Fantasy managers are always in search of sleepers and breakthrough players. The players that can put them over the top and win them their fantasy championships.
Equally important is the opposite end of the fantasy spectrum. The players to avoid. These players will underperform and sink your fantasy title dreams. Conversely, avoiding these pitfalls is a recipe for your fantasy fortunes.
- Introduction to Best Ball Leagues
- Erickson’s Best Ball Positional Primers
- Best Ball Roster Construction Strategy
Quarterbacks to Avoid in 2023
Here are four quarterbacks that fantasy managers should avoid for the 2023 fantasy football season.
Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)
Kyler Murray -
Right Knee appears to buckle. Concern for ACL.
If so, it'll be 8.5 months to 2023 Week 1.. 10.5 months to mid-November.
Probably won't see the rushing upside return until late 2023 or 2024.
Chance he starts the 2023 season on PUP. pic.twitter.com/fjUttTta9E
— Jeff Mueller, PT, DPT (@jmthrivept) December 13, 2022
Even before Kyle Murray suffered a torn ACL in Week 14, he was having a disappointing season. Murray was the QB19 on the season, producing 2,368 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns, and seven interceptions across 11 games. He also had 418 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. His rushing ability provides Murray an advantage for fantasy managers. Unfortunately, the Arizona Cardinals’ offense struggled throughout the season due to the inconsistent play of Murray. Still, partial blame must be directed to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who called the offensive plays. The rift between Murray and Kingsbury was quite evident and led to a struggling offense. His poor play-calling and decision-making led to a 4-13 Cardinals record and his departure.
The best plays on the offense are when Murray improvised and created the plays. That feature has been their calling card for Murray. However, he has never been much of an accurate passer, and his ability to lead an offense has always been questioned. Heading into the 2023 season, Murray will miss games as he is still recovering from his ACL surgery. The current reports notwithstanding, Murray will miss multiple games at the onset of next season. Fantasy managers will believe they are creative and try to scoop up Murray late in their drafts. However, the opposite should happen. To rely on Murray successfully returning from his injury is questionable, especially with his shaky work ethic. In addition, Murray will be forced to learn a new offense with a new head coach. Combining those factors make Murray a quarterback to avoid next season.
Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)
Tua Tagovailoa was a trendy topic in NFL and fantasy circles throughout the 2022 season. Tua had a breakthrough season, leading the league with a 105.5 passer rating and producing 3,548 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in 13 games. However, the well-being of Tua has to take precedence here. Tua suffered multiple concussions, including troubling signs of the concussions’ effects. The Dolphins will undoubtedly proceed with extreme caution with Tua moving forward, but these concerns overshadow any success he produced behind center. Tua just cleared concussion protocol and believes he will be the Dolphins’ starter in Week 1 next season. Fantasy managers are encouraged about the breakthrough season, and his absence curtailed the fantasy production of his two stud receivers, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The fantasy downgrade stalled many fantasy championship dreams last season. While we are pulling for Tua to make a completely healthy recovery, this situation seems logical to avoid for fantasy managers.
Deshaun Watson (QB – CLE)
Some fantasy managers were hoping to see Deshaun Watson from his Houston Texans days in the first season with the Cleveland Browns. But, unfortunately, that fantasy darling is long gone. The current version of Watson looks and plays a little differently, and his downgrade curtailed fantasy managers who hoped they found a top quarterback at the back end of their fantasy drafts last season. Before his six-game season, Watson had not played NFL football in almost two years.
Watson produced 1,102 passing yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions while leading the Browns to a 3-3 record. He made improvements, but the Browns’ offense under head coach Kevin Stefanski does not lead to as many improvized plays as he provided us in Houston. The Browns’ offense relies on their running game, with Nick Chubb behind one of the better offensive lines in the league. Stefanski will sprinkle in wide receivers Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones along with tight end David Njoku, but the offense is predicated on a potent running game. The Browns gave up a ton to acquire Watson (too much) and need to continue to develop more surrounding talent. The structure of the offense lends itself to the quarterback being more of a game manager, not an improvising playmaker. In Houston, Watson was the Texans’ offense and was forced to make some dazzling plays. Those plays will not be plentiful in Cleveland, which should deter fantasy managers from selecting Watson as their QB1 next season.
Russell Wilson (QB – DEN)
Russell Wilson in the giving spirit!
— PFF (@PFF) December 25, 2022
Fantasy managers are well aware of the massive decline that Russell Wilson exhibited in his first season in Denver. Wilson barely completed 60 percent of his attempts while totaling a career-low 16 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Broncos’ offense looked lost. It was pretty evident that first-time head coach Nathaniel Hackett was in well over his head, but the decline of Russell Wilson was also crystal clear. His lack of mobility, a vital component in his game, has left the building. Of course, Wilson didn’t have much help to succeed, with Hackett sabotaging the offense, the team, and a banged-up supporting cast. Mercifully, Hackett has been relieved of his coaching duties. Sean Payton returns to the head coaching fraternity to fix the dysfunctional Broncos.
Payton has been a quarterback whisperer and has the resume to exude hope to revitalize Wilson and the Broncos’ offense. However, Wilson has lost his effectiveness and the edge without his mobility to make plays when nothing presents itself. Payton doesn’t own the fountain of youth to assist Wilson in returning to an effective quarterback. The buzz in Denver that the arrival of Payton has caused will push the value of Wilson up the quarterback rankings. Currently, he is QB16, but the hype with Payton and the promise of a new-look offense will elevate Wilson into a top-12 quarterback. That is not where fantasy managers should invest in a quarterback coming off his worst statistical season.
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Dennis Sosic is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dennis, check out his archive and follow him @CALL_ME_SOS.