2021 Fantasy Soccer Quarterback Projections: Projection of Tyrod Taylor off, Matt Ryan with out Julio Jones

Las Vegas Raiders versus Atlanta FalconsKevin C. Cox / Getty Images

The bad thing about projections is that they aren’t great in unfamiliar situations. And considering the calendar is preparing for June, we still have some pretty important unknowns about the 2021 season. We don’t know who Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers will be playing for, or if they will be playing Week 1. We also don’t know if Matt Ryan will have Julio Jones, which may have a bigger impact than you might think.

For the first time this off-season, I’m adjusting quarterback projections based on the inclinations I have for each situation. Granted, those leanings might be wrong, but at this point I feel better about projecting Tyrod Taylor as the Texas quarterback and Jones onto a different team from the Falcons. That means you won’t see Watson’s name in the projections below, but he’ll still be in the rankings, 14th for now. I’ll leave Rodgers with the Packers for now, but if there’s no solution by mid-July, we have to seriously think about bringing him down the leaderboard.

Even if he starts week 1, Taylor is nothing more than a low-end No. 2 quarterback who could lose the job to Davis Mills if the Texans ever think he’s ready. Taylor projects at QB19 thanks to his ability to rush, but he has more disadvantages than advantages in two QB leagues. The change didn’t just affect the quarterback projection, of course. David Johnson fell from RB24 to RB32. Brandin Cooks was WR17 when scheduled for a full season with Watson, he fell to WR26. No other Texan plays than someone you’d draw, but it degrades rookie Nico Collins’ sleeper appeal if Watson isn’t the starting quarterback.

The potential loss of Jones is just as disastrous for Ryan, at least if you look at 2020. In the nine games in which Jones played 50% of the snaps or less, Ryan averaged 6.7 yards per pass attempt and 17.3 fantasy points per game. This is Drew Lock territory. He didn’t have Kyle Pitts in those games, but we probably shouldn’t expect Pitts to replace Jones’ production in his rookie season. I had projected Ryan onto QB14 with Jones and the statistical adjustment without his star receiver dropped him onto QB24.

Would I actually draw Taylor in front of Ryan? No chance and my ranking reflects this. But none of them are in my top 20 quarterbacks.

A few brief notes before we get to the projections:

  • I’m projecting Taysom Hill as a starter in New Orleans, but you can’t draw him as a top 12 quarterback until he actually wins the job.
  • The gap between Patrick Mahomes and everyone else is sizeable when your league rewards six points per touchdown pass. In leagues that only reward four points, the top four quarterbacks are separated by just 10 fantasy points. Just take the fourth quarterback in this format.
  • I’m currently projecting Cam Newton and Jimmy Garoppolo as starters on their teams. I’d rather draw Newton than Mac Jones, but I rank Trey Lance ahead of Garoppolo because Lance has a lot more advantages.
  • I’m assuming Justin Fields will start for the bears, but admittedly that probably won’t happen in week 1. Draft fields higher than its projection in one-QB leagues but outside the top 24 when you have to start two.

Here are my updated 2021 quarterback projections:

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