With fantasy football drafts heating up, one of the most important decisions is who to take as your QB1. The top 3 consensus quarterbacks are Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, Josh Allen of the Bills, and Jalen Hurts of the Eagles. But who should you pick first? Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons for each QB.
Here are two tables comparing the 2023 projected stats and 2022 actual stats for Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts:
2023 Projected Stats
2022 Actual Stats
Let’s start with the superstar Patrick Mahomes. He puts up video game numbers year after year. Last season, Mahomes passed for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns, leading Kansas City to a 14-3 record. He has finished as a top 4 fantasy QB every season he’s been a starter. Mahomes possesses a rare combination of arm strength, accuracy, athleticism and playmaking ability. He is a tier above every other quarterback in fantasy.
The case for Mahomes is simple – he’s a proven elite fantasy scorer at the most important position. Mahomes has finished #1 among QBs in fantasy points per game every year since 2018. He averaged 28.2 points per game last season. Mahomes is playing in the same explosive Chiefs offense and has his top receiving weapons back. Travis Kelce is still an elite tight end at age 33. Second year WR Skyy Moore adds another explosive weapon. As long as Andy Reid is coaching, this Chiefs offense will put up points.
The only real downside for Mahomes is he’ll be off the board early. But he’s worth a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Mahomes’ consistency and massive weekly upside at the QB position make him a safe bet to finish #1 again. He is the clear-cut QB1 to target in fantasy drafts.
If you want to wait a bit later for a QB1, Josh Allen is an excellent option. The Bills quarterback has been a top 5 fantasy QB three years straight. Last season, Allen passed for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns, while chipping in 762 rushing yards and 7 rushing TDs. He’s an elite dual-threat who dominates with both his arm and legs.
Allen finished as the QB2 in fantasy points with 395.52 last season. He has Stefon Diggs back as his WR1 and talented second year James Cook at running back. The Bills also bring back Ken Dorsey as their offensive coordinator. Dorsey was Buffalo’s quarterback coach for three seasons and promoted to OC last year. He was instrumentational in developing Allen into an elite quarterback.
The Bills may be a slightly more balanced offense this year with the emergence of Cook at running back. But Allen’s passing and rushing ability gives him perhaps the highest ceiling of any QB. He has top 3 upside and can be drafted 1-2 rounds later than Mahomes. The only concern is Allen’s reckless playing style, as he took some brutal hits last season. But if he stays healthy, Allen is an MVP candidate with massive fantasy potential.
The breakout candidate at QB1 is Jalen Hurts. The Eagles quarterback made a big leap last season, passing for 3,144 yards and rushing for 784 yards as Philly made the Super Bowl. Hurts finished as the QB3 in fantasy points with 378.04 points. But he could take another jump in 2023 and emerge as the top fantasy QB.
The Eagles offense got a major boost with the addition of elite receiver A.J. Brown via trade from the Titans last season. Brown gives Hurts a bonafide WR1 who can stretch defenses and dominate in the red zone. Hurts also gets back top receivers Devonta Smith and Quez Watkins and elite tight end Dallas Goedert. With these skilled players, Hurts could easily surpass 4,000 passing yards this season. And he remains one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the NFL.
Hurts has breakout appeal in his third year as full-time starter. The Eagles have Super Bowl aspirations again and surround Hurts with playmakers. Under coach Nick Sirianni, look for Philadelphia to be one of the most improved offenses. Hurts has the upside to be the top QB1 for fantasy purposes. He can put up stats with both his arm and his legs. And you can draft him 1-2 rounds later than Mahomes or Allen. Hurts offers massive value if he makes the leap many expect in 2023.
Which QB1 Should You Pick?
Mahomes is the sure-fire QB1, but you’ll need to be willing to spend a high draft pick on him. Allen and Hurts offer intriguing upside later in drafts. But if your goal is to lock up the top scorer at fantasy’s most important position, Mahomes is about as safe as it gets.
He’s primed for another huge season orchestrating the Chiefs high-powered passing attack. Mahomes should be the first QB off the board in fantasy drafts. But Allen and Hurts make for awesome value picks if you wait on quarterback. It’s a great year to draft a elite fantasy QB1.
Also, don’t sleep on Justin Hertbert of the Chargers as QB1 this year. The Chargers spent a first round pick on a big physical receiver, Quentin Johnston, from TCU. That gives Herbert three huge options to go down field with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Johnston. He’s also now partnered up with a new OC Kellen Moore. Chargers offense will be lit! 🔥