The 2021 First Round Is All About Jonathan Taylor: Why He Matters and What You Should Do About It
Image Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Jonathan Taylor.

Shawn Siegele breaks down why Jonathan Taylor makes such a good target in 2021 and explains why understanding Taylor helps develop your strategy for the entire first round.

Ben Gretch and I were discussing the potential Fall of the Uber-Backs on a recent episode of Stealing Bananas, and we got an excellent listener question wanting to know why I was so high on Taylor. Doesn’t he have more in common with Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb than with the backs who can actually deliver a fantasy title?

A follow-up question might be: What’s so bad about Henry? He scored 21 PPG in 2020 on the back of a 2,000-yard, 17-TD season. Unfortunately, this is how his historic season translated into fantasy.

That’s a far cry from the 23% win rate of James Robinson, Alvin Kamara’s 24%, or Christian McCaffrey 30% in 2019. And the flip side is obvious. If that’s what Henry did in an epic year, imagine what will happen if he’s merely good.

I have Taylor ranked as the 1.04 and Henry at 2.01. I’ll probably move Henry down further before the season starts. With that as the background, I have a lot of work to do to make the case for Taylor.

To be worth the 1.04, Taylor has to make a jump from the 17 PPG he averaged last season. In assessing the likelihood of that jump, we essentially need to answer three questions:

  • What type of jump do we normally get from second-year backs?
  • If it is a jump, does that still apply to backs with Taylor’s profile who already had strong rookie seasons?
  • Can Taylor add the type of receiving value that would make him a potential league winner?

Taylor’s Potential Jump in Historical Context and Why It Matters

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Shawn Siegele

Author of the original Zero RB article and 2013 NFFC Primetime Grand Champion. 11-time main event league winner. 2015, 2017, 2018 titles in MFL10 of Death.

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