If you like to live dangerously, these boom/bust QB targets from Zach could be perfect for your team!
Lamar Jackson - QB4, 35.1 (3-4 Turn)
What? Lamar Jackson a boom-bust? Blasphemy. Well, not quite – the Ravens did go out and get him the weapons he desired, but things are only better on paper as things stand right now. He’s also struggled to stay healthy as of late, starting just 12 games in each of the past two seasons. He also had an extreme cool-off in production after a red hot start to last year, going from 34.8 FPPG in Weeks 1-3 to just 17.2 PPG in eight starts after that. As the QB4 off the board, Lamar carries the most risk of any passer in the Top-5 at the position and could bust at that ADP.
Anthony Richardson - QB11, 104.5 (9th Round)
When you open the fantasy football dictionary and turn to the “boom-bust” entry, Anthony Richardson’s photo appears there. The sky is the limit for the most athletic QB to enter the NFL in the league’s history, but the situation isn’t perfect and he hasn’t solidified himself as the unquestioned QB1 for 2023. He can overcome being a not-so-stellar real-life QB with extreme rushing upside, just as Justin Fields did, but if the 4th overall pick would struggle in season, the chance of him not being able to lean on the run in certain games – or of him being benched in favor of Gardner Minshew or Sam Ehlinger – would leave him unstartable. No player has a larger range of outcomes than Richardson.
Sam Howell - QB27, 198.4 (17th Round)
Howell had one start in 2022 against a stacked Cowboys defense, and he was able to turn in a QB7 finish on the week featuring a touchdown through the air and on the ground. That’s all fantasy managers have to work with as far as film goes for Howell, but he was an excellent college quarterback that fell late in the draft with Eric Bienemy as his OC. He’ll also be able to lean on a great supporting cast led by Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. Howell has the potential to break into the low-end QB1 range at no cost to you on draft day, but there’s always the chance as well that his Week 18 performance last year was a fluke and he isn’t that guy.
Desmond Ridder - QB29, 206.7 (17-18 Turn)
Another second-year QB with minimal experience, Ridder finds himself heading up perhaps the most intriguing offense in the NFL heading into the new season. The offense – especially the passing game and the fantasy prospects of Drake London and Kyle Pitts – will go as Ridder goes, setting him up for either a resounding success in year two or a pitiful failure. However, in a situation where other QBs have historically been able to produce simply by being efficient, Ridder has room to crack the Top-15 with an excellent backfield tandem (Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier), plus the aforementioned weapons in the receiving game and an excellent offensive line. If the wheels would come off though, and Ridder doesn’t play like an NFL QB, there’s a chance that Taylor Heinicke could relieve him of his duties as the Falcons QB – a clear and present risk that could result in a total bust.