Offseason Drumbeat for Fantasy Football


Throughout the NFL offseason at FTN Fantasy, we’ll have our ears to the ground listening for the soft thump of the fantasy football snare drum. This light patter can quickly become a blaring chorus line the closer we get to Week 1.

With OTAs and mandatory mini camps seeping into the headlines, let’s discuss who is garnering the beat writer ink and what it means for fantasy football and our current best ball drafts on Underdog Fantasy. 

Sign up today at Underdog Fantasy with the promo code FTN and receive $25 free. 

Fantasy Football – Offseason Drumbeat

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

Considering how Cam Akers finished his rookie season, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Akers is a locked and loaded RB1 in my rankings. Akers averaged 22 carries per game over his final six contests. When the stakes were the highest in Weeks 18-19, he ran routes on 83.3% of the Rams’ dropbacks. If he reprises this role in 2021, he could be a top-three running back. 

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

Rashod Bateman was “the guy” in college performing regardless of the role. Bateman excelled as both an outside wide receiver and slot weapon during his final two seasons at Minnesota. As I mentioned here in the Booms, Busts, Breakouts, & Bets series, Bateman could be the unquestioned alpha as soon as Week 1. 

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

Rhamondre Stevenson is quickly getting some buzz at camp with the talk highlighting his pass-catching. The Patriots have shown us repeatedly that Damien Harris and Sony Michel won’t be used in this role. Stevenson can help Josh McDaniels mask play calls with his abilities as both a rusher and receiver.  

Elijah Moore, New York Jets

Elijah Moore has been generating all the early hype talk of Jets’ camp, but the recent news of Jamison Crowder re-signing will hurt his production this season. Fantasy Twitter would like you to believe that’s not the case, but Crowder stealing slot snaps will drive people bonkers. Moore played 92% of his snaps in college from the slot, so projecting him as an outside receiver is nothing more than a wishful projection. 

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but Darnell Mooney is already enjoying the quarterback upgrade to Justin Fields. Mooney suffered through the 71st highest catchable target rate (74.5%) last season. With Fields throwing him darts weekly, Mooney is headed for a stellar season as the Bears’ field stretcher. 

Jacob Harris, Los Angeles Rams

Jacob Harris is a size-speed specimen. So it’s no surprise he’s showing off in early drills, but what is shocking is that he’s already working with the ones. Harris could carve out an early role for the Rams if these positive reports continue. 

Byron Pringle, Kansas City Chiefs

Mecole Hardman truthers look away. During the games Sammy Watkins missed last year, Pringle ran more routes than Hardman, so we can’t be shaken to our cores to see this. Pringle’s 79th percentile speed score suggests he has near equal footing to establish himself as the fleet-footed inside threat with Watkins now gone. 

Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars

Add this on top of Urban Meyer stating D.J. Chark has played small, and my Viska trutherism is alive and well. Shenault has the raw talent to assert himself and lead this team in targets in 2021. Shenault ranked 18th in quarterback rating (116.0) when targeted last season. 

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

T.J. Hockenson could easily lead this team in targets, turning into Motown’s Darren Waller. After Hockenson ranked eighth in unrealized air yards last year, the hope is that the regression is also incoming. When he did have the ball in his hands, he made plays consistently. Last season, Hockenson ranked fourth in yards after the catch. The wheels are up for him to enter the elite echelon. 

Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers

The Trey Sermon party bus has left the station. Don’t wait up because I don’t know what time we’re going to be home. With Raheem Mostert banged up, Sermon has wasted no time acclimating to the 49ers’ zone scheme. 

Underdog Fantasy Best Ball ADP – 2021

Utilizing our free Underdog Fantasy ADP Tool, let’s discuss their draft positions. 

Cam Akers | Underdog Fantasy ADP – RB8, Overall 9.9

Akers' first-round ADP is well warranted. You can make an argument that he should be going behind players like Nick Chubb or Austin Ekeler. Don’t let him slip out of the first round. 

Rashod Bateman | Underdog Fantasy ADP – WR56, Overall 128.9

Going within 10 picks of Russell Gage and Henry Ruggs is criminal. Bateman’s ceiling is in a different area code. Get exposure to him now because as more camp reports come out, he’s only going to climb up the ladder. 

Rhamondre Stevenson | Underdog Fantasy ADP – RB59, Overall 201.3

Stevenson is being drafted around players like Jerick McKinnon, Marlon Mack and Damien Williams — former fantasy football stars who are now afterthoughts. This is far too low for a player who could finish the year leading the Patriots backfield in touches. 

Elijah Moore | Underdog Fantasy ADP – WR59, Overall 113.9 

With Crowder staying in New York, Moore's ADP will fall as it should. Currently, he's being drafted around players like Gabriel Davis and Nelson Agholor, who have either higher ceilings or floors. Expect his ADP to dip 10-12 spots at least. 

Darnell Mooney | Underdog Fantasy ADP – WR52, Overall 135.3

Mooney is a value where he’s going in drafts. Pairing him late with Cole Kmet as a cheap double stack with Justin Fields has been a favorite strategy of mine in drafts. 

Jacob Harris | Underdog Fantasy ADP – WR114, Overall 215.7

Enjoy the oversight by Underdog here leaving Harris in the wide receiver category. Harris makes the most sense with Matthew Stafford stacks as a last pick pivot in Best Ball Mania ll over chalk picks like DeSean Jackson or Van Jefferson

Byron Pringle | Underdog Fantasy ADP – WR94, Overall 210.1 

Like Harris, Pringle is a great last-round pick if you’re looking to diversify the best ball portfolio, especially if you’re stacking Chiefs. 

Laviska Shenault | Underdog Fantasy ADP – WR42, Overall 136.1

You don’t have to squint too hard to envision a scenario where Shenault leads this team in every receiving category this season. There’s still value in his WR4 price tag. 

T.J. Hockenson | Underdog Fantasy ADP – TE6, Overall 61.6

Hockenson’s lofty ADP makes sense considering his upside, but being drafted within five picks of players like Tee Higgins, Donate Johnson and Chase Claypool is still rich. Get exposure to Hockenson, but make sure not to go overweight. 

Trey Sermon | Underdog Fantasy ADP – RB28, Overall 73.7

Sermon is being drafted ahead of Raheem Mostert (RB29), and while many will shudder at the thought, I agree with it. At his RB3 draft position, the risk is baked into his injury and running back committee concerns, but his upside isn’t fully factored in here. 

Previous 2021 NFFC Draft board review Next Best ball stacking, Part 1: Positional scoring