Optimism runs rampant throughout the NFL whether it's for contending teams or rebuilding teams. The same can be said for fantasy football rosters across the dynasty and devy landscape. We will undoubtedly see multiple fantasy-relevant players in their rookie seasons in 2021. Who are the best fits from Day 1 of the draft?
Trey Lance, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
How often have we heard that Kyle Shanahan’s offense is suited to let the quarterback thrive? We’ll need to see if Jimmy Garoppolo sticks on the 49ers’ Week-1 roster before knowing the immediate return on the selection of Lance, but the ceiling for Lance is something fantasy managers will rightly be drooling over. An offensive scheme that is notoriously productive running the football and boasts a bevy of pass-catching weapons (Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle) will allow an easier transition for Lance. Look for Lance to be selected in the top five picks during rookie drafts in Superflex formats.
Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins opted to get the band back together, reuniting former Alabama teammates Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle. In 2018, Waddle broke onto the scene as a freshman for the Crimson Tide to the tune of 848 receiving yards and seven scores in Tagovailoa’s most proficient season as a passer in college. He has a devastating combination of top-end speed and acceleration. He joins an interesting group of wide receivers in Miami. Former Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V was signed in the offseason, but he has struggled with injuries throughout his career. Expect Waddle to provide a lethal dose of yards after the catch for Tagovailoa.
Najee Harris, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
In what felt like one of the most fitting landing spots all through the mock draft season, the Steelers landed the stud Crimson Tide runner. After finishing last in the league in rushing yards per game in 2020, the Steelers will look to change that in a hurry in 2021. Pass protection and receiving are both huge positives to Harris’s game, and he looks set to command the workload of a true three-down running back from the jump. While Ben Roethlisberger might not be the top-end quarterback he once was, there are enough other weapons in Pittsburgh to take a significant amount of pressure off Harris.
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