NFL
June 21, 2021

3 Riskiest Fantasy Football Picks in 2021

The fantasy football season is quickly approaching. We've seen a ton of acquisitions that can completely alter how fantasy drafts play out. Adjusting fantasy rankings to account for all of the coaching changes, personnel decisions, and new opportunities across the league is key.

Of course, just following rankings won't win your league. Everyone is looking at similar resources and the fantasy football community can be an echo chamber.

That's all to say: you'll have to get bold to win. The wrong risks can swing a league. And that starts with draft day.

We have three guys who make us uncomfortable with their fantasy projections. Breathe deeply before investing a premier pick into these guys. Each has a warning label on their expensive sticker price.

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

The player I'm most uncomfortable with is Cam Akers. I know he was beloved by evaluators as he came out of Florida State, and I'd agree in saying he was a good prospect. But he wasn't special, and his usage in 2020 wasn't promising.

Akers had one good performance all year when he broke out for 171 of his 625 rushing yards against New England. Some of his ineffectiveness had to do with a below-average offensive line, and the Rams did little to bolster the unit this season. And it's not as if Akers has a clear line to the workload.

The Rams may run less with Matthew Stafford operating the offense. Akers must also deal with the more productive Darrell Henderson as another option. It's more likely this team uses a committee approach than one star.

Akers currently costs a second-round pick and that's insane. Avoid him anywhere near that price.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Not to rain on the Josh Allen parade, but despite an amazing season last year, the Bills passer got incredibly lucky at times. 

Allen benefitted from 21 dropped interceptions in 2020, a number on par with quarterbacks whose franchises gave up on them soon after. That's not to say a breakup is pending but we should be highly skeptical Allen will repeat last year's numbers. There's a fluky feel to last year's lightning-in-a-bottle moment.

Currently being taken in the second round and projected in some models to be QB1, Allen is a regression candidate who could burn your team if taken too highly. He's an injury risk and turnover risk with his play style. His upside is terrific but he's not as safe of a play at such a high ADP. 

Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why exactly does Leonard Fournette still hold solid draft status? He averaged 3.8 yards per carry last year, and the Buccaneers added Gio Bernard to get him off the field outside of goal-line carries. Yet he's RB27 ahead of starters Mike Davis, Ronald Jones, David Johnson, and Damien Harris.

His playoff run was nice but a little overrated considering the competition. He was brought back on a short-term deal and is fighting for his career. He's useful for the team in a specific role but not where it matters for a fantasy team.

At best, he's a waiver wire emergency pickup. Don't draft Fournette. The Buccaneers won't prioritize him, and you'll burn a valuable pick in hopes of chasing what was promised when he was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. 

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