Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Rankings 2023: Quarterbacks

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The 2023 NFL season is still a few months away, but it’s always fantasy football season. Best Ball drafts are already underway, and there’s significant money to be made. If you’re an early drafter, what better way can you start your draft prep than by checking out the latest Best Ball quarterback rankings?

Analyzing past results is generally a decent way to get an idea of how to best approach your upcoming draft. QB, in particular, is a divisive position. Some are adamant that the Elite QB strategy – rolling with high-end options like Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts early- is the best way to build. Others will say that waiting on lower ADP QBs – like Geno Smith or Jared Goff – is the smarter strategy in the long run.

Without further ado, here’s an early look at our Underdog Best Ball quarterback rankings for 2023. If you’re new to the site, be sure to take advantage of our Underdog Fantasy promo code GRINDERS for a 100% match bonus on your first deposit of up to $100.

Best Ball Rankings – Quarterbacks

2023 Best Ball QB rankings are courtesy of Spike Week.

Player Team Rank Proj ADP
Patrick Mahomes logo KCC 1 3 21.00
Jalen Hurts logo PHI 2 2 20.00
Josh Allen logo BUF 3 1 19.00
Lamar Jackson logo BAL 4 4 44.00
Justin Fields logo CHI 5 6 60.00
Joe Burrow logo CIN 6 5 52.00
Justin Herbert logo LAC 7 8 83.00
Trevor Lawrence logo JAC 8 7 80.00
Deshaun Watson logo CLE 9 9 90.00
Tua Tagovailoa logo MIA 10 13 132.00
Daniel Jones logo NYG 11 10 104.00
Dak Prescott logo DAL 12 11 107.00
Anthony Richardson logo IND 13 12 127.00
Geno Smith logo SEA 14 14 141.00
Kirk Cousins logo MIN 15 17 169.00
Jared Goff logo DET 16 15 149.00
Aaron Rodgers logo NYJ 17 16 150.00
Russell Wilson logo DEN 18 18 182.00
Derek Carr logo NOS 19 21 250.00
Jordan Love logo GBP 20 26 291.00
Kenny Pickett logo PIT 21 19 215.00
Sam Howell logo WAS 22 20 224.00
Brock Purdy logo SFO 23 28 336.00
Matthew Stafford logo LAR 24 22 255.00
Kyler Murray logo ARI 25 29 392.00
C.J. Stroud logo HOU 26 24 280.00
Bryce Young logo CAR 27 23 273.00
Ryan Tannehill logo TEN 28 27 308.00
Desmond Ridder logo ATL 29 25 284.00

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2023 Best Ball Tips & Strategy: Drafting a QB

One of the fun things about Best Ball is there are no be-all, end-all strategies. You’re free to build your roster however you want to.

How many QBs should you draft? Frankly, that probably depends on how early you draft your first one. If you take Josh Allen or another high-end one early, you’re better off waiting a while before you grab your second. Because Underdog will automatically use your highest-scoring player at the position each week, you can get away with having just one other QB on the roster if you have one of the superstars.

If you prioritize other positions with your more premium draft picks, however, you may want to draft as many as 3 QBs just to be safe. If you make, say, Kirk Cousins your first passer off the board, be sure to grab a couple of others later on in order to account for the inevitable Cousins 3-INT games we see every year.

Stacking is also crucial in Best Ball, of course. If you’re lucky enough to nab Justin Jefferson, try your best to pair him with Cousins. Given the format, stacking QBs with their top pass-catchers is a smart way to maximize your upside over the course of a long season.

This year, Underdog is rolling out some Supeflex Best Ball tournaments. Traditional flex spots may only be filled by RBs, WRs, or TEs, but Superflex means you can start a second QB if you’re so inclined. Quarterbacks are generally the highest-floor players in fantasy football, so the 2-QB approach is the best way to go in this format.

Fields Cracks the Top 5

The first 4 names on the up-to-date Best Ball quarterback rankings won’t come as a surprise. Hurts, Allen, Mahomes, and Jackson are all where you’d expect them to be. Justin Fields at No. 5, however, is an eyebrow-raiser.

Fields didn’t set the world on fire with his arm last season, but he was adequate enough. His 318 pass attempts ranked just 27th in the league, and the Bears were the last pass-happy team in football. When you have Fields taking the snaps, though, that’s a logical plan of attack.

Fields ran the ball 160 times for 1,143 yards with 8 TDs, which would be a career season for just about any running back. He didn’t crack 10 carries in a game until Week 4, but he didn’t finish with single-digit attempts in any game after that until a blowout loss in Week 18. The Bears seemingly realized that utilizing Fields’ unique skill set was the best way to run an offense.

DJ Moore came over from the Panthers in a blockbuster predraft trade, which is a pretty clear sign that the Bears wanted to upgrade Fields’ weaponry heading into his third season. Fields should still spearhead a backfield that now features D’Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert, but it’ll be interesting to see if Chicago tries to take to the air more often in ’23. Last season, the Bears ran the ball on better than 56% of their offensive snaps.

Will the addition of Moore help to improve Fields’ passing numbers enough to offset his potentially decreased workload in the run game? Time will tell. Fields is the riskiest of the top-tier QBs given his lack of a long track record, so I’d still be inclined to take the 3-QB approach if I draft him.

Richardson Leads the Rooks

Anthony Richardson was the third QB off the board in April’s draft. The Colts nabbed the Florida product with the No. 4 overall pick, just after Bryce Young and CJ Stroud went to Carolina and Houston at 1 and 2, respectively. However, Richardson comes in well ahead of the other two first-round passers in our preseason Best Ball quarterback rankings.

Young and Stroud may be the more polished passing prospects, but Richardson’s two-way potential was enough to get Indy to roll the dice despite his up-and-down season as Florida’s QB1. Richardson completed a paltry 53% of his throws for the Gators, but he also averaged better than 6 yards per carry en route to 654 rushing yards and 9 TDs.

The Colts have cycled through a number of statuesque QBs over the years, but it’s safe to assume their offensive game plan will change considerably if Richardson wins the starting job. His presence should also take some of the defensive attention away from Jonathan Taylor, who struggled through a few injuries on the way to a disappointing season on the heels of his 2021 breakout.

Richardson’s passing skills may be a work in progress, but his rushing ability is enough to give him a high floor. While it looks like he should start at least a majority of the games as a rookie, nothing is ever guaranteed for first-year QBs. Gardner Minshew is here now, so maybe the Colts’ coaching staff deludes itself into giving the veteran a few starts to begin the year.

Regardless, it’s not like we can expect Indy to be a playoff team. Even if Minshew gets a few pointless starts, Richardson should still get enough opportunities to be fantasy-relevant by the season’s end.

Is Stafford Undervalued?

It’s easy to forget the Rams were reigning Super Bowl champs a year ago at this time. Their title defense season was downright dismal, and Matthew Stafford regressed considerably after tossing 41 touchdowns in his first year with the team.

Few consider LA to be much of a contender anymore, but this is still a veteran-laden team trying to win now. Stafford and Cooper Kupp are back after their injury-plagued years. Tyler Higbee was a rare bright spot last season, as well. If the key cogs remain upright, this offense should bounce back.

Stafford is all the way down to 23rd in Spike Week’s Best Ball quarterback rankings, which is a precipitous fall for a guy that hovered around the top 10 heading into 2022. He’s 35, but pocket passer types tend to age pretty well.

At the very least, it’s hard to imagine Stafford faring any worse this season than he did last year. If he can stay upright, there’s reason to believe he can come close to cracking the top 15 again by season’s end. The Rams should also benefit from drawing a third-place schedule. Stafford is a solid late-round flier worth taking regardless of your preferred QB strategy.

Image Credit: Getty Images

About the Author

tcsmith031
Taylor Smith (tcsmith031)

Based in Southern California, Taylor Smith (aka tcsmith031) has been working for RotoGrinders since 2018 in a number of different capacities. In addition to contributing written content for NBA, MLB, and NFL, Taylor is also a member of the projections/alerts team and makes regular appearances as an analyst on NBA Crunch Time. Follow Taylor on Twitter – @TayeBojangles