Last week, I gave you a peek under the hood and shared my thoughts on the QB position, naming my picks for busts, steals, 2024 sleeper and my overall MVP. Today, I’ll go a little deeper and discuss my busts, with particular interest in understanding why. Whether injury, lack of talent surrounding the QB, coaching, or combinations of all, we fantasy owners need to understand the factors at play so we can try to draft better next year. Remember, it’s all about collecting titles. That’s what we do here at Razzball and what we want for you.
Speaking of next season, we may be in the heart of the playoffs, but it’s never too early to plan for our next drafts. The Razzball NFL writing team will be shifting gears to take a look back at the 2023 season, again with a sharp eye on what it means moving forward. We’re even drafting our first couple of rounds in a “Way Too Early” Mock. It was a lot of fun. If you missed it, you can follow it all @RazzballNFL.
Remember to check in each week with the @Razzball NFL team of writers as we host our Tuesday evening show. We’ll be hitting on all things offseason fantasy football. Join Bobby LaMarco @BobbyLaMarco, Sky Guasco @SkyGuasco, Matt Styles @Stiles08, and me at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST for the show as we answer all your questions, thus keeping you engaged for the 2024 season while looking back at what coulda and shoulda, woulda been in 2023. Come for the analysis, and stay for the laughs!
*Positional Finish indicates the player’s fantasy finish at the position in PPR. The average draft position (ADP) that is inside the () is the positional ADP the player was drafted based on the Razzball consensus ADP this preseason.
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This time last year, we all were wondering “will he stay in Green Bay another year or move on?” That question was answered on April 25, 2023, when the Jets and Packers finalized a deal that included swapping first-round picks, plus others. Let’s revisit the deal and see what the teams did with the picks:
- Jets received:
- Packers received:
- 2023 first-round pick (No. 13 overall: DE Lucas Van Ness)
- 2023 second-round pick (No. 42 overall: TE Luke Musgrave)
- 2023 sixth-round pick (No. 207 overall: K Anders Carlson)
Needless to say, the Packers won the first year of this deal, punctuated by Rodgers’ successor, Jordan Love, winning that Week 18 “win-and-in” game. You’ll recall that’s something Rodgers couldn’t do the previous season. Last week’s Wild Card game win in Dallas is just icing on the cake.
On the other side of this deal, we all know Aaron Rodgers took just four snaps before blowing out his Achilles against the Bills. He managed to keep himself in the news throughout his recovery, throwing balls on the field pregame for the cameras and even returning to practice in the final weeks. Long term, we’ll see if Rodgers can come back next season and be the spark the Jets thought they were paying for when they made the trade. Until then, Rodgers’ time in a Jets uniform can only be considered a bust.
Deshaun Watson arrived in Cleveland in 2022 as the next potential “savior” for the proud team on the lake. After sitting out the first 12 weeks, he returned with mixed but generally underwhelming results. This year was supposed to be different. He played all or parts of six games total, before undergoing shoulder surgery. In those games, he led the Browns to a 5-1 record but only threw for 1,100 yards and a 7:4 TD: INT ratio. Injuries aside, these numbers are not what we’re looking for in a top-10 fantasy QB.
Adding insult to injury, the Browns were forced to bring Joe Flacco in off the street and watched him put the team on his back. Flacco led the Browns and many fantasy teams to the playoffs with multi-TD games from Weeks 13-17.
The prognosis for Watson’s recovery is good, and he should return to training camp in full health. What’s cloudier, though, is his recovery in fantasy circles. Will fantasy owners make him a top 10 QB in drafts next season or take a “wait and see” posture? My bet is the latter.
Adding Justin Herbert to this list of QB “Busts” is more reflective of missed expectations than just poor results. For those fantasy owners drafting Herbert as QB7, they expected much better than an average of 18.5 fantasy points per game played (he missed the final 4 games of the season). Frankly, the Chargers were a mess this season, and with the exception of Keenan Allen, their stars were caught up in it (do we need to review Austin Ekeler, too?).
For fantasy purposes, Herbert did enough early to keep us on the hook. The wheels really fell off here after their BYE in Week 5, including a 17.5 fantasy point game at KC and 8.5 fantasy point game @ NYJ. I attribute a lot of Herbert’s struggles to losing Mike Williams after Week 3, Joshua Palmer missing 6 games in the middle of the season, and Quentin Johnston not stepping up to fill the voids. With promising rookies C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson enjoying immediate fantasy success this season, fantasy owners will likely hesitate to spend draft capital on Herbert’s next draft season. My recommendation: be ready to capitalize with Herbert being in the area of QB10-13. In my opinion, Herbert and the retooled Chargers should provide good value investments for fantasy owners in 2024.
For the most part, you can chalk this one up to injuries. Burrow started the season injured (remember the calf injury in training camp?) and ended the season injured (wrist surgery shortly after Thanksgiving). He took a few games to get going, averaging only 11.2 fantasy points over the first four games. A “get right” trip to Arizona in Week 5 had fantasy managers back on the Burrow bus, and he generally gave owners what they needed until the wrist injury occurred.
All signs point to Burrow being fully recovered well ahead of training camp. Assuming nothing else crops up between now and draft season, we should expect Burrow to reclaim his spot among the elite passers in the NFL. The question will be if he’s available at a slight discount in drafts. If he is, be ready to pounce!
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Who are your QB busts? Drop your names in the comments below, and don’t forget to join me and the Razzball NFL boys as we discuss these and other topics throughout the NFL playoffs.
Look for my articles right here each week, and be sure to follow me on Twitter/X @Derek_Favret. I’m now on BlueSky as well (@dfavret.bsky.social).
Until next time, my friends.