The Fantasy Points staff is covering every major skill player transaction from the 2023 off-season in our 2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker articles. We broke down all the important free agency signings and trades from a fantasy perspective in articles sorted by position. The articles are ordered by players changing teams ("New Homes") and by players sticking with their 2022 teams ("Staying Put"). The players are also ordered by their potential fantasy impact for the 2023 season in each section. Be sure to also check out Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces on the biggest transactions of the off-season.
We’ll also be constantly updating our Best Ball rankings if you’re looking to get an early start to draft season with our friends over at Underdog Fantasy (Promo code: FANTASYPTS). New signups to Underdog get both a deposit match of up to $100 and a Fantasy Points Standard subscription for just $5.
NOTE: Players are loosely ranked based on talent, age, plus previous and expected future fantasy relevance.
Aaron Rodgers (NYJ, 39) — Rodgers announced on “The Pat McAfee Show” his intention to play for the Jets in 2023. No deal has officially been made as of March 15, but let’s dive into the fantasy implications for Rodgers with a trade imminent.
Fantasy Points: The Packers have moved on from Rodgers and onto the Jordan Love era after excessive drama and late-season disappointments the last few years. Rodgers became the highest-paid North American athlete on an annual-average-value basis when he signed a three-year, $150.8 million contract last March. Green Bay then stunned the league two days later when they traded Davante Adams, which set the tone for the rest of the year for the Packers. Rodgers came nowhere close to replicating his MVP performances from the 2021-22 seasons when led the league in TD rate, INT rate, and QB rating in both campaigns. He averaged an ugly 6.8 YPA with a 4.8 TD rate and a 2.2% INT rate with Green Bay rolling with a mostly young and unproven receiving corps. Overall, he completed 350/542 passes (64.6%) for 3695 yards (6.8 YPA), 26 TDs (4.8%), and INTs (2.2%). He added 34/94/1 rushing to finish as the QB24 with 15.0 FPG in 17 contests. Rodgers previously finished as the QB8 (21.1) in 2021 and as the QB4 (24.4) in 2020 with Adams accounting for 34.2% of his TD passes (29 of 85) in that span.
Rodgers is more likely to retire than to play for the Packers in 2023, and the only question left is when will New York and Green Bay come to terms on a trade. Rodgers will have much more dynamic WRs at his disposal in New York than he did with the Green Bay in 2022. Garrett Wilson is one of the NFL’s brightest young WRs and New York locked up Rodgers’ buddy Lazard to be the #2 WR. Elijah Moore is also a promising prospect despite his rough sophomore season as long as he isn’t part of New York’s compensation for the future Hall of Fame QB. Rodgers has had issues getting on the same page with new receivers, which was a major problem with his revamped receiving corps last season. There’s no denying a highly motivated Rodgers has the potential to bounce back into at least the high-end QB2 range, especially in an improved offensive environment. His ADP (125, QB19) is likely to rise by at least two rounds, but I’m skeptical he’ll get back to the mid-QB1 territory after his play slipped in 2022. Nathaniel Hackett’s presence as a play-caller should be a concern after he failed miserably with another slipping quarterback last season in Russell Wilson. Rodgers had two huge seasons with Hackett helping to design the offense for Matt LaFleur, but it’s notable the Packers played at the slowest pace in both of those seasons. The Jets figure to lean into their top-five defense and stud runner Breece Hall, so he’ll have to return to his MVP form to be a low-end QB1 with his lack of rushing upside.
Derek Carr (NO, 32) — Carr and the Saints agreed to terms on a four-year, $150 million contract with $100 million in guaranteed money.
Fantasy Points: The Derek Carr era with the Raiders came to an end after nine seasons and no playoff victories since they drafted him 36th overall in 2014. The Raiders officially released him on Feb. 14 for a hit of $5.6 million in 2023, which helped them avoid $40.4 million in guarantees. Carr saw his completion percentage (68.7%>60.8%) and YPA average (7.8>7.0) plummet his first season under Josh McDaniels compared to 2019-21, even with the Raiders making a blockbuster deal for his Fresno State friend Davante Adams. He completed 305/502 passes (60.8%) for 3522 yards (7.0 YPA), 24 TDs (4.8%), and 14 INTs (2.8%). He added 24/102/0 rushing to finish as the QB19 with 15.5 FPG in 15 contests. Carr finished with a career-worst INT rate (2.8%) and his worst completion percentage (60.8%) since his rookie year. He’s reached 25+ passing TDs just once in the last six seasons and he owns six career rushing TDs. It’s no surprise then that he’s never finished as a top-12 fantasy QB, which is unlikely to change with the Saints.
He has a potential star in Chris Olave at his disposal and Rashid Shaheed and Juwan Johnson had promising conclusions to the 2022 season, and all three Saints receivers can threaten defenses downfield. Carr surprisingly finished second in aDOT (9.7 yards) behind only Tua Tagovailoa, but he completed just 33.8% of his 20+ yard attempts (24 of 71). Michael Thomas also decided to stick in New Orleans after the franchise signed Carr, and he’s been an elite target when he’s been able to stay on the field, which hasn’t happened much the last three seasons. Unfortunately, Taysom Hill’s presence is always a detriment to every fantasy piece around him. Carr is a solid, younger upgrade over last year’s starting quarterback Andy Dalton, and the Saints believe he can be a significant upgrade based on his contract. Dalton averaged just 27.0 attempts per game in his 14 starts while Carr has averaged 34.9 attempts per game to start his career. OC Pete Carmichael will need to be much more aggressive through the air than he was last season for Carr to have any chance of being a high-end QB2 option, which should happen with the improved pieces in this passing attack.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more about Carr’s signing with the Saints.
Fantasy Points Data: Carr's performance in 2022 was underwhelming, with a -0.9% CPOE ranking him 23rd among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts. Additionally, he threw into tight coverage more than any other quarterback, accounting for 23.1% of his throws. A concerning feat given the weapons at Carr’s disposal. Carr's turnover-worthy throw rate of 3.7% also ranked in the bottom 10, and only seven quarterbacks had a lower percentage of their yards come after the catch than Carr's 44.4%.
One of the potential reasons for Carr's subpar performance could have been his tendency to go for the big play. In 2022, his average depth of target (aDOT) was 8.8, the fourth-highest among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts. This was an increase from his 7.7 aDOT in 2021.
However, 2021 was a good year for Carr, exemplifying what he is capable of achieving. He ranked fifth in adjusted completion percentage at 77% among quarterbacks with a minimum of 250 dropbacks, and his catchable ball rate of 82.8% ranked him 11th in the NFL. Furthermore, his turnover-worthy throw rate was ranked eighth lowest at 3.5%, and his wow throw rate of 5.8% was ranked ninth.
If Carr can replicate his 2021 form, he could potentially become a valuable asset to the team. With a new environment and reuniting with former coach Dennis Allen, Carr landing in New Orleans is a major win for the Saints. For a team in cap purgatory and not many paths toward improvement, the Saints hit a home run here. (Brett Whitefield)
Fantasy Points: In a move that surprised no one, Jimmy G reunited with Josh McDaniels in the Raiders’ first major quarterback move since Derek Carr became the starter as a rookie in 2014. Garoppolo continued to be an efficient point guard for Kyle Shanahan’s offense in his sixth season with the 49ers, but he suffered his third season-ending injury since arriving in the Bay Area when he broke his foot in early December. Jimmy G’s durability issues are inescapable at this stage of his career after he had shoulder and thumb surgeries last off-season, but there’s no denying he’s mastered Shanahan’s offense. Over 48 games in the last four seasons, Jimmy G completed 68.2% of his passes while averaging 8.3 YPA with a 5.1% TD rate. He ranks behind Joe Burrow in completion percentage and owns the best YPA average in that span. Garoppolo’s one weakness has been his 2.9% INT rate in his first five seasons, but he even cleaned that area up with a 1.3% INT rate last season. Jimmy G was thrust into the lineup in Week 2 after Trey Lance’s season-ending ankle injury, and he completed 207/308 passes (67.2%) for 2437 yards (7.9 YPA), 16 TDs (5.2%), and four INTs (1.3%) before his own injury. He added 23/33/2 rushing to finish as the QB20 with 15.5 FPG in 11 contests.
Garoppolo was arguably the best quarterback available based on his efficiency numbers over the last four years, but he comes with an ever-growing list of injuries and concerns that he’s a product of Shanahan’s QB-friendly system. He’ll get the chance to prove he can play away from Shanahan, and he’ll do it in a familiar spot having spent three and a half seasons under McDaniels in New England. Garoppolo has limited fantasy appeal since he’s never topped 62 rushing yards in a season, and he averaged just 28.6 passing attempts per game over his six seasons in San Francisco. He should get a little more passing volume in Las Vegas after Carr averaged 33.6 attempts per game, and Davante Adams will single-handedly raise his fantasy potential having accounted for 43 receiving TDs over his last three seasons. The Raiders also signed the top available free agent WR in Jakobi Meyers to improve his WR corps before trading Darren Waller later in the day. Jimmy G’s fantasy upside is limited as a low-end QB2, but he should have some moments as a streamer in good matchups or in pass-heavy scripts in the AFC West for as long as he can stay on the field.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more about Garoppolo’s signing with the Raiders.
Fantasy Points Data: Jimmy G’s 103.0 passer rating ranked 3rd best among QBs with at least 300 dropbacks, but his -2.1 Completion Percentage Over Expectation (CPOE) ranked 26th.
Fantasy Points: HC Ron Rivera said in early February that Sam Howell will start the off-season as the “QB1”, but the Commanders have slowly pulled back a bit from handing him the job, especially after handing Brissett $8 million in guaranteed money for 2023. The Browns initially signed Brissett to push Baker Mayfield for Cleveland’s starting job at the start of last off-season, but the veteran quarterback eventually served as the bridge quarterback until Deshaun Watson finished up his 11-game suspension. Brissett ended up being Cleveland’s best quarterback last season with Watson struggling in his first action after a 23-month layoff. The Browns averaged just 16.3 PPG and 298.0 YPG with Watson at quarterback, which would’ve ranked 32nd and 29th, respectively, over the entire season. It paled in comparison to the offense under Brissett, which averaged 23.9 PPG and 376.9 YPG in 11 games, which would’ve ranked t-9th and fifth, respectively, over the entire season. Brissett completed 236/368 passes (64.1%) for 2608 yards (7.1 YPA), 12 TDs (3.3%), and six INTs (1.6%). He added 47/238/2 rushing (5.1 YPC) to finish as QB20 with 16.2 FPG in his 11 starts. Brissett is the second-best quarterback at the rugby-style QB sneak behind Jalen Hurts, which gives him a little added value if the play remains legal in 2023. Brissett is the better option over Howell on paper heading into the 2023 season, and it’s notable that Rivera will be fighting for his job with potentially a new owner taking over the franchise. Washington may well give Howell the first crack at the starting job in training camp, but Brissett will be ready to take his job if he shows any cracks in the preseason or early in the year. He’ll work with a pair of stud WRs in Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson to help him be a viable low-end QB2 when he starts this season.
Fantasy Points: The Buccaneers are in transition from the Tom Brady era to what they’ll become in the upcoming years, and Tampa Bay will go with Mayfield and Kyle Trask as their quarterbacks for the 2023 season as they rebuild a roster that quickly deteriorated after their Super Bowl victory in the 2020 season. Mayfield received the fresh start he desperately wanted when the Browns traded him to the Panthers last July. The move didn’t go as planned with Mayfield receiving another fresh start just five months later with the Panthers releasing him in early December. Carolina had slightly raised expectations heading after acquiring the 2018 first overall pick, but he eventually suffered the same fate as Matt Rhule after finishing with a dreadful 74.4 QB rating with the Panthers. The Rams were so desperate for QB help that they claimed Mayfield off waivers for the final five games. He had a moment with an improbable comeback victory over the Raiders on Thursday Night Football after being with the team for just 48 hours, but he still finished with a worse QB rating (86.4) than he had with the Browns (87.8). Overall, Baker completed 201/335 passes (60.0%) for 2163 yards (6.5YPA), 10 TDs (3.0%), and eight INTs (2.4%). He added 31/89/1 rushing (YPC) to average 11.0 FPG in 12 contests.
Mayfield found one of the few teams where he could still compete for a Week 1 starting job, but he’s past the stage of his career where he’ll be handed any job. He’ll at least be given a chance to get his career back on track under new OC Dave Canales, and he’ll work with a dynamic WR duo in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Of course, he previously had a strong 1-2 combo in Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry that he eventually tore apart so he’s far from guaranteed to take advantage of his receiving corps. I’d give Mayfield the slight leg up on Trask entering the summer, but he’s nothing more than a late-round flier in Superflex/two-QB formats.
Gardner Minshew (Ind, 27) — Minshew and the Colts reached terms on a one-year, $3.5 million deal
Fantasy Points: Minshew is loved because he’s a gunslinger and he’s hated because he’s a gunslinger. In 2021, he stepped into the lineup for Jalen Hurts and beat the Jets by two scores with 242/2 passing with no interceptions. He didn’t have the same fortune in a pair of losses to the Cowboys and Saints in 2022 thanks in large part to his four combined turnovers in those contests. The Eagles ended up finishing with a 16-2 record in games started by Hurts and 0-2 with Minshew at quarterback last season. He completed 44/76 passes (57.9%) for 663 yards (8.7 YPA), three TDs (3.9%), and three INTs (3.9%), and he added 7/3/1 rushing in five appearances and two starts. Minshew owns 24 starts in four seasons and it wouldn’t be surprising if he adds to that total with the Colts potentially drafting a project at quarterback. Indianapolis could be in a position to select either Anthony Richardson or Will Levis with the fourth overall pick, and it wouldn’t be surprising if either player sits early in the season while they get acclimated to the NFL. Minshew is familiar with new HC Shane Steichen’s offense from his time in Philadelphia, and his playing style is conducive for fantasy production — he averaged 19.8 FPG in his two spot starts in 2022. Minshew could be on the radar as an early-season streamer in Superflex/two-QB formats.
Fantasy Points: The Falcons appear resigned to the fact that they won’t be drafting one of the top four quarterbacks at the eighth overall pick. They settled for Heinicke in free agency to compete with Ridder for their starting job in 2023. It hasn't always been pretty for Hospital Ball Heinicke, but the former journeyman QB has racked up a 12-11-1 record as a starter for the Commanders over the last two seasons. Heinicke helped Washington to get into playoff contention with a 5-3-1 run as the team’s starter, but Ron Rivera curiously went back to Carson Wentz in a must-win game against the Browns in Week 17 that the Commanders would end up losing. Heinicke completed 161/259 passes (62.2%) for 1859 yards (7.2 YPA), 12 TDs (4.6%), and six INTs (2.3%). He added 28/96/1 rushing to finish as the QB26 with 14.1 FPG in nine contests. Heinicke couldn’t quite find a starting job in free agency but he’ll at least be given a chance to compete with Ridder in training camp. Ridder will likely have to be a disaster in August to not be the Week 1 starter, but Arthur Smith won’t give him an unlimited leash with Heinicke waiting in the wings.
Fantasy Points: The Jets are overhauling their quarterback depth chart, which meant that White was no longer in New York’s plans with Zach Wilson likely sliding into a backup role because of his #2 overall draft status from 2021. White worked under Mike LaFleur the last two seasons, and LaFleur previously worked with Mike McDaniel from 2014-20 with the 49ers, Falcons, and Browns. White had a brief moment when it looked like he might be the solution to New York’s major quarterback issue in 2022. He threw for 315 yards, three TDs, and no INTs while averaging 11.3 YPA in a three-score victory over the lowly Bears in Week 12. The wheels fell off in his final three starts with no TD passes and four INTs while averaging 6.0 YPA in three losses. Overall, he completed 103/175 passes (58.9%) for 1192 yards (6.8 YPA), three TDs (1.7%), and four INTs (2.3%). He added 6/9/1 rushing to average 15.4 FPG in four contests. White finds himself as the backup to Tua Tagovailoa, whose brain health will be heavily scrutinized once again this season. The reality of the situation is that White is one Tua hit away from being the full-time starter for the Dolphins, which puts him on the radar in deeper Superflex/two-QB formats. He has the potential to be a streaming option if he starts since he’ll be working with game-breakers like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Marcus Mariota (Phi, 29) — Mariota and the Eagles reached terms on a one-year, $5 million contract worth up to $8 million in incentives.
Fantasy Points: Mariota bided his time behind Derek Carr in 2021-22 before landing another starting gig for the Falcons last off-season. He played like the same quarterback we’ve come to expect since he broke into the league as the second-overall pick by the Titans in 2015. Mariota completed 184/300 passing (61.3%) for 2219 yards (7.4 YPA), 15 TDs (5.0%), and nine INTs (3.0%). He added 85/438/4 rushing (5.2 YPC) to finish as the QB17 with 16.0 FPG in 13 games. Mariota easily finished with career-highs in rushing YPG (33.7), attempts per game (6.5), and rushing FPG (5.2) in an Atlanta offense that ran the rock at the second-highest rate (55.3%). He reportedly left the team after he was benched for Desmond Ridder for the final four games after their Week 14 bye before opting to get a clean-up procedure on his knee, which could raise some red flags in free agency. The Eagles weren’t scared away, finding a backup who more closely fits Jalen Hurts’ dual-threat style of play than Gardner Minshew did in two spot starts in 2022. With his rushing upside in a loaded Eagles offense, Mariota will have low-end QB1 potential if he starts for Hurts at all in 2023.
Fantasy Points: Dalton has continued to find starting opportunities the last three seasons even after it looked like he moved into the next phase of his career following his release from the Bengals after they selected Joe Burrow in 2020. That could change this year unless the Panthers decide to take a conservative approach with whomever they take with the first overall pick in late April. Dalton has earned 29 starts with three different teams in 2020-22, including 14 starts for the Saints. Dalton went from backup to starter after Jameis Winston threw five INTs and fumbled three times (they were recovered by NO) in the Saints' first three contests. He took the job and never relinquished it, completing 252/378 passes (66.7%) for 2871 yards (7.6 YPA), 18 TDs (4.8%), and nine INTs (2.4%). He added 30/54 rushing to finish as the QB30 with 13.2 FPG in 14 contests. Dalton was nothing more than serviceable as the Saints' starter, reaching 18+ FP just twice and throwing for multiple TDs four times. Dalton has had a knack for finding backup jobs that have resulted in starter’s work with the Saints, Bears, and Cowboys, but his best-case scenario is serving as a bridge QB this year.
Fantasy Points: New Broncos HC Sean Payton has officially put Russell Wilson on notice by giving Stidham $5 million in guaranteed money to be the backup plan if Russ can’t execute his offense. Josh McDaniels traded for Stidham last season as an insurance policy behind Derek Carr, and he actually closed out the season as the Raiders' starter. The Patriots drafted Stidham in the fourth round in 2019 but he never got his chance with Cam Newton replacing Tom Brady in 2020 before New England drafted Mac Jones in the first round in 2021. McDaniels ended the Carr era in Las Vegas early last season and Stidham easily bested low expectations in the final two games. He led the Raiders to 34 points against the NFL’s best defense in Week 17, completing 23/34 passes for 365 yards (10.7 YPA), three TDs, and two INTs while adding 7/34 rushing for 28.0 FPG against San Francisco. Overall, Stidham completed 53/83 passes (63.9%) for 656 yards (7.9 YPA), four TDs (4.8%), and three INTs (3.6%). His performance at the end of 2022 earned him a bigger contract than expected. Stidham obviously won’t be on the fantasy radar with Wilson slated to open 2023 as the starter, but this signing indicates Russ’ rope is the shortest he’s had since his rookie season in 2012 when Pete Carroll named him the starter as a third-round pick over Matt Flynn.
Fantasy Points: Kyle Shanahan has worked his magic with quarterbacks starting with Matt Schaub and continuing most recently with Brock Purdy. Darnold, the 2018 third overall pick, will become his latest pet project this season. The Panthers tried to move on from Darnold by drafting Matt Corral and trading for Baker Mayfield last off-season. P.J. Walker even started five games, but the Panthers eventually turned back to Darnold for six starts at the end of the season. Darnold was hardly the reason the Panthers nearly snuck into an NFC South title, but he played well enough to lead them to a 4-2 mark in his starts. Darnold completed 82/140 passes (58.6%) for 1143 yards (8.2 YPA), seven TDs (5.0%), and three INTs (2.1%). He added 26/106/2 rushing to average 15.2 FPG in six contests.
Darnold comes to the Bay Area as a high-end backup who is more than capable of filling in as a starter if needed. Lance’s career has yet to take off through two seasons and Purdy is facing an uncertain recovery from his throwing-elbow surgery, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Darnold sees starter’s snaps at some point. He still owns a strong arm and has above-average movement skills for the position, which still gives him an outside shot to develop into a viable NFL starter. Darnold wisely sought out an experienced offensive coaching staff with Shahanan in hopes of polishing his game before hitting free agency again next off-season.
Others Changing Teams
Josh Dobbs (Cle, 28) — Dobbs and the Browns reached terms on a one-year contract. He spent time with the Browns before the NFL reinstated Deshaun Watson from his suspension, and he played relatively well as a desperation starter for the Titans in the final two games of the season. He completed 40/68 passes (58.8%) for 411 yards (6.0 YPA), two TDs, and two INTs with 8/44 rushing in losses to the Cowboys and Jaguars. Dobbs will compete with Kellen Mond in training camp to be Watson’s backup.
Case Keenum (Hou, 35) — Keenum and the Texans agreed to terms on a two-year, $6.3 million contract (per John McClain). Houston will be drafting the new face of the franchise at the top of the draft in April, and the Texans wanted a veteran backup to learn from and potentially be a bridge option if they decide to bring their rookie signal caller along slowly. The move likely spells the end of Davis Mills’ run in Houston, who the Texans will likely look to trade for a late-round pick.
Phillip Walker (Chi, 28) — Walker and the Bears agreed to terms on a two-year contract to compete for the backup job behind Justin Fields. P.J. completed 58/100 passes (58%) for 671 yards (6.7 YPA), three TDs (3%), and three INTs (3%) while adding just 6/39 rushing in five starts for the Panthers last season. He’d likely be off the fantasy radar even if he finds his way into the starting lineup.
Kyle Allen (Hou, 27) — The Bills added another Allen to their quarterback room, signing Kyle Allen to a one-year contract to keep for the backup role behind Josh Allen. Kyle completed 46/78 passes (59.0%) for 416 yards (5.3 YPA), two INTs (2.6%), and four INTs (5.1%) in a pair of two-score losses as the starter for the Texans last season.
Fantasy Points: GM Joe Schoen and HC Brian Daboll didn’t know what they had in Jones when they decided to decline his fifth-year option last spring. Daboll and OC Mike Kapka coaxed a career year out of the 2019 sixth overall pick, which resulted in the franchise’s first postseason game since Eli Manning raised the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2011 season. Jones revived his career after the Giants declined his fifth-year rookie extension with career-bests in passer rating (92.5), completion percentage (67.2%), INT rate (1.1%), and rushing production (708/7). Overall, he completed 317/472 passes (67.2%) for 3205 yards (6.8 YPA), 15 TDs (3.2%), and five INTs (1.1%). He added 120/708/7 rushing (5.9 YPC) to finish as the QB9 with 18.6 FPG in 16 contests. Jones’ INT rate has shrunk in each of his first four seasons (2.6>2.2>1.9>1.1) and he’s lost just three fumbles in each of the last two seasons after losing 11 as a rookie. He took a massive step forward as a runner but has yet to make much progress as a passer, averaging a career-low 200.3 passing YPG. He’s also yet to average more than 6.8 YPA in each of his first four seasons. Jones will be hard-pressed to match his 7.1 FPG as a runner from his first season under Daboll, but he at least has plenty of room to grow as a passer after averaging less than a touchdown pass per game. A significant upgrade or two at WR will give him a chance to stick in the low-end WR1 territory, which gives him a touch of value at his current ADP (105, QB14).
Fantasy Points: Geno went from being a backup quarterback for the last six years to winning the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award (with no preseason odds) as an unexpected upgrade over the former face of the franchise, Russell Wilson. The Seahawks rewarded Geno for his later-career renaissance and he’ll look to avoid being a one-season wonder with his performance in 2022. His deal doesn’t preclude the Seahawks from drafting a quarterback early in the draft with Seattle owning four picks inside the top 52 picks — including #5 overall — but Geno should be locked in as the 2023 starter after his strong performance last season. He completed 399/572 passes (69.8%) for 4282 yards (7.5 YPA), 30 TDs (5.2%), and 11 INTs (1.9%). He added 68/366/1 rushing (5.4 YPC) to finish as the QB8 with 18.8 FPG in 17 contests.
Geno threw at least one TD pass in 16-of-18 straight games (postseason included) with multiple TD passes in 13 of those contests. He owned a career completion percentage of 58.8% on his first 1006 attempts in his first nine seasons before leading the NFL with a 69.8% completion percentage last year. Geno also led the league with 14 TD passes on 20+ yard attempts with their downfield passing attack taking no steps back with Wilson out of the fold and D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett continuing to play at a high level. Smith finished eighth in QB rushing yards with 366, and he’s posted 207/1005/9 rushing in 51 career starts, which equates to a solid 3.0 FPG as a runner. Geno is unlikely to be a league-winning pick but there’s no reason he can’t be a low-end QB1 once again this season with a pair of stud WRs and his solid rushing production, which makes him an excellent value at his current ADP (122, QB18).
Cooper Rush (Dal, 29) — Rush and Cowboys agreed to terms on a two-year, $6 million contract.
Fantasy Points: Dak Prescott’s throwing thumb injury in the season opener thrust Rush into the starting lineup in Weeks 2-6. He led the Cowboys to victories in his first four starts, which led some talking heads to pontificate that Rush should remain the team’s starting quarterback even when Prescott returned to full health. He then turned back into the backup quarterback that he is with a three-INT performance in a two-score loss to the Eagles in Week 6, which ended his run as Dallas’ starter. Overall, Rush completed 94/162 passes (58.0%) for 1051 yards (6.5 YPA), five TDs (3.1%), and three INTs (1.9%). He’s proven to be a competent backup option with a 5-1 career record as a starter and a solid 6.9 YPA average and a 1.9% INT rate. Rush is unlikely to find a starting opportunity in free agency but he should have a small market as a backup option. He ranked as the QB33 with 11.2 FPG as a starter last season, and he’ll be a low-end option if he lands more starts this season.
Others Staying Put
Drew Lock (Sea, 26) — Lock re-signed with the Seahawks on a one-year, $4 million contract with $3.5 million guaranteed (per Mike Garafolo). HC Pete Carroll told everyone last August that Lock and Geno were in a tight camp battle, but Smith never let him sniff the field with his Comeback Player of the Year performance. He owns a career QB rating of 79.3 while completing 59.3% of his passes for 6.7 YPA with 3.5% TD rate and a 2.8% INT rate. Lock is best to avoid if he’s forced to start at any point in 2023.
David Blough (Ari, 28) — The Cardinals brought Blough back on a one-year deal. He started training camp last season with the Lions before being picked up by the Vikings, and the Cardinals eventually poached him off of Minnesota’s practice squad to start two games late in the season. He completed 38/58 passes for 402 yards, two TDs, and two INTs in a pair of losses. Blough will compete with Colt McCoy to potentially start games early in the season if Kyler Murray’s rehab from ACL surgery drags into September.
Easton Stick (LAC, 27) — Stick and the Chargers agreed to a one-year, $1.8 million. He’s the frontrunner to be Justin Herbert’s backup next season with Chase Daniel also hitting free agency, but the Chargers will bring in some sort of competition for him through a Day 3 pick or a cheap veteran in free agency.
Nick Mullens (Min, 29) — The Vikings retained Mullens to serve as Kirk Cousins’ backup for another season after completing 21/25 passes for 224 yards (9.0 YPA) and one TD over four appearances and no starts in 2022.
Nate Sudfeld (Det, 29) — The Lions re-signed Sudfeld after serving as Jared Goff’s backup last season. He’s the #2 QB on Detroit’s roster for now but the Lions could add a quarterback in the draft or bring in some additional camp competition before August rolls around.