The TRUTH: Top-10 QBs in 2022 (Fantasy Football)

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On Thursdays’s podcast, Andy, Mike, and Jason took an in-depth look at the top-10 QBs from the 2022 season and dived into the reality of their fantasy finishes and whether they actually helped fantasy managers win titles.

You can watch the whole episode on YouTube here:

Before we go player-by-player, here is how our TRUTH Data algorithm breaks down player performance from the season. In 4-point passing TD leagues:

  • Great Games are more than 26 points
  • Good Games are more than 21 points
  • Bust Games are fewer than 15 points
  • Missed Games don’t count against consistency score

As I detailed in the 25 QB Statistics article, QB scoring was down in 2022. This marked the 2nd fewest combined passing TDs over the last decade. Over half the league finished with fewer than 25 total passing TDs including 14(!) teams with under 20 passing TDs.

Let’s walk through the top 10 and recap some of the discussion the Ballers brought up on the episode.

Note: RotoViz Game Splits — points are 6pt per passing TD // Week 18 not included for every QB

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1 Patrick Mahomes | Chiefs

2021 Consistency Rank: 3
1st Half: 3 / 2nd Half: 2

17 games – 435/648 for 5250/41/12 — 61/358/4 rushing
ADP: 3.08/QB2
Defenses: -2.17 vs. Top-16
Home/Road Split: +2.15 at home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
41% 59% 6%

He was downright consistent all year long. He broke his own record for MOST top-12 performances in a season with 15. Despite the Chiefs having to adjust the game plan this year without Tyreek leading to Mahomes’ lowest Play-Action rate and fewest percentage of deep throws in his career, it didn’t matter! 34 of 41 of his passing TDs came inside the Red Zone. That’s an astounding 83 % !!! He had the 4th most passing yards all-time, the most overall offensive yards (pass + rush) of all-time, and became the 2nd QB ever (Brees) to lead the league in passing yardage without a 1,000 WRHe said before the season “I’ll be able to spread the ball around more this year” and he delivered with 11 different pass-catchers hauling in a TD from Mahomes. He even completed a pass to himself for 6 yards against Jacksonville… 

2 Josh Allen | Bills

2022 Consistency Rank: 2
1st Half: 1 / 2nd Half: 3

16 games- 359/567 for 4283/35/14 – 124/762/7 rushing
ADP: 2.10/QB1
Defenses: -2.5 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: -1.36 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
41% 71% 12%

If Mahomes was the QB1, then consider Allen the QB1b. He finished #1 in points per game and led all QBs in top-5 performances (11) which outpaced both of the previous two QB1 years. His career-high 20 turnovers almost didn’t even matter. In nine games with an INT, he averaged 25 fantasy points per game and 58 rushing yards. In seven games without an INT, he was slightly worse averaging 24 fantasy points per game and 34 rushing yards. You saw this last week against the Dolphins so ignore any talk about his volatility. He’s everything you could want from a fantasy QB and should be the QB1 in both redraft and dynasty startups yet again in 2023.

3 Jalen Hurts |Eagles

2022 Consistency Rank: 1
1st Half: 2 / 2nd Half: 1

14 games- 306/460 for 3701/22/6 – 165/760/13 rushing
ADP: 6.02/QB6
Defenses: -5.78 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: -3.78 at Home

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Great Games Good Games Bust Games
53% 80% 7%

Ok so if Mahomes and Josh Allen could be considered the QB1 in their respective measures, Hurts should be considered the most consistent QB of 2022. He was #1 in expected fantasy points, #1 in road fantasy points per game (27), and #1 in passer rating versus zone coverage. He improved as a passer but what made his fantasy season was his work on the ground. He averaged 11 rush attempts per game, finished with 13 rushing TDs, and the most red zone rush attempts of all-time for a QB. He’s firmly established himself in the elite tier for fantasy and deserves to be in the conversation as a top-3 round pick next year.

4 Joe Burrow | Bengals

2022 Consistency Rank: 4
1st Half: 4 / 2nd Half: 5

16 games- 414/606 for 4475/35/12 – 75/257/5 rushing
ADP: 6.03/QB7
Defenses: -3.82 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: -1.52 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
24% 47% 18%

Burrow and the Bengals’ offense eventually won out over whatever plan Zac Taylor had at the beginning of the year. From Week 3 on, the Bengals ranked 2nd in pass rate over expectation, 2nd in expected points per play, and he threw the ball on 1st down at a higher rate than anyone else in the league. Burrow ended up 2nd in passing TDs, 4th in fantasy points per game, and 5th in passing yards. He did all this without Ja’Marr Chase for over a month and a banged-up offensive line. He finished as the QB1 overall three times, the only QB to accomplish that feat. It’s hard for him to finish any higher without the added rushing upside that other QBs possess. 

5 Geno Smith | Seahawks

2022 Consistency Rank: 11
1st Half: 8 / 2nd Half: 10

17 games- 399/572 for 4282/30/11 – 68/366/1 rushing
ADP: undrafted
Defenses: -0.04 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: -2.96 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
6% 29% 29%

This is where there should be a clear and obvious tier break in rankings, consistency, and outlook for 2023. Smith surpassed anyone’s expectations this year but for fantasy, his season needs some context. From Week 3 on, he had ten top-12 finishes, as many as Joe Burrow in that span. He was steady but only had one performance (Week 4 versus Detroit) that was considered “great” in our metrics. He led all QBs in completion rate (69.8) and TDs (14) of 20+ yards downfield. In fact, almost 50 percent of his passing TDs were of the deep variety. We shouldn’t take anything away from the potential Comeback Player of the Year but adjust considering QB scoring was down as a whole in 2022.

6 Justin Fields | Bears

2022 Consistency Rank: 7
1st Half: 10 / 2nd Half: 4

15 games- 192/318 for 2242/17/11 – 160/1143/8 rushing
ADP: 14.07/QB17
Defenses: +4.44 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: +2.7 at Home

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Great Games Good Games Bust Games
20% 40% 33%

Oh, brother! What a ride it was for Fields in 2022. The Bears came out sluggish and utterly embarrassing for fantasy and then the team had a drastic switch in approach in Week 6. From that moment on, he averaged 24.8 fantasy points per game and OC Luke Getsy decided to utilize more and more designed run calls. His rushing numbers were historic averaging 7.1 yards per carry (highest in the NFL) and the most QB scrambles of all time. He tied Lamar Jackson for the most games (7) of 80+ rushing yards in a season. Jason mentioned that he would be willing to go all-in if his draft price was similar to Jalen Hurts (6th round) from last year. This team will likely add some offensive pieces to pair with Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. With the Bears having the #1 overall pick and the most cap space in the NFL heading into 2023, there is a lot to like about Fields moving forward.

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7 Kirk Cousins | Vikings

2022 Consistency Rank: 13
1st Half: 8 / 2nd Half: 9

17 games – 424/643 for 4547/29/14- 31/97/2
ADP: 11.11/QB15
Defenses: -1.19 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: +4.93 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
6% 38% 31%

Cousins’ fantasy season is about what you would expect from the pocket passer. He was good not great leading the NFL in total air yards and passing TDs on 3rd down thanks in large part to Justin Jefferson. The Vikings were a weekly roller coaster going 11-0 in one-score games but Kirk averaged 280 and two passing TDs in those contests. Cousins will never be able to compete with the top tier thanks to his limited mobility but he’s a dependable late-round QB every single year. New head coach Kevin O’Connell‘s pass-happy approach definitely was a breath of fresh air after living under the disgruntled Mike Zimmer for years.

8 Trevor Lawrence | Jaguars

2022 Consistency Rank: 12
1st Half: 14 / 2nd Half: 5

17 games- 387/584 for 4113/25/8 – 62/291/5 rushing
ADP: 15.04/QB18
Defenses: 21.22 vs Top & Bottom-16 defenses
Home/Road Split: -1.95 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
12% 35% 35%

Removed from the stench of Urban Meyer, it was clear the Jaguars made the right call drafting Trevor Lawrence two years ago. He became the 2nd sophomore QB ever to put up 4,000 passing yards, 25 passing TDs, and add five rushing scores joining fellow Clemson alum Deshaun Watson. He was solid in the 2nd half with six top-12 performances and his recent wild-card playoff performance against the Chargers shows you what type of competitor he is. He’s in the conversation as a top-10 QB next year with upside to finish in the top-5 if things break right. His receiving options are solid and adding Calvin Ridley to the mix only helps him.

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9 Daniel Jones | Giants

2022 Consistency Rank: 10
1st Half: 16 / 2nd Half: 7

16 games – 317/472 for 3205/15/5 — 120/708/7 rushing
Defenses: -1.26 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +3.94 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
13% 31% 44%

It finally came time for Danny Dimes! His Week 17 performance (36.2 fantasy points) won people fantasy championships and the lack of turnovers was a complete 180 from years past. Jones led the league with a 1.1 percent INT rate, in adjusted completion rate (81.1) but it was his work on the ground that led to some big games. He became one of 12 QBs since 1973 to rush for 700 yards and seven TDs in the same season. But keep in mind that Jones was a top-10 QB only five times so it was hard for managers to fully trust rolling him out there until the end of the season. He likely will get a long-term extension this off-season with the Giants and hopefully some upgrades at WR but he isn’t a QB worth honing in on in next year’s drafts for 1QB leagues.

10 Jared Goff | Lions

2022 Consistency Rank: 14
1st Half: 12 / 2nd Half: 11

17 games – 382/587 for 4438/29/7 — 29/73/0 rushing
ADP: undrafted
Defenses: -3.88 vs Top-16
Home/Road Split: +9.14 at Home

Great Games Good Games Bust Games
18% 35% 47%

It might’ve taken a minute to believe the Lions were legit but the formula for starting Jared Goff became simple: was he at home at Ford Field? Lions home games averaged 58.4 points per game (#1 in the NFL) and Goff smashed all year long there averaging 21.3 fantasy points, 274 passing yards, and 2.6 passing TDs per game. The Lions were also ferocious when they got in close. Jamaal Williams led the NFL with 14 rushing TDs but Goff was no slouch himself. His 16 passing TDs inside the 5 were 2nd in the NFL behind Mahomes and the 4th most over the last five years. This offense should continue to ascend with Jameson Williams logging an entire season and the team having confidence ending the year with a win over the Packers in Lambeau and finishing with a winning record (9-8). For 2023, expect him to be another late-round pick useable only in plus home matchups.

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