Welcome to the 2023 NFL fantasy football season. I'm taking our traditional fantasy rankings one step further and arranging them into tiers to help prepare you to dominate your drafts. Tiers give you a better idea of player values and will allow you to construct a more well-rounded roster.
I could have been really cheeky and listed Patrick Mahomes in his own tier after last season, when he posted a single-season rating of 417.4 points, the most ever by a quarterback. Mahomes had 17-plus fantasy points in 16 games, the most of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era. ... Joe Burrow set a Bengals franchise record with 35 touchdown passes last year and finished with an average of nearly 22 fantasy points per game (fourth among QBs). After sustaining a calf injury last week, he will miss several weeks, but this is kind of how Burrow's preseasons seem to go. He had limited reps two years ago recovering from a knee injury that prematurely ended his rookie season, and he missed time last training camp after undergoing an appendectomy. I'm still keeping him in my top tier for now. ... Josh Allen has recorded 35-plus passing touchdowns in three consecutive seasons, tied for the longest streak in NFL history -- and he's the first player to hit that benchmark and rush for five-plus scores in three career seasons.
Justin Fields probably won't rush for 1,000 yards again -- I get that. But the addition of DJ Moore could help him make a third-year leap similar to what we saw from Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts at those points in their respective careers. The idea of hitting 4,000 passing yards is nice, though he would have to average just over 235 passing yards per game, which would be a fairly significant increase above his current career mark of 152.3. Let's maybe think about 3,000 passing yards with 750 rushing yards as the goal. ... Trevor Lawrence is now throwing to Calvin Ridley, and don't overlook the QB's five rushing touchdowns. You sometimes need to project quarterbacks' production, and I am excited about Lawrence after a full offseason in Doug Pederson's system. ... Love Jalen Hurts, but his value last year was pushed by his rushing TDs total (13), and he's not hitting that again in 2023. The Eagles were third in rushing attempts last season and have a new offensive coordinator in Brian Johnson. Still, Hurts is a great option, and I won't argue with you if you have him ranked higher. ... Lamar Jackson will also welcome a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken. Jackson averaged 19.7 fantasy points per game last season, which ranked sixth in the NFL. ... Justin Herbert is now the highest-paid player in the NFL, but he's coming off a season in which he posted just three games with three-plus touchdown passes. He had seven in 2021. He was 15th in points per game among quarterbacks last year after he finished second the previous year.
Funny, I was told for years that Aaron Rodgers was the G.O.A.T. Now people seemingly want to pretend he can't play football. His down year in 2022 probably had more to do with his broken thumb than anything. Bank on a huge bounce-back campaign. ... Speaking of bounce-backs, Russell Wilson is now working with Sean Payton. Don't sleep on the fact Wilson also had 23-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games last season. ... I want Daniel Jones to throw 20 touchdowns, but who is going to be his top target outside of Saquon Barkley and Darren Waller? ... Drafting Kirk Cousins is like ordering cheese pizza for your kids. Not super exotic, but nobody is really going to be upset about it. Gives you a nice, safe floor.
Anthony Richardson is that guy you absolutely want to draft as your second quarterback to keep on your bench, just in case. What you -- and Colts fans -- want is a Justin Fields-like season where Richardson challenges for 1,000 rushing yards. ... Geno Smith was great last year, and the Seahawks added promising rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba. But running is still in Pete Carroll's DNA, even after Seattle ranked 22nd and 27th in rushing attempts in the last two seasons. ... Derek Carr is getting a new chance in New Orleans. But he's having to learn another system, something that seemingly happens to him every year. ... We don't know when Kyler Murray is going to return or what kind of shape he will be in. But he has the potential to be a league winner for you and is worth a stash if your league has IR spots.
The Steelers went on a winning spree in the second half of the season, capturing six of their final seven contests, but Kenny Pickett had 14-plus points in just two games in all of 2022. His seven touchdown passes were the fewest ever by a rookie with at least 350 pass attempts in a season. ... Brock Purdy is intriguing and could end up being a valuable quarterback, but there are much better options. ... Mac Jones is going to be coached by Bill O'Brien this year, which is a huge upgrade from Joe Judge and Matt Patricia. But who's he throwing to?