With Underdog fantasy football season approaching, it becomes crucial to finalize your rankings before heading into the draft room.
Creating an equation incorporating Underdog’s ADP, expert tier rankings, my personal tier rankings, and the players’ boom/bust potential, the curated list of top 25 quarterbacks for the upcoming 2023 season may have some surprises.
Notable standouts such as Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert should outperform their Underdog ADP. On the other hand, you will want to stray away from Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson.
Top Rated QBs
1. Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs | Underdog ADP: 21.5 (QB1)
The two-time Super Bowl champion has finished as a top 5 Quarterback in the past three seasons. With or without an elite WR, Mahomes continues to impress with next-level playmaking and clutch throws in the last few minutes of tightly contested games.
With Travis Kelce as the focal point of the offense, Pat’s numbers shouldn’t drop this season, although it will take time for new additions Rashee Rice and Richie James to get their footing on the outside.
With 25.2 fantasy PPG last season alongside the cleanest pocket protection of any player at his position, Mahomes is the QB1 in the NFL and in fantasy football yet again.
2. Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills | Underdog ADP: 27.8 (QB3)
Allen’s injury and the rollercoaster ride to end the Bills’ 2022 season has hindered the elite QB’s ADP. However, Josh is still the league’s top red zone threat, as his legs become the defense’s worst enemy when the Buffalo offense enters the 20-and-beyond.
While drafting Allen early on will be a great pick, it’s important to consider one potential drawback: his high gamble rate. Last season, he finished top 3 in both danger plays and interceptable passes.
If those numbers drop and Stefon Diggs reconciles his relationship with the organization, Josh Allen shouldn’t drop below the QB3 in terms of drafting.
3. Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles | Underdog ADP: 25.3 (QB2)
The Eagles playmaker sprouted into the top 5 QB conversation just after his second season of play. After leading Philadelphia to the Super Bowl for the first time since the iconic Nick Foles era, the city, franchise, and Eagle squad have Jalen’s back to lead this team into the future.
In 2022, Hurts led all QBs in red zone carries, rush TDs, and passer rating against zone defenses. There really isn’t much you can do to stop Hurts from hurting your defense week after week.
With Devonta Smith and A.J. Brown still on the outside, Philly will welcome in D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny to help with the workload out of the backfield. While I expect Hurts to continue using his legs in the red zone, temper expectations regarding the number of carries and rush TDs this season.
Top Rated Rookie QBs
1. Anthony Richardson
Indianapolis Colts | Underdog ADP: 98.9 (QB11)
The Florida Quarterback and 4th overall draft selection by the Colts mirrors a similar playstyle and build to that of Cam Newton. Although extremely raw, the draw for Richardson within the top 100 of Underdog drafts is the running ability.
While only throwing for 17 TDs on a 53.8% completion rate in his final collegiate season, his 6’4, 236-pound frame and 9 rushing TDs improved his draft stock leading up to the Colts’ selection at 4th overall.
Richardson’s boom potential suggests that he could finish as a top 10 QB, which may rival the impressive rushing numbers put up by Hurts in his second NFL season.
2. Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers | Underdog ADP: 177.0 (QB24)
While Richardson deserves a better spot in this year’s rankings, it is only a matter of time until former Heisman winner Bryce Young becomes a top 10 QB using his elite vision and downfield accuracy.
With safety nets in the form of Adam Thielen and Hayden Hurst, his rookie season is poised to finish better than what most experts are expecting.
At the back end of an Underdog draft, I would much rather take a flier on Young compared to Stafford, Love, or even Derek Carr, who all are drafted above the 1st overall pick.
3. C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans | Underdog ADP: 189.8 (QB26)
Compared to others, I’m bullish on Stroud’s ability to make a difference in his rookie year on this Texans squad. Although Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins are still in the building, Houston’s entire roster went through an overhaul which should take some time to piece back together.
With veterans Dalton Schultz and Robert Woods as C.J.’s two main targets, a trade for DeAndre Hopkins is the only reason I’d improve the Ohio State QB’s ranking.
QB Draft Strategy
While the top 5 QBs in fantasy football normally stem from the first batch of names, there are a few players that sit outside the top 20 that can make noise for your Underdog squad if you choose to wait for a QB.
If you prefer not to rely on luck later in the drafting process and avoid the stress of hoping for a play-caller to fall into your lap, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert are two quarterbacks outside the top three who can be potential league-winners.
Early QBs to Target
Baltimore Ravens | Underdog ADP: 34.8 (QB4)
Jackson remains the QB4 on my board alongside Underdog’s. With a secured contract extension, Lamar will finally have his first fully healthy season where he can spread the ball around to Bateman, Andrews, and newcomers Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers.
With the highest rushing upside of any QB in the league, Jackson’s 2023 can mirror 2019 if he stays on the field.
Los Angeles Chargers | Underdog ADP: 54.7 (QB7)
The QB5 on my board, Herbert’s link-up with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore should benefit his outlook as the Los Angeles Chargers should become even more pass-heavy. After drafting Quentin Johnston, they have five above-average receiving options, including running back Austin Ekeler. With the upside to finish as the QB1 and floor of the QB10, Justin is primed for a much-improved season compared to the underwhelming performance he had in 2022.
Late QBs to Target
Pittsburgh Steelers | Underdog ADP: 169.3 (QB23)
With a great batch of receiving options and an elite defense, Kenny Pickett isn’t getting enough love on the Underdog draft board. With a fairly low “bust” rating on my end, Pickett is due for a much-improved 2nd season as he has bulked up and has more control of the offense than ever before.
We have seen QBs make that jump once they know their starting position is locked in. Expect a top 15 year from Kenny with help from his legs in the red zone.
Arizona Cardinals | Underdog ADP: 166.9 (QB22)
While the ACL injury is a concern, if you take a top 5 QB in your Underdog Best Ball draft, Kyler Murray needs to be considered later as your backup. He may not be ready to start the season, but grabbing a top-10 talent beyond the ADPs of Goff, Wilson, Carr, Love, and Stafford is a no-brainer.