Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2023 Rookie QB Class Review

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On the most recent Fantasy Footballers Dynasty Podcast, Betz, Mike, and I reviewed the 2023 Rookie class.

I approached this review exercise like an annual dynasty-focused checkup with these questions in mind:

  • What did this player accomplish as a rookie?
  • What is the historical context of this player’s performance factoring in NFL Draft Capital?
  • What questions emerge about their dynasty value moving forward? 

These are essentially the “show notes” from our discussion from the podcast if you want to reference them later and bookmark this rookie review.

2023 Rookie QB Class Review

Round Pick Team Player Age College
1 1 CAR Bryce Young 22 Alabama
1 2 HOU C.J. Stroud 21 Ohio St.
1 4 IND Anthony Richardson 21 Florida
2 33 TEN Will Levis 24 Kentucky
3 68 DET Hendon Hooker 25 Tennessee
4 127 NOR Jake Haener 24 Fresno St.
4 128 LAR Stetson Bennett 25 Georgia
4 135 LVR Aidan O’Connell 25 Purdue
5 139 ARI Clayton Tune 24 Houston
5 140 CLE Dorian Thompson-Robinson 23 UCLA
5 149 GNB Sean Clifford 25 Penn St.
5 164 MIN Jaren Hall 25 BYU
6 188 PHI Tanner McKee 23 Stanford
7 239 LAC Max Duggan 22 TCU

The ADPs listed below reflect the average draft position before the season per RotoViz’s Dynasty ADP tool.

Bryce Young, Round 1 Overall 1, Carolina Panthers

ADP: Rookie Drafts: QB2/1.03 in SFlex    ||    Dynasty Startups: QB12/26th Overall  ||    Redraft: N/A

Stats That Matter

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  • 16 games: Finished as the QB23
  • 315/527 (60%) for 2877/11/10 — 39/253/0 rushing

Historical Context:

  • Among 44 rookie QBs with 12+ starts
    • 43rd in Sack Rate- 10.53%
    • T40th in Yards Per Attempt- 5.5
    • 44th in Yards per Completion- 9.1
    • 36th in Pass Success Rate
  • Among 44 1st Round QBs with 9+ starts, his 2.1% TD rate is 4th worst since 2000.

Future Dynasty Questions

  • Do any rookie QBs recover from this bad of a season?
  • Who are we to blame for Carolina’s collapse?

C.J. Stroud, Round 1 Overall 2, Houston Texans

ADP: Rookie Drafts: QB3/1.05 in SFlex    ||    Dynasty Startups: QB14/32nd Overall  ||    Redraft: N/A

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Stats That Matter

  • 15 games – 319/499 (64%) for 4108/23/5 — 39/167/3 rushing- Finished as the QB11
  • Missed Weeks 15-16 (Concussion)
  • He was willing to Chuck It Deep
    • 2nd MOST Air Yards per Pass Attempt 
    • 2nd Highest Completion (56%) on Deep Att. (20+ Air Yards)
  • Carved Up Zone Coverage
    • 3rd Highest Passer Rating vs Zone- 104.8
    • 4th MOST Intermediate Completions (76)– Most by a rookie since Jameis in 2015
  • They did shy away from using Play-Action: only 25% of his dropbacks with a league-leading 7 turnover-worthy plays per Pro Football Focus.

Historical Context:

  • 1st Rookie EVER to support TWO top-15 WRs in points per game- Nico Collins (WR6 in ppg) & Tank Dell (WR15)
  • Since 2000, among rookie QBs with 300+ pass attempts, he ranks #1 in yards per attempt.

Future Dynasty Questions

  • Does he comfortably fit in the Tier 2 of Dynasty QBs?
    • Tier 1– Hurts, Allen, Mahomes
    • Tier 2– Lamar, Burrow, Herbert, Stroud?
  • Any worries heading into his sophomore year with TD rate regression?

Anthony Richardson, Round 1 Overall 4, Indianapolis Colts

ADP: Rookie Drafts: QB1/1.02 in SFlex   ||    Dynasty Startups: QB9/15th Overall  ||    Redraft: 10.04

Stats That Matter

  • 4 games – 50/84 (60%) for 577/3/1 — 25/136/4 rushing- In FPPG, he was the QB10
  • Missed Week 3 (Concussion) + Placed on Injured Reserve in Week 5 with Shoulder Injury
  • As a runner, 10 carries in EACH of his full games (QB4 & QB2). He was essentially utilized as Jalen Hurts as a red zone runner.

Historical Context:

I wrote an article last off-season entitled Anthony Richardson: Dynasty Range of Outcomes. Among the many outcomes, one of the points I brought up was new head coach Shane Steichen + Richardson as a  perfect fit and the Colts’ surprise in the AFC South. Even without Richardson, the Colts were on the brink of the playoffs until the final week and we saw an exciting team for fantasy. The Colts ranked 2nd in Pace of Play, an echo of what we can expect for 2024.

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I also keep this stat in mind with Richardson: “Every rookie QB that crossed 80 rushing attempts has not only been a fantasy force but maintained a top-10 QB per game pace.” It’s a quote from that article and one I wrote a few years ago: Kyler Murray, Rookie QBs & What History Can Tell Us

Future Dynasty Questions

  • Will he be undervalued going into 2024?
  • Does he have more upside than C.J. Stroud?

Will Levis, Round 2 Overall 34, Tennessee Titans

ADP: Rookie Drafts: QB4/Late 2nd    ||    Dynasty Startups: QB31/117th in SFlex   ||    Redraft: N/A

Stats That Matter

  • 8 starts – 149/255 (58%) for 1808/8/4 — 25/57/1 rushing
  • Inactive for Weeks 1-6, 16, 18 (Foot and ankle injuries)

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

  • 4 TDs in 1st game versus Atlanta… 4 pass TDs the rest of the way
  • Under pressure a ton– 45% of dropbacks (2nd HIGHEST rate in NFL)
    • Under Pressure- 5.1 Yards per Attempt, QB Rating of 59.1
    • Clean Pocket- 8.3 Yards per Attempt, 10.1 aDOT

From Week 9 on

  • Worst Adjusted Completion % among QBs
  • 2nd Highest aDOT (10.8)
  • 4th MOST Sacks

Historical Context:

Among 69 rookie QBs with 8+ starts since 2000:

  • 60th in Sack Rate %
  • 16th in Yards per Completion
  • 51st in Pass Success Rate (37.1%- same as rookie Josh Allen)

Future Dynasty Outlook

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  • Is he anything more than a boom/bust QB2?
  • Does he start all of the 2024 season?
  • Are the Titans going to be an absolute train wreck?

Aidan O’Connell, Round 4 Overall 135, Las Vegas Raiders

ADP: Rookie Drafts: QB9/Undrafted    ||    Dynasty Startups: QB45/250th   ||    Redraft: N/A

Stats That Matter

  • 10 starts – 213/343 (62%) for 2218/12/7 — 17/11/1 rushing
  • Inactive for Weeks 1-3, 5

A couple of blowup games thanks to terrible defenses and a 3-game stretch where he did nothing in the 4th Quarter:

  • Week 14 vs MIN- 6 passing yards
  • Week 15 vs LAC- 7 passing yards
  • Week 16 @ KC- 0 passing yards

Historical Context:

10 starts are pretty significant. Over the last decade, we’ve seen 27 rookie QBs hit that mark (2.7 per year) and the only Day 3 QBs with 10+ starts: Dak Prescott, Gardner Minshew & AOC

Future Dynasty Outlook

  • Picking 13th in the draft, do the Raiders begin the season with O’Connell as the starter?

Other Rookies to Start an NFL Game in 2023

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