As the NFL season rapidly approaches, we got our resident fantasy expert, Tyler, to share his top 10 fantasy players at each position. We’re kicking off with the quarterbacks, so here are Tyler’s NFL Fantasy QB Rankings.
(All rankings articles are built with 0.5PPR and 4pt passing TD rules in mind, these are the default settings used in most fantasy leagues.)
1 – Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Starting off with a nice controversial pick, right off the bat. I think that Kyler Murray is the best fantasy football quarterback going into 2021. Emphasis on the fantasy, admittedly. When you’re looking at fantasy QB rankings, you always have to strike the balance between passing ability, touchdown output and rushing ability. That trifecta perfectly describes the production of Kyler in this Cardinals offense. He is one of the two truly elite rushing QB’s, but he is notably better at passing than the other. DeAndre Hopkins is an elite alpha receiver and will be commanding most of the targets, and being very efficient with them. I expect big thing this year from the Arizona QB – and as an added bonus, he’s available in the 4th round, which is better value than the next two options who get drafted even higher.
2 – Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
The cream of the crop at the QB position, both in the sense of real NFL football and fantasy football alike. Patrick Mahomes is arguably the most talented American Football player of all time. His combination of creativity, arm talent and accuracy is second to none – and he’s only been playing at this level for three years. The ceiling of the Kansas City QB is as high as anybody has ever had for fantasy – or at least with his passing numbers. Unfortunately, in fantasy football rushing yards are worth more than passing yards, so Mahomes has to work way harder to put up stats that will outproduce the likes of Kyler Murray who may have rushed for 100 yards on top of the passing numbers. The Chiefs do help the cause, as their weapons are unparalleled with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Patrick Mahomes is absolutely incredible and without a doubt the safest pick at QB in fantasy, he’ll cost you though.
3 – Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Why not combine the two? Murray is our elite rusher who can pass a bit. Mahomes is an elite passer who can rush a bit. Josh Allen is the marriage of the two. He doesn’t rush that much, but when he does, it’s usually in the redzone and that is very valuable. He has scored 25 rushing touchdowns in three seasons, starting 44 games. That is a seriously high rate for a QB, especially one who can pass. And, oh boy, he can pass. With the addition of Stefon Diggs, in the 2020 season Josh Allen absolutely exploded in passing production. The arm talent we was told so much about was now no longer just a cannon arm with a sprinkling of wishful thinking. Now, the Bills’ signal-caller is more confident, accurate and calm on the big stage. His completion % went from 56.3% in his first two years to 69.2% – over one offseason. Yes, the addition of an exceptionally talented Diggs helps, but this is Allen. It’s hard to know exactly how much regression to expect, but it’s almost impossible to see any way that a healthy Josh Allen isn’t a top 10, or likely top 5 fantasy QB.
4 – Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Earlier we spoke about how there are two truly elite rushing QB’s. Well, here’s the best one, hands down. Lamar Jackson is the best rushing quarterback of all time. I’ll make it clear; he isn’t the best quarterback that can rush, but he is the best quarterback at rushing – ever. Lamar has now rushed for 1,000 yards in two back-to-back seasons, his first two as a starter, and we can expect that to continue. That’s 100 fantasy points from rushing alone. To score 100 points by passing you have to throw 2,500 yards, for context. That shows the sheer power of Jackson’s running ability. Now, if he can get closer to his 2019 MVP-winning form throwing the ball, that’s when it gets crazy. LJax was the best fantasy asset in all of football that year, passing for 36 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,200 yards and 7 more scores. If we can get even close to that type of production again, Jackson will be a locked-and-loaded top 5 player in fantasy.
5 – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Speaking of MVP’s, how about the reigning one? Green Bay’s veteran QB still has the fire and – for now – still has this offense at his disposal. Of course, we’re talking about Aaron Rodgers, one of the premier passers to ever play the position. At the age of 37, he continues to prove that he is absolutely incredible at this game. He won his third NFL MVP last season with 4,299 yards and an astronomical 48 TD’s, tied for the fifth-most in history. He’s a year older but no less elite and, despite all the offseason drama, he returns to a mostly unchanged offense to try and do it all again. The reason he still plays football is because he believes he can win another Super Bowl, why not ride his pursuit to your own fantasy championship. It’s known that the QB1 doesn’t usually repeat year-over-year, but to draft someone in the 6th round or later who has the ability to finish top of the pile is great value.
6 – Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Great value? Old QB’s who have still got it? That describes somebody else I know. Tom Brady continues to be disrespected by fantasy football players, assuming he’s finally going to have age catch up with him. News flash, he’ll stop when he decides to stop. Until then, he will be an amazing QB. And amazing QB’s are great for fantasy, too. While Father Time keeps chasing him, TB12 is chasing the next championship. And, when you take him in the 10th round (yes, his ADP is literally in the 10th round) you can chase a championship, too. Players like this are how you win in fantasy. Brady provides great value, legit top-five upside, and an almost guaranteed top 12 finish if he’s healthy. He has elite weapons with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski and O.J Howard all lining up to make plays. The Buccaneers are the reigning Super Bowl champions and they’re looking to run it back, so grab Tom Brady as your late QB and win yourself a chip.
7 – Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Last year’s biggest fantasy football tragedy was the unfortunate injury to Dallas’ Dak Prescott. He was on an absolutely nuclear run through the first five weeks of the season, until he got hurt. The MVP conversation was well underway and his fantasy production was crazy. After his injury, the Cowboys fell off the map and failed to succeed despite being in the weakest division in the NFL. Obviously, that same division helps out in fantasy terms now that Dak is back. As long as he is healthy, Prescott should be a guaranteed QB1 and showed last year that he has genuine #1 overall fantasy upside. The Cowboys defense has struggled over the last couple of years and that actually boosts Dak’s upside, due to the positive game script. You may notice a pattern with many of these top options, phenomenal weapons in the passing game, Dak is no different, with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup presenting serious problems for opposing defenses.
8 – Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Oh, you want to talk about weapons? Let’s go no further than the Seattle Seahawks. They have the absolute superhero that is DK Metcalf and then one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL, Tyler Lockett. Both are truly prolific touchdown scorers and have the ability to put up huge receiving numbers – why is that; their ability is combined with the elite QB play of Russell Wilson. ‘Mr Unlimited’ has been widely considered one of the best players in the league since arriving on the scene in 2012. He has thrown 30+ touchdowns in five of his last six seasons and last year he threw a career-high 40. This is all while people are worried that he isn’t allowed to pass the ball enough. I can’t judge people for wanting to see even more from Russ, but it’s a little bit greedy, as he’s averaged 514 pass attempts over the last five years. I’ll take what Wilson will give me, because his efficiency is phenomenal and, with the WR’s he has, I don’t see any reason for that to change.
9 – Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Despite being of the most exciting young talents in the NFL today, just a year ago Justin Herbert was a rookie with serious arm talent who the Chargers planned on redshirting and letting him develop. Then, after one of the most random and ridiculous medical mistakes in NFL history, Tyrod Taylor suddenly vacated the starting role. Herbert never looked back. He started 15 games and threw 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in his first season. This incredible production came out of nowhere and served as a pleasant surprise for even the biggest JHerbz fans, but that’s not to say it won’t continue. One more year of learning, 15 games of NFL experience, a fully healthy cast of weapons, what more can you ask for? On paper, Herbert is actually better poised than he was last year. If he continues to develop as quickly as he did last year, or even just stays at the level he reached in 2020, he will be a top 10 QB without a doubt. I doubt you will see any QB fantasy rankings for the next five years without this guy’s name in the mix towards the top.
10 – Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Another capable rusher of the ball, Jalen Hurts is the exact type of player that fantasy managers love. Once he became the starter last year, he showed some potential, despite the struggles of the Eagles team as a whole. He started four games and threw for 919 yards, with 5 touchdowns. 5 TD’s isn’t setting the world on fire, and his 3 INT’s didn’t help him, but the yardage wasn’t bad and this was in an awful offense. The spark he provided on the ground showed, though, with 272 rushing yards and 3 TD’s on the ground in that span. If you extrapolate his pace for a full season, he would be looking at 3750+ passing yards and more than 1,000 yards rushing. That would be an elite fantasy QB, especially with the improvement I’d expect to see on his TD:INT ratio. His offensive line should be healthier, he has had the full offseason to prepare as the starter and they drafted Heisman winner DeVonta Smith to strengthen the WR room. I’m expecting big things from Hurts this year, and a top 10 finish is very reasonable if he stays healthy and continues from his promising start last year.