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Fantasy Football 2021: Where to Draft Former Louisville Cardinals

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The 2021 fantasy football season is nearly upon us.

New Orleans Saints v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

One of my passions, along with the Louisville Cardinals, is fantasy football. It has gotten a lot stronger over the years to the point where I am in four dynasty leagues, meaning this is literally a year-round hobby of mine. Whether it’s listening to podcasts, reading articles, or trying to make trades in March, it truly is something I enjoy and have fun with throughout the calendar year.

I only say all of that just to give some kind of background so this post does not seem super random or come from somebody that only starts to pay attention when August rolls around. I thought it would be a fun idea to talk about where you could be targeting former Louisville Cardinals in your fantasy football drafts. Maybe you have already drafted, which is fine. But some have not, so this could help a little bit. Either way, maybe it shows you the value of some guys in case you want to make some trades to acquire or unload some of our beloved football Cards.

Now there are several different formats in fantasy football. One-QB, Superflex, Tight End Premium, Redraft, Dynasty, just to name a few. I won’t go into detail on every single one of them with each player, but maybe just say that I would not take X player here in redraft, but maybe in dynasty. I assume most of the readers here will play the standard redraft league with 12 teams and one QB starting, so I will start from that perspective on these. And everything is obviously PPR.

***Let me go ahead and get this out of the way. If I sound negative about a player or say I want no part of him on my team, it is NOT a reflection of what I think of him as an actual NFL player or a former Louisville Cardinal. I love all of these guys, but I want to help you win your fantasy league. Feel free to ignore this and draft all UofL guys. Just go ahead and make your donation to your league because you probably won’t win it, but hey, you will be a good fan!

ADP = Average Draft Position. For this, I will be using fantasypros.com.

Lamar Jackson – QB Baltimore Ravens

Let’s go ahead and start with the cream of the crop. Lamar’s ADP is 41 overall, which is the fifth pick in the fourth round. (From here on out, that will be referred to as 4.05. Again, this is for a 12-team league.)

He is the fourth ranked QB behind Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray. Kyler and Lamar are so close on this that they can be swapped and it would not be a big deal. Mahomes being at the top is easy, no questions there. The thing that the next three guys all have in common and what make them such great fantasy assets are their abilities to get you rushing yards. All of them are capable passers, but those rushing yards they get are great for you. I know the jokes about “not bad for a running back” with Lamar, but you really do get running back numbers from him on top of decent passing numbers. Because of that, he is very good when it comes to your fantasy squad.

In the one redraft league that I am in, he went at pick 3.05 and that was after Mahomes and Allen and before Kyler. Now me? I didn’t draft a QB until round 13. In a league where you only have to start one QB, I don’t even begin looking at them until around Round 7 or so. Give me the skill position guys first. There are plenty of good QBs out there.

Superflex is completely different. He is likely a first round pick in your startup draft there. But I won’t go too deep into that or else we will talk about every format like I did not want to do. Bottom line…third or fourth QB off the board unless you want to get him sooner just because it’s Lamar. It’s your squad. Do whatever you want.

DeVante Parker – WR Miami Dolphins

The next best fantasy football player we have is DeVante Parker. DeVante’s ADP is 122, or pick 13.02. I can already hear you now…HOW DOES DEVANTE PARKER SLIP ALL THE WAY TO THE 13TH ROUND??? Relax. He was amazing at Louisville. One of the best to ever do it here. In the NFL? It pretty much took until his fifth season for him to break out. Blame health, inconsistent QB play, Adam Gase, whatever you want. But DeVante did not get off to a great start in the league from a fantasy perspective.

His first year in the league was 2015. For the first four seasons, his season highs were 57 receptions, 744 yards, and four touchdowns. Year five in 2019? 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s the DeVante we all know. Last season he came back to Earth a little bit with numbers of 63/793/4.

The three guys ahead of him on ADP are Jaylen Waddle, Mike Williams, and Curtis Samuel. The three behind him are Michael Gallup, Henry Ruggs, and Corey Davis. Just to give you an idea of the caliber of players he is around. Honestly, not a bad group. You don’t get elite production in the 13th round. You are just picking for depth and your flex spots at that point.

I said his name before, but Jaylen Waddle is a rookie out of Alabama with a lot of hype for the Dolphins this season. They also added WR Will Fuller, so the targets could get spread around a lot more now. DeVante could be anywhere from the team’s WR1 to their WR3.

In my redraft league, Parker was taken at pick 10.12.

*Those are the main two guys. The rest of these will not take as long to discuss, but they do need to be mentioned*

Teddy Bridgewater – QB Denver Broncos

Maybe my favorite former Louisville Cardinals football player of all time, Teddy is not one that you need to worry about when it comes to your fantasy football team. His current ADP is 300 overall and he is the 36th QB going off the board. This means he should not even be on your radar if you are in a one-QB league. From what it looks like, Drew Lock may end up winning that starting battle anyway and Teddy will be a backup once again. Even if not and he does start, there are plenty of other options that will be better for your team.

From a Superflex perspective, yes he does hold some value just because QBs mean so much more in this format. But from your standard league that most of you probably play? Go ahead and pass. Love you, Teddy.

Tutu Atwell – WR LA Rams

Tutu’s ADP is 340 overall and he is the 118th ranked WR. He is behind at least Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and DeSean Jackson on the depth chart. He may also be behind Van Jefferson. Tutu will have to make a name for himself this season in the punt return game. I don’t expect him to help your fantasy team this season.

In dynasty rookie drafts, I am fine taking him in the third or fourth round where you are just taking guys with upside at that point.

Dez Fitzpatrick – WR Tennessee Titans

So the list I am looking at shows 125 wide receivers. Dez is not on there at all. The Titans big targets this season are going to be A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. Josh Reynolds may be the other starter unless Dez can find his way into that starting slot role, but we’ll see. Either way, this season it’s all Brown, Julio, and Derrick Henry. In redraft, feel free to take Dez near the very end of your draft just in case there are injuries and he gets a chance to play.

Same as I said with Tutu in dynasty rookie drafts. Third or fourth round is fine, but I would probably take him in the fourth myself.

Javian Hawkins – RB Atlanta Falcons

Javian’s ADP is 184 overall, or the 16.04 pick. He is the 57th ranked running back. See above with Tutu and Dez. I just don’t expect much from Hawkins this season. Mike Davis is the lead back and there is not debate there. Qadree Ollison has been working as the backup. They just signed D’Onta Foreman. And Cordarrelle Patterson can line up at WR or RB, so there is another person just clogging up the depth chart for Hawkins.

I personally don’t know that he is big enough to ever be a major contributor in the NFL. But from the fantasy side of things, I don’t expect him to help your team at all this season.

Final Thought

If you are like me, you may be in a league with several UofL fans. Do yourself a favor. Let THEM reach for these guys just because they want to have UofL guys on their team. There are better fantasy players out there. Don’t worry about making sure you have former Cards on your team. The main two guys that old any fantasy football value are Lamar and DeVante. The rest are just very late round dart throws that will likely end up taking up a spot on your roster. The only one of the three rookies I would keep an eye on is Dez if he happens to get some time in the slot. But zero targets in their first preseason game and Mike Vrabel basically calling him out and saying he needs to be better in practice were not great signs.

Again, several different formats and I only really focused on one. If you want to talk about any of the other ones or anything fantasy football related, tweet me @JustinRenck. Happy to talk about this stuff with you all.

Good luck. Win your drafts. Make trades. Have fun!

Go Cards…Go Krogering!