The quarterback position might be the most important in sports, but it's not the most important in fantasy football. Several running backs, wide receivers and even a few tight ends will be off the board before the first quarterback in most league formats, and in most cases drafters only need to select two.
It’s important to know when to pick a quarterback in order to optimize an entire roster. Each season, this strategy changes depending on the number of quarterbacks a fantasy manager is comfortable starting.
The following are my top 40 quarterbacks, broken into tiers to best prepare for fantasy drafts of all shapes and sizes. Average draft position is taken from 12-team Best Ball 10s over the last month. Only players who were selected in at least half of those drafts have an ADP.
Last Updated: Sept. 2, 2021
Any of these five quarterbacks could lead the league in fantasy points at the position and no one would be surprised. That’s because each has led the position over some sample size in recent seasons. They're all relatively low risk because part of their value either comes from the number of expected rushing attempts or the talent around them. Even if their quality of play fluctuates, their fantasy value could remain stable.
Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray are here largely for their ability to run. Both quarterbacks had over 800 yards rushing, while no other QB had more than 600. Both of their teams added rookie wide receivers early to help them in the pass game. The other three quarterbacks were top-eight QBs by PFF grade in 2020 playing with top-four receiving corps.
All five quarterbacks are relatively young, with Dak Prescott the oldest at 27. If anything, we expect their level of play to remain the same or improve as they become more experienced. Each of these quarterbacks should start going off the board late in Round 4, and they'll be all gone by the early seventh in a standard 12-team league.