Rookie QB Fantasy Overview

The NFL draft has come and gone and now we have the daunting task of figuring out what every rookie’s fantasy value is. I am going to be doing a series of articles that will take a look at the first five players drafted at each position and break down their fantasy value for the 2021 NFL season and beyond. So let’s kick this thing off with Quarterbacks.

1. Trevor Lawrence- Trevor Lawrence is one of the highest rated Quarterbacks to come to the NFL since Andrew Luck, so there is definitely pressure to succeed right away. With Lawrence being the number one overall pick, he will be given the keys to the offense from day one. The Jaguars have placed plenty of weapons around Lawrence, who drafted his college teammate Travis Etienne late in the 1st round to go along side undrafted rookie sensation from last year, James Robinson. Jacksonville also signed Marvin Jones in the off-season to add to their receiver room of DJ Chark, and Lavishka Shenault. Lawrence is already ranked in the top ten dynasty QBs within the fantasy football community. Lawrence is someone that will be drafted in redraft leagues but shouldn’t be drafted until at least the double digit rounds. I personally don’t trust new Head Coach Urban Meyer long term but he knows how to utilize his players so I’m excited to see what he can do with Trevor Lawrence this year.

2. Zach Wilson- Admittedly, I wasn’t super high on Zach Wilson after watching some of his film. But I do see what people like about him. He has a good arm and can make any type of throw. Wilson is athletic but he won’t blow you away with his speed. I feel like he will either be elite or he will be a bust, I don’t see a happy medium for him. Wilson will have some interesting weapons this year. It’s still unknown if the Jets have a true WR1 on their team. They signed Corey Davis in the off-season and spent high draft capital on rookie receiver Elijah Moore. They will also have Denzel Mims returning for his sophomore season. There are some decent pass catchers on this team but not enough to get me excited about Zach Wilson for fantasy purposes this season. His outlook this year is pretty bleak, but he has a ton of potential and upside. In redraft leagues, I will be hands off Wilson during drafts. I see him as more of a week to week streamer rather than full time starter on my fantasy team. For dynasty purposes he is someone who might be a decent QB2 and the perfect QB3 who you can wait and see on.

3. Trey Lance- Trey Lance might have the most upside out of any QB in this class. Lance had a season for the ages in 2019 at North Dakota State. He threw for almost 2,800 yards, 28 touchdowns, and ZERO interceptions. On top of that he rushed for 1,100 and 14 touchdowns. He has everything you want in a Quarterback, he just hasn’t done it against substantial talent. It’s tough to gauge Lance’s fantasy value this season, as I believe the 49ers will roll with Jimmy Garoppolo to start the season. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if throughout training camp and pre-season if Lance surpasses Garoppolo on the depth chart. For redraft leagues he is a guy that will likely be someone I take with my last pick of the draft to see if the 49ers decide to go with Lance week one, and if they don’t you can always drop him. If Lance gets the call to start he should have plenty of playmakers to help him along the way. Brandon Aiyuk showed a lot of promise in his rookie campaign, plus they will be getting a healthy Deebo Samuel this season. Last but certainly not least, George Kittle will be back after an injury riddled season in 2020. I love Trey Lance long term, and I think he has the tools to be elite in a couple years. I have him as my QB3 out of this rookie class because there is still a lot of unknown but it’s hard to not get excited about the potential with this kid.

4. Justin Fields- Well, the Bears finally have a QB to get excited about. After falling a little bit in the draft, the Bears decided to trade up and select Justin Fields 11th overall. Justin Fields has the right skill set to be an elite QB in the NFL. However, he was drafted by Chicago who doesn’t have the best track record with quarterbacks. It’s crazy to think about but the Chicago Bears have never had a QB throw for 4,000 yards in a single season! I expect Fields to be the first, but maybe not this season. The Bears signed free agent Andy Dalton in the off-season and labeled him the starter. Even when the Bears traded up for Fields, Head Coach Matt Nagy said Andy Dalton is still the starter. I do expect Dalton to be the starter week one but I would be shocked if Fields didn’t take over before the midway point of the season. Fields is a player I won’t be drafting in redraft leagues but I want as many shares as possible in dynasty leagues. Fields has all the upside in the world and could be a mid season add that could have season ending surge like Jalen Hurts did last year.

5. Mac Jones- After rumors were swirling about the 49ers taking Mac Jones at pick 3, Mac Jones landed right into the lap of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots at pick 15. Mac Jones is far from the athlete that a lot of the quarterbacks are in this class, but Mac Jones was a Heisman finalist for a reason. He is a very accurate passer with great pocket presence. It also helps when you have Najee Harris, Jaylen Waddle and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith on the same offense. Jones playing style does remind me of Tom Brady a little bit. No, I’m not comparing the two, just simply stating the two have similar play styles. Once again, we have another situation similar to Justin Fields, where the Head Coach has already determined the starter, in this case it would be Cam Newton. Even if Mac Jones was handed the keys to the offense to start the season, I wouldn’t be drafting him this season. His dynasty outlook is a little brighter. I’m not sure what his value will be this season yet, but I am intrigued with him in dynasty leagues, especially since you can get him in the late 1st round of rookie drafts in superflex leagues.

The good news is, we will have an actual off-season unlike last year when COVID-19 happened. I look forward to diving into these QBs once things ramp up and we get further into off-season programs. Overall I think this could be a very special QB class. Outside of the top 5 QBs taken you also have Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, and Davis Mills who all have potential as well. It will be fun to see these rookie QBs try and make a name for themselves in the NFL this season and in the future. Needless to say I’m excited and anxious for the football season to get here.

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