How you choose to address the quarterback position depends heavily on the structure of your fantasy football league. If you play in a standard-sized league (10-12 teams) with one QB slot, you’re drafting differently than someone in a shallow league and very differently than a Superflex manager. With that in mind, I’ve outlined a handful of quarterbacks that I like more than most in an effort to lend a hand to you, no matter the format you play!
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Top QBs To Draft in Fantasy Football in 2023
I’ve listed five options below for you to consider. Of course, if an elite QB falls in your specific draft, go ahead and pounce.
I’m operating under the assumption that your league goes according to script, and most players are taken within a handful of picks of their current ADP.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Action Jackson is my preseason pick for the MVP, and Todd Monken is a big reason why.
Lamar Jackson is a rare athlete that comes with a stable pass catcher in Mark Andrews, upside at receiver, and he’s an aggressive quarterback. Is that not how you’d draft up your perfect situation for a fantasy QB?
Jackson is going 1-2 rounds after the top-tier quarterbacks, and I’ve liked the way my roster turns out more when I go that way than taking one of the “elite” in the second round. He is being drafted side-by-side with Joe Burrow, a head-to-head matchup that I think goes Jackson’s way with relative ease in 2023.
I don’t fully understand why the opening up of this offense has fantasy managers worried about Jackson’s rushing numbers (spreading defenses thin only makes catching up to Jackson more difficult). But even if that comes through, the passing consistency should offset it.
It’s possible that the Ravens close the fantasy season with three straight games against top-10 scoring offenses, an outcome that would require Jackson to light up scoreboards and win fantasy championships.
Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. are building chemistry in the new #Ravens offense 👀
How many TDs will OBJ have in 2023❓
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) August 15, 2023
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence took a big step forward in Year 1 A.M. (After Meyer), and with Calvin Ridley now in the mix, him joining the elite class of signal-callers isn’t out of the question.
Lawrence’s rookie season was a mess, while last season was a rebound season that provided him with confidence (22nd in aDOT). In Year 3, it’s possible the training wheels are completely taken off. With Ridley, I’d be more likely to call it “likely.”
Six of the past seven quarterbacks to produce a 4,000-yard, five-rush TD season were top-six fantasy options the next season, with each of the past four producing top two seasons at the position.
Heck, even the moving pieces that are out of Lawrence’s control are looking good in 2023. Coming out of the Week 9 bye, the Jags have only one weather risk for the remainder of the fantasy season. Speaking of the schedule, getting the Bucs and Panthers in Weeks 16-17 isn’t a bad run out when your fantasy title is on the line.
I’m all in on the Jaguars this season, and Lawrence’s development makes that possible!
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets
Reasonable minds can differ in terms of what Aaron Rodgers has left in the tank after an ugly final season in Green Bay. The truth is, none of us truly know, and that’ll be a storyline to follow as the season progresses. What we can do, however, is evaluate how the Jets are approaching the season.
They’ve brought in Dalvin Cook, further pushing their chips in on 2023. In redraft formats, can you ask for much more?
At the peak of his powers, Rodgers had full autonomy of the Packers’ offense in scoring spots … if the Jets are gambling on Rodgers leading them to the promised land, why would they give him similar freedom?
The limited rushing potential makes a top-10 ranking for Rodgers something I can’t get to, but he has a top receiver, trusted secondary options, and plenty of firepower in his backfield.
Sound familiar? It’s a different shade of green, but the Jets are trying to recreate the situation that allowed Rodgers to thrive and that was special for fantasy purposes.
Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints
It’s not rare for an NFL team to add a significant piece to their offense and then work around what that player does well. That’s fine, but when you can add a player that is trending in the same direction as the person you already have in place, it’s gold. And that’s what we are working with here.
Chris Olave is on the short list of the most encouraging young NFL players. His ability to make plays down the field is already unquestioned. Add in some development for another big-play threat in Rashid Shaheed, and this offense will be looking to strike quick when given the opportunity.
Derek Carr’s progression, aDOT
- 2018-19: 6.38 yards
- 2020-21: 7.78 yards
- 2022: 8.73 yards
And then there’s Michael Thomas. I like how this roster shakes out for Derek Carr without much from Thomas, but if he can return to anything close to his peak, the Saints’ QB will begin to push the highest tier of pocket passer in my ranks (Kirk Cousins and Rodgers range).
We’ve seen Thomas’ presence open things up for big-play threats, which would give Carr top-10 upside in good matchups:
- 2017: Ted Ginn turned 53 catches into 787 yards and four TDs.
- 2018: Torrey Smith scored on five of his 28 receptions.
- 2019: Jared Cook scored on nine of his 43 receptions.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders
Last season, Carr dropped back to pass roughly 36 times per game, a pretty strong number when you consider that Josh Jacobs was busy having a career season. For his career, when dropping back at least 36 times in a game, Jimmy Garoppolo has given fantasy managers 17.7 points per game (would have been QB11 last season).
Those dropbacks are going to hold value with the talent at his disposal in Vegas. In addition to Jacobs are all-world receiver Davante Adams and my guy Jakobi Meyers, players who are more than capable of propping up their quarterback.
Garoppolo is a better QB than most fantasy managers are willing to acknowledge, and this Raiders team should put him in a position to succeed. Toss in a late-season schedule that is going to require this team to score, and you have one of my favorite targets in a Superflex setting.