2021 Fantasy Football Draft Values: Quarterback Edition

Fantasy Football Values

Every summer, fantasy managers begin diving into offseason research and start to truly size up the value of the different players based on their current rankings. Now, while ADP tends to change slightly as various offseason events commence, there are still some wildly underrated players each year that fantasy participants hope to snag up at an amazing discount during their August drafts. Let’s jump into some quarterback values in fantasy football. 

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Fantasy Football: Best Quarterback Draft Values

Kirk Cousins: Minnesota Vikings

Yes, Kirk Cousins is by no means the ‘sexiest’ name on the quarterback docket when it comes to selecting a signal-caller in fantasy football. But, honestly, why not? Clocking in at QB11 overall last year with the fifth most touchdown passes and the eighth most passing yards, Cousins was a low-end QB1 even in a year where he was treated as a bye week flyer at best in most fantasy leagues. 

The amazing thing about fantasy football is that greatness doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with statistics. Over the years, there have been a number of quarterbacks that may not have been the future of a franchise, but have still lit up the scoreboard when their number was called. Cousins has – seemingly quietly – done just that in 2020, and by all accounts, looks primed to repeat that effort this season. With Dalvin ‘Cook-ing’ it up in the Minnesota backfield (sorry, I figured I’d try it out..), along with veteran Adam Thielen’s dominant presence in the red zone, and an amped up Justin Jefferson coming off a record-breaking rookie season, expect Cousins to soar way above his depleted projected ADP, currently ranging anywhere from a low-end QB2 to a potential QB3. An unfathomably easy choice in the backend of drafts at the quarterback position. 

Ryan Tannehill: Tennessee Titans

It doesn’t matter that Ryan Tannehill is being ranked as a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 in most rating systems; he has been, and continues to be, overlooked as a viable top-tier fantasy option at the quarterback position. While the departure of the Tennessee Titans successful offensive coordinator Arthur Smith poses questions to Tannehill’s abilities going into 2021, he’s had worse coaches to hold him back in the past. Since Tannehill took over the Titans offense as the starter in Week 7 of 2019, he has managed to throw for 55 touchdowns, over 6500 yards, and even took eleven additional scores to the house on the ground.  

And you know who else has some pretty decent skill position players besides the Vikings? Insert the most dominant power back in the game in Derrick Henry, along with Pro Bowl stud A.J. Brown, and the Titans size up quite nicely to the best in the business. But not only that; after adding one of the most physically talented veteran wide receivers the game has ever seen in Julio Jones, those are some weapons Tannehill has in his arsenal. While the Titans are a run-happy team, the NFL is a pass-happy league that tends to favor teams that can prevail in both aspects of the offensive side of the ball. Finishing as QB7 overall last season with 40 total touchdowns and only 7 interceptions, it’s about time to start appreciating this dual threat quarterback in an offense primed to only improve in one of the weakest divisions in football. 

Justin Fields: Chicago Bears

Wrapping up the list of fantasy football draft values is quarterback Justin Fields. Even after head coach Matt Nagy adamantly declared just a few days ago that Andy Dalton is still set to be the Chicago Bears starting quarterback in Week 1, top-drafted rookie Justin Fields will make his first appearance as the starter at Soldier Field sooner rather than later. Sure there isn’t any NFL experience that can be used to argue the case for Fields to be inserted into lineups early enough to make a key contribution in the fantasy world, but after an incredibly subpar 2020 campaign that somehow allowed Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace to keep their jobs, it will happen in due time. 

Nothing against Dalton, as he has been a productive player in the NFL for many years; but after jumping into one of the league’s most potent offenses last year as a primed backup in an awful division, he fell incredibly flat for most people’s standards. Yes he battled a concussion (and COVID-19) for a stretch, but taking a quarterback past his prime (who wasn’t super spectacular during that time) and leading a passing offense a bottom-third ranking last year (finishing with only 14 touchdowns, yet 8 interceptions in his 11 game appearances), doesn’t seem like a particularly exciting recipe for success for Bears fans this season.

Checking him into this system that is potentially lacking only a true, franchise quarterback to help put the remaining pieces of this offensive puzzle together, does not bode well for that stellar defense to carry them too far before the team’s win-loss record forces a switch at the player under center. With Dalton presumably not much different from Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles in the ‘victory-producing’ category for this legendary Bears franchise, expect Fields to hit the ground running (literally and figuratively) the moment he takes over as starter. 

While he may get swooped up in some drafts as a nice backup option due to the aura around the name, Fields will be overlooked by most in a quarterback controversy going into the regular season. This lends every opportunity to be able to grab this potential breakout talent later in drafts (even if he doesn’t start for a while), for a spectacular bench stash for a late-season boost to fantasy teams come playoff time. 

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