The Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes leads my Top 20 quarterback rankings for the 2021 fantasy football season. My other top choices include Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Aaron Rodgers.
A superb fantasy football quarterback may propel your team to the top of the standings and provide a consistent advantage over the competition. You also don’t want to pick a quarterback too early in the draught because it would jeopardise the quality of players you add at other positions.
Mahomes is a normal first- or second-round pick in fantasy football draughts, but a great quarterback can still be found after round four.
Use my rankings and analysis as a supplement to your thoughts to decide who you want to lead your fantasy football squad.
I split my top targets into five tiers: Hall of Fame, All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Just Napping (early to mid-round targets) and Deep Sleepers (mid- to late-round sleepers). The full Top 20 rankings are below.
Hall of Fame
1. Patrick Mahomes, 2. Dak Prescott, 3. Lamar Jackson
Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes leads my pack of fantasy football quarterbacks for 2021. Mahomes returns to an offense with top weapons Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. He also will throw to a talented pass-catching running back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Mahomes’ schedule features four matchups against teams that ranked inside the Top 10 for most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season. He should give you a weekly advantage against opponents and can singlehandedly win a weekly matchup, an ability most quarterbacks do posses.
Dak Prescott is one of my favorite quarterback targets in fantasy football drafts. Prescott was off to a terrific start in 2021, but sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. He led the NFL in passing yards at the time of his injury. Prescott also threw nine touchdown passes and scored three rushing TDs through his first four games last season.
Look for the Cowboys offense to sizzle again in 2021. Prescott should outperform his current average draft position, which is in the fourth or fifth round. The Dallas Cowboys star should finish the season as a Top 5 quarterback if he stays healthy.
Lamar Jackson is another player who should outperform his average draft position, which is also in the fourth round. The 2019 NFL MVP took a step back statistically in 2020. He should run a little more in 2021 due to the departure of running back Mark Ingram.
My No. 3 quarterback is a near lock for at least 1,100 rushing yards, 3,000 passing yards and at least 30 passing scores. He should pick up another seven or eight scores on the ground.
4. Josh Allen, 5. Aaron Rodgers
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen nearly won MVP last season and should produce another prolific 2021 campaign, but I think he is being selected too high in fantasy football drafts.
Allen threw for 4,544 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. He picked up another 421 yards and eight scores on the ground. I expect Allen to post closer to 32 scores and increase his interception total in 2021. The Bills also should lighten his workload on the ground to improve their offensive balance.
Allen still is an elite option, but I wouldn’t take him before the third or fourth round.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers is my No. 5 option in 2021. Rodgers led the NFL with 48 passing yards in 2020 and should produce another elite campaign. Look for at least 45 passing scores this season from the Packers gunslinger.
Rodgers could struggle to produce at times this season due to a tough schedule. The Packers have five matchups against teams that ranked inside the Top 10 for fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
6. Kyler Murray, 7. Matthew Stafford
Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals is my No. 6 quarterback. Murray improved as a passer and a runner last season, but should take another step forward in 2021. Look for Murray to increase his passing touchdown total to at least 32 and remain prolific as a ball carrier.
He should come close to 1,000 rushing yards and provide your fantasy football team with a weekly edge. Murray’s schedule features five matchups against teams that ranked inside the Top 10 for the most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in 2020.
Former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was traded to the Los Angeles Rams this off-season and should produce a very solid fantasy football campaign in 2021.
Look for Rams coach Sean McVay and Stafford to utilize the team’s talented group of pass catchers with regularity, especially after a season-ending injury to starting running back Cam Akers.
Stafford is my No. 7 option at the position and a great target if you choose to wait on a quarterback in your draft. The Rams schedule in 2021 features five matchups against teams that ranked inside the Top 10 for the most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in 2020.
Stafford could be a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year and a steal in your fantasy football draft.
10. Justin Herbert, 11. Ryan Tannehill, 12. Joe Burrow, 13. Kirk Cousins
Justin Herbert is in his second NFL season, which means it could be a bit risky to pick the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback early in your draft. He ranks No. 10 in my fantasy football quarterback rankings due to his impressive rookie campaign and the return of several solid pass catching weapons in the Chargers offense.
Herbert is a near lock to throw for at least 4,500 yards and 32 scores this season. He could work his way into elite QB1 consideration if he improves his running game and can score at least seven rushing touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is one of my favorite sleeper targets in fantasy football drafts. Cousins is available very late, is in line to produce a solid season and faces a great schedule.
The Vikings schedule features just three matchups against teams that ranked inside the Top 10 for fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in 2020. Cousins is a great matchup based play and could be a solid option for your team if you choose to draft a lottery ticket type of player like Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Deshaun Watson.
15. Cam Newton, 16. Trey Lance
Cam Newton of the New England Patriots and Trey Lance of the San Francisco 49ers also are available late in fantasy football drafts and could provide your team with a ton of value.
You will likely need to include at least two quarterbacks on your team if you choose to pick Newton or Lance.
Newton only threw eight touchdown passes in 15 starts last season, but picked up 592 yards and 12 scores on 137 carries. I expect Newton’s passing statistics to improve enough for him to become a reliable, matchup based fantasy football option early in the season.
The Patriots’ schedule features an NFL-high six matchups against teams that ranked inside the Top 10 for most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season.
The Patriots’ schedule also features an NFL-low one game against a team that ranked inside the Top 10 for the fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
Newton may not start all season, but could be a plug and play option if you are waiting on a player like Lance, Justin Fields or Deshaun Watson to get on the field.
Lance is maybe the most popular lottery ticket draft pick for fantasy football players this off-season. The 49ers rookie is expected to get a chance to play at some point this season, but is in a quarterback battle with veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. If Lance does start, he could produce QB1 statistics in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
He is my No. 16 option, but you might need to reach for him in your draft if you don’t want to miss out on this breakout candidate.
Top 20 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings for 2021
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 12
2. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 7
3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8
4. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 7
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 13
6. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 12
7. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 5
8. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 9
9. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 9
10. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 7
11. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans, Bye Week 13
12. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 11
13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7
14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 7
15. Cam Newton, New England Patriots, Bye Week 10
16. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 7
17. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 7
18. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 14
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team, Bye Week 9
20. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 10