Fantasy Football, Fantasy Sports

Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow: Who Should You Draft as Your QB1 in Fantasy Football 2023?

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With fantasy football draft season right around the corner, one of the biggest questions fantasy owners need to answer is who to draft as their QB1: Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow?

Both quarterbacks have shown immense talent and upside in their young careers so far, making this a very difficult decision for 2023. In this in-depth player comparison, we’ll analyze all the key stats, metrics and situational factors from 2022 to determine whether you should draft Herbert or Burrow as the foundation of your fantasy squad this year.

More Positions to Focus on: RB1, WR1, TE1, Sleeper WRs, Winning Draft Strategy

Justin Herbert vs Joe Burrow 2022 Stats:

StatJustin HerbertJoe Burrow

Madden 24 Ratings:

Justin Herbert vs Joe Burrow: Overall Madden 24 Ratings

PlayerMadden 24 Overall Rating
Justin Herbert87
Joe Burrow95

Justin Herbert vs Joe Burrow: Passing Madden 24 Ratings

RatingJustin HerbertJoe Burrow
THP (Throw Power)9687
SAC (Short Accuracy)9199
MAC (Medium Accuracy)8898
DAC (Deep Accuracy)8893

Justin Herbert vs Joe Burrow: Physical Ability Madden 24 Ratings

RatingJustin HerbertJoe Burrow

Player Profiles

Justin Herbert burst onto the scene during his rookie 2020 season, throwing for over 4,300 yards and 31 touchdowns on the way to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. The 6’6″, 237 lb signal caller has all the physical traits – arm strength, accuracy, mobility – to stake his claim among the NFL’s elite.

While he took a small step back in 2022, Herbert still put up great numbers with 4,739 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. With an improved offensive line and new weapons like WR Quentin Johnston, Herbert seems poised for a true breakout year in 2023 at age 25.

Joe Burrow was the #1 overall pick in 2020 after winning the Heisman Trophy and leading LSU to a national championship in 2019. He quickly established himself as one of the NFL’s top young QBs, especially after his epic 2021 season where he took the Bengals to the Super Bowl.

Burrow threw for 4,475 yards and 35 TDs in 2022, showing pinpoint accuracy (68% completion rate), superb decision making (only 12 interceptions), and clutch playmaking when it mattered most. While a ruptured appendix has sidelined him this preseason, Burrow expects to be fully healthy for Week 1 at age 26. With WRs Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins by his side, 2023 could be the year Burrow cements his place among the league’s QB elite.

Key 2022 Stats and Metrics

  • Passing Yards: Herbert had the edge here in 2022, averaging 278 pass yards per game compared to 270 for Burrow.
  • Passing Touchdowns: Burrow had the advantage with 35 passing TDs compared to 25 for Herbert in 2022.
  • Completion Percentage: Edge to Burrow, who completed 68% of his passes compared to 68% for Herbert.
  • Interceptions: Herbert was more turnover-prone in 2022, throwing 10 INTs compared to 12 for Burrow.
  • Rushing Yards: A big Herbert advantage here. He rushed for 274 yards in 2022, while Burrow had just 47 rush yards.
  • Strength of Supporting Cast: Burrow has the best WR duo in the NFL with Chase and Higgins. Herbert’s top targets Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are elite in their own right. Slight edge to the Bengals receivers.
  • Offensive Line Play: The Chargers have invested heavily in improving Herbert’s protection, while the Bengals’ O-line remains just average. This one goes to Herbert.

2023 Expectations and Situational Factors

The AFC is loaded with star QBs like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, but both Herbert and Burrow have proven they can compete with the best. Herbert is likely to put up bigger passing numbers with his arm strength and rushing ability. But Burrow has shown more poise in big moments and could lead the Bengals on another playoff run.

Much depends on their supporting casts and offensive systems. The Chargers added playmakers and blockers around Herbert, while the Bengals brought back their already loaded offense. Health will also be a major factor – Herbert has been durable so far but Burrow is coming off an appendectomy.

Ultimately, it’s very hard to go wrong with either QB as your fantasy QB1. Herbert probably has the higher passing volume upside, but Burrow boasts better efficiency and weapons. I still give Herbert the slight edge based on him taking a breakout step forward in 2023. But Burrow has a great chance to finish as the QB1 if he recaptures his 2021 form. Both are elite, emerging franchise QBs.

The Verdict: Slight Edge to Justin Herbert as Fantasy QB1

Based on his arm strength, rushing ability, durability track record and offensive line improvements, I’m still drafting Justin Herbert as my QB1 if I’m picking at the top of 2023 fantasy drafts. But Joe Burrow is a very close second choice, especially if he falls beyond the top 5 QBs.

You really can’t go wrong landing either of these talented passers as your fantasy team foundation. They both have overall QB1 upside if they take the next step as passers and team leaders in 2023. Here’s hoping they both deliver big fantasy seasons and lead their franchises on deep playoff runs.

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