Bust QB Candidates for Fantasy Football in 2023


We’re running through our 2023 fantasy sleepers and busts series with a look at 2023 QB busts. Check out our 2023 QBs sleepers piece if you’re looking for the diamonds in the rough.


I said this in the sleepers piece, and I’ll say it again here: QB feels pretty gross in fantasy football this year. The top is elite. Tier 2 is fine. Tier 3 and beyond — starting with Daniel Jones being drafted in the top-12 — just feels wrong.

For this “busts” article, all QBs mentioned are currently being drafted inside of the top 12 at the position. It doesn’t feel right to call someone a bust candidate if they aren’t even being drafted as a starter.

2023 Fantasy Football Bust Candidates — Quarterback 

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa is entering the 2023 season with high expectations, as the team has gone all-in on him. They have built a win-now team, adding Jalen Ramsey on defense after creating an explosive offense last year with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Last year, Tua completed 64.8% of his passes for 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns in 13 games. However, he also suffered multiple concussions, causing him to miss time, including the playoffs. With an Underdog ADP of 96 (end of 8th round) as the QB11, it’s hard to justify drafting him at what appears to be his ceiling. He was the QB10 last year in PPG, and that was with unsustainable efficiency leading the league in TD rate (6.3%), yards per attempt (8.9), and QB rating (105.5).

Add in the very real potential for a re-injury, this just feels too high for Tua.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Daniel Jones Fantasy Football Bust Quarterbacks

Daniel Jones is being drafted as QB12 right now, and it kind of feels like it’s just by default. As noted above, the top-end QBs are strong, but the well dries up fast, and Jones has the best single-week upside of “the rest.”

His draft range makes sense, but I can’t get fully behind it as it feels like his ceiling. Drafting Jones at his current price means betting on him to repeat his career-best performance (QB11 last year), which is a risky proposition. Jones did finish the year strong with five top-12 weekly finishes over the final seven weeks, but he only posted three such outings through the first 11 games, raising questions about his consistency.

The Giants also did very little to help a mediocre supporting cast. They added Darren Waller, who feels like a big name, but he also may very well be past his prime. Beyond that, it was a bunch of second- and third-tier receivers, not difference-makers.


Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson had a disappointing 2022 season, playing in only five games and averaging 15.3 fantasy PPG. The rust-filled performance placed him in the same range as 2022 Matthew Stafford and just ahead of Kenny Pickett, Zach Wilson, Davis Mills, Andy Dalton and Mac Jones.

Despite his poor showing in 2022, Watson is currently being drafted as QB9, likely due to his strong performances from 2018 to 2020 (QB4, QB5 and QB5, respectively).

I actually think the current price on Watson is fair. He’s clearer riskier than every QB going ahead of him, but clearly has more upside than every QB going behind him. However, the bust potential is evident. His per-game company last week was miserable.

Other QB Bust Candidates Outside the Top 12

I wrote up four quarterbacks as sleepers, but since my scope above was limited to the top 12, I didn’t want to force in a fourth QB that I didn’t actually feel had bust potential. But here are a few names going in the QB2 range or later who are potential busts:

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