You should consider taking former Cal star Aaron Rodgers for your Fantasy team if you participate in a seasonal Redraft league, but you might want to avoid the Green Bay (for now) quarterback if you are part of a Dynasty league.
Four ex-Cal players figure in those two sets of rankings, but they figure differently in each.
The most common type of fantasy football league is a seasonal Redraft league, in which participants draft a team at the start of the season, manage those players throughout the season, then redraft a new team the following year.
Therefore, Fabiano’s rankings for redraft players consider only the player’s potential fantasy production in 2021.
The 37-year-old Rodgers ranks sixth among quarterbacks in SI’s 2021 Redraft rankings, which seems a little low at first glance, but probably isn’t if you know all the factors that go into fantasy-point production for quarterbacks. Being the 2020 MVP doesn’t mean much in these rankings, which place him behind dual-threat quarterbacks Patrick Mahones, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott and Kyler Murray.
The other NFL starting quarterback from Cal, Jared Goff of the Lions, ranks 31st among Fabiano’s rankings of signal-callers, behind the likes of rookies Trey Lance and Zach Wilson. Fabiano is not expecting Goff to burn up the league with impressive numbers in 2021. In addition, Goff is not a threat to run and fumbles too often. He is ahead of Jimmy Garoppolo, at least.
It’s no surprise that Patrick Mahomes ranks first among Fabiano’s Redraft quarterbacks, based on the numbers he puts up, but it is interesting that Tom Brady, who is not a threat to run, is only 10th. If you get into the fantasy-points numbers you see why Brady is behind players like Kyler Murray.
REDRAFT WIDE RECEIVERS
Two former Cal players figure here: Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones Jr.
Allen is ranked ninth among wide receivers. He racked up 100 receptions for 992 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020, his first season working with Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, and his numbers figure to be comparable in 2021 with Herbert getting another year of NFL experience.
However, Jones, who was a teammate of Allen’s at Cal, ranks only 48th among Redraft wide receivers. You could argue that Jones 2020 numbers with Detroit – 76 receptions, 978 yards, nine TDs – were inflated a bit because of injuries to other Lions receivers, especially Kenny Golladay. But I thought with Trevor Lawrence throwing the passes for Jones’ new team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, that Jones would put up some nice numbers next season. Fabiano evidently disagrees.
Now let’s turn to Dynasty Fantasy leagues, where you retain all of your players year after year until you drop them or trade them away. It’s like running an NFL franchise. Participants in Dynasty leagues have to think long term, which is why the player's age and the length of his contract are important.
That’s why Aaron Rodgers is a less desirable choice for Destiny leagues than he is for Redraft leagues.
In Michael Fabiano’s ranking of the top 200 Destiny Fantasy players for 2021, Rodgers is only No. 94 overall and No. 10 among quarterbacks. That’s because, at 37 years of age, he has a limited number of NFL years left.
Tom Brady, who will turn 44 before the 2021 season begins and becomes a free agent in 2022, is ranked No. 161 overall and 20th among quarterbacks. And this is a guy who just won the Super Bowl and is considered by many the greatest quarterback of alltime.
But Brady is still higher than Goff, who is not ranked at all among Fabiano’s top 200 Dynasty league choices. And Goff won't turn 27 until October. The Lions are in rebuild mode, so impressive numbers may be scarce for Goff in 2021.
The best Cal choice for a Dynasty league, according to Fabiano, is wide receiver Keenan Allen. Wide receivers in general are more attractive than quarterbacks in Fantasy leagues, but Allen’s age (29) and the fact that he does not become a free agent until 2025 earn him the No. 38 slot in Fabiano’s Dynasty rankings. He is a little older than many of the top receivers, which is why he is only 15th among wideouts.
Age is also factor for Jones, who is 31 years old and is ranked 158th overall. He is 69th among wide receivers in the Dynasty rankings, which is 21 spots lower than he is in the Redraft wide receiver rankings.
I still see several good years left for Jones in Urban Meyer's offense.
Cover photo of Keenan Allen by Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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