As yes. Summer.
That glorious time of year when football slows down, but fantasy football picks up steam.
If you are anything like me, you are knee-deep in fantasy draft season. Dynasty drafts are underway, and some redrafts are certainly around the corner. Plus, if you have spent any time on social media the past few days, you have likely seen a reference to the Scott Fish Bowl. In its 13th season, the SFB is again joining fantasy players around the globe in a massive fantasy tournament, created by Scott Fish with the dual goals of connecting people, and raising money for charity.
Two very worthy causes, although I’m currently getting steamrolled by Eric Karabell in my draft.
If you have made it this far, you are looking for some advice. We will do our best to help. Here are SB Nation’s Top 20 quarterbacks for the 2023 fantasy season. Bear in mind these are redraft rankings, and not dynasty rankings.
Fantasy Football Top 20 QBs for 2023
|1||Jalen Hurts||Philadelphia Eagles||10|
|2||Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City Chiefs||10|
|3||Josh Allen||Buffalo Bills||13|
|4||Lamar Jackson||Baltimore Ravens||13|
|5||Joe Burrow||Cincinnati Bengals||7|
|6||Justin Herbert||Los Angeles Chargers||5|
|7||Justin Fields||Chicago Bears||13|
|8||Trevor Lawrence||Jacksonville Jaguars||9|
|9||Deshaun Watson||Cleveland Browns||5|
|10||Daniel Jones||New York Giants||13|
|11||Tua Tagovailoa||Miami Dolphins||10|
|12||Dak Prescott||Dallas Cowboys||7|
|13||Kirk Cousins||Minnesota Vikings||13|
|14||Aaron Rodgers||New York Jets||7|
|15||Geno Smith||Seattle Seahawks||5|
|16||Jared Goff||Detroit Lions||9|
|17||Matthew Stafford||Los Angeles Rams||10|
|18||Derek Carr||New Orleans Saints||11|
|19||Anthony Richardson||Indianapolis Colts||11|
|20||Russell Wilson||Denver Broncos||9|
Now, you might have questions, so we will do our best to answer them.
Jalen Hurts QB1?
Jalen Hurts led the three most-common scoring formats (Standard, Half-PPR, and PPR) among quarterbacks with 25.6 points per game last season. While he was not the top-scoring QB overall — that honor went to Patrick Mahomes — that was due to the time Hurts missed due to injury.
On a per-game basis, Hurts topped them all.
That has to do with the dual threat Hurts poses on the field. He averaged nearly 10 rushing attempts per game a season ago (when you remove kneel downs) and scored 13 rushing touchdowns. He also threw 22 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Those are impressive numbers, and with the Eagles returning the core of their offense around him, including one of the best offensive lines in the league, there is every reason to believe he will only improve on those numbers.
Plus, until the league bans their “tush push” QB sneak, he’ll probably steal a few more touchdowns each year.
No Kyler Murray?
This is more a function of Murray’s ongoing rehab from the knee injury which cut his season short than anything else. With the Arizona Cardinals expected to struggle this season — and as a result be forced into pass-heavy game scripts — a healthy Murray is a lock QB1 going into 2023 regardless of scoring format.
But for an athletic quarterback like Murray, even if he is cleared for Week 1, you can anticipate it taking some time for him to truly get his legs back, and get to where he is comfortable both inside — and outside — the pocket. That may take some time, which bumps him down the rankings in our mind.
Anthony Richardson in the Top 20?
A rookie quarterback, and one who is not guaranteed to start Week 1, in the Top 20?
Sometimes to win in fantasy football you have to take a risk.
Anthony Richardson is a perfect risk to take this season.
If anything, putting him at 19 could be a more conservative approach than we are seeing during fantasy draft season. According to his current Average Draft Position (ADP) right now as calculated by FantasyPros, Richardson has an ADP of 14.
The reasons to buy in? First, the landing spot. With Shane Steichen in Indianapolis, Richardson could not have landed in a better situation. Steichen has a road map to use with Richardson, one that took Jalen Hurts from “intriguing second-round pick” to “potential MVP.” Second? The potential. Having been in the building for Richardson’s combine workout, I can say firsthand the sky is the limit.
A reason for caution?
The Colts drafted him for the next 10 years, not the first ten games. They might take their time with him. But if you are looking for a dice roll this fantasy draft season, he is a good one.
You seem to be higher on Daniel Jones than consensus; why?
Looking at ADP right now, Jones clocks in at 13 among quarterbacks, while we have him as QB10 in these rankings.
The reason? What he did as a runner last season.
There is a thought — and we will have more on this in our upcoming NFL season preview — that the cyclical nature of football will see a return of a bigger style of play. Bigger personnel groupings, bigger bodies up front, and perhaps a resurgence of the running game.
The past few years have seen offenses get lighter, quicker, and try and play horizontally. Which was slowly matched by defenses getting quicker, playing with lighter boxes, and more two-deep looks. This has led some to believe, among them Max Toscano who does great work breaking down schemes at our LSU site, that a rebirth of bigger personnel is coming.
Until that does come to fruition, a big benefit for NFL offenses is using the QB in the running game. A good ground game is based on advantageous numbers, and precise angles. With defenses playing both safeties deep, that gives the offense a numbers advantage in the box.
Even if the QB hands off.
But if they are “+1” in the box when the QB hands off, so to speak, they might become “+2” in the box in a hurry if the QB runs the football himself.
Which is something Daniel Jones did 120 times last year, a career-high mark.
If the NFL indeed cycles back to a “bigger” style of play, that ranking for Jones might dip. Until then, we will remain high on him.
Russell Wilson in the Top 20?
This is more a bet on Sean Payton figuring things out than it is on a rebound from Russell Wilson itself.
If you look at what the Denver Broncos are putting together, you see the makings of a solid run game, and a potentially effective play-action passing attack. If Payton gets Wilson comfortable again, and leans into the vertical passing game we once saw Wilson operate in Seattle, the Broncos could be cooking with gas.
That’s the bet with Wilson in the Top 20.
Why do you hate my quarterback/my team?
It’s nothing personal. It’s strictly business.
Important, very important, fantasy football business.