With the 2021 NFL Draft now behind us, I have updated my fantasy football rankings for the 2021 NFL season.
More way-too-early 2021 fantasy football rankings:
- Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings
- Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings
- Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings
Here are our early fantasy football quarterback rankings for 2021 season:
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes is the easy choice as the top-ranked fantasy quarterback given the combination of his elite skill set, supporting cast and coaching. The only real decision for fantasy managers is whether or not to invest the early draft capital necessary to secure Mahomes as their starter. Leading the NFL with 316.0 passing yards per game, Mahomes was only a 260/2 game away from a second 5,000/40 season before the Chiefs rested him in Week 17.
One of the league's best young dual-threat quarterbacks, Allen has exactly 300 rush attempts in his three NFL seasons and has racked up 1,562 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground. Remarkably, he has rushed for at least eight touchdowns in all three of his NFL seasons.
Continuing to make major strides as a passer, Allen shattered previous career bests across the board in 2020. In his third season, Allen threw for 4,544 yards (284.0/G, 7.9/A) and 37 touchdowns (6.5 TD%) with only 10 interceptions (1.7%). Despite last year's unusual offseason, the trade for Stefon Diggs paid immediate dividends as the duo's instant rapport allowed Diggs to post career highs across the board as well.
3. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
While Murray played all 16 games, shoulder and leg injuries slowed him a bit down the stretch. Even so, he finished his sophomore campaign as fantasy's QB2 (and was QB1 after Week 16). When healthy, Murray scored more than 20 fantasy points and finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 10 consecutive games to start the season. Heading into 2021, Murray will be a top-three option once again.
4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Playing on the franchise tag in 2020, Prescott was dominant before his season was cut short by a compound ankle fracture. From Weeks 2 to 4, Prescott threw for a minimum (yes, minimum) of 450 yards in three consecutive games with a total of 11 touchdowns (eight passing and three rushing). As noted in our Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Profile, Prescott (three) had more 450-yard passing games than the rest of the league (two) combined in 2020. During that three-game stretch before getting injured, Prescott performed as the weekly QB1, QB4 and QB1, respectively. With a talented trio of wide receivers, Prescott has tremendous upside if he can stay healthy.
5. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
It's not a surprise that Jackson's year-over-year numbers dipped following his elite 2019 MVP season. Jackson threw 10 fewer touchdowns in 2020 and threw for 208 yards or less in 12 of 15 games. Even so, his real fantasy success comes from his rushing ability and he has now rushed for 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.
Over the final five weeks of the season, Jackson averaged only 161.8 passing yards per game, but he threw 11 touchdowns and rushed for 430 yards and four more scores. During that span, he averaged a massive 27.67 fantasy points per game.
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
It was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. In his first eight games, Wilson averaged 29.52 fantasy points per game and scored no fewer than 21.9. In his final eight games, he averaged only 17.08 and scored more than 21.9 only once during that span.
Despite Pete Carroll's prioritization to establish the run, Wilson has never finished worse than the QB11 (2016) and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in five of the past seven seasons.
7. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Herbert had at least 300 passing yards and/or multiple touchdowns in 13 of his 15 starts as a rookie. Even with a new coaching staff in place, the second-year quarterback should benefit from a more normal offseason and he will enter the season already entrenched as the starter. It wouldn't surprise me if he makes a sophomore leap that catapults him into the top five or so QBs.
8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers, the reigning and now three-time MVP, led the NFL in completion percentage (70.7%), passing touchdowns (48, 9.1%) and passer rating (121.5) last season. All of those were either career highs or the second-best of his Hall-of-Famer career. But will he be back in Green Bay (or elsewhere) in 2021?
His future is in Jeopardy.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 29, 2021
9. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Battling a laundry list of injuries, Stafford still managed to play a full 16-game slate. Without his No. 1 target (Kenny Golladay) for most of the season, Stafford's per-game numbers dropped considerably year over year from 312.4 yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game in 2019 to 255.3/1.6 in 2020. Traded to L.A. to play for a more creative offensive mind, Stafford is poised to bounce back with good health in 2021.
10. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
With three (most likely) first-round picks next year, the Eagles have positioned themselves to potentially draft a quarterback early in the 2022 NFL Draft. That said, Hurts should easily hold off Joe Flacco in 2021, which puts him squarely in the top-10 mix in fantasy football. After the Eagles benched Carson Wentz, Hurts scored more than 17 fantasy points in all four of his starts and averaged 23.74 per game over that stretch. While he threw for 300-plus yards in two of his four starts, his rushing stats (46/272/3) over that span put him on a Lamar Jackson-esque full-season pace of 184/1,088/12 rushing.
Continue reading our 2021 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings