Fantasy Football Notebook
Kirk Cousins comes into the 2023 Fantasy Football season graded as the top Backup Quarterback for owners bench and depth chart, ranking just outside of the Top 14 projected starters. Some owners and other media may even feel that Cousins deserves a starting nod. Over the last three seasons Cousins has averaged more than 4300 passing yards and 32 touchdown passes. With
All-Pro Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson and top flight Tight End T.J. Hockensen leading the way. Cousins will undoubtedly have his fair share of big games throughout the season.
Dropping in next is second year quarterback Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers who has a very talented supporting cast at his disposal featuring Running Back Najee Harris, Wide Receivers Dionte Johnson and George Pickens along with Tight End Pat Freiermuth. Pickett has also shown enough athleticism to pick up rushing yards and some potential rushing TD opportunities.
Jimmy Garoppolo will be at the helm in Las Vegas this season. He's on a new team which means learning a new system and developing chemistry with the offense. Having a dominant number one Wide Receiver like Davante Adams certainly helps, while complimentary Wide Outs Hunter Renfrow and newcomer Jakobi Myers round out his trio of main targets. Garoppolo staying healthy for 17 games is the biggest concern for owners who will be depending on his services this year.
In terms of weapons and a supporting cast Aaron Rogers is certainly set up for success especially if he's in prime A-Rod form. Owners should expect the Jets offense to take a little time to gel but there are certainly enough weapons for Rogers to thrive if the offense can hit on all cylinders. The big question mark is whether Rogers will be airing it out on a consistent basis or more of a high-end game manager this season.
Let's be honest, it's going to be unfamiliar territory for Fantasy owners to completely trust and have confidence in New York Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones as a weekly starter. His name isn't buzzing around the top of fantasy circles but it's definitely being mentioned. It appears that second year Head Coach Brian DaBoll knows how to get the best and most out of Jones, which makes him a great DFS play and inexpensive Quarterback for salary cap leagues.
Jordan Love will be entering his first season as a full-time starter making him a low-risk high reward option. Like many of the young Fantasy Quarterbacks. he has the most value in dynasty leagues and franchise modes. The Packers offense will feature a brand-new passing game, so there's not much to go on in terms of high expectations. But Love has looked sharp in limited action this preseason, including the ability to scramble for yards on the ground.
Cleveland Quarterback to Deshaun Watson doesn't have an array of high-end weapons like many of the other top fantasy signal callers but he does have a number one Wide Receiver in Amari Cooper along with a good Offensive Line and his individual skill set, which still has a high ceiling if he's playing at the top of his game.
It's not too often that you see a top five fantasy Quarterback drop off into irrelevant status the following year. That's exactly what happened to the Rams Matthew Stafford who threw for over 4,800 yards and had 41 TD passes in 2021. In 2022, Stafford performed poorly prior to a season ending injury finishing the season with 2,087 yards, 10 TDs and 8 interceptions in 9 games. Stafford has a proven track record of fantasy success, so it's a little awkward not knowing what to expect from him coming into this season.
Baker Mayfield has become an NFL journeyman and his latest stop lands him in Tampa Bay. The culture and morale has changed dramatically over the last two seasons with the departure of future Hall of Fame Quarterback Tom Brady and other veteran players from the Bucs 2020 Super Bowl team. In terms of fantasy football, if Mayfield can stay healthy and stay away from turnovers, Wide Receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are still talented playmakers who can make things happen.
It's hard to imagine the Broncos offense being any worse than it was last year. Quarterback Russell Wilson fell from fantasy grace and ended last season on the majority of leagues waiver wire. The health of his starting Wide Receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Judy could ultimately determine how much production Wilson can churn out. On a refreshing and positive note, Wilson has been very aggressive picking up rushing yards in Preseason games.
As for the Rookie starters. On paper, Carolina Panthers Quarterback Bryce Young is set up for the most fantasy success considering the talent around him on offense. Compared to fellow rookie C.J. Stroud in Houston who will have Nico Collins, Robert Woods along with John Metchie III and Anthony Richardson of the Colts who will be throwing to Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce and Isaiah McKenzie. Young will have two established veterans in Adam Thielen and D.J. Chark, along with third year Wide Out Terrace Marshall Jr. That collective group has the most value and should afford Young the highest ceiling for scoring fantasy points this season. Richardson is hands down the best athlete and is expected to pick up the most rushing yards this year. If he becomes an effective passer, his stock will quickly rise. Even though he's not a rookie, second year Quarterback Sam Howell of the Washington Commanders will be the starter this year. He could end up being the most productive of the group if he's able to thrive in the Commanders new look offense.