Production Value is a key metric we use in our fantasy football rankings. Production Value takes historic data on each player and analyses the player statistics that make up fantasy production.
Using production value you can see the drop-offs in tiers for each position.
Tiers help Fantasy Managers spot value in drafts and should be part of your strategy in all fantasy formats.
Running Backs Fantasy Football Production
The top 10 elite running backs will help fantasy managers win many leagues in the upcoming 2021 NFL fantasy season.
However within the top 10 our fantasy algorithm shows us who will be most productive, it’s no surprise that Christian McCaffery (or CMC) is by far the most productive when he’s on the field, but how do the next 9 ranked RB’s fantasy production levels vary?
Our fantasy algorithm tells us that Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley and Derrick Henry will offer managers more regular fantasy production than the next tier down of Ezekiel Elliott, Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones and Austin Ekeler.
Top 10 Runnings Backs by Production Value
|1||Christian McCaffrey (CAR)|
|2||Dalvin Cook (MIN)|
|3||Alvin Kamara (NO)|
|4||Saquon Barkley (NYG)|
|5||Derrick Henry (TEN)|
|6||Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)|
|7||Jonathan Taylor (IND)|
|8||Nick Chubb (CLE)|
|9||Aaron Jones (GB)|
|10||Austin Ekeler (LAC)|
Fantasy Production Tiers
This tells us that you can set yourself tiers within the Top 10 RB’s to guide you in when to make your move on draft day or within a trade.
Currently, the tiers to consider are:
- Tier 1: Christian McCaffery
- Tier 2: Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley
- Tier 3: Derrick Henry
- Tier 4: Ezekiel Elliott, Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones and Austin Ekeler
An example of how you may use the tiers during a draft would be, in Round 1, Tiers 1 & 2 would be taken over any other position given the scarcity at running back (Unless we were drafting Superflex).
Tier 3 from the end of Round 1, however, you may consider Devante Adams, Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill.
Once you’re in round 2 Tier 4 are all very strong second-round picks. Never be afraid of drafting 2 RBs in the first 2 rounds.
You’ll always be able to find Wide Receiver depth and if you don’t have to spend much time or faab on RB’s in the waiver wire your team will be strong.
Production value is the value our algorithm assigns running backs in our rankings. In fantasy and particularly for RB’s it’s their production value on a consistent basis that makes an RB most valuable to fantasy managers.
Christian McCaffery is the elite RB when it comes to production, even when compared to Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley and Derrick Henry.
The later tier 2 group is still a clear level above on a consistent fantasy production basis vs the rest.
Fantasy managers with one of these names are more likely to win their leagues given the drop off in RB’s, as our RB production value graph shows the drop off begins within the top 10 RB’s.
Remaining Top 100 RB Production Value
The Elite Wide Receivers Production Value for the Fantasy Football Season
Drafting early to get a top 10 wide receiver means you’re giving up adding an elite running back.
However, it could be worth getting a WR as early as the first or second round due to the constant production of the top 9.
Devante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Brown and Stefon Diggs all have such high production that justifies a first-round pick.
If any make it to the tail end of the second round you’re getting great value.
The next tier down of Justin Jefferson, Michael Thomas (not taking into account Michael Thomas being out for the beginning of the 2021 season), DeAndre Hopkins and D.K. Metcalf are worth second-round picks.
However, this is the tier that could fall as late as the fourth round if you’re in an RB drafting heavy league.
The current ADP’s of Thomas, Jefferson and Ridley are between 23rd pick – 27th pick overall. This is great value for a top 3 potential WR’s.
You’ll see the drop off from Terry McLaurin’s production value after D.K. Metcalf.
This show’s you the added value of the top 9. If the Top 12 RB’s are gone I’ll be looking to get one of the top 9 WR’s in PPR format drafts.
It’s easy to forget on draft day but the ceiling’s of the top 9 WR’s are far greater than the majority of top 12 RB’s.
They’re league winners and it’s worth considering a zero RB strategy to pick up 2 or even 3 of the top 9 WR’s.
Top 10 WR’s in Fantasy Football by Production Value
This is the list of Top 10 WR’s in Fantasy Football by Production Value.
|1||Davante Adams (GB)|
|2||Tyreek Hill (KC)|
|3||Calvin Ridley (ATL)|
|4||A.J. Brown (TEN)|
|5||Stefon Diggs (BUF)|
|6||Justin Jefferson (MIN)|
|7||Michael Thomas (NO)|
|8||DeAndre Hopkins (ARI)|
|9||D.K. Metcalf (SEA)|
|10||Terry McLaurin (WAS)|
Top 10 WR’s by Production Value
The top 9 wide receivers production value in fantasy does set them above the rest in the WR position which does run deep compared to RB and TE.
Although there is depth at WR we believe if a top 9 WR is available to draft within the first 3 round they can justify their pick.
The tier 1 WR’s are currently Devante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Brown and Stefon Diggs, who all have the potential to finish as the number 1 WR.
Tier 2 WR’s Justin Jefferson, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins and D.K. Metcalf all have top 5 appeals but the drop off from here is shown when you get to Terry McLaurin.
Remaining Top Ranked WR’s by Production Value
Quarterback Production Value show’s it’s worth getting an elite QB
The data show’s it’s probably worthwhile drafting a top 7 QB.
However, the quarterback position runs deep, and the 20th ranked QB can produce top 5 numbers.
It is worth noting that only the top 7 are producing consistently above average fantasy points each week.
No matter the format, Patrick Mahomes will be QB 1, and in Superflex leagues, he’ll most likely be the number 1 overall pick.
QB2 – QB7 (Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, and Justin Herbert) are all likely to produce above-average numbers each week and have weeks where they go off.
The drop-off happens in the next tier; these are the QB’s that we think will get a lot of touchdowns, making them even more valuable in 6 points per touchdown leagues.
However, they are likely to have more down weeks than the top 7 QBs.
Tom Brady has so many weapons at WR with a tier of RB’s far below the elite level.
Brady’s poised to throw for possibly 40 touchdowns.
Matthew Stafford is in a new situation with two elite WR’s in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods that fit his game perfectly.
We are hopefully going to see Joe Burrow push Justin Herbert for a top 7th ranking.
Most league winners have at least a top 10 QB.
Make sure you don’t miss out on draft day and lock in an elite QB.
Top 10 QB’s in Fantasy
|1||Patrick Mahomes II (KC)|
|2||Josh Allen (BUF)|
|3||Kyler Murray (ARI)|
|4||Dak Prescott (DAL)|
|5||Lamar Jackson (BAL)|
|6||Russell Wilson (SEA)|
|7||Justin Herbert (LAC)|
|8||Tom Brady (TB)|
|9||Matthew Stafford (LAR)|
|10||Joe Burrow (CIN)|
QB’s by Production Value
Production Value is a valuable metric to see how deep the QB position goes.
Even though having Patrick Mahomes on your team gives you the best floor and ceiling in the position, it’s not as big a gap in production as you may think.
Our stats and assessment show that you can go as deep as QB15 (Jalen Hurts) before production starts to take a steep dive.
Unless you’re drafting in Superflex or 2QB formats, it’s best to hold off until at least rounds 4 or 5 in drafting a QB.
Holding back in your draft can get you a Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers (while he’s holing out on the Packers), Matthew Stafford or possibly Ryan Tannehill and Joe Burrow.
For those brave enough to hold off even later, we recommend Kirk Cousins as our QB sleeper.
Remaining Ranked Quarterbacks Production Value
Is Tight End Production Value a Difference Maker?
Having an elite Tight End can be a real difference-maker for fantasy managers.
There’s no question that Travis Kelce is in a tier of his own, and it’s the next level down that is crucial not to miss out on.
We think the production of Darren Waller and Mark Andrews will outdo the production of George Kittle this year.
Some of this has to do with thelikelihood of Kittle being injured this year and being paired with new QB Trey Lance.
There’s good value in T.J. Hockenson, and Dallas Goedert’s ADP’s are further back than Kyle Pitts. Missing out on the already mentioned names leaves you with Noah Fant, Irv Smith Jr. or potential 2021 sleepers Jonnu Smith, Adam Trautman and Blake Jarwin.
As the graph shows, the production level regression between TE1 and TE10 is massive, by far the largest drop off in all key fantasy positions.
It pays to have a top 7 TE on your roster. Often in drafts in rounds 3 – 5, there will be a run on tight ends.
We suggest you draft the latest you can of the top 7. In most drafts, given the high expectations managers have in Kyle Pitts.
Fantasy Managers looking for value will most likely find it in the range of; Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson or Dallas Goedert.
Remember that these will be the best value you will get for consistent TE production in the upcoming season.
In teams with 10 or fewer starters, the TE will be making up at least 10% of your team each week.
Top 10 TE’s in Fantasy
|1||Travis Kelce (KC)|
|2||Darren Waller (LV)|
|3||Mark Andrews (BAL)|
|4||George Kittle (SF)|
|5||T.J. Hockenson (DET)|
|6||Dallas Goedert (PHI)|
|7||Kyle Pitts (ATL)|
|8||Irv Smith Jr. (MIN)|
|10||Noah Fant (DEN)|
Top TE’s by Production Value
Travis Kelce is the clear TE1.
However, there’s a range of TE2’s available; we believe a good strategy is to take the tail end of these TE2’s on draft day.
Darren Waller and Mark Andrews are the next best off the list, given how injury-prone George Kittle (potentially is along with a new rookie QB).
T.J. Hockenson and Dallas Goedert both have ADP’s behind Kyle Pitts.
These are two that you can get at good value as missing out on the top 7 TE’s leaves you with Noah Fant or Irv Smith Jr., who could easily fall into busts this season.
Maybe Jonnu Smith, Adam Trautman and Blake Jarwin are sleepers, but it’s not a risk we’d recommend taking in the Tight End position.
Remaining Ranked TE’s by Production Value
Final Analysis on Production Value
The understanding of production value in fantasy football is a key part of drafting.
Elite Fantasy Football Managers go into drafts with an agile strategy, knowing production value and tiers allows for changing tactics depending on how the draft is shaping.
If you are drafting towards the end of the first round you will know if this draft is going to be RB heavy.
If so you can perhaps grab the top WR or Top TE in round 1, you’ll have an early-round 2 pick where you can consider a zero RB strategy.
In standard PPR leagues, the Top 5 RB’s will likely outscore the top 5 WR’s. However, it’s a steep decline after RB6 or RB7.
Use the comparison charts below and even if the first 7 picks in your draft are a run for RB’s, you may well be better off taking one of the top 5 WR’s who’s likely going to outscore the remaining RB’s available by a significant amount.
Top 5 RBs vs Top 5 WRs
RBs 6 – 10 vs Top 5 WRs
You could do the same with the top 3 TE’s. However, after TE1 there may be too much of a dropoff in production, particularly considering the remaining WR’s available.
Whatever strategy you take into your draft, ensure you have a good understanding of production value.
This will give you the flexibility to draft the strongest possible team, regardless of having the first pick in your draft or having the last.