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2021 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks to Target

The Fake Teams writers offer three signal-callers to draft aggressively in 2021.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

QB Week has endured the MLB Trade Deadline week, but we’ve got one more offering for today. What follows are some of our favorite targets at the position, guys you’ll want to draft with some good old aggression in 2021.

As always, we welcome your counterarguments in the lively comments section. Bring the pain, people.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Mark Abell)

ECR: QB5

I am ALL ABOARD the Dak Train and there are three reasons why you should be, too. First, the Cowboys have a strong and healthy offensive line boasting an excellent right guard (Zach Martin), solid left guard (Connor Williams) and left tackle (Tyron Smith), and an excellent right tackle (La’el Collins) who open up gaps for Ezekiel Elliot. La’el missed all of last season and his return will help Zeke return to prime form in the run game. This in turn will help Dak and his many threats (CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper) spread out the field. Second, the Cowboys have a very favorable schedule (8th best for yards and best for touchdowns last year). Finally, you better believe there is a lot of push and expectation for the Cowboys to succeed this year after the many investments they made. After all of the injuries they suffered last year, they have the talent to do so. I just hope they harness that pressure and momentum instead of fall under it. I am inclined to trust Dak over some of the names ahead of him given the many benefits that he has and wouldn’t be surprised if he ends the year as the top quarterback.

QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Heath Capps)

ECR: QB11

Hurts is the QB11, ranked after guys like Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill. However, we’ve seen what rushing upside can do for a quarterback’s fantasy football floor, and Hurts is really the last guy I think you can like for that rushing element. After him are guys like Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, and Matt Ryan, all guys who aren’t running. There’s also Joe Burrow, who the Bengals should NOT let run after tearing his ACL and MCL last year. I like Hurts’ weaponry, too. Miles Sanders is a candidate to be used more, and the Eagles added speedy wideout Devonta Smith in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Hurts will need to protect the ball better and improve a bit as a passer (52% completion rate in ‘20), but you can’t often find top 5 upside in the double-digits of a position. Hurts represents that, though is floor is admittedly lower than guys like Brady, Tannehill, Stafford, and Cousins.

NFL: Chicago Bears Training Camp Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (Skyler Carlin)

ECR: QB24

The Chicago Bears shocked the world when they made an attempt to right their wrongs from the 2017 NFL Draft by selecting Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. Following the exodus of Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears now have a quarterback room headed by Andy Dalton and Fields, with Nick Foles being relegated to No. 3 on the depth chart. Matt Nagy has made it clear that Dalton is the starter, at least for the time being, leaving the door open for a quarterback competition in training camp and in the preseason. Fields appears to be getting a shot to earn the starting job with a strong showing ahead of the regular season, and what’s stopping him from achieving that? Seeing that the Bears kick off the 2021 season versus the Los Angeles Rams and the duo of Aaron Donald/Jalen Ramsey on Sunday Night Football, maybe Nagy elects not to throw his rookie signal-caller to the wolves on primetime television. While that may be true, I don’t believe it will take long for Fields to become the full-time starter under center for Chicago in the upcoming season. In light of that, Fields has been one of my most drafted quarterbacks in fantasy football drafts thus far, especially at his current price.

The Ohio State product is currently ranked as QB24 according to FantasyPros’ ECR, putting him behind veterans like Derek Carr and Ben Roethlisberger. There aren’t many late-round quarterbacks that can provide the league-winning upside that Fields does. Once Fields touches the field, he is a talented thrower that will have Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney out wide and David Montgomery to target out of the backfield. What makes Fields a coveted fantasy football asset is his assumed rushing production due to the 260 carries, 1,133 rushing yards, and 19 rushing touchdowns he recorded in college. It could require some patience to reap the benefits of Fields, but once he’s inserted into the starting lineup, the sky is truly the limit for the first-year quarterback.