• Neil O'Donnell

Best Rookie Fantasy Fits: POST-DRAFT edition

Updated: May 15, 2021

For avid football fans, and honestly anyone with a pulse, NFL draft night 2021 was MUCH needed. Seeing people attend any event these days is refreshing, even if it’s held in Cleveland, Ohio. COVID really got us romanticizing a stage that was not only set shoreside of the 5th best Great Lake, but also held hostage to the most unfunny/cringiest armchair of all-time. This is comedy nowadays to some people and I won’t budge. BUT at the end of the day the nonsense couldn’t ruin the greatest 3 day stretch of the year.

During DAY ONE we saw the first two picks go chalk, followed by wide receivers landing with old teammates, and the Chicago Bears finally showing the league how hung they are.

In fact, Ryan Pace even got a new license plate to celebrate trading up for his 2nd Quarterback in 5 years.

Todd Packer, character from the hit show "The Office" sitting on a corvette outside of Scranton Business Park.
Live shot of Ryan Pace celebrating the selection of Justin Fields.

Part 1 Round 1


This will be a two part article with part one covering the studs taken on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. You can read part 2 here! Now, let's jump in to a handful of interesting rookies for Season long Fantasy football.


Trevor Lawrence - QB2, upside top 10 QB


Many think drafting Etienne was a mistake. In real life football it could be, but for fantasy I see this as a gold-mine. James Robinson and Travis Etienne complement each other perfectly, and Trever Lawrence will have a dynamic back behind him for every snap of the game. DJ Chark has a forgotten Top 10 season finish in 2019 while Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault aren’t too shabby either.


Justin Fields - Stream Worthy QB Week 1, Upside top 12


Veteran-College QB coming into a city that needs life. A-Rob, D-Mont, and a revamped O-line with Tevin Jenkins could make Fields a day one starter. Suddenly the Bears reloaded without having to pay the high premium for Russel Wilson or Deshaun Watson. I have a strong feeling that Fields can fill a similar role and can only pray he stays away from massage parlors.


Trey Lance - Stash for Playoff push, One of my “Best Fits”.


He won’t start right away, but could fill in like Herbert or Tua last year. This team is showcasing some serious weaponry and a genius offensive mind calling plays. Deebo, the human Swiss Army Knife, has resurrected and I expect a breakout season, Aiyuk, otherwise known as AR, has an ability to dominate anywhere from 10-50 yards out. George ‘Nuclear Bomb’ Kittle is still a thing as well, and mentally unstable enough to also enjoy blocking. So, Lance truly has an army at his disposal that is willing to put it all on the field to win.


Najee Harris - RB2 Week 1, upside RB1


You know how I feel about Najee—-Beast, Big Ben is a vegetable, run the damn ball. End Scene.


Devonta Smith - WR2/Flex Week 1


This is the greatest fit of the entire draft and that is final.

We don’t body shame in this family and think Smith is perfect how he is.

Watch the tape and find me 5 corners who can guard him a whole game. He is a polished route runner with videogame/effortless speed. The man doesn’t look like he is running at top speed and blazes by everyone in sight. He joins an evolved post-Bama Jalen Hurts, and will be the beneficiary of unlimited targets due to his ability to get open.


Devonta Smith takes a photo with Roger Goodell after being selected 10th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee of USA TODAY Sports
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. DeVonta Smith was selected by the Eagles in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jamar Chase - Flex Week 1, One of my “Best Fits”.


The LSU product has teamed back up with Joe Burrow. The last time Chase and Burrow were teammates they connected for TWENTY touchdowns during 2019. Jamar Chase fits in nicely alongside Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon as a key weapon for this offense. The O-Line will still be shaky, but Chase has the versatility to catch short passes or screens and make something out of nothing.


Jaylen Waddle - WR3/4 Week 1


Teamed up with Tua and joined by an elite receiving core. He benefits from being in the slot. For Tua, the more weapons the better and having played previously with Waddle, this will help with targets/usage coming his way even with Will Fuller present after week one.


Kyle Pitts - Upside top 4 TE/Flex


I still believe Pitts on the Panthers would have been heaven, but he at least didn’t land on the Lions so there is some hope. He was the top-two ranked prospect coming in and I have a feeling (not necessarily good) that Matt Ryan’s play will make this offense blow up. I’m not yet sure if the explosion is a positive or negative one. That being said— expect Pitts to make an immediate impact on a team that may be un-guardable (Ridley, Julio, Pitts).


Kadarius Toney - Stash and Observe, Dynasty add


Already getting comparisons to a first round fantasy pick in Tyreek Hill due to his ability to change the game, Toney will slot alongside an arsenal of Golladay, Slayton, Shephard, Engram and Barkley. Daniel Jones is being surrounded for his final evaluation so you best believe he will be utilizing any explosive option he can and doing so frequently because God knows he can only run 40-yards himself without tripping over the earth.


Rashod Bateman - Dynasty Add, Flex/WR4 upside


Potential to be an actual #1, Bateman gives Hollywood Brown the ability to do his thing in the slot and open up the field for everyone else. The Ravens still run the ball a ton, and have J.K. Dobbins slated for a workhorse role. So, this could be absolutely nothing, but it is still fun to believe in the Ravens’ passing game thriving symbiotically. Let me dream.


Takeaways

  • Patiently wait a few weeks on the rookie QB's

  • Best Fits? Trey Lance and Jamar Chase

  • Najee and Pitts will eat

  • Don't expect all the young blood's to produce in 2021