We kick off our 2021 fantasy football dynasty rookie rankings by dissecting a very solid quarterback class, led by Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Mac Jones, and Trey Lance. While there could be a handful of real-life franchise quarterbacks in this class, there are more than a few who could be fantasy superstars — both as rookies and in the future.
See which quarterbacks top our 2021 fantasy football dynasty rookie rankings and be sure to keep an eye out for our running back, wide receiver, and tight end dynasty rookie rankings, which will be unveiled before the 2021 NFL Draft.
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends
(H/T to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler and his 2021 NFL Draft Guide: The Beast for in-depth scouting reports of 415 players)
1. TREVOR LAWRENCE, CLEMSON
The generational talent is not only the locked-in No. 1 overall pick, but Trevor Lawrence is also our top dynasty quarterback from the 2021 rookie class. The Jaguars’ franchise quarterback can make every throw on the field and he also drips in sneaky rushing upside in Urban Meyer’s spread offense (943 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns at Clemson), making him more than just a quarterback who will rack up fantasy points with his elite arm and instantaneous processing abilities.
The last time Ohio State and Clemson played in the CFP, Trevor Lawrence delivered this clutch TD run 👀 @Trevorlawrencee @ClemsonFB
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 2, 2021
Lawrence should make an immediate fantasy impact on a Jaguars’ offense that has a very solid list of surrounding talent and a coach who has always adapted his playbook to the strength of his quarterback.
The former Tiger is also durable, as he only missed two starts during his three-year career (COVID-19).
Lawrence should be immediately rostered as a high-upside QB2 due to his own talent and the surprising surrounding talent at his disposal as the No. 1 overall pick.
“Overall, Lawrence is a generational talent with the physical (size, athleticism, arm talent) and mental (processing speed, intangibles) traits to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He projects as the clear No. 1 player in the class and an immediate, scheme-diverse starter.” – Dane Brugler
2. JUSTIN FIELDS, OHIO STATE
While the debate continues to swirl about where Justin Fields will land in the 2021 NFL Draft, there’s no debate about Fields’ dynasty upside in the NFL.
Pundits and #DraftTwitter will garner clicks and retweets by saying “Fields can’t get through his progressions” or “all Ohio State quarterbacks suck in the NFL,” but those who watched him play on a consistent basis know he will ball out in the NFL and put up [fantasy] points in the process.
Percentage of passing yards that came before the catch (air yards) for @PFF's top-five 2021 NFL Draft QBs:
Justin Fields — 70%
Zach Wilson — 62%
Trey Lance — 54% (2019)
Mac Jones — 47%
Trevor Lawrence — 43%
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) March 31, 2021
Equipt with a rocket arm and speed to leave defenders in the dust, the 6-foot-3, 225 lb quarterback will be fantasy’s next Konami code wherever he lands in the draft. As a two-year starter (22 games) at Ohio State, Fields tossed 63 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. He also added 1,133 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground throughout his career — even though most Buckeye fans wished he scrambled more often.
Between his arm strength, speed, and toughness, Fields has what it takes to be a fantasy QB1 from the moment he steps on an NFL field.
“Overall, Fields’ decision-making is more methodical than spontaneous, but he has high-ceiling traits with his athleticism, accuracy and intangibles. He projects as a high-end NFL starter if he can quicken his reads and process.” – Brugler
3. TREY LANCE, NORTH DAKOTA STATE
Trey Lance drips in talent and has all of the tools to be a fantasy stud, but we just haven’t seen enough of him to give him the No. 2 spot over Fields. Following in the footsteps of Carson Wentz, Lance played at the most prestigious FCS program in the country. However, the former Bison QB only has one full season under his belt and it came against inferior talent.
In his lone season as a starter, Lance couldn’t have been more efficient. He threw for 28 touchdowns to zero interceptions and added another 1,100 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately, Lance wasn’t able to put together an encore season after North Dakota State decided to shut down its operation after one game due to COVID-19.
Standing at nearly the exact same size as Fields, Lance also has obscene Konami Code potential once he gets used to the speed of the NFL. His blend of arm strength, accuracy, and running ability will make him a future fantasy QB1, but it might take a year or two until it comes to fruition.
“Overall, Lance is an unprecedented evaluation and will require time as he adjusts to the speed and complexities of the NFL, but his physical traits, poise and intelligence are a rare package for his age and meager experience. He should compete for NFL starting snaps during his rookie season.” – Brugler
4. ZACH WILSON, BYU
If Lance is the mystery of the draft, then Zach Wilson is the enigma of the draft. Although Wilson has only one “full” season under his belt, he started 28 games in three years at BYU. But just like Joe Burrow, Wilson burst onto the scene during his final season, when he tossed 33 touchdowns to only three interceptions and broke Steve Young’s BYU record for completion percentage (73.5).
Even though he isn’t known for his scrambling ability, he can still find the end zone on the ground (15 career rushing touchdowns) and move the chains with his legs (642 rushing yards). Wilson is electric with the ball in his hands and can fit the ball into any window from Patrick Mahomes–esque arm angles.
But I thought Zach Wilson was going to throw it to the RB pic.twitter.com/XPFZ8jyYlK
— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) January 21, 2021
With Wilson basically a lock to land with the Jets, his immediate fantasy value will most certainly take a hit due to a lack of surrounding talent. But on the bright side, he won’t have the Adam Gase stench on him.
The numbers and fantasy points will get there for Wilson, but his team might hold him back as a rookie.
“Overall, Wilson doesn’t have an ideal body type, but his natural accuracy, off-platform skills and ability to make great spontaneous decisions translate to any level of football. He will compete for NFL starting reps as a rookie.” – Brugler
5. MAC JONES, ALABAMA
Mac Jones showed patience when he sat behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa until he finally got his chance as a redshirt junior. Not only did he get his chance, but he flourished in 2020. He completed 77.4 percent of his passes en route to 41 touchdowns to only four interceptions and a national championship.
While no one could complain how he looked in Steve Sarkisian’s spread scheme, he stood behind the nation’s top offensive line and benefited from an absolutely loaded weapons cabinet, highlighted by future first-rounders Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Najee Harris. Thus, the level of difficulty remained at a minimum.
Jones wasn’t asked to do much, and when he had to look past his first read, it wasn’t great.
PFF Grade on throws past 1st read since 2019: (min. 60 attempts)
1st – Justin Fields – 90.6
2nd – Zach Wilson – 90.1
3rd – Trey Lance – 87.2
7th – Trevor Lawrence – 78.6
8th – Mac Jones – 75.7 pic.twitter.com/CEWpY86rwC
— PFF (@PFF) April 2, 2021
With absolutely zero scrambling ability, Jones will be relied on to go through his progressions and make difficult throws in the NFL. Because of this, Jones’ fantasy ceiling will be capped and it could be even worse if he lands on a team with limited surrounding talent or a porous offensive line.
Mac Jones will be a better real-life quarterback than a fantasy quarterback.
“Overall, Jones doesn’t have elite level mobility or arm strength, but he is good-enough in those areas and he is poised, hyper competitive and doesn’t make mistakes. He projects as a high-floor NFL starter.” – Brugler
6. KYLE TRASK, FLORIDA
Kyle Trask could be another high-level prospect who benefited from a quarterback-friendly scheme, but he produced at an elite level over a two-year period in Dan Mullen’s spread offense. Trask, who has the arm to make every throw that’s asked of him, can put the ball in small windows with his quick processing capabilities and high-velocity arm.
However, he profited from having the nation’s top tight end and future top-ten pick, Kyle Pitts, and wideout Kadarius Toney at his disposal. Forty-five percent of his passing yards came after the catch and he was able to put up monster numbers in large part because of the scheme and surrounding talent.
Still, that doesn’t mean Trask can’t throw deep with the best of them after making time for himself in the pocket, where he shows more mobility than he’s given credit for by the “experts.”
Only QB with 10+ TD passes and 0 INTs on deep throws last season:
🐊 Kyle Trask pic.twitter.com/GDffwLrbAh
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 10, 2021
Trask will give nothing in the run game, but he could sneak into the end of the first round, where he could land in an ideal situation with some legitimate surrounding talent.
The former Gator could be a solid QB2 with fantasy some upside if he lands in an ideal situation.
“Overall, Trask is a well-built, smart and tough competitor with natural touch as a passer, but his inconsistent mechanics and below-average mobility cap his ceiling as an NFL quarterback. He projects as a carbon copy of Mason Rudolph.” – Brugler
Others to keep an eye on: Kellen Mond (TAMU), Davis Mills (Stanford), Jamie Newman (Georgia), Ian Book (Notre Dame), Sam Ehlinger (Texas)