Do not draft Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Daniel Racz @Danny___Dimes
Despite the quarterback position making a minimal impact in most fantasy football leagues, taking a quarterback at any point does not have to be a fruitless endeavor. Navigating the position correctly can give you an edge that few other league-mates possess. Last year, targeting players in the middle rounds like Josh Allen (and fading players like Drew Brees) gave you a leg up on your competition.
This year, there are a few tight ends that you should not be drafting at their current average draft positions, including some familiar faces from prior years. If you can properly fade the quarterbacks that will disappoint, you are in a good place.
Patrick Mahomes stands the best chance to finish as the top quarterback in fantasy football in 2021. However, he is currently drafted over one round ahead of any other quarterback. Drafting Mahomes is a significant, and unnecessary investment. When you draft anyone as the top player at their position, the only way they can meet expectations is by finishing as such. Taking a gamble on Mahomes as the QB1 instead of a better wide receiver or running back will likely set your team(s) back.
The Chiefs rebuilt their offensive line, which should help the overall dynamism of the offense. Mahomes will have more time to throw to his elite weapons Tyreek Hill and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. However, the better offensive line could shift red-zone play-calling to favor giving goal-line carries to running backs as opposed to opportunities for Mahomes.
Joe Burrow is the easiest fade at the quarterback position right now. Burrow is drafted ahead of Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Ryan Tannehill. The addition of college teammate Ja’Marr Chase is keeping Burrow’s ADP high. Burrow has perhaps the best wide receiver trio in the national football league, but he also plays behind a poor offensive line and is coming off a torn ACL injury.
As a rookie, Joe Burrow met expectations. He did not do anything extraordinary like Justin Herbert, but he proved that he was fit to lead Cincinnati for the next decade. Then, all of the sudden, Burrow lost the second half of the year to a torn ACL. Burrow’s injury will likely make him less mobile. The consequences of Burrow’s reduced movement will be fewer rushing yards, a major disappointment to fantasy owners. Though Burrow offers a tad more rushing upside than Stafford and Brady, he is on an inferior offense and should be faded at his current cost.
Baker Mayfield is not going as a top 16 QB, but an average draft position of QB19 still feels rich. Given the rushing upside that Carson Wentz and Daniel Jones offer, it seems foolish to take Baker ahead of those two dual threats. If Baker Mayfield plays the entire season, he will almost certainly finish as a QB2 in terms of total points and likely points per game. That said, the QB19 is not winning you any titles.
Baker is still on a run-first team due to the Browns’ elite offensive line and stud running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, hurting his upside. If Baker does end up slightly outproducing his ADP, will you be happy with him as your backup quarterback? Unless the answer is a resounding yes, stay away from Mayfield.