Matthew Stafford will majorly impress in 2021
The fine folks over at FantasyPros have a neat little tool where they compile the rankings of around 100 fantasy football experts to make one big consensus position ranking list.
We can learn a lot from this list. One thing being, there are a ton of potentially stellar fantasy football quarterbacks waiting in the wings this season.
The big names like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray are obvious and are bound to fly off draft boards early. But some of the names further down the list, the players being ranked as fringe backups, could be nearly as good as the biggest names at the position– despite the gap in draft status between them.
So this draft season, load up on your position players, focus on the skill groups, and put your faith in one of these three quarterbacks to carry your team to the finish line as late round draft picks.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (FantasyPros Consensus Ranking — #11)
You’re telling me Ryan Tannehill, the guy who finished seventh in quarterback fantasy points last year on the NFL’s second run-heaviest offense and now has Julio Jones playing as a WR2, that Ryan Tannehill, is being drafted as a backup in 10-team fantasy leagues?
Scoop him up in your draft and prepare to be rewarded for it.
The disrespect on Tannehill’s production is nothing new– same as his ability to shatter that dated perception on the field. Before his overall QB7 run last season, Tannehill finished as the overall QB3 in 2019 from Week 7 to the end of the year, the stretch of time when the Titans’ quarterback was promoted from bench duty to starter.
Now, Tennessee will be introducing a new offensive coordinator, one with a background in coaching quarterbacks, and will be introducing one of the most talented receivers of a generation to a wide receiver group that already included AJ Brown.
With a change in offensive philosophy and an influx of pass-catching talent, expect the run-heavy Titans to rely a slight bit more on the arm of Tannehill than they did last year. With more of a chance to shine, the Titans’ quarterback might jump back to his QB3 ways over the course of 2021– or at least pretty close to it.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (FantasyPros Consensus Ranking — #12)
How Matthew Stafford’s fantasy stock has dropped all the way to QB12, I will never know.
Stafford has made the move from the desolate, depressing wasteland of success and offensive talent known as the Detroit Lions to the sunny shore of Los Angeles, where the waiting hands of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp await, and the offensive genius of head coach Sean McVay is standing at the gates of SoFi Stadium waiting to greet him in.
Despite worse talent around him and worse coaching on the sidelines, Stafford still flashed talent as a legitimate real-life football asset, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in the midst of a lost 2020 season.
With the boost in supporting cast, Stafford could build on what was a strong season and shine as a solid starting quarterback for your fantasy team, all for the cost of a Round 10-12 draft pick.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (FantasyPros Consensus Ranking — #13)
Here’s a secret about Joe Burrow, one that might have been lost in a season derailed by injuries and overshadowed by the surprise stardom of another rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert.
Joe Burrow is really good at football– and proved it last year before the eventual leg injury heard around the streets of Ohio.
FantasyPros consensus QB13 is currently being drafted like a high-to-mid tier backup, despite playing the 2020 season like a star in the making just waiting to blossom. The former LSU Tiger used a heavy amount of passing volume to put up chunks of passing yards in just about every game he played, peaking in Week 7 with a 406 yard, three passing touchdown performance where he also added one score on the ground as well.
And things looked promising for Burrow from that moment on, following up that stellar showing with another strong outing the following week, struggling a bit after the bye against a strong Steelers defense, and eventually seeing his season coming to an early end the next week against another great Washington Football Team defense.
But keep in mind who Burrow was in 2020. A rookie, on 2019’s worst football team, who was gifted heaps of passing volume and now has the benefit of experience working for him, as well as the addition of a rookie receiver in Ja’Marr Chase, Burrow’s former LSU teammate who finished with a 20 touchdown season in their last college run together.
Taking a young quarterback fresh off an injury could be a gamble, but one that could pay off handsomely in the case of Burrow.