With the NFL season down to it’s last games I give you my early 2021 quarterback rankings for the fantasy football season. No these rankings are not perfect. In fact I am just going to give a brief idea of my quarterbacks right now. It is only January and we have a whole offseason to refine these rankings. Yet the most important part of these early 2021 quarterback rankings may be the tiers. While I admit rankings are very important it is the tiers that help you decide whether to draft a player or look at a different position. Tiers help you decide between an elite quarterback verses a somewhat risky running back. The difference within tiers is smaller than the difference between tiers. So let’s break it all down today and be sure to check out my early 2021 quarterback rankings video above!
Tier 1: Elite Upside, Very Safe Floor
1. Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes should be on top of every early 2021 quarterback rankings in my opinion. Not because he is a lock to finish there but because he is the biggest lock to safely finish top 5. Unless an injury occurs there’s just no way he can bust. Last season he had 10 games as a QB 1 and only 2 games outside the top 14. That is as consistent as you can get. His situation looks to be similar so do not overthink this one.
2. Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray and Josh Allen were neck and neck for me. Last season I was all over Josh Allen and Kyler Murray. So why the slight nod to Kyler? Well truthfully I think it is because we just saw the pinnacle breakout season for Allen. The guy was the number 1 overall QB and looked dominant. While I do not think he will regress I just do not think we have seen Murrays ceiling yet. He went from 8 QB 1 games in the first 9 games to only 1 in the second half of the year. If we see a more complete season from Murray and they can get him one more weapon I think his upside goes even higher. Plus his elite rushing ability will keep him in this tier with a very safe floor.
3. Josh Allen
Like I said the difference within tiers is less than the difference between tiers. If you told me Allen should be higher than Murray I would not argue much. They even switch for me back and forth. Allen had 9 games as a QB 1 last season and only 1 game outside of the top 20. Like Murray his rushing ability elevates his floor. He should be super safe going into next year as not much will change within the offense. The only reason I have him at 3 compared to 2 is like I said, we saw Josh Allen’s ceiling. I still don’t think we have seen Murrays. Yet just like last year I still love him.
Tier 2: High Upside, Some Risk
4. Lamar Jackson
Lamar starts my tier two players who to me all have some type of risk. All of these players are super close and should be QB 1s for next year. To me it is crazy to think there was so much doubt around Lamar in the fantasy football world. The guy was struggling, yet he still finished 8th in fantasy points per game. Of course the main concern with Lamar is always going to be his passing ability. The weapons around him will also play an impact. Yet he will always have that elevated floor as a rusher. So while there is some risk I hope to get him as a value in 2021.
5. Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott is in the perfect offense for fantasy football. Assuming he returns he will have elite weapons all around him. He was on fire to start the year last season. Of course the big concern with him is his ability to return from injury. That question mark will linger this offseason. Yet a return to a high octane Dallas offense will give him top 5 upside and a relatively safe floor.
6. Deshaun Watson
Watson originally was going to be on top of this tier and maybe even creep up into tier 1. The physical ability is elite and he made the most out of relatively little at times in Houston. He did have some very good receivers in Cooks and Fuller there. Yet with his future in question and little insight to where he is going this seems like a safe ranking. Perhaps his situation gets better, perhaps it gets worse. Your guess is as good as mine right now.
7. Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers should be a Packer next year. He has Davante Adams and will continue to exploit defenses in my opinion. Aaron Jones could be gone next season which could impact the offense just a bit. My concern with Rodgers compared to some of the other guys higher than him is very small. I think his upside is capped just a bit due in part to a limited rushing upside and passing volume. The Packers were bottom six last season in pass attempts per game. I see his efficiency slightly dipping yet he still will be a QB 1.
8. Justin Herbert
Herbert was a pleasant surprise in the 2020 season. He looked like a franchise quarterback and the type of QB you want in fantasy football. Since starting in week 2 Justin Herbert was the QB 7 on the season. He should have the majority of his weapons going into 2021, although Hunter Henry may walk. To me Herbert may have the biggest upside of these quarterbacks going into his second year. Yet I am hesitant to rank him higher due to the fact that his whole coaching staff will be gone in 2021. Changing of a coaching staff could have a huge impact on a quarterback. For now this is where I think he is most safe.
9. Russell Wilson
I already covered Wilson out of all these quarterbacks so I will keep it short. Terrific first half of the season, poor second half of the season. Wildly inconsistent over the past two years in fantasy football. Watch the video it is a good one!
Tier 3: Very Risky, Limited Upside
10. Joe Burrow
Burrow to me has some of the highest upside of any quarterback in the top 10. For the first 10 weeks he played he was QB 15 on the year and had a few incredible performances. He was building a chemistry with his receivers and did it without a run game for several weeks. Of course the big risk is his injury. He is coming back from an ACL injury midseason! I will be breaking Joe Burrow in my next video and the impact it may have on him.
11. Tom Brady
Unlike Burrow who has a high ceiling but lower floor, Brady has a relative safe floor but lower ceiling. To me if he retains his weapons he’s going to consistently throw the ball. His volume through the air in Tampa Bay will continue yet I do not see him having a top 5 ceiling. He has no rushing upside which is key in todays fantasy football world. He also is getting older and may not have the same efficiency he used to. Only time will tell for Tom.
12. Jalen Hurts???
Ok it is very early for my early 2021 quarterback rankings. Hurts may not even be starting but here I am going to assume he is. (Much more interesting then that Carson Wentz guy). From weeks 13-16 when he started he was QB 6. His rushing upside gives me Lamar Jackson type vibes. No he may not be an MVP candidate but if he sees 50-75 yards a game it will elevate his floor. He can finish as a QB 1 in 2021 if he starts. If not well I sure am not touching Carson Wentz.
The Rest of Tier 3
13. Ryan Tannehill
14. Matt Ryan
15. Kirk Cousins
16. Matthew Stafford (May rise or fall based on trade)
17. Tua Tagovailoa
Carson Wentz <– Where he would fall
18. Derek Carr
19. Daniel Jones
20. Drew Lock