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Fantasy Football Don't Draft List: 4 quarterbacks to fade in 2021

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Risk management is fundamental to any fantasy football strategy. Let’s be honest: No one wants to endure heartbreak when a pick with high expectations doesn’t work out. To help fantasy gamers avoid disappointment this draft season, we’re unveiling our analysts' players to avoid, position-by-position. Today, quarterbacks.

Regression is coming for Aaron Rodgers

Dalton Del Don: Aaron Rodgers is coming off an MVP campaign but simply doesn’t run enough to match the other elite fantasy QBs. Yet, he’s being drafted as such. Rodgers’ fantasy value last year was tied to a TD percentage (thanks in part to a favorable pass defense schedule that projects to be among the toughest this season) that’s historically been incredibly difficult to repeat. In 2019, Rodgers was the QB14 in fantasy points per game and more than a handful of legitimate rushing QBs have entered the league since. Rodgers is an inner-circle Hall of Famer, but he’s being drafted too high based on last year’s TD stats that are likely to regress.

Slow the hype on Jalen Hurts

Matt Harmon: I’ll elect to be a bit bold with this one and throw out Jalen Hurts. This is potentially an ill-fated endeavor because we know that Hurts can moonwalk to a QB1 finish if he just plays a full season, simply due to his rushing chops.

That said, unlike similar bets from prior years (think Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, etc.) that ceiling is completely baked into his ADP. Hurts falls anywhere from QB10-12 in ADP depending on your source and will usually require a single-digit round selection. That’s steep. Even if Hurts’ rushing-based floor makes him incredibly likely to make good on that QB12ish ranking, it’s more about the opportunity cost of taking Hurts in Round 8 over some of the still-quality receivers and high-upside running back darts left on the board.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts
Are we all too high on Jalen Hurts? (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

There are legitimate paths for Hurts to fail. His rookie season showed he still needs to grow as a passer as his efficiency stats like interception rate (2.7 percent), adjusted yards per attempt (6.8) and completion percentage over expectation (-3.4 percent) were all below adequate. The Eagles offense is still largely a question-mark-littered unit banking on a bevy of young players taking another step. An overall inefficient offense could tank him as well.

I don’t mind taking Hurts if he falls to the Round 10 range but if he goes at his current ADP, I’d rather just wait a bit longer for Trey Lance or Justin Fields, both who present similar upside outlooks. We know you can piece together a quarterback streaming platoon in the event you need to wait a few weeks for those rookies to play.

Scott Pianowski: About a month ago, I was proactive on Jalen Hurts. But I’m starting to get worried that he’s ill-developed as a passer, and I don’t trust the Philadelphia coaching infrastructure. There are also all sorts of questions about this receiver group. It’s unlikely I’ll draft Hurts from now to the front of the season. Don’t talk yourself into a quarterback, there should be plenty of them you like already.

Not much working in Daniel Jones' favor

Liz Loza: The Giants' investment in Daniel Jones is obvious. But even the addition of Kenny Golladay (who’s spent the bulk of the month sidelined with a hamstring issue) and the return of Saquon Barkley (who is still working his way back from last year’s season-ending knee injury) won’t be enough to vault Jones inside the top-20 fantasy producers at the position. Between a bottom-ranked o-line, an unimaginative play-caller, and a strong defense, Jones’ ecosystem doesn’t allow for high-end passing numbers. Vegas seems to agree as the Giants' odds to win the NFC East are currently at +450, just 50 points ahead of the Eagles.

Trevor Lawrence might not be fantasy's Chosen One

Andy Behrens: I kinda admire the boldness of the Urban Meyer NFL experiment in Jacksonville, and the team has assembled a group of skill players who might be pretty fun (if it isn't just a big confused mess). Long term, it's easy to like Trevor Lawrence for fantasy purposes — he has the requisite arm strength, the size, collegiate history, and just enough rushing ability. But his team's reimagined offense has been a rough watch in the preseason. It could be a few weeks (or months) before the Urb/Lawrence collaboration is fully operational.

If you're interested in taking a late flier on a rookie QB, it's gotta be Trey Lance or Justin Fields. Those two each have a level of undeniable rushing talent that should guarantee fantasy relevance, and both have elite receiving weapons to lean on as well. 

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