July has come and gone, and now we have reached August, and starting this week, there will be football games every week up until Super Bowl 56 on February 13th of 2022.
Training camp is underway for all 32 NFL teams, and with the NFL season on the horizon, one of the greatest competitions known to man will finally be relevant once again. Fantasy football.
While it is too early for anyone to be holding their fantasy football drafts due to the plethora of injuries that we see every year during training camp, it is not too early to be deciding who the top projected players at each position should be.
And with that comes a new string of pieces that I will be writing that will detail and outline each fantasy position, what players you should take, and when you should take them.
This list and the next few that will be released will rank my personal top 24 players at each position. The list is subject to some change if there are any big-time injuries in training camp or the preseason, but as of right now, here are my top 24 fantasy QBs heading into the 2021-2022 NFL Season.
Fantasy Football 2021 Quarterbacks | The Top 10
#1: Patrick Mahomes
If there is anyone out there who does not think that Patrick Mahomes is equipped enough to be the #1 Fantasy QB, and doubts that he will not be one of the top point-getters at the position, stop playing fantasy football and go watch some Kansas City Chiefs games.
There is every reason to believe that Mahomes is poised to be the top QB in fantasy again this year, as he has been the best in the NFL ever since he started his first game his sophomore season.
Last year, Mahomes led all QBs in points per game with 25, and had he not missed one game, he would have led the entire league in total points. The trio of Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce is a nightmare for NFL defenses, and facing any of those three is a nightmare to any fantasy owner. They produce game in and game out.
Despite a tough opening to the season in which Kansas City plays Cleveland, Baltimore, and the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chiefs have a relatively easy schedule that should let Mahomes be very successful this season.
#2: Josh Allen
Similar to Patrick Mahomes, what reason is there to believe that Josh Allen will not replicate the same success that he had last season.
Just like Mahomes, Allen is coming off a top-tier fantasy scoring season last year, one in which he finished with the most total points due to his ability to score through the air and on his feet.
Last season, Allen had the eighth-most rushing yards and third-most rushing touchdowns out of any QB in the NFL.
Add that on to his ability to torch the ball downfield to wideouts such as Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and new addition Emmanuel Sanders, Allen could end up being the leading scorer this fantasy season when all is said and done.
#3: Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray led all quarterbacks in rushing fantasy points last season. Add that with all of the insane weapons he has to receive the ball and you have a Tier one fantasy QB in the likes of Kyler Murray.
Let us run through the weapons he has at his disposal. Deandre Hopkins, a no-doubt top-three receiver in the league. Christian Kirk, a speedster who can beat you over top. The sturdy veteran, Larry Fitzgerald. And if that wasn’t enough, they drafted Rondale Moore out of Purdue to add to this offense’s firepower.
Leading QBs in rushing touchdowns and yards is definitely in reach for Murray, and with that in mind, he has an immense amount of value.
#4: Lamar Jackson
The run on quarterbacks that are young and have the ability to use their feet continues with the fantasy breakout star of 2019 and the MVP, Lamar Jackson.
Jackson joins Kyler Murray as the two QBs who averaged 6+ yards per carry when they used their feet, and that mark was better than any running back in the NFL last season.
However, those numbers were not good enough to lead him to fantasy success this past season. He finished as QB10. His 2019 season was too good to be true from a production standpoint. He produced so many fantasy points that season due to his high touchdown rate, but without that being the case in 2020, he took a fall.
While his passing numbers bring his value down, he needs to be considered in everyone’s top five simply because of his amazing ability to make defenders miss and gain yards on the ground.
#5: Aaron Rodgers
Here is where the debate gets a bit more interesting in my opinion. With the presumed top-tier of QBs out of the way, we are still left with extremely talented QBs that I would love to have on my fantasy roster. Starting with Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers finished this past season as a top 3 QB in most fantasy leagues on his way to his third NFL MVP award. What helped him reach that top tier was his godly touchdown connection with Davante Adams that led to one of the highest touchdown percentages of his career. Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown on 9.1% of his throws.
He will need that same type of production this season if he wants to stay in the top tier of fantasy QBs, especially when you factor in that he does not bring the running capabilities of the rest of the pack.
Aaron Rodgers is a for sure QB1, but be wary of a slight downfall.
#6: Dak Prescott
While I have Dak Prescott slated as my sixth-best QB on the board, he has true potential to break into the upper echelon of fantasy QBs this season, maybe to the point of a top-3 appearance.
The Cowboys have stellar weapons all over the field on offense. Just at wide receiver, they have Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and second-year man Ceedee Lamb. All three of those guys could be potential #1 receivers on other teams.
Along with that, their bad defense leads to a significant amount of passing attempts and opportunities for Prescott to take the field. With the new 17-game season, Prescott is for sure going to surpass the 4,500-yard mark and has a very very good shot at passing 5,000.
The Cowboys also have loved using Prescott’s legs in red-zone situations. This brings added value to him.
There is one possible derailment from this scenario, and that would be Dak Prescott’s ankle. Before the injury in Week 5 last season, Prescott was well on his way to being a top-4 fantasy quarterback, but due to the gruesomeness of the injury, it is hard to place him in the top 5.
Prescott could be extremely good value heading into the later rounds, but there is a possibility that you miss out on some important second-tier wideouts and running backs if you take the Prescott route.
#7 Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson has an average finish of QB 4.75 during his past four seasons and is the only QB to throw for 30 or more TD passes in all four of those seasons. He is only the third QB to ever achieve that feat behind Brett Favre and Drew Brees.
Wilson looked like a sure-fire MVP in the first few weeks of the season before a tough game versus the Arizona Cardinals in which they lost in overtime. However, he still finished the season over 4,000 yards, has 40 touchdown passes, and only threw 13 interceptions. He finished at QB6 last season, and with an improved offensive line that will prevent further damage to Wilson, there is potential for him to reproduce his early 2020 numbers.
However, this offseason rumors were spreading that he requested a trade. In what could be a make-or-break season for Seattle, I see Wilson stepping up big.
#8: Matthew Stafford
I cannot be happier that Matthew Stafford is out of Detroit, joining a terrific offensive mind in Sean McVay, and will have more weapons at his disposal than ever before.
In 2019, Stafford averaged the fourth-most fantasy points per game before an injury derailed his season. Now that he has great fantasy pieces such as Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Tyler Higbee at his disposal, I project big things from Stafford.
Sean McVay will also be able to take advantage of his ability to air out the ball, something that he does better than almost anyone else in the NFL.
Stafford may finally get recognition as one of the best in the league, and it starts this season in LA.
#9: Justin Herbert
We will stay in the Golden State and the city of dreams with Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Heading into his rookie season, Herbert was heavily criticized by many NFL Draft pundits – yet, after an unfortunate event that led to starting QB Tyrod Taylor not being able to play, he rose to a QB9 finish by the time the season was over.
Herbert was a huge reason that many fantasy owners came away with titles in 2020. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on him off of the waiver wire or late in the draft, he most likely carried you far.
He scored 20+ points in 10 of his 15 starts and showed great rapport with his targets, especially Keenan Allen. With them having a full offseason and camp to work together, expect this duo to flourish this season.
The Chargers’ weapons on offense aren’t too deep after Keenan Allen and Mike Williams after the departure of Hunter Henry, which leads to Herbert having huge boom or bust potential.
#10: Tom Brady
The ageless one makes his appearance on my list as my projected ninth-best fantasy football QB for 2021.
It’s a miracle how Brady is still able to compete at such a high level at his age, and until he shows that he can’t throw the ball consistently, I will continue to rank him in my top 10.
Heading into last year, it was assumed that the Buccaneers may take a step back from their Jameis Winston days and throw the ball a bit less. However, that was not the case. The Buccaneers threw the ball 626 times in 2020 compared to 630 times in 2019. That insignificant drop leads me to believe that they will continue to air it out in 2021.
Brady will have all of his offensive weapons returning, leaving me with no choice but to keep him in the top 10 of my rankings, purely based on talent level and history.
He does not have the running potential that most of the top 10 has, which lowers his value, but he is still among the safest picks in fantasy this year.
The Backup Tier
#11: Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill now has two deadly weapons with Julio Jones and A.J. Brown on the outside, but the run-heavy nature of the Titans offense scares me. Tannehill will score, however, the reality is he will never put up huge numbers.
#12: Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts presents a very interesting case going into his second season as the full-time starter for the Eagles after the departure of Carson Wentz. Hurts can work some magic with his legs, but with an aging offensive line, and offensive weapons that are limited or inexperienced, Hurts will need some big performances to crack the top 10.
However, the upside is very apparent because of what he can do on the ground.
#13: Matt Ryan
Ever since Matt Ryan entered the NFL out of Boston College in 2008, he has been among the league passing yardage leaders and has consistently torn up the field with his arm. He won the MVP back in 2016, leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
Now in the twilight of his career, Matt Ryan still shows value in fantasy football. The Falcons have always been a very pass-heavy team, and that will not change this year. They do not have a feature back as they did in previous seasons with Devonta Freeman, which also leads me to believe that Ryan’s opportunities will be maintained.
They did lose Julio Jones in a trade to the Tennessee Titans, but in the draft, they picked up an absolute monster in TE Kyle Pitts out of Florida. His measurables and ability on the field are reminiscent of Darren Waller, and he will be a huge weapon for Matt Ryan.
This will be another interesting case, as Joe Burrow is coming off of a season-ending Torn ACL in his rookie season that he suffered against the Washington Football Team. However, the weapons seem to be coming together for Joe Burrow on the offensive end.
Joe Mixon is still there, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd were a solid duo prior to Burrow’s injury, and now you insert Burrow’s college teammate JaMarr Chase.
Burrow will have a lot of fun throwing the ball to these guys, and I think that warrants him a spot in the top 15.
#15: Kirk Cousins
Since becoming a starter in 2015, Cousins has finished QB13 or higher in every season except one, 2019. In three of those seasons, he finished among the top 10. So there is absolutely no reason to believe that Cousins will not keep that consistent play coming.
Yes, he may be overpaid, but he is a solid QB that produces numbers. Don’t forget that he also has weapons like Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. I like Kirk as a very solid backup option.
#16: Baker Mayfield
This one is a tough one to judge.
Baker Mayfield may be one of the safer picks out of these lower-tier quarterbacks because of his weapons and the explosive offense he plays in, but many of his competition above and below him on this list have more upside.
Due to the heavy running attack of the Browns offense with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, Baker will be given less opportunities to convert for your team. However, he does get to throw the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Ultimately that will help him edge into the top 16 of all QBs.
#17: Trevor Lawrence
Earlier this offseason, I projected Trevor Lawrence to be one of the biggest potential busts in fantasy football this season.
Now, this is not based on his ability. He is extremely talented, has barely lost at any level in his football career, and has all the intangibles that you’d want in your franchise quarterback.
Yet, he will be suiting up for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who aren’t necessarily loaded with talent. They do have receivers in D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Phillip Dorsett, but none of those guys are true #1’s maybe not even #2’s.
Just as a reminder, Andrew Luck had a QB10 fantasy season as a rookie, posting 4,400 yards, 23 touchdowns, 18 INTs, and five rushing touchdowns, so it is not out of this realm to imagine Lawrence topping those figures. But Luck was also gifted Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton to throw to.
Lawrence has a huge upside, I am just unsure of it heading into this fantasy season.
#18: Ben Roethlisberger
With how poor the Steelers’ offensive line has been in recent memory, and the departure of four of their starters from last year’s team, it is hard to bet on an old, potentially washed QB.
However, one thing is for certain, and that is that he will get pass attempts, and they will often be quick off the line due to the struggling offensive line.
Despite a tough year last season, he finished QB14.
With weapons around him like Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith Schuster, I am still inclined to believe that he will have solid value as a backup.
#19: Tua Tagovailoa
Next, is Tua Tagovailoa. This is one that could present an immense amount of upside if he is able to have a strong sophomore campaign.
While last year he split reps with now WFT member Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami will want to evaluate what they have in Tagovailoa over a full season, so expect him to get all of his opportunities.
He also will be joined by former college teammate Jaylen Waddle, so maybe their relationship will thrive in the sun of Miami.
#20: Derrick Carr
Carr is simply up here because of his ability to throw for around 4,000 yards each season, but he has never put together strong fantasy seasons behind those yard totals.
While Darren Waller will be his best weapon once again this season, he will need receivers like Henry Ruggs and Hunter Renfrow to step up if he wants to gain fantasy relevance this season.
The Flier Picks
#21: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick is an interesting situation. He will most likely head into the season as the starter for the Washington Football Team, but will it stick?
If it does, there is potential for him to put up solid numbers. Terry Mclaurin is a route running speed demon, and now Curtis Samuel will be in the mix.
#22: Daniel Jones
Is this the year that Danny Dimes finally breaks through?
If Jones doesn’t produce a quality season this year, he’s likely going to be out of New York. For the first time in his young career, he has plenty of firepower with the arrival of Kenny Golladay in free agency, and Kadarius Toney from Florida in the Draft.
He will once again be given every opportunity to make a name for himself, and this could be the time he breaks through. His rushing ability could also factor in to making him a potential breakout player if he is able to get out of his slumps.
#23: Zach Wilson
I am personally a huge fan of Zach Wilson, but he is walking into a tough situation in New York. He just recently signed his contract, and is now practicing with the team as their number one QB in training camp. However, because of the delay on his contract he could be behind.
Weapons will also be an issue for Wilson, but he has an immense amount of potential and big play ability.
Watching his tape from BYU is a roller coaster ride, and if he is able to bring that same type of play to New York, the Jets could be in for a treat.
#24: Sam Darnold
Now to talk about the man who got out of a tough situation in New York, Sam Darnold.
Darnold on the other hand is heading to a franchise in Carolina that is welcoming him with open arms, and coach Matt Rhule will give it his best shot at rejuvenating Sam Darnold’s career.
He has two solid receivers in Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, and this offense will be much better suited for his style of play.
I think he improves significantly in Carolina, but due to his previous failures, I have no choice but to put him low on this list.
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