Burrow, Herbert, Mahomes lead 2023 fantasy football quarterback rankings

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is my top fantasy football option for 2023. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI
1 of 5 | Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is my top fantasy football option for 2023. File Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes headline my Top 20 fantasy football quarterback rankings for the 2023 NFL campaign.

Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts are among my other Top 5 options at the position. Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are inside my Top 10.


Mahomes and Allen most likely will be picked in the second or third round of your fantasy draft, meaning they come with a much higher cost than many of my other options.

You should consider average draft position, injury history, expected and past production and strength of schedule when considering your team's passer.

I split my top targets into five tiers: Hall of Fame, All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Just Napping (early to mid-round targets) and Deep Sleepers (mid- to late-round sleepers). The full Top 20 rankings are below.


Hall of Fame

1. Joe Burrow, 2. Justin Herbert, 3. Patrick Mahomes

Burrow finished as the fourth-best fantasy quarterback last season, but I'm projecting a career-year for the Cincinnati Bengals star. The Bengals will return arguably the best wide receiver trio in the NFL, consisting of Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

They also made improvements to their offensive line for the second-consecutive off-season.

Burrow totaled a career-high 35 touchdown passes in 16 starts last season. Look for the Bengals playmaker to eclipse the 40-touchdown mark for the first time in 2023. I also can see Burrow totaling close to 5,000 passing yards.

Herbert is one of my favorite passers ahead of the 2023 fantasy football season. The Los Angeles Chargers quarterback totaled just 25 touchdown passes last season, but threw for more than 4,700 for the second-consecutive year.

The Chargers return a group of very talented offensive playmakers and have a fantasy football friendly schedule. I expect Herbert to throw more than 35 touchdown passes this season. He also should get close to 5,000 passing yards.


4. Justin Fields, 5. Jalen Hurts, 6. Josh Allen, 7. Lamar Jackson

All four of my All-Pro options possess great arm talent, but also can dominate defenses while on the run. Fields is my No. 4 fantasy football quarterback this season. The Chicago Bears star threw just 17 touchdown passes, but ran for more 1,143 yards and eight scores in 2022.


The Bears have a fantasy football friendly schedule and should lean on Fields' playmaking ability again in 2023. They also improved their offensive arsenal, adding a legitimate WR1 in D.J. Moore through an off-season trade with the Carolina Panthers. They improved their offensive line through the 2023 NFL Draft and free agency.

Fields' playing style could lend itself to injury over a 17-game regular season, but he remains a stellar fantasy football play when he's on the field. He could be the No. 1 option at the position several times this season.

Like Burrow, Hurts is surrounded by fantastic playmakers. The Philadelphia Eagles passer leaned on wide receivers A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith for a very efficient campaign in 2022, throwing 22 touchdowns and six interceptions over 15 stars.

He also ran for 760 yards and 13 scores. I expect Hurts to again take advantage of the Eagles great offensive line and weapons, totaling close to 40 total touchdowns. He is my No. 5 option.

Pro Bowl

8. Aaron Rodgers, 9. Tua Tagovailoa, 10. Trevor Lawrence

Rodgers will be a popular addition for many fantasy football teams because of his past production and new job with the New York Jets. I expect him to rebound from his lackluster 2022 campaign, but don't see him matching his MVP-level production. Look for the former Green Bay Packers star to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 30 scores. He is a low-end QB1.


Tagovailoa proved last season that he is capable of elite QB1 production, entering the NFL MVP conversation from Week 8 through Week 10. While questions remain about his ability to stay healthy, there is no doubt about how successful he can be when he is on the field for the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins boast one of the best wide receiver duos in the league in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They also are led by offensive-minded head coach Mike McDaniel. I expect the Dolphins to attempt to balance their offense a bit more in 2023, increasing their dedication to the run, which should help them stay on the field and allow for more fantasy football scoring opportunities.

Look for Tagovailoa to throw at least 30 touchdown passes for the first time of his career. He also should throw for close to 4,000 yards.

Just Napping

12. Russell Wilson, 16. Geno Smith

Hype surrounded Wilson and the Denver Broncos at this time last year. The Broncos then stumbled, with Wilson throwing a career-low 16 touchdown passes in 15 games. Injuries and poor offensive line play were among the factors that led to the Broncos' 2022 demise.


The addition of coach Sean Payton and improvements to their offensive line should give Wilson a boost, but I still don't expect consistent QB1 production. He will be a low-end, matchup-dependent play.

Smith was one of the most efficient passers in the NFL last season, completing a league-best 69.8% of his throws. He also threw a career-high 30 touchdown passes and logged 4,282 passing yards from the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks still roster talented wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The off-season addition of former Ohio State pass catcher Jaxon Smith-Ngiba should add more punch to their arsenal.

I expect Smith to again eclipse 4,000 passing yards. He also should come close to 30 touchdown tosses and provide low-end QB1 production.

Deep Sleepers

15. Anthony Richardson, 20. Derek Carr

Richardson was recently named the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is a terrific runner with a lot of arm talent, but lacks surrounding offensive weaponry.

Because of that, I expect the Colts to lean on his dynamic playmaking ability. Wilson is a great option if you choose to wait on draft quarterbacks, but I would add another passer to my roster to balance out his expected inconsistency.


Carr joined the New Orleans Saints this off-season and is among my favorite under-the-radar fantasy football quarterbacks. The four-time Pro Bowl selection likely can't be depended on as a weekly starter, but should reach the Top 10 of my weekly rankings when he gets good matchups.

He also will be surrounded by several above-average playmakers, including wide receivers Chris Olave and Michael Thomas and running back Jamaal Williams, who will be filling in during Alvin Kamara's three-game suspension.

Carr threw for at least 4,000 yards for four-consecutive seasons before his subpar 2022 campaign with the Raiders. I expect him to come close to that total again in 2023 if he starts at least 16 games. Carr also could total more than 25 touchdown passes. He is my No. 20 option and a great bye-week replacement.

Top 20 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings for 2023

1. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 7

2. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 5

3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

4. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears, Bye Week 13

5. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 10

6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 13


7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 13

8. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets, Bye Week 7

9. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 10

10. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 9

11. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 13

12. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 9

13. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 5

14. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 7

15. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 11

16. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 5

17. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 9

18. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 10

19. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 7

20. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 11

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