2021 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Rankings
Heading into the 2021 NFL season, we have ranked the top players at each position, despite the fact that it is probably way too early to participate in a draft. Still, in examining the top players heading into next year, we have noticed a trend at the quarterback position. All five of the top quarterbacks can score in a variety of ways. They are all mobile and quick in the pocket. Lets take a look at the top ten quarterbacks that should go off the board of your fantasy football draft.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Although Mahomes was manhandled in Super Bowl LV by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense, there is no doubt in my mind that the young stud will be back and better than ever next NFL season. Mahomes is still the most talented quarterback in the NFL and is surrounded by a plethora of talent.
Tyreek Hill is the fastest and most explosive receiver in the NFL. When lining up on Kansas City’s offense, Hill makes Mahomes a much better quarterback due to his speed and ability to find and create open space. Hill erupted last season, hauling in 87 receptions for 1,276 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 355 yards in the postseason.
When Hill is unable to take the top off of the defense, Travis Kelce drew plenty of targets. The big tight end caught 105 passes for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season. In the team’s three playoff games, Kelce emerged as the go-to pass catcher. He caught 31 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns in the postseason.
Mahomes completed 66.3 % of his passes during the regular season for 4,740 yards. He threw a whopping 38 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions. Nobody in the NFL should come close to producing as many fantasy points as Mahomes at the quarterback position. Not only does he have an incredible offense with several talented players to throw to, but he can also move the chains with his legs. In just 15 games last season, Mahomes ran for 308 yards and an additional two touchdowns.
Look for Mahomes to go in the second or third round of most fantasy drafts.
Prediction: 4,900 passing yards, 42 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 400 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns
2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Allen was incredible in his third season with the Bills. He led Buffalo to the AFC Championship game and proved that the Bills’ offense was built to run through Allen. The young signal caller was the greatest beneficiary to the Stefan Diggs trade. Diggs became Buffalo’s WR1, but he wasn’t the only dynamic weapon that Allen utilized. Cole Beasley, John Brown, and Dawson Knox all earned plenty of targets throughout the season. However, nobody could compare to Diggs. Diggs led the NFL with 127 receptions. He turned those catches into 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns.
Allen made a huge leap this past year. After throwing 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 12 games of his rookie season, Allen finished as the top quarterback in fantasy football last season. He completed just under 70 percent of his passes for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran the ball 102 times for 421 yards and an additional eight touchdowns. He averaged 24.7 fantasy points per game. Not many quarterbacks have the dual-threat skills that Allen has learned in Buffalo. Look for him to produce another very strong outing in 2021.
Prediction: 4,500 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 575 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns
3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Although Jackson is just as skilled as Mahomes and Allen, Jackson tends to make plays with his legs more than with his arm. He has a cannon for an arm, however, his speed and agility outside the pocket make it very difficult for defenses to prevent him from piling up massive yardage on the ground.
If Jackson is going to improve upon his 2020 numbers, the Ravens are going to need to improve offensively. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews are not nearly enough to make Baltimore’s offense elite. Last season, Jackson was asked to do way too much. He finished the 2020 season with 2,757 passing yards and 1,005 rushing yards in 15 games. He threw 26 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions, and rushed for an additional seven touchdowns. Jackson was 12th in passing touchdowns, 22nd in passing yards, 22nd in deep ball completion percentage (37), and 30th in air yards per game (214.3). All of those numbers should improve in 2021.
Jackson cannot be shy in the pocket and has to continue to let the ball fly if the Ravens are going to have any chance at representing the AFC in next year’s Super Bowl. They have been close each of the past few years. Perhaps 2021 is finally the year of Jackson and the Ravens.
Prediction: 4,000 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, seven interceptions, 1,100 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns
4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
The No. 1 pick of the 2019 NFL Draft finished as the second-most productive quarterback in 2020. He improved from 17.8 fantasy points per game in his rookie season to 23.7 fantasy points per game in 2020. Murray completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,971 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also chipped in 819 rushing yards on 133 attempts for an additional 11 scores.
Murray will look to continue to improve in his third season as an NFL signal caller. So long as DeAndre Hopkins remains in Arizona, Murray will put up big numbers both in the passing and the running game.
Prediction: 4,200 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 900 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns.
5. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Assuming Prescott returns to the Cowboys, there is no reason to think he won’t be one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football. Prescott averaged a league-best 26.9 fantasy points per game before going down with a season-ending leg injury.
The Cowboys have plenty of weapons on offense including Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke will force defenses to stop him, which should leave plenty of room for Prescott to make a play with his legs or with his arm. The Cowboys have Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, all of whom are more than capable of being top-tier wideouts in the NFL.
Prediction: 4,500 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 600 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns.
6. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
All signs indicate that Watson’s days are numbered in Houston. The Texans are still “standing firm” in their commitment to bring back their star quarterback amidst his formal request for a trade from the organization, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Regardless of whether he plays another down with the Texans or not, Watson is still a top-ten quarterback by any person’s standards. He may even crack the top five of some experts’ rankings.
Watson can produce both with his legs and with his cannon of an arm. He led the NFL in passing yards (4,823) and produced 33 passing touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions with one of the weakest receiving corps he has ever had surrounding him. Without Hopkins, Watson was forced to rely on Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks.
Even if Watson is traded to an abysmal situation such as the Jets, he will still be a top quarterback in the fantasy realm. If he goes to a bad team, he will be forced to play catchup, and will be asked to shoulder the load on offense. If he goes to a better team with strong offensive weapons and a decent offensive line, he will be more efficient. No matter the circumstance, Watson is one of the top quarterbacks in the fantasy football world. If you can’t get Mahomes, it might make sense to wait until the middle rounds to scoop Watson.
Prediction: 4,500 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 500 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns.
7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The 2020 NFL MVP is surely frustrated after his Packers fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs in the NFC Championship. Still, Rodgers had a phenomenal season with the Packers. He finished first in touchdown passes with a ridiculous 48, while throwing just five interceptions. His 0.8 interceptions per game ranked second in the NFL.
Rodgers was the third-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy football last season. So long as he has DaVante Adams lining up on the outside, there is a good chance that two are going to connect several times for about 100 yards and a score each and every outing. Rodgers completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards. He also added three touchdowns with his legs.
Although Green Bay doesn’t have many weapons other than Adams in the passing game, Rodgers is the type of quarterback that makes his teammates better. That is why regardless of whether the Packers go out and get more skill players, Rodgers will have another produce campaign.
Prediction: 4,400 passing yards, 33 passing touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 200 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns.
8. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson finished second (behind Rodgers) with 40 passing touchdowns thrown on the season. Although the Seahawks don’t have the greatest offensive line, what they do have is a plethora of weapons in the passing game. DK Metcalf has emerged as one of the best wide receivers to grace the NFL. The second-round pick for the 2019 NFL Draft exploded for 83 receptions, 1,303 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns in his second season in the NFL. Then there is slot receiver Tyler Lockett, who hauled in 100 receptions for 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns of his own. Between these two wideouts and Wilson at quarterback, the Seahawks’ passing game will be tough to stop again in 2021.
Expect Seattle to let Russ do his thing. Seattle was at its best when Wilson was permitted to throw the ball often and regularly. A loss to the Rams on Wild Card weekend cut the Seahawks’ quest for another Super Bowl short, but Wilson will be back to fight for another one next year. He is probably one of the most valuable quarterbacks with upside in fantasy football.
Prediction: 4,250 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 500 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns.
9. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brady continues to do the impossible. After winning a Super Bowl title with the Bucs, he’s not retiring on a high note. Instead, he wants to come back and defend the title. Brady, who played all 16 regular season games and a full run through the playoffs, will undergo a minor surgical procedure on his knee that head coach Bruce Arians has described as “a clean up.” This should not have any impact on a fantasy managers’ decision to draft the greatest quarterback of all time.
Brady finished the season tied with Wilson for second-most passing touchdowns in the league (40). He did throw 12 interceptions, but he was also responsible for producing the third-most passing yards in the NFL (4,616). With weapons like Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Antonio Brown, it is hard to imagine anything but repeated success for Brady and the Bucs.
Prediction: 4,500 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 100 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns.
10. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
The 2020 first-round pick was absolutely terrific in his rookie campaign for the Chargers. Herbert gave the team a chance to win just about every single game, while producing some very solid stats. The No. 6 overall pick finished the season as the tenth ranked quarterback in terms of fantasy points. He tossed for 4,356 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He also rushed the ball 55 times for an additional 234 yards and five scores.
With pass-catching studs like Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Hunter Henry, Herbert is only going to improve in his second season in the NFL. Herbert will be 23 years old when the next season starts, so expect his maturity level and NFL IQ to continue to trend in the right direction. And as long as the Chargers’ defense continue to struggle, Herbert will have to put the team on his back. Herbert could be one of the most valuable steals in fantasy drafts.
Prediction: 4,500 passing yards, 33 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 200 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns.
The Best Of The Rest
- 11. Jalen Hurts, PHI / Age: 23 / FA: 2024
- 12. Joe Burrow, CIN / Age: 23 / FA: 2025
- 13. Ryan Tannehill, TEN / Age: 33 / FA: 2024
- 14. Matthew Stafford, LAR / Age: 33 / FA: 2023
- 15. Taysom Hill, NO / Age: 31 / FA: 2022
- 16. Kirk Cousins, MIN / Age: 33 / FA: 2023
- 17. Matt Ryan, ATL / Age: 36 / FA: 2024
- 18. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT / Age: 39 / FA: 2022
- 19. Derek Carr, LV / Age: 30 / FA: 2023
- 20. Carson Wentz, IND / Age: 28 / FA: 2025
- 21. Baker Mayfield, CLE / Age: 26 / FA: 2023
- 22. Jameis Winston, NO / Age: 27 / FA: 2021 (UFA)
- 23. Tua Tagovailoa, MIA / Age: 23 / FA: 2025
- 24. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF / Age: 29 / FA: 2023
- 25. Teddy Bridgewater, CAR / Age: 28 / FA: 2023
- 26. Jared Goff, DET / Age: 26 / FA: 2025
- 27. Daniel Jones, NYG / Age: 24 / FA: 2024
- 28. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI / Age: 27 / FA: 2021 (UFA)
- 29. Drew Lock, DEN / Age: 24 / FA: 2023
- 30. Sam Darnold, NYJ / Age: 24 / FA: 2023
- 31. Alex Smith, WAS / Age: 37 / FA: 2023
- 32. Cam Newton, NE / Age: 32 / FA: 2021 (UFA)
- 33. Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA / Age: 38 / FA: 2021 (UFA)
- 34. Nick Foles, CHI / Age: 32 / FA: 2023
- 35. Marcus Mariota, LV / Age: 27 / FA: 2022
- 36. Gardner Minshew, JAC / Age: 25 / FA: 2023
- 37. Andy Dalton, DAL / Age: 33 / FA: 2021 (UFA)
- 38. Jacoby Brissett, IND / Age: 28 / FA: 2021 (UFA)
- 39. Dwayne Haskins, PIT / Age: 24 / FA: 2022
- 40. Nick Mullens, SF / Age: 26 / FA: 2021 (RFA)
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