2021 Season Opens: New Places, New Faces, New Questions… Same Old Brady!

9/21/21 - Ben Ulrich, Senior Fantasy Sports Correspondent - OK yes, we know the season REALLY started a 2 weeks ago but who really cares what Tom Brady does?! Been there, seen that. Let’s talk about something new… like the 2021 BSL Season (the 23rd Season of the original Crazy Diamond League!) and all the new players and player movement from the previous season. The quarterback carousel was in FULL EFFECT this past season with many QBs moving to new teams, some better situations some just in interesting situations. As we all know the QB is always the highest scoring player on any fantasy football team so new locations for your QB could change your fortunes quickly or could sink them… um… quickly. QBs Matt Stafford, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Teddy Bridgewater highlight the crop of vets that will change the face of their new teams (was going to originally mention Ryan Fitzpatrick here but he is already hurt sooooo…) and a glut of rookie QBs in Justin Fields, Mac Jones, Zach Wilson and the #1 overall NFL pick Trevor Lawrence will be wild cards this year with their potential but also uncertainty always inherent in rookie campaigns. This is not yet mentioning the 2nd year QBs that are either coming off year 1 injuries or varying degrees of success in their 1st season led by Justin Herbert, and the Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts… and who knows what Jordan Love gets his chance. QB is always an interesting discussion from year to year and 2021 is no different.

Looking at the other skill positions the normal influx on new RBs and WRs that everyone tells us should or will be good. We will watch players like Najee Harris, Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and more as they play a lot as rookies. The biggest, literally and figuratively, that we are interested in watching is TE Kyle Pitts. It is rare to get excited about a rookie TE but this year is one of those times. Pitts could be an instant boost at a normally thin position for his owners. Other players that moved teams could have big impacts like WR Corey Davis now in New York, Emmanuel Sanders in Buffalo and Marvin Jones in Jacksonville are solid players that could benefit greatly from their new situations. One player that would be hard to say should improve from their move given their history but will still be interesting to watch is Julio Jones now in Tennessee. However you shake out the ‘skill’ positions there are interesting situations to watch.

On defense we have just as many question marks to see how the new year and the new faces new places make their impact. Historically good players in new places this year like DLs JJ Watt now in Arizona and Yannick Ngakoue in Vegas, LB Joe Schobert in Pittsburgh after a late preseason trade and LB Justin Houston now in Baltimore will need to show they are still top performers and prove their previous teams wrong for letting them go. Also underachievers or overshadowed but talented players with old teams get new chances with new teams like DL Jadaveon Clowney and LB Anthony Walker in Cleveland, LB Nick Vigil in Minnesota, and LB Bud Dupree leaving Pittsburgh for Tennessee will have a lot to prove that they are as good as they have shown in flashes but need more playing time to blossom. And a large class of highly rated defensive rookies also will need to show they were worth the high draft selection and all the hype. Players like DL Kwity Paye, LBs Micah Parsons, Zaven Collins, Jamin Davis and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and DBs like Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn, Trevor Morhig and Jevon Holland all have potential to make immediate fantasy impacts or could have rookie growing pains. Finding out which could mean wins or losses to their owners.

In the end, or at least thru the 2nd week of the year, things are up in the air seemingly more this season than in several of the past seasons. Partly the moving of players, partly due to the ominous lingering risk and uncertainty of COVID and the inherent year to year ups and downs of the NFL. So in summation, unless your name is Mahomes or apparently Tom Brady, we just can’t be sure what we will get from anyone this season. Which makes things fun. Keep watching this space for updates on how the 2021 season is progressing across the 3 BSL leagues. Ok Seriously, how is Brady STILL this good!?! Can avocado shake really be the answer?!? Ugh, I hope not. More coming soon…

The Occasionally Intermittent Bugle