The Elite Passing Offenses of 2023 | Identifying the Most Prolific Passing Units

by Joel Ybarra · NFL

PlayerProfiler is home to the very best dynasty rankings and tools in the industry. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. This article outlines the elite passing offenses from 2023 and the QBs who facilitate top-end fantasy production for the pass game weapons. 

It’s the NFL offseason, which means it’s time to start looking at the incoming rookie class and watching moves teams make in free agency and the NFL Draft. It’s also time to take a look at the previous NFL season and glean some takeaways for coming fantasy seasons. It’s a short offseason. Some drafts for the 2024 season are even going on now. Post-NFL Draft, we will identify 2024’s Ascending Offenses – those units poised to take big steps forward in the coming season. For now, let’s look back at the top NFL offenses from the most recent season. Examining the elite offenses from years past will help us understand what makes an offense go and ultimately leads to fantasy production.

Elite Passing Offenses

We are going to start by looking at the league’s best passing offenses. It won’t surprise you that the most important part of a passing offense is a competent facilitator at QB. As we identified in this Best and Worst Fantasy QBs article, the highest scoring fantasy QBs  we want to roster are not the same as the ones who facilitate production for all the other weapons in their offenses. Below we look at the QBs who were the best facilitators of fantasy production for their WRs and TEs over the past three seasons.

The League’s Best Distributors

See below the top-10 QBs at facilitating fantasy points for their WRs and TEs over the past three seasons. These are the QBs whose WRs and TEs ranked highest in FPPG when the QB was on the field (minimum three seasons).

Best QBs WR+TE Scoring

Again, these are not the QBs who are the best at scoring fantasy points themselves. They are the best at facilitating production for their pass catchers. CJ Stroud, Jordan Love and Geno Smith deserve a shout out here. They played in less than three seasons from 2021 through 2023, but hit in the top-10 in at least one season. Brock Purdy was in the top-10 in 2022, but played only six games that season.

When you are looking for a high-flying passing offense, you are looking for a proficient facilitator – a passer who can distribute the ball and provide production for his pass catchers. Match him up with a talented group of pass game weapons and you have a recipe for high-end fantasy production at the WR and TE positions.

A Closer Look at Some of 2023’s Best Passing Offenses

Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott is the No. 1 fantasy facilitator for WRs and TEs over the past three seasons. He ranked No. 3 in WR+TE FPPG in both 2021 and 2022. We should have known he was capable of facilitating fantasy production for 2023’s WR1 in FPPG, CeeDee Lamb.

Lamb was being drafted in the first round of Underdog drafts going into 2023, but later than Stefon Diggs and A.J. Brown. Diggs’ QB Josh Allen is in the top-10 of fantasy facilitators above (No. 6), but not as productive for his pass catchers as Prescott. Brown’s QB Jalen Hurts didn’t even make the list.

Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins was actually the No. 1 facilitator of fantasy points on a per-game basis for WRs and TEs when he was on the field in 2023. Justin Jefferson was WR1 in PPG in the four full games he played with Cousins. Jordan Addison was WR14 with Cousins, even while taking a zero in Week 4, and T.J. Hockenson was TE3. The Vikings upgraded their pass catchers ahead of the 2023 season, trading for Hockenson and then drafting Addison. When you pair a competent facilitator with a dynamic set of weapons, boom goes the fantasy production. It’s not rocket science.

Matthew Stafford – LA Rams

We are not going to pretend like we could have seen Puka Nacua coming, but we should have been looking all over the Rams’ roster for fantasy options. Stafford has a long history of facilitating fantasy production for his pass catchers, especially in the Rams offense.

Cooper Kupp was WR1 in PPG in 2021 and 2022 (when on the field). He was hurt in the last half of the 2022 season and the first half of 2023 and drafters were reticent about the Rams offense altogether. Stafford found production in Nacua primarily, but also made Tutu Atwell and Demarcus Robinson relevant at different points of the season.

Derek Carr – New Orleans Saints

Derek Carr is the most surprising member of this top-10 fantasy facilitators group. He has a much-maligned profile as an NFL QB, but consistently allows mid-range fantasy scoring for his WRs and TEs. The Raiders WRs and TEs were No. 13 in FPPG in 2021 with Carr, then No. 18 in 2022. In the Saints offense in 2023, Carr’s WRs and TEs were top-10 (No. 9) in FPPG.

Up and Coming Fantasy Distributors

CJ Stroud – Houston Texans

Stroud helmed one of the most potent passing offenses in 2023. He fueled three top-48 WRs, Nico Collins (WR7), Tank Dell (WR19) and Noah Brown (WR47), as well as a top-12 tight end, Dalton Schultz (TE11). The Texans WRs and TEs ranked No. 3 in FPPG in total due to the rookie QB’s command of the offense.

Jordan Love – Green Bay Packers

The Packers’ WRs and TEs were No. 5 in FPPG in 2023 even though no single pass catcher landed in the top-24 at their position. Jayden Reed was the highest scorer in PPG at 13.6 (WR26), but five different pass catchers scored eight or more PPG in their outings: Reed, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Bo Melton and Dontayvion Wicks.

Along with the Texans, the Packers passing offense is one to watch in 2024.

Identifying the Best Passing Offenses

In anticipation of coming seasons, the most important thing we can do is identify the best QB facilitators of fantasy production for pass game weapons. After Stroud posted one of the best rookie seasons of all-time distributing the football, we can no longer assume a rookie QBs are not capable of fueling top flight passing units. (Jordan Love also did it in his first full season.) It would behoove us to try and identify which incoming rookie QBs are capable game managers/facilitators.

Secondarily, the group of pass catchers make the offense really tick. We know Patrick Mahomes is a competent facilitator, but the KC offense suffered from its underperforming receivers. Assessing the group of pass catchers will help us identify which units will really get going through the air. Stay tuned for our breakdown of all the NFL’s ascending offenses in future articles.

Read Joel Ybarra’s article on the NFL’s best offenses of 2023: Fantasy Football League Winning Offenses: Reviewing 2023 and Predicting 2024’s Top Offenses.