As an analyst, I am constantly attempting to identify players who have the potential for their Fantasy Football production to outweigh their draft cost. I just recently dropped my 32 NFL Teams – 32 Fantasy Football Sleepers article with this exact intention. Now today, I’ll try and identify the top quarterback values for your upcoming drafts.
Paying off when it comes to production over cost, in general, is one thing, but taking it even further and identifying players who can finish Top-12 for Fantasy in their position for points per reception (PPR) leagues is another.
QB – Average Draft Position (ADP) vs. Fantasy Finish
- Geno Smith – QB35 vs. QB5
- Justin Fields – QB17 vs. QB6
- Trevor Lawrence – QB18 vs. QB8
- Daniel Jones – QB28 vs. QB9
- Jared Goff – QB27 vs. QB10
The above quarterback values greatly benefited Fantasy Football managers last year, not just because these players finished top-12, but due to managers being able to fill other roster needs first and their quarterback of value later. If we as Fantasy managers can fill our rosters early with running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends and then find a value quarterback later, it can mean a huge boost towards competing for a ship. We play to win here at Fantrax (P2W Fantasy plug). Here are some quarterbacks to target for your Fantasy Football drafts who are being drafted outside the top 15 picks but have the upside to finish as a top-12 Fantasy quarterback in 2023.
Top Quarterback Values for 2023 Fantasy Football
Geno Smith, Seahawks – QB15
The iconic, “they wrote me off, I ain’t write back though” quote from Geno Smith in 2022 was one of the best interview moments of the year. Smith had a true career turn-around as the Seahawks starter last season, having a career year after playing in just 14 total games from 2014-2021.
Smith ranked #9 in passing attempts (572), #8 in passing yards (4,282), #3 in passing touchdowns (30), and #6 in quarterback rating (QBR – 61.1). Smith finished fifth in total scoring for the quarterback position, and eighth in Fantasy points per game (PPG) with 18.5.
Smith’s efficiency really stand out for the year with him finishing top 10 in all of yards per attempt, true completion percentage, deep ball completion percentage, pressured completion percentage and play-action completion percentage. Smith also rushed for 366 yards adding a little upside there.
Both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett surpassed 1,000 receiving yards last season. Both wide receivers finished as top 20 fantasy options for the position as well. Kenneth Walker III rushed for over 1,000 yards as well as a rookie.
Flash forward to the off-season, and Geno Smith gets paid in a few different ways. The first, is financially, with a three year contract extension. The second way Smith was “paid” was with more weapons to pair with his Metcalf-Lockett stack. The Seahawks selected Jaxon-Smith-Njigba (aka JSN) out of Ohio State with the 20th overall pick as the first wide receiver off the board. JSN caught 95 passes for 1,606 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in 2021. One could argue JSN, entering a talented wide receiver room, is the most talented as a rookie. The Seahawks also drafted pass-catching running back Zach Charbonnet out of UCLA at pick 52 as well.
Following a career year, everything has looked even brighter for Geno Smith for 2023. He has one of the best wide receiver cores in the league, two capable running backs to keep defenses honest, and most importantly the faith of his organization. If his situation and teammates improved, then his current ADP may not make a ton of sense vs. what was done for Fantasy Football in 2022. Smith may not necessarily have the Lamar Jackson sort of upside to win you a week, but the stability he should bring to fantasy should make him a solid target.
Anthony Richardson, Colts – QB16
Back in July, I wrote a piece here on Fantrax titled Keys to Winning in Fantasy Football: Draft Mobile Quarterbacks in which I looked at quarterbacks who rushed for both 300+ and 500+ yards. Quarterbacks who rushed for 300+ yards from 2018-2022 averaged an 11.6 overall Fantasy Football finish. Quarterbacks who rushed for 500+ yards during that same span averaged an 8.94 overall finish. Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson can easily hit 500 yards on the ground in 2023. He recently was named the official Colts starter.
Richardson is coming off of his final season at Florida where he threw for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games. What stands out even further though is the 654 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns he added to his yardage total last year. Richardson smoked the combine running a 4.43 – 40 yard dash, and overall having what may have been the most athletic combine for a quarterback…ever. This earned him fourth overall draft capital from Indianapolis.
Richardson will pair up with Michael Pittman Jr., who has had back-to-back seasons of over 900 receiving yards and had a career-high 141 targets in 2022. Alec Pierce was selected in the second round last season and earned 78 targets. Josh Downs was a third-round selection this year. The hope is that Jonathan Taylor is healthy and happy so that he can keep defenses honest on the ground. The combination of high athleticism, rushing upside, and the pieces around him makes him a top-12 candidate.
Kenny Pickett, Steelers – QB22
This will be the spicy pick of the article, especially seeing as though Kenny Pickett ranked 30th in Fantasy PPG in 2022 as a rookie. The Steelers selected Picket in the first round at pick 20, and although Mitch Trubisky opened up the year as the starter it was Pickett who played the majority of games at 13 appearances. Pickett put up a mediocre seven-to-nine touchdown to interception ratio for the year, 2,404 passing yards, and rushed for 237 yards. There was a difference between the five games Pickett played before the bye and the seven games he played after when looking at games he played 50%+ of the snap. Those averages:
- Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- 192.4 passing yards
- 0.4 touchdowns / 1.6 interceptions
- 11.66 Fantasy points / 21.2 overall Fantasy finish
- Weeks 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18
- 206 passing yards
- 0.71 touchdowns / 0.14 interceptions
- 14.15 Fantasy points / 17.42 Fantasy finish
The splits here show a clear difference in Fantasy production, which stems from a big difference in Pickett’s touchdown to interception ratio. Instead of looking at the season as a whole for a rookie quarterback, it can be beneficial to identify if they took steps forward or not through the year. It is evident that Pickett did as the season went on, finishing top 15 for the position in scoring three times after the BYE.
Diontae Johnson has consistently earned targets in the last three seasons, with 144+ in each of them. George Pickens as a rookie last year finished with 801 receiving yards and finished #14 in yards per target and #12 in yards per reception. Tight end Pat Freiermuth in his sophomore season had jumps in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Allen Robinson is a veteran with a good resume who we are hoping has something left in the tank. Najee Harris has rushed for over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. This offense has some upside, so if Pickett continues to take steps forward and add some yardage on the ground his sophomore season could be a huge leap in Fantasy production.
Who are your favorite quarterback values for the coming season? Drop some names 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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