Patrick Mahomes Fantasy Projections: Should You Draft Mahomes in Fantasy This Year?

As the NFL season approaches, millions of people are turning their attention to fantasy football. Well, just like every year, we at PFN have been researching more than 350 players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here are Patrick Mahomes’ fantasy projections for 2023, as well as insights into whether he should be drafted at his ADP.

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Patrick Mahomes’ 2023 Fantasy Projection

When someone is as good and as young as Mahomes is, it’s hard to write anything about him that hasn’t already been written. If any current QB can break Tom Brady’s greatest records, it’s probably Mahomes.

The face of the Chiefs’ franchise just won his second Super Bowl at age 27 while leading the league in passing yards and passing TDs. He’s missed only three games in five seasons, and none in the last two campaigns. The sky remains the limit.

One sign of his greatness lies in his consistency. He’s racked up at least three touchdowns in 49 of 94 regular-season and postseason starts (52%). That’s an insanely high clip. For context, Brady achieved this in 128 of 381 career games (34%).

Apparently, Travis Kelce remains elite even at age 33. Rookie WR Rashee Rice was a nice get, and Kadarius Toney has some of the most untapped potential of any AFC wideout when he’s on the field. Along with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, and Richie James, Kansas City seems to have enough receivers to get the job done.

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And in this case, “get the job done” means catching Mahomes’ passes and finding the end zone. Because as great as Mahomes is, he leaned more than ever on Kelce last year, who picked up a career-high 152 targets. Is that sustainable? Perhaps. It should be, at least. But as incredible as Kelce is, the Chiefs need other players to step up.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is a pretty big loss. Mecole Hardman’s departure will also be felt, at least marginally. Catch-friendly RB Jerick McKinnon is now 31.

Presumably, for Mahomes to replicate last year’s numbers, he’ll need Toney, Moore, or Rice to step up as his de facto No. 1 wideout. It’s doable. He’ll also need Kelce to remain elite. Also doable, though one cannot completely ignore that he’s had five straight seasons with 1,000+ offensive snaps, totaling 94 games. That’s not normal.

Of course, Kelce isn’t normal, so he has that going for him. However, as alluded to above, he’s entering his age-34 season. Eliteness doesn’t last forever.

The good news for fantasy managers is that regardless of the score, Mahomes will continue to sling it. Also good news: Mahomes is likely entering the prime of his career. No defense has figured out how to stop him. And the chances are good that this trend will continue in 2023.

Should You Draft Patrick Mahomes This Year?

Underdog Fantasy currently lists Mahomes with a QB1 ADP, right ahead of Jalen Hurts. Our PFN Consensus Rankings place him at QB1, too. None of this should surprise anyone. Barring something unforeseen, Mahomes will be at or near the top of ADPs for years to come.

Another day another no look side arm sling with ease from Patrick Mahomes. #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/JbMbraiTMf

— Rob Collins (@RCFOX4KC) August 8, 2023

The key question on whether to draft him at his ADP has less to do with Mahomes and more to do with how many guys you think will rival him for the top spot — or even come close — because you’ll need to invest significant draft capital to land this perennial star.

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Among QBs who’ve played more than half a season, Mahomes has been a top-four fantasy quarterback in points per game each year since 2018, when he broke onto the scene as a first-year starter. So you need to ask yourself whether waiting a round or two (or three or four?) to land a lower-tier quarterback will, in the end, give you more upside.

For example, who’s the next 2019 Lamar Jackson, or the next 2022 Jalen Hurts? Could Trevor Lawrence (QB8) take another step forward and go toe to toe with Mahomes in the top four, though at a significantly cheaper price?

If you want to lock in greatness and not worry about the QB position, Mahomes is as good a bet as any. If you’re more of a risk-taker who’s identified value in a later round — perhaps giving up a few QB points per week in exchange for landing a high-impact RB, WR, or TE — then, of course, trust your research.

You don’t need Mahomes to win your fantasy title. At the same time, if you pass on him, you need a good reason to do it.

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