Austin’s Official 2021 Quarterback Rankings

QBs

Oh, this truly is the best time of the year for fantasy football managers around the globe! The majority of people are gearing up and getting prepared for their upcoming drafts, but with all of that joy and excitement also comes with its fair share of questions and stress. Have no fear, 365 listeners. I’ve got your back and am here to share my rankings and reasonings with you to help you lay that ever-important foundation for your fantasy roster that can help get you on the right path to that fantasy championship.

Quarterbacks

  1. Kyler Murray

Kyler is my clear QB1 for the upcoming season. His rushing ability is a cheat code in and of itself, but this offense looks to take a step forward with the additions that were made. Murray was the QB1 through his shoulder injury last season. Now that he’s fully healthy, there’s no logical reason that he cannot repeat that type of production or even exceed it.

2. Josh Allen

Allen took a major step forward in 2020 and the team brought in another field-stretching type of playmaker in Emmanuel Sanders. This was an offense that was 60-40 in pass-to-run ratio last season, largely because of their less than stellar running game. The Bills are hyping an improved running attack, but I’m not buying it. They have the same running backs as they had last season and Singletary is an absolute bust. Allen and company will be in line to put up similar numbers.

3. Patrick Mahomes

Is there much to say about Mahomes that we don’t already know? This offensive system and talented players that are a threat to take it to the house every time they touch the ball are just a fantasy gold mine.

4. Dak Prescott

The entire Dallas offense hobbled their way through the 2020 season after Dak went down with a broken ankle, which resulted in him having total control of the leverage in contract negotiations. Prior to his injury, Dak was on pace for a historic season of over 7,000 yards. He was the QB2 in 2019 and was the QB2 up through his injury. The Cowboys made some decent moves to address their incredibly poor defense, but they are still a long way from being a top half defense. Dak and the offense will be in a similar situation where they are forced to produce crazy numbers that will result in a ton of fantasy points. One of my favorite targets at the QB position this season.

5. Lamar Jackson

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like nobody is talking about Lamar Jackson. I know we’ve taken our shots at Jackson as a QB on the show, but there is no denying Jackson as a fantasy football option. Jackson was unbelievable in 2019 before disappointing fantasy owners for much of the 2020 season. The Ravens have significantly upgraded at the wide receiver position which should allow Jackson to be much more efficient as a passer. Couple the upgraded weapons with his elite rushing ability and you have the recipe for a great rebound-type of season.

6. Tom Brady

Brady admittedly had a hard time learning Bruce Arians’ offense and it showed over the first half of the season. The second half was obviously a completely different story and the reigning Super Bowl champions return almost everyone. Brady has a wealth of weapons and is now fully comfortable in the offense. It’s safe to assume that he is going to put up another incredibly productive season and he’s a fantastic value considering his current ADP.

7. Aaron Rodgers

What an offseason it was with Rodgers and the Packers organization. The drama is over and the reigning MVP is back in Green Bay. The team also managed to bring back Aaron Jones on a $13M per year deal and have said they want to get AJ Dillon more involved as well and I believe the team wants to add extra focus on the ground game. Organically, that will take away from the passing attack. For that reason, along with natural regression, Rodgers slips back to the QB7 spot.

8. Ryan Tannehill

So many people gloss over the efficiency and production of Ryan Tannehill. Outside of overall yardage, Tannehill puts up incredibly comparable numbers to Patrick Mahomes. He was in fact the QB2 over the last several weeks of 2020. The issue has been a low amount of passing volume. Judging by the team bringing in Josh Reynolds and Julio Jones, it’s safe to assume we are going to see higher number of passing attempts in 2021. If he can keep up the extraordinary efficiency, particularly in the red zone, Tannehill is going to be a steal in this year’s drafts.

9. Matthew Stafford

One of my favorite targets at the position. Stafford has been great for fantasy during his career in Detroit where he mainly only had 1 receiver to throw to. He joins LA where he has the best coach, offensive line and weapons that he has ever had at his disposal. Stafford will flourish in McVay’s system and should easily be a top-10 QB for fantasy.

10. Russell Wilson

Pump the brakes! Russell is great, but he’s far too inconsistent to rely on week in and week out. Throughout his entire career, half of his year is incredible and the other half is pedestrian. The problem with owning Wilson is you feel obligated to start him each week because of his upside. The simple truth is he hurts you more than he helps you. The Seahawks parted ways with their Offensive Coordinator due to “philosophical differences” and this was a very balanced offense the past two seasons. HC Pete Carrol wants to be a run-first team and brought in a new OC that will go along with that plan. The already inconsistent production from Wilson will be taking another hit with lower passing volume. Let someone else draft him and deal with that headache.

11. Justin Herbert

Yes, I’m lower on Herbert than most other analysts, so before you get up in arms just hear me out. Herbert had the best rookie season ever at the QB position last year and was a fantasy stud. While I concede that fact, allow me to dive in a bit deeper because I was a Herbert owner and it was not all sunshine and rainbows. When Herbert was thrust into the starting role, he was scrambling a lot and putting up amazing fantasy numbers as a result. It was a completely different story over the second half of the season. Once he got comfortable, the rushing numbers dramatically decreased and his ceiling. From weeks 2-10, he had 44 rushing attempts and was the QB5 over that stretch. From that point on, he only rushed 18 times and was the QB9. Austin Ekeler was missing for the majority of the season as well and is fully healthy now. With a healthy star running back, it’s safe to assume that the ground game will be far more effective and will cause some natural regression for the passing attack.

12. Matt Ryan

What do we know about the Falcons? The defense is terrible and the ground game leaves much to be desired. I say that because those things mean Matt Ryan is going to be throwing the ball a lot and that volume will result in fantasy relevance that you can count on.

13. Jalen Hurts

Hurts is an enigma. He looked so terrible throwing the ball last season that it was almost comical. How much of that was him? How much of that was coaching? How much was their terrible offensive line? Finally, how much of that was due to having no talent to throw to? He certainly brings a lot of upside with his rushing ability, but there are far too many questions for me to feel comfortable putting draft capital into getting him.

14. Sam Darnold

Believe me, I was just as shocked as you are to see him up at number 14 and my immediate thought was, “That’s wrong. I need to fix that.” After going back and looking at my projections for the Panthers this season, I simply couldn’t bring myself to change anything. His ranking makes sense. He’s going to get credit for all the receiving yardage and touchdowns CMC puts up and has three very good receivers to throw to. Reports are him and Dan Arnold have quite the connection as well. All those add up to a very fantasy relevant option at the QB position.

15. Taysom Hill

One of the biggest headaches of this offseason has been trying to figure out the Saints quarterback situation. The Saints may have had their problem sort itself out, though. This group of wide receivers is among the worst in the league, outside of Michael Thomas, but he’s set to miss a fair amount of time and if the recent reports are true, has worn out his welcome in New Orleans. Jameis Winston has been productive in the past, leading the league in yardage in 2019, but has always been a turnover machine even with extremely talented receivers. The Saints simply cannot risk putting an interception-prone quarterback on the field with subpar receivers. Taysom Hill presents the best option for the current offense to move the ball and put up points.

16. Trevor Lawrence

So much hype has been swarming around T-Law that it’s going to be borderline impossible for him to live up to. The fact remains that this is going to be a bad team and we have no idea if Urban Meyer’s success at the collegiate level will translate to the NFL.

17. Baker Mayfield

Baker is efficient, but simply put, there’s just not enough passing volume to rely on Baker week in and week out unless you’re in a Super Flex league.

18. Joe Burrow

Burrow looked pretty decent last year before his nasty knee injury. He was the QB15 up through that time. Rightfully so, there are a ton of questions surrounding his return from a torn ACL, MCL and PCL, but even more concerning for me is the lack of passing touchdowns. 13 touchdowns in 11 weeks leaves much to be desired, especially considering he was dropping back 38 times per game on average. The average QB in the league throws a touchdown on 4.5% of passes. Burrow was down at 3.2%. Is Ja’Marr Chase going to make those numbers jump up significantly in his rookie season? Possible, but not probable, especially considering Joe Mixon will be back healthy to get the running game back on track.

19. Jared Goff

Detroit is going to be one of the worst teams in the league. It’s a full rebuild with new receivers and a new quarterback. There is value here, though, because the Lions are going to be playing from behind every week and will be forced to throw the ball. It’s a certainty that it translates into enough production to be at least a streamable option in 1 QB leagues. He would be a very good QB2 in Super Flex leagues.

20. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Look at that mug. How can you not love it? It’s Fitzmagic season. He’s got arguably the best all around offense his ever played with. He’s a gunslinger with nothing to lose and that will result in a fair share of great production…and many costly mistakes.

21. Kirk Cousins

It took 35 passing touchdowns, the most in his career, for Cousins to finish as the QB11 last year. Don’t get caught up in the hype of Justin Jefferson that you are paying too much for Cousins. This team addressed their poor defense in such a way that they will not need to throw the ball nearly as much as they did in 2020. Kirk is going back down to the QB20 range.

22. Trey Lance

Who comes out the winner between Jimmy G and Trey Lance? The correct answer is Lance. The real question is when? As long as Jimmy G and his contract are on the books, he gets the job. Once Lance takes over, he’s going to be a fantasy superstar.

23. Justin Fields

HC Matt Nagy says there is no world in which Justin Fields is the week 1 starter and honestly that’s really smart. Throw Andy Dalton out there for Aaron Donald and co. to ride into the turf in week 1 and then let your rookie sensation come in and look like a hero in week 2 against the lowly Bengals. It’s his job after that, but there’s no hiding from the fact that this is a brutal strength of schedule. There will be some growing pains along the way, but Fields is going to show some flashes. Could be a great DFS play based on matchups.

24. Daniel Jones

It’s a make or break season for Danny Dimes. He’s got a plethora of weapons to throw the ball to and his superstar running back is returning.

25. Tua Tagovailoa

2020 Tua did not look very good. Lots of check downs and quick releases. I have been on record saying I believe that was by design as he was coming back from such a nasty injury. The team said they want to open the playbook up and take more downfield shots. More importantly, they backed that up when they brought in Will Fuller and drafted Jaylen Waddle. I’m willing to give Tua a pass for last season and willing to start him as a QB2 in Super Flex leagues and will be looking to see what his price tag is in DFS.