1-32 ballot, plus each workforce’s most nice shock fantasy participant

It is nonetheless early, so the 2021 NFL Energy Rankings comprise a little bit of volatility. However rating groups is not the one unstable early-season NFL train; categorizing the fantasy worth of gamers is troublesome proper now too. However being the constructive individuals we’re, we determined to take a sunny facet up strategy and have our NFL Nation reporters choose essentially the most nice fantasy shock in the course of the first two weeks on the groups they cowl.

And as a result of that volatility, there’s a variety of solutions beneath. There are gamers who already are fantasy staples and have stepped up their video games (take a bow, Cooper Kupp), others are younger guys already making their mark (Rondale Moore) and a few are older guys proving they will nonetheless present factors to fantasy house owners (Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski, we see you). And naturally, you may have gamers discovering success in new areas (Sam Darnold) or gamers making an attempt to profit from a tricky begin for his or her workforce (see the tenants of MetLife Stadium).

How we rank in our Energy Rankings: Our energy panel — a bunch of greater than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluates how groups stack up all through the season.

Earlier rankings: 2 | Preseason

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NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Earlier rating: 2

Fantasy shock: TE Rob Gronkowski

It is no shock that Gronk is doing properly. But this well? Particularly in comparison with the place he was a 12 months in the past — shaking off rust after being away from soccer and coming into a system not identified for utilizing the tight finish extensively within the passing recreation. He has caught 4 landing passes in two video games; and going again to the Tremendous Bowl final season, he has six TDs in his previous three contests. Most significantly, he made it by way of a 16-game common season final 12 months, plus 4 postseason video games, with out damage. Even higher? The Bucs’ opponent this week, the Rams, are giving up a 67% completion fee to tight ends, so there may be alternative for this to proceed. — Jenna Laine

Earlier rating: 4

Fantasy shock: WR Cooper Kupp

Kupp isn’t any stranger to fantasy rosters, however his manufacturing by way of two video games has exceeded expectation. With quarterback Matthew Stafford, Kupp has produced back-to-back video games of greater than 100 receiving yards and already has three receiving touchdowns, as many as he had in all of 2020. Kupp has rapidly develop into Stafford’s go-to target on explosive plays, and their relationship is barely in its infancy, so it is positive to develop because the season evolves. — Lindsey Thiry

Earlier rating: 1

Fantasy shock: WR Byron Pringle

What Pringle lacks in quantity (three catches), he has made up for in impression (23-yard common per reception, together with a 40-yard TD). Pringle is the steadiest of the Chiefs’ huge receivers, not together with Tyreek Hill. Pringle would not have the upside of Mecole Hardman or Demarcus Robinson however is an efficient route runner who’s at all times the place he’s imagined to be and has dependable arms. — Adam Teicher



Matthew Berry particulars how Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk may get extra alternatives subsequent week with the 49ers’ operating backs having so many accidents.

Earlier rating: 7

Fantasy shock: WR Deebo Samuel

It is not likely a shock that Samuel is productive. It is extra shocking simply how productive he has been by way of the primary two weeks. Samuel has 282 receiving yards, which is the third most by any 49er by way of two weeks in franchise historical past. On a workforce that has different dynamic pass-catchers equivalent to tight finish George Kittle and wideout Brandon Aiyuk, Samuel has established himself as Jimmy Garoppolo‘s favourite goal. And after an offseason spent engaged on strengthening his physique to remain more healthy, there’s little purpose to consider Samuel goes to decelerate a lot so lengthy as his good health continues. — Nick Wagoner

Earlier rating: 5

Fantasy shock: RB Devin Singletary

The Payments’ offense completed 20th in speeding yards per recreation in 2020 (107.7). The offense turning into extra balanced this season could be large for the workforce going ahead. Up to now, Singletary has proven that he’s as much as the duty. Whereas his 46-yard touchdown run versus the Dolphins was his first rating of the 12 months, he’s already one TD away from matching his profession excessive in speeding scores for a season. Singletary is also averaging 6.42 yards per carry — fourth most amongst league operating backs. He has stepped into the function of beginning operating again and will proceed to have important alternatives. — Alaina Getzenberg

Earlier rating: 3

Fantasy shock: WR Tyler Lockett

Lockett has been one of many NFL’s finest receivers since 2018, and he simply earned a $69 million contract extension due to it. So, nobody must be shocked that he’s producing at a excessive degree. However may anybody have anticipated this a lot manufacturing? Lockett’s 278 receiving yards are 4 shy of Deebo Samuel‘s league lead, and the full simply broke Steve Largent’s franchise report for essentially the most by a Seahawk by way of two video games. Two of Lockett’s three touchdowns have been on catches of 60-plus yards. So Seattle’s new-found emphasis on short and intermediate throws hasn’t stopped Russell Wilson and Lockett from discovering their normal success with the deep ball. — Brady Henderson

Earlier rating: 12

Fantasy shock: WR Rondale Moore

It is simple now for quarterback Kyler Murray to say that he anticipated the rookie wideout to have had this large of a right away impression, however nobody knew how good Moore could be this early. He leads the Cardinals in receiving with 183 yards and a touchdown. His pace makes him an menace each time he’s on the sector. And coach Kliff Kingsbury mentioned he has been creating extra assuredness in Moore’s talents: “You see the dynamic stuff he can do in house when he will get the ball. That first man hardly ever tackles him. He is bought legit 4.29 pace or no matter it was he ran, and he is beginning to get increasingly more confidence.” — Josh Weinfuss

Earlier rating: 6

Fantasy shock: RB Demetric Felton

On the primary offensive contact of his NFL profession, the rookie spun out of two tackles then broke one other on the way in which to a 33-yard touchdown on Sunday. The sixth-round pick of UCLA wound up ending with a team-high 51 receiving yards on high of returning punts and kicks in Cleveland’s 31-21 win over Houston. Coach Kevin Stefanski famous afterward that Felton’s function as a multipurpose playmaker within the offense would proceed to develop. However with huge receiver Jarvis Landry coping with a knee damage and fellow wideout Odell Beckham Jr. nonetheless but to play, Felton’s function may develop sooner relatively than later. — Jake Trotter



The Fantasy Focus crew praises Hollywood Brown after placing up large numbers within the first two video games of the season.

Earlier rating: 10

Fantasy shock: WR Marquise Brown

The Ravens added huge receivers within the draft (27th general choose Rashod Bateman) and in free company (Sammy Watkins), however Brown has develop into a official No. 1 goal. Groups have crowded the center to remove tight finish Mark Andrews as an possibility, and Lamar Jackson has responded by getting the ball extra to the skin and into the arms of Brown. His 182 yards receiving ranks 10th within the NFL — greater than DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs. Maybe Brown’s manufacturing should not be a shock. Courting again to Week 12 of final season, Brown has caught eight landing passes in his previous eight video games. Nobody within the NFL has extra. — Jamison Hensley

Earlier rating: 19

Fantasy shock: QB Derek Carr

Positive, quarterbacks are valuable players in fantasy, however with a patchwork offensive line that wanted much more duct tape in Pittsburgh, who may have seen Carr’s manufacturing coming? All he has carried out is cross for a franchise-record 817 yards by way of the primary two video games of a season to go together with 4 TDs. And he’s simply the fourth participant in NFL historical past with no less than 380 yards passing and a number of TD passes in every of his workforce’s first two video games of a season, together with Drew Bledsoe (1994), Tom Brady (2011) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018). — Paul Gutierrez



Subject Yates and Matthew Berry talk about Derek Carr’s stellar begin to the season and whether or not fantasy managers ought to think about beginning him.

Earlier rating: 11

Fantasy shock: Davante Adams, WR

How is Adams a shock? Properly, solely as a result of everybody within the league is aware of Aaron Rodgers goes to do all the pieces he can to get Adams the ball. Adams was the Packers’ solely productive participant within the season-opening loss to the Saints. The Lions needed to watch how the Saints doubled Adams each time doable, however as Adams mentioned final week, “Not each double-team goes to achieve success.” Adams’ 100-yard recreation in opposition to the Lions on Monday evening was the 24th of his profession, the fourth most for the Packers in the course of the Tremendous Bowl period. — Rob Demovsky

Earlier rating: 8

Fantasy shock: WR Diontae Johnson

There’s not a complete lot of constructive fantasy information for the Steelers two video games into the marketing campaign, however with a TD in Week 1 and 105 receiving yards in Week 2, Johnson is performing as anticipated as Ben Roethlisberger‘s high goal. He sustained a knee damage on the ultimate play of Sunday’s loss, although, and that might dampen his outlook, no less than briefly. Working again Najee Harris hasn’t been in a position to get a lot house to run, though his involvement in Sunday’s passing recreation suggests higher days could be forward. Even the Steelers’ protection, among the finest in Week 1, faltered in Week 2. — Brooke Pryor



Subject Yates and Matthew Berry talk about Tony Pollard’s utilization for the Cowboys and the way it will have an effect on Ezekiel Elliott.

Earlier rating: 13

Fantasy shock: RB Tony Pollard

There hasn’t been something actually shocking in regards to the Cowboys’ offense in two video games by way of Dak Prescott‘s numbers and the manufacturing of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. However Pollard had 13 carries for 109 yards and a landing against the Chargers. It was the third 100-yard recreation of his profession. Does it imply he’ll proceed to get this sort of workload? That appears uncertain with Ezekiel Elliott wholesome, however Pollard gives the Cowboys some options. With wideout Michael Gallup (calf) out for at least two more games, Pollard’s touches could possibly be greater than regular, if not solely his carries. — Todd Archer

Earlier rating: 20

Fantasy shock: WR Tim Patrick

Look, it is not a shock by way of his potential, his efficiency in large moments and his consistency. However the return of Courtland Sutton from final season’s knee damage and the continued emergence of Jerry Jeudy have been supposed to chop into Patrick’s snap rely from final season, when he led the workforce in receiving touchdowns. However Teddy Bridgewater‘s consistency at quarterback and willingness to unfold the ball round — he has accomplished passes to 9 totally different gamers in every of the Broncos’ first two tilts — has Patrick with two touchdowns already. Patrick additionally has turned eight targets into seven receptions. And with Jeudy nonetheless anticipated to miss several weeks with an ankle damage he suffered within the season opener, Patrick figures to remain busy. — Jeff Legwold

Earlier rating: 23

Fantasy shock: QB Sam Darnold

You possibly can’t say Christian McCaffrey right here as a result of nothing he has carried out is a surprise. So, the nod goes to Darnold who, whereas not lighting it up, has proven the consistency the Panthers have been hoping for once they traded for him. Darnold has three landing passes to just one interception, and he additionally has a speeding landing. Most spectacular is that he has accomplished 68.5% of his passes, method up from the 59.8% he had in three years with the Jets. — David Newton

Earlier rating: 18

Fantasy shock: WR Julio Jones

Since we’re being compelled to choose a constructive shock fantasy performer, Jones is the choose. Being out for many of coaching camp resulted in questions on creating chemistry with Ryan Tannehill early within the season. The 2 did not look like they have been precisely on the identical web page within the season opener, when Jones completed with three receptions for 39 yards. However they rebounded in Week 2. After two video games, Jones has caught 9 of the 14 targets which have gone his method for a complete of 157 yards. — Turron Davenport

Earlier rating: 9

Fantasy shock: TE Juwan Johnson

The Saints haven’t any worthy candidates for this class primarily based on their Week 2 flop alone. However Johnson did no less than catch a 23-yard cross on Sunday on the heels of his two-TD efficiency from Week 1. And he stays a sleeper possibility within the deepest of fantasy leagues and each day lineups due to his big-play potential. Johnson, who transformed from WR to TE this offseason, flashed constantly all through coaching camp and the preseason. — Mike Triplett

Earlier rating: 14

Fantasy shock: RB Justin Jackson

His spot on the workforce was in query in coaching camp, and he would not have a lot worth now, however Jackson is an efficient participant to maintain in your radar if Austin Ekeler will get damage once more. Jackson had 4 carries for 21 yards in opposition to the Cowboys in Week 2, and he has carried out when referred to as upon prior to now, so he could possibly be price stashing as a handcuff. — Shelley Smith

Earlier rating: 17

Fantasy shock: RB Damien Harris

It is slim pickings for an offense that has been restricted, however Harris will get the nod as a result of he has been the surefire No. 1 RB on a workforce that has historically favored a committee strategy. He had 23 carries for 100 yards in the opener (with a pricey late fumble) and adopted it up with a 26-yard TD run in Week 2 on among the finest particular person speeding efforts throughout the NFL. — Mike Reiss

Earlier rating: 15

Fantasy shock: WR Jaylen Waddle

Miami has not had any true standout from a fantasy perspective (a constructive one, no less than), however Waddle has been the closest factor to it, registering 10 catches in his first two video games. They have not essentially been terribly productive receptions — he has 109 receiving yards — however the No. 6 overall pick did rating a touchdown in Week 1, and he has seen 13 complete targets. That kind of alternative suggests the Dolphins belief him within the offense already, which is a constructive signal for the rookie going ahead. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Earlier rating: 21

Fantasy shock: WR Quez Watkins

He entered coaching camp as a reserve however earned enjoying time with one electrifying play after one other this summer season. We’re now seeing that translate to the common season, as Watkins hauled in a 91-yard reception against the 49ers on Sunday and completed with two catches for 117 yards. He’ll possible be increase or bust week to week, however in the event you catch him on the proper time, Watkins may simply go off for you. — Tim McManus

Earlier rating: 22

Fantasy shock: QB Taylor Heinicke

It must be Heinicke, contemplating that the others making performs — Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson — aren’t shocking. However Heinicke got here in for injured starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns in a comeback win over the New York Giants. The one concern for fantasy — and it is a pivotal one — is that whereas Heinicke can run, it is not good for him to take action. That is why he has solely carried seven occasions for 23 yards. However Heinicke will stay the starter for no less than the subsequent 5 – 6 weeks — the earliest that Fitzpatrick may return. There’s lots to nonetheless study him, however in his two begins with Washington, Heinicke has thrown for a mixed 642 yards and three touchdowns. — John Keim

Earlier rating: 16

Fantasy shock: WR Zach Pascal

It’s totally, very slim pickings in the case of choices for the Colts on this class. Each third reception by Pascal has been a landing for him by way of the primary two weeks of the season. He’s the one Colts participant who has a touchdown reception, as he has three scores and 9 receptions for 81 yards this season. Fantasy alternatives off the Colts may get even slimmer if beginning quarterback Carson Wentz has to overlook an prolonged time frame as a result of his ankle injury. — Mike Wells



Stephen A. Smith explains why the Bears ought to maintain off on beginning Justin Fields in opposition to the Browns on Sunday.

Earlier rating: 26

Fantasy shock: WR Darnell Mooney

Let me preface this by saying that exterior of David Montgomery, the Bears have only a few viable fantasy choices. Nevertheless, the Bears are excessive on Mooney, who caught 61 passes for 631 yards as a rookie final 12 months. Via two video games, Mooney has been focused 15 occasions. The second-year wideout has been Chicago’s most efficient receiver, with 11 receptions for 92 yards. — Jeff Dickerson

Earlier rating: 24

Fantasy shock: WR Ja’Marr Chase

The Bengals have solely three possible WR fantasy choices, however the fifth general choose has exceeded expectations after a rocky August. Chase leads all Bengals receivers in fantasy factors per recreation in commonplace leagues (13.65). Each of his landing catches have come on lengthy receptions, which suggests he will probably be a big-play possibility for managers transferring ahead. Chase is averaging 18.Eight air yards per goal, which leads the Bengals by a big margin, in line with ESPN Stats & Data knowledge. — Ben Child

Earlier rating: 25

Fantasy shock: WR K.J. Osborn

As of Week 2, Vikings huge receiver K.J. Osborn was solely rostered in 1.1% of fantasy leagues. After the way in which he has performed in Minnesota’s first two video games, those that play each day fantasy or are in deep leagues may need to snatch him up. The second-year wideout has snap counts in step with what’s anticipated from a WR3 in Minnesota’s offense and early manufacturing in addition. Via two video games, Osborn is averaging 13.9 yards per catch on 12 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown. In years previous, the Vikings struggled to ascertain a 3rd WR behind Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and, beforehand, behind Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Osborn has emerged as that guy in Minnesota. — Courtney Cronin

Earlier rating: 29

Fantasy shock: RB Mark Ingram II

As a result of the Texans have 5 operating backs on the roster, it made it a tougher resolution about whether or not one of many veteran backs (Ingram, Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson) was startable. It was Ingram in Week 1 who led the way in which with 85 yards and a landing on 26 carries. He fueled the workforce once more against the Browns, though he did not get in the long run zone. Quite a lot of how the Texans’ operating backs are used will rely upon the sport script, which is why Johnson led the group in snaps performed in Week 2. — Sarah Barshop

Earlier rating: 28

Fantasy shock: QB Daniel Jones

Do not sleep. Jones is within the top 20 in the NFL with 122 yards speeding. That is greater than Austin Ekeler, Jonathan Taylor and Ezekiel Elliott. Jones additionally must be tied for the league lead with three speeding touchdowns, if not for a questionable holding name on a future Thursday evening. To not point out, Jones has produced quality fantasy numbers in opposition to two of the hardest defenses (Denver and Washington) he will face this season. It makes him a top quality beginning possibility going ahead with some higher matchups on the horizon. Atlanta and its putrid protection is on deck with 10 days’ relaxation. — Jordan Raanan

Earlier rating: 27

Fantasy shock: RB Cordarrelle Patterson

Getting into the season, there have been plenty of questions on how Patterson would match into Atlanta’s offense behind Mike Davis. It seems, he is not as a lot behind Davis as he’s partnered with him. Patterson has been used as a running back and as a receiver — resulting in speeding and receiving touchdowns on Sunday against Tampa Bay. In each actual life and fantasy, he has been one among Atlanta’s finest gamers. — Michael Rothstein

Earlier rating: 30

Fantasy shock: RB Jamaal Williams

Williams was dropped at Detroit to be a strong complement to RB1 D’Andre Swift. Nevertheless, with Swift battling a nagging groin damage, Williams has “been the rock,” in line with Lions coach Dan Campbell, after Week 1. “Jamaal has been the rock as a result of he is been there daily,” Campbell mentioned. “He is been regular; he is been sound. We all know precisely what he’s. He is been very sturdy and reliable.” In Week 1, Williams grew to become the primary Lions operating again to hurry for no less than 50 yards and a landing in a recreation and produce no less than 50 receiving yards since Joique Bell on Dec. 7, 2014, and the trouble produced 25 fantasy factors. The flex function may match him in sure conditions, however clearly not each week. — Eric Woodyard

Earlier rating: 32

Fantasy shock: TE James O’Shaughnessy

The Jaguars weren’t anticipated to get a lot out of this place within the passing recreation, however O’Shaughnessy had seven catches for 72 yards within the first two weeks. Nevertheless, the tight finish suffered a excessive ankle sprain within the loss to the Broncos, and he’ll miss a number of weeks. When he returns, he’ll give Trevor Lawrence a dependable goal and would be the Jaguars’ most efficient pass-catching tight finish. — Mike DiRocco

Earlier rating: 31

Fantasy shock: WR Braxton Berrios

Berrios shouldn’t be one of many Jets’ high three receivers, however he has garnered surprising enjoying time as a result of Jamison Crowder‘s absence. Working because the slot receiver, Berrios leads the workforce in targets (18), catches (12) and receiving yards (124). The coaches actually like him as a result of he’s a exact route runner. Clearly, QB Zach Wilson trusts him. Now, with Crowder poised to return, it will be fascinating to see how they divide the enjoying time. — Wealthy Cimini

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