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Kirk Cousins 2021 Fantasy Outlook

Kirk Cousins stands behind center in one of the most potent fantasy offenses in the NFL. He’s made careers (and fantasy stardom) for Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson. He can hand off to Dalvin Cook — a top fantasy RB if not the top fantasy RB — whenever he wants. And! The Vikings’ usually stellar defense has been weak the past few years, giving Cousins a ton of garbage time game script to rack up major yardage.

Why, then, is Kirk Cousins being drafted after semi-rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa in Underdog drafts? Why does Kirk Cousins get drafted after Dalvin Cook’s backup Alexander Mattison? Why do I need to ask three rhetorical questions to pique your interest?

Let’s dig into the Minnesota Vikings’ veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins, and why he could be a steal for your Underdog Best Ball drafts at ADP 150.

Before we get into the article, be sure to check out the Team Rise or Fall YouTube channel, and have a look at the 100% FREE Team Rise or Fall Fantasy Football Draft Kit. If you want to level up your best ball game with players like Kirk Cousins, go to Underdog and use the promo code Donuts to get a free $25 bonus to your deposit.

In a Nutshell: The 2021 Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy opportunity is dictated by team situations — depth chart, coordinator play calls, usage, the presence or absence of defense — and the Vikings are an odd team to be in so much flux despite having Mike Zimmer as a stable head coach. Zimmer has battled eye issues throughout much of his head coaching career and has missed a number of games. Meanwhile, a carousel of coordinators have been sniped from the Vikings to coach other teams — Pat Shurmer and Kevin Stefanski being just the latest. Despite the front office turnover, the Vikings have produced a number of fantasy superstars, like Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson…and Kirk Cousins. Wait, is that last one a fantasy superstar? Let’s check out Cousins’ stats to see if he is.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins signed a massive $30+ million per year contract with the Vikings as a free agent, which is an absolute boon for QB and his agent given the fact that the Vikings once nearly traded a 4th round pick for Cousins while he was Robert Griffin III’s backup. That contract is important because it is nearly all guaranteed money. I’m from the Minnesota area and I can verify the rumors that most Vikings fans dislike Kirk Cousins and wish he was shipped off elsewhere; at best we tolerate him. But that contract — with $76 million in dead cap space in 2021 — virtually guarantees that Cousins will remain in Minnesota despite the fact he’s barely won 10 games against winning teams in his career.

And that losing record against good teams is, my friends, your edge in best ball drafts. The world is familiar with Cousins’ weak record against strong teams and his infamous 1-9 record on Monday Night Football. If you’re a real-life football fan, Kirk Cousins is not the kind of QB you want helming your team (fighting words there, I know). But if you’re a fantasy football fan, you can’t help but look at Cousins’ gaudy fantasy stats (often compiled from the Vikings’ frequent point deficits in the 2nd half of games). Don’t trust me? Take it from our fearless Team Rise or Fall Leader.

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The Team Rise or Fall Underdog Projections envisions Kirk Cousins as QB 11 for the 2021 fantasy season. This places Cousins just behind the likes of Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers. With the Underdog projections envisioning a pathway to 4500 yards and 33 TDs behind the stout receiving corps of Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Irv Smith, and Dalvin Cook, there’s an enormous amount of upside for Cousins. The Underdog projections have Cousins slotted for more yards than NFC North antagonist Aaron Rodgers, and more touchdowns than even the reliable Russell Wilson (the only QB currently in the NFL to throw for 30+ TDs 4 years straight). Of course, Cousins lacks the famed mobility of top QB options like Kyler Murray or Lamar Jackson. However, mobile QBs can end up with injuries more often, such as Patrick Mahomes in 2019, or Dak Prescott in 2020.

With Kirk Cousins’ Underdog ADP sitting at 150 — well after those mobile QBs — he fits in perfectly as a QB backup for those fantasy drafters taking a Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, or Lamar Jackson as QB1. In other words, should your main QB falter due to injury, you’re setting yourself up for continued success with a passer who has one of the best game scripts and receiver corps in the league.

Fantasy Takeaway

Kirk Cousins has a fantasy floor of QB11, and the fantasy ceiling of a QB 5-8 (which is where he finished in 2016 and 2017). He’s an air-yards-based QB, which makes him unsexy and overlooked by most fantasy managers. However, if you’re drafting a mobile QB and want insurance, Cousins is one of the best backups around. Additionally, if you’re doing the QB free fall and ignoring the top 12 QBs, Cousins becomes your primary target for that kind of build. Along the way, you should think of grabbing Justin Jefferson in the 2nd round and Adam Thielen in the 4th/5th. Nothing like a garbage-time stack of Cousins/Jefferson/Thielen, right? Cousins has no threat for competition at QB, although reports out of training camp show that Cousins is causing some strife with his stance on Covid vaccinations. However, Cousins’ somewhat famous nihilism — “If I die, I die” he famously said in 2020 — combined with his team-first attitude shows that he’s trying his best to work out his personal health decisions within the rules of the NFL’s vaccine standards, and I don’t expect Cousins to miss any time due to this decision.

Original Image Source: Tim Heitman (USA Today Sports)

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