Dynasty Busts: Quarterback (2021 Fantasy Football)
With more dynasty leagues transitioning to SuperFlex and 2QB formats, hitting on the quarterback position is more important than ever. Fantasy football has shifted to making the quarterback position the most valuable among its counterparts, and the scarcity of quality starters is not going away.
With quarterbacks being so highly coveted and not as easily replaced, you have to make sure you are putting your eggs in the right basket. Baker Mayfield was drafted as a top-five quarterback following his 27-touchdown rookie season, but he has yet to finish among the top-15 at the position. Meanwhile, if you held on to Josh Allen through his first two seasons, you were rewarded with 2020’s QB1.
Let’s take a look at some quarterbacks I think will fail to provide a return on your investment, and you should consider trading them away before the bottom falls out.
Russell Wilson (QB – SEA)
Russell Wilson has always had the potential to be a top-three fantasy quarterback, but he remains limited by his coach’s preference for a prehistoric offensive identity. The calls for “Let Russ Cook” seemed to have been answered to start the 2020 season, as Wilson averaged 37 pass attempts, 317 passing yards, and 3.5 passing touchdowns per game over the first half of the season.
However, after a four-turnover performance in Buffalo, Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer shifted the offensive focus back to the run game. From Week 10 on, Wilson only averaged 32.5 pass attempts, 209 passing yards, and 1.5 passing touchdowns per game. The Seahawks even fired Schottenheimer at the end of the season because he didn’t run the ball enough, despite the coordinator’s pedigree for being a run-heavy coach.
Wilson is a great NFL quarterback, but he will never garner enough volume to finish among the elite at his position in fantasy so long as he remains in Seattle. Moving forward, I expect his statistics to resemble his performance over the latter half of the 2020 season, with Wilson being more of a game-manager than anything else. With a dynasty ECR of QB7, you will likely not see a return on your investment at that price.
Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN)
I have always considered Ryan Tannehill to be massively underrated by the public, but it seems that perception has shifted after another successful season in Tennessee. The former Dolphin finished as the fantasy QB7 in 2020, averaging 22 fantasy points per game and throwing for nearly 3,900 yards and 33 touchdowns. However, the cards are stacked against him in 2021.
Not only did Tannehill lose his offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, to the Atlanta Falcons, but his No. 2 and No. 3 targets left for the AFC East in free agency. While Jonnu Smith became less of a factor over the latter half of the season, he was still an athletic target that developed a great rapport with Tannehill early in the season. The loss of Corey Davis cannot be understated, as the former first-round pick had a career year with Tannehill in 2020. Add in the fact that workhorse Derrick Henry is another year older and the Titans barely restocked the cupboard in the draft, and you should come to the conclusion that Tannehill will have one of the shallowest receiving corps in the league.
Tannehill currently has a dynasty ECR of QB11, ahead of guys like Jalen Hurts, Matthew Stafford, and Matt Ryan. I still think the Titans franchise passer can be a solid QB2 in 2021; however, given he’s being priced as a low-end QB1, he’s bound to disappoint those who have invested so highly in him.
Jared Goff (QB – DET)
Last season, Matthew Stafford finished the fantasy season as the QB22 in fantasy points per game, averaging approximately 16.91 FPPG. His supporting cast was subpar, with Kenny Golladay missing most of the season, Marvin Jones becoming the de facto WR1, and Adrian Peterson taking touches away from D’Andre Swift. Do you know who finished right behind Stafford in fantasy points per game? That’s right! It was the California kid, Jared Goff.
Goff finished as the QB23 in fantasy points per game, despite having a much better supporting cast than Stafford. Next season, Goff will see a major downgrade in weaponry, as his wide receiver core currently includes Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown. He also transitions from having one of the brightest offensive minds calling the plays to a man whose main plan of attack is biting off kneecaps. Yet, despite all of this, Goff currently has an ECR of QB20.
The odds that Goff even retains his job through the 2021 season is slim, yet he’s going ahead of guys like Tom Brady, Derek Carr, and Sam Darnold. Detroit currently has the lowest projected win total according to the major sportsbooks, so how do we expect Goff to remain the Lions’ quarterback when they are 2-10 through 12 games? You won’t be able to get much, but I’d get out of the Goff sweepstakes now before he ends up on the bench in November.
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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.