Fantasy Football 2023: Biggest QB Mistakes in Best Ball

Drafters routinely make a massive quarterback mistake early in their best ball drafts, torpedoing their chances for success. Below, I outline this mistake, along with the concrete data to support this stance.

All fantasy point figures referenced in this article come from TruMedia. All ADPs referenced in this article are from Underdog Fantasy.

The Mistake

Drafters are often selecting two quarterbacks early in their fantasy draft. There have been multiple popular tweets on social media promoting this strategy, showcasing their early stacks. I’ve seen teams that began with A.J. Brown (ADP 9.0), Jalen Hurts (ADP 20), Tee Higgins (ADP 24) and Joe Burrow (ADP 41), where the team has two premium stacks (Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals) through four picks.

Don’t blindly abandon this strategy without unpacking the rationale first. It’s important to understand the data which puts the nail in the coffin for those who draft two quarterbacks early on. Learning about the why behind a decision will improve your critical thinking and help you spot mistakes like this on your own over time.

Fantasy Scoring Combinations

Because only one quarterback can start for your best ball team each week, taking the high weekly score from a pair of quarterbacks, then adding those fantasy point totals up gives us an understanding of how much this duo helped us in 2022 best ball.

The four quarterbacks used as benchmarks are Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Hurts and Burrow — the four best 2022 fantasy quarterbacks when looking at either total fantasy points or fantasy points per game.

Fantasy points are calculated using traditional four-point passing touchdown scoring and only looking at Weeks 1-17.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

From the table below, we can see no fantasy quarterback added more than Hurts’ 94 fantasy points to Mahomes’ total. If you draft Mahomes and then follow that pick-up with another early-round quarterback, you are not adding many fantasy points to your best ball team. 

QB1 QB2 Total Fantasy Points Difference
Patrick Mahomes None 402 N/A
Patrick Mahomes Josh Allen 469 67
Patrick Mahomes Jalen Hurts 496 94
Patrick Mahomes Joe Burrow 457 55
Patrick Mahomes Justin Fields 445 43
Patrick Mahomes Geno Smith 437 35
Patrick Mahomes Lamar Jackson 477 75
Patrick Mahomes Justin Herbert 419 17
Patrick Mahomes Dak Prescott 432 30
Patrick Mahomes Trevor Lawrence 444 42
Patrick Mahomes Tua Tagovailoa 453 51


Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Like Mahomes, no quarterback paired with Allen delivers 100 or more additional best ball fantasy points.

QB1 QB2 Total Fantasy Points Difference
Josh Allen None 374 N/A
Josh Allen Jalen Hurts 430 56
Josh Allen Joe Burrow 447 73
Josh Allen Justin Fields 472 98
Josh Allen Geno Smith 420 46
Josh Allen Lamar Jackson 417 43
Josh Allen Justin Herbert 417 43
Josh Allen Dak Prescott 421 47
Josh Allen Trevor Lawrence 411 37
Josh Allen Tua Tagovailoa 414 40


Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

No quarterback adds many fantasy points to Hurts, even though he missed multiple games due to injury.

QB1 QB2 Total Fantasy Points Difference
Jalen Hurts None 370 N/A
Jalen Hurts Joe Burrow 454 84
Jalen Hurts Justin Fields 461 91
Jalen Hurts Geno Smith 429 59
Jalen Hurts Lamar Jackson 402 32
Jalen Hurts Justin Herbert 415 45
Jalen Hurts Dak Prescott 424 54
Jalen Hurts Trevor Lawrence 422 52
Jalen Hurts Tua Tagovailoa 408 38


Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

No quarterback added more than Justin Fields’ 92 fantasy points to Burrow’s best ball contributions last season.

QB1 QB2 Total Fantasy Points Difference
Joe Burrow None 339 N/A
Joe Burrow Justin Fields 431 92
Joe Burrow Geno Smith 406 67
Joe Burrow Lamar Jackson 397 58
Joe Burrow Justin Herbert 394 55
Joe Burrow Dak Prescott 389 50
Joe Burrow Trevor Lawrence 394 55
Joe Burrow Tua Tagovailoa 405 66


Only one quarterback can enter your best ball lineup on any given week, and drafters often underestimate how consistent the top fantasy quarterbacks are.

When drafting a quarterback early, wait until the double-digit rounds to take your second one.

Early Quarterback Candidates for 2023

  • Patrick Mahomes (ADP 19)
  • Jalen Hurts (ADP 20)
  • Josh Allen (ADP 21)
  • Lamar Jackson (ADP 31)
  • Justin Fields (ADP 39)
  • Joe Burrow (ADP 41)

Put another way, if you select a quarterback early, ensure you have at least two running backs, five wide receivers and a tight end before taking an additional quarterback.

Follow The 33rd Team Podcast Network on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Scroll to the Top