Quarterbacks dominate football in the real world, but they are one of the least important positions in most fantasy football formats. There are typically at least 12 viable fantasy starting quarterbacks, so fantasy managers can wait to pick one and still find success.
Superflex leagues give teams the option to start two quarterbacks, making signal-callers much more valuable. There is a big difference between the best quarterback and the 24th-best in terms of fantasy production, so quarterbacks shoot up the draft board compared to typical drafts.
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Utilizing tiers is the best way to ensure you find value with each pick, especially throughout the early rounds of superflex fantasy drafts. The following are my top-250 overall players for this format, along with when and why to target certain position groups in each tier — plus backup plans for those who choose to go another direction.
All strategy is based on 12-team leagues. For those looking for rankings beyond the top 250, rankings in other formats or rankings by the rest of PFF's fantasy analysts, find those at PFF's rankings page here.
Last Updated: Aug. 31, 2021
Tier 1: The best of the best
The first round features five players all gunning for the No. 1 fantasy quarterback position. Each gunslinger has shown QB1 upside at various points in the past, and there is reason to believe any one of them could do it again this season.
Josh Allen and Kyler Murray could have been considered the top fantasy quarterback of 2020, depending on whether Week 17 is included. Their dual-threat ability helped them excel, as Allen and Murray finished second and third in rushing touchdowns, respectively. Touchdowns aren’t the most consistent stat from one season to the next, but any regression they make in the run game could be offset from their improvement as passers. Both gained an experienced veteran wide receiver from free agency as well. Buffalo added Emmauel Sanders, while Arizona brought in A.J. Green for 2021.
Patrick Mahomes missed one game and finished sixth in fantasy points last season but should return to the top spot in 2021. He faced more pressure last season than in the past, and his fantasy production while under pressure also decreased. Kansas City’s offensive line looks completely different entering 2021, giving the league MVP the seventh-best offensive line in the NFL. This will lead to fewer plays under pressure and more fantasy production.
Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson both dominated on smaller sample sizes in 2020. Prescott led the league in fantasy points through four weeks before his season-ending injury in Week 5, including two weeks as the top fantasy quarterback. Jackson had the most fantasy points over the last four weeks, earning 1.1 fantasy points per dropback. The two quarterbacks finished first and second in fantasy points in 2019.
The rest of the first round looks similar to the first half of a typical opening round. The tier also includes the best of the best at running back — players with the right combination of talent and opportunities. Picking a top running back, Travis Kelce or quarterback works in the first round, but this decision will help dictate strategy for the rest of the draft.