All fantasy fans know the names of the best rookies selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, including Trevor Lawrence, Najee Harris, Ja’Marr Chase, and Kyle Pitts (to name a few), but what about the lesser players? known? A lot of them might not hit the stat sheets as rookies, but there are plenty of players who could push for bigger roles in their second NFL seasons and beyond. That’s important to fantasy managers in dynasty leagues looking for the next hidden gem in their draft.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the newbies who are unlikely to become big contributors in 2021, but who could become valuable fantasy assets in the near future.
Note: Players are listed in the order they were drafted.
Kyle Trask, Buccaneers
Trask is a true pocket-sized passer (6ft 5in) and produced great totals in his final college season. He will be groomed as the eventual replacement for Tom Brady, but could play another two or three seasons before his Hall of Fame career is over. Trask will have value in the dynasty leagues, but that’s it for 2021.
Kellen Mond, Vikings
Mond is an interesting fantasy prospect because of his running skills, having racked up more than 1,600 rushing yards during his time at Texas A&M. However, it is in doubt how soon he will have a chance to be an NFL starter, as Kirk Cousins still has two more years on his contract with the Vikings. He would give Mond a belated chance as a draft and save him in dynasty leagues.
Davis Mills, Texans
Mills received some comments as a potential first round entering the draft, but landed in Round 2 for the Texans. As Houston’s first pick in the draft, the pick is curious and no one knows if Deshaun Watson will be with the team in 2021 (or beyond). Mills could be an interesting dynasty pick depending on Watson’s state of play.
Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots
Stevenson landed with the Patriots, who already have two similar running backs on their roster in Damien Harris and Sony Michel. A powerful, downhill running back who can also give NFL teams a good option for catching passes outside the backfield. Unfortunately, you won’t be allowed a lot of goals with James White on the roster. The good news is that Michel and James White are in contract years, so Stevenson could have more future value.
Elijah Mitchell, 49ers
The biggest running back in the new newsroom and especially in the dynasty among 49ers running backs is former Ohio State running back Trey Sermon, but he would also keep Mitchell on his radar. There is a possibility that Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Wayne Gallman will be off the Niners roster in 2022, so Mitchell could see more work behind projected starter Sermon in the future.
Khalil Herbert, Bears
Herbert left Kansas for Virginia Tech last season and went on to rush for nearly 1,200 yards and averaged 7.6 yards per attempt. It will be difficult to see many touches as a rookie (and beyond), as the Bears already have David Montgomery, Damien Williams and Tarik Cohen. The good news is that Williams only has a one-year deal, so Herbert could push to become the Bears’ second running back in the very near future.
Javian Hawkins, Falcons
Hawkins was not selected by the Falcons, but the team signed him as a free agent after the draft. With Mike Davis and not much else behind him on the depth chart, Hawkins will be worth a late flight in the dynasty drafts. Who knows? It could even be a low value in 2021 if it impresses during training camp and in preseason action.
D’Wayne Eskridge, Seahawks
During his time at Western Michigan, Eskridge scored great totals, averaging more than 18 yards per catch. However, he’s not a great wide receiver at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, and he’ll be hard-pressed to make a rookie impact behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. It won’t be on the new writing’s radar, but it could sneak into some dynasty drafts next season.
Tutu Atwell, rams
Atwell was solid as Louisville’s best slot receiver in 2019, posting nearly 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s not a great receiver at 5-foot-8, 155 pounds though, and Atwell won’t have a rookie impact with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson ahead of him on the Rams’ crowded depth chart. . However, D-Jax has not been long-lasting and has a one-year contract. That makes Atwell a hideout for the dynasty.
Josh Palmer, Chargers
Palmer didn’t put up big numbers on a bad Tennessee pass attack, but he has good size, hands and will be a competitive receiver. The Chargers have no outfield blocks behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and catching passes from a good young quarterback like Justin Herbert makes Palmer a player to watch in camp. Plus, Williams, Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton are all on contract years.
Amari Rodgers, Packers
Is the selection of Rodgers an attempt to make amends with Aaron Rodgers? Who knows truth? Regardless, he’s comparable to Randall Cobb in terms of his size and skill set. He is unlikely to have an impact in Year 1 though, and who knows if Aaron will be with the Packers next season. Davante Adams, Márquez Valdés-Scantling, Allen Lazard and Devin Funchess are in contract years, so Rodgers will be a treasure of the dynasty.
Nico Collins, jeans
Collins opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but racked up nearly 20 yards per catch in 2019.The Texans have a mix of wide receivers behind Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, but Collins isn’t yet. on the fancy redesign radar. He could be worth a dynasty, as many receivers for Texans have one-year contracts.
Dez Fitzpatrick, Titans
Fitzpatrick was not considered an elite prospect coming out of Louisville, as his best season saw him produce 833 yards and three touchdowns (he had nine touchdowns as a freshman). However, he landed in a great spot as the Titans lost Corey Davis to the Jets and could push for third place on the depth chart behind AJ Brown and Josh Reynolds. Fitzpatrick should be viewed as a late-round dynasty league option that could also have some restructuring or resignation value during his rookie season.
Tylan Wallace, Ravens
The Ravens wide receiver room will be packed with the draft picks of Wallace and Rashod Bateman and the addition of Sammy Watkins as a free agent. Still, Watkins is on a one-year deal and Marquise Brown hasn’t lived up to expectations at the NFL level. That makes Wallace worthwhile as a last-round driver in most dynasty leagues.
Dazz Newsome, Bears
Newsome isn’t going to make a fancy impact as a rookie, but he’s a worthwhile pick in the dynasty leagues. Allen Robinson is playing franchise tag and not sure if he will be back with the Bears in 2022, and the presence of Justin Fields is good news for all Chicago wide receivers. If Robinson leaves the team, Newsome could be a starter in the future.
Pat Freiermuth, Steelers
Freiermuth, nicknamed “Baby Gronk” due to his similar abilities to Rob Gronkowski, can be a playmaker on the next level. He scored eight touchdowns as a freshman and found the end zone 15 times in his first 25 games at Penn State. He was also tough to knock down his final full season, breaking nine tackles on his 43 receptions. Freiermuth won’t immediately affect what a crowded Steelers pass attack is, so don’t look to call him by name in new drafts. Instead, it will be a good dynasty stash with future advantages.
Hunter Long, Dolphins
Long is coming off an impressive 2020 that saw him lead all tight ends in goals (89) and receptions (57), while also ranking second behind Kyle Pitts in yards (685). However, he didn’t land in a great place from a fantasy perspective, as the Dolphins have Mike Gesicki and plenty of mouths to feed in the passing attack. The good news is that the Dolphins could let Gesicki, who is on a one-year contract, walk after this season. In that scenario, Long could end up being a bigger part of Miami’s offense going forward.
Tommy Tremble, Panthers
Tremble’s college stats don’t go off the page at all, as he finished his two seasons with the Fighting Irish with just 35 receptions in 19 games. He played behind Cole Kmet as a freshman and was used as a rotating player last year. However, Tremble is athletic and his blocking skills are excellent. The Panthers also lack a number one tight end, making Tremble a player worth watching in most dynasty formats.
Tre ‘McKitty, chargers
McKitty is a huge target at 6ft 5in, 245lbs who was underutilized during his college career in Georgia. Still, he looked great in the Senior Bowl, and the Chargers could use a tight end from the future. Jared Cook is a senior veteran with a one-year contract and Donald Parham is entering the final year of his contract with the team.
Brevin Jordan, jeans
Jordan is a pass-catching threat that did most of his collegiate damage out of the slot. The Texans only have Jordan Akins and Ryan Izzo at tight end after Darren Fells’s pitch, so things are wide open for Jordan to win a major role in the passing game. However, most tight ends don’t thrive as rookies, but Jordan has a dynasty appeal.
Michael Fabiano he is an award winner fantasy football analyst in Illustrated Sports and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Y Instagram for all the breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the industry.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.