There was talk that five quarterbacks could be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. And when Thursday night started, it looked like that would be realistic after Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson were drafted with three of the first four picks.

But that's when the run on quarterbacks stopped, and when Thursday turned to Friday, Will Levis and Hendon Hooker were still waiting to hear their names called. They shouldn't have to wait long for that to happen, but Young, Stroud and Richardson are the top trio of the 2023 quarterback class. And all three have the chance to be special in Fantasy and reality.

I like Richardson the best, and the landing spot for the former Gator is fantastic with the Colts at No. 4 overall. New Indianapolis coach Shane Steichen was previously the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, and he helped Jalen Hurts have an MVP-caliber season in 2022. Richardson, with his rushing prowess, could be amazing, but he also has a low floor as an inexperienced passer.

Young is the No. 2 quarterback for me, and I'm excited to see how he develops with the Panthers, who drafted the former Alabama standout at No. 1 overall. He's small at 5-foot-10, 194 pounds, but he won the 2021 Heisman Trophy for a reason because he's a great passer. 

Stroud isn't far behind Young, and Stroud went No. 2 overall to the Texans. There was speculation he was going to fall in the draft, but Houston pegged him to be the face of the franchise. I'm expecting the former Ohio State standout to be a serviceable starter and low-end Fantasy option in the NFL.

Now, let's dive in depth on the Panthers, Texans and Colts with their new rookie quarterbacks.


Outlook: Young is going to be a late-round pick in one-quarterback leagues if you're inclined to draft two passers on your Fantasy roster. In Superflex and two-quarterback leagues, I'd prefer Young as a No. 3 quarterback, but he could develop into a weekly starter. The receiving corps is suspect at best for the Panthers, and this group isn't expected to elevate Young's production in his rookie campaign. I like Thielen the best, but he's a No. 4 Fantasy receiver and shouldn't be selected prior to Round 8. Chark and Marshall are late-round picks, and I'd love to see Marshall step up in his third season in the NFL. At tight end, we saw Hurst have some productive moments in Cincinnati last year, but that was with Joe Burrow at quarterback. I'm not expecting much from Hurst this season, but maybe he can develop into a waiver-wire option later in the year. The best Fantasy option for the Panthers should be Sanders, who signed as a free agent this offseason from Philadelphia. Hopefully, he'll be a three-down running back and continue to be productive behind an underrated offensive line. Sanders should be drafted as early as Round 4 as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues.


Outlook: The Texans have two starting Fantasy options coming into the season with Pierce and Schultz, but Collins, Metchie and Singletary should all be Fantasy relevant at some point during the year. Even Woods could have some Fantasy value if Stroud makes an impact in his rookie campaign. Stroud is only worth a late-round pick in one-quarterback leagues if you're looking to draft a second passer with upside. In Superflex and two-quarterback leagues, I'd prefer Stroud as a No. 3 quarterback, but he could develop into a weekly starter. This isn't the best receiving corps, but Schultz is a proven commodity, while Collins and Metchie have plenty of upside. I like Schultz as a top-10 Fantasy tight end who you should be able to draft with a mid-round pick, and Schultz could lead the Texans in targets. Collins is a No. 4 Fantasy receiver coming into the season, but he could emerge as a weekly starter in three-receiver leagues if he develops a rapport with Stroud. Collins should be drafted as early as Round 8. Metchie won't be far behind now that he's healthy, and he's already participating in voluntary workouts after missing his rookie campaign in 2022 after being diagnosed with leukemia. As for Woods, he flopped in Tennessee last season and has a lot to prove at 31, so he's only worth a late-round pick in deeper leagues. Pierce was the best running back in Houston in 2022 as a rookie, and he should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy option in all leagues this year, worth drafting in Round 4. He loses value with Singletary joining the Texans this offseason, but Pierce should still be the catalyst of this offense. That said, Singletary is a great backup who should get plenty of work, and he's worth drafting as early as Round 8 in all leagues.


Outlook: Richardson was my favorite Fantasy rookie quarterback prior to the NFL Draft, and he's still my favorite now. He has the chance to be awesome with the Colts, and I hope he's the starter in Week 1 ahead of Gardner Minshew. For rookie-only drafts for Dynasty leagues, Richardson is a first-round pick in one-quarterback formats, and I would select him ahead of Young and Stroud, in that order. In Superflex rookie-only drafts, you can argue Richardson is the No. 1 overall pick, but I would select Bijan Robinson first ahead of him. In redraft leagues, Richardson should be drafted with a mid-round pick as a high-end No. 2 quarterback. He has the potential to run for 800-plus yards, and hopefully he can approach 3,000 passing yards. If he reaches that level of production -- a huge if -- then he'll be a top-10 Fantasy quarterback in his rookie campaign. Taylor remains a No. 1 Fantasy running back in all formats, and he's worth drafting as early as No. 4 overall. Richardson's mobility should open up plenty of running lanes for Taylor, and Steichen's system should be favorable as well. Woods is a late-round flier at tight end in deeper leagues, but he could emerge as a waiver wire option during the season. The tougher calls for the Colts are when to draft Pittman and Pierce. If you recall, I was all in on Pittman last season as a top-10 Fantasy receiver, and he failed to live up to those expectations. While he averaged 14.5 PPR points per game with Matt Ryan under center and just 10.4 PPR points per game with Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles, he was a Fantasy bust. I still love his talent, and Richardson will definitely help Pittman make more plays down the field. While he should dominate targets, Pittman is still just a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver worth drafting in Round 5. Pierce is only worth a late-round flier, but he should improve in his sophomore campaign if Richardson has a quality start to his NFL career.