Top QBs To Draft in Fantasy Football: Derek Tate’s 4 Must-Have Players

Finding a breakout QB can dramatically increase your chances of winning a fantasy football championship. Here are four QBs with league-winning upside in 2023.

Deciding which quarterback to invest in during your fantasy football draft can make or break your chances of bringing home a championship in 2023. Is it better to invest high draft capital in an elite QB… or wait until the later rounds to address the position so you can focus on building out the rest of your roster?

Well, I’ve crunched the numbers… watched the tape… and have decided on my four quarterbacks you shouldn’t leave your draft without for 2023.

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Top QBs To Draft in Fantasy Football in 2023

The evolution of the QB position has made some of the elite NFL signal-callers a fantasy cheat code.

Patrick Mahomes is rewriting the conventional methods of how to play quarterback in the NFL, Jalen Hurts finished in a three-way tie for the second-most rushing touchdowns in the league, and Josh Allen has led his own team in rushing TDs for three out of the last four years.

MORE: Must-Have Players — RB | WR | TE | DST | K

While selecting Mahomes in the first or second round of your draft represents one of the safest picks in all of fantasy football, correctly identifying a mid-to-late round breakout QB can dramatically improve your chances of winning a fantasy championship. Feel free to check out my full individual QB rankings and our PFN Fantasy Football Draft Kit for all of the information you need to dominate your draft this season.

Without further delay, let’s take a closer look at some of the QBs I’m targeting heavily heading into the 2023 NFL season.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (ADP: QB7)

Justin Fields is one of the most polarizing players heading into the 2023 NFL season. The rough start to his sophomore campaign had many ready to label him a complete bust after failing to complete 12 passes in a game through the first month of the season.

However, many of those fantasy naysayers were tough to find once Fields went on a tear in the middle of the season.

MORE: Could Justin Fields Finish as the QB1 in 2023?

He put together a streak of eight consecutive games with a top-eight QB finish, which was driven by his out-of-this-world rushing production. During that eight-game stretch, Fields averaged 88 yards rushing per game and scored seven rushing TDs. He ended up finishing the season with 1,143 rushing yards, becoming the third QB in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

When you throw in his 11 TDs and 1,471 yards through the air during that eight-game stretch, Fields had a final tally of 2,182 total yards and 18 touchdowns.

This lengthy sample size of elite-level fantasy production certainly suggests he has the potential to finish as the QB1 overall … if he continues to improve as a passer.

Chicago added DJ Moore this offseason, which finally gives Fields a true go-to WR for the first time in his NFL career. If Moore’s impact in the passing game has the same effect that WR Stefon Diggs’ arrival had for Allen in Buffalo back in 2020 — a season where Allen finished as the QB1 overall — then the sky’s the limit for Fields in 2023.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (ADP: QB6)

Justin Herbert had what many would consider the worst year of his NFL career in 2022. But if 4,739 passing yards with 25 passing TDs while battling a rib injury is considered a bad season, then there’s a lot to be excited about heading into 2023.

Despite returning mostly the same cast of characters, the Chargers’ offense is expected to look much different this upcoming season. Los Angeles hired a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, who really puts an emphasis on 11 personnel — which is 3WR sets along with an RB and TE on the field — and pushing the ball vertically down the field.

From all accounts, the Chargers’ playmaking trio of Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen are all healthy heading into the season. They also will welcome rookie WR Quentin Johnston into the fold, which should help make this offense a bit more explosive in 2023.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: QB8)

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, I’m fully on board with selecting a QB in the middle rounds this year in fantasy football. Trevor Lawrence saw dramatic improvement in his sophomore season under new head coach Doug Pederson, registering 4,113 passing yards with 25 passing touchdowns and another five rushing scores on the ground to generate a QB8 finish.

Top Fantasy QBs

Jacksonville will not only return leading pass catchers Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram, but will add talented WR Calvin Ridley into the mix in 2023.

In an offense that is expected to be amongst the league leaders in the NFL in passing attempts, Lawrence certainly represents top-five upside at the QB position.

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: QB20)

Despite suffering a torn UCL earlier this calendar year, Brock Purdy is expected to begin Week 1 as the starting QB for the San Francisco 49ers.

It may be easy to be skeptical of Purdy’s improbable run at the end of last season, but the weekly floor he showed us as a starting QB in his rookie year should be something you’re paying attention to.

MORE: Fantasy Football QB Busts 2023

His lowest fantasy finish in his five starts during the regular season was QB14. It’s also worth noting that the entire ensemble of playmakers around Purdy — namely Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk — are all returning.

Purdy has shown the capability of playing within the structure of this offense, getting the ball out of his hands quickly and into the hands of his playmakers. Don’t overthink on draft day if you decide to wait on a quarterback. Purdy will give you a reliable fantasy floor in 2023.

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