Fanelli’s Fantasy Files: Quarterback Pro/Con Rankings

Fantasy Rankings

The 2021 NFL season is just around the corner, and fantasy football drafts are picking up the pace by the hour. When looking at fantasy rankings, it is always good to know the upside and downside of each player. As fantasy players prepare for their fantasy drafts, I have provided my current top-24 at the quarterback position with quick pros and cons for each player.

These rankings are base on six-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring. Good luck to everyone with their fantasy drafts.

Be sure to check out all of my fantasy football rankings!

QB1 – Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2020 Stats: 15 Games Played | 30.0 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB3 Finish

PROS: Best quarterback in the game. He has two elite weapons in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Pass happy offense. Some rushing upside. Much improved offensive line.

CONS: Doesn’t have the rushing upside like Kyler Murray or Lamar Jackson. Hasn’t thrown 40 plus touchdowns since 2018. The improved offensive line could mean more work for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

QB2 – Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 29.3 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB2 Finish

PROS: He finished second in the NFL in total touchdowns with 45. Led the team with eight rushing touchdowns last season. The Bills didn’t add a running back in the draft, making Allen again the favorite as the goal line runner.

CONS: Only one year of elite production. Had 37 passing touchdowns last season compared to 30 in his first two years combined. Despite goal line rushing value, Allen had only three games with over 40 rushing yards in 2020.

QB3 – Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

2020 Stats: 5 Games Played | 30.5 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB32 Finish

PROS: His leg is 100 percent healthy, didn’t start camp on PUP. Was on pace for 5,939 passing yards last season before the injury. He has three great wide receivers. The Cowboys’ horrible defense will lead to plenty of shootouts.

CONS: Some concern coming off a massive injury. With a healthy Ezekiel Elliott and offensive line, the Cowboys might lean on the running game more this season.

QB4 – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 29.9 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB1 Finish

PROS: Coming off an MVP season, Rodgers will be determined to keep up his play with his future unknown. Has two elite weapons in Davante Adams and Aaron Jones, to go along with several solid role players. Has proven he can maintain his high touchdown rate.

CONS: Packers ran the ball on 44.8 percent of their plays last season. Outside of Adams, he lacks an elite wide receiver. Plays in a tough division. Might have a high throwaway percent to protect himself from injury.

QB5 – Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 26.9 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB6 Finish

PROS: Was on pace for a top-three finish before suffering injury midseason. Has the rushing upside to finish with over 1,000 rushing yards this season. Cardinals added A.J. Green and Rondale Moore in the offseason.

CONS: The injury last season might cause the Cardinals to limit the number of designed quarterback runs. Murray threw one or fewer touchdowns in half of his games last season.

QB6 – Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 27.5 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB4 Finish

PROS: Wilson has arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. After hiring Shane Waldron as the offensive coordinator, the Seahawks might finally let Russ cook. The defense should struggle again this season, creating shootouts for Wilson.

CONS: Has a history of running extremely hot and cold. Pete Carroll could decide to return to a run-heavy offense. The depth behind Metcalf and Lockett is super thin.

QB7 – Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

2020 Stats: 15 Games Played | 26.3 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB9 Finish

PROS: Finished as a top-12 quarterback in 60 percent of his games as a rookie. Won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. He has plenty of weapons in Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and more.

CONS: Regression is possible, especially given only one year’s worth of history. The defense should be healthy and better this season, creating fewer shootouts.

QB8 – Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

2020 Stats: 15 Games Played | 25.7 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB10 Finish

PROS: The offense is built around him. His rushing floor is 1,000 yards. Ravens added weapons this offseason, including Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman.

CONS: Limited upside in the passing game. Ravens have added weapons before with poor results. The duo of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards limits Jackson’s upside.

QB9 – Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 26.1 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB7 Finish

PROS: Despite no real offseason and a new system, Brady finished as a top-12 quarterback nine times last season. He has the best supporting cast of his career. Division lacks an elite defense.

CONS: Will have low-scoring fantasy games because of a strong defense and capable running game. He has zero rushing upside, averaging 49.7 rushing yards per season for his career.

QB10 – Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 25.6 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB8 Finish

PROS: He has elite weapons around him with A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, and Derrick Henry. He offers sneaky rushing upside, has 11 touchdowns in two years as a Titan.

CONS: Only had 481 pass attempts last season. He has thrown more than 27 touchdowns once in his career. Derrick Henry is the center of the offense, not the passing game.

QB11 – Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 19.5 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB15 Finish

PROS: Has an excellent set of weapons, including Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Injury to Cam Akers will force the Rams to pass more than expected this season.

CONS: Excellent defense, which will keep Stafford out of shootouts. No rushing upside. Rams also tend to run the ball inside the 10-yard line, which could cost Stafford some red zone touchdowns.

QB12 – Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

2020 Stats: 15 Games Played | 8.0 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB36 Finish

PROS: Averaged 25.5 fantasy points per game as the starter. Hurts has the potential to be a 4,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher. Eagles improved the offensive line and wide receiver positions in the offseason.

CONS: Limited experience as the starter. He completed only 52 percent of passes last season. Eagles still have one of the worst receiving units in the NFL despite adding DeVonta Smith.

QB13 – Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

2020 Stats: 10 Games Played | 20.0 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB25 Finish

PROS: Finished third in pass attempts per game last season (40.4). Has three great wide receivers. The defense will be one of the worst in the NFL again in 2021, leading to more shootouts.

CONS: Coming off a serious knee injury. The offensive line is shaky at best. Has very limited rushing upside, averaged only 14.2 rushing yards per game last season.

QB14 – Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

2020 Stats: 15 Games Played | 22.2 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB12 Finish

PROS: Despite coming off massive elbow surgery, Big Ben still finished as a top-12 quarterback. He has three excellent wide receivers and a strong duo at tight end.

CONS: Steelers won’t finish last in rushing after drafting Najee Harris. The defense is one of the best in the NFL, will limit the number of shootouts. Some have concerns about his arm strength because of the elbow injury.

QB15 – Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 23.5 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB11 Finish

PROS: Finish top-14 in all three seasons with Vikings, top-11 twice. He has two excellent wide receivers and a running game that keeps defenses honest. The Vikings improved the offensive line in the offseason.

CONS: The Vikings are a run-heavy offense. Depth at wide receiver is thin behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. An injury to either could seriously hurt Cousins’ value. Vikings improved the defense in the offseason.

QB16 – Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 20.8 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB13 Finish

PROS: The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and should be in several shootouts this season. They also play in one of the highest-scoring divisions. He has Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts at his disposal. 

CONS: The team traded Julio Jones to Titans and did nothing to replace him at wide receiver. Ryan was very inconsistent last season, scoring fewer than 19.6 fantasy points in 56 percent of his games. No rushing upside.

QB17 – Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

2020 Stats: 12 Games Played | 19.2 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB22 Finish

PROS: Despite a lack of supporting cast, Wentz finished top-12 in 25 percent of his games last season. This year, he will have arguably the best offensive line in the NFL in Indianapolis.

CONS: He lacks weapons on the outside. Colts will be on the heaviest run teams in the NFL, limiting Wentz’s passing volume upside. He also could miss time at the start of the season recovering from foot surgery.

QB18 – Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

2020 Stats: N/A

PROS: Best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Very talented and enters the NFL with plenty of experience. He has a good supporting cast and can be a factor in the running game.

CONS: The head coach publically said they want to be a very run-heavy offense. Most of his weapons are young, inexperienced, and could bust. He has no threat at tight end.

QB19 – Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 20.4 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB14 Finish

PROS: Finished last season as the QB14 despite no impactful wide receiver. Carr finished top-12 in almost half of his games last season. Raiders have an awful defense and play in a high-powered division.

CONS: Massive changes along the offensive line. Raiders added Keyan Drake to pair with Josh Jacobs. Carr is an injury to Darren Waller away from the worst receiving core in the NFL.

QB20 – Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

2020 Stats: N/A

PROS: He should take over as the starter sooner than later, given Andy Dalton’s play in the preseason. Once the starter, he will have weapons around him, including Allen Robinson and David Montgomery. Offers rushing upside.

CONS: Will not start Week 1 and could end up sitting several weeks depending on how stubborn Matt Nagy acts. The offensive line was average at best before dealing with all their injuries.

QB21 – Zach Wilson, New York Jets

2020 Stats: N/A

PROS: Talented player who provided he could sling it at BYU. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal. The defense is one of the worse in the NFL. The team’s running game comes with question marks.

CONS: While the offensive line is improved, it still comes with question marks. He will face plenty of tough defenses in the division. The coaching staff will want to be a run-heavy offense.

QB22 – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

2020 Stats: 16 Games Played | 18.7 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB16 Finish

PROS: He will get back a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. He has a solid set of weapons. The Browns have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

CONS: Run-heavy offense. Had five games with less than nine fantasy points last season. Plays in one of the toughest divisions. Browns improved their defense in the offseason, shouldn’t be in many shootouts this season. 

QB23 – Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

2020 Stats: N/A

PROS: It shouldn’t be long before he takes over as the starter, given Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury history. Once he takes over, Lance will have an excellent offensive line and supporting cast. Lance offers plenty of rushing upside.

CONS: He has played in one meaningful game since 2019. Lance is still very raw and will likely have some very poor performances as the starter. His supporting cast is full of injury-prone players.

QB24 – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team

2020 Stats: 9 Games Played | 19.9 Fantasy Points Per Game | QB28 Finish

PROS: Finish as a top-12 quarterback in over half of his games last season. He has a great set of weapons at his disposal. Fitzpatrick will play in an offense that will take advantage of his ability to throw downfield.

CONS: Has a history of turning into Fitztragic and getting bench. Taylor Heinicke could take his starting role. Little rushing upside. He plays with one of the best defenses in the NFL.

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2 Responses

  1. Good write-up Mike! What are your thoughts about Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones for 2QB leagues? Are they really worse than Zach Wilson?

    1. Winston the issue is no Michael Thomas for probably 6 weeks. If he was good to go Week 1, he would be in the top 20. Darnold I gotta see it before I trust it. Jones has upside but his entire supporting cast has injury history/currently hurt. With Wilson, he will play all 17 and has plenty of solid weapons. The defense will be bad, leading to more negative game script and more points.

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