2021 Fantasy Football QB Sleepers: Cam Newton and Jameis Winston present potential value

With the 2021 fantasy football season fast approaching, which players stand out as sleepers at the QB position based on their current ADP?

Whatever your approach to the QB position entering the 2021 fantasy football season, finding sleepers at the position can make or break your season. Let’s examine which four QBs stand out as potential sleepers heading into the 2021 fantasy football season, based on Sleeper superflex ADP.

2021 Fantasy Football QB Sleepers | AFC

Which quarterbacks from the AFC stand out as potential sleepers in 2021?

Cam Newton, New England Patriots | ADP: 131.9 (QB31)

Update 8/31: Cam Newton was released by the New England Patriots.

The arrival of Mac Jones, who has been described as one of the most pro-ready QBs of the 2021 NFL Draft class, understandably put a dent in Cam Newton’s ADP. Newton had a mixed first season in New England but still finished as the QB16 in 2020. For that reason, his ADP as QB31 makes him a potential 2021 fantasy football sleeper at the QB position.

Newton’s season had plenty of ups and down in 2020. He started with more than 60 combined fantasy points in the first two weeks (standard scoring). Newton then struggled in Week 3, before missing two weeks due to a positive COVID test and the Patriots’ enforced bye week. He then had issues with his consistency following his return. However, he dealt with a combination of playing in a new environment and managing his body post-COVID.

If we just look at Newton’s raw numbers for the season, there is plenty to be positive about. He completed 65.8 percent of his pass attempts at 7.2 yards per attempt. He added 12 rushing touchdowns with over 592 rushing yards on 137 attempts. Sure, he threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8), but that is more than balanced out by his rushing output.

The other positive is that after playing just two games in 2019, Newton managed 15 in 2020. The additions of Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne should all help Newton in 2021.

The benefit of Newton is that, when he is on the field, he should finish comfortably as a QB2 in terms of per-game numbers, with the upside to finish as a QB1.

2021 Fantasy Football QB Sleepers | NFC

Which quarterbacks from the NFC stand out as potential sleepers in 2021?

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team | ADP: 103.8 (QB26)

Much like with Newton, the issue for Ryan Fitzpatrick is whether he will be the starter all season in Washington. Taylor Heinicke impressed under center for Washington at times in 2020 and could be viewed as the potential future option. However, if Washington feels they have the roster to mount a serious challenge in 2021 (which they largely do), Fitzpatrick is a more known quantity.

Last season, Fitzpatrick started slowly in Week 1 before reeling off four straight games scoring over 20 fantasy points in standard scoring. During that period, Fitzpatrick averaged 24.4 fantasy points per game. His only other two starts of the season saw him score 16.04 and 19.28 fantasy points, respectively. In his seven starts, Fitzpatrick averaged 19.74 fantasy points, the 13th-best number in 2020.

You can also make the case that Fitzpatrick has a better supporting cast around him. Washington has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and they have three superb pass-catching weapons in Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Logan Thomas. In contrast, Fitzpatrick was playing with a new offensive line and a mediocre receiving group in Miami.

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions | ADP: 122.5 (QB29)

It has been a turbulent offseason for Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions. Goff has gone from throwing the ball to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods to Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams in Detroit. Throw in a likely downgrade in head coach from Sean McVay to Dan Campbell, and it is understandable that his ADP is at rock bottom. However, that drop in ADP has made Jared Goff an intriguing QB sleeper for the 2021 fantasy football season.

The downgrade in scheme and skill position talent around him are clear, but Goff also has some positives. Firstly, from a game script point of view, there are question marks around Detroit’s defense. They allowed the most points and yards of any defense in the NFL in 2020.

Therefore, we should see plenty of opportunities for Goff to air the ball out. The Lions cannot afford to keep things tight on offense unless their defense improves significantly. Goff has the potential to lead the league in passing attempts in 2021.

Last year, Matt Ryan averaged 39.1 attempts per game, which is a range Goff could find himself in this year. The Lions do have a talented running back in D’Andre Swift, but they may have no choice but to commit to the pass to stay competitive in 2021.

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints | ADP: 124.3 (QB30)

Is drafting Jameis Winston a massive risk/reward play? Absolutely. However, at QB30 in superflex formats, you do not need to commit much to take that risk. Looking back at his career, Winston finished as the QB8 on a per-game basis in 2019, despite throwing 30 interceptions. He was ranked QB14 in 2018 and QB18 in 2017. Those numbers show you that even with his inaccuracies, Winston can still produce solid numbers for a fantasy football manager.

The surrounding cast at tight end and wide receiver is arguably a downgrade to what he had in Tampa Bay. Still, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are an incredible pair of pass catchers. Meanwhile, Adam Trautman and Tre’Quan Smith are a more-than-competent pairing at tight end and receiver, respectively. Throw in the best offensive line in football, and an “offensive guru” in Sean Payton, and Winston’s ADP looks like an incredible value.

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Ben Rolfe is a content director at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.