The NFL season is still months away but now that teams have more or less filled out their rosters through the draft and free agency, fantasy football can become a focus.
ESPN released its player rankings at each position and multiple LSU players are given strong grades to have nice seasons worthy of fantasy consideration.
Joe Burrow (QB11)
2021 Projections: 4,169 yards, 25 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 247 rush yards
Analysis: Of course these projections hinder on Burrow being ready for week one of the NFL season but it's not far fetched to think Burrow could even surpass these numbers if healthy and kept upright for the most part. His offensive arsenal is extremely potent with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon just to start.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB17)
2021 Projections: 850 yards, 7 touchdowns, 48 receptions, 381 receiving yards
Analysis: Edwards-Helaire came out of his rookie season with a 138-yard performance on Thursday night that many remember. But from then on, it was a bit of a mixed bag for the former Tigers running back.
He's got all the potential to be a force in both the run and passing attack but the emergence of Darrel Williams also gives the Chiefs another option. They didn't bring back Le'Veon Bell so more opportunities could open up for Edwards-Helaire as well.
Leonard Fournette (RB29)
2021 Projections: 670 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns, 43 receptions, 321 yards receiving
Analysis: "Playoff Lenny" took the league by storm during the 2020 Super Bowl run for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He picked up the bulk of the carries in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl win for the Bucs but Tampa will want to spread the ball around again next season.
He'll likely continue to split duties with Ronald Jones, who proved to be a very capable back when healthy last season as well. Of course Fournette has the talent to win the job outright and there's just something about him wearing No. 7 next season that just might make a difference in his play.
Justin Jefferson (WR8)
2021 Projections: 89 receptions, 1,255 yards, 7 touchdowns
Analysis: Jefferson had an electric rookie season for the Vikings and he should only improve in his second season. His route running is already among the elite in the NFL, helping him record an NFL rookie record 88 receptions. He'll have Adam Thielan to contend with in targets but according to ESPN, Jefferson received 28.6% of targets after the second week of the season.
Jefferson should be among the highest scoring fantasy receivers in 2021 and is worthy of a second round pick in most leagues.
DJ Chark (WR27)
2021 Projections: 76 receptions, 1,043 yards, 6 touchdowns
Analysis: Chark looked to be one of the breakout candidates through the first month of the 2020 season but tailed off from there, much like the rest of the Jaguars team. With Urban Meyer and No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence now in town, Chark should immediately see an uptick in production.
The Jaguars did sign Marvin Jones but Chark is the vertical threat that Lawrence will be relying heavily on. He could be a good sleeper pick in the middle rounds that could hit big.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR28)
2021 Projections: 69 receptions, 964 yards, 7 touchdowns
Analysis: Long gone are the days where Beckham is a first round pick in fantasy drafts. Since being traded to Cleveland, he hasn't come close to the kind of production he had while in New York. A run heavy offense with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt won't make it any easier for Beckham, who's struggled with staying healthy the last few seasons as well.
He's currently rehabbing a torn ACL suffered during the 2020 season so it'll be interesting to see what kind of impact he makes next season with a Browns team expecting to compete for a Super Bowl next season.
Ja'Marr Chase (WR30)
2021 Projections: 77 receptions, 968 yards, 6 touchdowns
Analysis: If you ask Chase, these numbers are shortchanging him and the confidence he has in himself right off the bat. He's publicly said already he's expecting 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie. Chase will be a part of a lethal offense and the chemistry with Joe Burrow is undeniable.
Every year now, there's a rookie receiver that jumps out and becomes an immediate impact on fantasy seasons. Jefferson was it last season and Beckham way back in 2014 also fits that bill. Chase could be next in line.