Continue reading this article with a Season Long Pro subscription.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, ESPN
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: Patrick Mahomes hasnâ€™t been great in 2021, but he still ranks as a top three quarterback, without strong rushing numbers and a higher than normal interception rate. It is clear he is a class above other quarterbacks and the number one fantasy quarterback for now, three years time and even ten years into the future.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Mahomes still has 50 touchdown upside, particularly with the Chiefs revamping their offensive line from top to bottom. The only quarterback worthy of a second-round pick in 12-team leagues.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: Kyler Murray has been a strong fantasy quarterback without being dominant. Injuries have affected the Cardinals after a golden start, but Murray is a threat to be the too fantasy quarterback in any given week. I would be aware he possesses a downside that may be concerning. Watch his run towards the post season for signs of maturity or future issues
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Murray improved across the board last year, but he and his coaches say he ran too much. If he makes good on running less, he might be over drafted by a round or two.
Andy Hicks on Dec 2: Josh Allen is likely to record less than eight rushing touchdowns for the first time in his career. He still should be the number one fantasy quarterback once again. Where to from here? Allen has a new contract, a solid receiving group and seems as safe an Elite quarterback as you can get in fantasy.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Some may forecast regression, but Allen's improvement over three seasons is nearly unparalleled in NFL history. Same coaches, same system, same supporting cast = no reason to doubt his bonafides.
Andy Hicks on Dec 2: What to make of Lamar Jackson? He is poised to record his third successive 1000 yard rushing seasons, but he doesnâ€™t have anywhere near as many rushing touchdowns. He already has career high turnovers and the improved receiving corp has only helped lift his passing yardage, not passing touchdowns. He is line for a massive contract, but for fantasy managers can he be guaranteed to produce elite numbers for the next few years?
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Lamar Jackson regressed as a passer last year, but the Ravens bolstered his receiving corps substantially in the offseason and OC Greg Roman has promised to open up the playbook more. Buy the dip.
Andy Hicks on Dec 3: Justin Herbert has cooled off a little from his frenetic opening to the season. He has interceptions in all but one game recently. Still for a quarterback in only in his second season he shows great promise as an elite fantasy quarterback for years to come. He can even get extra points with his legs.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Herbert proved the doubters wrong with an elite rookie season, and history has been kind to comparable quarterbacks. The only fly in the ointment is the coaching turnover; we don't yet know if Joe Lombardi is a good play caller.
Andy Hicks on Dec 2: Are the days of Dak Prescott being a rushing quarterback over? With a new contract and his leg injury still in the back of his mind, Prescott is relying on passing to his excellent receiving group. He should post career high passing touchdowns. As he is approaching 30 his days as a top tier fantasy quarterback may move more towards the 5-8th ranked group.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Prescott was on pace for more than 6,000 yards passing before his season-ending injury and returns healthy with an enviable trio of stud receivers, and a running game that will keep defenses honest. He's on a short list of potential No. 1 overall quarterbacks.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: All the preseason talk surrounding Burrow was relatively negative. Maybe it was justified at the time, but few quarterbacks are playing better than the second year Bengal. The offense is young and the combination with his star receiver Jaâ€™Marr Chase is off the charts. There will be ups and downs as he gets to grips with his expectation.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Burrow has the potential to approach 700 pass attempts in a 17-game season given the Bengals defensive questions and coach Taylor's uptempo system. With a young trio of stud receivers and a healthy Joe Mixon, Burrow has more upside at his ADP than downside.
Andy Hicks on Dec 3: It seems certain that either Russell Wilson or Pete Carroll, maybe both, are somewhere else next year. Wilson in particular doesnâ€™t look the same player. Either the finger injury is still causing problems, the offensive scheme isnâ€™t working or Wilson is just making poor decisions. He has to drop in rankings until either he shows form or his 2022:destination is clear.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: He's coming off record completions, attempts, completion percentage, and touchdowns yet fantasy managers love to push him down. Always one of the better values at the position.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: Deshaun Watson didnâ€™t get traded before the deadline, so we wonâ€™t see much of him in 2021. Several teams want him, but itâ€™s not just your normal trade arrangement. Even if a move happens before his legal situation sorts itself. The Texans were hardly a good side in 2020, the last tine we saw Watson, but his talent level is elite. Worth holding
Jason Wood on Sep 8: A number of teams remain interested in acquiring Watson, but his legal situation clouds the potential for 2021 relevance.
Andy Hicks on Dec 3: Trevor Lawrence is struggling in his rookie season. After a three touchdown game to open the season, he only has one in his last four outings. There is also a chance that he has to start again with a new coach next year. His potential is still evident, but he cannot do it all alone. No reason to panic yet, but he isnâ€™t displaying chosen one talent yet,
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Trevor Lawrence is a prototypical quarterback with as bright a future as anyone to enter the league in years. But his rookie year should be volatile given the roster turnover, new system, and new coaching staff. Lawrence's mobility is underappreciated and could give him a top-15 floor.
Andy Hicks on Dec 4: Statistically Matthew Stafford is having a great year. Is he doing what the Rams want him to, which is win football games? There appears to still be a lot of the Detroit guy still in there and post season victories look as distant as ever. The team is committed to him though and he has good receivers and a good offensive scene so he presents as a reliable fantasy, if not NFL quarterback.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Stafford has elite potential this year if he proves the key to unlocking Sean McVay's system. But his age and inconsistency, not to mention lack of mobility, warrant drafting as a high-upside QB2 instead of your starter.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: The Eagles are surprising a few of us by winning well. Some of the credit goes to the excellent performance by the defense, but Jalen Hurts is more than deserving as well. With more than a third of the season still to play out the likelihood of Philadelphia carrying Hurts into 2022 becomes higher every game. As a fantasy option, he finally gets some credit from me, purely from the rushing numbers. As a passer, we need more time. He has exceeded 200 passing yards only once in the last 7 weeks and has only six passing touchdowns over the same time frame.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Not for the faint of heart given his limited playing time as a rookie and substandard accuracy as a passer. But his mobility can offset a lot of questions about passing inefficiency, at least while he stays healthy.
Jeff Haseley on Sep 3: Hurts is still only 22 years old and has shown that he can produce quality fantasy numbers. He has plenty of time to find a niche as a starter whether that is with Philadelphia or not.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: The 49ers spent a fortune to move up in the draft for Trey Lance. While he won't start in Week 1, there's no doubt the team wants Lance to be the starter exiting the season.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: The whole Aaron Rodgers absence was concerning on multiple levels. The perception of lying, the perceived sense of entitlement and the blaming of everyone else. Winning fixes all ills in the NFL, but regaining trust will be hard and may impact the career of Rodgers further down the line. This could all blow over in a week or the ramifications could linger. He drops below several younger quarterbacks in the rankings.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: After an acrimonious offseason, Rodgers and the Packers appear set to run it back for one more season, which makes him a no-brainer QB1 who should be off the board no later than 10th at the position.
Andy Hicks on Dec 4: Itâ€™s kind of hard to judge Ryan Tannehill harshly when he loses Derrick Henry, Julio Jones and A.J. Brown, as well as Arthur Smith in the offseason. He isnâ€™t playing well enough to maintain fantasy starter status, which was borderline anyway. He is approaching the veteran stage of his career with almost 10 years served and if you can, move him while he still holds value.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Tannehill's outlook was trending down a month ago, but the Julio Jones trade re-establishes a floor as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. Assuming new OC Todd Downing can maintain the exemplary system Arthur Smith established.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: The most impressive rookie quarterback to date has been Mac Jones. He is playing well within a proven system, but lacking the weapons to become a fantasy dominant quarterback. He is well worth investing in dynasty leagues as the team develops its passing game. The lack of rushing yardage is going to limit his upside, but as a long term project, he should provide consistent numbers. Moves to number 13.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Mac Jones was the better quarterback this summer and the Patriots did the smart thing, naming him the Week 1 starter while jettisoning Cam Newton.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Justin Fields could be an every-week fantasy starter later in the season, but it's not clear he'll be given an opportunity to win the starting job right away.
Andy Hicks on Dec 4: After eight years in the NFL we know who Derek Carr is as fantasy managers. Great fantasy backup who you can ride when he is hot. This year has been challenging on multiple levels for Carr and the team. What the franchise does with a head coach in 2022 could dictate if Carr hangs around or is moved. His contract is team friendly. It is unlikely he ascends into the ranks of regular starting fantasy options but teams like Pittsburgh, Carolina and Cleveland could be interesting landing spots.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Derek Carr's box scores read better than his reputation as a passer. He's hyper-accurate and has a cadre of offensive options yet to peak.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Brady's age wasn't a problem at 43 years old so why should 44 years old be a problem? He was QB7 last year in a new city with a new team and system, so a top-5 finish is hardly a stretch in Year 2.
Andy Hicks on Sep 5: There are rules for other quarterbacks and then there are a seeming lack of rules for Tom Brady. Recoding 40 passing touchdowns and 4500 passing yards when he didnt know the offense well and was getting to know his new environment portends to an excellent 2021, but realistically the aim is superbowl or nothing. To me that implies that regular season will be a grind that may drop his stats. Plus 44 years old.....seriously? At some stage the wheels come off, As a dynasty option, his aim of playing to 45 has now been moved to an improbable 50. Take it one year at a time. In bestball leagues I would get other options that complement his schedule
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Cousins is the new Philip Rivers. No one wants to draft him and yet he puts up top-12 numbers at the season's end.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Tagovailoa had a disappointing season by his own admission. Miami's front office made aggressive moves to ensure any failure to improve this year would be solely Tagovailoa's fault; there are no more excuses.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Coming off a disastrous season, Wentz landed in the best spot possible for a reclamation. Frank Reich knows Wentz's strengths and weaknesses better than anyone. But the Colts offensive line faces as many questions as the Eagles M.A.S.H. unit from a season ago.
Andy Hicks on Sep 5: Carson Wentz has seen his ADP slide following news of his foot surgery. While he does not have a great track record with injury, he does present a very high upside should it all come together in 2021. Despite being at rock bottom last season with the Eagles, Carson Wentz was still a borderline fantasy quarterback for the first 12 games of the season. With the receiving unit significantly better in Indianapolis, a strong running game, and a good offensive line, Wentz will find it difficult to underachieve again in 2021. Add in a coach who believes in him and no threat from any backup, Wentz is primed to easily exceed his draft slot for the year.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: Daniel Jones has improved as a quarterback, both fantasy and reality. How patient are the Giants going to be by the end of the season if the team is still losing? Despite Jones looking better, concussion notwithstanding, he is not the finished product and held to ransom by the quality of his receivers. The next phase of the season will be vital for how patient New York will be with him. He gets a nice boost in rankings and while he has the potential to be a starting fantasy quarterback long term, he could be Mitchell Trubisky in a heartbeat.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Daniel Jones finally has a difference-making No. 1 receiver in Kenny Golladay. Is that enough to salvage his status as an NFL starter? I'm doubtful.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Mayfield is always going to be volatile because his instincts are to be a gunslinger, but he took well to Kevin Stefanski's coaching and learned how to play within the system in 2020. He's a viable option, particularly as part of a late-round QB committee draft approach.
Andy Hicks on Sep 5: When looking at the season-ending numbers, it is easy to surmise that Baker Mayfield is just a game manager that lets the run game dominate. It is well established that once Mayfield played within Cleveland's scheme, he looked great. It was a true season of two halves. Once he played within himself and allowed others to do the work, his numbers were astonishing. In the five-game stretch between weeks 12 and 16, he averaged 303 yards passing with two touchdowns a game. There was only one interception. He was the master of his domain. Now should you take him as your starter? Absolutely not, but his floor is very high and should you want to dominate at other positions, he is a great safety option to match with a high upside quarterback.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Wilson has a clear path to playing time, and the new Jets coaching staff is committed to getting him experience in 2021 to build on in future years.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Ryan was overvalued before the Julio Jones trade but is now grossly mispriced. Arthur Smith isn't going to run a pass-happy offense is he can help it, and Ryan should be viewed as a low-ceiling committee quarterback to use only when the matchup is friendly.
Andy Hicks on Sep 5: Matt Ryan had his contract surprisingly extended by the new management. Losing Julio Jones will be devastating, especially when their new playmaker in Kyle Pitts is likely to have his best years with Ryan gone. What the team intend to do with Ryan is a mystery. They are stuck with him due his salary cap numbers, but want to start afresh. He has always been fantasy reliable, without being elite. His downside this year is more likely than any possible upside
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Outside of a 4-game stretch in New Orleans two seasons ago, Teddy Bridgewater has been too conservative to win in today's NFL. He has the arm strength to push the ball downfield but doesn't have the stones.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: It takes an optimistic bent to expect Goff to perform well in his new town. The Lions have no discernible No. 1 receiver, a coaching staff that's hard to be excited about, and most of us vividly remember how awful Goff looked before he had Sean McVay in his earpiece every snap.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: After starting the season with 10 touchdowns, five rushing and five passing, with an average of three hundred yards a game over the first four weeks, Sam Darnold became the worst starting quarterback in the entire league over the next five. He was barely getting 150 passing yards a game, has two passing touchdowns to eight interceptions and just looks like Adam Gase wasnâ€™t the problem in New York. He was shut down with an injury and his future looks bleak as a starter, but those with deep rosters may keep him just in case.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Joe Brady is one good season from Sam Darnold away from his pick of NFL head coaching vacancies. The Panthers roster is stacked with talent, and Darnold can't be judged on his tenure in New York given the toxicity of the coaching and ownership.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: Starting as a fill-in for Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke has started to push for a more permanent role as the team starts to find its groove. As a fantasy option, he is currently a nice bye week fill-in or starter in two QB leagues. He is accurate, good in the pocket and not afraid to run. In deeper leagues, he presents as a nice keeper and moves well inside my top 30 quarterbacks
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Heinicke almost pulled off a playoff miracle last year, and shouldn't be counted out in Washington given Ryan Fitzpatrick's historical pattern of huge highs and abysmal lows.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Garoppolo needed a great preseason to hold onto his job, and that didn't happen. While he appears safe for the Week 1 start, Trey Lance is going to be the starter soon.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Winston won the starting job, which is great news for the Saints' skill players, but not necessarily great news for Saints fans given Winston's propensity for turnovers.
Andy Hicks on Sep 5: Jameis Winston is capable of being an elite fantasy quarterback. Lost in the 30 interception season of 2019 was exceeding 5000 passing yards and 30 passing touchdowns. His arm talent is special. This is it, though. He has to take the job and hold it. Taysom Hill is limited, but he wonâ€™t lose the game. Hill is better suited to the jack of all trades role. Winston can propel this offense in an explosive direction. High upside, but early-season-cut downside too
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Taylor is the Week 1 starter, but history hasn't been kind to the veteran. He's a placeholder on a bad team.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Taysom Hill should never have been a serious contender for an NFL starting job, and when Jameis Winston beats you out, it's time to start rethinking your value.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Major shoulder surgery, age, and a less-than-stellar physique all lend doubt to Roethlisberger's relevance as a weekly fantasy starter.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Cam Newton was awful last year as a passer, and his legs saved his fantasy value. Another up-and-down summer combined with a stellar showing by Mac Jones led to Newton's release.
Andy Hicks on Nov 29: Davis Mills has had some good games and some absolute horrors, as one would expect from a third-round rookie quarterback. What makes his predicament interesting is what the Texans do with him over the last half of the season. Do they continue to see what they have in Mills or do they let him sit and continue to learn? Mills gets a bump in rankings, purely because he hasnâ€™t been incompetent. At this stage his destiny appears to be career backup.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: The Packers front office is trying hard to justify the Jordan Love experiment, but he needs to show it on the field before fantasy managers should buy the hype.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Teddy Bridgewater won the Week 1 starting job, and Lock needs a minor miracle to return to relevance.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Ryan Fitzpatrick is capable of molten hot streaks, but he always follows them with ice-cold stretches. His aggressive nature should provide the supporting cast with more boom weeks, but the busts are still going to hurt.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Andy Dalton will be the starter in Week 1, but the clock is ticking as Justin Fields looks like the real deal.
Jason Wood on Sep 8: Allen doesn't have a clear path to playing time, and may not even win the No. 2 job over Heinicke. But if he does break camp as the backup, he could end up starting a handful of games given Ryan Fitzpatrick's volatile history.