DLF Team Dynasty Predictions for 2023 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks

Tim Riordan

Dynasty League Football is the premier source for dynasty fantasy football analysis, and its contributors are some of the top minds in the industry. So, we needed to figure out how the team at DLF feels about the 2023 class of rookies! We surveyed the team, and we’ll analyze the results in a four-part series, kicking off with the quarterbacks here!

We could see a historic draft for the quarterback position this season, with as many as four or five quarterbacks going in the first round! The landscape for the position is going to change drastically on April 27 in Kansas City. Let’s see what the DLF team has to say about this draft!

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We’ll kick things off with the biggest question for dynasty fantasy football managers: who is the number one quarterback in this class for dynasty? The results are almost perfectly split with Florida QB Anthony Richardson, Alabama QB Bryce Young and Ohio State QB CJ Stroud, with Stroud getting the slight edge over the other two.

It’s a pretty good bet that Stroud will either be drafted with the first or second overall pick, by the Carolina Panthers or the Houston Texans. He feels like the safest quarterback in this draft class. He should be able to start right away for whatever team drafts him and he has the prototypical size that we love to see at the quarterback position.

He has been the least mobile of the group, but he looked amazing in the National Championship game against Georgia. If he looks like that in the NFL, he should be great for fantasy football. Jake Domonkos chose Stroud, and said: “Stroud reminds me of a Kirk Cousins deluxe. Better athlete, better arm, but similar accuracy. Stroud also played incredibly in big games, which is one of Cousins’ glaring weaknesses. He seems like a can’t-miss prospect.”

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Will Levis has had the most negative press of all of the quarterbacks projected to go in the first round. Count this as some more, as the DLF team has named him the most overrated quarterback of this rookie class.

“He hasn’t done anything special in college and couldn’t beat out Sean Clifford at Penn State,” said Eric Hardter after selecting Levis as his most overrated quarterback. Levis is as high as the number one quarterback on some NFL Draft big boards. He has experience working in a pro-style offense and the athleticism that succeeds at the NFL level, especially for fantasy football. But, he struggled mightily in 2022 and there have been some reported attitude problems. Eric Flynn said: “I don’t see him showing consistently he has what it takes in the NFL. Outside of his physical make-up, there’s not much more to see.”

Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young each received 17.4% of the vote in this category and Hendon Hooker and Stetson Bennett also received votes.

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Hendon Hooker was on his way to an incredible 2022 season with the Tennessee Volunteers. He was the favorite for the Heisman Trophy and likely would have been locked in for a first-round pick. Unfortunately, his season ended early with a torn ACL. Hooker’s injury, and his advanced age for a prospect (he turned 25 in January) has pushed him down the NFL Draft board and the dynasty draft board, outside of the top tier of rookie quarterbacks.

Connor LaPlante chose Hooker for this question, and said: “He was an accurate passer in college, maybe he was throwing to two future NFL WRs bolstering his stats, or maybe he was so good he made both those WRs into top prospects. Probably a little bit of both.” Hooker, Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman made for an outstanding offense in Knoxville last year. The DLF staff tends to believe that he can do it again at the NFL level once he recovers from his injury.

Will Levis received 21.7% of the vote while Stetson Bennett and Jake Haener got 8.7%. Malik Cunningham and Dorian Thompson-Robinson also received votes.

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Since we likely won’t see Hooker take the field this season, it’s tough to look ahead and determine what he will do at the fantasy football level. In superflex drafts, you may need to use a first-round pick on Hooker – will he ever pay off that value?

When surveyed, 60.8% of DLF contributors said Hooker will finish as a top 15 quarterback at some point in his career, but will never finish in the top five. He will of course need to get the chance to start with a team in order to achieve this, but if he is drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, he should absolutely get the chance to do that! Jake Domonkos said of Hooker: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a top-five finish (although I went with 6-10). He’s a great decision-maker with all the tools to succeed at the next level. If he goes to a nice landing spot, I’m confident he’ll be a long-term starter.”

There was some dissent, with 26.1% of responses saying Hooker will never finish as a top 20 quarterback for fantasy football. It is absolutely a fair opinion, as Hooker is not guaranteed to ever be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

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Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are generally considered to be the top two quarterbacks who will be selected in the NFL Draft. After that, NFL teams will have to make the choice, do they go with the enormous upside of Anthony Richardson, or the relative safety of Will Levis?

To the DLF staff, the choice is clear: Richardson should be the pick. Andrew Francesconi put it bluntly: “Will Levis stinks. As simple as that.” It could be the Colts, Titans, Raiders, Seahawks or another team that needs to draft a quarterback, but whoever it is, DLF believes Richardson will come off the board before Levis.

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DLF’s superflex rookie rankings have five quarterbacks ranked in the top 24. After that, Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the next rookie quarterback, ranked at 42 overall. Those five quarterbacks, CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis and Hendon Hooker, are the only signal-callers who will be taken in every superflex rookie draft. After that tier, who has the best chance to make a fantasy football impact at some point in their career?

For 52.2% of the DLF staff, we turn to two-time College Football Playoffs National Champion Stetson Bennett. “Some team will love his ‘winning mentality’ and he sort of has the makings for a good backup,” says Adam Tzikas about his selection. Bennett, who will turn 26 years old in October of this season, was more of a game manager at quarterback in college. He leaned on an NFL-level offense, great running games, and his legs more than his arm when it came to winning National Championships. Despite his limitations as a quarterback, you cannot deny his ability to win the big games!

Finishing second in the poll, UCLA’s dual-threat QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson received 21.7% of the votes, followed by Tanner McKee (8.7%) out of Stanford. Clayton Tune, Max Duggan, Malik Cunningham and Jake Haener also received votes.

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We could see as many as four quarterbacks selected in the top-five picks on April 27th, the first round of the NFL Draft. That would be a historic number, but does this class live up to the hype for fantasy football? The DLF staff says no!

The perception of this quarterback class is that it’s generally middle of the pack compared to the past ten years. Aaron St. Denis says this class is “better than 2022 but worse than a few of the other classes. Not as much upside.”

The question becomes: can Young, Stroud, Richardson, Levis or Hooker elevate this class to among the greats with their play at the NFL level? We remember the 2017 draft for Patrick Mahomes, 2018 for Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, and 2020 for Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. To reach that echelon of quarterback draft classes, we will likely need two or three of these quarterbacks to become top 12 QBs at the NFL level. John DiBari sums up this draft class saying, “Once we get past Stroud and Young, landing spot is going to be very, very important for the rest of this class.”

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tim riordan
DLF Team Dynasty Predictions for 2023 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks