(Image credit: David Butler II/USA Today)
By: Jett Rosenstein
Every year, there are many players who are going virtually undrafted who find their way onto the starting lineup of fantasy teams everywhere. Just in 2020, we saw Robby Anderson (WR19), Ryan Tannehill (QB7), and Curtis Samuel (WR24) among many others who went from being complete afterthoughts to important parts of championship-winning fantasy teams. In 2021, we are sure to see a handful of guys in similar situations. The following list of players are currently going undrafted in most 10-team PPR leagues but could end up being steals that end up having a huge impact on your team in 2021. All ADPs courtesy of FantasyPros.com
1. Adam Trautman (TE-NO) ADP: TE20
If you decide to pass on one of the elite TEs early, Trautman is a great guy to target late. With Drew Brees now retired, Trautman will be receiving passes from either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston. While Trautman’s prospects would improve if Winston were to be the QB, he still is slated to have a huge role on this offense no matter who the QB is. With Jared Cook departing for Los Angeles and Michael Thomas undergoing surgery, the Saints will be looking for someone to step up due to the lack of dependable options outside Alvin Kamara. Take your shot on Trautman at the end of drafts and don’t be surprised if he finishes within the top 10 in 2021.
2. Rashod Bateman (WR-BAL) ADP: WR60
Is Rashod Bateman the answer to all the Baltimore Ravens receiving corps issues? I think so. While the Ravens are a low-volume passing offense there is still plenty of production to go around. Bateman could take control of the WR1 slot. There has been a lot of parallels in both Bateman's situation in 2021 and Jefferson’s situation in 2020. It could definitely play out that way. With Bateman going for free in drafts at the moment, he is a great option that could potentially improve your chances of winning a title this year.
3. Cole Kmet (TE-CHI) ADP: TE23
Here we have another TE who is entering year 2 in the NFL who is looking to take a step forward in his career. Cole Kmet showed flashes in his rookie season, but like many rookie TEs, failed to put it all together. Kmet’s QB situation should be an upgrade which bodes well for his outlook. Yes, Jimmy Graham is still in the way, but there is a chance the Bears move on from him before the season begins. With TE being such a shallow position, Kmet can easily find his way among the Top 10 turning him into potentially one of the biggest steals in drafts.
4. Tre’Quan Smith (WR-NO) ADP: WR63
As previously mentioned, this New Orleans Saints offense is going to look a lot different with Drew Brees headed into retirement. With Michael Thomas set to miss a handful of games, Tre’Quan Smith is locked into being the WR1 in this offense. Smith has been hyped in years past due to him being a player on a great offense for fantasy production. That has yet to come to fruition. In 2021, that could all change...if Jameis Winston is the QB. We all know Winston likes to throw the ball downfield and that meshes well with Smith’s abilities. At this point in the draft, there aren’t many players who are available who are the WR1 on their team. Smith is and if he is finally able to capitalize on it, you just found a gem hiding at the end of drafts.
5. Cam Newton (QB-NE) ADP: QB27
Cam Newton is no longer the QB he once was, but he has the chance to be a great asset in fantasy football this year. Prior to coming down with COVID in 2020, Newton was the QB7. Obviously, his season went off the rails after that, but 2021 presents a nice rebound opportunity. I get the future is going to be Mac Jones under snap, but we don’t know when we will see him. Now, Newton has additional weapons added to his offense and will still be a threat as a runner. If you want to totally avoid the QB position up until the last round, Newton is providing great value at a position that is as deep as ever.