2021 Fantasy Rookie QBs: Is It Worth Drafting Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence?
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Bears QB Justin Fields
Sean Koerner — the No. 1 fantasy football draft ranker of 2019 — runs through his analysis of the three most fantasy-relevant rookie quarterbacks heading into this NFL season. Find his comprehensive guide to drafting QBs in his 2021 Draft Tiers and his real-time rankings in our 2021 Fantasy Draft Kit.
Fantasy Rookie QBs
Justin Fields, Bears
There’s really just one question for Fields: When will he become the starter?
Matt Nagy was on the Chiefs when Andy Reid had Patrick Mahomes sit behind Alex Smith for most of his rookie season, which worries me a bit. But Fields has been pretty dazzling in the preseason, so I doubt Andy Dalton makes it beyond Week 3.
Mitch Trubisky was at his best in this offense when he was willing to use his legs, which we should see right away from Fields.
In a 1QB league, it’s worth the gamble to stash high-upside QBs like Fields or Trey Lance. For 2QB leagues, you have to believe Fields will start by Week 5 for him to be worth grabbing at ADP.
Trey Lance, 49ers
If you were to build a player in Madden to be the ultimate fantasy football player, they may look a lot like Lance. With a cannon for an arm and excellent rushing ability, there’s a lot to like about Lance’s outlook — especially under Kyle Shanahan.
The 49ers’ system is designed to elevate the QB, with Jimmy Garoppolo leading the league in YAC pass percentage over the past two years. I see Lance taking over as the full-time starter by Week 6 at the latest — they didn’t use all that capital for him to sit out his entire rookie season.
I would target Lance at ADP, especially if you’re in a situation where it won’t kill you if he’s on the bench for the first few weeks.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
The No. 1 overall pick is in an interesting spot with first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
Between Meyer, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and passing game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, I suspect this will be a run-heavy team. That might be hard to achieve if the Jaguars are primarily faced with negative game scripts, but I see Lawrence’s rushing upside being tapped into either way.
The rookie QB has a solid trio of WRs in D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault. And losing fellow Clemson product RB Travis Etienne for the season might mean even more passing for Lawrence.
There’s a lot of uncertainty regarding what this offense will look like, but taking Lawrence is a bet on talent. He is arguably the most complete QB talent to enter the league since Andrew Luck and has huge upside over the next couple seasons.