Best Fantasy Fit for the Top 5 Free Agent Quarterbacksby Mike Fanelli March 11, 2021 0 comments
The 2021 NFL offseason officially kicks off on March 17, when free agency begins. Most years, there is a deal or two done within the first 15 minutes. However, with the salary cap decrease, deals may be a bit slower to happen this year. While each team’s fan base is hopeful their team is active in free agency, fantasy football players are anxious to see who signs with what team as it impacts the player’s fantasy value. In a four-part series, I give the best fantasy landing spot for the top five free agents at each position. First up is quarterbacks.
I didn’t include restricted free agents in this article as they usually end up back with their current teams. Also, salary cap situations did play a role in the pairings. As much as everyone wants to see the best free agent wide receiver end up with the Green Bay Packers, their cap situation guarantees it won’t happen. So without further ado, let’s dive into it.
Mitchell Trubisky → Chicago Bears
While Bear fans are hopeful the team lands Russell Wilson in a trade, that isn’t likely to happen. After getting benched, Trubisky took back over as the starter when Nick Foles got hurt. Over the final six games of the season, Trubisky had 10 passing touchdowns and averaged 17.4 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he scored 18.7 or more fantasy points in half of those contests. The only other obvious starting spot for Trubisky would be in New England. However, they don’t have many weapons. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Trubisky would have Allen Robinson and David Montgomery, among other impactful weapons. Another year in Chicago is the best spot for Trubisky from a fantasy perspective.
Jameis Winston → New Orleans Saints
The last time we saw Winston was in the second half of the Saints game against the San Francisco 49ers. However, Sean Payton turned to Taysom Hill when Drew Brees missed time with a rib injury. Assuming Brees retires, Hill would be the only quarterback on the roster. However, the Saints have publicly stated that they want Winston back. In 2019, when Winston was the starter in Tampa Bay, he averaged 19.1 fantasy points per game despite throwing 30 interceptions. After a year of learning from Brees and Payton, the best spot for Winston is New Orleans. Hill doesn’t have a firm grasp on the starting role, and if Winston takes over as the starter, he could turn into fantasy gold.
Ryan Fitzpatrick → New England Patriots
A week ago, there was a report that Fitzpatrick was going to retire, but he will be back for his 17th season in the league. However, Fitzpatrick won’t be back with the Dolphins next season as he believes he is a starting quarterback. The best spot to guarantee him a starting role is New England. Cam Newton won’t be back, and the jury is still out on Jarrett Stidham. While the Patriots could add a quarterback with their first-round draft pick, they haven’t done that in almost 30 years. Even if the Patriots draft a rookie, Fitzpatrick would be the starter for at least half the season. With plenty of salary cap space, the Patriots can afford to pay Fitzpatrick a big salary and still add weapons around him.
Andy Dalton → Washington Football Team
In his only season in Dallas, Dalton started nine games, averaging 12.4 fantasy points per game. Before joining the Cowboys, Dalton was the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting quarterback for nine seasons, averaging 16 fantasy points per game over his final five seasons. After releasing Alex Smith, Washington has two quarterbacks under contract in Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke. However, neither is a lock to make the final roster, and Washington could trade up in the top 10 of the draft for a rookie quarterback. Either way, Dalton would provide a veteran in the quarterback room that can start. Fantasy owners would hope Washington selects a rookie quarterback and give Dalton half the season, or more, to start while the rookie develops.
Cam Newton → Buffalo Bills
After one year in New England, the Patriots and Newton agreed it’s best to part ways. Newton didn’t have the bounce-back season he was hoping for in New England and will hit the open market for the second time in two years. While his days as a starting quarterback are likely over, Newton would be an ideal fit in Buffalo. Much like Josh Allen, Newton has a cannon for an arm and is a critical part of the Bills’ rushing attack. If Allen missed time, the offense wouldn’t have to change much with Newton under center. Furthermore, Newton was in Carolina when Sean McDermott was the defensive coordinator. If anyone can turn Newton’s career around, it’s McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.