2021 Fantasy Football Awards


The 2021 fantasy football season has reached its end, and while the lasting memory will likely be how last second COVID-19 rule-outs wreaked havoc on the fantasy playoffs, there was much more to the season.

Today, we’ll be celebrating the winners with the fantasy awards for the 2021 season.



2021 Fantasy MVP: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp’s 2021 campaign was spectacular in every respect. High floor, high ceiling, consistent, matchup-proof — you name it. He had at least 90 receiving yards in all but one game (64 in the one he missed). He topped 100 yards 10 times. He scored 15 TDs, including five games with multiple scores. His 16-game stat line of 138-1,829-15 is one of the best in NFL history. All hail King Kupp, our 2021 fantasy MVP.

Best Fantasy QB of 2021: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen averaged nearly 2 more fantasy points per game than the next-best QB based on PPG (Tom Brady), and his legs played a big role as usual. Allen threw the ball over 600 times and scored 34 TDs — and that’s not counting his 117 rushes for another 700 yards (both third among QBs) and 6 rushing scores. Not counting the weird, wild, wind game against the Patriots in Week 13, Allen really only had one objectively bad game this season. A Konami Code QB, Allen delivered the goods through the air and on the ground all year. 

Best Fantasy RB of 2021: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor challenged Kupp for fantasy MVP, but he ultimately missed out, given that Kupp was simply better from wire to wire, while it took Taylor a few weeks to rev up (and Taylor was phased out of the passing game in the final month of the season). But none of that takes away from the fact Taylor was hands-down the best fantasy RB of 2021. He averaged over 24 fantasy points per game. No other RB averaged more than 19 (not counting Derrick Henry, who missed half the year). His impressive year included topping 100 rushing yards in 9 of his last 11 games while scoring 19 total TDs in that same stretch. If Taylor can be unleashed in the passing game (he had only 37 receptions this year) as a three-down workhorse, he’ll threaten fantasy records. 

Best Fantasy WR of 2021: Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Check the MVP section for why Kupp wins the crown here.

Best Fantasy TE of 2021: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Move over, Travis Kelce. There’s a new TE king in town. Mark Andrews led TEs in targets (138), receptions (99), yards (1,276) and was top three in TDs (9). He single-handedly won several weeks for fantasy managers, including a 11-147-2 eruption in Week 5, and a three-game span in Weeks 14-16 (fantasy playoff time!) with over 8 receptions, 115 yards and more than a TD per game. The best part was that Andrews proved himself QB-proof by popping off with three different QBs all season.

Best Fantasy Draft Value of 2021: Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Unfortunately, Leonard Fournette was not there for the fantasy playoffs, but if you drafted him in the 10th or 11th round, he was likely a large — if not the largest — reason you made it to the playoffs in the first place. Fournette took over as Tampa’s clear lead back in Week 4 and never looked back. Prior to his injury, he led RBs in receptions and amassed 1,266 total yards and 10 TDs in 14 games. 

Best Fantasy Waiver Pickup of 2021: Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers

Elijah Mitchell missed time here and there due to injury, but he was a waiver wire pickup before Week 1 that delivered nearly every time he suited up. He topped 100 rushing yards in 5 of 10 games and really reached week-winning ceiling status with a TD in all 5 of those games as well. 



Best Fantasy Rookie of 2021: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase was the choice even before he went ham for 11-266-3 in the fantasy championship, which will earn him legendary status among fantasy players for the rest of his career. He had five games with over 100 yards, four with over 100 and a TD, and 2 games with over 200 yards. He scored a dominant 13 times and racked up a Super Bowl-era rookie record 1,429 yards in 16 games. 

Breakout Fantasy Player of 2021: Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Deebo Samuel was unleashed in 2021, and it was beautiful to see. He caught 57 passes for 802 yards in his rookie year, then he had 33 for 391 in an injury-shortened 2020. This year, he carried fantasy managers all year with an impressive 74-1,310-6 line through the air and 51-320-7 on the ground, giving him over 100 touches, over 1,600 yards, and 13 TDs on the year. People thought Brandon Aiyuk would be the No. 1 WR and playmaker in San Francisco this year. They were wrong.

Career Revival Player of 2021: Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

It’s amazing that it took until his ninth year and fifth franchise for a team to really figure out how to use Cordarrelle Patterson. Bill Belichick and the Patriots brushed close in 2018, but 2021 with the Falcons is when Patterson’s skill really shined. He caught 51 passes for 547 yards and 5 scores as a receiver, but he also added 607 yards and 6 TDs as a rusher. It was a career high in nearly every category: Rushing yards, rushing TDs, receiving yards and receiving TDs. He had 52 receptions in 2016, so he was 1 off there. Nobody expected Patterson to become a must-start every week in fantasy, but it happened.

Fastest Dynasty Riser of 2021: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions 

Amon-Ra St. Brown was mostly an afterthought Weeks 1-12. Then he went nuclear. Weeks 13-16, he posted lines of 10-86-1, 8-73-0, 8-90-1, 9-91-1, and 8-111-1 (with a rushing TD as well). He had at least 11 targets in five straight games to finish the season and flashed Deebo-like talent and utilization as well. And he did while on the Lions with Jared Goff and Tim Boyle throwing him the ball. No player saw his dynasty stock rise more over the final month of the year than St. Brown.

Some other random awards for the 2021 fantasy season

  • Biggest Bust of 2021: Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
  • Most Frustrating Player of 2021: Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
  • Great, Now What Do We Do in 2022 Drafts? Player of 2021: Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
  • What-Could-Have-Been Player of 2021: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
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