Fantasy Football QB Busts 2023: Players To Avoid Include Dak Prescott, Anthony Richardson, and Geno Smith

When to select a quarterback in fantasy football is always a tricky decision. Here are three QBs to avoid, including Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott.

When to select a quarterback is one of the trickiest decisions to make during fantasy football drafts. Do you spend an early pick on Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or Jalen Hurts and miss out on a high-impact running back or wide receiver whose production will be hard to replicate with players a couple of rounds later?

Or, should you wait until the middle-to-late rounds to draft a signal-caller, such as Dak Prescott, Tua Tagovailoa, or Aaron Rodgers, and hope they can come within the same stratosphere of production as the three passers mentioned above?

It’s a choice that differs for every fantasy manager but also a decision that could significantly impact your entire season. No pressure. Without further ado, here are three quarterbacks to avoid in fantasy football in 2023.

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2023 QB Fantasy Football Busts

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson was officially named Indianapolis’ Week 1 starter, which is great news for all Colts fans. Richardson may be raw, but he has a ton of natural talent.

Most of his growth will come through live reps on the field, and backup Gardner Minshew does not pose nearly enough credibility to keep the No. 4 overall pick on the sideline.

Although the Colts are giving the QB1 reigns to Richardson from Day 1, that doesn’t mean you should do the same for your fantasy team. Richardson’s natural talent gives him tons of upside, but there will also be plenty of growing pains along the way.

At Florida, Richardson only started 13 games, meaning he’s one of the NFL’s most inexperienced passers in recent memory. His numbers in his junior season with the Gators weren’t spectacular, either: 2,549 passing yards, 17 passing TDs, and nine interceptions. So, there naturally should be some efficiency concerns when it comes to the passing game at the next level.

Since 2012, only one rookie quarterback has posted a top-12 fantasy finish while completing fewer than 60% of their passes. That would be Andrew Luck, who also threw for 4,324 yards and 23 touchdowns. History does not play in Richardson’s favor.

Where a lot of Richardson’s upside comes from, though, is his rushing ability. In 2022, Richardson ran for 654 yards and nine touchdowns. The Colts, a run-first offense, will likely take full advantage of their new QB’s rushing talents.

Richardson offers a ton of upside for the Colts long-term, and he is an extremely attractive option in dynasty formats. For redrafters, it’s best to stay away from Richardson for now.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

The reason Dak Prescott is on this list is just as much about who’s around him as it is about his talent.

For starters, head coach Mike McCarthy made it clear he wants to “run the damn ball” in 2023.

Considering that the Cowboys were 27th in pass rate in 2022 under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, it’s hard to imagine that number going up under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who has never orchestrated a top-five offense in his career.

Now to Prescott himself, the 30-year-old is coming off the worst season of his career. Prescott led the NFL in interceptions with 15 despite playing in just 12 games last year. His 3.8% interception rate was more than double his 2021 output (1.7%).

Behind superstar CeeDee Lamb, Prescott’s weapons are pedestrian at best. The addition of Brandin Cooks should help, but the loss of top tight end Dalton Schultz will be bigger than many think.

Prescott is currently being drafted as QB12. He doesn’t possess nearly the same upside as several other passers around that spot.

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

The 2022 Comeback Player of the Year, Geno Smith’s resurgence was one of the best storylines in the entire NFL one year ago.

His first time as a full-time starter in seven years, Smith led the NFL in completion rate (69.8%), threw for career highs in yards (4,282) and touchdowns (30), and led the Seahawks to a playoff berth. Fantasy-wise, Smith went from being an afterthought to a QB5 overall finish in both standard and PPR formats.

However, it’s no guarantee Smith’s 2022 form carries over to 2023. For starters, Seattle’s strength of schedule does not play in Smith’s favor.

Geno Smith (7) passes against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Lumen Field.

The Seahawks played the NFC South in 2022, a weak division that Smith took advantage of. He recorded six top-10 weekly finishes in 2022; three of them came against Atlanta, New Orleans, and Carolina.

It’s worth noting that against the NFC West, Smith’s own division, he turned in just two top-10 weekly finishes in six games and was outside the top 15 three other times.

A lot of Smith’s success a year ago came in the red zone. In 2022, Smith was perfect from inside the 20-yard line, throwing for 17 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Even if Smith remains stout in the scoring area, some regression feels inevitable.

MORE: 2023 QB Fantasy Rankings

Seattle did re-invest in its offense this offseason with the hope Smith can replicate his 2022 form.

The Seahawks spent a first-round pick on Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, arguably the best receiver in the 2023 draft, to give Smith another target alongside standouts DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The club also used a second-round selection on UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet to add another playmaker.

Smith has plenty of talent around him to be a viable fantasy starter. However, replicating a top-five overall finish seems like a tall task. In fact, finishing as a QB1 again isn’t even a guarantee.

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