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12 Fantasy Players To Watch For In 2021

Fantasy Insider Scott Engel offers fantasy football advice as Week 1 of the 2021 season quickly approaches.


We are days away from the Seahawks first regular season game of 2021, and as the team prepares for the opener, you are also putting the final touches on your Week 1 Fantasy rosters. Whether you still have yet to draft, or are looking to make improvements, as all Fantasy players will do throughout the season, there are always quality players to keep your eyes on. These are the guys who can take their games to new levels in 2021. If you drafted any of them, then you can feel good about their outlooks. Or, they can be prime trade targets. In late drafts, keep these players in mind as possible key picks throughout the draft. Through any route, get them on your roster if you can.


Jameis Winston: The ex-Buccaneer will open the season as New Orleans' new starter as the post-Drew Brees era begins. Winston certainly looked ready to take over the spot in the preseason, especially in an exhibition game in which he threw for TD passes of 43 and 29 yards. Winston can still be explosive, yet will also have the receiving and run support of Alvin Kamara, and once Michael Thomas returns to action, he will have another major weapon for the second half of the season. Winston may be improved as an overall passer after sitting behind Brees for a year and being influenced by him and Sean Payton. He can finish as a Fantasy QB1 with the Saints this year.

Justin Fields: Both Bears fans and Fantasy players alike are excited about the rookie QB after he flashed some tremendous promise in the preseason. He completed 30 of 49 attempts for 276 yards and three TDs with no interceptions. Fields also rushed for 92 yards. He is a very potent downfield passer with added mobility. Allen Robinson is an established standout WR and Darnell Mooney could be on the verge of stardom. Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet are a quality TE combo. Once Fields gets his chance to shine, he can be a Top 10 Fantasy QB.

Running Backs

Antonio Gibson: He was an instant hit as a Fantasy player in his rookie season, rushing for 11 touchdowns in 14 games. Now, in his second year, with a normal training camp behind him in addition to a season of experience to his credit, Gibson should solidify his status as a quality Fantasy RB1. The Washington offense will be even better with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the controls, and Gibson will continue to be a strong goal-line finisher while also possibly being more involved as a pass-catcher.

Ty'son Williams: The No. 1 rushing team in the NFL from last year gets a good draw in a matchup against the Las Vegas front wall. Williams is being pressed into heavier service quickly because of an injury to Gus Edwards. He did impress the Ravens in the preseason and should at least post respectable numbers on Monday night. You can consider Williams as a flex option. If you made the insurance move of backing up Edwards with Williams in your draft, you can now move Williams into your starting lineup. He is playing in an offense conductive to running success. 

Mike Davis: The former Seahawk has shown he can take advantage of some opportunities to produce respectable totals in the past. In 2018 as a 'Hawk, he had a 101-yard rushing outing and three rushing TDs in a two-game span early in the year. In November of that same season, he had 187 scrimmage yards, 14 receptions and a TD in another two-game span. Last season, the Panthers turned to Davis for 12 starts and he had eight TDs from scrimmage while catching 59 passes. Now Davis is ticketed to be the clear No. 1 RB for the first time in his career and has prepared over a full preseason for the role. Wayne Gallman is a quality backup, but the Falcons brought in Davis to be the lead RB. He is versatile and very capable of operating as a solid Fantasy RB2.

Javonte Williams: Najee Harris is the most desired Fantasy rookie running back in drafts, yet Williams should make his mark this season as well. While he is initially projected to share touches with veteran Melvin Gordon to form a quality duo for the Broncos, Williams could emerge to deliver output that will make him very worthy of a consistent starting spot in Fantasy lineups. Williams is a strong inside runner and tackle breaker who could eventually become a three-down RB for dynasty league purposes. He should at least be an upside flex play in seasonal leagues in 2021.

Wide Receivers

Robert Woods: The addition of Matthew Stafford should further elevate the Rams passing game. The Los Angeles receiving crew is deep, yet Woods can stand out as a WR who will benefit greatly from working with his new gunner even while Cooper Kupp sees an uptick in production. Woods has soared past 1,100 yards receiving in two of the past three seasons while catching 90 balls in each of the last two years. Woods is already an established Fantasy wideout who finished as WR14 last year, and now he may be on the verge of a Fantasy WR1 campaign.

Corey Davis: A new era is beginning with the Jets, as highly-touted rookie QB Zach Wilson is set to guide a revamped offense, Wilson looked poised and heady during preseason play and the Jets are hoping his steady play carries into the regular season. Wilson showed he will lean on Davis in exhibition games, and the former Titan caught six passes for 88 yards with a long of 27 yards. Davis should be a top target for Wilson as he combines veteran experience with playmaking potential. He should be on your radar as a Top 30 Fantasy WR this season, and is someone to acquire as a WR3 with the arrow pointing up.

Deebo Samuel: The 49ers have two quality quarterbacks to turn to this season, and that bodes well for San Francisco's pass-catchers. Samuel may be ready for a true breakout season. He is certainly an outstanding yardage after the catch playmaker. Last year, in seven games played, Samuel led the league in yardage per reception after the catch, with a 12.1 mark. Only two other pass-catchers in the NFL finished above 10.0 and no other WR finished above 8.0. Samuel is an underrated Fantasy WR who is not being picked in the Top 30 at the position in many drafts.

Jaylen Waddle: The Dolphins have built a deep crew of receivers for second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, and Waddle is one of the top new arrivals. He is an electric threat against defenses at various levels. Waddle has actually drawn comparisons to Tyreek Hill. He also has established chemistry with Tagovailoa from the two playing together at Alabama. Waddle could end up as the best Fantasy WR producer in the 2021 rookie class.

Tight Ends

Gerald Everett: The newest Seahawks TE could vault into Fantasy TE1 territory this season. Playing with Russell Wilson instantly boosts his Fantasy outlook to his possible greatest heights yet. Everett's previous experience with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is another apparent plus. Everett averaged 5.9 yards after the catch last season, which ranked third among all NFL tight ends. His YAC abilities can certainly be maximized even more in the Seahawks passing game this season.

Noah Fant: Now in his third season, Fant could be ready to take another step forward. His talent has been evident, as he has the speed to challenge linebackers and the size to gain advantages against defensive backs. New starting QB Teddy Bridgewater can help Fant cement himself as a must-start Fantasy TE1 this year.

Check out more of Scott Engel's 2021 Fantasy Football analysis and his full running back rankings at*_. Enter promo code "seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount on the RotoBaller Fantasy Football season pass. Also try out the new_**_Mock Draft Assistant__, where you can practice quick drafting against the computer for free._*

Seahawks Fantasy Insider Scott Engel list 12 players to keep an eye on during the 2021 season.

Scott Engel is beginning his 10th season as the official Fantasy writer and analyst for Scott is a 25-year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA award winner and 10-time nominee, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award. You can also find more of his Fantasy analysis on,, the Athletic and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott won two Fantasy Football dynasty league titles in 2020, including one in the prestigious Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) and he previously pulled off a three-peat in a highly competitive New York City league.

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