRs remain and should be acquired.

Target: Julio Jones had elite efficiency metrics last year, so if he’s healthy he’s balling. New QB, no problem, Tannehill is just as efficient with his targets as Ryan.

Target: Amari Cooper is the WR1 on an explosive offense, if you get a healthy Dak (in question) then he’s an elite weekly play, which is a rare find in round 4.

Injury Note: Michael Thomas‘ ADP will fall because he’ll miss the first month of the season at least recovering from Ankle Surgery, he’s a better target in leagues where you get an IR spot.

Fade: Kyler Murray is not only at the end of the elite QB tier but he is slight of stature and could more easily succumb to injury than the others. Too pricy for the risk.

Target: Lamar Jackson on the other hand is looking for a bounce back year after going back to back with Mahomes in drafts this time last year. Anyone who grabbed him last year was burnt hence his down ADP, but he adds elite rushing to what should be a vastly improved passing attack.

Fade: Kyle Pitts has the potential to give you a nice positional edge at the position like the top three proven guys do at a slightly reduced cost. I’m just risk averse and want something proven this early in my drafts — Vernon Davis (picked 6th in 2006) was previously the best hyped rookie TE for a while. Different era, but it took until year four for him to break out (20 catches as a rookie).

Round 5

This is really the first round we should be considering a QB and I’ve got eyes for top tier guys that are left, I always want the end of the tier. That said, I feel no pressure to snag a QB unless they’re giving me a definitive weekly advantage. I can grab a starter off waivers. I also hate middle tier TEs where you’re only starting one and the gap between the top guys and the middle guys is larger than the gap between the middle tier and waivers. That said, this could be T.J. Hock’s year.

Fade: Mark Andrews was just joined by too many other weapons in the passing game.

Injury Note: Dak Prescott was noted as having a “strain” in his shoulder at the beginning of camp. This is very troubling and has me nervous about my DAL shares.

Fade: Mike Davis was great in CMC’s absence because of obscene passing game usage. He was inefficient and wore out as week’s wore on.

Target: Cooper Kupp going after Robert Woods is all you need to know. With Stafford, his Red-zone prowess, and being locked in starter status he boasts a high floor, high ceiling.

Target: DJ Moore has the talent to return to the WR1/2 fringe and showed it in the second half of 2020. It’s hard to love the QB situation, and Terrace Marshall Jr. seems to be scaring people off but DJ’s role is locked in and I expect high passing volume with this defense.

My typical draft will be: RB, RB, WR/TE, WR, WR through 5.

Check back for rounds 6 through 12 coming soon.