Well it feels like fantasy championships were just a week ago, but as the old adage goes, “there ain’t no rest for the wicked.” With 2020 and a whole lot of recency bias still ripe on my mind, I aim for these positional rankings to give you a premature preview of 2021, a season hopefully devoid of COVID complications among other things.
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QB Rankings – “If something goes right” Tier
- Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
- Matt Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
- Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
- Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
- Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
- Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
In the second string of targets we find ourselves in a very intriguing tier of players, each with their own question mark that will either make or break them in real-life and fantasy. For some of them its injury, others age, relatively unproven track records and histories of “game management” plague others, holding them back from the truly elite echelon of signal callers.
Dak Prescott may very well be a league winner, but are you taking him before any of those aforementioned players? His 27 fantasy points per game in his five games of service was number one in the league, but was it also the result of him having to play hero ball due to his swiss cheese defense? Will Dallas’ regression to the mean of defense leave him with fewer opportunities?
Matt Stafford truly deserves better. The take has evolved that he has put up hall of fame NUMBERS even if he doesn’t make a trip to Canton. Even in a season with injuries to himself and WR1 Kenny Golladay, Stafford slotted in just one spot behind Jared Goff. He now inherits Goff’s assets in a stellar offense and finally has a chance to make it far in the playoffs. Stafford may eke himself into a low-tier QB1 finish in 2021.
Justin Herbert only had the greatest season by a rookie quarterback ever. His placement below all of the other quarterbacks is a testament to the achievements of the other players listed above him (and the upside of Hurts). All I’ll say is that Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry grow another year older, but the likes of Jalen Guyton and company show that the future is bright in Los Angeles.
The other three quarterbacks have to escape father time and disrespected reputations. Tom Brady showed flashes of brilliance and is still capable of the occasional 30-bomb with his stacked roster of pass-catchers but has also shown you the geriatric moments and fantasy duds, especially when faced with significant pass rushes. This volatility prevents him from being a truly phenomenal fantasy option.
As for Tannehill and Cousins, it’s about time you put some respect on their names. Cousins was QB7 for the second half of this season and was still somehow rostered in less than half of fantasy leagues. Justin Jefferson and Irv Smith Jr. offer a promising look into 2021 and beyond as they should continue to develop into more dangerous threats. Tannehill has a budding core of pass catchers as well and operates in the defensively weak AFC South. Despite Mike Vrabel’s run-first approach, he will have quite a few QB1 performances next year.
Jalen Hurts’ impressive stretch down towards the end of 2020 invigorated the Eagles to a near playoff berth that gave many a Philly fan hope for the future. Sixty-plus rushing yards in every game and 300-plus passing in 2/3 games is the cause for a lot of hype, but a completion percentage in the mid 50s shows that there is still lots of growth for the young buck.