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2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks for Week 1

Heath ranks the signal-callers, bumping Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo up considerably in his Week 1 rankings.

Las Vegas Raiders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s Labor Day Monday (at the time of this writing) and Trey Lance still isn’t throwing a football following a “micro-chip fracture of a finger” when his hand hit the helmet of a Raiders defender in the Aug. 29 preseason finale. Move Jimmy G waaaaay up those draft boards, especially if the Niners promote Nate Sudfeld (further indicating that they wouldn’t use Trey Lance in Week 1).

There is ZERO reason for the Niners to push Lance that I can see. Be smart, San Francisco. Don’t ruin this for us, in the short-term or the long-term.

I’m also fond of the Sam Darnold revenge game in Week 1. You can’t make this stuff up, with Darnold immediately squaring off against the team that gave up on him. Run-CMC sure is a nice luxury out of that backfield...

I’m dinging Justin Herbert a bit against that ferocious Washington defense, instead opting for a Trevor Lawrence splash against woeful Houston and a big effort from Baker Mayfield in a glitzy matchup.

I could be too down on Big Ben, as he may offer more upside than Tua or Mac Jones, both guys I ranked ahead of him in the first pass. We’ll see how the week shakes out, eh?

Who are YOU trusting in Week 1, fantasy footballers? The season is ON!

Top 32 QBs for Week 1

Rank Player Name Team Opponent Notes
Rank Player Name Team Opponent Notes
1 Patrick Mahomes KC vs CLE Get used to Mahomes being No. 1 most weeks. Find me a reason not to...
2 Lamar Jackson BAL @ LV LV hired Gus Bradley to fix its defense, but still allowed 29.9 PPG last year (third-worst).
3 Kyler Murray ARI @ TEN A road 'dog vs. TEN, should throw plenty in this one
4 Josh Allen BUF vs PIT PIT has some new pieces on defense, and BUF is an ELITE offense.
5 Russell Wilson SEA @ IND It doens't get any safer than Russ Wilson. WR Eskridge and TE Everett add intriguing pass game elements, too.
6 Jalen Hurts PHI @ ATL A dome game with his legs? This ranking might be too low.
7 Dak Prescott DAL @ TB Dak says he's healthy, and CeeDee Lamb is an explosive complement to Amari Cooper. I'm biting.
8 Tom Brady TB vs DAL The first guy on this list who can't run--but this game has shootout potential.
9 Aaron Rodgers GB @ NO* His supporting cast from his blazing 2020 is intact, plus the added familiarity of slot WR Randall Cobb.
10 Ryan Tannehill TEN vs ARI High-scoring potential, at home, and over his bout with Covid-19. Lost Corey Davis and Jonnu, but added JULIO.
11 Matthew Stafford LAR vs CHI What can he do with Woods, Kupp, Higbee, and a competent play-caller in McVay? I'm salivating.
12 Trevor Lawrence JAC @ HOU Lawrence should begin his career with a bang against a Texans unit that should be one of football's worst in 2021.
13 Baker Mayfield CLE @ KC Baker was the QB11 from Weeks 11-17 last year. He's a bona fide streamer all year, and it starts in Week 1 since he'll be forced to throw.
14 Justin Herbert LAC @ WAS He's got a deep stable of returning weapons and an upgraded OL, but WAS is just NASTY. Don't expect the moon.
15 Kirk Cousins MIN @ CIN CIN was one of the league's worst teams in 2020, and YOU LIKE THAT if Cousins is your QB2 this week.
16 Sam Darnold CAR vs NYJ Revenge game alert! High-end QB2 numbers incoming for Darnold.
17 Jimmy Garoppolo SF @ DET Don't let the battle with Trey Lance fool you. This is a PRIME matchup. Move this veteran up your board for Week 1.
18 Matt Ryan ATL vs PHI Calvin Ridley vs Darius Slay is the M/U to watch, but Kyle Pitts should be busy out of the gate given ATL's interior OL woes.
19 Joe Burrow CIN vs MIN You can't expect much running off of last year's knee injury.
20 Carson Wentz IND vs SEA A few weeks removed from foot surgery...will Indy be rusty based on missed reps with their new QB?
21 Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS vs LAC You're throwing darts at this point, and I'd rather do so with Fitzmagic than with the next guy...
22 Jameis Winston NO vs GB* He's the starting QB in New Orleans, but for how long?
23 Mac Jones NE vs MIA He may not need to do too much, as the Pats should be a tough out at home.
24 Tua Tagovailoa MIA @ NE A tall test on the road for Tua, but new weapons Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller should help (eventually, if not this week).
25 Ben Roethlisberger PIT @ BUF I may be too down on Big Ben, but this is a rough draw.
26 Daniel Jones NYG vs DEN A quintessential QB3 type--lots of upside and downside.
27 Zach Wilson NYJ @ CAR It's his and HC Robert Saleh's first game. Despite flashes this preseason, this isn't a situation to lean on heavily.
28 Tyrod Taylor HOU vs JAC Am I the only one who doesn't hate TyGod in the early going? Side effect of liking Jordan Akins more than most, I suppose.
29 Derek Carr LV vs BAL Doesn't get more boring than this, folks.
30 Teddy Bridgewater DEN @ NYG He'll have useful QB2 weeks, but the Giants' defense is no joke.
31 Jared Goff DET vs SF He doesn't run, he's no longer tied to McVay, and his receiving corps is boring. Yikes.
32 Andy Dalton CHI @ LAR I almost ranked his backup ahead of him, that's how much I don't like Dalton. Give us Justin Fields, already.