Welcome back to the 2021 Dynasty Hidden Gems series. This is the second entry in our 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems series. You can find the first article featuring Kansas City tight end Noah Gray here.
One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your roster is by taking calculated risks. Whether from the wire or the back-end of your opponents’ roster, there are players that are (relatively) easy to obtain that can pay HUGE dividends. Sometimes referred to as dynasty “deep dives,” these players may not seem like much on the surface, but find a hidden gem and you will unlock incredible value. Of course, if you have not yet drafted in your rookie drafts, these players can also be found in the late rounds, but still should not be overlooked, especially if your roster has a little extra room.
In the worst case scenario, the player you acquire busts, but because you didn’t risk a lot of value, the hit will only slightly sting. Be smart and stay active, and you will likely find enough hidden gems to make up for all of your whiffs combined. That is doing dynasty roster construction right.
Before I dive into the next 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem of this offseason I want to ask a question to you. What is the purpose of dynasty or just fantasy football in general? Winning a championship, right? RINGS! Lots and lots of rings! Elijah Wood (Frodo) knows a little something about rings. Ultimately, that’s what we need to focus on whenever we add or draft a player. Does this selection get me closer to that highly coveted ring? Speaking of Elijah Wood, this other Elijah potentially can break out and make you ‘Lord’ of your league with a RING to show for it!
Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 6th round, Elijah Mitchell was the starting running back at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL). Mitchell ran the ball with authority, amassing over 3,200 yards on the ground and 45 touchdowns. That doesn’t include the 597 reception yards and five touchdowns through the air.
Elijah Mitchell boasts some serious upside given his physical abilities. Weighing 201 lbs. and standing 5’10,” Mitchell has decent size for the position compared to other backs in this class. Mitchell has good hands, and is a powerful runner. He also has a quick burst and nice acceleration through the hole. At his pro-day, Mitchell clocked in at an impressive 4.35 40-yard-dash. On top of it all, he has a strong motor that just doesn’t ever seem to quit.
Elijah Mitchell is slowing turning into one of my favorite 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems simply because he is a baller and gives 100 percent effort on every play. His former coaching staff has given extremely high praise for both his abilities and work ethic. UL Head Coach Billy Napier said of Mitchell, “His production is well-documented.” He added, “There’s no question about Elijah Mitchell… his character, what he meant to our team and our organization, just a class act. We’re talking about a young man that truly was a foxhole guy, represented everything a Cajun should be about and represented this community and this university in the right way.” UL Associate Head Coach and strength trainer Mark Hocke also praised Elijah Mitchell, stating “I can’t speak highly enough of Elijah Mitchell… [He’s] a special person, special competitor — extreme work ethic. He’s been like that since we got here in 2018. He’s had success every year we’ve been here.”
2021 Outlook and Beyond
Elijah Mitchell is also a superb 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem because he has some upside given his current situation. The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most balanced teams in the league. Kyle Shanahan is known to have running backs in his system produce week in and week out. Mitchell is also under the radar because earlier in the 2021 NFL draft, the 49ers selected Trey Sermon in the 3rd round. While most believe Sermon will eventually earn the starting job over veteran running back Raheem Mostert, it is still possible that Elijah Mitchell could run away with the job himself.
Jeff Wilson Jr. and Wayne Gallman are also in the mix, however the injury bug has already struck the 49ers early in the offseason. Jeff Wilson Jr. is likely to miss at least the first third of the 2021 season with a torn meniscus. Wayne Gallman is seemingly healthy, and performed well last year in relief of Saquon Barkley for the New York Giants in 2020. However, he lacks big play upside and was brought in prior to the 49ers knowing that they would be able to draft two legit playmakers (Sermon/Mitchell) at the position. Losing Jeff Wilson Jr. so soon in the new year gives Elijah Mitchell extra reps in the offseason. It also will likely lead to some work in the regular season for his rookie year that he didn’t originally plan to have.
Elijah Mitchell will have the opportunity to prove he can be one of the best 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems of this offseason. With hard work, and maybe a little luck, Mitchell could potentially end the year atop of the depth chart in San Francisco over Trey Sermon and Raheem Mostert. This could happen without additional injuries, but obviously that would help increase the likelihood. Nonetheless, Elijah Mitchell is in a prime spot to produce and the sky is the limit for what he can bring to the field both in 2021 and in future seasons. With current ADP in the 3rd round, Elijah Mitchell is relatively inexpensive, but could easily blow far and away past that value by year’s end.
That’s why Elijah Mitchell should be in YOUR game plan to try to improve your own dynasty squad with an opportunity to potentially shine bright. I will regularly release more 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems throughout this off-season. Good luck!
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