Shawn Siegele breaks down Round 3 of a 2021 superflex dynasty startup and explains why this is where you’ll win or lose your draft.
Sam Wallace and I are in a pitched battle for dynasty supremacy in our Dynasty Draft-Off. We each get six teams, and it’s brutal trying to grab values in all of them with Sam vacuuming up good players in between all of my picks.
As we enter the third round, most of the star QBs are off the board, and a bevy of rookie WRs from the elite 2020 class are gone as well. In many ways, this makes Round 3 the fulcrum for the entire draft. Do you select mid-career RB stars like Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott who are first-round picks in classic redraft leagues? How do you approach a 31-year-old like Travis Kelce, the most unique talent in fantasy?
If you play your cards correctly, you should come out of Round 3 with upside, flexibility, and the basis for a starting lineup that is one player deeper than your opponents’. In today’s Dynasty Workshop, I’ll break down the case for each of my picks and explain why the right structure in this crucial round will help you create a Permanent Championship Window.
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Round 1 and 2: Controversy at QB, Firepower at RB
2021 Dynasty Superflex Startup – Round 3
3.01 D’Andre Swift
3.02 Calvin Ridley
Deployed in an aggressive Falcons offense that ranked No. 1 in pass plays per 60 minutes, Ridley’s combination of target depth (14.3 AY/TA) and target share (25%) put him in position to lead the NFL in air yards. Some of those deep targets were of the throwaway variety, but he still caught 32 of 64 passes that traveled more than 15 yards. Ridley went over 800 yards on deep passes alone.
Despite playing through nagging injuries and even posting a zero in Week 4, Ridley finished fifth in expected points (EP) and 11th in fantasy points above expectation (FPOE). He rallied to perform the best at the crucial moments, scoring 76 points in the fantasy playoffs, good for fourth overall and trailing only Alvin Kamara, Stefon Diggs, and Davante Adams.
Ridley has been consistent and explosive as an NFL receiver, increasing his points per game in every season and averaging almost nine TDs a year. Since the turn of the century, Ridley ranks No. 10 overall in total fantasy points through three seasons, ahead of names like Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson.
And in 2020 Ridley proved he can succeed without Julio Jones to draw coverage. He was a WR1 in games with Jones and an elite WR1 when Jones couldn’t participate.
Over his three seasons, Ridley paces for double-digit TDs when Jones plays and over 1,700 yards receiving when he doesn’t. Arthur Smith may try to introduce a more balanced offensive approach, but he needs a different roster to do it. In almost any scenario, Ridley offers a high floor and high ceiling in a 26-year-old package that can anchor your roster for years to come.