Just as identifying which players will over-perform expectation can determine the outcome of a fantasy league, figuring out which ones will not provide adequate return on investment can tilt how one’s team performs. Some players, whether due to health, opportunity, or other circumstance, simply won’t give fantasy managers what they anticipated at their respective draft slot.
The quarterback position is no exception, and several carry some major red flags from a fantasy perspective.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
The arrival of Julio Jones to a supporting cast that already included Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown could make Ryan Tannehill appear attractive on first blush. After all, Tannehill finished seventh in scoring among quarterbacks in 2020 and ranked third during his stretch as the Tennessee Titans’ starter in 2019. However, the departure of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith severely complicates Tannehill’s outlook as does the loss of tight end Jonnu Smith and the likely regression for Henry in his post-2,000-yard campaign.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
The upside of Jalen Hurts looks appealing. He has potential as a running threat and, with improved personnel around him, could do more damage as a passer. Still, Hurts’ ADP (currently 10th among quarterbacks) has all of that potential backed in and little of his downside. Going after Hurts could mean allowing a starting wide receiver or someone else of commensurate value slip away. Given the depth at signal-caller, Hurts represents a pretty significant risk.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
While Josh Allen led all quarterbacks in scoring during the 2020 season — outperforming both Patrick Mahomes and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers — he led the NFL in dropped interceptions with 21. While Allen should continue to develop and cut down the total of poor decisions, a larger percentage of those dropped picks will end up as turnovers in all likelihood during the upcoming season. That would negatively affect his fantasy output to a meaningful degree, and his ADP (second among QBs) already places him at the top of the price range at his position.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
The newly minted union of Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams offers plenty of upside for all parties. The Rams have a quality supporting cast and Stafford represents a significant upgrade over Jared Goff. However, it remains true that, whether for performance or injury, Stafford hasn’t finished better than No. 15 in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks in any of the past three seasons. Health concerns and the possibility of a letdown make his current ADP (11th at the position) a somewhat risky proposition.