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Fantasy Football Keepers, Sleepers, And Trade Targets: Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

As we are already peering ahead to next season, this fantasy football feature takes a look at the top positional players to hold onto in your keeper and dynasty leagues, while also recommending some trade targets in those types of formats. I also include tips from 2023 yearly league perspectives where applicable.

Yes, it is very early in the 2023 fantasy football offseason, but dedicated fantasy players are always staying busy with player plans for the next season. This is especially true in dynasty formats such as the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC), where you may have a dynasty team or can purchase an existing team and rework or rebuild it as a fun challenge.

In the keepers section, I highlight guys you may want to hold onto in keeper and dynasty leagues, as they could be headed for breakout or better campaigns in 2023, and can also exceed ADP expectations in yearly leagues. Sleepers are potential players to play above expectations in all formats, and trade targets are good dynasty types to acquire. Free agency and player movement considerations are heavily taken into account where applicable.

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Trevor Lawrence: In his second pro season, Lawrence finished as fantasy QB8 and he averaged 17.8 points per game, which ranked eighth among regular starters. What impressed me about Lawrence is his supporting cast was improved, but not outstanding.

The Jaguars did not acquire any true stars in the previous offseason; yet, Lawrence boosted the production of all of his pass-catchers and truly showed he can be the kind of QB that can carry an offense in the future. Calvin Ridley adds to his arsenal for 2023, and Lawrence is a rising star with a very promising outlook for the near and long-term futures.

Daniel Jones: In 2022, Jones finished as QB9, and averaged 18.3 points per game, which ranked fifth among QBs who started regularly. He went undrafted in many leagues and had the worst receiving crew in the league, yet by the end of the fantasy season, Jones was getting regular starting consideration.

He led the Giants to the playoffs as Jones also overcame real-life expectations and changed previous negative narratives about him. I expect the Giants to improve Jones’ situation at WR, and he can at least be a top 10 fantasy QB in 2023.

Geno Smith: His play fell off a bit in the last four games of the regular season when Smith did not score 18 fantasy points in a game. But the best waiver add of 2022 at QB should be a steady option in his second season as a regular starter with Seattle. Smith was one of four QBs to pass for 4,000 yards and 30 TDs in 2022, the others being Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow.

Smith is at his best when he is getting quality run support and the Seattle defense is not forcing him to face consistently adverse passing situations. The Seahawks will be focused on improving the defense and getting another WR option for Smith this offseason, and he will at least be a prime fantasy streamer for 2023 with a ceiling of operating as a regular starter.



Trey Lance: A healthy Lance could have a very compelling outlook in 2023. If he remains in San Francisco, we legitimately have to wonder what kind of upside Lance has in an offense that Brock Purdy shined in. By this point, Lance certainly understands the schemes better and his dual-threat nature makes him a certainly more exciting fantasy prospect than Purdy could be.

I roster Lance in two dynasty leagues and will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of a headlining QB battle in the summer. His natural abilities and surrounding playmakers can still pave the road to a very good fantasy future for Lance.

Russell Wilson: He is not the same player that he was in his prime, but a humbling season and a huge coaching upgrade could lead to Wilson bouncing back to at least fantasy football respectability in 2023. Wilson is not the dynamic scrambler he was in his best years with Seattle. If he can re-emerge as a more effective and consistent passer without relying heavily on the same skills he had in the past, Wilson may show he can still be a quality QB in fantasy football and real life.

I am not suggesting Wilson will become a pure pocket passer, but he does need refinement to the point where he cannot depend on escapism as much as he used to. Wilson must also lean more on his playmakers rather than wanting to carry an offense.

Sean Payton can be the ideal guy to revamp the Denver offense and also fix Wilson to the point where he has a floor of being at least a good fantasy streamer for the next two seasons or more. Payton worked wonders with another shorter QB, Drew Brees, and he may be just the right coach to help Wilson put a terrible season behind him.

Jared Goff: While Goff is not a sleeper in the sense of being totally overlooked heading into next year, many observers in fantasy football and real life still do not believe in him. But Goff piloted a top five offense in 2022 and he finished as a top 10 fantasy QB. Goff was a top streamer in home games, where he had 23 of his 29 TD passes.

If he plays better on the road next year, Goff could exceed expectations and be regarded as a regular fantasy starter. While many Lions fans may want the team to draft a QB, the Lions have more pressing needs. Goff appears to be regarded as a good fit for now by Detroit after being a key part of the most inspirational season in some time.


Trade Targets

Lamar Jackson: Durability concerns late in the schedule over the past two seasons may have soured some fantasy players on Jackson. Of course, there is also uncertainty about where he will play next season. Whether he lands somewhere else or stays in Baltimore, there is still a significant upside in the annual outlook for Jackson, and can elevate even more with an improved supporting cast.

Jackson will still be a top-level fantasy QB when he is healthy. If he plays elsewhere, Jackson could land in a situation where he has better pass-catchers around him. Or the Ravens might finally make a real upgrade at WR to help him.

Deshaun Watson: Watson truly looked like a much lesser version of his past self in the limited window of games he played in 2022. Yet that was certainly not surprising, as he missed 11 games and was playing with a new team. Next season, Watson will be more experienced in his NFL surroundings and he will be a regular starter for the Browns from the outset.

Nothing can truly and effectively replicate game reps, and Watson is in line for regular action again in 2023. Watson can potentially regain top five fantasy QB status next season.

Justin Fields: It may take a healthy haul to acquire Fields now, but the price tag in dynasty trades could be even higher in upcoming seasons. It seems unlikely that Chicago will trade Fields and will be heavily focused on building around him starting during the upcoming offseason. Not only can Chicago deal the No. 1 pick, but they also have the most cap space. As the Bears bring in quality playmakers for Fields, he could see his fantasy value soar to the point where he is a truly elite fantasy QB in the next few seasons.

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

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