Don’t Eat The Cheese: 2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts
That’s right. The Don’t Eat The Cheese fantasy football series is back. We’re churning these out faster than usual this year because I want to spend more time preparing you for your league. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s pretty easy to understand. Every year there are players that are ranked too high and automatically ruin your fantasy season. Last year we went three for three on the quarterbacks. All of them finished lower than they were ranked a year ago.
I pride myself on giving you the best fantasy football content on the internet. That process every year starts by crossing off certain names on your list. Consider this list the cancer list. Pick them at your own peril or risk losing your league. It’s as simple as that. Let’s dive right into the quarterback bust list for 2023 fantasy football leagues.
*This column is for two-quarterback leagues. If you play in a one QB league you’re a loser and not worth my time.
Desmond Ridder (Atlanta Falcons)
Most fantasy rankings have Ridder ranked at the bottom of the list in terms of starting quarterbacks so we won’t spend too much time here. I think anyone buying into this Falcons thing is foolish. Anyone that has bought into this team since Kyle Shanahan left has been proven to be foolish.
Desmond Ridder is not an NFL quarterback. Never has been and never will be. I don’t know who needs to hear that but you better figure that part out now before it’s too late. Also, provides way less in the ground game than you think. 64 rushing yards and zero touchdowns in the four starts last year isn’t good enough to make up for his inefficiencies as a passer.
Even in two-quarterback leagues, I really want no part here. You’re lucky if you get Marcus Mariota’s production, which again, isn’t good enough. Atlanta sucks and they don’t throw the ball. I’m all good here.
Anthony Richardson (Indianapolis Colts)
I think the Anthony Richardson hype is getting out of control. That is from a fantasy perspective anyway. I’ve seen Richardson ranked in the high teens by several publications. That’s just a mistake. The Colts owner has already come out and said he expects Richardson to suck as a rookie. In what world is Richardson going to finish as a high-end QB two? I don’t buy it’s in the realm of possibility.
We’re talking about a quarterback that has 13 career collegiate starts. We’re talking about a quarterback that has a career completion percentage mark of under 55% with the Gators. The Florida product isn’t ready to play at all. Even the people who believe in him would acknowledge this thing is going to take some time.
Nobody is more all-in than Garrett when it comes to Richardson. He’s thrown around the Josh Allen comp which I view as irresponsible, but let’s just say that’s what ends up happening for hypothetical sake. Allen finished as QB19 in points per game as a rookie in 2018. Again, that’s probably your best-case scenario as Allen punched home eight rushing touchdowns that season. If Richardson doesn’t come through with those rushing touchdowns, he’s almost worthless from a fantasy perspective. The Colts also have bad weapons that won’t make Richardson’s life easier.
I’d probably rank Richardson closer to QB 25 than QB13. No reason to reach here. If you’re going to buy on Richardson in re-draft, it’s next year or the year after when people hop off the train after a bad rookie year.
Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks)
I’m just going to say it. Nobody is going to like it but I’m going to say it anyway. What if this Geno Smith thing was a total fluke? Smith set career highs in touchdowns and completion percentage last year and I’ll take the under on both of those marks for 2023.
Did you know 10 of the 30 touchdowns Smith threw last year were against the NFC South? Seven more came against the AFC West which is a division that begs you to get in shootouts every week. Guess what’s not on the schedule this year? The Seahawks’ only NFC South opponent this year is Carolina who will likely win the division. Those games have been replaced by the NFC East and AFC North. Way better defenses in those divisions.
It also has a bit of a Ryan Fitzpatrick feel to it. When the guy was doubted, he came through and posted big years. Right when you started believing in him and provided financial stability, things went south. Geno just got paid and that’s probably not a great thing.
We’re also talking about a team that’s spent heavy resources on the running back position. Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet were picked in the second round in back-to-back years. Seattle ranked 15th a year ago in passing attempts. I could see that number easily decrease if Seattle improves with their young core.
There are really two scenarios here. Seattle gets better and really attacks people with that ground attack they have poured many resources into. Scenario two is Geno falls apart. Either are bad for his fantasy stock. Geno finished as QB5 last year and is being ranked in the 9-15 range depending on where you get your rankings. I’d go much lower and wouldn’t feel the need to reach here.
Justin Fields (Chicago Bears)
Surprise surprise the fantasy community is eating the rotten cheese already. Trevor Lawrence is the QB that will win you your fantasy league this year. Youâre welcome in advance. pic.twitter.com/rp9xxKCPiG— Trey Daubert (@treydaubert) July 14, 2023
I’m sorry but anybody that has Justin Fields ranked in the QB5-7 range is brain dead. There is just no chance that it happens. I’ve always been a Fields believer but the hype has gotten way out of control. The only way Fields finishes that high is if he somehow rushes for over 1,000 yards. Maybe… but not something I’d bank on happening.
I think people are really missing the boat here. The Bears suck. To me, they feel like they’re two years behind where the Jaguars are going with Trevor Lawrence. Don’t forget, the Jaguars got the first pick twice. I think that can be the Bears again. Their defense totally fell off a cliff after the Roquan Smith trade. Chicago probably has the worst defensive front in the league. This is not a team that’s going to surprise people and win a bunch of games. It’s a bad roster and you’re playing with fire signing up for this situation.
The Bears ranked 32nd in the NFL in passing attempts last year. Chicago had 38 fewer attempts than 31st-ranked Atlanta (see above why Ridder is also ranked low). How much is that number really going up with the same coaching staff back? I just don’t buy that the Bears are going to be this high-volume aerial attack that puts up points. Please tell me why those attempts are going up. Remember, Fields is still a young quarterback, and all of these Ohio State guys have struggled with the throwing aspect of the league without proper guidance. Life is a lot easier with the Buckeyes.
I get the intrigue on some level. The rushing should be there and he’s a fantastic athlete. I just don’t buy that this is an offense to get excited about. I don’t buy that the Fields is leading the Bears to some miracle run. I just think you’re playing with fire here by overspending. I wouldn’t be surprised if guys like Dak or Herbert outscore Fields. The rushing totals are going to have to be insane for Fields to hit QB5. I’ll bet against anything Bears related and this is one of them.
Let me ask you this question before I move on. Do you really want to sell your soul to pick a quarterback that ranked dead last by a mile in passing attempts on a team that totally sucks? For me, that’s not a gamble I’m willing to take. If you want Fields, that’s what it’s going to take. I’ll pass. My track record speaks for itself (Trey was 3-3 on this list last year). If you get it wrong, this is the type of decision that will automatically make you lose your league. Be careful.
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)
Lamar is being ranked as a top 4-5 fantasy QB again and I just don’t get it. Here is what people need to understand and if you fail to recognize this, it will haunt you. We have already seen the best season Lamar will ever have. Lamar will never and I mean never repeat the numbers he had in 2019. Those days are over. Welcome to the Cam Newton decline.
The goal is to win your fantasy league. We know the story with Lamar. He might look pretty when it’s apple-picking szn. Not so good when the weather sours. He’s the Rudy Gobert of NFL quarterbacks. We’re heading into year six of the Lamar experience. The same guy that has ONE playoff victory in his career. Through five years, Joe Flacco already had nine playoff wins and a Super Bowl victory.
Now Lamar has been paid and he’s never healthy. In back-to-back years, Lamar has ended the year on the shelf. He’s also a walking Kyler waiting to go into the tank now that he’s gotten his money. At this point, Lamar should be considered an injury risk in fantasy and I can’t afford for that to happen at quarterback.
Again, Lamar might look great when the apples are ripe. What’s going to happen in Week 10 when Odell Beckham is whining for targets? Are we sure adding an older Odell to the fold is even a good thing? Given the past injury risk, are we sure you’re even getting the same rushing output with a new coordinator in the fold?
For whatever it’s worth, the Chickster thinks Lamar is ranked too high by the consensus rankers too. I totally agree. Just not taking this bum over a guy like Joe Burrow. Can’t do it.