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Quarterbacks to Avoid in 2021 Fantasy Football

The staff lets you know which quarterbacks you should be avoiding this year in fantasy football.

As we close out QB Week, here are the quarterbacks our staff is avoiding this year in fantasy football (ADP via FF Calculator).

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (Clark)

ADP: QB10, 7.08

Jalen Hurts is just not going to end up on any of my teams this year.

Hurts put up huge numbers against the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, and the Taysom-Hill-led New Orleans Saints last year. He looked every bit of the second-round rookie QB during that stretch, seeming to have a pretty hard time as a passer. To be fair, for fantasy’s sake, he more than made up for his inability to pass with his rushing numbers. 

Going into his second season, I’m betting better defenses will be better schemed to limit Hurts rushing, and I’m betting that he doesn’t take a giant leap in the processing and passing departments to make up for those shortcomings. The last and most influential reason for my being out on Hurts is that he appears to be the leading edge of a youth movement on offense while the coaching staff may be in their swan song season.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Paddi)

ADP: QB14, 9.05

Trevor Lawrence is suffering from the bump of being the No. 1 overall pick and is currently going as the QB14 early in the ninth round of fantasy drafts. Though there’s lots to like about Lawrence’s potential and the young and talented skill position group around him, he joins a Jaguars team with a new coaching staff and a roster that lost 15 consecutive games last season. Heck, Urban Meyer hasn’t even confirmed Lawrence as the 2021 starter yet, so we may even see the wonder of Gardner Minshew in the first few weeks (we won’t).

Lawrence will have the inevitable teething problems that rookie quarterbacks have, and though I believe we’ll see his class come through as the 2021 season wears on, I’m looking at surer bets when it comes to my fantasy quarterback this season. A QB2 with late season starter potential? Absolutely. Borderline Week 1 starter? Too rich for me.

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Nic)

ADP: QB16, 11.05

No matter his ADP, Deshaun Watson really shouldn’t be on many people’s draft boards. In every case, there’s an exception; if you’re firing off 150 best ball drafts this offseason and want to take a few Watson shares, I can understand that process. For drafters that dabble in a reasonable number of leagues though, Watson is far too risky—and has a far lower of ceiling than many analysts are acknowledging.

As outlined by Drew Davenport, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Watson is cleared to play this year and even if he was, it’s impossible to know if he’s changed his mind and is now willing to play for the Texans again. In the event that he is cleared by the league and chooses to play, he’ll be working with a new head coach, in a new scheme, surrounded by a massively overhauled roster that is hands down the worst group of players in the league today—all without practicing once since the 2020 season. Drafting Deshaun Watson is not a formula for fantasy football success.

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (Pete)

ADP: QB17, 11.09

Really the quarterback I’m avoiding this year in fantasy is Kyler Murray, but I already wrote about why I’m not drafting him this year. So instead, I figured I’d spice it up with another signal caller I’m passing on.

Wentz has a lot to prove after bottoming out in Philadelphia last year. There are excuses to be made for Wentz, but he did grade out as the absolute worst quarterback last year per QPI rating (minimum four games). That’s can’t be all on a banged-up offensive line.

I want Wentz to succeed and I’d love for him to look more like his 2019 self than his 2020 self. Still, he’s going ahead of players I feel so much more comfortable in like Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and even Jameis Winston (if Winston starts for the Saints, he’s a QB1). If Wentz proves it this year, I’ll happily draft him in 2022. But I’m going to sit this year out.