NFL - Fantasy

Joe Burrow Fantasy Football Outlook Makes Him Boom-or-Bust Value in 2021

Max Staley
Joe Burrow fantasy football outlook makes him a boom-or-bust value in 2021.
Joe Burrow fantasy football outlook makes him a boom-or-bust value in 2021. / Dylan Buell/Getty Images
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Joe Burrow has everything you could want in a franchise quarterback. He's plus athlete with a solid arm, he reads the field like a 10-year veteran and he has a moxie and swagger to him that you can't teach. But he also has the one thing you don't want in a franchise quarterback – injury concerns.

The Cincinnati Bengals QB suffered a brutal hit that tore his ACL and MCL in Week 11 of his rookie year. Now carrying an average draft position (ADP) of QB12, per FantasyPros, Burrow looks like one of the biggest question marks in fantasy this season.

Joe Burrow Fantasy Outlook

When Burrow was on the field, he was awesome. From Week 1-10 he was the QB15 in fantasy, averaging 276.1 passing yards per contest with 12 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. That yards per game mark put him on a 16-game pace to finish with 4,417 yards, which would've broken the rookie record held by Andrew Luck (4,374 yards).

To be fair, a lot of that was due to volume. Burrow was averaging 41.1 attempts per game before going down, which would've led all QBs that played at least half the season. Assuming he's healthy enough, the former Heisman Trophy winner does look like a lock to see high volume again, which is great for fantasy purposes.

The next step for Burrow will be maintaining that workload while increasing his efficiency. Quarterbacks often make a huge leap in year two, and with the addition of superstar rookie WR Ja'Marr Chase, it's no surprise that potential is already baked into his ADP.

But there are some real roadblocks that could prevent him from realizing that potential. For one, the Bengals O-Line was a problem last year, receiving the sixth-worst pass-blocking grade from ProFootballFocus. And it's not like Cincinnati did that much to improve upfront this offseason, signing Riley Reiff and drafting Jackson Carman. The group should be better, but it's not where it needs to be.

And the early reports out of Bengals training camp have not been encouraging. It's far too early to hit the panic button on Burrow, but we just won't know how he'll recover from that knee injury until we actually see him do it.

Joe Burrow ADP

Burrow is an elite prospect surrounded by one of the best young receiving corps in the league. The potential for huge volume and a second-year leap give him a massive ceiling, but the injury issues and offensive line woes are hard to ignore.

He's best viewed as a low-end QB1 with the potential to be a lot more. But if you draft him, be sure to pair him with a reliable, high-end QB2 to cover your bases.

Burrow checks in at QB12 in our 2021 fantasy football rankings.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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