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Who's the best fantasy football QB 2023? Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen lead top-tier quarterbacks

Heading into 2023, three players have a legit claim as the top fantasy football QB: Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen. These three dual-threat quarterbacks compose the top tier of our QB rankings and will be drafted early in every fantasy football draft over the next few weeks. Mahomes led all quarterbacks with 428.4 fantasy points last season, but Hurts led in fantasy points per game (25.6). Allen was the runaway top fantasy QB in 2021 (417.7 total points, 24.6 FPPG).

All three QBs averaged over 24 FPPG last season and posted at least 3,700 passing yards, 358 rushing yards, and 35 total TDs, and those numbers seem like absolute floors for all three again this year as long as they stay healthy.

Below, we’ll break down why each quarterback deserves to be selected first in fantasy drafts before revealing who we like to go No. 1.

Patrick Mahomes vs. Jalen Hurts vs. Josh Allen: Who’s the best fantasy QB in 2023?

Patrick Mahomes fantasy outlook

Mahomes was QB1 in fantasy football for the second time last season. The superstar quarterback proved to the NFL world that he can win a Super Bowl and take the Chiefs’ offense to another level sans Tyreek Hill. He completed a career-high 67.1 percent of his passes for 5,250 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also added 358 rushing yards and four scores on the ground.

Mahomes produced five games with 30 fantasy points or more and had five top-three weekly finishes. It was a dominant performance by the superstar QB, who will be asked to do the same thing this season with another group of makeshift pass-catchers. The Chiefs lost WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in the offseason, so Mahomes will be primarily throwing to Travis Kelce, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Richie James, Justyn Ross, Rashee Rice, Skyy Moore, and Jerick McKinnon.

Toney, Rice, and Moore aren’t household names yet but will play significant roles in a Chiefs’ offense led by new offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. Nagy is taking over Eric Bieniemy, who helped the Chiefs average 29.2 points per game in 2022. Nagy was Kansas City’s offensive coordinator in 2017 when the Alex Smith-led team finished fifth in total offense. With Nagy back at the helm, we don’t expect a drop-off in production.

Mahomes’ preseason ADP pegs him as an early second-round pick, which is about right for a top QB. The only thing that could slow Mahomes down is injury, but we saw him perform well in the postseason despite being banged up. He doesn’t have the most talented receivers compared to Allen and Hurts, but Mahomes’ innate ability to keep plays alive and make spectacular plays keeps him in the discussion to be the first QB drafted.

Jalen Hurts fantasy outlook

Hurts significantly improved last season, going from QB9 in 2021 to QB3 in ’22 and nearly winning NFL MVP. The dual-threat star shined in his second year as the Eagles’ full-time starter, completing a career-high 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,701 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Hurts was also a massive threat in Philly’s running game, producing 760 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Hurts scored 25.6 fantasy points per game – higher than Mahomes (25.2) and Allen (24.3). The former second-round pick also had four games with 30 or more fantasy points and eight top-three weekly finishes. It’s expected that Hurts finishes within the top three again, as most of the Eagles’ offensive weapons are back for another season.

For starters, Hurts has A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, who are both in the top 20 of our WR rankings. At tight end, he also has Dallas Goedert, who is a top-10 fantasy contributor and remains a great option inside the red zone. However, there were some slight changes in the backfield, as veteran running back Miles Sanders signed a four-year deal in the offseason with Carolina. To replace Sanders, the Eagles signed Rashaad Penny in free agency and got D’Andre Swift in a trade from the Lions. Swift adds a pass-catching element to the Eagles’ offense, which can only enhance Hurts’ fantasy production.

Could Penny and Swift take away from Hurts’ production on the ground? It’s possible, but we also saw Sanders have 11 rushing touchdowns last season. When the Eagles get inside the five-yard line, there’s still a high likelihood that Hurts will come away with a rushing TD. Hurts scored 10 rushing touchdowns inside the five-yard line, finishing second behind former Lions RB Jamaal Williams (14). If new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson sticks to a similar script from 2022 and adds a couple of new wrinkles, Hurts could easily become QB1 in fantasy this season.

Josh Allen fantasy outlook

Allen finished as the QB2 in fantasy football last season, ending his two-year run as QB1. The 27-year-old dual-threat had another stellar season for a Bills’ squad that scored 27.7 points per game. Allen completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 4,283 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. It’s not surprising to see the star signal caller have his third-straight 4,000 passing-yard season, as Buffalo was ranked 11th last season in team passing play percentage (59.4).

Despite Buffalo being a pass-heavy team, Allen was still a playmaker with his legs, recording 762 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. As with Hurts, Allen’s ability to create out of the pocket and potentially score makes him a higher priority in fantasy football drafts over pocket passers such as Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.

Allen scored 24.3 fantasy points per game last season and had four contests with 30-plus fantasy points. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Allen top his FPPG average from last season, as the Bills have Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Khalil Shakir, Trent Sherfield, Dawson Knox, Dalton Kincaid, and James Cook. Diggs is a bona fide WR1 and our eighth-ranked WR in fantasy football season. When the Allen-Diggs connection is cooking, the Bills are tough to stop. Diggs had his third consecutive 1,000-yard season with the Bills (1,429) and scored double-digit TDs (11) for the second-straight year.

Allen also posted 12 40-plus passing attempts last season, which was good for second behind Mahomes (13). Diggs and Davis played a part in that number, as they can take the top off any defense. Allen’s early ADP is at 18, according to FantasyPros, putting him in the second round with Mahomes.

The verdict: Who’s the No. 1 fantasy QB in 2023?

As owners prepare for their fantasy football drafts, they will have numerous debates over which QB they should take first. Based on how all three quarterbacks performed last season, owners can’t go wrong with whoever they choose. Mahomes has the highest ADP among the trio, which isn’t surprising, as he showed us last season that he can still put up numbers without having a stud wide receiver.

However, Allen and Hurts offer a lot to fantasy owners too. They can both score fantasy points in the running game. If you drafted one of these star signal callers around their ADPs (Round 2 in standard 12-team leagues), you might miss out on a top-tier skill player. However, that’s the risk owners take when drafting these high-scoring quarterbacks who play significant roles in their team’s offenses.

If you want a quarterback that can stack up points with his passing numbers, then Mahomes is your QB. Or if you want to draft a dual-threat quarterback who might not throw for 4,000 yards but will score 10 or more rushing touchdowns, then Hurts has to be your selection. Allen is a great combination of both, but we’re expecting him to run a little bit less this year, thus paving the way for both Mahomes (our No. 1) and Hurts to finish slightly higher.

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