2021 Fantasy Football Key Quarterback Offseason Moves

by Davis Peng
2021 Fantasy Football Key Quarterback Offseason Moves

Welcome everybody to my 2021 Fantasy Football Key Quarterback Offseason Moves article. As the off-season is currently ongoing and we are beginning the month of July, we at Fantasy Six Pack believe this would be an excellent time to catch you up on key changes to NFL teams to get you ready for your draft season.

This will be a three-part series, with the first article covering quarterbacks. After that, I will be covering the running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions.

I want to remind Fantasy managers that NFL teams run off more than four positions and feel free to dig deep into the nitty-gritty. Many other changes do matter, such as o-linemen, teams fire selling for rebuild, and drafted rookies that could impact franchises. An offseason situation that I recommend keeping track of is the stand-off between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Let's get this going with the 2021 Fantasy Football Key Quarterback Offseason Moves.

2021 Fantasy Football Key Quarterback Offseason Moves

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Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

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The NFL off-season kicked off with a bang this year. Former Detroit Lion franchise quarterback of the past twelve years was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. The positive impact for the Rams will be felt immediately.

This move is reminiscent of what had occurred with Tom Brady when he went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. An elite quarterback is leaving a bad situation coming into a team with an elite offense, elite defense, an offensive-minded head coach. It's like we are experiencing Deja-vu.

Well, what does this mean for the receiving options Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Tyler Higbee? I expect a bounce-back season for the receiving options, but I do not expect record-hitting numbers. Stafford is a great quarterback and can make every throw needed in the NFL.

That being said, Stafford was a quarterback known for his late-game heroics. Unlike Stafford's previous team, the Rams won't rely on him to dig them out of losing games. I expect Stafford's ceiling on a balanced team to be approximately 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns over a 17-game span. With a bit of Stafford's and receiving corps upside to be taken away by the run game.

I currently have Stafford sitting as QB13. He will be flirting with the top-12 throughout the season, but I am unsure if he finishes as a top twelve.

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

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The Carolina Panthers have replaced signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater after his one-year stint in hopes of having Sam Darnold be their franchise quarterback. This is an excellent chance for Darnold, and he gets a chance to reset the narrative and play with a great cast of offensive weapons. Weapons such as DJ Moore, former teammate Robby Anderson, rookie receiver Terrace Marshall Jr, and dual-threat back Christian McCaffrey. This is a make-it-or-break-it season for Darnold as he will no longer have the excuse of "played on a bad team" to give him a mulligan.

The real question is, how does this affect the receiving corps, and will they be better with Darnold under center? Based on Darnold's body of work as a Jet, I don't believe so. Darnold may have had the odds stacked against him as a Jet, but he has never finished a season, never thrown more than 3,100 yards, career pass completion total is under 60%, and never breached the twenty touchdown mark. If he had finished his "best" season, he was on pace for 3,600 yards and twenty-three touchdowns at best.

This team offensively will be a question mark coming into the season, whether Darnold outperforms what Teddy Bridgewater did in 2020 by giving us three fantasy-relevant wide receivers. Unfortunately, that question is still up in the air until further notice. I currently have Darnold as a QB3 and only to be drafted in two-quarterback leagues.

Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos

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Since I have brought up Teddy Bridgewater, I might as well finish it. Bridgewater has been traded to the Broncos for a sixth-round pick and paying for the majority of his 2021 salary. The Panthers didn't seem to appreciate what Bridgewater brought to the table—currently battling it out in camp with Drew Lock for the starter position. Mini-camp rumors are that Bridgewater is the favorite to win the starting job. I don't expect too much for this Broncos team if Bridgewater is under center.

Bridgewater had a respectable season, on pace to finish with 4,000 passing yards with a terrible touchdown to interception ratio. He was nearly going one for one even though he plays exceptionally conservative. My expectation for Bridgewater is to give multiple receivers decent yardage but low touchdown upside if he can hold the starting job. I don't consider Bridgewater as a game manager but more of a game supervisor. This offseason move was better for the Broncos but not necessarily good for Fantasy Managers. With Lock breathing down Bridgewater's neck, I would look elsewhere for a second/third quarterback.

Andy Dalton/Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

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The Bears are coming into the season with two new quarterbacks under center. Veteran Andy Dalton and first-round rookie Justin fields. As of now, we know that Dalton will be the starting quarterback for the Bears. How long this last we aren't sure of. However, we know that Allen Robinson is quarterback proof, and Dalton is not worse than the combination of Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky.

Although he had a rough season playing for the depleted Dallas Cowboys, Dalton managed to have respectable numbers. From Weeks 10 - 16, Dalton averaged 245 yards passing yards, with a chance at two or more touchdowns per game. Dalton was on pace for approximately 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns, not the most significant number. However, this is leagues better than what Trubisky and Foles were putting out.

Whether it's Dalton or Fields under center, I expect the receiving options from Robinson, Mooney, Graham, and Kmet to have their numbers moving up and to be more consistent week to week. That being said, I'd avoid drafting either quarterback as this could be a hot potato situation like the Bears and Dolphins had in 2020.

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

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Coming off his worst season in yardage and touchdowns, Jared Goff has been slowly regressing through the years. Due to his regression, the Rams have parted ways and shipped him off to the Lions. The Lions have also hit the reset button on their pass catchers. The team is now Frankensteined together by Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams, Quintes Cephus, and rookie Amon St Ra. The only consistent weapons for the team that survived this off-season is tight end TJ Hockenson and D'Andre Swift.

The Lion's as of right now, are being written off rather heavily due to how bad this roster looks. Do not make this mistake. There is value on this team in comparison to some of the previous quarterbacks I have written about. Goff, unlike Bridgewater or Dalton, has his job secure for the 2021 season. Goff's backup is Chase Daniels, a quarterback who has thrown fewer yards in his eleven career seasons than Goff has thrown in half a season.

Goff's current situation will allow him to be fantasy-relevant and produce fantasy-relevant players. However, the Lions will continually play from behind due to their lousy defense. The Lions have secured their offensive line by signing/resigning Frank Ragnow, Taylor Decker, and Penei Sewell. Lions have also added head coach Dan Campbell, who has had success coaching someone with Goff's similar skillset. In no way would I recommend drafting Goff as your starter but he someone worth taking a shot at in any flexible QB format.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team

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Ryan Fitzpatrick has left the Miami Dolphins, and the Washington Football Team is now another notch under Fitzpatrick's belt. Although the record may not show it, Fitzpatrick played well for the Dolphins and helped create a locker room culture that Tua will inherit. Fitzpatrick's last 16 games have had 4,414 yards, twenty-seven touchdowns, and thirteen interceptions. Fitzpatrick is a proven veteran who should upgrade to a hobbled Alex Smith and playoff sensation Taylor Heinicke.

Fitzpatrick under center should provide consistency to the receiving corps such as Terry Mclaurin, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas, and rookie Dyami Brown. At the same time could alleviate stacked boxes against Antonio Gibson. If Fitzpatrick continues to play at the same level as his Dolphins days, this will be good for real football and Fantasy Football. Consider Fitzpatrick as a streaming option but keep an eye on the Heinicke narrative throughout the season.

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

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Carson Wentz has been traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Indianapolis Colts due to poor play and poor attitude. Wentz has been reunited with his former offensive coordinator, now Head Coach Frank Reich. With the success that Rivers had playing one season under Reich, I don't doubt Wentz will duplicate it. Wentz inherits a solid offensive line, sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor, a talented receiving corps, and a tough defense. The Colts are everything the Eagles weren't in the 2020 season.

When Wentz was on a balanced team and had Frank Reich, he went to put up MVP level season before sustaining an injury in 2017. On pace to finish the season with 4,053 passing yards, 356 rushing yards, and forty-one passing touchdowns. Wentz, if kept upright, should be able to provide multiple fantasy-relevant players. I currently have Wentz ranked as a QB2 with streaming potential. As the AFC south is loaded with teams that are potential shootouts every time they meet.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

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It's time to move on to another AFC south team and division rival to the Colts. I am just going to say it. I am glad Minshewmania is officially over. It was a great underdog story, but everybody has to admit that Gardner Minshew wasn't good. Great mustaches do not equal great talent. That being said, let's welcome the new hair gimmick, Trevor Lawerence. Gimmick aside, Lawrence is a Heisman runner-up, the first overall pick, and the highest drafted player in Clemson history.

Lawrence is coming into a Jaguars team with offensive weapons DJ Chark Jr, Marvin Jones Jr, Lasviska Shenault, James Robinson, and fellow first-rounder/college teammate Travis Etienne. It isn't the most stacked team but not the worst. With the Jaguars' defense currently ranked as a bottom-three defense in the entire league, it is fair to assume they will be in constant shootouts.

Lawrence is considered a more fantastic prospect coming into the season than last year's first overall pick Joe Burrow coming into his rookie year. Strongarm, accurate in tight windows, mobile, and competitive if you're in a dynasty league, he will most likely be the first overall pick. Additionally, he is stash-worthy in all other non-flexible QB formats as he is prolific as a thrower and runner.

Tyrod Taylor/Davis Mills, Houston Texans

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Did you think we were done with the AFC South? Sadly we are not, and due to the ongoing situation with Deshaun Watson. He is unlikely to play for the Houston Texans in the 2021 NFL season. His replacement is journeyman quarterback Tyrod Taylor. I do not have crazy expectations for Taylor, but his situation is reminiscent of what is currently going on with the Detroit Lions. The only difference is that the receiving weapons on the Texans are a little bit better as they have Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, Keke Coutee, and rookie deep threat Nico Collins.

Taylor is a serviceable quarterback that is capable of providing fantasy-relevant players. His current receiving corps matches the deep pass playstyle that Taylor prefers. Third-round draft pick quarterback Davis Mills accompanies Taylor. I wouldn't be surprised if Taylor is benched to get Mills some real game experience. Taylor doesn't provide much in fantasy relevancy and is subject to being benched at any given week. I recommend staying away from Taylor as you could be targeting a different quarterback in every format possible.

Zach Wilson, New York Jets

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As pointed out earlier, Darnold has been traded to the Panthers, and the New York Jets use their second overall pick to get quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson is the second-highest drafted player from BYU behind Hall of Famer Steve Young. Wilson is considered a good balance between mobility, arm talent, and a gunslinger mentality. Not afraid to make throws into tight windows and willing to throw into contested coverage.

The significant gripes for Wilson are that his gunslinger mentality only worked because he played against weaker teams. If he had stronger competition, he wouldn't be able to throw into such wide-open situations. 

Whether or not that is true, the Jets have provided Wilson with multiple receiving weapons. Weapons such as Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, Jamison Crowder, and rookie Elijah Moore. Controversy aside, he is a second overall draft pick and a day one starter. Wilson should be targeted as such in dynasty leagues and any flexible quarterback league. 

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

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Trey Lance is the third overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft selected by the San Francisco 49ers. Currently playing behind veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance is a raw talent due to only playing one full college season at quarterback. Lance will need to sit back for at least year before being ready for the NFL. Whether he actually does sit back for a year. That will be up the 49ers head office. Lance fits the mold of the quarterback in today's era as he has the combination of pocket passer and mobility.

With Lance hovering to take the starting position at any moments notice. This definitely hurts Garoppolo's fantasy value and will limit the current receiving options. Garoppolo playing seventeen games in 2021 would be better for fantasy purposes than the raw rookie Trey Lance. Lance would be a good player to stash in dynasty but not a player I would considered holding in any other format as he isn't a day one starter and may not start at all this season.

Mac Jones, New England Patriots

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Mac Jones is the fifteenth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft selected by the New England Patriots. Jones is currently playing behind veteran quarterback Cam Newton. Jones comes into the NFL as single season record holder for passing yards for Alabama. Passing up former teammates and fellow NFL starting quarterbacks Dolphins Tua Tagovaiola and Eagles Jalen Hurts.

Jones is the traditional pocket passing quarterback and has negative tendencies that scouts believe will limit his upside. Panics in pressure, doesn't progress through reads, average arm strength, and questionable competitive drive. Jones situation is similar to Lance's, they are dynasty stash players that prevents you from wanting to draft the current starting quarterback Newton.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers!

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