Updated August 31, 2023

Tier 1

1. Josh Allen, BUF

2. Jalen Hurts, PHI

3. Patrick Mahomes, KC

The first and third names don’t surprise here, as the list kicks off with the best NFL passer-rusher combo QB in Josh Allen, and at the No. 3 spot sits perhaps the best real-life QB of all-time when he hangs it up in Patrick Mahomes. Sandwiched in between – 2022’s breakout player (for fantasy and real life) Jalen Hurts. The Eagles’ QB put it all together in 2022, with his rushing prowess so prominent that he bests Mahomes for fantasy purposes.

This trio should depart draft boards starting in the middle of the second round through first half of the third round.

Tier 2

4. Lamar Jackson, BAL

5. Justin Fields, CHI

6. Joe Burrow, CIN

7. Justin Herbert, LAC

Tier 2 presents two prolific QB rushers at the top, one a former MVP and the other an up-and-coming signal caller. Both Jackson and Fields have tier 1 upside and high floors due to their rushing statistics. The second half of tier 2 boasts two stars from the 2020 draft, both of whom are prolific passers whose rushing games contribute modestly to fantasy scoring. Burrow looks to be good to go for week 1. The change at offensive coordinator could unlock Herbert to Mahomes-like numbers in 2023, so keep him in mind as an option with high end ROI. Rounds 4 through 6 make sense for the tier 2 quartet.

Tier 3

8. Trevor Lawrence, JAC

9. Tua Tagovailoa, MIA

10. Kirk Cousins, MIN

11. Geno Smith, SEA

12. Daniel Jones, NYG

13. Anthony Richardson, IND

14. Deshaun Watson, CLE

15. Dak Prescott, DAL

Tier 3 boasts a deep group, with QBs in all shapes and sizes. Jaguars’ QB Trevor Lawrence leads the pack, with both the highest floor and the largest upside out of the group. Going on Year 2 in Doug Peterson’s offense plus the addition of star WR Calvin Ridley, Lawrence has a solid chance to unlock tier 2 level play. 

Tua showed his pinpoint accuracy and dialed-in connection with star WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Whether he can stay healthy is the only question now. 

Kirk Cousins and Geno Smith primarily do their damage through the air, and each possesses excellent WR weapons. Expect rookie Jaxson Smith-Njigba (once healthy) to elevate Geno’s numbers even higher in 2023. 

Daniel Jones experienced a rebirth under head coach Brian Daboll, especially from a fantasy perspective – 7 TDs and more than 700 rushing yards. Daboll’s one of the best offensive minds in the league, and Jones should only improve from here. Expect a bump from his 15 passing TDs. Rookie Anthony Richardson checks in as the highest rated fantasy rookie QB, as he will be a monster on the ground. Don’t be surprised to see 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs from Richardson this year. He’s my favorite ROI play from this group.

Deshaun Watson was top 5ish fantasy QB with the Texans before his legal troubles. Watson has a good chance to provide a strong return for anyone drafting him as a high end QB2, now that he gets the full year with the Browns. Dak Prescott suffered a down year in 2022, and his fantasy rushing points have been trending in the wrong direction. But Prescott threw 37 TDs as recently as 2021, and with the addition of WR Brandin Cooks, he's got a reasonable shot at a bounce back 2023 season.

Trevor Lawrence would be a great add to your team from round 7 and onward, with the rest of the group falling in line through round 10.

Tier 4

16. Aaron Rodgers, NYJ

17. Russell Wilson, DEN

18. Jared Goff, DET

19. Derek Carr, NO

20. Matthew Stafford, LAR

Tier 4 boasts veteran group of QBs who do not contribute much in the running game, with Gang Green QB Aaron Rodgers (feels weird to type this) leading the way. Russell Wilson’s booming rushing days seem to be behind him, but here’s thinking that his quarterback skills will rebound to acceptable levels with a competent coaching staff now in Denver. Detroit boasts a multitude of weapons, and Jared Goff remains underrated – both in real life and for fantasy purposes. We end this tier with two solid floor, low ceiling plays in Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford.

Tier 4 QBs can be relied on for favorable matchup plays and spot starts, but your top QB should not come from this group. This group should be mid-round draft picks in fantasy leagues.

Tier 5

21. Jordan Love, GB

22. Kenny Pickett, PIT

23. Brock Purdy, SF

24. Bryce Young, CAR

25. Kyler Murray, ARI

Tier 5 presents upside options at the top 2 spots, followed by a safe player without a high ceiling. Jordan Love has very good weapons at his disposal with the Packers, and don’t be surprised if he’s better than advertised. Kenny Pickett should take a Year 2 jump, with strong coaching and a deep array of skill position players in Pittsburgh.

Brock Purdy has solidified himself as the 49ers' QB of the future, and he'll have a safe floor as a mid-level fantasy QB2. Bryce Young will have the reigns for the Panthers starting in Week 1, and in time he’ll be a larger factor in fantasy leagues. Now his skill position players in Carolina…let’s just say there’s much to be desired. We end with Kyler Murray, whose ranking ultimately depends on how soon he makes it back from his injury. Great value pick if he’s back by the beginning of October, but he’ll drop in ranking if that’s not the case.

Spend late round capital snagging one of these players as your QB2.

Draft Strategy:

The typical recommended strategy for QBs has been to wait until you’ve fortified your RB/WR/TE positions before snagging your QB, due to the large number of solid QB plays. For this year, it’s necessary to tweak that strategy. There’s a dropoff after tier 2, so you should try to grab one of the top 7 QBs if you can. In case you miss out on those options, then aim for Trevor Lawrence (the case exists for him to be in his own separate 2.5 tier) or swing for the fences with Anthony Richardson.

Personal Note

Thank you for reading my articles on RealGM! I have a request of you – if you enjoy my work, I kindly ask that you consider following me on Twitter if you aren’t already. My Twitter handle is @NeemaHodjatNFL. Your support is very much appreciated.

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