We’re officially just one week out from Week 1 kick off, where we’ll see the Cowboys and Bucs go head-to-head in what’s sure to be an exciting season-opener. With that, your fantasy football drafts are likely in full swing. Let’s take a look at some players worth noting in our PPR tight end rankings as we approach Week 1 of the regular NFL season.
2021 PPR Fantasy Football rankings: Running backs
Though you’re always going to draft with the whole season in mind, here are some running backs who could get off to a hot start in 2021 fantasy football leagues based on their strength of schedule.
James Robinson vs. HOU, DEN, ARI
I hate to point out the favorable strength of schedule in the wake of a season-ending injury to 2021 first-round pick Travis Etienne. However, those with Robinson on their fantasy football team are likely to see Robinson’s upside early on in the season. The Texans allowed a league-high 145.8 rushing yards to opposing RBs in 2020, while the Lions allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns to RBs among NFL teams. Fellow running back Carlos Hyde is still likely to see some touches, but it would be unsurprising for Robinson to see any fewer than 15 touches in any given game as a starter.
Najee Harris vs. BUF, LV, CIN
We’ve only had a small taste of what Najee Harris might bring to fantasy football managers’ lineups, but the hype is real. Per FantasyPros, Harris is currently being drafted, on average, as the RB11. In his first three outings of the regular season, he’ll be facing three teams ranked in the top-12 for fantasy points allowed in the Bills, Raiders and Bengals. Each of these teams should still offer Harris plenty of room to break a couple of big runs. The favorable matchups and safe workload will set Harris managers up for success early in 2021 fantasy football leagues.
Gus Edwards vs. LV, KC, DET
Once again, I hate to point out the schedule here, but if JK Dobbins were healthy and getting the start, it’d be his name here instead. A favorable strength of schedule to start the year will be an asset to the Ravens, as they work through any question marks regarding their depth at running back. The Ravens face the Raiders, Chiefs and Lions in their first three weeks, each ranking in the top-12 for fantasy points allowed to the running back in 2020. The Lions and Chiefs ranked first and second, respectively, in receiving yards allowed to the running back position, so there could be some room for big fantasy production in PPR leagues if Lamar Jackson decides to utilize his RBs in the passing game. Regardless of receiving usage, however, Edwards will have massive touchdown upside as long as Jackson is under center.
Here’s a look at our PPR running back rankings as you draft in your 2021 fantasy football leagues. Keep in mind as you’re drafting that to capitalize on value in this scoring format, it can be helpful to draft running backs who are on teams with a less-than-ideal receiving corps.
PPR Running back rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues
|28||Melvin Gordon III||DEN|
|33||Ronald Jones II||TB|
|63||Tony Jones Jr.||NO|
|65||Mark Ingram II||HOU|
|77||Anthony McFarland Jr.||PIT|
|79||Larry Rountree III||LAC|
|81||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT|
|95||Jeff Wilson Jr.||SF|