2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Green Lights

Sleepers, breakouts, and busts are hack. Ignore that I posted over a dozen of them. But, they’re not super helpful when it comes to determining what picks you should be making at all parts of your draft, since most people have the same sleepers and busts. Instead, I am embarking on a new adventure, inspired by my 30+ minute commute to work every day. Let’s say that I love green lights and hate red lights. But, enough about my mid-90s tight five that got me on Comedy Central Presents. I’m going to run through some red lights and green lights at every position, starting with the green lights at the quarterback position.

Green Light: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (QB6/49 Overall)

The Dallas Cowboys unceremoniously canned offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who made his way to the Chargers, and I anticipate that he will supercharge their offense (pun very much intended) after the Chargers moved on from poorly named Joe Lombardi, whose offensive schematics won’t win anything. If you remove the year where Dak Prescott’s leg and foot went opposite directions (which, by the way, Dak Prescott was averaging over 400 passing yards per game when that happened), then Kellen Moore has helmed a top-ten offense every year he’s been an offensive coordinator. In the three years with Dak under center, Moore’s passing game finished first, fourth, and ninth in net yards per pass attempt. Joe Lombardi, in contrast, finished 19, 18, 10, and 14.

Herbert finished last season as QB15, mostly because Joe Lombardi had him throw the ball just 6.5 yards downfield, on average. This was 32nd in the NFL, which if you’re keeping track at home… there are only 32 quarterbacks in the NFL. This is because the brain geniuses in L.A. last season had him throw deep at the same rate as Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield, despite having a bigger and more accurate arm than them. The Moore Administration will let loose Justin Herbert, so I love him at his ADP.

Green Light: Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts (QB17/122 Overall)

But, if you want to go bargain-bin diving, I can’t get mad at taking Indianapolis Colts’ rookie Anthony Richardson (alongside another upside player, perhaps the next guy) to find some approximation of rookie Cam Newton or rookie Josh Allen. Both these quarterbacks matched Richardson’s height and weight profile, and we weren’t entirely sure what to expect from them during their rookie seasons. However, they combined to average 20.6 fantasy points per game in their rookie campaigns, despite not being very good quarterbacks at the time.

Allen and Newton ran the ball a ton, and I expect Richardson—under the watchful eye of Shane Steichen, who oversaw Jalen Hurts’ breakout—to follow suit. Cam Newton averaged 8 carries for 44 yards per game, and Josh Allen kicked in over 7.4 attempts for 52.6 yards per game. Cam Newton won an MVP, and Josh Allen is consistently on the verge of winning one. But they were both once just rookies, just like Richardson, and they were rookies who helped carry you to a fantasy football title.

Green Light: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (QB29/223 Overall)

Okay, so hear me out. Ryan Tannehill is still a good football player. He never stopped being good, you just assumed he did because his top options were Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, an unconditioned rookie wide receiver, and a rookie tight end doomed to split snaps with Geoff Swaim. Fast forward to 2023, and his top option is DeAndre Hopkins, and he has a developed Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo at his disposal. With Chig and running back Derrick Henry, Tannehill boasts the highest yards per reception players at two different positions.

Let’s be clear: the 2022 Tennessee Titans were a mess. Their season started with Mike Vrabel getting physically visibly angry at trading A.J. Brown, and things didn’t get much better for the offense. Still, Tannehill quietly cooked despite all the issues around him. He was top-five in adjusted completion percentage under pressure and top-five in overall yards per pass attempt. With a new-look offense capped by DeAndre Hopkins, Ryan Tannehill is the perfect second or third quarterback in a 2QB league or a guy to pair with Anthony Richardson.

[image source; https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Anthony_Richardson_NFL_Combine.png under CC BY SA 2.0]

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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