Dynasty QB Rankings: SuperFlex Tiers for 2023 (Fantasy Football)
I count it as a blessing and curse sometimes to talk about fantasy football as my job. In one sense, I pinch myself that I get to look at statistics all day and turn them into (hopefully) meaningful conversations. On the other hand, stats and rankings drive me bonkers because anytime you share them publicly, you will always have the person who brings up “why didn’t you talk about this?!” or “you conveniently left out this” in your argument.
Yes, it is impossible to encompass every piece of information in an article much less a tweet! But on top of that, linear rankings don’t tell a full story. Someone might be ranked in projections ahead of another but does that make someone an auto-pick just because they are projected for 1.2 fantasy points more?
That inner turmoil I feel comes to a head when we talk about SuperFlex rankings. I gave out some thoughts recently in an article entitled Dynasty SuperFlex rankings & the Strategy Behind Them. I thought it could be a bridge to discussing Superflex rankings while leaving room to be open-handed in the way we approach them. Narrator: But Kyle was wrong.
What I’ve decided to do is work out my own SuperFlex tiers using the Ballers premium dynasty ranks and where I personally group them. Statistical projections (“statting out” as we call it) are not part normally part of dynasty rankings since we are looking at multiple years at a time with a giant amount of unknowns in how the NFL can change. This is more an exercise of “where would I group these players” if I was in a startup draft. I repeat: these are my own personal tiers of where I view QBs in SuperFlex leagues, not the Footballers*.
Caution: SuperFlex Ranks are Elusive
We personally do not recommend that people draft in SuperFlex leagues with a top-200 list. Tier-based drafting is our company-wide approach and why we’ve held off on giving SuperFlex rankings for a while. It goes against the principles of tier-based drafting but at the heart of thousands of people asking “where are you SuperFlex rankings?” is a desire for clarity. I get that.
The real questions people want to know: “when should I take QBs? How should I value them rightly?”
As stated by many in the fantasy industry, the main change in a SuperFlex versus as 1QB league is the supply & demand. 75% of the NFL QBs will be starting in a 12-person SuperFlex league. You’ll hear everyone and their mama discuss how SuperFlex leagues create positional scarcity for the QB position. Effective rosters in Superflex dynasty leagues not only recognize the value of QBs but also the opportunity cost of not having one. This makes trading for QBs even harder. With the scarcity mentality, everyone is in the business of hoarding and playing it safe.
Looking at our dynasty rankings, you can see where QBs fall in clusters. For example, in Round 1, Jason has seven QBs in his dynasty startup rankings but then there is a clear break before Justin Fields shows up. In Dynasty, QBs generally carry a long shelf life. Per RotoViz, 2/3rds of QBs ranked in the top-12 of startups remain there for two years. The strategy employed by most drafters is to grab one of the elite but keep in mind everyone carries this into a draft. For more on the philosophy of the tiers approach, check out on Tier-Based Drafting & the Thinking Behind It.
The real question is where do you go with the next tier? In Rounds 3 & 4, there is pressure to take QBs here to check off the 2QB spot on your list. All of the QBs in this spot outside of the top 10 of Jason’s rankings are in stable situations and guaranteed to be their team’s starting QB next year. This is a problem with a linear view of rankings and why I’ll offer some “buckets” to capture certain QBs. These are my opinions, not the Footballers themselves.
Important Note: It’s worth repeating how much QB turnover there was year-to-year in the NFL. I wanted to get a better feel of the league and see if people were overvaluing low-end QB2s and QB3s in SuperFlex leagues. Over the last five years, at least 10 QBs (who were the Week 1 starters) were NOT that team’s starter a year later. In fact, the average was 11.6 QB situations changed from year-to-year. That is a staggering number in a format where people draft for safety behind their elite QBs. While being caught without a viable QB2 is detrimental, the reality is the entire league likely will be turning over their QB2 position more often than you might think in a dynasty format. A player you think is a strong QB2 right now isn’t a guarantee to be his team’s starter next year.
Tier 1- The GOATs
Perhaps you don’t need a lot of convincing here. I couldn’t fathom trading away either of these two in a SuperFlex. Apart from someone offering you ten 1st round picks and you were in full rebuild mode, why go there?
Patrick Mahomes– He is not from this planet. Consider how dominant as a team they’ve been during Mahomes’ reign. The Chiefs haven’t lost a divisional road game in the Patrick Mahomes era. We’re still waiting for him to play in his first true road playoff game. Imagine getting to set it and forget it for another decade. After posting the most overall offensive yards (pass + rush) of all time in 2022, he’s locked in this small but ungodly elite tier for a long time. In SuperFlex, he’s certainly deserving of being the 1.01 in startups.
Josh Allen– He’s been the QB1 in points per game three years in a row with some insane top-end performances. With a fat contract and years of high-end production, Allen is also deserving of the 1.01 pick in SuperFlex startups giving his dual-threat ability. The last three years have been glorious and although Stefon Diggs is aging, Allen seems to be bullet-proof with a franchise that should annually be among the favorites in the AFC. Just 27 years old, it’s possible you enjoy another 4-5 years of sustained greatness.
Tier 2- Elite Offenses With Long-Term Contracts*
Beyond the top-2, you should feel confident in the short-term upside and long-term floor of these QBs. Any of them can finish inside the top-3 at the position in 2023.
Jalen Hurts– The only reason I have Hurts in this apart from the top two is the passing volume. 13 rushing TDs from last year are hard to repeat. I mean, Hurts just had the most red zone carries of any QB of all time. Hard to repeat that efficiency in what was a magical season for the Eagles. After cashing in on a big payday, Hurts seems locked in as a top-5 dynasty QB over the next 3-5 years. His weapons are elite, his mobile ability is top tier and the Eagles front office can’t miss. In a SuperFlex league, it would take multiple 1sts and another young piece to even consider entertaining a deal. Elite of the elite but not quite the tippy top.
Joe Burrow– Burrow has done everything asked of him since entering the league. In SuperFlex leagues, he’s a top-5 asset that should have a long shelf life in the NFL. His weapons also elevate his floor to a place few other pocket passers (outside of Patrick Mahomes) can match. Expect a massive contract extension for Joe Cool soon alongside Ja’Marr Chase. His TD rate could fluctuate but that is a given in the NFL. It’s nice to see head coach Zac Taylor get out of the way and let Burrow do his thing as the Bengals were 2nd in pass rate over expectation from Week 3 on.
Lamar Jackson– Lamar’s five-year extension with $190 million guaranteed vaults him back in the conversation of top-5 dynasty QBs. He’s a bit more volatile week-to-week than you might think but with Baltimore adding viable passing weapons, he’s still elite in our minds. He’s arguably the best rushing QB ever, already ranking 5th on the all-time rushing yardage list for QBs in only 70 career games. We’ve talked a ton about new OC Todd Monken’s arrival. Even with his called rushing plays coming down, he could be even better as QB scrambles on pass calls are arguably the most valuable play in football.
Justin Herbert– Last year, OC Joe Lombardi turned Herbert’s Howitzer of an arm into a knock-off water gun. We’re not even talking SuperSoaker levels! Despite throwing for the 3rd most completions in NFL history, he ranked 31st in aDOT with only two top-5 finishes. Expect a contract extension soon for the Chargers franchise QB. Keep in mind that the cast of characters around Herbert will be changing. Austin Ekeler is in a contract year, Keenan Allen is likely gone in 2024, and behind Mike Williams, the depth chart is questionable as we don’t quite know who Quentin Johnston is in the NFL. Regardless, Herbert is a top-6 QB in dynasty with a safe floor knowing the TD rate should come up. Over the last five years, the average TD rate for former 1st round QBs in Year 4: 4.5%.
Trevor Lawrence– What a difference a year makes! It’s quite a rebound from Lawrence as he’s now vaulted into the conversation of being a top-7 dynasty QB. The talented young nucleus surrounding him makes him feel less like a projection after a stellar sophomore year. If he is able to run the ball a bit more, we like Lawrence as a rock-solid QB1 for the next 5+ years.
Tier 3- Shoot for the Moon
I’m grouping these guys together for sheer upside purposes. Their contract situations are fairly stable. Even if you believe the Cardinals want to tank in 2023 for someone like USC’s Caleb Williams, his contract states that this will guy find a starting job somewhere in the NFL. Each of them possesses top-5 ceilings when things go right based on rushing ability alone.
Justin Fields– If you stuck with Fields after a tumultuous rookie year with Matt Nagy, congratulations! The rushing numbers are truly historic and this organization showed they were committed to him trading away the No. 1 overall pick to improve the team across the board. Still only 24 years old, there is still another level he can ascend to for fantasy as a passer. He probably belongs in Tier 2 but I want to present some caution. He needs to put it together for an entire season. Everyone wants to crown him this year’s Jalen Hurts but the efficiency numbers and overall talent on his team is not near the same as Philadelphia.
Kyler Murray– It feels like Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are a franchise in flux. If things go south this year, could they mail it in knowing they have a couple of high-value draft picks in 2024? Kyler’s extension says he’s under contract for six more years but with a new GM and coaching staff, things could change. He’s still a top-10 dynasty QB in our book turning only 26 years old this summer. There is risk but if another manager in your league is spooked, consider trading for Kyler at 75 cents on the dollar.
Anthony Richardson– The landing spot in Indianapolis is perfection. He’s vaulted into being the firm QB1 in our rookie rankings and someone locked in the top-3 picks of rookie Superflex drafts. While the hype might be a bit out of control, keep in mind that Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. enter contract years. He’s the gamble worth taking as a top-10 QB based on rushing production alone. However, if you whiff, you’re looking at another Trey Lance “what could be” type of situation. I wrote an entire article on Richardson’s Dynasty Range of Outcomes if you want a deeper dive on the subject.
What will it take for Anthony Richardson to meet his dynasty hype in Year 1?
Rookie QB Rushing Thread Incoming…🧵
— Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) May 18, 2023
Deshaun Watson– Watson’s contract states he’s going to be a Brown for a long time. I still view him as a near top-10 asset at the position but more of a low-end QB1 than the once-dominant fantasy force. The Cleveland offense should progress in the right direction in Year 2 with Watson… should is the keyword. In SuperFlex leagues, he might be someone worth trading away based on name recognition alone if you can get a haul.
Tier 4- Back-End QB1s & Young Bucks
I’d consider Dak & Tua back-end QB1s. I don’t see top-5 in their annual outcomes given the competition in the elite tiers. I’d prefer them as QB2s but some teams might not have that luxury. I grouped them with the recent No. 1 and 2 picks of the 2023 NFL Draft. Their talent is unquestioned but for scoring high-end fantasy points, it is worth mentioning they aren’t a shoo-in to be a QB1.
I recently did a study on SuperFlex Dynasty Rookie Drafts and found that we tend to overvalue the QB position in terms of upside.
- Since 2012, 13 of the 24 QBs (who started in Year 1) hit a top-12 scoring mark within the first two years, that’s a 54 percent hit rate.
- Only 37.5 percent (nine QBs) had a top-6 season within the first three years.
If you don’t get a QB1 season from either Young or Stroud within their 1st two years, the chances are slim they will ever show up there. Since 2014, Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, and Tua Tagovailoa are the only 1st round QBs to give you 17.5+ fantasy points per game in a season after not reaching that mark in their 1st two years. It would be painful to see all the 1st round picks (Marcus Mariota, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Johnny Manziel to name a few…) land mining SuperFlex dynasty rosters.
Dak Prescott– This is a wild stat: Dak is now the longest-tenured (2016) starting QB for the same franchise in the NFL. Another reminder that things change more than you realize, especially in a league driven by QBs! He’s under contract for two more years and still isn’t 30 years old. He still has some solid years left but he’s being undervalued right now after the first three tiers of dynasty QBs.
Tua Tagovailoa– What a range of outcomes! Tua can be a back-end QB1 for your SuperFlex squad or back on the injured list by the end of 2023. Heading into Year 4, Miami has a decision to make about his 5th-year option and a contract extension. We want to be sensitive to his concussion history while also assessing that he can be a difference-maker in this creative Miami offense.
Bryce Young– The 2021 Heisman Winner has been groomed to be an NFL QB since high school. He’s a marketable signal-caller for a team that desperately needs it but dynasty managers might be disappointed in his ceiling. The weapons in the short-term are subpar and he doesn’t possess the rushing upside and bulk near the goal-line to be a true difference-maker at the position. Right now, he’s a top-15 dynasty QB but, he looks more like a solid QB2 for fantasy. Keep in mind how he affects his teammates.
Over the last decade, teams that started a rookie QB in Week 1 averaged 4.5 wins.
-NONE surpassed their win totals.
-Their RBs? Only Doug Martin finished better than RB24.
Are you worried about Miles Sanders (RB19) or Dameon Pierce (RB20) having any sort of ceiling?
— Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) June 9, 2023
C.J. Stroud– I wrote up Stroud’s Rookie Profile and boy did I have a fun time watching his film. Against Georgia in the national semifinals of the College Football Playoffs, he was flawless. It was honestly some of my favorite college QB film I’ve watched in a while. Stroud is just a step behind Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young in this class in terms of perceived dynasty value. Call it the Texans stench if you want but it might be a slow burn despite the draft capital. This team might still be a couple of years away from competing but Stroud will be given every opportunity to fail and get back up again. Right now, consider him as a mid-range QB2 in dynasty startups with room to grow into a top-10 asset.
Tier 5- At the Crossroads
I titled this tier “at the crossroads” in the sense of giving context for each QBs unique situation. Some could be in the final years of their respective teams and others might be at a fork in terms of fantasy appeal.
Daniel Jones– Did we just witness the best fantasy season of Daniel Jones‘ career? I’ve been asking myself that question. After getting paid this off-season, dynasty managers are probably pretty pleased to see Jones locked into a starting role for the next couple of years. In SuperFlex dynasty leagues, consider him a top-15 QB given his rushing ability. Repeating 700+ rushing yards and seven TDs is probably a fool’s errand but maybe he throws for more than 15(!) passing TDs. The Giants ranked dead last in the NFL in first-quarter points each of the last two years. It’s hard to repeat that again and continue to be in the playoff hunt.
Geno Smith– You have to be ecstatic for Geno as his three-year extension gives his dynasty value an added boost. It’s one of the weirdest career arcs for a player possibly on your league’s waiver wire before last year. He’ll turn 33 in 2023 but it’s worth noting how the Seahawks structured his contract in a way where they could void each of the next two years. He’s more of a low-end QB1 than dominant starter but the offensive pieces in Seattle make him a SuperFlex stalwart for 2023.
Kirk Cousins– If you’ve been watching Netflix’s Quarterback, hopefully you get a more humanized picture of Cousins, his family, and his preparation every week. He is a pretty simple guy. But for our purposes, keep in mind Cousins is not guaranteed to be the Vikings QB beyond 2023. He’s only under contract for one more year but your league-mates might not realize that…The Minnesota offense definitely looked more high-powered with an emphasis on throwing on early downs but for fantasy, he actually had a lower points per game and TD rate than the previous two years. He’s one of Mike’s trade away targets.
Kenny Pickett– It’s gotta be better right? Pickett was the only relevant QB in last year’s draft but it feels like he’s already lost tons of ground. Not many rookie QBs recover from posting a sub-2 percent TD rate. Could he pull a Trevor Lawrence? Maybe. But unless he runs the ball more, Pickett is at best a back-end QB2 albeit in an offense I like to take a step forward in 2023.
BAD NEWS: Ya boi Kenny Pickett posted the lowest TD rate (1.8%) of any rookie QB (min. 12 starts) since 1990.
GOOD NEWS: Since 2000, the average for sophomore 1st round QBs: 4.6% (min. 12 starts)
— Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) July 6, 2023
Russell Wilson– It’s rare to see a franchise QB take as drastic a fall as Russ did last year. Not only did his team turn on him, but his dynasty value took a major hit. Still only 34 years old, he’s just outside the top-15 QBs at this point with some upside baked in thanks to Sean Payton’s arrival. If you have Russ, it’s time to saddle up again… Let’s Ride!
Mac Jones– Entering Year 3, this is a make-or-break for Jones for fantasy. He was arguably the best among that 2021 QB class as a rookie but Year 2 was a disaster plummeting his dynasty value to pennies on the dollar. Chalk it up to the dubious duo of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge calling plays all you want. With a pass-catching group that is uninspiring to say the least, there are very few reasons to think he will rebound to being anything more than a QB3 in SuperFlex. Mac Attack is a hold in dynasty at this point.
Trey Lance– You might be surprised to see Lance in this tier. Apologies if you are left holding the bag for Lance. From the team trading up to select him 3rd overall to immaturity, injuries, and the emergence of Brock Purdy, this is an unprecedented ride for a player with this type of draft capital. At this point, he is a hold knowing some team (Minnesota?) could roll the dice in 2024 for his services.
Tier 6- Short-Term Solutions
Beyond 2023, this isn’t a guarantee. Can these guys be your QB2? Sure. But without any semblance of rushing upside, it’s hard seeing them as difference-makers apart from an outlier TD reason.
Aaron Rodgers– Rodgers technically finished as the QB13 last year meaning he was the “best QB2” in SuperFlex formats. But it was a steep dropoff compared to his back-to-back MVP campaigns. At 39, Rodgers essentially will be in New York for two more years considering his contract states he can earn… wait for it… $107 million in 2024. Wow. But beyond that, he’s a wildcard knowing he goes wherever the wind blows, better known as wherever the next ayahuasca journey takes him.
Derek Carr– Carr’s value gets a jolt after signing a 4-year deal with New Orleans. While he’ll likely not see the end of that contract, he can be a solid QB2 as evidenced by his entire career. Carr is a safety net in Superflex, not a gamechanger for your squad.
Jared Goff– You have to be pretty happy with yourself if Goff is penciled in as your QB2 in a SuperFlex league. From No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, Super Bowl runner-up, and then banished to Siberia (I mean Detroit), it seems like the Lions believe in him as the short-term answer at the position. His contract might be the one doing most of the talking but 2024 is a pivotal year. He carries just a $5 million dead cap number so don’t be surprised if they draft his successor or outright cut the veteran, saving a whopping $26 million in the process. Our advice: trade him now on the laurels of his 2022 season.
Matthew Stafford– This is another who knows a year from now situation. I respect Stafford a ton and if he wants to walk away from the game, good for him. He is technically under contract for four more years with some monster cap hits so unless he mulls retirement again, he’s stuck with the Rams. McVay and Stafford feel tied at the hip so perhaps this is one of the more precarious situations in dynasty. If you think someone else still values him as a top-12 in a SuperFlex league, trade him on those merits.
Tier 7- Who Knows?
If you think you have a great read on this tier of quarterbacks, what are you doing sitting on your couch? You should be the GM of an NFL team. We approach any player in the NFL with a range of outcomes mindset knowing that there is a ton of variance to the game we love. This is an eclectic group of Mr. Irrelevants, bench warmers, rookies, and 2nd-year hopefuls. It’s tough because you can’t be passive about players in tiers like this. If you can acquire them for cheap, that is one thing. But every manager has a take and likely is hoarding these players as QB3s on their team. Based on the odds I mentioned at the top of this article, a third of the league will turn over next year their starting QB from Week 1. This is the tier I would bet on completely blowing up the most. None of these QBs is guaranteed the starting position in 2024 let alone throughout the 2023 campaign.
Brock Purdy– What do you believe? Purdy is another QB with a wide range of outcomes for dynasty. While he’s played his way to being the starter for a Super Bowl-caliber team, the team’s investment in him is minimal so if he regresses or fails to recover from his injury properly, the leash could be shorter than managers realize. Could he be the long-term starter for Kyle Shanahan? Yes. But Trey Lance and Sam Darnold both are capable of stepping in if needed. If someone values him as a top-15 QB, trading him away on the laurels of 2022 is well worth it considering he was plucked off the waiver wire.
Jordan Love– Is he good at football? Heck, not sure if Green Bay even knows. The Packers were in a strange place trading away their franchise QB while having just one year to see if Love is the answer. The Green Bay front office worked out a team-friendly one-year extension but he’s still a wildcard. This is a two-year window to find out. Roll the dice if you are desperate in a SuperFlex league but recognize the floor is this dude receiving unemployment checks two years from now.
Will Levis– Levis’ tumble in the NFL Draft was painful to watch on TV but his landing spot in Tennessee likely gives him the best chance to wrestle away a starting gig. Ryan Tannehill is a free agent next year and Malik Willis could be starting next year…in the XFL. Levis is an all-or-nothing type of dynasty pick as it seems evaluators are split if his game can translate to the NFL. As a runner, those are the type of swings you take in SuperFlex rookie drafts but a giant tier behind the big-3 rookie QBs taken ahead of him.
Desmond Ridder– I’m a Falcons fan and I have no idea how this will turn out. If you drafted Ridder last year in a rookie draft, this is the best-case scenario: he is the presumed starter. Regardless, in a SuperFlex, he’s a borderline QB3 that you’re thankful can be an emergency option only. He can certainly add a few scores on the ground but the ceiling in an Atlanta offense makes him a short-term fix at best.
Sam Howell– It could be fun. It could be great. It could be nothing. If you were holding onto hope that Howell could be something, you get a short one-year window to see. We are on the optimistic side that Howell keeps the job but there is no guarantee for a franchise that has just a 6.5 win total. If he falters, Washington could be looking to draft his replacement next year with perhaps fellow UNC signal caller Drake Maye.
Hendon Hooker– The Lions could go in a couple of directions with their QB room. While there is talk of extending Jared Goff, the team can move on from him for a mere $5 million next year if they believe Hooker is the answer. The third-round draft capital is also less than impressive so it’s not out of the realm of possibility they take someone in 2024. Hooker is a QB4 in SuperFlex.
Tier 8- The Rest
I almost didn’t include this section but in true training camp fashion, I decided to finish the drill. Obviously, these guys should be holding a roster spot in a Superflex league. But the odds are that none of them will have a starting NFL job in 2024.
Ryan Tannehill– If the recent DeAndre Hopkins news gives someone in your league the tingles, feel free to shop him around. The former 1st round pick by the Dolphins carved out a nice career in the NFL but the Titans’ window of opportunity to compete in the AFC seems closed. He could stick around a few more years as a backup somewhere but his best fantasy days are gone. Tannehill has just three games over 20+ fantasy points in the last two seasons. Tennessee ranked 30th in pass rate over expectation, 26th in EPA per play, and dead last in pressure rate allowed last year. That doesn’t sound like a great combination with an aging QB. This roster could fall apart.
Jimmy Garoppolo– It’s impressive for a player who feels like he’s lived ten different NFL lives already. He was Tom Brady’s prized backup in New England, traded to San Francisco, a near Super Bowl winner, and then “replaced” by Trey Lance. After somehow bridging Lance to Brock Purdy, Jimmy G is lucky to find a starting gig and even more fortunate to have the Raiders fail to seriously address the position in the draft. His contract beyond 2023 is no guarantee so if someone else in your league needs Superflex help, your window to trade him at top value is probably now rather than later.
Sam Darnold– Wait a second… this is the third San Francisco 49er QB to show up on this list?! With Kyle Shanahan, anything is possible I guess.
Zach Wilson– He said he’s ready to make someone’s life a living hell in practice. We’re waiting…
Baker Mayfield– You can’t feel too bad for a player who thus far banked almost $50 million in his career but the Buccaneers are paying Mr. Mayfield just $4 million for his services in 2023, whatever those services may be. You could be on team “Baker will use that as motivation” and we applaud you for taking such a daring stance. Or, you could look at it as evidence that Tampa Bay will be quick to pull the plug if the QB bakes a cake full of dung on the field. Excuse us for the poop reference but the dude has nosedived into a giant vat of manure for fantasy. He’s finished as a top-12 QB in just 25 percent of his career starts, better known as Davis Mills & Zach Wilson territory.