The highest paid players in the NFL are always starting QBs, but in fantasy football auctions, the top quarterbacks go for significantly less than the top running backs and noticeably less than the top wide receivers and even some tight ends. That doesn’t mean quarterbacks aren’t valuable — and it certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t sharp differences between the top-tier and mid-tier signal-callers — but it shows just how important it is to be careful with your money in an auction. Fortunately, FantasyPros’ has let us use their projected QB dollar values to help with your pre-draft budget planning.
Surprisingly, Josh Allen is on top according to the experts’ consensus compiled by FantasyPros. Chances are, Patrick Mahomes will command a higher bid in your auction, but either way, many view these two as neck-and-neck. Neither will come cheap. The drop-off is noticeable to No. 3 Kyler Murray, and things continue to get more drastic from there, at least once you get out of the “starters’ tier.”
In a snake draft, you might see someone like Jalen Hurts or Ryan Tannehill, both valued at $9 here, go shortly after or even before Tom Brady ($13). It’s entirely possible those players command similar or higher bids than Brady in an auction (so much depends on when players are nominated), but the real lesson here is how much projected value drops after the majority of your league gets their starter. In snake drafts, backups come off the boards in the middle rounds; in auctions, capital is just too valuable. You’re risking losing out on some stud backs and receivers if you spend too much on two QBs.
So, once you get past the top seven or so, don’t get too hung up on the names or even the numbers. Instead, focus on the ranking — that is, how much the QB11 or QB12 will generally go for. In some auctions, that player might be Matthew Stafford. He’s our No. 9 QB for redraft leagues, one spot ahead of Brady. However, according to FantasyPros, Brady could/should go for $9 more. If people in your league agree with us more than the FantasyPros’ experts, Stafford could easily go for $12-$14 and Brady could go for $6-$10. It’s all about paying close attention to how your auction is unfolding — mainly, which stud QBs haven’t been nominated and how many other owners have their starters.
Ultimately, you don’t want to pay too much for a QB unless you’re confident in guaranteed production. Only a few QBs offer that (barring injury). That’s why they’re worth the big bucks, though you still shouldn’t overpay for even Mahomes and Allen. The mid-tier and lower-tier QBs can all be put in the same pot. Ben Roethlisberger, who is valued at $0, could just as easily finish as high or higher than Joe Burrow ($4), among others. Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston/Taysom Hill, or Daniel Jones — all $0 — could have bounce-back/breakout years and finish in the top 10.
That’s just how the QB position goes. Even if you pay up for a stud, it’s worth it to look for cheap backups who fall through the cracks. Getting a $1 breakout, as Justin Herbert showed last year, can really pay off, even if you paid $20-plus for a top-five guy.
We’ll continue updating these QB auction values until Week 1, so check back for updates.
To get customized dollar values tailored to your league settings, check out FantasyPros’ premium Auction Calculator. For customized mock auctions that you can do in minutes, check out FantasyPros’ premium Salary Cap Simulator.
2021 Fantasy Auction Values: QB
Dollar values courtesy of FantasyPros and based on 12-team leagues with $200 budgets.
Scoring based on standard formats with four-point passing TDs.
|1.||Josh Allen, BUF||$28|
|2.||Patrick Mahomes II, KC||$27|
|3.||Kyler Murray, ARI||$22|
|4.||Lamar Jackson, BAL||$20|
|5.||Dak Prescott, DAL||$18|
|6.||Justin Herbert, LAC||$16|
|7.||Russell Wilson, SEA||$16|
|8.||Aaron Rodgers, GB||$16|
|9.||Tom Brady, TB||$13|
|10.||Jalen Hurts, PHI||$9|
|11.||Ryan Tannehill, TEN||$9|
|12.||Joe Burrow, CIN||$4|
|13.||Matthew Stafford, LAR||$4|
|14.||Trevor Lawrence, JAC||$2|
|15.||Kirk Cousins, MIN||$2|
|16.||Matt Ryan, ATL||$2|
|17.||Derek Carr, LV||$1|
|18.||Tua Tagovailoa, MIA||$1|
|19.||Baker Mayfield, CLE||$1|
For more rankings and individual QB analysis, click here.