Hitting on a top-shelf quarterback in fantasy drafts can provide squads with a great building block for weekly scoring. The game’s elite fantasy signal-callers carve up opponents with their arms and legs. But, of course, that’s now baked into the average draft position (ADP) for players like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts. Likewise, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert have golden arms with some mobility. And Lamar Jackson and Justin Fields destroy teams on the ground, with the former owning MVP hardware and showcasing more as a passer than Fields.
Yet, there are still more intriguing quarterbacks to fill the starting spots on fantasy teams. As a result, gamers have options for where to select their starting fantasy quarterback and how to build their overall roster. Nevertheless, whiffing on a starting quarterback can ruin a fantasy season. A pair of quarterbacks, when factoring in their expert consensus ranking (ECR), are potential landmines in 2023.
- NFL Free Agency Primers
- Introduction to Best Ball Leagues
- Underdog Best Ball Strategy
- Erickson’s Best Ball Positional Primers
Quarterbacks to Avoid in March 2023
Deshaun Watson – Cleveland Browns: 90.3 ECR and QB10
Watson faceplanted in his return from a suspension. He was the QB27 in PPG (14.20) last season. More damning, Jacoby Brissett had 15.83 PPG in his starts. Yeesh.
The pro-Watson crowd will point to his excellence before his suspension. He was the QB6 in PPG (20.65) in 2018, QB2 in PPG (22.13) in 2019 and the QB7 in PPG (23.30) among quarterbacks who played more than one game in 2020. His PPG averages in those respective seasons would have ranked as the QB5, QB5 and QB4 in 2022. Thus, if Watson rebounds to pre-suspension form, he has some wiggle room to outperform his ECR.
However, Watson was a tire fire last season. He was PFF’s 34th-graded passer out of 36 who dropped back at least 200 times last year, was 33rd in big-time-throw rate (1.7%) and had the ninth-highest turnover-worthy-play rate (4.1%).
The one-time top-shelf quarterback was also glacially slow to get rid of the ball. Per PFF, he had the second-longest time to throw (3.35 seconds). As a result, he invited pressure. PFF had him tied for the highest rate of pressure (33.9%) that a quarterback who was pressured on at least 25 dropbacks was responsible for. Taking sacks and putting the ball in harm’s way is a recipe for failure, and Watson was among the game’s worst in both categories.
The lengthy layoff for his inexcusable conduct with women likely contributed to his lousy play last year. Still, expecting everything to click takes a leap of faith until he demonstrates it on the field. And at his absolute best, his PPG averages wouldn’t have cracked the top three in 2022. The downside is significantly greater than the upside. Thus, he’s an easy fade at his top-100 ECR.
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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.