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Weyrauch: 2021 Superflex Fantasy Football Draft Rankings

There is growing interest in the fantasy community for superflex leagues. For those unaware, the typical rule that defines superflex is the additional flex spot that can be a quarterback or any of the usual offensive positions.

In 1QB leagues, there is usually not much of a reason to prioritize drafting a quarterback. Simply put, the value gained over a replacement quarterback from the waivers just isn’t good enough to justify spending high draft capital.

However, superflex vastly changes this due to the scarcity induced by upping the number of starters in a league from 12 to roughly 24 quarterbacks. The reason it’s only roughly 24 is that occasionally a manager will have an RB/WR/TE who is a better flex player than a very low-end quarterback, but that is rare.

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This list is a tiered breakdown of my superflex rankings heading into the 2021 season. This is based on 12-team leagues with 0.5 PPR scoring. Weekly rankings will also be available in-season for your start/sit decisions.

Tier 1

Rank Name Team Pos Pos Rank
1 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 1
2 Patrick Mahomes II KC QB 1
3 Josh Allen BUF QB 2
4 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 2
5 Kyler Murray ARI QB 3
6 Derrick Henry TEN RB 3
7 Alvin Kamara NO RB 4
8 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 5
9 Dak Prescott DAL QB 4
10 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 6
11 Davante Adams GB WR 1
12 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 5
13 Aaron Jones GB RB 7

Tier 1 is mostly chalk at the top. The three best quarterbacks will most likely go within the top five picks of the draft. The choice comes down to whether a manager wants to start with an elite running back or quarterback. There is a mini-tier break after Kyler Murray, who has the upside to finish as the QB1 this season. Last season, no quarterback had more top-12 weeks than Murray, who finished with 11 in 16 games.

From there, the remaining top running back options will fill the middle of the first round until someone rolls the dice on Dak Prescott, who led the NFL with 27.7 fantasy points per game and had three top-five weeks before ultimately getting injured in Week 5.

Davante Adams has regained ground in terms of average draft position (ADP) after the Aaron Rodgers saga came to a conclusion a few weeks ago. He is the stand-alone WR1 at this point and an extremely safe selection if you don’t want to risk drafting Lamar Jackson instead. Jackson had a high floor last season thanks to his rushing ability, but he only finished as a top-five quarterback twice. His upside is unquestioned based on his 2019 campaign, but we’ve seen his fantasy output with a less potent passing attack now, which justifies his ADP.

Tier 2

Rank Name Team Pos Pos Rank
14  Austin Ekeler LAC RB 8
15 Travis Kelce KC TE 1
16 Jonathan Taylor IND RB 9
17 Tyreek Hill KC WR 2
18 Aaron Rodgers GB QB 6
19 Stefon Diggs BUF WR 3
20 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 4
21 Nick Chubb CLE RB 10
22 Allen Robinson II CHI WR 5
23 A.J. Brown TEN WR 6
24 Joe Mixon CIN RB 11
25 Najee Harris PIT RB 12

Travis Kelce could probably sneak into Tier 1, but it becomes difficult to juggle positional value if you start with a tight end when running backs and wide receivers start dropping. He is still a huge positional value at tight end and worth an early second-round pick.

The only quarterback who is safely in this range before running backs and wide receivers get gobbled up is Aaron Rodgers. Last season, Rodgers was brilliant, ending the year with the highest passing grade of all quarterbacks. From Week 8 on, Rodgers had seven top-five fantasy outings in 10 weeks, and just one of those weeks was outside the top seven. Now that Rodgers is safely under center for the Packers again, a top-five finish is very likely.

Tier 3

Rank Name Team Pos Pos Rank
26 Russell Wilson SEA QB 7
27 DeAndre Hopkins ARI WR 7
28 Darren Waller LV TE 2
29 David Montgomery CHI RB 13
30 Matthew Stafford LAR QB 8
31 D.K. Metcalf SEA WR 8
32 Justin Herbert LAC QB 9
33 CeeDee Lamb DAL WR 9
34 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC RB 14
35 Chris Carson SEA RB 15
36 Ryan Tannehill TEN QB 10
37 J.K. Dobbins BAL RB 16
38 Keenan Allen LAC WR 10
39 D.J. Moore CAR WR 11

In the third tier, there are several quarterbacks who have a larger range of outcomes than the upper-tier options. Even though Russell Wilson is a perpetual passing-efficiency wonder, the low passing volume risk drops him down a tier. Not to mention, he went the last nine weeks of 2020 without a top-five scoring week. Relative to the other skill positions available, Wilson still remains a top choice in this tier based on passing touchdowns alone — he hasn’t thrown fewer than 31 touchdowns in the last four seasons.

Also within this tier is the first taste of upside quarterbacks such as Matthew Stafford and Justin Herbert. Stafford is a well-known commodity at this point, but his transition to the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay creates an intriguing scenario for fantasy production. Last year, Stafford had high variance and was unpredictable from week to week, but he should return to a more stable status in LA.

In the back of this tier is Ryan Tannehill, who is essentially Wilson-lite. The Julio Jones addition to the Titans receiving corps should help maintain Tannehill’s passing efficiency metrics and provide a red-zone weapon. Last season, Tannehill had 11 games with multiple passing touchdowns, leading him to five top-five weekly finishes.

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