Jalen Hurts Fantasy Outlook: How Good Is the Philadelphia Eagles’ Franchise QB?

    Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is one of the best in the game, and he's still getting better. What is his fantasy outlook in 2023?

    At PFN, we’ve researched more than 350 fantasy football players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here is Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts’ fantasy outlook for 2023.

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    Jalen Hurts’ 2023 Fantasy Outlook

    Hurts is one of the countless examples of players who fly under the NFL radar, even after they’re drafted. Selected in the second round in 2020 — the fifth QB taken — Hurts entered the league as a dual-threat development project. Even after his brief stint as a rookie starter, many questioned whether he was the answer in Philly.

    In fact, early that next season, with the Eagles wallowing well below .500, they reportedly made a “massive offer” to the Seahawks to land Russell Wilson. Hurts was less than 16 months away from leading his team to the Super Bowl. And yet, at that stage in his career, he wasn’t even viewed as a franchise quarterback.

    Rarely is a young QB paired with two young starting wideouts. Rarer still is the scenario we find in Philadelphia, where a still-ascending Hurts is throwing to a still-ascending DeVonta Smith and a (potentially) still-ascending A.J. Brown.

    Add in Dallas Goedert (one of the league’s best after-the-catch tight ends) and D’Andre Swift (one of the best pass-catching RBs), and it’s hard to ignore the seemingly inevitable.

    As great as Hurts was last year, he could be even better this year. For context, he led the fantasy universe in 2022 with 25.2 points per game. Among quarterbacks with at least six starts, it marked the highest average since Lamar Jackson’s 27.7 clip in 2019.

    Could Hurts match or exceed Jackson’s historically high numbers? Of course. Back in 2019, Jackson’s top targets were Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, Willie Snead, and Nick Boyle. The key is that he led the league with 36 TD passes. In other respects, he and Hurts circa 2022 posted similar numbers.

    For example, Jackson threw for 3,127 yards, while Hurts threw for a career-high 3,701. Jackson gained 446 more rushing yards but Hurts tacked on six more rushing scores. From a fantasy perspective, these differences largely canceled each other out.

    Hurts will continue to run this year, and he’ll assuredly continue to score on the ground. And as long as Brown, Smith, Goedert, and Swift remain fairly healthy — or even if three of the four remain fairly healthy — then their QB will have the assets needed to post 3,500+ passing yards. He might even flirt with 4,000+, given the extraordinary after-the-catch abilities of his four primary pass catchers.

    The key, then, is passing touchdowns. Another 20-22 might help ensure he finishes in the top three in fantasy. But 30+ could catapult him to No. 1.

    It helps that the Eagles have the personnel to dominate near the goal line. Their red-zone TD rate last year (68%) was the third-highest in the NFL. Presumably, as the young Hurts continues to get even more comfortable running this offense, we could see him take more shots to the end zone — that is if he doesn’t run it in himself.

    The most important takeaways are that (a) he and most of his key skill players are still getting better, and (b) even a marginally more robust passing attack could elevate Hurts to a record-breaking fantasy scoring pace.

    As a result, managers should target him with the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick in two-QB and Superflex leagues and with a top-15 pick in one-QB leagues. Candidly, he’s my No. 1 fantasy quarterback, with the understanding that he and his teammates are on a mission to finish what they started last season.

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