The 2023 fantasy football season is here and whether you build your own fantasy football rankings,  create fantasy football player projections or just go into fantasy football mock drafts to get a feel for current player ADP there is one thing that generally remains consistent and that is the tiers in which we put players when building out our fantasy football draft strategy. 

Getting an understanding of the tiers at each position and how you go about placing players in those tiers is completely up to each fantasy manager and how they value players. One position where the player tiers generally have pretty fine lines is the quarterback position. When to draft a quarterback will certainly differ from manager to manager and will be impacted by how the rest of the positional tiers play out throughout the draft as positional depth gets smaller and smaller.

Andrew Cooper has done a great job breaking down how he goes about looking at the quarterback position in his Dynamic Tier Player Rankings feature so make sure you check that out as part of the 2023 fantasy football draft guide.

Here is how I go about breaking down the current fantasy football quarterback tiers as I prepare for the upcoming draft season.


The Elite's 

There is a pretty clear group at the top this season when it comes to the fantasy football ADP of the quarterback position with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts all coming off the board within the second round of most fantasy football drafts. Those willing to spend an early round draft pick on a QB will be rewarded with the week-to-week consistency of elite fantasy production with the assumption of good health. 

Jalen Hurts, QB Philadelphia Eagles

How to decide between the three? This is really all about preference and risk aversion. Last season there may not have been anyone banging the Jalen Hurts drum louder than I was. I loved what the Eagles did by bolstering their receiving group simply by adding A.J. Brown and I loved the rushing upside that Hurts brings to the table and when it came to fantasy points per game, Jalen Hurts finished as the QB1. The question now is whether or not we see Hurts take another leap forward or does he regress a bit? The easy comparison here is Lamar Jackson. In 2019 we saw Jackson finish as the top fantasy QB, having a break out season throwing the football while rushing for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. The following season we saw Jackson again have similar success running the football but there was big drop off when it came to his passing production. Hurts threw for only 22 touchdowns last season and ran for just 760 yards. His 13 rushing touchdowns helped propel that fantasy production on his way to being the top point per game player. Now, Hurts also missed a few games at the end of the season due to injury, and while I do not ever avoid a player due to injury risk, it has to at least be mentioned that the shelf life for mobile QB's tends to be shorter and they are more prone to injuries. Can Hurts improve on his numbers from last year? Yes, it's in the range of outcomes, is he a lock to again be the 1.01 point per game QB? I think arguments can be made against that this season.

Patrick Mahomes, QB Kansas City Chiefs

You took away Tyreek Hill and Mahomes went out and finished the season with the most fantasy points at the QB position while finishing just fractions behind Jalen Hurts for the top point per game QB in fantasy football last season as well. In 2022 we saw Mahomes throw for a new career high 5,250 yards with 41 touchdowns. He also added 358 yards and four scores. The Chiefs are still searching for their replacement for Hill in their offense but that just doesn't really seem to matter given how good Mahomes is as a QB. Last year they brought in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency. Neither player jumped off the page with their production yet it didn't really matter. Travis Kelce was still an elite force and Jerick McKinnon came out of nowhere to catch nine touchdowns. This season, JuJu is now in New England and the team will look for Kadarius Toney to fill the void with hopes that last year's second round pick Skyy Moore and this year's second round pick Rashee Rice can find ways to step up and contribute. Mahomes is on that level where he elevates the talent around him and I have little worry that week-in-week-out that he won't be among the top scoring players at the position.

Josh Allen, QB Buffalo Bills

How about a little mixture of both? Mahomes has the passing upside of Mahomes and the rushing upside of Jalen Hurts. Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. In 2022 we saw Allen throw for 4,283 yards with 35 passing touchdowns while rushing for 762 yards and seven scores. So, if you are getting the best of both worlds then why are you not just taking Allen over the field? If I'm being honest, I'm not 100% sure there is an argument against doing just that. Sure, if Jalen Hurts takes a step forward then he will be the 1.01 QB once again but when it comes to Patrick Mahomes, how much more upside is there? Yes, we saw him throw for 50 touchdowns a few seasons back, but from a yardage and touchdown standpoint it feels more likely Mahomes steps back a bit than surges forward. If Allen just does exactly what he has done for the last two seasons we are getting a guaranteed top three QB and his rushing upside gives him the path to being the 1.01 overall. Sure, we need the Stefon Diggs situation to clear itself but and it would be great if the team could find a true “WR2” but I find myself, if drafting a QB this early, leaning more in on Josh Allen this season.

The Mobile QB's

I love a QB with rushing upside. Like Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts above, the potential to run for 700 yards and double-digit touchdowns will give any QB a path to a top five fantasy finish at the position. This is why after the group above, you see many looking here for their next fantasy QB.

Lamar Jackson, QB Baltimore Ravens

New offensive coordinator now in Baltimore Todd Monken wants to bring a pass heavy offense to Baltimore which is a team that had thrived on a hard nose running style for the past few seasons. What does this mean for Lamar Jackson? Well, it could mean a return to his MVP-level production when he threw for 36 passing touchdowns. The Ravens invested a first round pick on WR Zay Flowers and signed free agent Odell Beckham in the offseason to join Rashad Bateman and Mark Andrews as part of the team's passing offense. Jackson has been quoted as saying he may run less this season but i like to think that what Jackson really means is that the team won't be asking him to run as much but the down field passing offense will open up more rushing opportunities for him as defenses spread out. If that means that Jackson's days of running for 1200 yards are over but 700-800 yards with 5+ TD's are in play then I'm all for it.

Justin Fields, QB Chicago Bears

Oh boy, this is going to be a fun pick this season won't it? Fields exploded onto the scene last season, throwing for just 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns but adding 1,143 yards and eight more touchdowns on the ground. This is the one right here that could finish the year as the 1.01 QB in fantasy much in the way we saw Jalen Hurts last season. The Bears went out and traded the No.1 overall pick and as part of that package they brought in DJ Moore to be the team's top wide receiver, similar to what the Eagles did by getting A.J. Brown. They also invested in the offensive line to help protect Fields. Now the ball is in his court. Will he take that next step, improve in the offensive system around him and become the best QB in fantasy football? It's a shot many are willing to take because given his current ADP he could be a league winner in the 4th or 5th round.

The Young Guns

When it comes to ADP, these QB's are actually separated a bit, but I think there is clear pick of the group that should be focused on when it comes to your fantasy football drafts.

Joe Burrow, QB Cincinnati Bengals

Talk about consistency. We are entering year four of the Joe Burrow era in Cinci and over the past two season we've seen Burrow put up near identical stat lines when it comes to passing the football with last year seeing him finish with 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns while adding a bit more on the ground, rushing for 257 yards and five scores. If you want safety with some 1.01 weekly upside then Burrow is your guy. He has elite pass catchers in Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and even Tyler Boyd still capable of getting it done. A case could even be made that Burrow could go out there and give us a Patrick Mahomes type of season and I really wouldn't argue. He is actually the next QB off the board after the top three guys in most league formats for that reason so if you feel like you want an early QB but want to wait a round then Burrow is the guy.

Trevor Lawrence, QB Jacksonville Jaguars

A favorite of many to have that “big breakout” this season. Lawrence showed why he was the 1.01 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft last season, throwing for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns while adding 291 yards and five scores on the ground. Lawrence does have some sneaky mobility and could easily run for 350-400 yards with a nose for the end zone and that will help his fantasy floor. When it comes to passing the football, there is a lot to be excited about with the prospects of Calvin Ridley this year being added to the Jaguars offense. What to expect out of Ridley is still a question but a passing offense with Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Calvin Ridley and Evan Engram is certainly a group good enough to give Lawrence that breakout season if he can take that next step in his development. Of the QB's in this tier, he is going the latest of the group. But, if picking a QB from this tier, it's the next guy for me.

Justin Herbert, QB Los Angeles Chargers

What in the world is with the Herbert hate? Coming off the board in the 4th and 5th round of drafts depending on league formats, Herbert has a top three fantasy QB ceiling in my opinion. He is two seasons removed from throwing for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns while rushing for 302 yards and three scores. Last season he three for 4,739 yards with 25 touchdowns and rushed for just 147 yards. My guess, the latter two numbers is why his ADP is where it is instead of being closer to the mix with Joe Burrow because Herbert can certainly be that dude. Again, he has already had a season with 5,000 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. The Chargers added Kellen Moore this year to the coaching staff as the offensive coordinator and still have a core group that includes Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler as elite pass catching options. They Chargers also used their first round pick on receiver Quentin Johnston. 2021 saw Herbert finish was the QB2 overall and right now he is off the board as QB7.

Mid-Round Plays

The middle rounds of fantasy football drafts is where we tend to see people finally look for their QB. The guys in this tier offer some upside potential but are more than likely to settle in at the back-half of the QB1 range when it comes to fantasy scoring on a week-to-week basis.

Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys

Ceedee Lamb is the cover of the 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Guide and for him to have the season we think he is capable of having then Prescott is going to need to be a fantasy relevant QB this season. Dallas added Brandin Cooks during the offseason via trade and Tony Pollard is set for an every down role which should help  the passing attack as well. The one question will come at tight end as safety blanket Dalton Schultz now plays in Houston and Prescott loved his tight end. Dallas has more than a few options to fill that void so as long as Prescott can stay on the field, somethin that has troubled him the past few seasons, he is a safe option at this tier.

Deshaun Watson, QB Cleveland Browns

I'm throwing out last season for Watson and while had he performed better then he would likely be going higher in drafts, I'm still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was shaking off the rust. The last time we saw him play an entire season was 2020 and he finished as the QB5. He Browns have Amari Cooper, Donavon Peoples-Jones, David Njoku and traded for Elijah Moore. They also have last year's rookie David Bell and this year's draft pick Cedric Tillman.  Plenty of weapons for Watson  to have some fantasy appeal this season.

Kirk Cousins, QB Minnesota Vikings

I'm a big fan of vanilla ice cream, some of you may already know that about me and while to some that is boring, to me it's delicious and consistent so while Cousins may be a boring fantasy QB, he has also been wildly consistent with his production, averaging over 4300 yards and 32 touchdowns since Justin Jefferson has joined the squad. He threw for a career best 4,547 yards last season with 29 touchdowns. He is three years removed from a career best 35 touchdowns during Jefferson's rookie year. This season, could the ceiling even be higher? Well, he will enter the year  not only with Justin Jefferson but also will have a full year with T.J. Hockenson who showed tremendous chemistry with Cousins following his trade from Detroit last season and first round pick Jordan Addison who is replacing Adam Thielen. Don't be afraid of a little vanilla ice cream, sometimes it will surprise you with how good it really is.

Break Out Potential?

Tua Tagovailoa, QB Miami Dolphins

Ok, so, you can really argue that last season was the breakout for Tua as he showed tremendous upside with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in this Dolphins offense under Mike McDaniel. Of course, the concussion issues ended his season and thus, has likely hurt his ADP because why else would a QB who finished top 10 in fantasy points per game last season be coming off the board outside the top 10 in most draft formats right now? He still has Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill as part of this explosive Dolphins offense. I'm not avoiding him due to concussion concerns. If the team says he is good to go then he is good to go for me.

Daniel Jones, QB New York Giants

We saw all the memes and twitter comments after the Giants gave Jones his bag but I guess I'm one of the few that is willing to take a shot on a guy who just ran for 708 yards and seven touchdowns while completing a career best 67.2% of his passes. People will hate on Jones for the fact he only threw 15 touchdowns last season but we need to be honest about the Giants passing game last year and just how bad their wide receiver depth really was. We are now in year two under head coach Brian Daboll who was the OC for the breakout of Josh Allen  and no, I don't think Jones becomes Josh Allen but whose to argue that he doesn't take a step forward throwing the ball with some better health from his receiving group while maintaining the rushing upside in the 500+ yard range?  If thats the case then his ceiling is much greater than the QB14 he's being drafted as.

Old Faces New Places 

Aaron Rodgers, QB New York Jets

Rodgers forced his way out of Green Bay and into  a new shade of green as he is set for his first season with the Jets. A player like Rodgers has shown the ability to still be one of the elite players in football when he wants to be, the talent is certainly still there and it was clear last year there was frustration. He now sets up in Green Bay with an elite receiver in Garrett Wilson and some familiar faces as well like Allen Lazard. If waiting on a QB, I'm very intrigued by Rodgers this season, much as I was when Brady left New England to join the Buccaneers a few seasons back. 

Derek Carr, QB New Orleans Saints

Honestly, he is going way too late in my opinion. As of now, Carr is QB19 to come off the board as he embarks on his first season with the New Orleans Saints. There is no real question that from a performance standard, last year was Carr's worst as he completed just 60.8% of his passes, his lowest since his rookie season, for 3,522 yards and 24 touchdowns. He gets a shot to rejuvenate his career with the Saints who have breakout wide receiver Chris Olave, a currently healthy Michael Thomas and intriguing tight end prospect Juwan Johnson at his disposal. If looking to play the QB match game then Carr is a very nice grab.

Last Season Surprises 

Jared Goff, QB Detroit Lions

I don't think there was anyone who went into last year thinking Jared Goff was going to give us the season that he did as he completed 65% of his passes for 4,438 yards and 29 touchdowns. The Lions offense was very good and their defense was very bad which meant that Goff had a lot of opportunities to rack up fantasy points. Do we trust him to do it again? I'm a bit worried, sure Amon-Ra St.Brown is looking like a bonafide stud but after him it really falls off. Jameson Williams is going to miss the first six games due to his suspension and the team really has Marvin Jones as a capable outside receiver. The Lions did draft Jamir Gibbs in the first round, a running back that is an elite pass catcher but I'd be willing to bet on a step back from Goff this year.

Geno Smith, QB Seattle Seahawks

I got Geno Smith for $1 last season in a super-flex league. That's how little was though of him going into last year after Seattle traded away Russell Wilson. What Smith did was incredible as he finished the year as the QB8 in point per game scoring among qualified starting QB's. Can he repeat? Well, the offense hasn't changed all that much with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett still on board. The Seahawks also invested at the wide receiver position by using a first round pick on receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. If betting between Goff or Smith, I'd be leaning the way of Geno in the later rounds.

Russell Wilson, QB Denver Broncos

Not all surprises are good surprises. After all the hype videos of Wilson landing in Denver and the expectations that he was going to have a monster season fantasy managers were left distraught. Wilson threw for just 3,524 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was never able to “cook” and I don't really know where he was “riding” too despite all the references. So, what we have this season is a big discount on ADP if you believe that under Sean Payton he can have a rebound season. The weapons are still there with Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and tight end Greg Dulcich ready roll. 

2023 NFL QB Rookie Class

Anthony Richardson, QB Indianapolis Colts

Yes, there are other rookies that were taken in this draft and taken ahead of Richardson in that draft but sometimes the better actual NFL QB isn't the best fantasy QB and I'm not 100% convinced that Richardson might now be that guy anyway. From a pure rushing standpoint he has the upside we are looking for. Again, last season, for Daniel Jones to be a top 10 fantasy QB all he did was throw for 3,200 yards and 15 touchdowns but he ran for 700 yards. I think this type of production is well within a range of outcomes for Richardson with the potential for more rushing yards. The Colts offensive line is solid, they have a healthy Jonathan Taylor going into the year and Michael Pittman is a true WR1 in this league. Love the profile for Richardson and he is one of my favorites grabs this season.

The Rest

But Jon, what about guys like Jordan Love, Kenny Pickett, Matthew Stafford, Brock Purdy and Mac Jones? Maybe someone out there is saying that but lets be realistic here. Unless you are in a superflex league, odds are these guys are only being drafted as backup QB's or not being drafted at all. Sure, there is some interesting potential in Kenny Pickett and Jordan Love but given where they come off the board, odds are you already took a QB. If you want to take a flier and hope that Pickett is this year's Tua Tagovailoa then go for it, he would be my guy in this range, but there aren't a ton of names this low that really jump off the page.