1.  
QB  KC
Pass Att
632
Pass Yds
5041
Pass TD
40
Pass Int
7
YPA
8.0
Rush Att
58
Rush Yds
312
Rush TD
3
Rush Avg
5.4
It's too bad Mahomes sat out Week 17 last year because he likely would have gotten to 5,000 passing yards and 40 TD passes had he played. To put that in perspective, 5,000 and 40 has been done six times in NFL history, and only one QB has done it twice (Drew Brees). Mahomes would have done it twice in his first three years as a starter. He led the league in passing yards per game last season (316.0), but he's not simply a product of volume (5th in attempts) — he ranked fourth in average target depth at 9.0. He's in the perfect system to exploit his arm strength and play-making ability, and he rarely makes mistakes — with six interceptions on 588 attempts, his 1.0 INT percentage tied for the league lead (Aaron Rodgers). While his completion percentage on downfield attempts was a three-year low (66.3), he made the completions count, leading the league in TD pass rate on attempts of 20-plus yards (16.9 percent) and tying Rodgers with an NFL-high 12 downfield TD passes. Defenses can't blitz him much (32nd of 35 QBs in blitz rate) because he'll make them pay. He was the only QB without an interception vs. the blitz (min. 65 attempts), while throwing 12 TD passes. He's also lethal on the move. Outside the pocket, he tied Russell Wilson with a league-high 13 TD passes and was one of two QBs with at least 65 attempts and no interceptions (Lamar Jackson). His supporting cast is among the best in the league with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. And Mecole Hardman, who has 4.33 speed, could get more targets this year with Sammy Watkins gone. It's no surprise Mahomes is the betting favorite (5/1) for NFL MVP.
2.  
QB  BUF
Pass Att
601
Pass Yds
4593
Pass TD
36
Pass Int
13
YPA
7.6
Rush Att
77
Rush Yds
495
Rush TD
6
Rush Avg
6.4
Allen played himself into the MVP conversation last season, which perhaps shouldn't be surprising, considering better accuracy was seemingly the only thing keeping him from being a top-5 fantasy QB. The extent to which his accuracy improved, however, was surprising. Allen improved his completion percentage by nearly 11 points to 69.2 percent, vaulting from last in the league in 2019 to fourth last season. And he went from 29th in bad-pass percentage (22.1) to 12th (18.2), sandwiched between Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill as he set franchise records for completions, passing yards and TDs. Part of Allen's turnaround was thanks to shorter passes — his average target depth dropped from 9.5 to 8.9 — but the most notable improvement came on downfield passing where his percentage of on-target throws jumped from 41.4 (24th) to 47.8 (15th), improving his completion percentage on attempts of 20-plus yards from 25.7 (28th) to 43.3 (8th). Allen's improvement wasn't a fluke — he entered training camp with re-worked mechanics, footwork and balance aimed specifically at improving accuracy. The addition of Stefon Diggs also helped (20 of his 62 completions of 20-plus yards (4th) went to the speedster). Even if Allen's accuracy dips modestly this season, he still has his legs to boost his fantasy value. Allen's 25 career rushing TDs (8 last season) already rank 20th all-time among QBs. He has one of the strongest arms in the league and plays in an offense that offers a heathy number of attempts, and he has an excellent supporting cast in Diggs, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis and newcomer Emmanuel Sanders. Allen has as much fantasy upside in 2021 as any quarterback.
3.  
QB  ARI
Pass Att
575
Pass Yds
4303
Pass TD
30
Pass Int
14
YPA
7.5
Rush Att
119
Rush Yds
757
Rush TD
7
Rush Avg
6.4
After an impressive rookie season, Murray was even better last year. He improved his completion percentage, on-target percentage, YPA and aDOT, finishing QB3 in fantasy scoring in essentially 15 games because he was injured on the first drive of Week 17. Murray is one of the best running QBs in the game, providing tremendous fantasy potential. His 11 rushing TDs last year tied for fourth most all-time by a QB. Nine of those came in the red zone, where he converted a league-high 37.5 percent of his carries into scores (min. 15 rushes). The dual-threat Murray became just the third QB in NFL history with multiple seasons of 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards, joining Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. The arrival of DeAndre Hopkins gave Murray a dependable big-play receiver he didn't have in Year 1, as the two connected on a league-leading six pass plays of 40-plus yards. But Murray still didn't go downfield much more than he did in 2019 — 12.4 percent, a healthy rate, yet he had nearly the same rate of attempts within five yards of the line of scrimmage (54.5 percent), again foregoing intermediate throws (16.8 percent, 30th). If coach Kliff Kingsbury finally turns his strong arm loose, Murray's passing numbers could take a leap, which would help offset expected regression in his rushing TDs. The Cardinals added James Conner to a backfield with Chase Edmonds, both of whom are competent receivers, but the additions to the WR group are questions — 33-year-old A.J. Green and second-round pick Rondale Moore, an undersized (5-7) speed freak (4.31 40). Murray's rushing makes him a safe fantasy investment, and with room to grow in the passing game, he has the upside to improve on last year's fantasy ranking.
4.  
QB  DAL
Pass Att
578
Pass Yds
4616
Pass TD
36
Pass Int
10
YPA
8.0
Rush Att
69
Rush Yds
366
Rush TD
4
Rush Avg
5.3
Prescott was on a record-setting clip before breaking his ankle Week 5 last season. Entering that game he was on pace for 6,700 passing yards, after becoming the second player in NFL history with three consecutive games of 400-plus. But his average target depth was just 7.9 yards (23rd, min. 220 attempts), and while he went downfield at a solid rate, it wasn't off the charts — 12.6 percent of his attempts went at least 20 yards, sixth in the league. Prescott gobbled up yards thanks to volume — a ton of volume. Through four games, he was on pace for 800 attempts. That was clearly unsustainable, but his TD pass rate also might have increased had he kept playing — only three of his 20 red-zone attempts went for touchdowns for an absurdly low 15 percent red-zone TD rate. In any event, Prescott is expected to be healthy for Week 1 after undergoing two surgeries for a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. The Cowboys were confident enough to sign him to a four-year, $160 million contract with $126 million guaranteed. When he returns, he'll again have a talented group of playmakers to target in Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. And even without a record number of pass attempts, his fantasy value has a solid floor because of his rushing game. He has 24 rushing TDs in five seasons (three last year) and averaged about 305 rushing yards per season 2016-19. It will help too if the offensive line returns to health after last year's devastating injuries. As long as he's healthy, Prescott is a safe fantasy bet.
5.  
QB  LAC
Pass Att
613
Pass Yds
4742
Pass TD
34
Pass Int
13
YPA
7.7
Rush Att
60
Rush Yds
377
Rush TD
3
Rush Avg
6.3
It took an errant needle poke to Tyrod Taylor's lung to get Herbert his first start last season in Week 2, but he quickly showed he should have been the starter all along. The sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft, Herbert set numerous NFL rookie records, including most TD passes (31) and most passing yards per game (289.1). He became the youngest player in NFL history with 30 TD passes in a season and was the fourth rookie with 4,000 passing yards. Scouts questioned his touch on deep balls coming out of Oregon, but Herbert had few issues capitalizing with his cannon arm, connecting for 10 TD passes on attempts 20-plus yards (3rd) and completing eight passes that went for at least 50 yards (T-1st). He was also good under pressure, completing 54.9 percent of his attempts with an on-target rate of 63.4 percent, both third in the league. And his 4.68 speed added fantasy value as he rushed for five touchdowns (T-6th). Part of Herbert's work last year was the result of volume (39.7 attempts per game, 3rd), as his bad-pass percentage ranked 26th (20.2) and his average target depth was 25th (7.8 yards). But new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who ran a pass-happy offense in Detroit in 2014-15 before serving as Saints QB coach the last five years, could help Herbert improve in those areas without sacrificing too much volume. And Herbert still has quality weapons in Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and former Saints TE Jared Cook. The Chargers also upgraded the offensive line, signing All-Pro center Corey Linsley and left guard Matt Feiler and drafting left tackle Rashawn Slater 13th overall. Herbert, who finished QB9 last season, easily could jump into the top 5 of fantasy QBs this year.
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