2021 Fantasy Winners and Losers: QBs

ajthrasher

Here are my top 5 winners and losers at the quarterback position for the 2021 fantasy season. For the sake of brevity, I’m only highlighting 5 winners and 5 losers while also specifically avoiding rookies (though I did take into consideration whether one was drafted)

Winners

Jalen Hurts

No QB drafted this year? Check. DeVonta Smith on the team? Check. Can and will run the football? Check. Great WR depth? Uh… The Eagles showed their faith in Hurts by not taking a QB this draft and you should too. They brought in one of my favorite WRs in DeVonta Smith and Hurts will make plays with his legs. He showed flashes of brilliance last year and with a full offseason of development under his belt, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start talking about Hurts with the likes of Murray, Allen, and Jackson soon. His ADP is currently in the 7th round just before Burrow and I think that’s going to end up being a steal if he stays there. Solid QB1 with top 5 upside.

Patrick Mahomes

This one is a gimme, but… We all saw what happens when your offensive line can’t stop a pass rush during the Super Bowl. The Chiefs did a fantastic job of addressing those issues by signing known commodities during free agency and trading for Pro Bowler Orlando Brown from the Ravens in exchange for the 31st pick in this year’s draft. They also added Creed Humphrey (Center) and Trey Smith (Guard) in the draft for additional depth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this offense as a top 3 fantasy scoring unit this year. The only thing that would keep Mahomes from being the top fantasy QB is if the running QBs all went ham this year.

Matt Ryan

While I expect the Falcons to jettison Julio after June 1st to free up some cap space, I also expect Calvin Ridley to really take the reins at WR and newly drafted Kyle Pitts run alongside him as a WR with TE next to his name. What they didn’t do was add anyone beyond Mike Davis to their RB room. This is still the Matt Ryan show. He’s consistently been in the 600+ pass attempts, ~4500 passing yards, and 30 TDs range yearly and has only missed 3 games since 2008. He’s a stable lock at QB that has an ADP of the 10th round at the time of this article. If you’re waiting on QB, he’s someone to target. He should be a consistent weekly top 12-15 QB this year with occasional games in the top 5.

Joe Burrow

I would have felt more confident had the Bengals grabbed Penei Sewell but bringing in Burrow’s old teammate (who was also this draft’s top WR prospect) into the mix of Boyd and Higgins is huge. Last year, before he got hurt, he was on pace for 646 pass attempts, 4300 yards, and 21 TDs. Assuming Burrow comes back healthy, the return of Jonah Williams (amongst others) at O-Line, and the added draft pick depth, I fully expect him to be a weekly top 15 QB with top 8 upside. My only concern is his O-Line. He had 32 sacks in just 10 games last year, which would have put him in second place with 51 over 16 games… (Russell Wilson was first with 52).

2021 fantasy football winners and losers at QB

Sam Darnold

Escaping Adam Gase is like escaping a black hole. It’s nearly impossible, but once you do, the universe is at your fingertips. I don’t expect a high-performing season from Darold (he’s been statistically one of, if not THE worst QB over the last couple of years) but moving on from Gase has done great things for other players (Ryan Tannehill instantly comes to mind) and I’m hoping it will for him as well. He’s reunited with Robby Anderson, has DJ Moore around, and newly drafted Terrace Marshall Jr. Not to mention CMC out of the backfield. He moved from one of the worst situations to one of the best when it comes to offensive talent. Now is his time to shine. I wouldn’t want him as my QB1, but definitely worth a late-round pick (currently 14th round ADP) for what should be a solid QB2 with some upside.

 

Losers

Teddy Bridgewater

2020 was one of his best seasons (better in almost every way than his pro-bowl season in 2015), but he still got shipped out to Denver to compete against Drew Lock for the starting QB role. Teddy performed better than Lock in 2020, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a starter in Denver at some point, but he’s got some work to do. Denver has arguably better offensive weapons at WR and TE than Teddy had in Carolina, but until we know who the starter is, this is where Teddy falls.

Drew Lock

He’s now in a QB competition with Teddy. I don’t love this situation for either of them. Lock is getting mentorship from the great Peyton Manning so maybe we’ll see a step forward for him this year. I loved Lock last year as a late round QB pick because of the weapons around him and I love him (or whoever the starter turns out to be) this year for the same reason, but until we know who the starter is, I am avoiding both and recommend you do the same.

Cam Newton

Cam started 2020 with 25.7 and 34.58 fantasy point performances before turning back into a pumpkin for nearly the rest of the season. And now the Pats pick up Mac Jones (one of the top 5 QB prospects this year). Things aren’t looking good for Cam and I wouldn’t be surprised if after a poor showing it turns into the Mac Jones show. Even though the Pats are stacked offensively, I’m avoiding Cam in all drafts.

Jared Goff

I like Goff. Not a lot, but he has proven to be a capable QB on many occasions. I was really excited to see him potentially paired with Golladay, Jones Jr., and Hockenson, but the first two are now gone leaving him with the star power of *drum roll please* Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, and Quintez Cephus at wide receiver. Needless to say, I’m not expecting big things from this team this year. The only thing that he has going for him is that this team will almost certainly be playing from behind in nearly every game, so expect a lot of garbage time play. He’s someone I will target in DFS, but avoiding in season-long or dynasty leagues.

A-a-ron Rodgers

Apparently, Jordan Love called him A-a-ron and he hasn’t been back since… Seriously though, if I had a QB as talented as Rodgers, I would want to make sure he gets littered with playmakers. Oddly, the Packers have seemingly intentionally avoided giving him any help at WR aside from Adams (They’ve only drafted 5 WRs in the first round since 1936 with the most recent in 2002…). While you’re still not going to go wrong with him as your QB (assuming he plays at all this year), the draft and free agency didn’t do him any favors. The reigning MVP will still perform at a high level, but if you draft him, you need to understand that right now there’s a risk he doesn’t even play or he gets traded (though I would be surprised if either happened).

 

Bonus Loser: Deshaun Watson. Until we know the details with him, he’s someone to completely avoid.

 

 

– Thrasher | Dad Bod Fantasy

Follow me on Twitter @DadBodFantasy
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Featured image from All-Pro Reels

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