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A beginners guide to the top fantasy football draft picks of 2021

A multi-generational family watches football on TV, cheering on their team.

It’s no surprise that nearly 60 million people played fantasy football last year. It’s a fast and fun way to enjoy football, and who doesn’t love a bit of competition? In fact, fantasy football is a great activity for families to take part in, as everyone can manage their own team and share in the excitement of watching the games together.

To help you get a jump on the competition, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to fantasy football with some of the rules of the game, top fantasy football draft picks, sleeper selections and rookies to watch.

What is fantasy football?

Let’s start with the basics. Fantasy football is a game where players join a league (with preferably at least 10 teams, but eight is good for beginners and younger players) and draft football players onto their team. As the players rack up statistics in games, your team will score points and hopefully defeat your opponents.

Nearly every major sports site, plus the NFL itself, offers free fantasy leagues to join. They will keep score for you based on a set of standard scoring values. For example, a touchdown will earn your player six points, and a quarterback will get one point for every 25 yards thrown. Some leagues also offer bonus points for a big game, such as one where your wide receiver registers more than 100 yards, which could get you three additional points.

There are two types of games your family could join. A point-per-reception (PPR) league will give your receivers, tight ends and running backs one point for each catch they make, while a standard league won’t offer any reception bonuses.

Top fantasy football draft picks for 2021

Every year is different, and injuries often play a major role, but let’s start with some of the top fantasy football draft picks for this year.

Fantasy superstars

Running backs (RB) usually go at the top of the draft. They get the ball a lot, score touchdowns and are a big part of most teams’ offenses. However, new thinking has bumped up other positions like wide receivers (WR) and quarterbacks (QB) as well.

  • Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers: Last year he only played in three games due to injury, but if you go back to 2019, he had 1,387 yards rushing and 19 total touchdowns.
  • Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints: One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Kamara can score you points as a runner or a pass catcher. If you’re in a PPR league, target him.
  • Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills: He led the league in receptions and yards last season. Don’t expect anything to change — his team will continue to pass the ball.
  • Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs: The best quarterback in the league will be looking to put up big numbers once again and lead Kansas City back to the Super Bowl. He’s an easy pick.

Sleeper picks

If you want to get the edge on the competition or provide some off-the-radar targets for your team, look at these underrated players as top fantasy football draft picks.

  • Will Fuller, WR, Dolphins: On a new team, Fuller figures to be the number one receiver. If he can stay healthy (a big if), expect him to put up numbers and improve his team’s offense.
  • Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams: An injury thrust Henderson into the starting lineup. His speed makes him a touchdown threat on every carry, and he could be a great sneaky pick.
  • Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers (for now): Rodgers falls into this category because as of now, we don’t know where he will play. What we do know is that wherever he is, he’ll put up big numbers.

Rookies to watch

These young players have a chance to make a name for themselves early in their careers and could help your fantasy team.

  • Najee Harris, RB, Steelers: Pittsburgh needs to improve its running game, and the team’s first-round pick will have a chance to make an impact right away as the starter.
  • Devonta Smith, WR, Eagles: The Heisman Trophy winner joins an offense in desperate need of a playmaker. He has the speed and ability to score your team a lot of points.
  • Trever Lawrence, QB, Jaguars: Lawrence, the number one pick in the NFL draft, will get an opportunity to play right away. He may not be on a championship team, but that doesn’t matter for fantasy football stats.

With these top fantasy football draft picks and a solid internet connection, you and your family can amp up the friendly competition and get started in a league without having to worry about lag or drops while you keep track of your stats. Ting Internet maximizes the fantasy football fun with strong fiber internet connectivity that enables your home to support as many devices as the family needs to keep your league buzzing with activity.