Last month, I dropped my “Five NFL teams Fantasy Owners Should Draft From” article, and for more or less, it was kind of on the nose. The teams I mentioned in that article are prime for great fantasy output this season and fantasy managers should be planning to get some piece of those offenses on their fantasy teams this year. However, there are more than just those teams that you can draft from. There are 32 teams in the NFL to pick from and some are more obvious than the others. So in this article, I have a couple of teams that are more so on the lower end of the spectrum for one reason or another
The Cincinnati Bengals house some of the best fantasy weapons that some fear will feast on each other at the wide receiver position. Apprehension to draft guys like Tee Higgins because of the acquisition of Joe Burrow’s former favorite target out of college in Ja’Marr Chase was one of the notions going around in fantasy circles after the draft. But if you consider how bad the Bengals defense was last season, ranking 22nd overall for the 2020 season, and the fact that Joe Burrow was on pace to throw for a butt-ton of attempts (on pace for over 600 pass attempts), there should be more than enough to go around for the Bengals pass catchers.
Joe Mixon is also a guy on who the fantasy community is rather split. On one hand, Mixon is in line to get tremendous work as the run game and pass game should flow through him. On the other, the fact that Mixon could be running behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Not to mention his injury concerns to boot.
I’ve seen folks go back and forth with the Atlanta Falcons and I understand why. Julio Jones was traded in the offseason and that was Matt Ryan’s favorite target when he was on the field. Matt Ryan looked shaky at times when Jones wasn’t on the field last season and I’m sure that’s still fresh in some fantasy managers’ minds. But it’s not all gloom and doom in ATL. The Falcons went and drafted a gem in Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage slide up the depth chart as the new WR 1 & 2, and they have other weapons like Mike Davis and Hayden Hurst available to put in some work this year.
Davis and Hurst in particular aren’t getting the kind of love should be. Hurst averaged nearly six targets a game last season which tied for 10th in targets among tight ends. Davis filled in nicely for Christian McCaffrey after he went down because of injuries, finishing as the RB 12 and averaging 13.8 fantasy points per game. Davis looks to have the backfield to himself for the most part as the Falcons didn’t elect to bring in anyone from free agency.
The Broncos are loaded from top to bottom on the offensive side of the ball. The question right now as we inch closer to the regular season is, who will be the quarterback for the Broncos in 2021? The first preseason games are in the book and the projected leads that either Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater have narrowed a bit. Lock’s issues have been noted when it comes to the concern of his accuracy. Last season, Lock was one of the worst QBs in the league in most quarterback metrics. Teddy Bridgewater’s issues are the exact opposite. Bridgewater finished inside the top 10 in completion percentage last season but Teddy struggled in deep-ball accuracy. The question for Bridgewater is whether or not he can consistently push the ball downfield when needed.
Outside of the quarterback beef, the Broncos have a solid group of wide receivers. They get Courtland Sutton back from injury, Jerry Jeudy is a first-round drafted wideout coming into his second year with great talent, and KJ Hamler is the dangerous deep threat with Noah Fant being a reliable tight end. And let’s not forget Melvin Gordon and new rookie running back Javonte Williams. There’s plenty to draft from the Broncos.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are… well the Raiders. There’s a lot of “coach speak” going on with John Gruden lately especially when it comes to second-year wideout Bryan Edwards. While Gruden has propped up Edwards with his Terrell Owens comparisons, that shouldn’t be the reason to shy away from drafting some of the Raiders players. Bryan Edwards’s draft price alone is cause enough to take a low-risk shot on him in the much later rounds of the fantasy draft. Not only him but Raiders 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs is looking to put his stamp on this season after dealing with injuries and being relegated to being a simple deep threat weapon.
Of course, you have the staple guys in Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, and Josh Jacobs, can’t forget them. You also have Kenyan Drake there too. Now I’m not crazy about him being there as he could eat into Jacobs’s workload but that’s another topic for another article. The Raiders have enough weapons that can be fantasy viable. They just need to get them more involved in the offense. The Raiders wideouts had the 2nd lowest targets in the NFL for 2020. Derek Carr and the Raiders coaches have to change that in 2021.
I know everyone isn’t crazy about Jared Goff this season but I don’t think we should sell him so short. Yes, he doesn’t have Sean McVay in his ear this season but he should be able to be more than serviceable this season to allow the Lions pass catchers to have some late-round/sleeper appeal. Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman come over via free agency and Williams looks to be Goff’s big-bodied number one target at the wide receiver position for the Lions. Then you have rookie Amon Ra St. Brown who will man the slot this season. If you know anything, you know Goff loves him some slot WRs (remember that Cooper Kupp guy he used to throw to a lot when he was with the Rams, right?)
And you can’t forget about TJ Hockenson. He’s going to be a nice big target for Goff in the red zone that should help the Lions put up some points. We also can’t forget about D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams out of the backfield too. Don’t overlook some of these Lions players as you get deeper into your fantasy drafts. These guys could add value to your team after you lock in some of the bigger named guys early on.