Home Articles The Best Late-Round QBs To Target | 2023 Fantasy Football
Jared Goff | The Best Late-Round QBs To Target | 2023 Fantasy Football

The Best Late-Round QBs To Target | 2023 Fantasy Football

by Matt Kelley

Waiting to draft a quarterback in the later rounds of your fantasy football draft, known as the late-round QB strategy, can often be a viable plan to help you build and elevate your roster at other, more valuable skill positions.

Sadly, that one sentence could have helped me in 2006 when I played fantasy football for the first time and drafted Michael Vick in the first round. Spoiler: My first fantasy football league didn’t go well. Fast forward to 2023, quarterbacks are surging up draft boards (though not quite to my 1.06 Michael Vick hype) and separating from the pack with their arms and legs. 

In 2023, if I miss out on the elite and mobile QBs, I’m waiting, waiting and waiting for a QB with at least two of the following three criteria.

  • On a projected winning team
  • Can put up spike weeks
  • Will see heavy passing volume.

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The Best Late-Round QBs To Target | 2023 Fantasy Football

(ADP courtesy of ESPN)

Russell Wilson (QB, Denver Broncos)

Current ADP 142.6 overall | QB17

Right off the top, I know it’s as cringeworthy as a “Danger-wich” commercial, but Russell Wilson can be THE late-round QB you wait for. Many thought 2022 would be the year we all got to “let Russ cook.” The cooking was, to say the least, subpar. In Wilson’s first season as a Denver Bronco, he posted the worst quarterback rating, touchdown percentage, touchdown total and completion percentage of his career. He also took more sacks than any other year of his career.

So what happened? In a nutshell, Wilson switched teams, played behind the 20th-ranked offensive line in pass-blocking efficiency (per PFF) and dealt with a slew of injuries to teammates and himself (Wilson had off-season knee surgery). 

Are we sure Wilson hasn’t fallen off the proverbial cliff and won’t burn us as a late-round QB option? Honestly, no. Last year was painful to watch. However, I’m betting against that notion. Since 2017, Wilson had been at least 13th in points per game at the QB position until last year.

Left tackle Garett Bolles returns after fracturing his leg last season in Week 5. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy started to flash down the stretch last season. Courtland Sutton has reportedly dropped 10 pounds in playing weight, and the Broncos drafted Marvin Mims Jr. Running back Javonte Williams appears determined to return to full strength from his torn ACL, while Samaje Perine provides stability to the Broncos backfield. 

Wilson gets the head coach bump with Sean Payton coming in to orchestrate this offense. I don’t believe Payton took over this squad not to let Wilson shine or to run a conservative offense. As bleak as last season was, Wilson had three weeks in the top five at the quarterback position (and a fourth if your league goes into Week 18). He remains an enticing late-round QB option as redrafts continue.

Jared Goff (QB, Detroit Lions)

Current ADP 115 overall, QB 16

Were you aware that Jared Goff had more than 4,400 passing yards and 29 passing touchdowns last season? Yeah, me neither, until I dug into Goff as a late-round QB candidate. It will never be fun to click the “draft” button on Goff; however, he has a lot going for him heading into the 2023 season. 

The Lions rewarded Goff in this year’s draft, adding RB Jahmyr Gibbs with a first-round draft pick and TE Sam LaPorta with a second. Both players should help the Lions sustain more offensive drives. Week 7 will mark Jameson Williams‘ much-awaited return, equipping Goff with quite the arsenal. PFF has the Lions’ offensive line ranked as a top-five unit, giving the QB plenty of time to throw the ball. While touchdowns aren’t always easy to project, it’s easy to see a path for Goff to have positive regression, as it’s unlikely a Lions RB has 17 touchdowns as Jamaal Williams did. 

The Lions play 12 of their 17 games in domes this season, so Goff has the bulk of his season in optimal conditions. Per Sharp Football Analysis, the Lions also have four games with a net rest advantage of at least three days. 

Goff checks all the boxes if you’re waiting to draft a late-round QB. He had nearly 600 pass attempts last season. The Lions are projected at 9.5 wins and are the favorites to win the NFC North on DraftKings Sportsbook. Last season, Goff had six performances as a top-eight fantasy quarterback or better. He can be a pivotal cog to your fantasy roster. 

Looking for more fantasy football draft advice? Follow me on Twitter @ThatMattKelley.

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1 comment

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 1: Advice + Pickups (2023) September 4, 2023 - 5:55 pm

[…] wrote about Jared Goff as a late-round QB target this offseason. While his home/road splits last season were something to behold, there’s good […]

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