1) Josh Allen
Probably unsurprisingly, the QB who attains nearly all the skills of the aforementioned passers on this list and who finished as 2021’s top fantasy QB tops the list off at #1.
THIS THROW BY JOSH ALLEN ?
Gabriel Davis gets his 2nd TD of the night on a 75-yard BOMB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 24, 2022
Do we even need to analyze his game? It feels like everyone lauding Tony Romo anytime he sneezes on mic, just pointless and overdone.
For the purposes of this list, I’ll just say Allen can make any throw in any playbook, has the prototypical QB1 body and can withstand frequent bashing from defenders, plays in one of the league’s pass heaviest offenses, adds a ton of value with his legs, and to top it off gets to throw to Stefon Diggs.
Josh Allen ➡️ Stefon Diggs ➡️ TD
— ESPN (@espn) November 26, 2021
Josh Allen finished 2021 ranked 8th in passing yards, 6th in completions, 4th in attempts, and 7th in TD passes so you know he’ll have volume to boot.
Stop us if you've heard this one before…
JOSH ALLEN TO GABE DAVIS FOR THE TOUCHDOWN!
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 24, 2022
Furthermore, Allen showcased his surprising quickness and tenacity by getting sacked the 2nd fewest times of any 2021 quarterback, and by rushing for over 40 rushing yards in a whopping 10 games (he also rushed for 59+ yards in half of those games).
At the absolute worst, you can book Josh Allen on being a top-5 fantasy QB as long as both he and Stefon Diggs are healthy for 90% of 2022 games.
For irrefutable verification of Josh Allen’s cannon of an arm combined with his marksman accuracy, look no further than this touchdown pass:
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 28, 2021
If Josh Allen ends up leading NFL QBs in fantasy points again this season, it will mark the 3rd consecutive season he’ll have accomplished that feat.
2) Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert is ranked where he finished last season in fantasy points amongst QBs – 2nd.
Herbert has enough arm strength to open up the playbook for any coaching staff; moreover, his arm power can take advantage of the unique talents of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, two of the best 20 receivers the NFL has to offer talent-wise.
justin herbert on sunday, but every touchdown and first down it gets faster pic.twitter.com/TMPWnXpoIS
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 11, 2021
The entire team and coaching staff has the upmost confidence in Herbert’s ability as both a game manager and offensive leader as the entire offense is built around his abilities.
Much like Mahomes, Herbert has the tantalizing combination of above-average mobility and arm aptitude to hit spectacular throws on the run in addition to jaw-droppingly beautiful deep balls that lead to big fantasy days.
Just look at this effortless arm strength:
Justin Herbert to Mike Williams for the 45-yard TD!
— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2022
Herbert used this skillset to post one of the most impressive stat lines we’ve seen from a QB so young since likely Mahomes.
Justin Herbert managed to finish 2nd in passing yards, completions, and attempts only to Tom Brady in 2021. He also finished 3rd in passing touchdowns and 8th in TD%.
Herbert added significant value on the ground, ranking top 10 in carries, yards and TDs amongst 2021 QBs. Its worth noting the Chargers throw about as much as any team in the NFL, and the Chargers operated the game-script-adjusted 4th-pass-heaviest offense in 2021.
Justin Herbert hits Mike Williams for the game-winning touchdown as the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, 30-24. pic.twitter.com/xweJepve0p
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 26, 2021
Herbert beats out Mahomes because his supporting cast is more talented than the Chiefs; furthermore, more talent on the outside often leads to more explosive plays and TDs, while the Chiefs’ primary receiving threat often lies between the hashmarks in Travis Kelce.
3) Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes slides in just one slot ahead of the ranking he finished the 2021 season with, and unless he gets a major injury he’ll be in the top-3 and could finish as the top QB.
He possesses the skills to be possibly the best QB in NFL history. Mahomes has maybe the strongest arm in the league, quick decision making, above average mobility, and the athleticism and talent to make almost any throw an offensive coordinator or Madden player could draw up.
Just look at this play straight out of Madden as Mahomes eludes seemingly the entire offensive line and flicks an effortless pass to an open Travis Kelce:
WHO ELSE BUT KELCE⁉️
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 30, 2022
Patrick Mahomes’ stats back up his high ranking as he finished 4th in passing yards, 3rd in completions and attempts, and 4th in passing TDs.
The only thing holding his fantasy stock down is the departure of Tyreek Hill. After all, it was Hill’s trademark speed that took advantage of defenses and Mahomes’ absurd arm strength the most often.
The Chiefs have proven they have a variety of other capable receivers, but none have proved capable of being a #1 WR in the NFL as of yet, which could pose a problem with Mahomes and this offense.
QB1 was letting it fly on Sunday ? pic.twitter.com/dkk92RIlJL
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 13, 2021
However, I wouldn’t bet against Mahomes to make chicken salad out of chicken shit, and most fantasy experts aren’t either.
His history forces fantasy owners to believe in Mahomes’ ability as well: he’s thrown at least 37 TDs three of the last four years.
4) Lamar Jackson
Jackson narrowly beats out Murray for the fourth slot here because he has the most ungodly rushing ability of any QB we’ve seen since Michael Vick, instantly vaulting him into possible top-3 territory, especially if he cuts down on his interceptions.
Out of the 12 weeks Jackson was healthy in 2021, he rushed for 50 or more yards in 10 games and rushed for a staggering 80 or more yards in four of those games, notching 100 or more yards twice.
Personally, he might be the most fun player to watch in the NFL. His creativity and smoothness when evading defenders is constantly amazing.
The only concerning aspect of Lamar’s game was his TD/INT ratio: he threw only 16 TD passes to 13 INTs and he also led the NFL in TD%.
— NFL (@NFL) January 10, 2021
Although, when Jackson had his head in the game he showcased his underrated arm talent as he was 8th in yards per attempt.
He’s got the unfortunate tendency that many young QBs have where he occasionally holds the ball for too long and tries to make a big play out of nothing rather than just taking a check-down, a meager rushing gain, or throwing the ball away.
If the Ravens keep running him like this, Lamar Jackson might have bigger fish to fry in terms of long term injury concerns, but for now the carries work in his favor because most of them end up with big gains like this:
Despite those flaws, Jackson’s rushing talent and volume instantly vaults him towards the top of this list. He’s finished first or second in carries and rush yards all four seasons as a starter, and last season he fell from grace a little but still should be considered a QB1 with considerable upside.
5) Kyler Murray
Despite missing two games in 2021, Kyler Murray still ended the 2021 season as the 10th-highest scoring fantasy QB.
Of the games he did play in 2021, his passing and rushing yards remained consistent which lifted his fantasy floor. He had over 200 passing yards in all games but one and rushed for 30 yards or more in half his games.
If you want to see Murray’s ridiculous agility and acceleration in action, look no further than this play against the Washington Football Team where Murray seemingly dances around defenders into the end zone:
Murray dazzled the stat sheet with a plethora of multiple TD games as he threw for two or more touchdowns in half his games.
Murray was also 2nd to only Tom Brady in completion percentage of all starting 2021 NFL quarterbacks, was 4th in yards per attempt, and finished 8th in QB rating.
Everytime Kyler Murray scrambles I think of this video pic.twitter.com/vt71svtFwD
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) September 12, 2021
Much like Jalen Hurts, Murray cracks the list in large part due to his rushing ability and athletic skillset, but he takes it to another level with his pure arm talent.
Add in an incredibly favorable offensive scheme, one of the NFL’s best receivers in Hopkins, a scary deep threat in Marquise Brown, and another year of experience under his belt and its no surprise he’s ranked around this area by a variety of experts.
6) Tom Brady
The argument for Tom Brady being in the top-10 is easy, and frankly the only argument I can make for him being outside the top-5 is the risk that age may finally catch up to him given he’s on the verge of retirement basically every year at this point.
Brady’s accuracy, field vision, and touch are seemingly as impressive as ever, and he’s got a phenomenal supporting cast in addition to an aggressive offense which is a lethal combination for fantasy quarterbacks.
As an example of those skills, check out this play where Brady lofts a perfect ball to Mike Evans, hitting him in stride for a TD with none other than Jalen Ramsey trailing him:
The Last Touchdown pass of Tom Brady’s career pic.twitter.com/PAjMWHr9LS
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 29, 2022
Cue the fantasy points due to that lethal combo as Tom Brady finished fantasy’s 2021 season as the 3rd-highest scoring QB – only losing out to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert.
Brady also led the NFL in passing yards, touchdown passes, completions, and attempts. He also finished 6th in TD%, 7th in QB rating, and was sacked the fewest times of any starting QB.
The low sack numbers and high volume is another great sign for any 2022 fantasy QB, and they are some of the reasons Brady edges Burrow and others on this list.
Simply put, Brady has a stronger supporting cast, a better offensive line, and Burrow was sacked a league-leading 51 times and is more mobile than Brady, leaving one to question the talent on the Bengals offensive line.
Brady only slightly edges Joe Burrow on these rankings due to the consistency of his performance throughout his lengthy career, the fact that the Bucs offense is designed around passing more than the Bengals’, and I believe Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are just a slightly more impressive duo than the Bengals’ talented trio of Chase, Higgins, and Boyd.
7) Joe Burrow
Like a squirrel managing to miraculously find the nut it buried last winter, Joe Burrow managed to miraculously finish as a top fantasy QB despite being sacked more than any other QB as a result of shameful offensive line play.
— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2022
Burrow has more mobility and athleticism than initially appears, and his poise under pressure and deep ball accuracy are sights to behold for any football fan.
For some proof of his exceptional ability, see this play where he hucks a perfect ball to his RB on a wheel route in stride despite sprinting away from oncoming pressure:
Joe Burrow has 525 passing yards ?
— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2021
Burrow also finished 6th in passing yards, 8th in fantasy points amongst quarterbacks and passing touchdowns, led the NFL in completion percentage, yards per attempt, finished 3rd in TD%, and 2nd in QB rating behind only Aaron Rodgers.
Another year under his belt, plus another year being healthy after the devastating knee injury, and a returning healthy trio of superbly talented receivers in Chase, Higgins, and Boyd should have opposing fantasy managers shaking in their boots.
— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2022
The Bengals also made serious efforts to rebuild the offensive line in the offseason, and even the most minor of improvement should yield rewards for Burrow.
A common theme on this list is consistency, and while Burrow did do much of his damage in a few games, if you look at his splits you’ll see his consistency was probably an underrated storyline this season.
Burrow threw for over 200 yards in 12 games and had an impressive three or more passing TDs in six games and threw at least one touchdown in all his games except for a Week 9 loss against the Browns where he still passed for 282 yards.
While technically Burrow scored 47% of his fantasy points in three very impressive games, the consistent numbers noted above likely won many fantasy owners their games when starting Burrow in a pinch, and many owners who started him towards the end of the year likely won their leagues.
8) Aaron Rodgers
Looking at the argument for Matthew Stafford, one might question why the hell Aaron Rodgers is ranked higher than him despite losing Davante Adams. For starters Rodgers outscored Stafford in fantasy points in 2021 and finished as fantasy football’s 5th-highest scoring QB.
Rodgers also led the NFL in QB rating, was 3rd in completion percentage, 6th in yards per attempt and TDs, 1st in TD% and had the lowest INT% of all eligible QBs (per StatMuse).
I mentioned this on last year’s list, but at this point in his career Rodgers is comfortable being an aggressive gunslinger and frequently audibling to pass plays, buoying his fantasy stock.
Rodgers has made it well-known that he’s playing like each year is his last at this point, a playstyle that often lends itself to frequent touchdown passes and plentiful passing yards even without Adams.
Let’s face it, if you watch Packers games you see plain and simply he slings passes around like Republicans sling around thoughts and prayers after tragedies, and with a reckless confidence that mostly pays off for him.
Check out the throw below where Rodgers flings a perfect touchdown pass right at his receiver’s eye level while a defender is draped on his back like a cape:
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 20, 2021
Shockingly, there’s a reason Rodgers tied Brett Favre’s Packer passing TD record on that throw and he’s been throwing plenty of touchdowns that bolster his fantasy floor and ceiling.
Like Stafford, Rodgers displayed a shockingly high floor for a QB his age by only having two bust games and throwing two or more TD passes in all but two games. He also had over 200 passing yards in 12 games.
Rodgers decisiveness and ability to create plays might be at its peak. He made few mistakes in 2021, only throwing 4 INTs the entire year. He also threw the fewest interceptions of any starting QB last season.
Rodgers’ low interception count is a major factor in his very slight edge over Stafford. Aaron Rodgers boasted the lowest INT% of any starting QB while Matthew Stafford posted the 4th-highest.
Rodgers was also top six in YPA and completion percentage for the second-straight season, bolstering owners confidence in his consistency.
9) Matthew Stafford
It’s difficult to fathom that 2021’s sixth-best scoring fantasy QB has been left off so may experts’ top-10 lists for the 2022 season. It feels like we’re trying to pretend Stafford just doesn’t exist as a top-10 QB.
Yet, like being suddenly awoken from a nap via the sun blasting you directly in the eyes, here he is. Seemingly every game is a showcase of the skills that once made the former Georgia product an almost undisputed #1 draft pick.
His anticipation, pocket awareness, and pure arm talent are some of the best the NFL has to offer.
— NFL (@NFL) October 3, 2021
While clearly most fantasy experts believe Matt Stafford will have a regression in his second Rams season due to his high interception rate, I think a more logical outcome is similar production or higher due to more experience in the system and better timing with his top weapons (if that’s even possible after the monstrous season Cooper Kupp had).
It seems many experts from ESPN and Bleacher Report alike have discounted the fact that in 2021 Stafford was 3rd in passing yards and yards per attempt, 7th in completions, 2nd in TD% (per StatMuse), 6th in QB rating, and 2nd in touchdown passes with an eye-popping 41.
He also demonstrated a remarkably high floor by throwing for over 200 yards in all but one game (he threw for 197 that week) and by throwing two or more TDs in 14 games. Bust games – feared by fantasy QB owners globally – were rare and almost nonexistent.
Stafford gets his first TD as a Ram ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 13, 2021
In one of the league’s most pass-happy schemes, Stafford will put up big numbers again based on sheer volume and surrounding talent as Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and Allen Robinson II create one of the NFL’s stronger supporting casts.
10) Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts’ legs immediately vault him into top-10 territory if he stays healthy all season, so he barely cracks the list. He’s got more of a passing skillset than many fans give him credit for as well.
He had one of the sorriest receiving units in the entire league last year. Now, with A.J. Brown and healthier offensive line, its hard to imagine Jalen Hurts not improving on his numbers massively in 2022.
Its worth noting Hurts managed to use his athletic skillset to avoid defenders and snap opposing ankles enough to be the 2nd-least sacked QB of 2021.
DEVONTA SMITH OVER SURTAIN.
Bama rookies going at it ?
— NFL (@NFL) November 14, 2021
He also rushed for 30 or more yards in all games but one – Week 16 against the Giants.
The facts are Hurts has all the skills you would want in a QB. He can make all the throws, he can hit back shoulder balls and he can lead receivers, he’s aware of the pocket and he’s mobile enough to create magical plays for first downs and TDs despite an uncreative Eagles offense that often leaves Hurts flapping in the wind.
Its also worth noting Hurts finished around this territory last season, placing as fantasy’s 9th-highest scoring QB.
He didn’t have many other passing stats to rave about – a major reason he’s at the bottom of this list – but he makes the top-10 in large part because led all NFL QBs in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2021.
As an example of his rushing genius, take a look at this play against the Saints where Hurts breaks the ankles of two defenders before accelerating into the end zone for a spectacular score:
Hurts’ rushing success led to a solid 20.0 fantasy PPG and fairly consistent points as well due to garbage time play, and the Eagles found themselves down frequently forcing them to put the ball in Hurts’ hands.