2021 NFL Free Agents: Quarterbacks

Welcome to the first in a series looking at the 2021 NFL Free Agents. Over the coming weeks, I will dive into each position highlighting the key players who could be changing teams this summer. Today we are going to take a look at the most critical position in sports, the quarterback.

Let’s see which Quarterbacks are approaching Free Agency and could have an impact on your dynasty roster.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Age: 28
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Of all the 2021 NFL Free Agents across any position, Dak is the headliner from a Dynasty perspective. He entered 2020 as a top 5 consensus QB and a franchise cornerstone with which to build your Dynasty roster around. He started on an absolute tear averaging 27.7 points per game through 5 weeks (and that includes week 5 in which he was injured during the game). The situation in Dallas looked like a QB’s dream a strong offensive line, a great running back, three elite Wide Receivers and an inventive play-caller.

However, Dak then suffered a horrific leg injury in Week 5 which ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Through the rest of the season, that situation has started to have some of the shine taken off it as Ezekiel Elliott has looked like he lost a step, multiple injures on the offensive line including to Tyron Smith, Zach Martin and La’el Collins. However, despite that, this is still a fantastic situation for a star QB to be a fantasy gold mine.

Will he Re-sign?

So will Dak return to the cowboys or seek pastures new? Prior to the injury, I thought that Dak was going to go down the Kirk Cousins route of continuing to bet on himself and force the team to either pay up or let him walk once the Franchise Tag became too rich to keep him.

However, I now think Dak will sign long term with the Cowboys. Few franchises worry more about how they have been perceived frugality that Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. It was part of the reason Elliott was overpaid as an RB and I believe its the reason why the Cowboys will lock up Dak long term this offseason. If Dak is fully healthy and returns to the cowboys he is a locked-in top 6 option at the position for the next 4 years. He will likely be a 1st round startup pick in Superflex drafts this summer and would cost you around three future 1sts in a trade.

If he leaves?

What if Dak were to leave? I really believe his value will take a hit if he leaves. There is no doubt he is a fantastic player and great for fantasy with his rushing upside. However, few situations are going to be as beneficial as Dallas. The only teams with Sufficient cap space and the positional need to go after Dak are the Jets, Jags, Patriots and Colts. Whilst the first two teams are likely to draft somebody with the first two picks in this year’s drafts. I don’t see either Indianapolis or New England as an upgrade situationally.

What should you do with Dak? Well if you’re as confident he resigns in Dallas as I am then he is an obvious buy candidate, and any discount you can pick up because of the unknown in free agency is a bonus. If you are less confident he resigns I would be wary because I don’t think he’d be a top 10 Dynasty option in another setting.

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears

Age: 27
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

At the midpoint of the season, Trubisky wouldn’t have made it onto any list of the top 2021 NFL Free Agents. However, since then he has earned the starting spot back for the Bears and produced not only great fantasy displays but actually looked like a competent Quarterback so much so that there is some talk of the Bears resigning him moving forward.

Realistically Trubisky is a low-end starter or high-end backup in the NFL and that is valuable in Superflex dynasty leagues because when he is on the field he produces fantasy points. Thanks to his mobility Trubisky has produced over 20 points in 50% of the games he’s started and hasn’t had any single digit games this season. You never feel comfortable or confident starting him but if you’re struggling due to injuries you can do an awful lot worse.

At his current price of around a late 2nd/early 3rd I quite like Trubisky as a buy candidate as your QB3/4 he can cover bye weeks and can start in a pinch. His price is also likely to shoot up to around a late 1st if he resigns in Chicago for anything more than a year.

Cam Newton, New Egland Patriots

Age: 32
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

My feelings for Cam have been more up and down than a rollercoaster this season. He was one of my biggest hits as an offseason buy when he landed in New England and rocketed up in value. He then had some early success and I felt even smugger. However, the wheels have fallen off he has hugely suffered from accuracy issues as well as the lack of weapons in New England and I’m not sure if he has done enough to cement another starting QB spot as we approach next season.

I wouldn’t feel comfortable having Cam as anything more than my QB4 in a Superflex league as I’m not convinced he is ever fantasy relevant again. However, depending on the situation and the health of his shoulder he is the kind of player that could be a steal at his current cost of a 2nd round pick if he gets the chance.

Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts

Age: 39
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Phil Rivers has been sneaky good in 2020. In week 6 to 15 he was the QB14 averaging 18.6 points per game. And he hasn’t had many bust weeks scoring in single digits only twice all season. Aged 39 and with the Colts likely to seek an upgrade at QB I just don’t know if he is back in 2021. He could potentially latch on as a bridge QB but I don’t know if he’d be interested in that and it’s hard to see any contender betting their SuperBowl hopes on Rivers. Chances are this is Rivers final season of relevancy from a fantasy perspective.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Miami Dolphins

Age: 38
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Fitzpatrick is just box office entertainment. He has produced some incredible stat lines mixed in with some awful one’s. He carried some teams to titles in 2019 off the back of an incredible stretch run and he continues that in 2020. At 38 he could easily retire and disappear off into the sun. However, I do think he is likely to want one more shot at making the playoffs. He could potentially end up somewhere as a bridge QB to an incoming rookie. In a Superflex league, Fitzpatrick is the perfect end of the bench flyer. He may do nothing but if he does start he will produce (mixed in with some horror shows).

Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys

Age: 33
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Dalton is not anything to get excited about but he is still an above-average backup QB in the NFL. He has shown this year that in the right situation with good weapons around him he can be fantasy relevant. So don’t go out and buy him but monitor the situation because you could scoop him off the waiver wire. Wait for to players cut him to make room for the incoming rookie class. He is the kind of end of bench depth piece that could be very valuable in a playoff run if he does find himself in spot duty for an injured QB.

Some potential cut candidates:

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers 

Age: 29
Status: Under contract but only $2.8m in dead cap if released.

I’ve been on record suggesting that Jimmy G could be a surprise cut from the 49ers this offseason. I stand by it. His contract is very cutable with limited dead cap. The 49ers need a clear upgrade in order to make the Superbowl push with their win-now roster. I personally would be trying to sell Jimmy G before free agency begins. And to be honest, I’d be delighted getting any first-round pick for him. But realistically I would settle for a mid to early 2nd.

The @5YardDynasty team will be releasing other positional breakdowns of the 2021 NFL Free Agents on a weekly basis to cover the four main fantasy positions. 

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