Best Value 2023 QB Options

Simple article concept- best Value 2023 QB Options. Firstly, a quick analogy for you all. My wardrobe includes a wide variety of styles, materials, cost, & colors (mostly ‘pastels’ if you asked my fiance). & while I’ll typically wear one of my ‘top shelf’ shirts on nights out & plain T-shirts otherwise, it’s the infrequent occasion when I wear a cheap novelty shirt that I get the best comments from people. I’ve actually made a habit of taking a bi-annual trip to Value Village to hunt for retro fits & generally cool shirts (by my standards, at least).

I am likely too old to still be doing this, mind you, but that’s irrelevant to the analogy. Today, you’ll join me on a trip to Value Village.

It’s true what they say. Fantasy leagues aren’t typically won in the early rounds, but they can be lost. I have a handful of early rounders that I tend to be pretty aggressive about acquiring (e.g. Bijan, Pollard, Gibbs, CWatson, Keenan, Waller), however we won’t be covering any of them in this column.

Instead, my ‘Value Village’ cutoff point will be players who currently have an ADP outside the first 8 rounds of a 12-team PPR league (top 96 players) per FantasyPros. I’ll highlight three players from each position group to ensure you’re not reaching on any one guy.

**Keep in mind this is for 1QB leagues. If you play in a 2QB/Superflex league, I would consider these players to be more so mid-tier targets of mine with QB1 potential.

Anthony Richardson (IND)

QB16 / ADP 116

Anthony Richardson. There are those who think he is exactly what you’re seeking out when leaning into the Konami Code strategy (credit Rich Hribar), whereas there are others who question the upside of an inaccurate rookie coming off a very limited sample size of collegiate snaps.

The truth ― as it commonly is ― likely lies somewhere in the middle. That being said, you’ll come to find out that I am very focused on shooting for upside in fantasy drafts (& taking advantage of high-floor talent when opportunity presents). No QB outside of the top-96 picks has anywhere close to the rushing upside of Richardson; who has officially been named the team’s Week 1 starter.

Rushing Upside

If you’re looking for the next Cam Newton, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, etc., look no further than ARich. In each of those players’ first season as a full-time starter, they averaged 366 fantasy points, which would’ve been good for QB8 overall last year between Trevor Lawrence & Justin Herbert. The highest scorer ― Lamar Jackson ― would’ve been the fifth-highest-scoring QB in 2022 with 415 points.

So why the confidence in Richardson relative to those aforementioned veterans? It’s simple, really. I don’t care how good/bad of a passer he is (he’s better than he gets credit for, by the way). It’s because he is quite literally the best athlete of that sample of QBs. In fact, he’s the best QB athlete the NFL has ever seen.

Don’t believe me? 

For those not familiar, Relative Athletic Score (RAS) is a metric (credit Kent Lee Platte) which takes a players athletic testing ― whether it be via Combine or Pro Day ― & scores that player relative to weight-adjusted historical data on a scale of 0-10.00.

Following Anthony Richardson’s superhuman display at the Combine, he posted a PERFECT RAS score of 10.00.

Playing in a Shane Steichen offense that just unleashed Jalen Hurts & the now controversial QB Power Sneak play, Richardson is a top 10 lock with top 5 upside at the position as far as I’m concerned.

Brock Purdy (SF)

QB23 / ADP 162

Purdy is yet another hotly debated fantasy value this offseason. There are those who contest that Trey Lance is the best QB on the roster & destined to eventually claim his rightful spot as starter. Even for those who don’t believe in Lance, there’s questions over Purdy’s draft capital, limited sample size, unsustainable efficiency, & sheer luck.

To their credit, Mr. Irrelevant probably doesn’t have a long leash if he stumbles out of the gate… & we have recently seen a 49ers QB excel & then fall back to earth (Mullens)… & the 49ers were historically efficient with Purdy at QB last season… & he was among the league leaders in dropped interceptions in his span as starter.

Wait, is Troy trying to sell us on Purdy or not?

Yes. I acknowledge all of those red flags & I embrace them. I embrace them because they are suppressing the cost of an otherwise top 15 QB with boom-week potential.

Don’t believe me?

In 6 starts last season, Purdy averaged a QB11 weekly finish. In half of those games, he finished inside the top 10 QBs that week. & in all but one of those games did he finish outside the top 15 QBs.

His ADP currently sits at #169 overall, behind QBs like Jordan Love, Kenny Pickett, & Russell Wilson. Give me Purdy over all of those guys every day.

As the announced starter for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Purdy will not face a single defense that ranked inside the top 10 pass defenses a year ago through the first 5 weeks of the 2023 season. Despite the logical argument that his efficiency is bound to regress, he nonetheless will continue to pass to some of the best YAC targets the league has to offer between Deebo, Aiyuk, CMC, & Kittle, so I think the extent of his forecasted regression has been overstated.

Going as QB23 overall, he is a screaming buy for anyone who punts QB in 1QB leagues & is a must-have player for me in 2QB leagues.

Desmond Ridder (ATL)

QB31 / ADP 239

While I admittedly don’t LOVE Ridder in general (no offense my friend), it’s hard to argue that any late round QB in a 2QB has more realistic upside.

Of the 7 QBs selected immediately before him by ADP ― Young, Murray, Tannehill, Howell, Stroud, Garoppolo, & Mac Jones ― only Howell & Ridder have two receiving threats being drafted inside the top 75 overall. Depending on how you feel about the McLaurin/Dotson combo vs the London/Pitts combo may ultimately sway your preference.

Ridder ended the season on a high note, finishing as QB11 overall in Week 18. While it may not have counted for most, it was against an otherwise stingy Tampa Bay pass defense (#9 overall) & could foreshadow further development for Ridder.

Finally, he opens the season against five straight bottom-half-of-the-league pass defenses, so you’ll likely reap the rewards early on a very cheap pick before perhaps selling high on him later in the year. 

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Image Credit: Mitch Stringer – USA TODAY Sports