2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

AP Photo/David Banks

2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

Fantasy Football

2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers


AP Photo/David Banks

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of this TWSN 2023 fantasy football sleeper series. I will begin by covering some of the quarterbacks commonly ranked outside the top 12 this offseason who have the biggest upside. There were a lot of names in this range last year such as Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields who provided big payoffs for fantasy managers. 

We will use this same logic to identify some other dual-threat quarterbacks in this range, as well as some who are in great offenses. While early quarterbacks will be popular in drafts this offseason there will still be some outstanding options later on too. With that, here are four names that could very well could finish in QB1 territory in 2023.


Trey Lance – San Francisco 49ers

Trey Lance is floating outside the top 12 quarterbacks in a lot of early 2023 rankings, which makes him a bargain. After becoming the third overall pick in the 2021 draft, we just haven’t seen Lance very much his first two years in the league. He played behind Jimmy Garoppolo his first season, and suffered an ankle injury in Week Two last year, ending his campaign. 

It’s safe to say his career hasn’t started off as expected, and to make matters worse, Brock Purdy was able to step in to the offense and have immediate success. However, an opportunity has opened up for Lance with Purdy injuring his UC Joint. He isn’t expected back until late in the Summer, and the 49ers won’t hold the job for him, despite his late season heroics. In fact, it is likely that San Francisco uses this as one last opportunity to see what Lance can do after spending three first round picks to acquire him.

Lance will be given every chance to succeed, and there is a good chance he looks well enough in shorts to warrant being the Week One starter. We saw with a player like Justin Fields last season just how valuable rushing quarterbacks can be for fantasy purposes. Fields ranked dead last in passing yards per game among quarterbacks with 14 attempts and still managed to finish as the QB7. Lance has this same kind of rushing upside, but is in a much better position on the 49ers’ offense. He is worth the risk as people are still buying Purdy as the Week One starter next year.


Geno Smith – Seattle Seahawks

Despite a season finishing as the QB5 in fantasy football and passing for over 4,000 yards, Geno Smith is still being disrespected. He ranks as a borderline top 15 quarterback according to many, as most are betting on some regression. This past season, of course, was Smith’s most productive to date, not having started a full year since the 2014 season. 

2022 didn’t appear like a fluke though, as he was ninth in yards per attempt and sixth in total QBR (Player Profiler). It is all going to hinge on Smith, but this offense has the chance to be one of the best in the league. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett pair to make one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league, while Kenneth Walker III is coming off an outstanding rookie season as well. 

Put it all together and if Geno Smith continues to play like he did last season, he is a tremendous value in fantasy football drafts. Particularly in season long formats where we are just depending on his 2023 outlook. He would be great to pair with a more risky quarterback like Trey Lance, who we listed before.


Deshaun Watson – Cleveland Browns

From a pure fantasy football standpoint, Deshaun Watson represents another tremendous value in early 2023 rankings. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that he had a very tough first season in Cleveland. He was suspended for the first 11 games of the season, and ultimately the offense failed to generate any success upon his return.

Play calling was certainly an issue; however, Watson was clearly rusty, not having played in nearly two full seasons. Despite the uncertainties, I think he is due for a bounce back in 2023 after an offseason where he should be totally focused on football. This is a player who prior to sitting out in 2021 finished as a top five fantasy quarterback three straight years. 

Watson is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league, with 500-plus rushing yards in his range of outcomes, which gives him elite fantasy upside. He showed improvement in the last two games of the season, finishing as a top 10 fantasy quarterback each week. He targeted Amari Cooper heavily as well, and the offense isn’t devoid of talent next season either. Stars like Cooper and Nick Chubb are set to return, and they are sure to make some additions in the offseason too. 


Jared Goff – Detroit Lions

Jared Goff is another player coming off a QB1 season commonly ranked outside the top 12 quarterbacks. He is coming off his best season since his 2019 Super Bowl runner-up campaign, and Detroit boasts one of the most talented offenses in the league. Goff was one of my favorite sleepers in 2022, and he will be this year too, even at an elevated price.

While Goff most notably struggles against the blitz, Detroit has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams make an elite tandem as well, with D’Andre Swift (hopefully) leading the backfield. The Lions were this close to making the playoffs last season, and they will be expected to get over the hump in 2023. 

Goff was a huge part of their success too, finishing seventh in yards per attempt and fifth in total QBR. Detroit had one of the highest scoring offenses in the league, and there is no reason to expect that to change in 2023. He won’t ever be confused as a top 10 signal caller, but for fantasy purposes he’s capable of playing up to his surroundings. 

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