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Fantasy Football QB1 Primer: Week 2 (2021)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Sep 17, 2021
Justin Herbert

I love the first week of the NFL season because it’s the week where we know the least. Nobody thought Tyrod Taylor would finish Week 1 as the QB11, while Aaron Rodgers would finish as the QB34!

Well, I kind of did! Taylor was my last streaming option listed, so that’s a win! Of course, I also listed Rodgers as my top mid-range QB with QB1 upside. If you started Taylor, you’re welcome. If you started Rodgers, I’m sorry.

Whether you’ve decided to stream the position all season, or if you just need a fill-in for a bye week, injury, or bad matchup, I’ll give you some under-the-radar quarterback targets who can help you win. Each week using our FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings, I’ll outline my favorite:

  • Mid-range passers with QB1 upside.
  • Streaming options rostered in fewer than 60% of leagues with QB1 upside in 1QB and 2QB leagues.

Before we do that, let’s recap how last week’s Primer performed:

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Week 1 Mid-Range Passers with QB1 Upside

Aaron Rodgers (GB): QB34 in Week 1
We’ve already covered this. Rodgers was pretty awful last week, but I have a feeling he’ll bounce back.

Jalen Hurts (PHI): QB6 in Week 1
I wrote that if Hurts performed well, I’d have to start reconsidering my stance on him. Consider me reconsidering!

Trevor Lawrence (JAC): QB12 in Week 1
Technically, this was a correct call. However, Lawrence’s performance was filled with empty calories as the Jaguars were chasing a big deficit. While the rookie threw for 332 yards and three TDs, he also tossed three interceptions.

Week 1 Top Streaming Options 

Sam Darnold (CAR): QB17 in Week 1
Darnold delivered a pretty solid performance for those starting him in deeper or 2 QB leagues, throwing for 279 yards and scoring twice. He wasn’t prolific, but he probably didn’t ruin your day either.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): QB24 in Week 1
Garoppolo could’ve done so much more for us in Week 1. He threw for 314 yards but only accounted for one touchdown in San Francisco’s 41-point outburst. I’m not sure we got the outcome we deserved here.

Tyrod Taylor (HOU): QB11 in Week 1
This was easily the best call of the week, as Taylor delivered 291 passing yards, 40 rushing yards, and two scores. But like I said, that might’ve been the only week you could use him.

Week 2 Mid-Range Passers with QB1 Upside

Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. Detroit
Sue me. I’m riding with the reigning MVP again in Week 2, who’s listed as the QB7 according to our ECR. We all know Rodgers was awful in Week 1. And don’t worry, he does too. I’m expecting Rodgers to be highly motivated after his season-opening stinker, and I’m calling my shot now: Rodgers will finish Week 2 as the QB1 overall.

We just saw Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel destroy the Lions’ secondary. And Detroit’s back four just suffered a major loss, as 2020 first-round cornerback Jeff Okudah is now out for the season. Back at Lambeau Field, Rodgers will remind us why he was last year’s MVP.

Justin Herbert (LAC) vs. Dallas
Herbert’s Week 1 performance may have left us wanting more from a fantasy perspective, but I came away really impressed by how the second-year QB performed on the road against Washington. Now, Herbert gets to face a Dallas defense that just lost its top pass rusher, DeMarcus Lawrence, to a broken foot and was already weak in the secondary. I wouldn’t have many doubts starting Herbert this week.

Baker Mayfield (CLE) vs. Houston
Mayfield was more efficient than he was prolific from a fantasy standpoint. He completed 75% of his passes and threw for 321 yards, but he failed to score a touchdown and threw a back-breaking interception at the end of Cleveland’s Week 1 loss.

This week, I’m expecting an angry Browns team to take out its frustrations on the Texans, who are still pretty bad defensively despite beating the Jaguars last week. My only true fear in rolling with Mayfield is that Cleveland’s run game dominates, puts the game out of reach early, and renders Mayfield useless. But the matchup is too enticing not to take that chance.

Top Streaming Options Rostered in Less Than 60% of Leagues

Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) vs. Jacksonville
Bridgewater looked really sharp against a solid New York Giants defense, finishing as the QB15 in Week 1. We just saw what Taylor did to this Jaguars defense. The loss of Jerry Jeudy hurts, but Bridgewater has a ripe matchup for another big game against a woeful Jaguars secondary.

Jared Goff (DET) at Green Bay
What’s that? Jared Goff finished as the QB3 in Week 1. So much for the narrative that Detroit was too awful to have fantasy-relevant players. Granted, a lot of Goff’s production came after San Francisco had gained a huge lead in the game. But Goff could deliver another QB1 performance against a Packers defense that just surrendered five touchdowns to Jameis Winston.

Andy Dalton (CHI) vs. Cincinnati
Andy Dalton revenge game! This is gross, but if you’re desperate for help at QB, Dalton’s at least worth mentioning. To describe Dalton’s Week 1 performance against the Rams as pedestrian is probably putting it lightly. He threw for just 206 yards on 38 pass attempts. He rarely threw the ball downfield. And he threw an interception in the end zone that foiled Chicago’s opening drive.

However, we just saw Kirk Cousins finish as the QB13 against the Bengals, whose defense definitely doesn’t intimidate me. Again, Dalton is a last resort in deeper leagues, but he is an option this week.

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Matt Barbato is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @RealMattBarbato

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