Ronald Jones Can Have a Better 2021 Season
Whether you had a bad year, or years, in your fantasy league, the future is bright. Every year there will be a group of players, that fall to the back end of the draft, and end up producing with the league’s best. Here is a list of five players, who you can get late in your drafts, that have a giant upside.
Cam Akers (Finished as RB45)
After an already wild start to the offseason, the Los Angeles Rams are in for an exciting 2021. While Matt Stafford may be the focal point of the Rams right now, anyone who has watched Akers at Florida State or in his rookie season knows his upside is through the roof. Akers was only able to get over 10 carries one time prior to week 10, this was because he was sharing a backfield with Darell Henderson and Malcolm Brown. And when Akers did get touches it was mostly as a change of pace back. Akers potential flashed in weeks 12-14. Where he totaled 14.4 points, 16.4 points, and 21.4 points. While these are above average numbers, Akers did so without being the primary receiving back and while splitting carries with Brown and Henderson. With Malcolm Brown set to hit free agency, and Henderson ending the season on an injury, Akers Production is about to go through the roof. The Addition of Matt Stafford will boost his catches out of the backfield as well as keeping the defense honest in the passing game. Akers Likely won’t be picked up as the first RB for any team but his potential is at the minimum an RB2 or starting flex. Akers is the projected as the RB19, and after his strong finish to 2020, i expect him to eclipse that mark.
Robby Anderson (Finished as WR19)
In his time in the NFL, Anderson has shown flashes of his ability on the deep ball. Anderson is very similar to Desean Jackson, a skinny, fast, receiver who at any point, can torch you for an 80-yard touchdown. The only problem is Robby Andersons best QBs have been Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, who doesn’t throw the deep ball. Everyone knows Teddy Bridgewater was never going to be the future for the Panthers at QB but would fill the void for the time being. The Panthers could very well have a New QB in 2021, with many mock drafts having them acquire a QB with the 8th overall pick. In terms of Andersons production, through weeks 1-5, he was on fire, with four games over 100 yards. But he was never able to eclipse the 100-yard mark for the rest of the season. Anderson, despite finishing the year with three touchdowns, finished as the WR19 in PPR leagues. Three touchdowns to go along with a 1000 yard season does not make much sense. With WR Curtis Samuel being a free agent, Anderson’s production will likely increase even more. Anderson’s lack of touchdowns drives down his demand to the point where you can get him in the later parts of your draft. Anderson will have a very strong 2021, but his skillset and value are greatly underrated, making him a phenomenal late-round pickup.
Hunter Henry (Finished as TE12)
In the NFL, there is no bigger production gap than at the TE position. There were only seven TEs who averaged over 10pgg (PPR) in 2020. So a Tight end who consistently produces is of high value. Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry showed flashes of his fantasy value in 2019 where he had 55 receptions and 5 touchdowns in only 12 games. In 2021 Henry put up similar numbers in 14 games. With Henry now being a Free Agent, his talents could be put to use elsewhere. Henry has always shown value as a receiver, averaging 12 YPC in his career. And at age 26, he is just getting started. If a pass-heavy team picks him up, Henry’s production could go through the roof. He has been very consistent and at 6’6 poses a great red zone threat. A somewhat down year for Henry is likely due to the fact that the Chargers started rookie QB Justin Herbert for most of the year. Herbert being new to the system was not very familiar with Henry and his abilities which could result in a decreased production. If The Chargers resign Henry, I expect his totals to skyrocket as he develops comfort with Justin Herbert. You should be able to get Henry very late in your draft, his risk-reward is very positive, and I believe his 2021 will be beneficial for fantasy owners. Anderson is projected to be the the WR42 in 2020, a position I guarantee he will eclipse.
Sam Darnold (Finished as QB33)
If any QB is built for a comeback, it is Sam Darnold. In his 3 years in New York, he has flashed potential but ultimately has been limited by poor weapons and worse coaching. With rumors swirling that the Jets are ready to move on from Darnold and trade him for draft capital, it might be time he shows out. Darnold is only 23 years old, which is insanely young for a QB with 3 NFL seasons under his belt. For Dynasty owners, he could provide lasting success for little to nothing. Darnold was only rostered on 1.7% of teams at the end of 2020, making his risk extremely low. Stats do any favors to Darnold, but if he remains in New York, new Head Coach Robert Saleh is likely going to be a better fit for Darnold than “QB Guru” Adam Gase. Look at how Ryan Tannehill’s career changed after leaving Adam Gase’s Dolphins. If Darnold does have a new home, I expect his production to be top 15 at least, making him a valuable QB2 that you could get very late in the draft or off waivers. Darnold is projected to be the QB29 in 2021, a great underestimate.
Ronald Jones (Finished as RB20)
Despite being the most productive back in Tampa, Leonard Fournette gets more attention than Ronald Jones. The lack of attention around Jones is a large reason why he will fall in many drafts. But make no mistake, Ronald Jones will be a top seven RB in 2021. With the Bucs being well over the cap for 2021, and Leonard Fournette set to be a free agent, Jones will be the clear cut RB1 as well as absorbing Fournettes goal line role. In 14 games Jones had 978 yards and Seven TDs, (compared to Fournette’s 367 and Six), making him the RB 20. Jones Rushed for over 100 yards in 4 of 14 games, but if he gets goal-line carries in 2021, his touchdown total will increase greatly. Another positive to Jones is his pairing with Tom Brady. Brady is notorious for check-downs to RBs. Receptions were split between Jones and Fournette in 2020, meaning the loss of Fournette will raise Jones value in PPR leagues tremendously. Ronald Jones has shown flashes of what he can be even rushing for 100 yards in three straight games. Increased touches will put Ronald Jones as an RB1 on any team yet he will likely be available much later in drafts. Ronald Jones is Projected to be the RB25 in 2021, which gives him a great draft value.