Road to QB1: Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts has the potential to be the best fantasy quarterback in his fifth year in the league
Buffalo Bills v Philadelphia Eagles
Buffalo Bills v Philadelphia Eagles / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Since becoming the full-time starting quarterback in Philadelphia in 2021, Jalen Hurts has become an elite fantasy weapon, averaging over 20 fantasy points per game each of the last three seasons. Though he has never finished as the overall QB1, Hurts nearly reached the pinnacle in 2023 with a career-high QB2 finish.

Ending the year with 371.8 total fantasy points in standard leagues, Hurts finished second amongst quarterbacks behind Josh Allen. In his fourth season as a professional, the 25-year-old threw for a career-high 3,858 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. However, his fantasy value was driven by his rushing production with 605 total rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, tied for the most among quarterbacks.

While 2023 was a record-breaking season for Hurts, his value was also dampened by 15 interceptions, the most of his career by a wide margin. His efficiency also took a dip with his quarterback rating — QBR — dropping from 68.3 in 2022 to just 60.1 in 2023.

Entering 2024, Hurts will return with star receiver duo AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith at his disposal but will lose Hall of Fame center Jason Kelce to retirement. The biggest addition to the team will be in the backfield as Hurts will begin Week 1 with the best running back of his career by his side with Saquon Barkley signing with the team in March.

How Jalen Hurts can become the fantasy QB1

Without being the best pocket passer in the NFL, Hurts has quickly become a Lamar Jackson-like fantasy asset with his legs being the driving force behind his QB1 value. While he will likely never lead the league in passing yards, Hurts' yard total has increased each season, giving reason to believe he can top 4,000 yards in 2024, a crucial component of becoming the overall QB1.

The touchdowns and turnovers have been the main thorn in the side of Hurts' value with just 23 scored to 15 interceptions in 2023. The Houston native's touchdown efforts have also improved each year but his fourth season was a detrimental step back in ball security, having also lost six fumbles on the year.

Other quarterbacks in the past have been able to overcome turnovers to maintain fantasy relevance but with his lack of passing touchdowns, 21 turnovers are far too many to finish as the no. 1 ranked signal caller. Reaching 30 touchdowns through the air will be key to becoming the overall QB1, a feasible goal for a fifth-year player who has seen his passing volume increase each year.

With 15 rushing touchdowns in 2023, managers cannot expect another record-breaking season from Hurts on the ground. However, he has consistently proven to be an efficient scorer in the red zone with three straight seasons with double-digit rushing touchdowns.

Much of Hurts' fantasy value resulted from the highly ridiculed but successful "Tush Push" play, which for at least one more year will remain legal in 2024. Losing Jason Kelce as the spearhead of the "Tush Push" could cause minor issues but with three returning starters on the offensive line, the unit is expected to remain strong.

With Barkley entering the seventh year of his injury-riddled career, expect the "Tush Push" to remain the go-to goal-line play for Philadelphia. As long as Hurts is in this system in Philadelphia, he has no reason to exist outside of QB1 territory.