Murray, Prescott round out QB Tier One

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At NBC Sports EDGE, our goal is to give you the tools to guide you towards winning a fantasy football championship. As such, we'll be providing you with a few looks into a variety of the tools available in our 2021 NFL Draft Guide from the NBC Sports EDGE+ Premium package as we march closer and closer to the start of the regular season.

Complete with content aimed at providing the knowledge you need to make the perfect draft decisions in a variety of league formats — from projections, tiers, rankings, league sync, sleepers and busts to exclusive expert columns — this year's edition is the finest we've ever produced.

We showed off our first expert mock draft, sleepers, overall half-PPR rankings and some notable outliers. Today we're going to take a look at QB Tiers. With in-depth analysis and statistics for signal-callers in every tier, this tool offers a clear look at every fantasy QBs outlook. This preview features tier one and tier four.

Check it out:

Tier One

1. Patrick Mahomes - KC

2. Josh Allen - BUF

3. Lamar Jackson - BAL

4. Kyler Murray - ARI

5. Dak Prescott - DAL

All justifiably belong in this tier since finishing as the overall QB1 (and even MVP of the league) is in their range of outcomes. Mahomes averaged 26.3 fantasy points as fantasy’s QB1 from Week 8 on once Andy Reid unleashed him for 43 attempts per game with the league's second-highest pass play rate from neutral game script over that span. Allen returns with OC Brian Daboll and all five starting O-linemen in a scheme that allowed him to record career-highs in pass attempts (35.7) and fantasy points (24.8) per game as a runner-up MVP choice. Jackson's unsustainable 9% touchdown rate from 2019 unsurprisingly came crashing back to Earth last year, but he did return to form with a 66% completion rate and 11.5 carries per game (playoffs included) following an end-of-year stint on Baltimore’s COVID list.

Prescott has quietly averaged 23 fantasy points in 20 full starts engineering Kellen Moore's offense and most recently averaged 30.5 with 50 pass attempts (!) in his four full outings prior to injury last year. Murray averaged 29.2 fantasy points as the overall QB1 until he crunched his throwing shoulder during the first quarter of Week 11 against the Seahawks, intimidating him from running, leading to his production dip to “just” 18.6 fantasy points per game to close the year.

Tier Four

15. Trevor Lawrence - JAC

16. Trey Lance - SF

17. Kirk Cousins - MIN

18. Tua Tagovailoa - MIA

19. Baker Mayfield - CLE

Lawrence steps into a fantasy-friendly situation in OC Darrell Bevell's blitzkrieg offense with a blooming WR1 (D.J. Chark), a proven red-zone hog familiar with the playbook (Marvin Jones) and the untapped explosiveness of both Travis Etienne and sophomore Laviska Shenault from the slot. Lawrence’s career 5.7 carries per game at Clemson also heighten his ceiling as a potential tier breaker. Lance’s ranking assumes Jimmy Garoppolo is traded or released ahead of camp, but the rookie’s 28:0 TD-to-INT ratio and 10.5 carries per game in 2019, his lone year as North Dakota State's starter, should transition seamlessly under Kyle Shanahan whenever he’s eventually given the nod. Cousins was much better than he’s being given credit for (especially as a statue with zero mobility), completing 68.9% of his passes for 8.1 YPA from Week 5 on.

Tagovailoa unsurprisingly played like an injured rookie who wasn't available for offseason reps last year, but should benefit from the team’s offseason upgrades — Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle, the transition to co-offensive coordinators — as a long-shot MVP candidate against the NFL’s fourth-softest projected schedule of opposing pass defenses. Mayfield completes this tier with little upside (but a high floor) as Cleveland’s competent play-calling and elite pass-protection merely resulted in a career-low 30.3 pass attempts and the 26th-most fantasy points per game at his position.

To see every positional tier with full analysis, the full rankings for a variety of formats and all that our Draft Guide and Season Tools for NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL have to offer, you can purchase EDGE+ Roto here for as low as $3.99 per month! And if you're into DFS and betting, be sure to check out our EDGE+ Max package that includes our DFS and Betting Tools for as low as $11.99 per month.