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2023 Fantasy Football Burning Questions: Quarterbacks

Deshaun Watson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

For many fantasy football managers, the season never ends. All throughout the offseason and preseason, they spend so much time considering the outlooks of possible difference-making players for the upcoming year.

So it’s never too early to tackle the biggest questions at each position in advance of the 2023 campaign. I will be providing answers and analysis in a series that covers quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends.

The first installment is at quarterback, as the position has become seemingly deeper than ever before. Yet with the improved overall outlook at QB comes more players to evaluate for significant impact in 2023. Whether you play in a one-QB or two-QB/Superflex format, the answers to these questions can help shape your drafting strategies and approaches at the position for the upcoming season.

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Fantasy Football 2023 Burning QB Questions And Answers

Question: What Is the Ceiling of Lamar Jackson in 2023?

Answer: Likely as a top-three fantasy quarterback. Jackson finally has a quality wide receiver group in terms of depth. I don’t expect him to outscore Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen if both of those guys stay healthy. Jackson’s rushing attempts may get slightly scaled back, but now we may get to see his true ceiling as a passer. I would draft him as soon as fourth behind Mahomes, Allen, and Jalen Hurts.

Question: Can Justin Fields Truly Join the Elite Fantasy Football QBs?

Answer: Fields is in the same scenario as Jackson with less experience. Chicago’s addition of D.J. Moore finally gives the Bears a projected dependable No. 1 pass-catcher, and Darnell Mooney should now be more comfortable as the second option. Chase Claypool is a better fit as a third NFL wide receiver and Cole Kmet can continue to improve.

Fields finished sixth in total fantasy points and average points per game scored at QB last season. Like Jackson, his ceiling can be as a top-three fantasy QB. It is nearly a draw between the two as my fourth QB.

Question: Can We Comfortably Draft Daniel Jones As a Fantasy QB1?

Answer: Jones has also been supplied with improved receiving weaponry. He was a top-10 fantasy QB last year in overall points and points per game, and the Giants’ QB can be a top-eight guy this season. We should see more passing consistency now that he has Darren Waller and Jalin Hyatt, one of my favorite rookie sleeper types.

I would draft Jones as a back-end fantasy QB1, as he has some rushing promise and can now take advantage of improved playmaking around him. The Giants have committed to Jones contractually and personnel-wise, so I expect him to at least be a respectable fantasy starter in 2023.

Question: Will We See Deshaun Watson Regain His Best Fantasy Form?

Answer: The former Texan was a top-five fantasy QB the last time we saw him play for a full season in 2020. We cannot judge Watson heavily as a fantasy player by a six-game sample from last year after a long layoff and 11 missed games to open the season. He simply could not be expected to perform at a quality level after missing so much regular season time with a new team.

This year, Watson is working in his second preseason with the Browns and can smoothly transition to the regular season. If we view last year as a breaking-in period from a pro football perspective, there seems to be a good chance Watson can recapture much of who he was in his age-28 campaign.

A range of outcomes between a top-five and top-15 QB season is possible, as we just don’t know for sure if Watson will ever fully be the same. But he can be drafted as a back-end fantasy QB1 with the remaining potential upside to be a top-half fantasy QB1.

Question: Will Aaron Rodgers Be A Fantasy QB1 With The Jets?

Answer: Rodgers’ best years may be behind him. A recent Sports Illustrated article featured quotes from an NFL scout that should lead to some hesitance when considering the former Packers superstar.

“He’s the same guy in terms of his play style. But his play has fallen off,” the scout said. The biggest piece is he just can’t move as well as he used to. On top of {previously} being great at extending plays and having rare accuracy, he can’t do that anymore. And his arm has taken a dip.”

The indication was that Rodgers is still a good QB, but he may not perform at the superstar levels that he used to. The future Hall of Famer is certainly a missing piece for the Jets, but he lacks a true No. 2 WR and his ceiling is likely as a top-10 fantasy QB. Rodgers won’t be awful, but I would prefer to use him as a streamer.

Question: What Is The Upside Of Anthony Richardson As A Rookie?

Answer: We all know by now that the narrative on Richardson is that he is an amazing talent, but he may be inconsistent as he adjusts to the pro game. He is arguably the ultimate risk/reward fantasy football pick at QB for the 2023 season. Richardson has the pure abilities and the supporting cast of coaching and decent playmakers to help him possibly succeed right away.

In 2011, I drafted Cam Newton in the final round. He finished as the QB4 that season and was a big reason that I won a prominent experts league. Richardson certainly has all the skills to deliver on that sort of promise. You can win a league with a talent like Richardson, so I would not hesitate to draft him just outside of the top 12 and draft a respectable alternative not too long afterward.

Question: Will Russell Wilson Re-Emerge As A Decent Fantasy Option?

Answer: Working with Sean Payton gives Wilson his best chance to regain respectability. He does lack some of the mobility that used to make him such a big threat to extend plays and come through with some highlight moments. But Wilson can still throw a good deep ball and he has a playmaking crew with some promise.

I see him as a possible top-15 fantasy QB who still has some promise to revive his outlook, but not to his higher previous levels. As indicated in my preseason watch list of possible risers, the former Seahawks star will be monitored closely in the preseason for possible progress under his new head coach.

Question: Who Should We Keep An Eye On As Potential Sleepers?

Answer: When a front office commits to a QB and surrounds him with multiple talents as Green Bay has done with Jordan Love, I take notice as a fantasy player. … The Falcons also remained clearly dedicated to Desmond Ridder in the offseason and added to the offense with a top RB who can ease pressure on him and catch passes out of the backfield. … The 49ers invested significant draft capital in Trey Lance, and if he can stay healthy, it would not be surprising to see him emerge as the starter at some point.

Scott Engel's fantasy and betting analysis is also featured at The Game Day.

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