2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

by Dennis Sosic
2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts. You can check out the QB Sleepers article if you missed it.

Fantasy managers love to promote their "my guys." Players that they have to have on their fantasy rosters.

However, a more substantial claim can be made with the players to stay away from or those who will bust this season.

Check out which four quarterbacks I project will bust based on draft capital and projection in the 2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts.

2023 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

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Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

It is looking like a rough season for the 2023 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will likely have Colt McCoy behind center when they kick off Week 1 against the Washington Commanders. They will also be playing this without their star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who they released this offseason, and just signed with the Titans. Tanking this season could be their path, with the potential of possessing two top-five picks next season.

At some point, the Cardinals will be forced to decide on their current franchise quarterback, Kyler Murray. Murray played in only 11 games last season due to a season-ending ACL tear. Unfortunately, he had a mediocre season with career lows with 215 passing yards per game and an 87.2 QBR while adding 418 rushing yards and three scores on the ground along his 11 starts.

Murray says he will be ready for Week 1, but there is zero reason for the Cardinals to rush him back. Fantasy managers need to be practical in this situation. It is more likely that the Cardinals will place him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which will keep him out for six weeks.

Murray produced fantasy stats; he is a top-ten fantasy quarterback when healthy. He has yet to post a 4,000-yard season and has only reached the playoffs once in his NFL career. His lack of maturity and commitment fuels his lack of success and off-field issues.

The uncertainty of his return and his level of play is concerning enough to provide doubts that Murray can achieve QB1 levels. Combine those factors, Murray will now lead a Cardinals offense lacking playmakers. Marquise Brown is a boom-or-bust wideout. Can Zach Ertz return to health?

Another challenge is new head coach Jonathan Gannon, who is a defensive-minded coach who will be facing his first head coaching job. Gannon named Drew Petzing his offensive coordinator, who served as the Cleveland Browns quarterback coach last season. He has been described as a bright, young mind but has yet to do as an offensive coordinator.

There is too much risk in selecting Kyler Murray as your quarterback in 2023.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott has plenty of critics. He has been in the league for seven seasons and hasn't won anything. Prescott is 2-4 in the playoffs and left last season with more questions than answers.

He threw a league-high 15 interceptions in just 12 games last season. Prescott is highly inconsistent. But he still finished as the QB7 after Week 7 when he returned from injury.

In 2023, there have been significant changes in the Cowboys offense. Losing offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore will hurt. Prescott also lost his security blanket in tight end Dalton Schultz. However, he gains veteran speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup is another year removed from his ACL surgery.

When head coach Mike McCarthy explained why the Cowboys dismissed OC Kellen Moore, it was an eye-opener:

"Kellen wants to light the scoreboard up," he said in a March news conference. "But I want him to run the damn ball, so I can rest my defense."

Now McCarthy will take over the play-calling duties in Dallas, which should make some Cowboys fans nervous. His final years in Green Bay did not look like McCarthy and his quarterback Aaron Rodgers were on the same page. Rodgers always complained about the safe and unimaginative concepts that McCarthy play-called.

The uncertainty of the path of this Cowboys offense makes me nervous. Prescott is an above-average quarterback but might be slightly stifled by the play-calling. Fantasy managers are clamoring for the breakout of running back Tony Pollard, and in this new Cowboys offense, it is a good bet that we will witness it this season. Unfortunately, it will result in Prescott taking a back seat, but Prescott has to play better for the Cowboys to make a deep playoff run. Does Prescott have it to lead the Cowboys' offense? The jury is still out, and investing valuable draft capital to discover the results is challenging.

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson enters the NFL after being drafted with the No. 4 overall pick by the Colts, and no one has higher expectations. His elite athleticism, excellent mobility, and strong arm provide the base for an enormous ceiling to play up to. Still, he is smothered with upside, and dynasty managers should be willing to cough up any draft capital and player to acquire him.

However,  the Colts have yet to name their Week 1 starter, and mixed reviews are returning from OTA's. His performances are labeled "turbulent," even Colts owner Jim Irsay has chimed in on Richardson, "he has to play to get better." Richardson has plenty of potential to blossom into a top quarterback in the NFL, but he is currently a project rather than a product.

Richardson is a high-risk/high-reward player in redraft leagues, but his performance can be unpredictable. He isn't an accurate quarterback. The former Florida quarterback will not have a smooth transition to the league. The Colts brought in a veteran signal-caller Gardner Minshew as an insurance policy. Minshew is familiar with new head coach Shane Steichen's system from their time in Philadelphia.

The growing pains will stand out, but so will Richardson's high-rushing floor. His elite mobility will need to carry Richardson to provide fantasy value. Richardson needs to reach an average-level passer to stay on the field. Are both of those components

It's hard not to be a fan of Richardson. He is an exciting player who makes thrilling plays on the field. However, he also makes plays that make you wonder what he is seeing. All tolled, his ADP continues to rise as the buzz grows louder. Temper your expectations as the Colts bring Richardson along slowly.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Tua entered last season with plenty of questions. First-year head coach Mike McDaniel arrived with a new offensive system, and Tyreek Hill was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs. Tua thrived under McDaniel. He threw for career highs in yards (3,548) and touchdowns (25), displaying his leadership and ability to lead an explosive offense with Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Tua produced the highest deep ball completion percentage (50%) and thrived in the new QB-friendly offensive scheme.

Tua appeared in 13 games last season for the second consecutive year. He couldn't shake his injury issues and entered the concussion protocol multiple times. Fans cringed at the replays of Tua suffering thru his concussion effects. Tua even admitted that he discussed retirement in the offseason.

The bust label is not a reflection of his play on the field. Tua stepped and excelled in this offense. The sky is the limit with these elite wideouts and with a scheming genius in McDaniel. The injury risk factor is higher than most players, and his health contingency makes Tua a quarterback that I am nervous to pull the trigger on.

The ceiling is the sky with Tua, but remaining on the field remains the only caveat. The Dolphins inexplicably did nothing in the NFL Draft or offseason to improve a bottom-ten offensive line, so selecting the safe floor quarterback in his draft range might be the best option.


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