As we close into the final days of the USFL offseason and go into the weekend, I wanted to share my predictions of the top fantasy players for the upcoming 2023 USFL season! I will share my top five quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, tight ends and kickers. Then we will go through a brief rundown of their past season – or other leagues they were in.
#1: Philadelphia Stars | Case Cookus
Case Cookus was an immediate life saver for the Stars after Bryan Scott went down with injury, leaving the Stars season in Jeopardy. Cookus ended up leading the Stars to the championship game, only to fall just short after he sustained a major leg injury. After taking over for Scott, Cookus passed for 1,340 yards and 12 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Cookus can also run if he needs to, adding 233 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the season. He should be the number one Quarterback on your draft board.
#2: New Orleans Breakers | McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Thompson is a newcomer to the league, but is no stranger to the game of football, Thompson has played in the CFL for the past 5 years, where last year he threw for 4,731 yards and 23 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. Thompson is the oldest quarterback in the league at 34 years old, but in a stellar offense like the Breakers, im sure he will fit in quickly.
#3: Birmingham Stallions | J’Mar Smith
The Stallions offense simply played different and better when paired with Smith. Splash plays came heavy and often. J’mar is what I would call a high risk high reward pick, as it hasn’t been confirmed he will be the starter yet, but all signs are pointing that way. J’mar was third in the league with pass yards and touchdowns last year at 1,572 yards and 10 passing touchdowns, adding 191 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. The Stallions have added massive amounts of talent this year, signing Wr’s Davion Davis, Deon Cain, and Tight ends Jace Stenberger and Thaddeus Moss.
#4: New Jersey Generals | De’Andre Johnson
Sure the Generals lost their MVP WR, but Johnson is a highly capable quarterback who has spent the entire offseason improving massively. Johnson served in a 2 quarterback system with Luis Perez last year, where Johnson threw for 722 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 310 yards on the ground and 4 touchdowns. Johnson is the definition of a dual threat quarterback. Similar to J’mar Smith, Johnson is a high risk high reward type guy.
#5: Memphis Showboats | Brady White
The fifth quarterback on this list was almost a tossup. I was tempted to list James Morgan, but with his limited mobility that kills his fantasy point chances. Same with projected Panthers starter Carson Strong. Brady White is a capable guy with a strong arm that can lead any team to victory under him. Brady backed up Jordan Ta’amu last year for the Bandits and now takes the reins. He has shown great development as a passer this year, and I believe his ceiling is just above guys like Morgan or Strong.
#1: Michigan Panthers | Reggie Corbin
What else can be said about this guy, He was the only constant on that Michigan Panthers team last season. It was also reported that he played a good chunk of the season injured – taking 4th in the league for total yards, going for 516 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. In a traditional PPR league you may be hesitant to take him because he wasn’t used in the pass game as much last season, but that hesitancy will be your downfall. Corbin is going to tear the league up.
#2: New Jersey Generals | Darius Victor
Darius (Vito) Victor is an absolutely terrifying running back. He embraces contact, wanting to plow over anyone who gets in his way, rather than juke his way out. The QuadFather of the USFL, Victor was third in yards last season with 576 yards and led with 9 rushing touchdowns. Vito also added 113 yards and 1 touchdown through the air last season. He is deadly in the endzone, and consistent. This dude will lead you to a fantasy championship if you play your cards right.
#3: Birmingham Stallions | Bo Scarbrough
Bo joined the Stallions around the middle of the season and truly dominated. He ended the season with 353 yards and 1 touchdown. Being completely honest, Bo did not look exactly in game shape last season when he signed. He looks much better after this off season, and looks game ready. Bo was a beast at Alabama, and I truly expect him to make this elite Stallions offense unstoppable. Drafting Bo is a must.
#4: Philadelphia Stars: Matt Colburn
Nobody has been talking about how good of a season Matt had last season. The dude ran in 8 touchdowns with 452 yards on the ground, and added 150 yards and an extra touchdown through the air. Matt was one of the fastest running backs I saw on the field the entire year, and having Cookus for an entire season will greatly help him. The stars have an exceptional OL, so I could truly see a guy like Matt go first overall in a draft.
#5: Houston Gamblers | Mark Thompson
Mark was the one bright spot last year for the gamblers, he consistently found holes and ran over countless linebackers. Mark ran for 465 yards and 2 touchdowns last year, but with the uncertainty at Quarterback for the gamblers im sure we will see plenty of short passes which are great in a traditional PPR league for running backs. The gamblers OL is better this year, and i’m sure having a longer camp helps improve the chemistry between guys.
#1: New Orleans Breakers | Jonathan Adams
Pairing Adams and MBT is a dangerous duo, and very exciting! Sloter was inconsistent due to injury last season, but I truly think that MBT will make the perfect match. Adams went for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns last year, while he isn’t exactly a speedster he will get you a decent number of points a game.
#2: Birmingham Stallions | Marlon Williams
The J’mar to Marlon connection was real last season, with Marlon bringing in 466 yards and 4 touchdowns. Marlon is a speedster who can absolutely take the top off your defense in a second. I fully expect the chemistry from last year to help him after the stallions lost Victor boldin. Expect big things from Marlon
#3: Pittsburgh Maulers | Bailey Gaither
You may be surprised to see Gaither this high up on a list, but if you take into account how bad the Maulers Quarterback room was last year compared to this year, you should start to understand this. Gaither paired up with NFL vet James Morgan is a great combo. The maulers dont have the best talent at RB but Gaither is a game changer in the right situation. I truly think they have that situation this year, as the Maulers gear up in a win now situation. Gaither had 328 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. Expect a OPOY type year from him in 2023
#4: Memphis Showboats | Derrick Dillon
Dillon played with Ta’amu last season, where Ta’amu led the league in passing. Dillon was a crucial part of the then bandits roster that seems to get glazed over. The bandits lost a lot of games due to horrid defensive play. Dillon brought in 386 yards and 4 TDs, and being paired up with Brady White when he needs to perform well to keep his job, I expect big things.
#5: Philadelphia Stars | Jordan Suell
Jordan was an absolute beast last year and came up at crucial moments. In a traditional PPR league, Jordan had the most receptions in the league compared to players that are still in the USFL, with 37 receptions for 379 yards and 3 Tds. I fully expect Jordan to get more looks as the Stars also added WR Corey Coleman, who will grab more attention from the DBs.
#1: New Orleans Breakers | Sage Surratt
TIght end is a trickier position in the USFL, as they aren’t nearly used as much as in the NFL. Sage Surratt showed flashes of potential with the Stallions last year, but was more of left out of favor over Cary Angeline. Sage brought in 148 yards and no Tds. His development as a blocker with the Stallions helped him bulk up a bit, and I’m sure he will be a great fit with MBT
#2: Birmingham Stallions | Jace Sternberger
Jace was one of the biggest signings for the USFL this offseason, as the former third round NFL draft pick played for the packers, where he ultimately underperformed and was subsequently cut due to a positive PED test. Jace brings height and weight to an otherwise small stallions offense – being able to be with the team for the entire off season program and the cutting of angeline shows the Stallions full faith in Jace as a playmaker.
#3: New Jersey Generals | Braedon Bowman
Bowman is a big body traditional Tight end at 6’4 235 pounds, he put up 122 yards and no touchdowns. With the Generals seemingly going with DJ for week one, you can be sure they will want to have him be as comfortable as possible, with plenty of TE sets
#4: Memphis Showboats | Daniel Helm
Daniel is brand new to the Alt-Football world, spending the last 3 years in the NFL with the Raiders and 49ers. Daniel played at Duke, where his last season he racked up 271 yards and 2 touchdowns. Again. He’s a traditional TE at 6’4 and 255 pounds. I think Daniel would be a good checkdown option for Brady White.
#5: Birmingham Stallions | Thaddeus Moss
The Birmingham Stallions definitely did not sign Moss to make him sit. As we saw last season, the Stallions ran multiple heavy sets with Cary Angeline and Sage Surratt. I expect to see the same kind of production, and if anything even more so. Buy high on all stallions players! That offense is loaded and everyone will get their hands on the ball.
(Note: This includes stats from when the chips were still in the balls, making kickers shank kicks)
#1: Birmingham Stallions | Brandon Aubrey
Brandon scored a league high 76 points and was second with accuracy at 82%. With the stallions high flying offense, you can be sure Aubrey will snag you a few points
#2: Michigan Panthers | Cole Murphy
The only reason Murphy isn’t #1 on my list of fantasy kickers is because I don’t trust the Panthers offense to be able to score enough to get those XPs. Cole was the most accurate kicker last season, making 92% of his kicks.
#3: Philadelphia Stars | Luis Aguilar
Luis is on a team that is going to score often and fast. Last year he nailed 80% of his kicks for 43 points. If those top 2 are gone, take Luis.
#4: Houston Gamblers | Nick Vogel
Vogel completed 78% of his kicks last season, scoring 66 points for the gamblers. A great last option.
#5: New Jersey Generals | Nick Sciba
Sciba has played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he has made 2/2 FGs for them, now Sciba lands in the USFL for the generals, and in a high scoring offense like the Generals, you gotta have faith.
The USFL leads another great 12 weeks of football, and more options to play Fantasy football. If you want to join a USFL fantasy league, use this link to sign up now!
What USFL Fantasy players do you expect to shine this season? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!