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Perfect 2023 fantasy football draft strategy for picking quarterbacks

2MAGDC2 Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) scrambles up field during a 3-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Don’t be afraid to take a quarterback early in a fantasy football draft: There aren’t as many great options at quarterback compared to past seasons, and the top tier stands clearly above the rest.
  • Some 2021 quarterbacks are a steal: Some quarterbacks from that class are struggling, but two were very impressive late in the 2022 season.
  • A few strong late-round options: Multiple quarterbacks finished in the top 10 in fantasy points per game last season but are being picked outside of the top 10.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The “perfect draft by position series” takes a look at the strategies that have been used in the “perfect draft strategy by pick” series, as well as those used during my drafts. This compares not only how good these players are but also when you can get these players compared to others. This largely assumes a 12-team league, but similar logic can apply to other sizes with any major exceptions noted. To try some of these strategies on your own, check out our new mock draft simulator.

For help on strategy by pick numbers and league sizes, rankings, or more details about the players, check out the rest of my summer content below. For rankings with better filtering along with auction values, check out our draft rankings page.

Player Profiles
More Rankings: PPR | Half-PPR | Standard | Superflex
Dynasty Rankings: PPR | Rookie | Superflex | Superflex Rookie
Position Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE
Sleepers: Top-10 | QB | RB | WR | TE
League Winners: QB | RB | WR | TE
12-Team Draft Strategy: Overall strategy | Picks 1-3 | Picks 4-6 | Picks 7-9 | Picks 10-12
10-Team Draft Strategy: Overall strategy | Picks 1-3 | Picks 4-7 | Picks 8-10

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Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Friday, August 11

1. Draft a Tier 1 Quarterback in the second round

Top Target: Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen

There is a big advantage in having one of the top quarterbacks.

  • In prior seasons, there were enough good quarterbacks that every fantasy manager could pick one late and be happy.
  • Tom Brady retired, removing one consistent fantasy starter
  • Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and Matthew Stafford were all among the top-14 quarterbacks in fantasy points per game in 2021, but they took a step back last season and have an average age above 35. 
  • Kyler Murray was also a consistent top-12 fantasy quarterback, but his ACL injury from December makes it unlikely he plays Week 1, and whenever he is healthy, he might not have the same rushing upside.
  • Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins are on the wrong side of 30, and while they haven’t declined yet, they are still likely past their peak.
  • This only leaves eight quarterbacks to be confident in this season, but the top three are in a clear tier above the rest due to their passing talent mixed with rushing upside.
  • While it might seem weird leaving some great running backs or wide receivers on the table in Round 2, drafting a quarterback here pretty consistently leads to fantasy teams projected to score more points and win more games.

2. Draft Justin Fields in the fifth round

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