Much like PPR leagues (point per reception) in the early stages of fantasy football, two-quarterback formats were created to correct a perceived imbalance in the game. Starting only one QB when there were so many viable ones made the most valuable position in real football one of the least valuable ones in fantasy football. And, much like half-PPR formats with PPR, Superflex leagues were created to serve as a middle ground between the two drastic formats. But, as many of us know in dynasty leagues, there really is no “middle ground” as quarterbacks are either undervalued in single quarterback or overvalued in Superflex. This creates quite a dilemma for fantasy gamers in need of a viable QB.
As many of you know, high-end rookie quarterbacks get drafted in the early first round. The top starting quarterbacks cost an early first in trades. The problem? Not everyone has an early first-round pick at their disposal. So we’re here to identify so quarterbacks that you can target in your Superflex or two QB dynasty league that won’t cost you an early first.
For the sake of this article, I’ve reviewed a ton of different dynasty sources like DLF Startup ADP, the industry ranking focused PeakedInHighSkool’s Dynasty Trade Charts, the consumer survey thought experiment KeepTradeCut’s Valuation System, etc. to get a handle on what the general market might be. Then I considered my own win-now teams and what aging players I might be willing to target. Some of these guys might be viable even in single-quarterback leagues but we’re going to focus on Superflex. So let’s get to it.
2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Win-Now QB Trade Targets
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings - Age 34
It’s no secret that Kirk Cousins isn’t the most exciting quarterback. He’s about as bland as his steaks look in some of his social media posts. But here’s the thing - those steaks are “likely” still edible. And possibly even tastier than they look. Which is what we are banking on with Cousins.
The reality that some folks don’t realize is that, through the air, a guy like Josh Allen doesn’t really do much that Kirk Cousins doesn’t. Over the last two seasons, Allen has averaged 263.3 passing yards per game, Cousins has averaged 265.7 yards per game. The completion percentage for Allen is 63.3%, and for Cousins it’s 66.1%. Allen has the edge in touchdown passes (71 to 62) but Cousins has the edge in interceptions (29 to 21). The obvious difference-making is the rushing but we wouldn’t be able to talk about Cousins as an affordable option if he was running the football like that, would we?
The fact of the matter though is that Cousins has reliably finished as a QB1 in fantasy in each of the last three seasons. If Kevin O’Connell is going to finish implementing the offense he ran with the Rams, which relies heavily on three WR sets, they’ll likely draft another WR in this draft to go along with Justin Jefferson, TJ Hockenson, and KJ Osborn. You can realistically consider starting Cousins in a single QB league but in Superflex or two QB leagues, you just plug him into one of your QB spots and leave him there. And, according to the Superflex prices from Alex Korff’s trade charts, every other guy in the QB1 range is going to cost you an early first-round pick, if not more - except Cousins.
Market Price: Late 1st
What We Would Pay: Mid to Late 1st
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos - Age 34
We alluded to Kirk Cousins getting a hard time for his perceived “dorkiness” - well, Russell Wilson gets it twice bad. Which, for an NFL quarterback that’s also a pilot and is married to a pop star, it’s hard to believe that’s possible. But he’s somehow managed it. This is absolutely fine for us because public sentiment helps us get a discount in dynasty. And the public has gone too far here.
There were two great QB stories in the league last year with Trevor Lawrence and Geno Smith. Trevor Lawrence lost a year with the Urban Meyer disaster but recovered under new coach Doug Pederson. And Geno Smith had his own Comeback Player of the Year season with Seahawks coach Pete Carrol. The commonality here? The player gets a Super Bowl-winning coach and plays well. So why can’t Russell Wilson experience a similar bounce-back year under Sean Payton after escaping the Nathaniel Hackett experience?
There were concerns that Courtland Sutton and/or Jerry Jeudy could get traded but Sean Payton went on NFL Network and personally poured cold water on those rumors. So Wilson will have a full arsenal of Sutton, Jeudy, Tim Patrick (who missed all of last year with a knee injury), and emerging tight end Greg Dulcich. On top of that, both Sean Payton with his “Joker Back” (which we wrote about here), and Joe Lombardi (fresh off throwing a million passes to Austin Ekeler), love throwing the ball to the RB. Capable pass-catching back Samaje Perine is in town now and, when the RB pass is an extension of the running game, the QB gets those stats too. That was Drew Brees' secret and it’s why we are targeting Russell Wilson. And he’s somehow cheaper than Kirk Cousins.
Market Price: Mid 2nd
What We Would Pay: Late 1st to Mid 2nd
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans - Age 34
It might seem like I just picked any quarterback who is 34 years old but I can assure you that is a coincidence. In fact, I went with Tannehill here because the other options were far too obvious/easy. And I truly still believe in Tannehill. As does new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.
"He's a great pro," Kelly said. "He checks every box in terms of what you're looking for from that position. I'm excited to continue to work with Ryan."
The big rub for Tannehill is his cap hit - otherwise, there really wouldn’t be that much of a question. Sure he got hurt but his passer rating in those games was 94.6 and he has a 36-19 regular season record since landing with the Titans with multiple playoff appearances, including an AFC Championship game. And, if you look around at rumors surrounding him, it’s included trades to the Jets or a potential trade with the Ravens - places where he would be the starting quarterback. In all likelihood, Ryan Tannehill will start for the Titans this year and could start for another team next year.
What can he offer? Well, he’s been a fairly competent passer and, if the Titans add a wide receiver in the draft to go with Treylon Burks and Chigoziem Okonkwo, how far off are they really in terms of weapons from other teams? And the real bonus for Tannehill is his rushing capability - since he joined the Titans, he has the fourth most rushing TDs of any QB (20) which is more than even Lamar Jackson over that span. But the most important thing is this - he’s a quarterback you can slot into your lineup in Superflex or 2 QB leagues and he’s practically free right now.
Market Price: Late 2nd to Early 3rd
What We Would Pay: Mid 2nd to Early 3rd
Honorable Mention Dynasty QB Trade Targets
Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints - Age 32
He’s younger than the guys in this article and we like his situation but we also have to remember that he was released by a team that did not have another QB in the wings. At his price in the 2nd round, it feels like a little too much risk compared to the potential reward.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers/New York Jets - Age 39
You know what this is all about. Very limited time left so you are betting on a complete resurgence in New York. If/when he actually goes there, of course.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams - Age 35
This one I could get behind - when I actually see this guy throw a football again. We have to remember that there are a lot of monetary incentives for Stafford to play football, whether or not he’s capable, so I need to see it first (or at least
Jacoby Brissett, Washington Commanders – Age 30
This one is pure speculation of course but I’m honestly not sure that Sam Howell is a better quarterback than Jacoby Brissett right now. Which is a reason that Brissett would sign with them. So there is a real possibility he can snag that starting job. The same could be said about Gardner Minshew but the Colts pick 4th overall so they could be bringing in a guy they expect to start right away.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks – Age 32
Some believe that Geno just had his “peak season” but there's a world where he actually gets slightly better in his second full season with this squad. For instance, he missed a good number of end zone targets with DK Metcalf in the red area and that connection could improve. Not to mention he was running the ball fairly well at his age with 68 carries for 366 yards yet only had one rushing TD. The one thing that has me spooked are the rumors that Seattle could draft a QB.
Related NFL Links:
- 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1st Round: C.J. Stroud Goes No.1 to Carolina Panthers
- 2023 NFL Draft Top Quarterback Prospects: Bryce Young & C.J. Stroud Headline the Rookie QB Class
- 2023 NFL Free Agent Tracker
- 2023 NFL Offseason Recap
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Strategies: Keenan Allen Headlines Win-Now WR Trade Targets
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Strategies: Miles Sanders Headlines Win-Now Running Back Trade Targets