The 2020 NFL season might have been expected to be the year of the quarterback. Three quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. Only one of them finished as a startable quarterback and that would be Justin Herbert. He wasn’t the preseason favorite but emerged as a potential superstar on his way to finishing ninth. Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa were taken ahead of Herbert but finished 25th and 32nd respectively. Burrow went out with an injury and Tua was shaky and replaced by Fitzpatrick at times.
Why am I focusing on 2020 rookies when it’s 2021? Well, five quarterbacks were taken in this year’s draft. There is a lot of hype around the rookies because of the success of Herbert and Burrow to some extent. With that hype, I believe two of this year’s rookies are being a little overhyped in fantasy this year.
We need to get into it so I can tell you who these guys are and why they won’t live up to their average draft position (ADP) from Underdog Fantasy. Before I do though, make sure you check out our FREE DRAFT KIT for all of your fantasy football research after you read this article!
The number one pick in the 2021 NFL draft is being drafted as the 14th quarterback off the board in drafts so far. The position is deep and it won’t be an easy task to reach this value. According to Vegas Insider, the projected win total for the Jaguars is 6.5 wins. Expect a lot of throwing, sure, but teams this bad don’t usually run as many plays as winning teams.
Running fewer plays will hurt Lawrence’s ceiling. I expect him to throw 600 times this year which seems like a lot but it’s fairly conservative in a 17 game season. The Jaguars did add to their offense besides drafting Lawrence. They also drafted his teammate at Clemson, Travis Etienne. This bolsters their run game as he joins 2020 surprise, James Robinson. DJ Chark is returning as the team’s top target but veteran, Marvin Jones was added to the receiving corp.
Lawrence is a generational talent and I won’t dispute that. Only four rookies have ever thrown over 4000 yards. Last year, twelve quarterbacks achieved that total. History tells us that Lawrence will be behind all those other passers this season. He isn’t a statue in the pocket and will have some rushing upside, similar to a Daniel Jones type.
Lawrence is the week one starter and has no competition. That gives a fantasy manager peace of mind but be careful of his current price. Don’t be swayed by the success of last year’s passers. Lawrence will finish as a low-end QB2. Don’t draft him at his peak.
Fields is another rookie who I think will not reach their return. On Underdog Fantasy, he is being drafted as QB15, just one spot behind Lawrence. What is different about this situation is that Fields should be the starting quarterback but Andy Dalton is there. That felt weird saying. Despite the team trading up to draft Fields, Head Coach, Matt Nagy, isn’t committed to playing him in week one.
Historically, the Bears are a team that likes to run the ball over 40% of the time. David Montgomery finished as a top running back for fantasy last season. The team will use him again this year to help move the ball and keep them in games. They added Damien Williams this offseason to give them a legitimate backup. Tarik Cohen missed almost all of last year and is returning this season.
When Fields is on the field, which I expect to happen at some point, he has a couple of weapons. Allen Robinson has success every year. Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet are sophomore pass catchers that many believe will take the next step in 2021. The problem is volume. As mentioned, the Bears will want to run the ball and I expect the team’s quarterbacks to throw less than 600 times in total this year.
Even if Fields plays every game this year, with limited attempts, I don’t expect him to throw over 3600 yards. Touchdown totals with that amount of yards usually translate to totals in the mid 20’s. You can expect average fantasy numbers but he’s a low-end QB2 at best, not a top-end as he’s being drafted today.
Tagovailoa is not a rookie but he was just one short year ago. It was a forgettable season, to say the least. Fitzpatrick is out of town but the Dolphins brought in veteran, Jacoby Brissett. This year should be all about Tagovailoa though. The team needs to see what they have so they can decide on their future.
The Dolphins added former Alabama wide receiver and teammate, Jaylen Waddle in the draft. They also brought in wide receiver Will Fuller from the Texans but is facing a game suspension to start the year. Fuller has had success in his career but has missed at least five games each of the last four years.
Waddle and Fuller are deep threats. Problem is, Tagovailoa wasn’t able to throw it deep. Maybe his hip wasn’t 100% or maybe he was just a rookie with a non-existent offseason. There are a lot of questions about him. His current ADP is 17th. Not a horrible value but if he misses, he misses big. His rushing ability will keep him from being in the bottom three or four at the position in the worst-case scenario.
Another positive for Tagovailoa is he limited his turnovers which helps just like the rushing. His passing again was bad. He completed a mediocre 64% of his passes and threw for 181 yards per game. Averaging only 13.5 fantasy points a game is leaving a lot to be desired. These stats aren’t pretty and you can do better with proven quarterbacks in his range.
Check out the 2021 FantasyFootball Draft Kit by Team Rise or Fall to get the edge over your opponents this season!