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Breaking down the fantasy impact of this offseason’s quarterback moves

We go over over the top quarterback transactions of the 2021 offseason and discuss the fantasy football impact that comes with them.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The elites at the quarterback position typically do not see a whole lot of offseason movement, but there has been plenty of noise following the Super Bowl in February. Russell Wilson caused a bit of a stir, but he and the Seahawks appear to be on better terms hoping to go on a run. Meanwhile, the statuses of Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson remain unclear at this point of the offseason. As we await their fates for the upcoming season, let’s take a look at the top quarterbacks who have moved around this offseason.

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (from Philadelphia Eagles)

UPDATE: The Wentz impact is now TBD due to his foot injury. There is speculation he’ll be ready for Week 1, but we’ll see.

Wentz impact: This move made a ton of sense for a variety of reasons as Carson Wentz looks to resurrect his career after struggling last season. He will be paired with his former offensive coordinator at Philadelphia Frank Reich, who is now the head coach with the Colts. Wentz had his best seasons working with Reich, and it will be interesting to see what Indianapolis can get out of him in Year 1. He is a low-end quarterback No. 3 for fantasy purposes heading into the season.

Eagles impact: The Eagles are officially giving the keys to the offense to Jalen Hurts without any questions, and he could be a real fantasy threat with his running ability. He will need to improve significantly as a passer at this level as he completed just 52% of his passes last season. Rookie DeVonta Smith is likely the only Philadelphia wide receiver worth selecting in standard leagues at this point. Dallas Goedert is worthy of a No. 1 tight end in fantasy this season.

Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears (from Dallas Cowboys)

Dalton impact: Russell Wilson-to-the-Bears rumors swirled for a short time, but Chicago landed Andy Dalton instead. Dalton is nowhere close to Wilson level, but he is still a quality NFL quarterback capable of leading a team. It seems likely he will at least begin the season as the starter, but the Bears will likely give their first round pick Justin Fields a shot at some point as the future of the franchise. It would be difficult to see Dalton being draftable in fantasy leagues.

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)

Goff impact: In a rare starting quarterback swap, the Lions are looking to get younger and rebuild, which led to a trade for Jared Goff. He came a few throws away from being a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Rams in 2018 but has not been overly impressive in the last two seasons. We’ll see if a change of scenery will get Goff back on track. He is unlikely to be drafted in standard fantasy leagues.

Rams impact: Los Angeles received Matthew Stafford in return, so this was a good deal for them. The Rams should see an immediate upgrade at the quarterback position, likely elevating their pass catchers’ ceilings. Robert Woods is fully entrenched as a No. 2 wide receiver for fantasy purposes, and Cooper Kupp can also be a low-end second receiver. Tight end Tyler Higbee is a No. 2 tight end, and this should open up more rushing lanes for Cam Akers, who could have a big year.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (from Detroit Lions)

Stafford impact: For years, many NFL fans have wondered what Matthew Stafford could do if he was no longer a part of the Lions’ organization. Now, he has a chance to show what he can do for an above-average franchise with plenty of talent around him. Heading into his 13th season, Stafford has remained incredibly healthy throughout his career, and his numbers still look good, though wins haven’t followed in Detroit. He is entrenched as a No. 2 QB in fantasy football.

Lions impact: Detroit will take a step back at the quarterback position by getting rid of Stafford in favor of Goff. Outside of the deepest of leagues, many fantasy football drafts will likely finish up without a single Lions wide receiver selected. One may emerge at some point, but it seems impossible to figure that out at this point. TJ Hockenson could take another step toward entering the elite players at the tight end position with this move.

Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos (from Carolina Panthers)

Bridgewater impact: Denver’s front office had hoped they finally found a quarterback of the future with second round pick Drew Lock, but Broncos will have a QB competition to determine who will start Week 1 this season. The organization did not have to give up much, but they brought in Teddy Bridgewater, who is about as average as it gets at the quarterback position. He should go undrafted in standard fantasy leagues.

Panthers impact: Carolina landed Sam Darnold to be their quarterback, and it still remains unclear whether he can produce at the professional level. DJ Moore can be a No. 2 wide receiver, and Robby Anderson is a No. 3 wide receiver at best, so there will be points to be had in the Carolina passing game especially with Christian McCaffrey set to return.

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (from New York Jets)

Darnold impact: It is far too early to write off Sam Darnold as a quality NFL quarterback, and he should receive a better shot at success with Carolina than he did with the Jets. The Panthers passed up on taking a quarterback during the draft, so they are officially going to give Darnold a shot at being their potential quarterback of the future. He would top out as a No. 3 quarterback for fantasy purposes.

Jets impact: The Jets replaced Darnold with No. 2 overall draft pick Zach Wilson, so we’ll how much of a difference this change will make in Year 1. New York brought in wide receiver Corey Davis, and he is likely going to be the only Jets pass catcher worth going after in the later rounds on a roster that does not much in terms of proven high level talent at the skill positions.

Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans (from Los Angeles Chargers)

Taylor impact: The Texans signed Tyrod Taylor when Deshaun Watson wanted out of Houston earlier this spring. Now that Watson is facing a much more serious situation outside of football reasons, Taylor will likely be the Texans starting quarterback in their first game of the season. It is certainly possible he loses the job at some point to rookie Davis Mills, who was selected in the third round. Taylor is not worth a draft pick in fantasy.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team (from Miami Dolphins)

Fitzpatrick impact: Ryan Fitzpatrick is once again with a new NFL team heading into his 17th season as a professional quarterback. The Washington Football Team won the not-so-competitive NFC East last season, and they will likely need a much better record than 7-9 to repeat as division champs. Despite playing as long as he has, Fitzpatrick has never played in a playoff game in his career. He is a quarterback No. 2 at best in fantasy football.

Dolphins impact: Tua Tagovailoa will get a full season to be an NFL starting quarterback for the first time, and we’ll see if he progresses in his second year as a pro. Will Fuller V was brought in and is probably a No. 4 wideout from a fantasy perspective. Other Miami wideouts DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle should be slotted slightly behind Fuller heading into the season. Dolphins’ tight end Mike Gesicki is a No. 2 tight end.