As dynasty GMs prepare for their rookie drafts, they should bear in mind both a player’s overall talent and upside as well as the scheme fit and surrounding offense. These dynasty rookie rankings balance the likelihood of each rookie player in terms of both immediate fantasy production early on in their careers versus their long-term fantasy ceilings. With the 2021 NFL Draft in the books, here are my updated top-36 dynasty rookie rankings assuming a standard 1QB format with PPR scoring (you can find my superflex rookie rankings here).
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2021 Dynasty Rookie Rankings
Last updated on Thursday, May 6th.
|Chase creates separation with elite acceleration as an incredible YAC playmaker, and his reunion with Joe Burrow is a match made in heaven.
|Pitts is essentially a WR with speed to threaten the seam & a monstrous red-zone threat, but will the offense run through him with Ridley and Julio there?
|Harris is a smooth runner and receiver built to be a workhorse, but the Steelers' offensive line and Roethlisberger's looming retirement are concerns.
|Elite acceleration and speed make Waddle dangerous on all levels, though he may be limited as a rookie by MIA's balanced offense and Fuller's presence.
|Etienne has breakaway speed and has developed into an able receiver, but the issue is how many touches Robinson and/or Hyde may take away.
|Lance is a raw prospect but has a great deep ball, limits turnovers, and adds value as a runner. He has a Mahomes-esque ceiling with Kyle Shanahan.
|A polished prospect who should produce from Day 1 and add rushing production, it doesn't hurt that Lawrence gets Travis Etienne back.
|A crisp route-runner who can win contested catches, the big question is how much volume Bateman will see in the most run-heavy offense in the league.
|Smith is a great route-runner with decent speed, but durability at the NFL level given his frame and a late breakout age remain distinct concerns.
|Williams is a good runner & receiver but invites contact, which increases injury risk. Even if Gordon is gone in 2022, a committee backfield is likely.
|Sermon is a tough runner who's perfect for Shanahan's zone scheme. Though it's a crowded backfield, he could emerge as the lead back as soon as 2022.
|The reunion with Joe Brady bodes well, and Robby Anderson a free agent after 2021, but Marshall's fall in the draft due to medical concerns is a worry.
|A reliable slot receiver who can be used in a variety of ways, the NYJ receiving corps. is wide open for him to become a primary target for Wilson.
|The ceiling is there for Fields with great accuracy and value as a dynamic runner, but we'll see if Matt Nagy can maximize Fields's potential.
|Mike LaFleur's Shanahan-esque offense is a good fit for Wilson, and he has mobility to make amazing off-platform throws and create yards on the ground.
|A versatile receiver with great YAC ability, Moore could be great in the slot in ARI, but he'll need to overcome his small frame and durability concerns.
|Amari Rodgers didn’t break out until his senior year, but if Aaron Rodgers remains in GB, the slot role there will have plenty of fantasy upside.
|Carter has good burst as a runner and does everything well, but a leaner build likely relegates him to a committee role even if he sees snaps early on.
|It's hard to see volume for Toney with Golladay and Engram there, as he's best suited for a slot or gadget role due to limited routes & durability concerns.
|Freiermuth is a good route-runner who could quickly become one of Roethlisberger's favorite check-down targets like Heath Miller before him.
|An accurate rhythm thrower who can make anticipation throws, the ceiling is there for Jones paired with Josh McDaniels, but the floor is questionable.
|Amon-Ra St. Brown
|St. Brown could be the immediate starter at slot for DET and has upside if he develops a rapport with Goff and sees target volume as his go-to outlet option.
|NE's committee backfield is a constant headache to decipher, but the 4th round RB has a chance to run behind a strong offensive line in that offense.
|Brown is a big-play WR but will see questionable target volume in WAS with McLaurin and Samuel there and needs to clean up his drop issues.
|A patient one-cut runner with breakaway speed, Hubbard is a COP back or handcuff who could see the bulk of the carries if McCaffrey were to miss time.
|Gainwell figures to be a great passing-down back to complement Sanders, but it'll be hard to predict which weeks he's actually startable in fantasy.
|Dynamic after the catch, Eskridge can also high-point the ball in traffic, but his ceiling is capped as the no. 3 WR in a run-heavy SEA offense.
|Draft capital suggests that Sermon will get the first crack, but with Mostert & Wilson both FAs after 2021, there could be a role for Mitchell as well.
|Neither Joshua Kelley nor Justin Jackson impressed last year in Ekeler's absence, so Rountree has a chance to be the no. 2 RB for LAC's new regime.
|It's hard to judge Collins given unreliable QB play in college, but he's a big-bodied downfield playmaker who could develop alongside Cooks.
|With Mike Williams hitting free agency after 2021, Palmer has a chance to compete to be the no. 2 WR in LAC behind Keenan Allen in 2022 and beyond.
|Fitzpatrick is a physical WR who can haul in jump balls, but it remains to be seen how many targets he'll see in TEN behind Brown, Reynolds, and Firkser.
|A pure receiving TE without much height, Jordan can threaten the seam with speed and has YAC ability if HOU gets their QB situation settled.
|Powell showed some flashes late in college and could develop into a reliable no. 2 WR. He's worth a shot late given the upside in that explosive KC offense.
|The speedster who ran a 4.26 40-yard dash at his pro day is a long shot, but both Beckham and Landry could be cut with little dead money after 2021.
|Atwell was a baffling pick in the 2nd round, but he has a decent ceiling as the deep threat if (when) DeSean Jackson gets injured and is worth a stash late.
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