2021 Fantasy Football: End of Season Stock Watch
Samantha Holt wraps up the 2021 season with a final installment of Stock Watch, showing who is up and who is down heading into next season.
That’s a wrap on the 2021 regular season! So many ups and downs and nerve-wracking finals. Now we’re on to begin all the speculating fun for 2022 and pre-prepping our draft boards for the occasion! This off season will hold plenty of big moves that will continue to adjust those draft boards and have us moving players all around our rankings. To put a bow on where we ended, here’s my overall stock picks for the season that you can stash away for 2022. Names to remember and names to forget.
Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals (Stock Up)
Year 2 of Joe Burrow certainly didn’t disappoint. Burrow finished sixth in passing yards (4,611 yards) and eighth in passing touchdowns (34). The Bengals as a whole have improved. As a result they now have one of the most dynamic wide receiver cores in the NFL. Ja’Marr Chase & Tee Higgins will both be inside the top 20 of fantasy rankings, with Chase making an argument to crack the top five. As long as Burrow stays healthy there’s no stopping him. He’s a must-roster in dynasty and his stock will likely continue to rise based on his upcoming playoffs performances.
Baker Mayfield - Cleveland Browns (Stock Down)
Cleveland had many ups and downs this season. Unfortunately once Baker got hurt, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Baker finished 24th in passing yards (3010 yards) and he was 22nd in passing touchdowns (17). Looking forward into next season there has been much speculation on whether or not the Browns stick with Baker. I believe they could take a rookie QB late as someone to grow and develop behind Baker, but I don't see them looking to trade or sign anyone to create immediate competition for the starting job. This is Baker’s team, him coming back 100% healthy is the key. That being said based on his output and the performances of other quarterbacks this season, his stock will be dropping. It’ll drop far enough to make him only startable in 2QB formats.
Tyler Huntley - Baltimore Ravens (Hold)
This is my dynasty stash at the position. Tyler Huntley showed a lot of promise in his starts this season, putting to rest any question of who could possibly be capable of backing up Lamar Jackson. Week 15 against the Packers was a tough matchup and he nearly won it for the Ravens. I think he surprised a lot of people with how close he kept that game. His 73 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in addition to over 200 passing yards and two passing touchdowns showed he could keep pace with Aaron Rodgers. Now some are speculating Huntley showed enough to get signed elsewhere and compete for a starting position. In a quarterback-hungry market I could see it. If he is on the move I want to make sure I have a few shares stashed away.
Ja’Marr Chase - Cincinnati Bengals (Stock Up)
Seems only fitting to pair my quarterback “Stock Up” candidate with his best receiver in the same category. Despite seeing a starling number of drops in the preseason, Chase just needed to get the mistakes out before the season got underway. He came out with a bang in Week 1, with a touchdown and 101 receiving yards, which would set him up to finish the year with 1455 yards and 13 touchdowns. His total yards put him fourth in receiving yards at his position. I’m astounded at his efficiency doing this on just 81 receptions. At his rate I could see him finishing 2022 with 1,600+ yards and 100+ receptions easily.
Allen Robinson - Chicago Bears (Stock Down)
Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Bears have a lot to work on this off season. After firing Matt Nagy, finding the right head coach will be key. Personally I like Brian Flores for the job. Despite Miami feeling he was the wrong fit for them, I think he was having success with Tua Tagovailoa. I believe he would be a good fit in Chicago to help mold Justin Fields. As for Robinson, 2021 has been the worst season of his career. With such polarizing quarterback play all year you have to wonder if this was all on Robinson or on the combo of Fields and Andy Dalton. Darnell Mooney was able to find success despite the instability, why not Robinson as well? Too much instability and too poor a performance this year to make me want to risk drafting him again in 2022.
Jaylen Waddle - Miami Dolphins (Stock Up)
Another rookie to watch for, Jaylen Waddle finished eighth at the WR position in receptions with 104. This is super exciting for dynasty managers looking towards the future. Though I disagree with Miami firing Head Coach Brian Flores, any new coach will see this connection between Waddle & Tua and hopefully continue to help it grow. Waddle’s innate talent has been exciting to watch this season and I want more.
Javonte Williams - Denver Bronocs (Stock Up)
All season I’ve either had Williams or running mate Melvin Gordon up and down in this weekly stock watch piece. Finally, by the end of the season, Williams caught up to Gordon and finished with equal rushing attempts (both had 203 attempts), Williams had 903 rush yards to Grodon’s 918 rush yards, and Willams had 43 receptions to Gordon’s 28. Denver is in the hunt for a new quarterback, it was discussed last off season and will be discussed again. Many have speculated that Aaron Rodgers could be on the move here, which of course would be amazing for every Bronco player's fantasy value. Until that domino falls, Williams’ work, in the last five weeks of the season especially, cements his draft capital for 2022. He had five touchdowns in the last five weeks, a combination earned both on the ground and in the air. The dual threat he poses makes him a must-roster.
Saquon Barkley - New York Giants (Stock Down)
This was brutal. If you took Saquon in the second round (I certainly hope you didn’t take him in the first), you were left frustrated and trapped wondering if you could bench him or not all season long. Adding further insult to his output he tied his teammate Devontae Booker in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns with 593 yards and two touchdowns to each of them! The Giants are in desperate need of help on many fronts, but seeing Barkley lose his spark has been difficult to watch. I have little to no confidence in starting him next season given this performance and that New York is sticking with Head Coach Joe Judge. Barkley’s ADP will drop to the fourth or fifth round and even there I’ll be looking elsewhere.
Najee Harris - Pittsburgh Steelers (Hold)
This season for my Steelers has been rough. Not only have they been dealing with injuries but also watching the sun set on Big Ben’s career. This offseason you know I’ll be eager to see who they bring in as their new quarterback. The one thing I’m not worried about though is Najee Harris. He finished fourth at the position in total rushing yards with 1200 yards, second in carries with 307, first in receptions with 74 and tied with Austin Ekeler in targets with 94. No matter who Pittsburgh brings in under center, it’s clear the new face of the organization is Najee Harris.
Dawson Knox - Buffalo Bills (Stock Up)
Looking back at ADP charts of 2021, I had forgotten just how far Dawson Know has come this season. His average ADP in 2021 had him sitting around tight end 32. Undraftable in most standard leagues. Looking ahead to 2022, he’s inside the top 10. Knox tied Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Hunter Henry in touchdowns with nine each. He’s been a fantastic red zone target for Josh Allen and with the system in place there I could see this continuing to grow. Players like Knox add reasons to wait at the position in drafts. If I know I can get the same amount of touchdowns as Travis Kelce and not have to pay the premium, I’m going to take that bargain all day.
Robert Tonyan - Green Bay Packers (Stock Down)
Looking squarely at ADP and output for 2021, Robert Tonyan really disappointed fantasy managers. Aside from the two weeks he had a touchdown, his fantasy production was non-existent. Of course it didn’t help that his season was cut short after getting hurt in Week 8, but he’ll be dropping off my radar for 2022 anyway. No matter who’s under center, I don't believe Tonyan will be a priority in this offense and I don't want to roll the dice and try again in 2022.
Dallas Goedert - Philadelphia Eagles (Hold)
The Eagles led by the incredible Jalen Hurts are in the playoffs! Dallas Goedert has been a huge help in this and brings me excitement for potential next season. Goedert finishes eighth in the rankings and I see him hanging around in the top 10 of ADP for 2022. His big-play ability has helped many fantasy managers to the playoffs this season. I look forward to seeing how he performs under pressure in the playoffs and am excited to see Hurts and him continue to build on this momentum together in 2022.