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Quarterback rankings for 2021 fantasy football before March free agency

We take a look at the 2021 quarterback fantasy football landscape as we head into free agency.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass against Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 NFL quarterback landscape has yet to clear, as we still have a bunch of moving parts going into free agency and the NFL Draft. But, the majority of the signal callers are locked into their teams and we should be able to get a decent look at where we stand going into the offseason.

Here are my pre-draft and -free agency quarterback rankings:

Tier 1

Last season Josh Allen led the way in fantasy scoring overall, but Patrick Mahomes led in fantasy points per game, as he rested in Week 17. It is a little surprising that Mahomes led in fantasy points per game, as he doesn’t put up the numbers Allen does with his legs, but Mahomes’ efficiency and the presence of some rushing numbers gave him a very slight edge.

Mahomes is the No. 1 fantasy quarterback again this season, but with so many rushing quarterbacks, there are plenty that can be right up there with him, if things go their way. That includes Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. All three do enough on the ground to push them into the top tier even if they aren’t as efficient as Mahomes.

Then we have Deshaun Watson, who finished fifth overall and in fantasy points per game despite an overall poor set of skill players around him. Now he wants out of Houston, and for fantasy, he would likely end up going somewhere where he’d have more upside. No matter what, he needs to be in the Top-5, but there is always a chance the Texans play hard ball and Watson ends up sitting out games.

Tier 2

This tier starts with Dak Prescott. Prescott put up huge numbers before his injury early in the season and should be ready to pick up where he left off with a strong set of receivers and more reliance on the pass. The Cowboys will either sign him to an extension or franchise tag him unless something pops up out of left field.

Aaron Rodgers probably belongs in Tier 1, but his lack of rushing numbers means he has to have another MVP season to stay near the top. If the Packers end up committing to building the passing game this offseason by going after another wide receiver and beefing up the offensive line, he could move up to the top tier very easily.

Russell Wilson is another quarterback who can easily end up in Tier 1 and could be of great value after a season where he finished as the sixth best fantasy quarterback despite putting up big numbers. If he had stayed on his early pace, he would have been the No. 1 fantasy quarterback with ease. But Seattle ended up going away from their pass-first mentality as teams started to find ways of slowing it down.

2021 Quarterback Rankings

Rk Name Team
Rk Name Team
1 Patrick Mahomes II KC
2 Kyler Murray ARI
3 Josh Allen BUF
4 Dak Prescott DAL
5 Aaron Rodgers GB
6 Russell Wilson SEA
7 Lamar Jackson BAL
8 Tom Brady TB
9 Justin Herbert LAC
10 Matthew Stafford LAR
11 Ryan Tannehill TEN
12 Kirk Cousins MIN
13 Jalen Hurts PHI
14 Joe Burrow CIN
15 Trevor Lawrence JAC
16 Matt Ryan ATL
17 Ben Roethlisberger PIT
18 Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS
19 Jameis Winston NO
20 Tua Tagovailoa MIA
21 Justin Fields CHI
22 Zach Wilson NYJ
23 Trey Lance SF
24 Daniel Jones NYG
25 Baker Mayfield CLE
26 Jimmy Garoppolo SF
27 Carson Wentz IND
28 Derek Carr LV
29 Teddy Bridgewater DEN
30 Sam Darnold CAR
31 Mac Jones NE
32 Tyrod Taylor HOU
33 Jared Goff DET
34 Andy Dalton CHI
35 Jordan Love GB
37 Taysom Hill NO
38 Drew Lock DEN
39 Cam Newton FA
40 Marcus Mariota LV
41 Mitchell Trubisky BUF
42 Kellen Mond MIN
43 Gardner Minshew II PHI
44 Davis Mills HOU
45 Taylor Heinicke WAS