Which AFC North Players Should You Consider for Your Fantasy Football Draft?

AFC North With Ravens Steelers Browns And Bengals

There are plenty of AFC North players that you should consider drafting in your fantasy football draft. However, don’t make mistakes that many have made and choose mainly players from one offense like the Ravens. It doesn’t work.

Now, if you broaden your horizons a bit and choose players at the very least from all four AFC North teams, you have a sensational fantasy football team. Or you will if everyone stays healthy. Today’s post will tell you who we’re hot on in fantasy football among players in the AFC North.

You will get a few obvious names, but we will also touch on a few players you may have never expected. Are you ready to dig deep and discover who the best players are in the AFC North from a fantasy viewpoint? Then, keep reading below.

Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson has epitomized what a fantasy football quarterback should look like. But be careful with Jackson. He’s sensational both in real life and fantasy football when asked to throw the ball fewer than 30 times per game. When teams force Jackson to throw, he’s not an effective quarterback.

Therefore:
When you draft Jackson you’re betting on him to beat teams with his legs. And teams figured him out often in 2020. This is something even he acknowledged once in a press conference. If teams continue to key on Jackson, he is a potential Bust.

J.K. Dobbins can save Jackson from the Bust Label given his unbelievable production in 2020. He galloped for 805 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry in the process. Dobbins scored 9 touchdowns too. He will develop into a solid RB1 in 2021.

He’s worth taking early.

Marquise Brown has more potential than many give him credit for. He’s no WR1 in fantasy football, but his 58 receptions, 769 yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns account for something. Think of him as a high-end WR3 in fantasy football in 2021.

Sammy Watkins never lived up to his draft hype. However, he’s an effective player and is worth at least a look in the later rounds. He logged 37 receptions in just 10 games in 2020 for 421 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Rashod Bateman is your ultimate boom or bust. He was a splash player in college and may walk into the same role in the NFL. They’re saying Bateman has struggled with injuries, so he’s a definite risk. However, if you’re looking for a sleeper to snag late, he’s got potential.

Mark Andrews is not as effective as pundits make him out to be. However, he’s a solid TE1. He’s not a top four tight end and you’d do well to wait a little while before you draft him. But if someone else reaches for Andrews, it’s no reason to flip.

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow won’t get drafted until late in most leagues, unless you’re playing in a deep league. Many thought Burrow was a prime candidate to make the leap early. But that honor went to Justin Herbert, who many thought would need a year.

Burrow instead became that quarterback.
But with a sensational receiving unit around him, perhaps his Leap was just one season past due. If you’re looking to draft a QB2 late, he’s a good option.

Joe Mixon struggled in every facet but he’s still the offense’s centerpiece until Burrow makes that Leap. If he stays healthy, he’s still a solid RB1, even if he’s a low-end one. If you value receivers before running backs, Mixon is a great consolation.

Tyler Boyd is underrated—especially when he has a rookie in Ja’Maar Chase coming along with Tee Higgins having established himself. Don’t be fooled. Boyd is the most talented odd man out in perhaps fantasy football history. He stepped back in 2020, but he’s a solid WR3 at worst in fantasy football.

Chase was one of those rare cases where the Bengals drafted for want instead of need. But it made sense, given his chemistry with Burrow in college. If signs point to Chase and Burrow getting hot in the preseason, he wouldn’t be a bad “reach” on draft day.

Higgins really established his presence as a rookie in 2020, logging 67 receptions, 908 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Sure, he will fight for targets with Boyd and Chase in the lineup. But Higgins is built like a small tight end, giving him a tremendous size advantage.

Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield is the product of his system, and therefore, it inflates his fantasy value. Look for Mayfield to have another good year as a game manager, which makes him a solid QB2 option in fantasy football. You don’t want him to start often, however, given his pedestrian numbers.

Please Note:
Nick Chubb is one reason Mayfield does not produce like a top-tier fantasy football quarterback. Despite playing in just 12 games, he still rushed for 1,067 yards, which would’ve put him on pace for over 1,400 rushing yards had he played in all 16. He also scored 12 rushing touchdowns.

Kareem Hunt is the best RB2 in football and he’s a solid RB2 in fantasy football. What makes him so valuable is that he possesses a different skill set than Chubb. While Chubb is great between the tackles, Hunt is the dual-threat back teams fear.

He scored 11 total touchdowns in 2020, 6 on the ground, and 5 through the air. He’s a decent back if you’re playing in a PPR league since he’s always a threat to catch and run.

Jarvis Landry is no longer valuable as a WR2 or even a WR3 in fantasy, but it’s mainly because of the system.

That said, he’s a good bench player since he remains a sure-handed target who can dominate PPR leagues if your team struggles with injuries. Ditto for Odell Beckham Jr.

Austin Hooper is one to watch.
Yeah, his production dropped. Okay, whatever. It’s a one-year outlier and given the system in which the Browns play, he can become a valuable red-zone target. He’s worth consideration as at least a TE2.

Harrison Bryant may actually take over as the TE1. So if you’re looking to draft a tight end late, Bryant may become more than just a TE1 in real life. He has the potential to take the position over in fantasy football.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is no longer an effective quarterback in fantasy football. Since the Steelers drafted Najee Harris, beefed up their offensive line, and will continue to win on defense, look for him to float between franchise quarterback and game manager in 2021.

He’s still worth the look as a solid QB2. Draft him if you’re still searching for a quarterback late.

Harris can become a legit RB1 in fantasy football and many will draft him in the opening round in larger leagues. He’s considered a reach given his rookie status, but he’s a smart reach. With Ben playing in what may be his last season, look for Harris to reap the production.

Chase Claypool was sensational during his rookie season in Pittsburgh, logging 11 touchdowns.

Nicknamed Mapletron given his resemblance in size and skill set to the legendary Calvin Johnson (Megatron), Claypool can make The Leap in 2021 and pick up where Antonio Brown left off in 2018.

They call Pat Friermuth “Baby Gronk,” much to the dismay of Steeler fans that I’ve become good friends with over the years. Anyway, Friermuth can be the next great tight end in Pittsburgh and is worth a look as a solid TE2 for your fantasy football team. Especially if you wait to draft tight ends.

Diontae Johnson always seems to be on the cusp of stardom.

And perhaps he will ascend in Year 3, after he logged 88 receptions, 923 yards, and 7 touchdowns. At the very least, he’s a solid WR2 and perhaps a low-end WR1 in PPR leagues.

Finally:
JuJu Smith-Schuster bounced back in fashion with 97 receptions on 831 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. No, Smith-Schuster did not impress on the yards per reception spectrum. But really, who cares? He showed that he can bounce back from subpar seasons like he had in 2019.

Look for Smith-Schuster to be at least a solid WR2 if not a WR1 in PPR leagues.

Conclusion 

There are good AFC North players to choose from whether you’re looking at Baltimore’s roster or Pittsburgh’s. At one time, they were THE teams in the division, but Cleveland has a few serious fantasy contenders and Cincinnati has potential.

If you’re looking to make a list of the top players to pick from the AFC North, we just did the hard work for you. And if we skipped anybody, feel free to add a few more names.

Oh, and make sure you let us know who your favorite AFC North players are in the comments as they pertain to fantasy football. Let us know in the comments who you intend to draft and which online sportsbook you used.

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Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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