2023 Fantasy Football QB Sleepers
Written by Aaron White
June 21, 2023

2023 Fantasy Football QB Sleepers

While you might be looking for additional running back or wide receiver talent to fill out your Underdog Best Ball draft this offseason, selecting a quarterback at the later stages might feel like a shot in the dark.

However, past the top ten QB rankings via Underdog, led by Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, there are plenty of both familiar and new names that will carry you to victory.

Aaron Rodgers

Team: New York Jets | ADP: 120.7 (QB16)

The A-Rod era in Green Bay has finally come to a close. However, fantasy footballers shouldn’t be displeased with the move out to the East coast as the Jets sport two of the top young positional players in the league, Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson.

At this point, we could call the Jets, “Green Bay 2.0”. Robert Saleh and co. hired Nathaniel Hackett (Packers OC, 2019-2021) and signed WRs Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb to Rodgers’ obvious approval.

2022-23 Fantasy Season Recap

Rodgers worst fantasy rank in a full season of play was last season, finishing as the QB13 overall and an unacceptable QB21 in PPG for a guy drafted to be a top 10 fantasy quarterback. While these fantasy statistics are concerning, don’t forget the situation that Rodgers played in last season.

His relationship with Coach Matt LeFleur was on its last leg, the Packers reverted to rookie wide receivers after the injury riddled Allen Lazard was due to take over the WR1 role, and the whole team didn’t play with the same energy and poise we are accustomed to from years past. That’s why we should be excited about Rodgers heading to the up-and-coming J-E-T-S.

Making the Case for Rodgers as a 2023 Fantasy Sleeper

Many experts have labeled Rodgers as a “glorified game manager”. Two years removed from an MVP, I’m not buying it. With Garrett Wilson bound to become Aaron’s new Davante Adams, there is something for the 39-year-old quarterback to prove.

He hasn’t played in a Super Bowl since 2011 when he won it with the Packers, so there is a real threat to his legacy if he never reaches another Super Bowl or keeps declining from his 2022 performance. So instead of the game manager that Rodgers is bound to become in a few minds, A-Rod should be re-energized by the move.

A young Head Coach, offensive coordinator that he connects with, and some top tier receiving talent should motivate him to prove the doubters wrong in his 19th season.

With Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and Breece Hall, Aaron should be comfortable in this offense with Hackett calling the shots similar to the 2020 and 2021 seasons when the QB won back-to-back MVPs.

With Deshaun Watson (QB9), Daniel Jones (QB14), and Geno Smith (QB15) all ranked above the Hall of Famer, I’d put my eggs in the former MVP’s basket this fantasy season.

Kenny Pickett

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers | ADP: 170.3 (QB23)

Although fairly inaccurate his rookie campaign, there isn’t a reason Kenny Pickett regresses in his second NFL season. With a solid receiving core in George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, Allen Robinson, Pat Freiermuth, and incoming rookie red-zone phenom Darnell Washington, the Steelers are poised to have a better offensive season.

2022-23 Fantasy Season Recap

In 12 games last season, Kenny ran for three touchdowns alongside 237 yards. Not only do I expect those numbers to extend out to the 400 yard, five touchdown range, but his 7 TD:9 INT ratio shouldn’t be a worry that stretches out into this season for fantasy owners.

With George Pickens still coming into his own on the outside and Pickett uncomfortable in the pocket at times, I expect one of the best organizations in football to re-write their mistakes from last season.

While finishing as the QB28 in 12 full games, the positives were glaring between the continuous trust of teammates and staff and the rushing ability he was able to show in college and at times during his first year.

Making the Case for Pickett as a 2023 Fantasy Sleeper

With an ideal frame for a rushing quarterback, solid receiving options, and a patient coaching staff in Pittsburgh, the former Pittsburgh Panther should easily be considered a top 20 QB option this season that could easily stretch into the top 15 if the rushing totals add up.

A 250 fantasy point expectation for Kenny wouldn’t be out of the question, which would easily secure him that top 15 spot. With Najee Harris continuously struggling to find increased YPC in his Steeler career, Tomlin and co. might use Pickett as a red zone rushing threat more than you think.

With rushing TDs counting as 6 points in Underdog Best Ball’s scoring format, Pickett is a sneaky late-round selection that should have a great start to the season against the Browns (Week 2), Raiders (Week 3), and Texans (Week 4).

Bryce Young

Team: Carolina Panthers | ADP: 177.1 (QB24)

Bryce Young hasn’t disappointed at any level of his playing career. From a prodigy at Mater Dei High School in Orange County to a star with the Crimson Tide, fantasy owners should keep an eye on Bryce during his rookie season, even with a poor ADP.

Collegiate Recap

In his two seasons at Alabama, Young threw for 79 TDs and just 12 INTs. The dude is a solid leader, well-spoken, and has one of the best traits for a rookie QB that was just selected as the first overall pick. He doesn’t turn the ball over!

While Alabama quarterbacks haven’t panned out in the past, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts have put that tale to rest, leading their Miami and Philly squads to positive seasons recently, including becoming favorites among the fantasy football community.

Making the Case for Young as a 2023 Fantasy Sleeper

Panthers Head Coach Frank Reich has always seemed to be a QB-whisperer. On top of this, both Frank and Bryce have similar personalities as low-key guys who never get too high or too low whether winning or losing a ball game.

Defensive star for Carolina, Brian Burns, already stated that Young ‘put quite a stamp on the locker room’ during minicamp. It would be one thing if the coaching staff or offensive players were stating this, but I’m buying stock that Young is actually creating a culture shift in Carolina as the face of the franchise.

As for his backup, Andy Dalton has a track record of summoning great fantasy play from the quarterback that replaces him. Joe Burrow and Justin Fields both finished as the QB7 in their first full season after taking over from Andy Dalton. While I’m not expecting Bryce to put up QB7 numbers, he could easily finish as the top QB in that division.

Young’s decision making and pocket presence is what separates him from Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud, and Will Levis in this draft class. However, one of the key reasons he makes this “sleeper” list is due to the divisional foes he will face in his rookie campaign.

The Falcons, Saints, and Buccaneers are all projected to finish as below-average NFC squads with either young or aging quarterbacks and defenses that have seen brighter days. Bryce Young will have Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Hayden Hurst to spread the ball around.

These are all NFL veterans that have played on winning teams and can help Bryce early on in his season to get acclimated to the speed of the league. Not to mention, Laviska Shenault and Terrace Marshall are also a few breakout players that Young can go to weekly.

While rookie Anthony Richardson has more of a rushing upside, Young’s decision making and scrambling ability puts him as a top tier back-end QB option in your Best Ball draft. He can step in and produce those essential 20–25-point games when your primary quarterback is on bye, out with injury, or has a poor performance.

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