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Which QBs will Rise into the Fantasy Top Ten in 2023?

By Joseph Hutchins | 8/14/23

OK, new assignment. I spent the past couple weeks talking about players I think are overvalued and more likely than not to fall out of the Top 10 this coming season. Now it’s time to discuss the players I think have the best shot at replacing them. Some have been there many times before and others would be making their first appearance, but all of them would be outperforming their 2022 selves should they prove me right. Also, full disclosure: Only two of them have to do that for me to outperform MY 2022 self. LOL!?

A quick reminder of the Top 10 fantasy QBs from last season…

Note: All rankings are based on FFToday’s Non-PPR league scoring.

  Top 10 Quarterbacks - 2022
Rank Player
1 Patrick Mahomes
2 Josh Allen
3 Jalen Hurts
4 Joe Burrow
5 Geno Smith
6 Kirk Cousins
7 Trevor Lawrence
8 Justin Herbert
9 Jared Goff
10 Justin Fields

Quarterbacks Most Likely to Rise in 2023:

Aaron Rodgers, NYJ: You can’t possibly know this because I fixed it right away, but I absolutely typed “GB” next to his name in the first draft of this article, forgetting momentarily Rodgers will be donning a different green jersey this coming season. It was definitely time for the Head Cheese to move on from the only NFL home he’s ever known and I’m not overly saddened by the trade. Nevertheless, it is going to be strange watching him sling pigskins around for another team. Last year may have been his worst as a Packers’ starter (by a whole lot), but there’s plenty of gas left in that tank and he has a real chance, presuming good health, to post the Top 10 numbers we’re more accustomed to in 2023.

One thing Rodgers has going for him in New York is a burgeoning star at WR1. The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, Garrett Wilson, is coming off a 1000-yd season and looked like the Jets’ best WR since..??? The former Buckeye posted those numbers, mind you, playing catch with a much worse Wilson (Zach), Mike White, and Joe Flacco (somehow still in the league in 2022). He finished as WR21 on the season and could have been much higher if he’d caught more six-pointers, something he’ll almost certainly do playing catch with Rodgers.

The Jets’ brass also surrounded its new star quarterback with some of his favorite security blankets in Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, and OC Nathaniel Hackett. The latter took some serious lumps in Denver last year and will likely never get another shot as head man, but his résumé still includes the league’s top-scoring offense (2020) and producer credit for Rodgers’ back-to-back MVP seasons (2020 and 2021). 2021, as in two years ago. Don’t sleep on A-A-ron.

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa, MIA: I’ve probably asked this before, but I’m asking again: Can you imagine how insane this Miami offense would be with Justin Herbert throwing the passes? The Fish opted for Tua back in the 2020 draft instead of Herbie, falling in love with that Alabama pedigree and the uncommon precision / touch—he still holds the NCAA career record for passer efficiency rating at 199.4—v. the Oregon great’s rocket launcher of a right arm (GO DUCKS!). I think they probably regret that decision and will never say it, but…

Tua provided a measure of vindication last season when he recorded the second-best passer rating (the NFL equivalent of passer efficiency) and led the Dolphins to eight wins in his first nine starts (he missed Weeks 5 and 6). The bottom fell out from Week 13 on, granted, but we’d seen enough by then to know that when healthy, a huge caveat in Tua’s case, he’s absolutely capable of orchestrating a great, not good, offense. And to be perfectly clear here, I think Miami’s offense could be great in 2023.

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle form, arguably, the best and most dangerous WR duo in the league. They’re complemented by Raheem Mostert, a RB with home run power. Then, despite possessing only four picks and other, more glaring team needs, the Dolphins drafted Texas A&M’s Devon Achane in April’s draft, another speed merchant who bested all other RBs at the Indy combine with a 4.32-second 40-yd dash. For perspective, Cheetah posted a 4.29 at his pro day back in 2016. It seems all Tagovailoa has to do is stay upright and leverage that extremely accurate left wing to make this offense sizzle. He’ll never be Herbert but Miami can still win big with him. So can you.

Lamar Jackson, BAL: The fact I’m writing about Jackson again this August means he didn’t do what I thought he’d do in 2022, “comfortably return” to the Top 10. Injuries were again to blame as the former MVP played only 12 games, the same number he’d played in the slightly shorter 2021 season. The surest path to Top 10 status, especially at the QB position, is staying healthy. Only two signal callers of eight who played all 17 games last year didn’t make the Top 10 and, oddly, they’re two of the most famous flingers who ever lived, the aforementioned Rodgers and the now retired Tom Brady.

Provided he can stay on the field more often, Jackson may be just as famous one day. If that sounds hyperbolic, consider this: He’s averaged 26.0 FPts/G as a full-time starter in Baltimore, which is two points per game better than Rodgers and four points per game better than Brady. Raw statistical output isn’t everything, of course, and Jackson hasn’t even sniffed a Super Bowl ring, let alone seven. It does speak to his insanely high floor, though, which is what we really care about as fantasy GMs. Jackson’s 22.9 FPts/G mark last year was his lowest as a Raven, but was still good enough for fifth overall at the position. Even when he’s bad, he’s good.

Everyone looked good in Todd Monken’s Georgia offenses the past several years and now we get to see what he can do in the bigs with one of the most athletic field generals the league has ever known. Monken replaced long-time OC Greg Roman for 2023 and will no doubt tailor his attacking offense to Jackson’s unique gifts. He’s also a fan of faster tempo. Sign me up for Lamar going faster.

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