Must-Have Quarterbacks (2021 Fantasy Football)

It’s time to name my must-have quarterbacks, but rather than going into detail about the obvious studs, I wanted to touch on some quarterbacks who I’d love to have based on their Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR). These are guys who I think could blow past their current expert consensus rankings, and that’s why they’re my must-haves. Here we go!

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Cam Newton (QB – NE): Positional ECR 21
My love for Newton is growing by the day, and I’d be completely remiss not to mention him in this article. With an ECR of QB21, he’s going undrafted in non-superflex leagues, and I’m completely baffled. Newton scored 12 rushing touchdowns (second-most of his career and most among QBs last season) while dealing with the physical limitations imposed on him by COVID-19. His passing numbers were pedestrian, but so was his receiving corps. Newton had some great years in Carolina without elite receiving talent around him, but New England’s group of pass-catchers was on another level of terrible in 2020. The Pats invested a ton of money to correct those deficiencies in the form of Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jonnu Smith, and Hunter Henry. There’s no way Cam doesn’t bounce back in a big way this season. He’s still got a QB1 ceiling, and I’m all in on taking him at this depressed price.

Joe Burrow (QB – CIN): Positional ECR 14
Before his season was ended prematurely due to injury, Burrow was on a tear, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t be better in Year 2. Cincinnati will almost certainly invest in its offensive line this offseason and/or in the draft, providing much-needed protection for the sophomore signal-caller. Burrow’s cast of receivers is a strong one in Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, and if Joe Mixon can stay healthy, he’s a quality receiver out of the backfield. Burrow has already shown what he can do right out of the gate, and there’s a strong chance he exceeds expectations in 2021.

Carson Wentz (QB – IND): Positional ECR 17
With this pick, there may be some pitchforks and angry cries of “Get ye back from Wentz ye came!” However, there will be no retreat in my love for Carson Wentz as an undervalued quarterback in 2021. Last year was disastrous in Philly, and Wentz had the worst season of his career. It’s easy to forget that he was firmly in the running for MVP just FOUR seasons ago. In his final season with the Eagles, Wentz dealt with dysfunction, a wilting relationship with his head coach, poor offensive line play, and a revolving-door cast of wide receivers who didn’t make his job any easier. The fact that Indy traded for him should do wonders for his self-confidence and attitude, and the Colts’ offensive line is one of the best in the NFL. The change of scenery and improved situation could be the catalyst for a Wentz resurgence in 2021.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – WFT): Positional ECR 30
Here’s another ranking that surprised me a bit. Fitzpatrick has an elite, go-to receiver in Terry McLaurin, a reliable slot man in Curtis Samuel, and a TE on the rise in Logan Thomas, yet he’s ranked as QB30 behind guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Tua Tagovailoa, and Derek Carr. Fitz might be getting up there in age, but he can still sling the ball. This is the best team he’s played on in years, and if this supporting cast and elite defense doesn’t get you jazzed, I’m not sure what to tell you. There’s no way FitzMagic finishes this low in the final, end-of-season rankings.

Trevor Lawrence (QB – FA): Positional ECR 25
There’s little doubt that Lawrence will be the first pick in this year’s draft, which should land him with the Jaguars. The Jags are all in on a revamped offense this season with new head coach Urban Meyer and new addition Marvin Jones. Lawrence certainly has the tools and support to finish better than his current ranking.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.