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The 2021 NFL Draft saw a record 65 players selected from one conference, the SEC. The first of those picks set a record in itself, as Florida's Kyle Pitts became the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history when he went fourth overall to the Atlanta Falcons.

In a Falcons' passing attack that just lost Pro Bowler Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans, how high should Pitts be in your 2021 Fantasy football rankings?

© Provided by CBS Sports

May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback draft pick Daniel Jones (8) looks to pass during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Everyone expects Pitts to measure up favorably against other rookies, but how he performs against the league's other tight ends will determine where you should target him with your 2021 Fantasy football picks. Will Pitts be one of the 2021 Fantasy football sleepers to select? Before setting your 2021 Fantasy football draft strategy, be sure to check out the 2021 Fantasy football cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last year, the model accurately predicted that Bills quarterback Josh Allen was being drastically undervalued. His Fantasy football ADP was barely in the top 70, but the model pegged him as a top-five Fantasy quarterback, a QB1 who would finish well ahead of players like Kyler Murray, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Allen ended up being the No. 2-scoring Fantasy QB, outscoring all three of those other quarterbacks and even surpassing Patrick Mahomes. Fantasy players who followed SportsLine's advice reaped plenty of value with that pick. 

The same model has a proven track record providing Fantasy football tips, also identifying A.J. Brown as another sleeper in 2020 and players like Devin Singletary and JuJu Smith-Schuster as busts last season. Additionally, it's called past Fantasy football sleepers like Derrick Henry in 2019, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2018, and Davante Adams in 2017. Anybody who banked on players like those made a run at their league title.

The model is powered by the same people who generated projections for all three major Fantasy sites, and it beat human experts last season when there was a big difference in ranking. The projections update multiple times daily, so you're always getting the best Fantasy football advice.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NFL season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy football rankings 2021, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them. 

Top 2021 Fantasy football sleepers 

One of the 2021 Fantasy football sleepers the model is predicting: 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The former first-round pick out of Arizona State was thrust into a significant role offensively in his rookie season due to a number of injuries at the position in San Francisco and he delivered impressive results with 60 catches for 748 yards and five touchdowns in just 12 games.

Video: PFT Draft: Best non-QBs in AFC East (NBC Sports)


Aiyuk was on the field for at least 70 percent of the offensive snaps in every game he played and his 96 total targets included 14 red-zone targets, which were 18th-most among wide receivers in the NFL. Aiyuk figures to be a major part of a Niners offense that should be improved by general health and the hope is that quarterback play will be improved with Jimmy Garoppolo and Lance battling for the starting job. That's why the model ranks Aiyuk as a top-20 wide receiver even though he's the 28th receiver off the board on average.

Top 2021 Fantasy football breakouts 

The model is also projecting 49ers running back Trey Sermon as one of its top 2021 Fantasy Football breakouts. The shifty playmakers at both Ohio State and Oklahoma was a third-round pick (No. 88) in the 2021 NFL Draft and now will join a Kyle Shanahan rushing attack that has made Fantasy stars out of plenty of players.

Sermon averaged 6.5 yards per carry in four collegiate seasons and racked up 3,432 scrimmage yards while scoring 29 times in 45 games for two of the most dominant offenses in the nation. He was at his best in big games, rushing for 331 yards in Ohio State's Big Ten Championship win and 254 scrimmage yards in a national semifinal victory over Clemson. The model sees him as a top-35 option at running back despite the fact that he's 54th back off the board according to early 2021 Fantasy football ADP.

Top 2021 Fantasy football busts 

As for players to avoid, the model lists Browns running back Kareem Hunt as one of its top 2021 Fantasy football busts. The former Chief was the No. 2 back behind Nick Chubb last season and had 841 rushing yards and six touchdowns while playing all 16 games.

However, Chubb has averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry in all three of his NFL seasons, while Hunt has never reached that mark. Last year, Hunt showed that he's more of a complimentary back and didn't perform as well when given more touches. In the six games he received 14-plus carries, he averaged 3.9 yards per tote. In the 10 games he ran the ball 13 or fewer times, Hunt averaged 4.6 yards per carry, showing his effectiveness with fewer touches. That's not the kind of running back you want to lean on, which is why SportsLine's model has Hunt barely cracking the top 30 running backs in its Fantasy football rankings 2021.

How to find proven 2021 Fantasy football football rankings

SportsLine is also extremely high on a surprising quarterback you aren't even thinking about being drafted in the middle rounds of 2021 Fantasy football drafts. This quarterback is listed as a shocking top-five option ahead of superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. You can only see who it is, and the 2020 Fantasy football rankings for every player, at SportsLine.

So which 2021 Fantasy Football sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get 2021 Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.

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Tags: fantasy football breakouts fantasy football breakouts fantasy football rankings fantasy football sleepers fantasy football sleepers fantasy football busts that he’s fantasy football draft fantasy football adp scrimmage yards patrick mahomes off the board wide receiver the model the model all three players like him as a top running back last season attack be improved

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Starting Pitcher Fantasy Baseball Shuffle Up: Jacob deGrom, then everyone else

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: Beyond Meat, KB Home, Steelcase and more Confluent prices IPO above range at $36 a share

The only thing harder than finding reliable fantasy starting pitching is ranking all of it going forward. The butterfly is always bobbing, weaving, darting, and dipping. It’s always a work in progress.

Nonetheless, we trudge forward.

Here is how I’d attack the fantasy pitching board if I were entering a fresh league that drafted tonight. Assume a 5x5 format, as usual. Courtesy ranks for injured players are at the bottom, but those are not for debate. If you have more injury optimism than I do (or better medical intel), that’s cool.

The numbers attached to each player are unscientific; more gut-feel than anything else (although of course, I have plenty of quantifiable reasons for slotting the players where I do). Players at the same number are considered even. The idea is to tier the talent in a reasonable, logical way — if anything about pitching could ever be considered logical.

To the shuffle:

The Big Tickets

47 Jacob deGrom

41 Gerrit Cole

39 Yu Darvish

36 Brandon Woodruff

35 Corbin Burnes

35 Trevor Bauer

35 Walker Buehler

33 Max Scherzer

33 Lucas Giolito

33 Zack Wheeler

When it comes to the Milwaukee staff, the innings-shutdown pitcher I worry about is Freddy Peralta, not Woodruff or Burnes . . . Buehler hasn’t lost a game since Sept. 21 of 2019 — that was 24 starts ago. His current ERA doesn’t mesh with the estimators, but whenever a pitcher has a WHIP under 1, I’m not going to look for reasons to fade them. He’s ridiculous, and still might be the best pitcher on the deepest team in the majors . . . Giolito hasn’t been as efficient putting away hitters this year, and of course the White Sox haven’t been limited to last year’s cushy schedule, when they only faced the AL and NL Central. Nonetheless, Giolito’s expected ERA is a half-run lower than his actual, and I still view him as a bonafide ace for fantasy purposes . . . Assuming Wheeler is okay after a rare off start Tuesday — his velocity was down and he only worked three innings — he looks like one of the best set-and-forget aces. He’s spiked his strikeout rate while maintaining elite control, and his fastball, slider, and curve all grade as plus pitches.

If deGrom can stay reasonably healthy for the rest of the year, he looks like the NL MVP. He’s perfected a novel approach to handling NL batters: he shows them three different versions of his dominant stuff. There are several statistical frames to showcase just how dominant he’s been this year; here’s my favorite so far:

Jacob deGrom's ERA+ is now 777.

The next highest is Gausman's 263.

The highest of all time is 293.

— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) June 22, 2021 Legitimate Building Blocks

29 Clayton Kershaw

27 Lance Lynn

26 Aaron Nola

25 Joe Musgrove

25 Kevin Gausman

23 Carlos Rodon

21 Julio Urias

20 Hyun Jin Ryu

20 Jose Berrios

20 Freddy Peralta

19 Trevor Rogers

19 Sandy Alcantara

18 Ian Anderson

18 Zack Greinke

18 Pablo Lopez

Kershaw hasn’t made 30 starts since 2015, which makes you wonder if and when the Dodgers might look towards some load management. There’s no reason to force Kershaw to pitch through any minor aches and pains as they show up, and he is in his age-33 season . . . Gausman hasn’t pitched well enough to hold a 1.51 ERA — you already knew that — but the suggested 2.74 number is still elite. Remember, he was the fourth overall pick in his draft class, and he’s not the first pitcher to figure things out after escaping Baltimore, even if it’s taken a few moves before he settled in. He’s limited hard contact very well, his swinging-strike rate is a career-best, and his already-elite control has taken a step forward. If not for deGrom, Gausman would be in the middle of the NL Cy Young race . . . Other than a solid drop in walk rate, Berrios 2021 looks a lot like the pitcher he’s been all his career — good, not great. He’s struggled with his off-speed pitches this year; his change hasn’t been a plus pitch, and he’s yet to find his good curveball. Some guys are destined to be career No. 2 or No. starters.

When they’re healthy, you’re playing them

16 Charlie Morton

15 Framber Valdez

15 Frankie Montas

15 Lance McCullers Jr.

15 Luis Castillo

14 Yusei Kikuchi

14 Zac Gallen

14 Sean Manaea

14 Chris Bassitt

14 Marcus Stroman

14 Robbie Ray

14 Kyle Hendricks

14 Shohei Ohtani

13 Jose Urquidy

13 Chris Paddack

13 Kenta Maeda

13 Tyler Mahle

13 Aaron Civale

13 Blake Snell

12 Taijuan Walker

12 Zach Eflin

12 Alex Wood

12 Dylan Cease

Hendricks couldn’t get out of his own way in April, but he’s been steady since, making do with a pitch-to-contact style. How you view his home-run spike reflects what you do with Hendricks going forward; if you think he’s been unlucky, you might trade for him, but if you give him a tax for all the meatballs, you’d go in the other direction . . . Snell’s season splits up in a tidy fashion — he’s been unreal at home (1.43 ERA) and a nightmare on the road (10.36 ERA). Even though we’re only talking about 15 starts in total, that’s enough of a difference for me to view it as actionable, at least until we have something better . . . We’ve always wondered who Ray could be if he kept the juicy strikeout rate and trimmed the walks to a reasonable area. Finally, we have our answer. Ray has added a couple of ticks to his velocity, and he’s also seen a spike in his swinging-strike rate . . . The awful Mets offense has been the big New York story — along with deGrom, of course — but Stroman and Walker have been the unsung heroes in Queens . . . Bassitt used to be one of the AL’s answers to Hendricks, but this year he’s kicked the strikeouts into overdrive while maintaining outstanding control. Most of this comes from elite command with his fastball, but his curve and change have proven to be effective put-away pitches.

© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Chris Bassitt has been a revelation for the Oakland A's in 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) You can make a reasonable case

11 Luis Garcia

10 Anthony DeSclafani

8 Casey Mize

7 Rich Hill

7 James Kaprielian

7 Cristian Javier

7 Shane McClanahan

7 Dinelson Lamet

7 Eduardo Rodriguez

6 Jake Odorizzi

6 Alek Manoah

6 Dallas Keuchel

6 Domingo German

6 Andrew Heaney

6 Dylan Bundy

5 Cole Irvin

5 Sixto Sanchez

5 Marco Gonzales

5 Nathan Eovaldi

5 Jameson Taillon

5 Patrick Corbin

5 Tarik Skubal

5 Kyle Gibson

I know injuries have held Rodriguez down in Boston for a while, but he’s also been one for the overrated file, too. His career ERA is over 4, and a 1.31 WHIP is not playable either. E-Rod can claim bad luck in 2021 — his 6.07 ERA doesn’t match his peripherals at all; FIP suggests something in the mid-3s — but given his injury history and division, I am not going to be proactive here. Heck, his best ERA in any season is an ordinary 3.81. He’s just a guy . . . Keuchel drops a few bucks in leagues that limit innings or play K/9, but at least he’s tied to a playoff-bound team . . . Mize has an ordinary strikeout rate and most of his Savant data is on the left side of the scale, so he might not be as impressive as 3.61/1.12 ratios want to suggest. But Detroit is so starved for a hero, I can’t help but want to rank him proactively. And heck, he does have the pedigree of a former No. 1 pick.

The rest of the sheet

4 Adbert Alzolay

4 Brady Singer

4 Jordan Montgomery

4 Tony Gonsolin

4 German Marquez

3 Chris Flexen

3 J.A. Happ

3 Johnny Cueto

3 Zach Davies

3 Wade Miley

3 Adam Wainwright

3 Logan Gilbert

3 Mike Minor

3 Griffin Canning

2 Cal Quantrill

2 Matt Manning

2 Dane Dunning

1 Jon Lester

1 Matt Shoemaker

1 Drew Smyly

Courtesy Injury Ranks — Not for Debate

27 Shane Bieber

20 Jack Flaherty

15 Stephen Strasburg

13 John Means

12 Max Fried

11 Sonny Gray

10 Matthew Boyd

7 Chris Sale

5 Zach Plesac

4 Danny Duffy

1 Jon Gray

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