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Fantasy Football: How often do great fantasy offenses not have a great quarterback?

Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

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A phenomenon exists during every fantasy football draft season: Offenses have multiple skill-position players valued highly, but the quarterback responsible for enabling all parties involved doesn’t go off the board until the later rounds. There are three clear examples of this ahead of the 2021 season. The following teams have at least three skill-position players ranked highly at their position, but their quarterback is going outside of fantasy’s top-12 signal-callers:

The natural next question: Does history tell us this is a sign the quarterback is undervalued, or is it the running back, wide receivers and tight end we should be worried about?

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I went back over the past 10 seasons to determine how many offenses enabled at least three high-end running backs (top-24), wide receivers (top-24) and tight ends (top-12) in a single year. From there we can see how often these units also consisted of top-12 quarterback play in an effort to figure out if Cousins, Ryan and Fitzpatrick are truly going undervalued at the moment.

Overall, there have been 85 instances of an offense enabling at least three combined high-end running backs, wide receivers and/or tight ends in the same season since 2011. Some key findings:

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