Patriots: Matthew Berry reveals Mac Jones’ fantasy ceiling for 2021

Will Mac Jones end up squirreling away the Patriots’ starting quarterback job from Cam Newton prior to Week 1 because of a “misunderstanding” with his COVID testing? It’s quite possible.

But don’t necessarily let that sway the way you fantasy draft.

Unless, of course, you’re an ultra Pats homer, and you always planned to take both of ’em in the later rounds. In that case, homer away.

Jones’ momentum at camp in recent days doesn’t seem to have translated to the fantasy space, though, and ESPN’s resident expert Matthew Berry delivered a dose of cold water to the proceedings this week.

Can Jones eventually develop into a viable starter in this league, especially after answering several questions this month in proving he can hit wide receivers who are only “NFL open,” rather than wandering down the field in space? Sure! It’s quite possible.

His immediate fantasy viability is another thing entirely, though, and Berry isn’t sold on the Alabama youngster getting adequate opportunities — and, even if he does get chances, he doesn’t have the leg talent to make his profile worth your while.

Is QB Mac Jones a fantasy option for Patriots fans?

As Berry told Adam Weinrib on FanSided’s SportFire Podcast (courtesy of his partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings):

“I don’t think he is (a fantasy option), candidly. He doesn’t run, and Cam Newton starts Game 1 for the Patriots. (Mac) personally doesn’t run, but I do think the Patriots will. They’re still going to be more of a run-heavy team and he’s not going to be airing it out.”

“Eight of the top 10 quarterbacks last year in fantasy ran for at least 200 yards, and that doesn’t include Jalen Hurts, who was a top-nine fantasy quarterback in the four games he started for the Eagles. That doesn’t include Taysom Hill, who was a top-nine quarterback when he started for the Saints. It doesn’t include Dak Prescott. You need quarterbacks that give you points with both their legs and their arms. Give me a Justin Fields or a Trey Lance, quarterbacks that will start this year who will be fantasy factors more so than Mac Jones.”

Candid, indeed!

Bottom line? Patriots fans have rightly gained a lot of trust in Jones’ steadiness in recent weeks.

But sometimes, the leadership qualities that make a young quarterback impressive in camp and scrimmages don’t translate to the cold, numerical world of fantasy football.

It’s possible for Jones to have taken huge strides in many respects without approaching the fantasy ceilings of his more electric brethren.

Matthew Berry spoke with FanSided in conjunction with Buffalo Wild Wings.

Buffalo Wild Wings is raising the stakes for fantasy football drafts this year: commissioners who book their draft at Buffalo Wild Wings will receive a free appetizer every Sunday this football season. Fans can visit buffalowildwings.com/fantasy to book their draft or place a takeout order if their league is drafting from home.