2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers


49ers RB Elijah Mitchell hopes to prove himself for the starting position.

Benjamin Deters

Fellas, we made it! Football season is back in session, and the grind for the 2021 Fantasy Football Title is underway. For many, the 2020 NFL season was riddled with injuries and a long list of players restricted by COVID-19 regulations. Injuries that have occurred throughout training camp and Week 1 have paved the way for underdogs to shine. I’m not here to lecture you about the obvious production of star players such as Tyreek Hill or Christian McCaffrey; if healthy, these players will continue to dominate in PPR leagues. I’m here for the sleepers and waiver wire pickups that will boost your team to championship positions if acquired.

I’m here for the sleepers and waiver wire pickups that will boost your team to championship positions if acquired

RB Sleepers in PPR leagues:

Elijah Mitchell – 49ers

Following the season-ending knee injury of San Francisco starting running back Raheem Mostert, Elijah Mitchell tallied 104 rushing yards and a touchdown against a poor rush defense in the Detroit Lions during Week 1. Mitchell seems to be the frontrunner for the starting job in San Francisco, after Kyle Shanahan benched Trey Sermon in Week 1. Although unproven, Mitchell’s production in coming weeks will determine whether or not he can be trusted as a RB2 in fantasy leagues. Mitchell is currently viewed as a mid-grade RB3/FLEX player, but has high possibility to produce large numbers and make a name for himself in the world of fantasy.

Ty’son Williams – Ravens

The story of the 2021 Baltimore preseason is one that has aggravated many fantasy owners, and has raised questions regarding the position of the Raven’s Backfield. After losing their top 3 running backs to season ending ACL injuries, the Raven’s had to look deeper into the depth chart for a starting RB. Ty’son Williams, who signed with the Raven’s in 2020, was later waived and re-signed with the Raven’s practice team. Williams was promoted to the starting RB position in Week 1 for the Raven’s, and produced 18.4 points in PPR leagues, with 9 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. It will be interesting to see the dynamic of this Raven’s backfield, who recently signed veteran running backs Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, and Devonte Freeman, but with a positive outing in Week 1 Ty’son Williams should be estimated as a low/mid RB3/FLEX option for coming weeks. 

Najee Harris – Steelers

Following a poor performance in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills defensive front, Najee Harris looks to bounce back, and find some rhythm for the Pittsburgh offense. Harris played 100% of the offensive snaps in Week 1. Competition for the starting job at running back seems to be absent as Harris was the only running back to handle a carry in the Week 1 win against the Bills. Currently sitting at a RB2 projection, the possibility of a breakout year for Alabama’s standout running back is very much possible.

WR Sleepers in PPR leagues:

Corey Davis – Jets

After signing a 3-year, $37.5 million deal with the Jets this offseason, Corey Davis proved in Week 1 why he should be rostered in almost any fantasy league. With rookie Zack Wilson at the QB position, Davis is clearly the favorite for targets throughout the game. He tallied 5 receptions on 7 targets for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns, ranking him at the current WR5 in PPR leagues. Rostered in 87.6% of leagues, Corey Davis, if available, creates an amazing waiver wire pickup, as well as great trade value for fantasy owners. Sitting at a high WR3/FLEX position, Davis has a high possibility to move up to a WR2 position throughout the season.

DJ Chark Jr. – Jaguars

New QB/WR connections take time, but for DJ Chark Jr. and #1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence, the connection seems to be coming together smoothly. Alongside Marvin Jones Jr, Chark proves to be the main downfield threat for the Jaguars, and has a very positive outlook for fantasy owners. Targeted 12 times in Week 1, Chark’s production on the field, and connection to new Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has extremely high potential. In coming weeks, Chark should be expected to give you quality WR3/FLEX value.

Jalen Reagor – Eagles

Reagor plays alongside rookie DeVonta Smith as a main asset on Philadelphia’s receiving core. After injuries prevented him from a productive 2020 season, Reagor seemed to be healthy as he caught all 6 of his targets in Week 1 for 49 yards and a touchdown (16.9 points in PPR). He seemed to play much more of a role with receptions near the line of scrimmage, so fantasy managers will hope for a more downfield approach in weeks to come. The speedy youngster is currently estimated at a mid-range WR3/FLEX position, but has high potential to burst onto the scene with a couple of quality outings in coming weeks.