Fanelli’s Way Too Early 2021 Redraft Rankings: Quarterbacks 1-12by Mike Fanelli January 21, 2021 0 comments
The 2020 fantasy football season is in the rearview mirror, but some are already preparing for the 2021 fantasy season. To help those get ready for the upcoming season, I have put together a six-part series breaking down my early rankings for the 2021 season. First up in the series will be my top-12 quarterbacks. So without further ado, here is the first part of my way too early 2021 redraft rankings.
All stats and the rankings are base on four-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring.
Be sure to check out all six parts of this series, as well as all my fantasy rankings here.
1) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2020 Finish: QB4 | 25 Fantasy Points Per Game
While Mahomes finished the season as the QB4, he finished with the highest points per game average among qualifying quarterbacks. Mahomes averaged over 2.5 passing touchdowns per game in 2020, throwing two or more in 13 of the 15 games he played. Furthermore, Mahomes scored 18.5 or more fantasy points in all but one game in 2020. With Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce at his disposal, Mahomes has all the tools needed to finish the 2021 season as the top fantasy quarterback.
2) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
2020 Finish: QB1 | 24.8 Fantasy Points Per Game
Many expected Allen to finish the season as a top 12 fantasy quarterback; however, no one projected him to finish the season as the QB1 overall. With the addition of Stefon Diggs, Allen took his game to the next level, as he completed a career-high 69.2 percent of his passes. Furthermore, Allen averaged 2.3 passing touchdowns per game, to go along with eight rushing touchdowns. His eight rushing touchdowns led the team and counted for half of the team’s rushing touchdown total. With the improvements in his accuracy, combined with his rushing ability, Allen has the upside to finish as the top fantasy quarterback again next season.
3) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2020 Finish: QB2 | 24 Fantasy Points Per Game
Maybe it was the drafting of Jordan Love, but something lit a fire under Rodgers this season as he led the league in passing touchdowns with 48. More impressively, he had only five interceptions, throwing one fewer than every 105 pass attempts. Rodgers scored 18 or more fantasy points in every contest this season, scoring 25 or more fantasy points in over half of his games. Furthermore, he had more games this season, throwing four passing touchdowns (seven) than games throwing two or fewer (four). With Davante Adams by his side, Rodgers should have no trouble finishing next season as a top-three fantasy quarterback.
4) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
2020 Finish: QB3 | 23.7 Fantasy Points Per Game
Despite playing the last two games of the season well under 100 percent, Murray still finished the year as the QB3. Removing the final two games of the season, Murray averaged 25.7 fantasy points per game in 2020. He had 11 rushing touchdowns, tied for seventh in the league and second among quarterbacks. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, Murray improved in several key areas in 2020. He had six more passing touchdowns than his rookie season, despite throwing only 46 more attempts. His touchdown rate increased from 3.7 his rookie season to 4.7 this past season. Between Hopkins and his rushing ability, Murray has the upside to have a record season in 2021.
5) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2020 Finish: QB31 | 27.1 Fantasy Points Per Game
Currently, there are two concerns with Prescott, his contract and his health. All reports are he’s on track recovering from his season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. However, it is unclear if Prescott will be with the Cowboys in 2021. Assuming he’s still a Cowboy next season, Prescott is in a position to build off his 2020 success. Before getting hurt, Prescott had scored 27.5 or more fantasy points in three of four games. He was averaging 422.5 passing yards and three total touchdowns per game. With Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, Prescott has the best wide receiver trio in the league. Don’t be surprised if Prescott comes back next season to finish as the overall QB1.
6) Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
2020 Finish: QB5 | 23.1 Fantasy Points Per Game
Many were concerned Watson would take a step back without Hopkins. However, Watson had the best season of his career in 2020, throwing for a league-high 4,823 yards. He also set career-best in passing touchdowns (33), competition percentage (70.2), and interceptions (seven). Furthermore, Watson maintained his rushing value, rushing for 444 yards in 2020 compared to an average of 482 over the previous two seasons. Many will avoid Watson if the Texans don’t re-sign Will Fuller. However, that would be a mistake as Watson averaged 23.4 fantasy points per game with Fuller compared to 22.4 without him. Watson has proven he can be an elite quarterback no matter the weapons around him. Because of that, fantasy owners can expect another top-five finish next season.
7) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2020 Finish: QB10 | 22.2 Fantasy Points Per Game
The 2020 season didn’t start the way Jackson’s owners had hoped as he scored under 18 fantasy points in six of his first 10 games. However, Jackson averaged 25.7 fantasy points per game over the final five games of the season, scoring at least 21.3 fantasy points in each contest. A big part of his fantasy turnaround was his rushing. Over the first 10 games, Jackson rushed for 80 or more yards only twice. By comparison, over the final five games, Jackson rushed for 80 or more yards in four of them. Jackson matched his career-best seven rushing touchdowns and averaged 2.2 total touchdowns per game this season. Thanks to his rushing ability and the Ravens’ offense, Jackson is a lock to finish top-10 once again in 2021.
8) Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
2020 Finish: QB9 | 22.2 Fantasy Points Per Game
After forced into the starting lineup in Week 2, Herbert turned into the waiver wire add of the year. He broke the rookie record for touchdown passing in a season with 31 and added five more on the ground in 15 games. By comparison, Herbert had only 11 turnovers as a rookie. Even more impressive, Herbert scored three or more total touchdowns in over half of his games. His most important three weapons, Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams, are all under contract for next season. The Chargers project to have over $25 million in cap space and a top-15 draft pick. If the Chargers add some offensive line help in the offseason, Herbert could finish next season in the top three.
9) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2020 Finish: QB6 | 22.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
Over his first eight games, Wilson threw two or more touchdowns in every game, averaging 3.5 per game. However, over the final eight games, Wilson threw two or more touchdowns only three times, averaging 1.5 per game. Furthermore, removing Wilson’s four-touchdown performance in Week 14 against the New York Jets, Wilson averaged only 1.1 passing touchdowns per game in the second half of the season. Every season, the Seahawks are the ultimate hot and cold team. While D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett give Wilson an excellent set of wide receivers, the Seahawks’ inconsistent play is concerning. His good games put him in the QB1 class, but his bad games take him outside the top-15. Expect a similar situation in 2021.
10) Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 Finish: QB8 | 21.1 Fantasy Points Per Game
Even at 43 years old, Brady was one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Brady’s 40 touchdowns tied for second-highest in the league and the second-most he had in a season in his career. More importantly, Brady got better as the season went on, throwing for 2.9 touchdowns per game over his final seven games compared to 2.2 per game over the first nine. As the season went on, Brady’s weapons got healthy, and the chemistry got between them got better. While Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski are all free agents, expect all three back in Tampa next season with Brady. With his weapons back and a full offseason to build on their chemistry, Brady could finish next season as a top-five quarterback.
11) Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
2020 Finish: QB7 | 21.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
While Derrick Henry was the star of the Titans’ offense, Tannehill had a career-year, throwing for 33 touchdowns and rushing for another seven. Furthermore, Tannehill had 10 rushing touchdowns during his six seasons in Miami. He has 11 rushing touchdowns in two seasons with the Titans. Tannehill scored two or more touchdowns in 88 percent of his games this season. Unfortunately, the Titans will likely lose Corey Davis in free agency. However, as long as Tannehill has Henry and A.J. Brown, his rushing ability gives him the upside to finish next season in the top 12 once again.
12) Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
2020 Finish: QB11 | 19.1 Fantasy Points Per Game
Many thought the trade of Diggs would limit Cousins’ fantasy upside. However, Cousins had a career-year in 2020, throwing for almost 4,300 yards and a career-high 35 touchdowns. Cousins’ fantasy success can be linked to his wide receivers, as Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson finished the season as top 10 fantasy wide receivers. While the Vikings were a run-first team in 2020, Cousins had two or more passing touchdowns in 75 percent of his games. The Vikings’ offense should be very similar again in 2021, meaning Cousins should finish the year as a low-end QB1.