For the past couple of weeks, my @RazzballNFL colleagues and I have been reviewing the 2023 fantasy season by position. I am reviewing the field generals. The value of a quarterback for an NFL team and a fantasy football team can be evaluated in different ways. QBs are the heart of every NFL team and, for the most part, separate the best teams from the rest.
QBs are evaluated based on their ability to lead their team to victories, make accurate passes and manage the game effectively. In the fantasy game, we measure QB value based primarily on statistical achievements and consistency. Sure, many times, these measures overlap. In other cases, they are independent.
At the end of the day, we throw everything into a blender (that is, data, intuition, gut feelings, etc.) and make predictions on future success. That’s why we’re going through this exercise now while it’s fresh in our collective minds. Remember, it’s all about collecting titles. That’s what we do here at @RazzballNFL and what we want for you next season.
Also, don’t forget to check in 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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After being exiled from Cleveland in 2021 and making stops in Carolina and Los Angeles in 2022, Baker Mayfield found a home in Florida this season. The Buccaneers signed him to a one-year, $8.5M contract during the offseason and the opportunity to compete for Tom Brady’s starting position. Not only did he win the job in the preseason, but he also likely secured a multi-year contract as a result. On the season, he threw for over 4,000 yards and 28 TDs, with only 10 INTs.
For fantasy, he provided his owners 284 total points on the season, which was 10th best in the league. Sure, it was a far cry from Josh Allen’s 410 points, but to put it in perspective, it was less than 55 total points behind Lamar Jackson (338 points). Who wouldn’t take that from a QB who was likely undrafted in most one-QB leagues? His fantasy draft capital, along with his salary, will go up quite a bit next season.
Props to my boy Matt, @stiles08, who predicted Mayfield to be a top-12 QB during our pre-season prediction show.
The Packers found their next QB. Coming into the season, there were plenty of questions swirling around the decision to trade Aaron Rodgers and give the keys to Jordan Love. Manning the helm of the youngest team in the league, would the Packers fans see a step back this season? It looked that way early when the Packers limped out to a 2-5 record.
It was a different picture on the fantasy front, though, with Love passing for eight TDs and rushing for another two TDs in those games. Drafted as QB22, he found himself as the starter on many fantasy rosters before the calendar turned to October.
On the season, Love threw for over 4,150 yards and 32 TDs, with 11 INTs. Nobody would label him a “running” QB, but 247 yards and another four TDs was a bonus too. This translated to 12 of 17 games with 20+ fantasy points. Not bad for a “rookie,” huh?
Unlike his predecessor, Love led the Packers to a Week 18 victory and a playoff berth. The season could have been considered a success right there, but the book needed a couple more chapters first. Love and the Packers went to Jerry’s World for the Wild Card playoffs and sent the Cowboys to an early offseason. In that game, Love threw for 272 yards and 3 TDs. Not bad for a rookie in his first playoff game. In San Francisco last weekend, the stat sheet didn’t look great (194 yards and two TDs, with two INTs), but he did have the Packers in a position to win the game.
Jared Goff can’t win on the road. Jared Goff can’t win outdoors. How many times did you hear statements like this during the 2023 season? Unless you’re a long-suffering Lions fan, we’re more worried about his fantasy production than his ability to lead his team to victories. So, let’s take a deeper look at the numbers:
In road games this past season, he averaged a less-than-optimal 18 fantasy points per game. When you compare these results to his home starts, though, where he averaged just over 25 fantasy points per game, perhaps he hasn’t shed the label fully.
On the season, he comes in as the QB 7, with 303 fantasy points. If deployed properly (i.e., you had another serviceable backup QB to plug and play), this 11th-round draft pick may have helped lead your fantasy team to a title. I see 2024 playing out in a similar fashion. He’ll likely be drafted in the same QB 8-12 range as Brock Purdy but have a higher ceiling in select games.
Kirk Cousins’ season was cut short when he blew out his Achilles in Week 8. As of the injury, Kirk was ranked as the 6th best QB on the season. I’m not going to downgrade or overlook him because of the injury. When he was on the field, he was a very solid starting QB for our fantasy squads.
The big question with Cousins is less about his recovery and more about his contact. He’s a free agent, and his fantasy appeal next season will likely depend on which team he’s under center for. My best guess is either back in Minnesota or for the new Coach in Atlanta. Both teams provide a wealth of receiving talent and, therefore, should keep Cousins on our fantasy radar next draft season. He certainly won’t crack the top 5-6 QBs drafted and much like the past few seasons, should remain a viable fantasy QB for those who tend to wait on the position.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Who are your QB Steal(s)? 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.