It is now that time of year when you are beginning to kick preparation for your 2023 Fantasy Football Drafts into high gear. To say that it is an exciting and critical time would truly be an understatement in preparation for the 2023 NFL season. At the same time though, you need to make sure that each draft pick is filled with value as it relates to how your rankings compare with the consensus. While it is all about the excitement of drafting the next big and exciting player, caution must also be exercised. With that being said, it is important to avoid quarterback busts, so let us dig into who that might be.
2023 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Busts
As we work through this process, the logic is to target quarterbacks who I have currently ranked lower than the consensus wisdom as these are players I am likely to avoid during my 2023 Fantasy Football Drafts.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Alright, including Jackson among my quarterback busts may generate some buzz and be a little controversial, but stick with me here.
I know that the Ravens committed a great deal of guaranteed money, $260 million, to Jackson this off-season and that fact cannot be overlooked. Additionally, Baltimore signed Odell Beckham for the upcoming season while also drafting Zay Flowers which gives Jackson two explosive options in the passing game. The key word here is passing game though.
In each of the last two seasons, Jackson has only made it through 12 games, as his style of play does leave him a little more susceptible to injuries. Statistically, Jackson’s last two seasons have also been the worst of his career (playing time obviously comes into play here), but he failed to break 3,000 yards yet again and seasons of 764 and 767 yards rushing with five combined rushing touchdowns hits a lot different than his old 1,000-yard seasons.
At seven, I have Jackson ranked the second lowest at Fantrax, and quite simply, I don’t expect him to make it through a full season once again. The other issue is that it is in Baltimore’s best interest to turn Jackson into more of a pocket passer and to take away some of his workload on the ground to keep their investment healthy. My trust in Jackson through the air is reduced compared to other options, but the problem is that we are drafting him based on a 1,000 rushing yard season.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
On the surface, things really went great for Tagovailoa last season. Personally, I rode the Dolphins’ quarterback to the playoffs in multiple leagues, but that ride did end abruptly.
Tagovailoa suffered his second concussion of the year and then missed the last two games of the regular season along with Miami’s playoff loss to Buffalo, and then there were rumors of retirement on the table. It is unclear how serious those rumors or thoughts truly were, but it is something that will be hanging over Tagovalioa moving forward.
Despite the fact that he is not at an additional risk for CTE or other concussions per medical professionals, it is difficult to ignore the black cloud of concussions that will be looming over him. By no means am I a doctor, but how can it not be a factor? After all, Tagovailoa is spending his time this off-season training in ways that are designed to help him avoid concussions in the future. Additionally, after the way things transpired last season, it is hard to imagine Miami will not be more cautious with Tagovalioa moving forward.
From a talent and team perspective, finding fault with Tagovailoa is not nearly as easy. In Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Miami has two dynamic and explosive options which led to Tagovalioa throwing for 25 touchdowns in 13 games last year against just eight interceptions with four games of more than 300 yards passing and a league high 8.9 yards per pass attempt.
When healthy, Tagovalioa is certainly worth the draft cost, but the issue is that he will not be the only quarterback you need this year so do not draft him as such.
Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
The consensus Fantrax rankings have Richardson coming in at 18 which is a stark difference to where he comes in on my list; 29th.
When it comes to physical tools and talent, Richardson is very hard to miss and that cannot be overstated. Indianapolis certainly drafted Richardson with the intention of playing him, but the rookie is already being drafted as if he is locked into the starting role for the duration of the regular season. And that is assuming there will not be any growing pains either.
There is a reason the Colts had such a low draft choice this year. Although Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman do provide two strong supporting weapons, the Indianapolis offense is still a work in progress. If you layer that with adjusting to life in the NFL, the thought process here is that it will not be a smooth transition for Richardson. It also should be noted that the Colts did acquire Gardner Minshew this off-season to compete with Richardson, and while the best player will ultimately get the playing time, the veteran does have the edge over the rookie.
Richardson is being drafted based on the physical tools, especially with his legs as his rushing ability could be a true fantasy asset, but he needs to be on the field for that to happen. At this point, it is unclear when, or whether or not, Richardson will be ready from a passing standpoint, and my preference is to let him figure that out on someone else’s team. Too much hype, plus no track record of proven production is the stuff quarterback busts are made of.
Got a few quarterback busts of your own? Throw some shade in the comments below. For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!
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— Lisa Ann (@thereallisaann) May 6, 2023