Fantasy Soccer Tiers (2021): Quarterback Rankings Defined

We’re nearing the start of the 2021 NFL season, and we’re seeing a significant increase in the number of fantasy football drafts. It is therefore more important than ever to divide your players into position “tiers”. In contrast to my regular player rankings, which you can also find at Sports Illustrated, you group players with similar values ​​into groups. So if you miss a particular player, your alternative is to see others at their tier.

Fantasy Football Levels by Position: QB | RB | WR | TE

First, let’s take a look at the quarterbacks.

Level 1 – The Elite

  • Patrick Mahomes, chiefs
  • Josh Allen, Bills
  • Kyler Murray, cardinals

Mahomes, Allen, and Murray are likely to be the top three quarterbacks in most fantasy drafts in 2021. That will keep them off the radar for managers like me who wait until the mid to late lap for the position. Still, Mahomes could throw 5,000 yards with the extra week of action, and Allen ends one of the best quarterbacks seasons ever based on Fantasy Points. Murray could go down a bit in terms of his rushed totals, but he’s set to put up big numbers nonetheless this season.

Level 2 – high-end QB1s

  • Lamar Jackson, Ravens
  • Dak Prescott, cowboys
  • Aaron Rodgers, packer

Jackson and Prescott are barely visible from the outside as far as the elite are concerned. The Ravens quarterback saw a sharp drop in consistency last season, at least until the later part of the campaign. Prescott missed most of 2020 after suffering an ugly leg injury, and he missed most of camp and preseason with a shoulder strain. However, I still see a scenario where these two players move up to the elite tier. Rodgers, who was QB2 last season, is back at Green Bay and remains a top option.

Level 3 – Medium QB1s

  • Russell Wilson, Seahawks
  • Justin Herbert, chargers
  • Ryan Tannehill, Titans
  • Jalen hurts, Eagles

Wilson, Herbert and Tannehill have all been the # 1 fantasy quarterbacks in the middle class for the past two seasons. Herbert and Tannehill have a smaller sample size than Wilson at this level, but I don’t see any signs that either will suffer a massive slump this season. As for Hurts, I put him in this tier because he has the potential to be at that level. His rusher skills make him attractive in fantasy circles, and his performance as a starter last season (albeit limited) has made him one of this year’s breakout players.

Level 4 – Low QB1s

  • Tom Brady, privateer
  • Matthew Stafford, Rams
  • Joe Burrow, Bengal

Tom Brady smiles after winning the Super Bowl

It’s strange to call Brady low-something, but he fits best on the list of low-end fantasy quarterbacks # 1. Can he throw 40 touchdowns at the age of 44? I would have a hard time betting against him. Stafford’s stocks go up with the Rams, and you have to like Burrow with all his guns in Cincinnati. Aside from reports on some of his camp fights, Burrow has the benefit of becoming a top 10-12 quarterback.

Tier 5 – High-Upside QB2s

  • Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
  • Trey Lance, 49er
  • Tua Tagovailoa, dolphins

All three of these quarterbacks could, at best, push for high QB2 or even low QB1 stocks. Lawrence is considered the best quarterback contender to emerge from the draft since Andrew Luck, and some considered Tua an elite contender before injuring himself late in his college career. Lance is all the rage in fantasy land these days, but he doesn’t have a clear path to a starting job like Lawrence and Tagovailoa. Even so, he is drafted as a potential fantasy starter, even if he is behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

Level 6 – Medium QB2s

  • Kirk Cousins, Vikings
  • Justin Fields, bears
  • Matt Ryan, hawks
  • Derek Carr, Raiders
  • Carson Wentz, Colts

Four of the five quarterbacks in this tier are veterans who have been QB1s in the past but don’t have high caps this season. Cousins, Ryan, Carr, and Wentz will all have their share of solid statistics lines, but none of them will be used as regular starters. Fields is the only exception on the plane. As a rookie with great upside potential, he could move up to the high-upside QB2 level before the start of the season. Andy Dalton is said to open as a starter behind a suspicious offensive line.

Tier 7 – Low QB2s

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, soccer team
  • Baker Mayfield, Browns
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
  • Daniel Jones, Giants

Fitzpatrick, Mayfield, and Big Ben have all likely hit their statistical ceilings at the NFL level, so I don’t see them as more than the # 2 options in fantasy leagues. Mayfield in particular has a run-minded Jones who has the greatest room for statistical improvement of this quartet, and he’ll have the best guns he’s had at pro level. If you want to get to the top, he is the player to target at this stage. On the flip side, Jones could be the most risky in the group.

Tier 8 – Deshaun Watson

I have no idea how to rank Watson so he’s on his own level. If it weren’t for the off-field issues that are serious and annoying, Watson would be a high-end QB1. Due to the fact that we have no idea when Watson is going to play, if he is going to play and who he is playing for if he is actually playing, I cannot recommend drawing him as more than a low QB2 / high QB3.

Tier 9 – High QB3s

  • Sam Darnold, panther
  • Jameis Winston, saint
  • Jared Goff, lions
  • Zach Wilson, Jets
  • Cam Newton, patriot
  • Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos

James Winston

Many of these quarterbacks aren’t even drafted in smaller leagues, and none of them will have more than low QB2 in traditional formats. The best advantage in this group will be Darnold and Wilson, the former and current Jets quarterbacks. Winston, Newton, and Bridgewater are not guaranteed to open the season as starters for their respective teams (or keep the jobs all season if they open at the top of the depths table). For this reason, the trio is usually selected in Superflex or 2QB leagues.

Level 10 – low-flying aircraft

  • Jimmy Garoppolo, 49er
  • Tyrod Taylor, Texan
  • Drew Lock, Broncos
  • Taysom Hill, saint
  • Mac Jones, patriot

This level includes players who are projected onto or compete for a starting role. Neither of them are selected outside of Superflex or two QB leagues (in most cases), but that could change in the case of Lock, Hill and Jones if either of them should win first place on the depths table for their respective teams start the season.

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst for Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all of his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your latest fantasy news and the best analysis in the industry!

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