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A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should outperform their draft position.
Here are the players who received the most votes:
And here are all of the payers mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 3 Votes
Jeff Haseley: You know what you're going to get with Brady. He's a consistent winner who outs up above-average stats on a weekly basis. Combine his already immense intellect of the game with the weapons on the Buccaneers and you have the recipe for success. Consistent success, which is exactly what you want out of your redraft fantasy quarterback. He may not be as mobile as any other option at quarterback, but he makes up for it in other ways. Add in that he didn't really know the playbook last year? He's a definite target after nearly everyone else in your draft picks a quarterback.
Matt Waldman: Last I checked, Brady's offensive line and skill positions are intact from last year's championship run. He also had the third-highest passing yardage totals after Week 10 and was second only to Deshaun Watson in yards per attempt (8.47) during this span. While most fear Brady will fall off a cliff abruptly like Drew Brees and it dissuades them from a top ranking, let's remember that Peyton Manning smashed NFL records during his second year with the Broncos. Consider 2020 Brady's acclimation season and 2021 the year where he and his supporting cast are in top gear. If you play in a league where the gap in fantasy points between Brady and his peers will be greater than any other position--provided you're with me on a potential record-shattering campaign--then Brady as your first-round pick is worth consideration.
Jason Wood: He's older than many head coaches. He's immobile in an era of rushing quarterbacks. He's been around so long there's no sex appeal to targeting him. But none of those are valid reasons for pushing Tom Brady down draft boards. He was the No. 7-ranked fantasy quarterback last year despite changing teams, learning an entirely new system, and having to rebuild rapport with a new cast of skill players. The Buccaneers return their entire nucleus from last year's Super Bowl unit; cohesiveness is one of the main factors for improving fantasy output. With a full year of Antonio Brown, and the third-down electricity Gio Bernard adds to the backfield, Brady should be considered among the top-tier of quarterbacks.
Drew Davenport: Their defense should be better in 2021, but last year they dropped off significantly and Mike Zimmer had to take the governor off the offense at times. This led to Cousins throwing for perhaps the quietest 35 touchdowns in recent memory (and one rushing score). The annual "Cousins is too low" drumbeat has begun, yet he finds himself stuck down in low QB2 territory again despite a trio of offensive weapons (Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook) that not many quarterbacks can boast. Even though this threesome is going inside the Top 50 in every draft, Cousins still lags in ADP. It is the classic situation where drafters are ignoring the quarterback who benefits from the talent he has despite the rush to grab his top three weapons. Cousins is in for another year of outperforming his ADP.
Jordan McNamara: Kirk Cousins had the second-best yards per attempt in 2020 but is typically overlooked in fantasy football. He projects more lower-end QB1 than high-end QB1 but is an excellent QB2 in Superflex or start-two-quarterbacks leagues.
Jason Wood: Philip Rivers used to be the poster boy for undervalued fantasy quarterbacks. But with his retirement, Kirk Cousins grabs the baton. The veteran is treated like a middling fantasy QB2 each and every year, yet he puts up QB1 numbers. Every year. What other quarterbacks can say they've been a top-12 quarterback in five of the last six seasons? He finished No. 11 last year, and was No. 9 in 2018. The only season he wasn't a QB1 (2019) was due to a missed game. While he's not the sexiest choice, you can set your watch to his reliability. In a world where everyone professes to wait on quarterback, Cousins is a perfect high-floor option to pair with a boom-or-bust young breakout this year.
Sigmund Bloom: Prescott was on pace to be the No. 1 fantasy quarterback before going down in Week 5 last year. He fed off of strong negative game scripts that put the team in frantic catch-up mode, but the defense is being rebuilt this year - the Doomsday Defense wasn't built in a day. Prescott will also benefit from the return of Blake Jarwin, La'el Collins, and Tyron Smith who played one, zero, and two games last year. The top five quarterbacks are closer in value than the ADP spread makes it appear. Getting Prescott as the No. 5 quarterback is the best value at the position.
Ryan Hester: Drafting quarterbacks early isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for fantasy managers that like having a top-tier passer, Prescott is the one to target. He has an overall-QB1 ceiling, as we saw last year before his injury. And he can be selected at the bottom of the elite QB1 tier. There's a significant drop-off in ceiling between Prescott and the next group of quarterbacks (Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers).
Chad Parsons: Prescott was the QB1 overall when healthy in 2020. Dallas is loaded with weapons plus, even if their defense improves from its floundering state a year ago, will lead to shootouts. Prescott has the perfect combination of passing acumen, weapons, situation, and rushing floor. The quarterback position is stacked at the top, but Prescott has as much, or more, upside than anyone.
Drew Davenport: Death, taxes, and Ryan Tannehill will score 2+ touchdowns. In his 30 career starts (four in the postseason) with the Titans, he has had two or more scores an incredible 26 times and two of the games he failed to hit that mark were playoff games. Yet drafters continue to not trust his fantasy production. The loss of Art Smith is a concern, but the addition of Julio Jones has to offset that loss in a sizeable way. His sneaky rushing upside is further evidence that Tannehill is being undervalued. He has 12 rushing scores over those same 30 games and while he may not go for huge yardage totals in that department, he is lethal near the goal line while everyone keys on Derrick Henry. Tannehill remains a value still this year, and his 40 touchdown campaign in 2020 hasn't done much to push him up draft boards.
Chad Parsons: Julio Jones is a massive addition for Tannehill (Josh Reynolds is a WR3 upgrade from their 2020 passing game iteration as well), who has been on a new career trajectory since snaring the Titans starting job. Tannehill was QB3 in 2020 with his ratio of touchdowns to interceptions behind only Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes II. Tannehill adds a rushing boost and if his volume increases at all, which it should with Jones' addition, Tannehill has top-5 within his range of outcomes for a fringe top-12 price point.
Ryan Weisse: It’s hard to imagine Tannehill not finishing as a top-10 quarterback and you can get him as the QB11. While that doesn’t initially sound like value, a top-five finish is possible this season. The addition of Julio Jones -- along with the growth of A.J. Brown -- should help Tannehill add to what was already an impressive 2020. He finished last season as the seventh-best overall fantasy quarterback, with just over 3800 yards and 33 touchdowns. Both of those numbers should go up and Tannehill is going to outplay his ADP.
Phil Alexander: No player who changed teams during the offseason was helped more by his landing spot than Wentz. Philadelphia’s offensive line contributed to Wentz getting sacked a league-leading 50 times (in just 12 games), whereas the Colts front-five kept Philip Rivers’ pocket clean on over 76% of his drop-backs in 2020. T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr, Parris Campbell, and Zach Pascal put Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, rookie-year Jalen Reagor, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to shame as a wide receiver group. And Wentz will also benefit from Jonathan Taylor taking pressure off as a runner. Head coach Frank Reich has gotten the best out of Wentz before and just worked his magic by coaxing a serviceable year out of a washed-up Rivers. Don't be shocked to see Wentz's numbers bounce back towards his previous career norms on the way to a back-end QB1 fantasy finish in his first year as a Colt.
James Brimacombe: It is hard to ignore Wentz's downward spiral in 2020 for the Philadelphia Eagles. This is the main reason why he is such a value right now as he gets a clean slate in going to a Colts team that is in a better situation moving forward as he can dismiss all the 2020 Eagles negatives. The Colts are a much better-balanced team on offense which is lead by a strong running attack and an upgrade to the offensive line. Wentz will have a lot less pressure on him behind the line and also the weight of Philadelphia will be gone. I like Wentz at his current ADP for a slight bounce back in 2021.
Andy Hicks: Despite being at rock bottom last season when with the Eagles, Carson Wentz was still a borderline fantasy quarterback for the first 12 games of the season. With the receiving unit significantly better in Indianapolis, a strong running game, and a good offensive line, Wentz will find it difficult to underachieve again in 2021. Add in a coach who believes in him and no threat from any backup, Wentz is primed to easily exceed his draft slot for the year.
Player Receiving 2 Votes
Phil Alexander: Burrow is on track to start the season opener and well-positioned for a finish inside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks. A healthy Jonah Williams and the addition of Riley Reiff bolster an offensive line that did Burrow no favors in 2020. No. 5 overall pick Ja'Marr Chase is a can't miss prospect and brings built-in rapport with Burrow from their time together at LSU. Chase joins rising star Tee Higgins, steady slot man Tyler Boyd, and running back Joe Mixon to round out one of the best pass-catching groups in the league. And most importantly, Cincinnati's defense still projects as one of the league's worst. The resulting pass-heavy game scripts combined with the Bengals' usual pass-centric tendencies under head coach Zac Taylor create the possibility Burrow leads the entire NFL in pass attempts this season.
Ryan Hester: Burrow's knee should allow him to start Week 1, and even if it doesn't, he won't be far off. This offseason, Burrow received upgrades to his offensive line and to his skill-position weapons. Ja'Marr Chase could be an elite wide receiver from the get-to; Tee Higgins is a nice blend of size and speed who showed chemistry with Burrow last year; and Tyler Boyd is best suited for the slot, where he offers a veteran presence capable of catching 75+ passes. Burrow is also athletic enough to add some rushing upside, something fantasy managers can't rely on with similar-priced quarterbacks such as Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan.
Anthony Amico: I continue to be perplexed by Hurts' low ADP given that he has already displayed immense fantasy upside in just four 2020 starts. The coaching staff is different, but the cause for optimism remains -- Hurts is already one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the league. He carried the ball 46 times for 272 yards and three scores in what amounted to 3.5 games. This Lamar Jackson-esque rushing floor has Hurts primed to be a top-six signal-caller in 2021. He currently sits at QB4 in my projections.
Victoria Geary: Jalen Hurts will be this year's Josh Allen and Kyler Murray, as he possesses tremendous rushing upside and his ADP remains a screaming value in drafts. His point total of 37.8 in Week 15 was 2020's sixth-highest single-game score from a quarterback, and that is exactly the type of ceiling you want in your lineup each week. When Hurts took over Weeks 14-16, the Eagles jumped to first overall in total yards per game and fourth in rushing yards per game. His 52% completion percentage will scare some off, but the context will show he was not afraid to chuck the ball downfield. 46% of his passing attempts were thrown 10 or more yards - the highest rate in the NFL. With a healthy offensive line, the addition of Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, and a sub-par defense, the formula for a top-5 fantasy finish is set for Jalen Hurts.
Pat Fitzmaurice: Lawrence was considered one of the best high school quarterback prospects of all time and immediately lived up to the hype at Clemson, throwing for 30 touchdowns and leading the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman. In Jacksonville, he inherits a quality group of pass-catchers that includes wide receivers D.J. Chark Jr, Marvin Jones Jr, and Laviska Shenault Jr, plus running back Travis Etienne, Lawrence's college teammate. As Matt mentioned, Lawrence can thrive either inside or outside the pocket. The lanky Lawrence doesn't look like a runner, but he ran for 17 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Clemson and offers sneaky Konami Code potential as a quarterback who adds fantasy value with his legs. He has a good chance to finish in the Top 10 at the position, and I love the pot odds you get on Lawrence at his current ADP.
Matt Waldman: There are concerns that Urban Meyer is showing the NFL that he's on his way to becoming the next Steve Spurrier or Lou Holtz--excellent college coaches who were not prepared for the realities of pro football. Even so, Lawrence is an excellent prospect who wins in and outside the pocket with his arm and his legs. Think Andrew Luck with better wheels. Luck was not the early master of coverages that many made him out to be, which is why I'm comfortable with the comparison. Expect the Jaguars defense to generate a lot of garbage-time scenarios. With this young and talented cast, Lawrence should deliver top-12 fantasy production unless Meyer gets too Tebow-happy.
Player Receiving 1 Vote
Sigmund Bloom: The Bears will probably be slow to install Fields. There is no sign that he'll get first-team snaps in training camp (yet) and the team would probably prefer not to pay 10 million dollars for a backup. Dalton could hang around for a month or two because the early schedule includes Cincinnati, Detroit, and Las Vegas, but a Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Pittsburgh three-game stretch going into the Week 10 bye should give the coaches a lot to think about. Fields will be as impactful as Jalen Hurts in fantasy, if not more. He fits perfectly in a wait-at-quarterback plan, especially if roster sizes or league depth are large enough to make the waiver wire quarterback crop thinner and dilute the value of bench spots to play the wire.
James Brimacombe: My reasons for Mayfield as a value are simple this season. He plays on an up-and-coming team that is coming off a nice playoff run, he is surrounded by offensive talent, he is entering year four and has yet to really break out and take the next step. There is a current stigma with Mayfield that he is not very good at putting up the fantasy football stats. He has started his career as QB17, QB18, and QB17 the following three seasons, and in Year 4, I can see him taking a leap into the top-12 range.
Jeff Haseley: Put me in the camp that believes Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense will continue to be pass-heavy despite the addition of Arthur Smith and his run-dominant tendencies with Tennessee and Derrick Henry. Atlanta's running game with Mike Davis isn't the strongest in the league. In other words, he isn't Derrick Henry. I don't see a scenario where the running game is the primary method of offense for Atlanta. If and when the running game struggles, Ryan is going to have to pass. The subtraction of Julio Jones isn't going to result in a change in offense. Atlanta will look to Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and Kyle Pitts in their downfield passing offense. I don't see a reason why people are so soured on Ryan this season. He can be selected deep into drafts and he's a worthy option.
Andy Hicks: When all the starting fantasy quarterbacks are gone, you want to find guys who are not only capable of reaching that level but ascend to the elite fantasy level. What if I told you that this year there is a guy available in Deshaun Watson who has been ranked fourth twice and fifth in the last three years? Of course, there is not only the issue of which team he plays on but if and how much he plays at all. Who knows how the landscape changes over the next three months? For now, Watson is a fantastic value when people are considering defenses and kickers.