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How to draft in CBS leagues using FTN fantasy football rankings

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One of the challenges of fantasy football today is that information is everywhere and even your average league mate probably isn’t that bad on draft day. 

But this is where you can use a hack to gain an advantage. If many of your leaguemates are going to use the generic built-in ADP data to form their draft list, you can compare that ADP data to rankings from top-tier fantasy pros, such as FTN’s Jeff Ratcliffe and Matthew Freedman.

That’s exactly what we’ve done. This article will compare ADP from CBS fantasy football leagues to the FTN Fantasy rankings to help you find the players the community is either overdrafting or underdrafting to help you sail through your draft. While the generic site ADP data is a decent guide, it’s still created from the general public and is not as efficient as top-tier rankers.

Here are eight players to draft and eight players to avoid (at cost) in the first 10 rounds of CBS fantasy football leagues in 2021. We also wrote how you can hack your way through ESPN and Yahoo Fantasy Football drafts.

(Take advantage of the FTNFantasy Platinum package for the 2021 season!)

8 players to draft in CBS fantasy football 2021 based on ADP

These are players that are falling lower in CBS fantasy football draft than they should.

  • A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers (ADP 118, rank 90). Dillon has risen as a top zero-RB target with Jamaal Williams no longer in town. Williams averaged over 10 touches per game over the last two seasons, so the backup role in Green Bay is certainly among the best in the league.
  • Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (ADP 84, rank 75). Another zero-RB target, Sermon is hoping to form a 1-2 punch with Raheem Mostert in the run-friendly 49ers offense. It may be a slow start to the season, but Sermon has top-10 upside if he’s able to wrest the job away from the oft-injured Mostert.
  • Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team (ADP 21, rank 13). Gibson is a perfectly acceptable pick at the start of the second round or even at the 1-2 turn. CBS drafters are letting him slip all the way to the end of the second round, though. He has legitimate top-10 potential this season.
  • Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP 13, rank 9). Hill should not fall out of the first round in any 2021 fantasy football draft. But his ADP on CBS suggests he’s routinely slipping into the second round. If Hill is around and you’re drafting in the second half of Round 1, pull the trigger.
  • Odell Beckham, WR, Cleveland Browns (ADP 86, rank 63). OBJ has fallen out of favor, and it has caused him to go nearly two rounds too late in CBS drafts, according to our rankers. He’s still the No. 1 WR in Cleveland.
  • D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers (ADP 59, rank 32). Moore is going too late in too many drafts. He’s worth a Round 3 pick, but he’s going toward the end of Round 5 in CBS boards. He’s an absolute steal at his current ADP.
  • Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee Titans (ADP 57, rank 38). People aren’t sure what to make of Jones in Tennessee, where he now has to contend with A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry for touches. Our FTN Fantasy projections have Jones projected for 72-1,049-7 this year, putting him among the top 20 WRs. Not bad for someone you can get in Round 5 on CBS.
  • Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons (ADP 55, rank 45). Rookie TEs rarely pan out, but Pitts is unique in that he went in the top five of the NFL Draft and that he’s really more of a WR playing TE. He’s going to be a mismatch nightmare with plenty of targets available in Atlanta now that Julio Jones is gone. You can get Pitts on a full round discount on CBS.

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8 players to avoid in CBS fantasy football 2021 based on ADP

These are players that are being drafted too high in CBS fantasy football leagues. They aren’t bad players, but they are reaches at their current ADP.

  • Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP 10, rank 39). Mahomes is going too high on ESPN and Yahoo, but he’s going way too high on CBS. Mahomes’ ADP has him going in the first round. This should not be happening in 1 QB leagues. Do not do this.
  • Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (ADP 37, rank 87). All of the QBs are going too early in CBS, according to our rankers, but Rodgers is one of the most egregious. He’s pushing into late Round 3 or early Round 4 — about four rounds too early compared to his actual value. Let someone else reach for Rodgers.
  • Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins (ADP 45, rank 80). Gaskin is going too early on Yahoo, too. Here’s what I wrote about him there. It’s true here, too: “Gaskin had an up-and-down preseason. First he was the clear starter, then he appeared to be the backup, then he was the starter of a committee. The last part (leader of a committee) is most likely the truth. The rocky preseason should have been enough to move Gaskin from a sixth-round pick to a seventh, but ADP hasn’t caught up.”
  • Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals (ADP 60, rank 82). I love Edmonds’ upside in Round 7, but drafting him in Round 5 or early Round 6 is too rich considering he doesn’t have the backfield to himself (James Conner is described as the 1B to Edmonds’ 1A) and may not see any goal-line touches with Conner and Kyler Murray in town.
  • Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons (ADP 43, rank 61). Our rankers say you shouldn’t draft Davis until Round 6, but he’s coming off CBS fantasy drafts boards in Round 4. Davis, a career backup, lands in RB-unfriendly Atlanta. If you draft him as your RB2, just make sure you do it in Round 6 and not Round 4.
  • Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos (ADP 74, rank 92). Gordon is going only seven picks after Denver rookie RB Javonte Williams in CBS drafts, but the gap should be much wider. Gordon may have a decent role in September, but he’s highly unlikely to hold onto a valuable role for significant portions of the season. It’s going to be Williams’ backfield soon.
  • D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP 89, rank 99). Chark gets a big upgrade at QB in 2021 with Trevor Lawrence, but he also goes from being the only viable wideout to a room crowded with talent in Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault. Draft one of those two players at a significantly cheaper price. Any of them could end up leading the team in targets, yards and TDs.
  • Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (ADP 81, rank 94). Thomas is a high-risk, high-reward player. Our rankers just think he should be going a round later than he is going on CBS drafts. It’s tempting to have the big name on your bench, but don’t jump the gun here.
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