Below are my top 160 fantasy rankings for half-PPR and full-PPR leagues. The rankings are separated into 10 tiers, and you’ll see (Target) and (Fade) throughout to help you understand which players I’m drafting.
If you want these rankings in a color-coded, downloadable PDF, see our Cheat Sheet here.
To better understand general strategy and roster construction to utilize these rankings more effectively, read the Fantasy Football Game Plan.
Tier 1: The Elite Options
1. Ja’Marr Chase — WR, Bengals (Target)
Ja’Marr Chase set the record for receiving yards as a rookie in 2021, then led all wide receivers in targets per game in 2022. He averaged more than 20 PPR fantasy points per game last season despite playing through a broken hip and does not have as much competition for targets as Justin Jefferson.
Tee Higgins is one of the NFL’s best No. 2 receivers, but Tyler Boyd has quietly seen his targets and yards per game decline in four consecutive seasons. TE Irv Smith has never reached 30 yards per game in any season. Chase plays on one of the NFL’s best passing offenses and has elite speed and ability after the catch. Everything is lining up for him to be fantasy’s top receiving option in 2023.
2. Justin Jefferson — WR, Vikings
Justin Jefferson has averaged 1,608 receiving yards during his three NFL seasons, a higher number than Davante Adams’ best season. Jefferson led the NFL in targets (184), receptions (128), and receiving yards (1,809) in 2022, finishing with the second-most fantasy points per game (21.7) behind only Cooper Kupp.
Jefferson’s floor is incredibly high, but the ceiling appears lowered for 2023. TE T.J. Hockenson averaged 9.4 targets (more than Travis Kelce) per game during his nine full games as a Viking last season, and the team drafted WR Jordan Addison in Round 1 of the most recent NFL draft. This is steeper target competition than Chase contends with, and the Minnesota Vikings offense will likely score fewer points than the Cincinnati Bengals in 2023.
3. Christian McCaffrey — RB, 49ers
Christian McCaffrey was second among running backs with 108 targets and 85 receptions last season. McCaffrey also carried the ball 244 times — no other running back with 75 or more receptions carried even 205 times in 2022.
In short, McCaffrey has a unique fantasy-relevant role in the NFL on one of the league’s most efficient offenses. Assuming the 49ers’ starting quarterback is Brock Purdy or Sam Darnold, who will check the ball down frequently, McCaffrey is the running back to select at the top of fantasy drafts.
Because he was traded from Carolina to the San Francisco 49ers midseason, there’s a chance McCaffrey will be even more integrated into this offense’s playbook in 2023. While Austin Ekeler’s reception uptick occurred due to injuries to the entire Chargers’ receiving core, McCaffrey always played with at least two of WRs Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and TE George Kittle.
Still, he averaged more than five receptions per game in the nine games with at least a 50 percent snap share. That includes removing his partial performance from his first game with the 49ers (29 percent snap share) and his brief appearance in Week 18 when the 49ers demolished the Arizona Cardinals.
4. Tyreek Hill — WR, Dolphins
Tyreek Hill set career-highs in targets (170), receptions (119), and yards (1,710) in his first season in Miami, finishing with 20.1 fantasy points per game. He also led all wide receivers with 3.25 yards per route run, despite playing with three different quarterbacks last year.
If QB Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy for all of 2023, Hill has a chance to replicate, if not surpass, his 2022 campaign. This is still a pass-first offense where Jaylen Waddle is the only other viable target earner. Hill is 29-and-a-half years old, so it’s worth mentioning there could be some age-related decline; however, nothing from last season suggests we should expect a dip in production.
5. Travis Kelce — TE, Chiefs
Travis Kelce’s 19.2 PPR points per game would have been WR7 on the season, and he totaled 100 more fantasy points than last year’s fantasy TE2 Hockenson. He still plays with Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs still lack a proven alpha in the receiving game.
Even though Kelce will be 34 in October, there were no signs of age-related decline last season. He set career-highs in targets, receptions and touchdowns in 2022. He out-scored every other tight end by six fantasy points per game and should distance himself by a hefty margin.
6. Bijan Robinson — RB, Falcons
After being selected at No. 8 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, it’s hard to see Atlanta doing anything other than giving Bijan Robinson a similar workload to rookie year Najee Harris (381 total touches).
Unlike Harris, Robinson is explosive, shifty and an excellent pass-catcher. The Falcons have a premium offensive line and should keep defenses honest with WR Drake London and TE Kyle Pitts in the receiving game. However, QB Desmond Ridder is not the archetype to check the ball down frequently to running backs. This team is unlikely to be near the league’s top in total touchdowns.
Still, the floor is a top-10 RB, and the ceiling is RB1 overall. He’s the safest running back pick in fantasy football. He is arguably the best talent at the position in an above-average situation.
If you haven’t already, join our FREE Discord to chat fantasy football all offseason. In season, we’ll drop player prop bets each week, along with DFS showdown AMAs and start-sit help.
Tier 2: Good Picks in Rounds 1 and 2
7. Stefon Diggs — WR, Bills
Stefon Diggs has averaged 161 targets, 113 receptions, 1,396 yards and 10 touchdowns during his three seasons in Buffalo (WR3, WR9, and WR5 finishes). The Buffalo Bills still have no true target competition, with Gabe Davis again slotting in as the team’s second receiving option. Competition is tougher in the AFC East, too, with Aaron Rodgers heading to the New York Jets and the Dolphins revamping the defense and hoping for better health from Tagovailoa — expect more shootout game conditions than last season.
Diggs turns 30 during the season, so there’s a chance for age-related decline, but like Hill and Kupp, we haven’t seen any signs of that yet. Josh Allen’s top option should go toward the end of Round 1 in fantasy drafts.
8. CeeDee Lamb — WR, Cowboys
CeeDee Lamb took a massive step forward in Year 3, as his target share (20.5 percent to 28.7 percent) and targets per route run (23.7 percent to 28.6 percent) ballooned, despite his average target depth remaining largely unchanged (10.4 yards to 10.2 yards). This resulted in an increase in fantasy points per game from 14.6 in 2021 to 17.7 in 2022.
New Dallas Cowboys WR Brandin Cooks adds target competition, and Michael Gallup is two years removed from his ACL tear. However, Lamb’s target share and targets per route run were better than Jefferson’s last year, despite having the same average target depth. Lamb would have been a candidate for the first tier if the Cowboys had retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who is now with the Chargers. Diggs and Lamb are largely interchangeable in these rankings.
9. Amon-Ra St. Brown — WR, Lions (Target)
Amon-Ra St. Brown has played 20 games from Week 13 of 2021 onward, with a snap share of at least 50 percent. He’s averaged 20.6 PPR fantasy points per game over that stretch, which would have ranked third behind only Kupp (22.4) and Jefferson (21.7) last season. This 20-game sample saw him see 10.3 targets, 7.6 receptions, and 85 receiving yards per game, more than 16 fantasy points before factoring in his touchdowns scored.
The Detroit Lions passed 588 times last season, good for 10th in the NFL. However, they ran the ball 480 times, a pass rate of just 55 percent, at least two percentage points above every other team in the top 15 for pass attempts. Looking ahead, there’s a good chance the Lions — and their fifth-best scoring offense — throw more in 2023, with St. Brown the biggest beneficiary.
Jameson Williams will return after a six-game suspension, but the two receivers operate in different parts of the field, with St. Brown in the slot handling the short-to-intermediate region and Williams out wide running deeper routes. It’s tough to see St. Brown doing anything other than commanding targets and continuing to score fantasy points in this Lions offense.
10. Austin Ekeler — RB, Chargers (Fade)
Austin Ekeler is the only running back to post at least 21 PPR points per game in each of the past two seasons. Part of the reason is that his 38 total touchdowns since 2021 rank first at the position by a margin of 12. James Conner is second with 26 in that span.
There are a few concerns with Ekeler, keeping him as my RB3. He’s 28, has a smaller frame (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) and is coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 204 carries and 94 targets. That workload catches up to most running backs, particularly smaller ones like Ekeler.
New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore comes from Dallas, where they routinely employed a running back committee. Whether that’s Joshua Kelley or Isaiah Spiller, there’s a moderately high chance Ekeler is splitting some of those valuable goal-line opportunities.
Finally, while Ekeler’s league-leading 107 receptions from last season demonstrate his elite receiving ceiling, it occurred due to multiple receiver injuries. The Chargers drafted Quentin Johnston in Round 1 to provide additional depth and play-making ability, so Ekeler’s receiving upside should be lower than in 2022.
Despite those concerns, Ekeler is a pass-catching back with a decent run game role, playing on one of the NFL’s best and fastest-paced offenses, which makes him a late first-round pick rather than an early first-rounder.
11. Cooper Kupp — WR, Rams
September 1 Update: Kupp suffered a slight setback while recovering from a hamstring strain. He’s 30 years old with a long history of lower body injuries. This is a highly concerning development, and he looks more like a late first-round pick until we get more clarity on the situation. There’s potential he misses the first game or two of 2023, and he’ll be at a heightened re-injury risk all season.
Cooper Kupp led all wide receivers in PPR fantasy points per game in the past two seasons, finishing with 25.9 and 22.4, respectively, in 2021 and 2022. He underwent surgery on his sprained ankle, missed half of last season, and most recently suffered a hamstring injury during training camp. He’s 30, and the Los Angeles Rams showcased a scary floor as a team last year.
However, there is minimal target competition for Kupp, and QB Matthew Stafford is healthy again. The Rams should have the NFL’s worst pass defense by a comfortable margin in 2023, so expect pass-heavy game plans and a negative game script. The floor for Kupp is lower than the three receivers ahead of him, but again, he’s still finished as the top fantasy receiver per game in back-to-back seasons.
12. Saquon Barkley — RB, Giants
Saquon Barkley has a better role than nearly every running back in fantasy football, with last year’s 295 carries and 76 targets reaffirming he’s one of the NFL’s last true bell cow backs.
While Barkley had the third most touches per game among backs, his 10 total touchdowns last season ranked 10th at the position. The Giants’ offense should be better in Year 2 of the Daniel Jones-Brian Daboll era, so we could see improvement from Barkley’s 17.8 PPR points per game last season, which ranked fifth.
13. Nick Chubb — RB, Browns (Target)
Chubb has two seasons with around 1,500 rushing yards and three seasons with double-digit touchdowns. He’s in for a strong season, with last year’s 1,764 total yards and 13 TDs as a nice expectation if he plays 17 games again.
While Chubb will never be a strong pass-catcher for fantasy football, he’s in a good spot to put up his first season above 300 receiving yards to complement his elite rushing profile. A realistic stat line that could cement Chubb as the RB1 overall is 1,600 rushing yards, 45 receptions for 300 receiving yards and 12-15 total touchdowns.
14. Tony Pollard — RB, Cowboys
September 1 Update: Pollard’s ADP continues to climb, and I want to stay roughly in line with it. He’s often going at the end of Round 1 or early in Round 2. The Cowboys still haven’t brought in any significant backfield competition, so the runway is clear for him to have 225-250 carries, along with 65-75 targets.
Tony Pollard has never reached 200 carries in a season, dating back through college. He’s an explosive runner and slick pass-catcher, but it’s an uphill battle for him to see the volume the surrounding running backs in these rankings will likely see.
While Dallas’ depth chart is currently barren, it’s almost a certainty the Cowboys will sign a veteran to take some of the workload off Pollard. Pollard was the RB8 per game last year, averaging 15.6 PPR points despite only running 12 times per game and catching 2.4 receptions per game.
Those numbers will likely tick up in 2023 now that Ezekiel Elliott is gone and Pollard is on the franchise tag. Pollard should be one of the NFL’s most efficient backs, and the Cowboys had the No. 1 and No. 4 scoring offenses during the past two seasons, so the touchdown upside is evident. However, unless he sees pass-game usage on par with Ekeler, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine Pollard as a top-3 fantasy running back.
15. Garrett Wilson — WR, Jets
Garrett Wilson had 1,100 receiving yards as a rookie, playing with three (bad) quarterbacks: Joe Flacco, Zach Wilson and Mike White. He now gets to play 17 games with Aaron Rodgers. While the pass volume should drop from sixth last year (627 attempts) to near the league average (Packers were 18th with 563 attempts), the target quality should rise dramatically.
Wilson’s catch rate was an abysmal 56.5 percent last year, while Davante Adams was at 65 percent or higher in his final four years with Rodgers. No other receiver on this roster should threaten Wilson for the target lead, and he can presumably build upon his 25 percent rookie year target share.
16. A.J. Brown — WR, Eagles
A.J. Brown’s chemistry with QB Jalen Hurts was evident in his first season in Philadelphia, as he set career-highs in targets (145), receptions (88), receiving yards (1,496), and touchdowns (11). Only Tyreek Hill had a better combination of target share and average target depth than Brown, who was fifth in the league with 17.0 yards per reception.
Despite all the touchdowns and the high efficiency, Brown only finished as the WR8 in fantasy points per game (17.6). It’s tough to see a scenario where his 2023 season is even better, and the players ranked ahead of Brown have a clearer path to top-three fantasy upside.
17. Jaylen Waddle — WR, Dolphins (Target)
Jaylen Waddle was Miami’s short-area target in 2021 when he set the rookie receptions record (104). Then, he was successful as a deep threat in 2022, leading the league with 18.1 yards per reception and finishing with 1,356 receiving yards. Hill is the top dog in this passing attack, but Waddle is close behind and has an incredibly high floor, given his youth and ability to win in all areas of the field.
Should anything happen to the 29-year-old Hill, Waddle could challenge the Tier 1 guys for the fantasy points per game crown. His floor is high-end fantasy WR2, and the ceiling is WR1 overall should Hill go down due to injury.
18. Derrick Henry — RB, Titans
Derrick Henry has at least 1,500 rushing yards in three of the past four seasons, an unreal rushing stretch. He’s also reached double-digit rushing touchdowns each of the past four seasons.
Henry even emerged as a surprising pass-catching option in 2022. His 398 receiving yards were nearly double his previous career high. Superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins will help keep defenses honest, providing Henry with more favorable running lanes.
However, the already patchwork offensive line suffered another blow when starting right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere was suspended for the season’s first six games due to gambling. Henry will turn 30 before the season ends and plays behind one of the league’s worst blocking units.
Fortunately, he has made a career out of proving skeptics wrong, and based on his contract, this looks like the last time the Titans will employ Henry as their starting runner. He should comfortably average more total touches per game than every other back in 2023. He has a soft fantasy playoff schedule, too.
In Weeks 15-17, he faces the Texans twice and the Seahawks. Both units were top-four in fantasy points allowed to running backs last season.
19. Davante Adams — WR, Raiders (Fade)
Adams has scored at least 17.7 fantasy points per game each of the past six seasons, which at face value shows his floor has been higher than A.J. Brown’s ceiling. However, numerous forces are working against Adams for 2023.
He reportedly wants out of Las Vegas now that Derek Carr is in New Orleans, and new Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo is a steep downgrade. Adams will turn 31 in late December – very few receivers have put up elite fantasy seasons this late in their career. Adams saw his catch rate drop from more than 72 percent in 2020 and 2021 to 55.6 percent in 2022. A career-high 180 targets buoyed his fantasy production; however, Garoppolo has never been in charge of high-volume passing offenses before, and the Raiders likely won’t air it out as much in 2023.
Additionally, the Raiders are sneaky “contenders” for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. This is shaping up to be a lost season for the Raiders, and I’m pessimistic about the offense’s outlook and its ability to support a fantasy WR1 like Adams.
20. Chris Olave — WR, Saints
Chris Olave’s rookie target share was slightly higher than Garrett Wilson’s – at a much higher average target depth, and Olave also averaged five more receiving yards per game. Unlike Wilson, Olave will catch passes from Carr, who is not the caliber of future Hall of Famer Rodgers. Olave will also contend with Michael Thomas for targets, and Thomas hovered around a 20 percent target share in limited action last season.
Olave is a safe bet for fantasy production after his elite rookie season, but it’s more difficult to picture a high-end fantasy WR1 finish from him than the others in this tier. Andy Dalton was secretly more efficient than Carr as a passer last year, and the Saints’ pass volume may not be there, as the team has the NFL’s easiest schedule in 2023.
21. Jalen Hurts — QB, Eagles (Target)
Jalen Hurts scored 25.6 fantasy points per game last year, but that could be underselling his 2022 campaign. The Philadelphia Eagles had a soft list of opponents, so Hurts didn’t need to do much in the fourth quarter of games. He averaged 21.1 fantasy points per game if you exclude the fourth quarter, by far the highest among all quarterbacks.
He plays behind an elite offensive line, and his surrounding skill players are a top-five unit. He finished 2022 11th in passing yards and 12th in passing touchdowns per game. Hurts also carried the ball 11 times per game, the most in the NFL — his 13 rushing touchdowns were the second-most all-time at the position. No other quarterback offers the same combination of passing and rushing ability.
22. Josh Allen — QB, Bills
Josh Allen narrowly edged Hurts for the most fantasy points per game (25.7) last season. There are concerns the Bills want Josh Allen to run less near the goal line, and his supporting cast is weaker than Hurts’. Still, Allen has averaged at least 24.7 fantasy points per game in the past three seasons. He’s the safest option among the elite quarterbacks.
We recently welcomed NFL insider Ari Meirov on the podcast to discuss his views on all the situations to monitor for fantasy managers. This podcast covered all 16 NFC teams, and this podcast covered the 16 AFC teams and the awards markets.
Tier 3: Round 3 and Round 4 Options
23. Tee Higgins — WR, Bengals
Tee Higgins has seen 108-110 targets during all three NFL seasons, remarkable consistency made possible by teammates’ injuries. After 78 yards per game in 2021, Higgins dipped to 64 per game last year.
Digging in a little deeper, Higgins played fewer than 30 percent of the snaps in three games due to injuries in 2022, which masked his strong numbers in the other 13 games. Removing those three games and the minimal receiving stats from each, Higgins averaged 77 yards per game, which would make back-to-back seasons where he paced for more than 1,300 yards over a 17-game season.
If Chase goes down, Higgins rises to mid-range WR1 status. Even with a fully healthy Chase, Higgins should realistically have some version of A.J. Brown’s 2022 fantasy season this year.
24. DeVonta Smith — WR, Eagles
Through nine games, DeVonta Smith had the edge over TE Dallas Goedert in targets per game (6.8 to 5.9), though Goedert turned that into 60 yards per game compared to Smith’s 53. Smith then averaged 9.4 targets and 89 yards per game over the next eight games, with Goedert missing five of those contests. There’s a chance this is just a small sample size issue, but it’s worth mentioning when drafting Smith so early in fantasy.
Smith is young and just set the Philadelphia Eagles’ receptions record in 2022, so the floor should be high. Most likely, we will see Smith produce in between those two splits from last year. He’s a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside if the oft-injured Brown goes down with injury. I’m not excited to draft him, but I’m also not fading him at the back end of Round 2 in drafts.
25. Keenan Allen — WR, Chargers (Target)
Keenan Allen only played eight healthy games in 2022 (Weeks 11-18). During that span, he paced for 176 targets, 128 receptions, 1,434 yards and eight touchdowns. Only Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson and Davante Adams performed better than Allen’s 18.8 fantasy points per game in the second half of last season.
The Los Angeles Chargers have finished top three in pass attempts each of the past two years, and they brought in Kellen Moore from Dallas to be their offensive coordinator. Dak Prescott was one of three quarterbacks to operate at a faster pace than Justin Herbert last season, and Prescott’s average throw depth was far higher, too. Expect another high volume season, but with increased efficiency, for this Chargers passing game. Allen should be the primary beneficiary of the offensive coordinator switch, and the concerns with him are purely age and injuries. If Allen stays healthy, he should finish as a fantasy WR1.
26. Patrick Mahomes — QB, Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes lost WR Tyreek Hill, and then Mahomes proceeded to record his third season over the past five years with at least 25.2 fantasy points per game. Because Mahomes is less than half the runner that Hurts and Allen are, his floor for fantasy is slightly lower; he scored 21 and 22.3 fantasy points per game in two of his past four seasons.
His situation looks largely similar to last season when the Kansas City Chiefs were the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. He’s averaged 303 passing yards per game for his career and has been just above 300 rushing yards each of the past three seasons.
27. Mark Andrews — TE, Ravens
In 2021, Mark Andrews demonstrated his elite ceiling when he racked up 107 receptions, 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns.
But that is his only season with more than 852 receiving yards. His target share has consistently been 25 percent or higher, but the Ravens’ pass volume has hindered his production.
New offensive coordinator Todd Monken has a history of pass-happy offenses, but Lamar Jackson will almost certainly yank pass attempts from the offense when he runs. Jackson has averaged at least 63 rush yards per game (more than 1,000-yard 16-game pace) each of the past four seasons.
Andrews could have untapped upside with the change at offensive coordinator, but he’s slightly more of the floor pick among the early-round fantasy tight ends.
28. Joe Mixon — RB, Bengals
Joe Mixon is the clear workhorse on an elite Bengals offense. He set career-highs in targets (75), receptions (60) and receiving yards (441) in 2022. He averaged at least 15 carries per game in the past five seasons.
Yet, he was out-snapped in two of the Bengals’ three playoff games last season by Samaje Perine. Mixon restructured his contract to remain with the Bengals, and three largely unproven backfield mates surround him.
There is still a chance the Bengals sign another back to ease Mixon’s workload. He lacked a consistent ceiling in 2022, with only two games above 19 fantasy points. Yet, he had five games below 12 PPR points.
Mixon has put up back-to-back seasons with at least 17 fantasy points per game, is coming off career-high receiving usage and remains on a Joe Burrow offense. Mixon’s talent is concerning, but he should not be faded due to the situation.
29. Travis Etienne — RB, Jaguars
Travis Etienne is the workhorse back in one of the NFL’s best offenses, and he carries premium Round 1 draft capital with him. Once James Robinson was off the team after Week 6, Etienne reached a 70 percent or higher snap share in eight of 11 games.
He topped 100 rushing yards in five of those contests, and despite having a smaller-than-expected receiving role, he still finished the season with a respectable 316 yards through the air.
He’s a home run hitter with the ball in his hands, yet he only scored five total touchdowns on 255 touches. There’s a serious untapped touchdown upside.
While third-round pick Tank Bigsby is joining this backfield, Etienne is better in every way. Bigsby most likely will be relegated to a breather-back role.
Advanced metrics also back up Etienne’s rushing prowess. Next Gen Stats had Etienne as the fourth-best runner in rushing yards over expected per attempt in 2022. He was only the RB19 per game from Week 7 onward — when he took over as the starter — but that was mainly due to his lack of touchdowns. Bet on the Jaguars offense and Etienne’s talent this season.
30. Calvin Ridley — WR, Jaguars
Calvin Ridley’s 18.8 fantasy points per game from 2020 would have ranked WR7 between Adams and Lamb last season. In 2021, Ridley played five games on a broken foot and still managed a top-10 target share in the process. He hasn’t played since because of a gambling suspension, but he does get a quarterback upgrade, going from late-career Matt Ryan to 2023 MVP contender Trevor Lawrence.
Christian Kirk was a high-end WR2 in Jacksonville last year, despite peripherals that are all much lower than Ridley’s 2020 and 2021 seasons. All reports out of training camp are that Ridley is the team’s best player in receiving drills. There’s some risk since he hasn’t played since early 2021, but he’s fully healthy for the first time in three years and gets to play in one of the NFL’s best passing offenses.
31. Jahmyr Gibbs — RB, Lions
The Lions selected Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick in this spring’s draft. He will play behind a top offensive line alongside a statuesque quarterback in Jared Goff, who has a penchant for checking the ball down.
While Gibbs is undersized (roughly 199 pounds), he put up strong counting stats in college. He was second at Georgia Tech in total receiving yards as a freshman and came just 24 receiving yards behind the team’s leader in his sophomore season. He transferred to Alabama as a junior and immediately led the team in rushing yards and receptions while ranking third in receiving yards.
Think of him as a slightly smaller Alvin Kamara with better long speed. Or, a faster Austin Ekeler. Either way, Gibbs should be highly fantasy-relevant in Detroit, even if he cedes the majority of the goal-line carries to the much bigger David Montgomery.
The Lions had the most PPR fantasy points per game among all NFL backfields in 2022 despite D’Andre Swift missing significant time.
Christian McCaffrey’s rookie season saw him command 117 carries and 113 targets (RB10 finish). I’d anticipate Gibbs’ rookie year to be similar but slanted more toward rushing work. An efficient 125-175 carries, 55-75 receptions and several long touchdowns should propel Gibbs to a low-end RB1-type fantasy finish.
32. Lamar Jackson — QB, Ravens (Target)
Lamar Jackson set the record with 28.2 fantasy points per game in 2019 when he had Mark Ingram in the backfield, second-year TE Mark Andrews, and rookie WR Marquise Brown were his top two receivers. WR Willie Snead was the main guy in two-receiver sets that season. Since that season, Jackson has scored 23.1, 21.3 and 20.4 fantasy points per game. Part of that is skewed because he had to leave a few games early because of injuries, but, unfortunately, fantasy managers still started him during those weeks.
In 2023, he will play with a new offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, who has a history of creating pass-heavy game plans. Jackson also will have the best receiving corps of his career, as Andrews will be joined by Rashod Bateman, Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers. Jackson’s floor is lower than the three ahead of him, and there are a lot of moving parts in the Baltimore Ravens’ offense; however, he arguably has the highest ceiling at the position. He’s a solid pick in drafts who goes a round or two later than the three quarterbacks ahead of him.
33. Josh Jacobs — RB, Raiders (Fade)
Josh Jacobs had a borderline historic 2022 season. His 393 total touches were the fifth most of the past decade, and his 2,053 scrimmage yards were the ninth most through the past 10 seasons.
Unfortunately, there are red flags with Jacobs for 2023 that prevent me from sliding him in as my RB3, despite his RB3 per game finish in 2022 (19.3 PPR points per game).
To begin, Jacobs isn’t practicing with the team and is threatening to hold out and miss games due to his lack of a long-term contract. New Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is mediocre and will be playing behind the worst offensive line of his career. He’s struggled with injuries throughout his career, and facing constant pressure in 2023 will not do him any favors.
Non-elite running back talents like Jacobs usually struggle in the season after a massive workload, and his league-leading 393 touches certainly qualify.
34. Amari Cooper — WR, Browns
Amari Cooper had a career-high 26 percent target share in his first season in Cleveland, turning that into 78 receptions, 1,160 yards, nine touchdowns and 14.5 fantasy points per game. The target competition is stiffer heading into 2023 because WR Elijah Moore was acquired from the Jets. Fortunately for Cooper, he gets a full season with Deshaun Watson.
The last time we saw an entire season from Watson in 2020, he led the NFL in passing yards. Playing behind the Browns’ elite offensive line, with an entire offseason to learn the playbook, expect Watson to bounce back. Cooper should be the main recipient of the fantasy points. He’s a high-floor fantasy WR2 with a chance to crack the top-12 if Watson returns 100 percent to form.
35. DK Metcalf — WR, Seahawks
DK Metcalf’s fantasy points dipped in 2022 despite a strong showing from Geno Smith. Looking closer, Metcalf’s career-low six touchdown receptions appear to be the culprit. Metcalf had the most targets and receptions of his career in 2022. Tyler Lockett is expected to move out wide, with rookie WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba manning the slot. Defenses won’t be able to key in on all three at once, and Metcalf is one of the NFL’s best at exploiting mismatches.
It’s hard to know exactly how the targets shake out for the Seattle Seahawks, but expect Metcalf to lead the group and to do it much more efficiently than in 2022. The floor is reduced with the added target competition, but Metcalf still has a top-12 ceiling if the touchdowns break right for him, as they did in 2020 and 2021.
36. T.J. Hockenson — TE, Vikings (Target)
No tight end elevated their fantasy stock more than T.J. Hockenson when he was traded from the Lions to the Vikings last season. After averaging 6.1 targets per game through seven games, that number jumped to 9.4 targets per game in the nine games with the Vikings. For context, Travis Kelce averaged 8.9 targets per game last season.
Hockenson now has rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison — taken in Round 1 of the NFL Draft — in the fold. Addison should be stiffer target competition than Adam Thielen was last season. This is a pass-heavy team with a solid distributor in Kirk Cousins. I’d lean toward Hockenson slightly out-targeting Mark Andrews in 2023.
37. Justin Herbert — QB, Chargers (Target)
Justin Herbert had a sublime start to his career through two seasons, topping 22 fantasy points per game in each of them. Everything unraveled in 2022, though, when Herbert played through a rib injury, starting LT Rashawn Slater went down for the season and top receiving options Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missed significant time due to injury. Herbert still played at the fourth-fastest pace among quarterbacks, but because of the receiver injuries, his average throw depth was third-to-last among qualified starters (ahead of just Matt Ryan and Daniel Jones).
New Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore arrived from Dallas, and his former QB, Dak Prescott, was one of the three quarterbacks who operated at a faster pace last season. Prescott’s average throw depth was eighth among 28 qualified starters, rather than 26th like Herbert’s. Expect a bounce-back fantasy season from Herbert, who gets Round 1 WR Quentin Johnston from April’s draft. Everything is falling into place for Herbert to have a career season.
38. Breece Hall — RB, Jets (Target)
If we knew Breece Hall would be healthy for Week 1, then he would profile like a better version of Aaron Jones when he played with QB Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Jones was almost always a fantasy RB1 alongside the future Hall of Famer.
Hall’s ACL recovery is ahead of schedule, according to major media outlets. Even if he’s eased in to start the season, Hall still put up 16.4 PPR points per game last year despite averaging only seven carries per game through September.
Hall only reached a 60 percent snap share in three of his seven games and was below a 30 percent snap share in two. Hall has plenty of margin for error with his workload compared to Dalvin Cook, along with his injury recovery for fantasy football.
A healthy Hall with Rodgers at quarterback could result in top-three fantasy numbers by the fantasy playoffs, where all the money is won.
The injury adds risk to his profile, but we are trying to finish first out of 12 teams rather than fifth or sixth, so we want to chase the ceiling outcomes with these players rather than the most likely. He may fall to Round 4 in drafts now that Cook has signed with the team, and he’s a great target in that range.
39. Najee Harris — RB, Steelers
Our own Ryan Reynolds has labeled Harris as potentially “this year’s Josh Jacobs.” Najee Harris often is passed over in fantasy drafts due to a lack of upside, yet he has most of the pieces in place for an elite fantasy season.
He has Round 1 draft capital to insulate him, a much improved Steelers offensive line and a quarterback in Kenny Pickett who could make a leap forward entering Year 2.
Harris led the NFL with 381 touches as a rookie, with 74 coming through the passing game. Last year, he struggled with a foot injury before the season, which could have hampered him early on. Harris rounded into form down the stretch. He reached 80 rushing yards in six of his final nine games.
We’ve seen him put it together as both a runner and receiver before, but it’s looking increasingly likely Jaylen Warren will cut into his workload enough to prevent an elite fantasy outcome. The Steelers’ offense should be better than last year, but it’s almost certainly not a top unit yet.
Harris likely will put together a 2023 season somewhere behind his stellar rookie season (RB7 per game) and his disappointing 2022 campaign (RB18 per game).
40. Rhamondre Stevenson — RB, Patriots (Fade)
Rhamondre Stevenson was given 210 carries behind one of the NFL’s better offensive lines last seaso. Because Mac Jones is a stationary quarterback surrounded by below-average receiving talent, many pass plays ended in dump-offs to Stevenson.
His 17.3 percent target share ranked fourth among running backs in 2022. The Patriots again have among the league’s worst receiving corps, so a high target share is possible.
New Patriot Ezekiel Elliott is in line for most of the goal-line work, and he’s just talented enough as a pass blocker to cut into that role of Stevenson’s slightly.
Better play design could also limit Stevenson’s receiving role, because at many times last season, swing passes to Stevenson were the only way for this offense to matriculate the ball downfield.
Stevenson looks like a fantasy RB2 type, while Elliott is a touchdown-dependent option who should not be started week-to-week.
Tier 4: Round 4 and Round 5 Picks
41. DeAndre Hopkins — WR, Titans
DeAndre Hopkins missed the first six games of 2022 because of a PED suspension and then made up for lost time, commanding nearly 11 targets per game. While part of that was due to the Arizona Cardinals’ pass volume, his target share still ranked sixth-best at the position.
Hopkins is now with the Tennessee Titans, and the passing offense could be less fruitful than it was in Arizona last season. Working in Hopkins’ favor is Ryan Tannehill threw for 33 touchdowns as recently as 2020, a number that would have ranked fourth last year. Additionally, while a terrible offensive line often works against an offense, Hopkins’ likely usage as a short-area receiver could work in his favor if Tannehill is pressured early and not given ample time to throw. Working against him is a team that has consistently ranked near the bottom of the league in pass attempts.
Hopkins contains risk, given his age and recent struggles to stay on the field. However, his team situation isn’t particularly concerning when he goes in Rounds 4 and 5 of redraft. He should be a high-end WR2 when healthy, who could see a touchdown spike if defenses key in too much on RB Derrick Henry at the goal line.
42. Justin Fields — QB, Bears
Justin Fields unseating Jackson for the league’s best-rushing quarterback was not on my 2022 bingo card. Fields started slowly in all facets, with just 136 passing yards and 39 rushing yards per game through Week 5. His next 10 games told a different story; he averaged 156 passing yards and 95 rushing yards, increasing his total touchdowns to more than two per game after averaging fewer than one per game in those five initial contests.
Fields only topped 200 passing yards in two of 15 games, and he ran overly pure in the passing touchdowns department (his 5.3 percent passing touchdown rate was sixth-best). However, the Bears added DJ Moore this offseason, and receivers Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool should be healthier and more integrated into the offense in 2023. The offensive line should still struggle in pass protection, but it’s likely better than last season, too.
A lot of projection is needed in the passing department for Fields to reach an elite fantasy ceiling, but his rushing should at least give him a high floor.
43. Christian Watson — WR, Packers
Christian Watson would be ranked near Chris Olave in drafts were Aaron Rodgers still the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback. From Week 10 on, Watson was a full-time starter as a rookie, and in those eight games, he averaged 17.2 fantasy points per contest (ninth-best in that span). His 2.78 yards per route run ranked first over those games, and he commanded a healthy, but not elite, 22 percent of the team’s targets. Zay Jones had a 22 percent target share last year, for context.
Unfortunately for Watson, the volume stats were lacking, and he was fantasy relevant due to touchdowns. He averaged just 6.5 targets per game during that stretch, but he scored a touchdown per game. Underwhelming receivers such as Courtland Sutton, Josh Palmer and Allen Lazard averaged more than 6.5 targets per game in 2022.
With the steep drop from Rodgers to Jordan Love, Watson needs to take a big step forward to remain a strong fantasy asset. His efficiency was elite last year, but he probably needs to command at least 25 percent of the team’s targets in 2023 to be on the high-end WR2 radar.
44. Mike Williams — WR, Chargers
Big Mike Williams took only a small step back from his 2021 career year. While his season totals dropped significantly, his receptions per game was at 4.8 both years, and his yards per game barely dipped (71.6 to 68.8). Williams is one of the NFL’s best passing offenses, and his downfield role will enable him to deliver fantasy points without an elite target share.
The Chargers added Quentin Johnston in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, but he’s much more of a finesse player like Watson than the big clasher than Williams is. The Chargers should run a lot of three wide receiver sets with that trio, and Williams could once again flirt with low-end fantasy WR1 numbers.
45. Brandon Aiyuk — WR, 49ers
Brandon Aiyuk is the true No. 1 wide receiver in San Francisco, and he quietly reached 78 receptions, 1,015 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns in 2022. While Deebo Samuel’s 23.9 percent target share led the team, it came on an aDOT of 4.5 yards. Aiyuk’s 22.4 percent target share was at a 10.0 aDOT, so Aiyuk was more than twice as far downfield per target as Samuel.
Deebo Samuel was less involved in the offense once RB Christian McCaffrey arrived, with6.7 targets, 2.7 carries, and 11 PPR points per game. Aiyuk faired much better, with 13.8 fantasy points per game while overlapping with McCaffrey. That period of overlap saw Deebo’s aDOT decrease to 3.6 yards, which is nearing running back territory.
Think of Samuel as a high-volume gadget player and Aiyuk as the No. 1 receiver.
46. Deebo Samuel — WR, 49ers (Fade)
See Aiyuk’s write-up above for Deebo Samuel analysis.
47. Jerry Jeudy— WR, Broncos (Target)
Jerry Jeudy again dealt with injuries in 2022, and while he played in 15 games, he left three of them after playing less than 40 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. In his 12 healthy games, Jeudy commanded 7.7 targets, 5.2 receptions, 75 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game, which translates to 16 fantasy points — often the demarcation point between WR1 and WR2 fantasy production.
Put differently, we saw Jeudy put up low-end WR1 numbers on a Denver Broncos offense that scored the fewest points in the NFL and saw its head coach get fired before the end of the season. QB Russell Wilson and this offense should bounce back with new coach Sean Payton coming into town — Payton was the architect behind those exciting Saints offenses with Drew Brees — and I expect Jeudy to flirt with WR1 numbers this season.
48. Kenneth Walker — RB, Seahawks
Kenneth Walker began his rookie season behind Rashaad Penny and took off once Penny missed time due to injury. As the starter from Week 5 onward, Walker paced for 302 carries, 1,405 rushing yards and 30 receptions in a 17-game season.
He has home run speed and above-average vision while playing in a surprisingly strong Seahawks offense. The line is a strength, helmed by two offensive tackles who performed well as rookies, for Walker.
The massive thorn in his side is new Round 2 rookie Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet is the better pass-catcher and is a threat to Walker’s goal-line role. This is one of the more frustrating situations for fantasy, and Walker almost certainly needs a Charbonnet injury to have true fantasy upside.
To learn more about why Walker’s archetype often struggles in fantasy football, this research piece provides context into the fantasy points scored by non-pass-catching workhorse backs.
49. Aaron Jones — RB, Packers (Fade)
Aaron Jones has either put up double-digit touchdowns or 1,500 or more scrimmage yards each of the past four seasons while playing with Rodgers. The move to Jordan Love is a steep one, and Jones’ typical workload of 210 carries and 50 receptions becomes significantly less appealing if he’s no longer attached to a high-scoring Packers offense.
Jones is also getting up there in age, as he turns 29 in December. His pass-catching role is fantasy-friendly, but even the goal-line work is uncertain, as A.J. Dillon had seven rushing touchdowns to Jones’ two last season.
Jones looks like he’ll experience significant dips in receptions and touchdowns. Unless Love is a competent starter, it’s hard to see Jones paying dividends in fantasy.
50. David Montgomery — RB, Lions (Target)
This is likely the highest you’ve seen David Montgomery in fantasy rankings. His track record is stellar. He’s averaged 229 carries, 39 receptions, 1,212 total yards, and 7.5 touchdowns through four seasons.
He’s never had fewer than 235 touches in a season, showcasing his durability. The Lions signed him to a three-year deal with $11 million in guarantees, a true investment in him.
While Jahmyr Gibbs is the better player, Montgomery has 25 pounds on him and is the favorite for goal-line work. Gibbs weighing 199 pounds, will also cap his total volume, so Montgomery projects for around 250 touches heading into this season.
The Lions have a top offensive line, and immobile QB Jared Goff should target Montgomery often whenever he’s on the field. Montgomery likely provides low-end RB2 production each week, but should anything happen to Gibbs, Montgomery would be a locked-in top-8 fantasy option.
51. Alvin Kamara — RB, Saints (Target)
Alvin Kamara’s suspension will only be for the first three games of the 2023 season. At times last year, Kamara had one of the best roles in all of fantasy.
New quarterback Derek Carr could elevate this offense, and the offensive line still looks strong on paper. The Saints also have the easiest schedule according to our internal metric, so they could blow out many of their opponents, leading to Kamara touchdown spikes.
If you’re worried about his suspension and the enhanced backfield competition, I wouldn’t fault any low-volume drafter for avoiding him in their main home league. However, he’s the latest running back in fantasy drafts with a clear top-12 upside.
52. Darren Waller — TE, Giants (Target)
Darren Waller had at least 90 receptions and 1,145 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020 before injuries took away a large chunk of his 2021 and 2022 seasons. His fantasy points per game in 2019 and 2020 would have been the TE2 overall in 2022, behind only Kelce.
The change of scenery to New York presents him with a strong opportunity to return to his vintage ways because he looks like the clear-cut top-receiving option for the Giants. Waller checks nearly every box needed to put up elite fantasy production in 2023 and should be targeted in all fantasy formats.
The Giants quietly scored the 15th most points in the NFL last season, giving Waller a sneaky touchdown upside.
53. Dameon Pierce — RB, Texans (Target)
Dameon Pierce received at least a 50 percent snap share in 12 of his 13 games as a fourth-round rookie. Those 12 games come out to a 296-carry, 1,284 rushing yards and 41-reception pace in 17 games.
The Texans have a premium offensive line, a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud, who is likely friendly to backs in the receiving game, and minimal competition for touches. The undersized and underwhelming Devin Singletary is the only possible threat to high-value touches.
Pierce’s advanced rushing stats were all elite in 2022. His broken tackles per attempt were tied for first in the NFL with Aaron Jones, and his missed tackles caused per attempt ranked ninth, according to our flagship tool, The Edge.
However, he faded down the stretch, and the Texans’ offense should once again struggle to put up points because they’re trotting out the league’s worst batch of receivers. There’s a risk here, but Pierce probably garners 60 or 70 percent of the touches each week.
If you haven’t already, join our FREE Discord to chat fantasy football all offseason. In-season, we’ll be dropping player prop bets in there each week, along with DFS showdown AMAs and start-sit help.
Tier 5: Middle-Round Picks
54. Marquise Brown — WR, Cardinals (Target)
This is probably the highest you’ve seen anyone rank Marquise Brown for fantasy football, but he looks like the single-most mis-priced receiver in all of fantasy football for 2023.
Brown averaged 10.7 targets, 7.2 receptions, 80.8 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game through six games before getting injured. Only six receivers averaged more than his 18.3 fantasy points per game during that stretch. Yes, that was with Kyler Murray and with no Hopkins due to suspension.
Brown should be startable in fantasy early in the season due to volume. Whe Murray returns from injury, Brown will find himself in the same situation that led to 18.3 fantasy points per game last year — right when it matters most for the fantasy playoffs. Brown should be a volume-based WR2/WR3 for fantasy until Murray’s return, when he will switch over into league-winner territory.
55. Drake London — WR, Falcons (Fade)
It was a tale of two seasons for Drake London. In 10 overlapping games with TE Kyle Pitts, he averaged 5.8 targets, 3.5 receptions and 37 yards per game. In seven games when Pitts was injured, London averaged 8.4 targets, 5.3 receptions and 70 yards per game. The team drafted RB Bijan Robinson at No. 8 this year and will trot out last year’s third-round rookie Desmond Ridder at quarterback.
The Atlanta Falcons project as one of the NFL’s lowest-volume pass attacks. In the past 10 years, just four receivers reached top-12 fantasy production on teams that ranked below average in pass attempts, passing yards, and touchdowns passing – which the Falcons comfortably project to do in 2023.
Given the splits for London when Pitts played last year, along with the new running back in town and the likely weak quarterback play, London is a fade in Rounds 4 and 5. I do not see a path for him to have difference-making fantasy production, and even though he’s a young talented receiver, he likely finishes outside the top 20 at the position.
56. Rachaad White — RB, Buccaneers
Rachaad White caught 50 passes from Tom Brady as a rookie, but unfortunately for White, Brady has been replaced by Baker Mayfield. Fournette saw significantly more opportunities in the passing game with 73 receptions.
Most advanced rushing metrics viewed White as a below-average player, and this Buccaneers offense scored the second-fewest points in the NFC last year — with Brady.
This is an offense to avoid in fantasy football. While White could see serious volume, it’s hard to see him scoring more than a handful of touchdowns. Should Tampa Bay bring in additional running back competition, White’s profile indicates he would once again be relegated to a frustrating committee.
Despite all these concerns, White looks like James Conner, another workhorse back with pass-catching upside on a terrible team. White has slightly more role fragility, but the Buccaneers offense should be better than Arizona’s, and White could sneak into the top 15 fantasy backs if Mayfield can orchestrate an offense that scores two touchdowns most Sundays.
57. Diontae Johnson — WR, Steelers
Diontae Johnson had more than 140 targets for the third straight year. Rather than appreciate this feat, fantasy gamers turned against Johnson because his 147 targets only translated to 86 receptions, 882 yards and no touchdowns. His meager 10.6 fantasy points per game ranked outside the top 40 at the position.
Part of the issue was the switch from Ben Roethlisberger to rookie QB Kenny Pickett. The Pittsburgh Steelers threw 93 more pass attempts in 2021 with Big Ben, about five fewer per game. Most of the issue was simply being on the wrong side of touchdown variance. Johnson led the team with 18 red zone targets (TE Pat Freiermuth was second with 13 and no other player had more than seven).
Give Johnson six touchdown receptions last season (after eight and seven in the two prior years), and he would have scored the same fantasy points per game as Garrett Wilson. We saw a scary floor for Johnson in 2022, but the entire Steelers offense should take a step forward with Pickett in Year 2, and Johnson should once again find the end zone half a dozen times. He doesn’t have the 17 fantasy-points-per-game ceiling he did with Roethlisberger in 2021, but we should expect his 2023 season to fall somewhere between his past two campaigns. He’s a fairly standard fantasy WR2 type in 2023.
58. DJ Moore — WR, Bears (Fade)
Darnell Mooney had a 25 percent target share last year, a number we should roughly expect from DJ Moore. Mooney averaged just 8.5 fantasy points and was never startable. Fortunately, the Chicago Bears are unlikely to avoid throwing the football like the plague; last year, the Bears threw 377 passes, fewer than any team during the past decade. This gets crazier when you remember there were only 16 games per season from 2013-2020. The Bears are certainly throwing more than 22 times per game in 2023.
The question boils down to how much more. Moore has a long enough track record to know he’ll command 25 to 28 percent of the team’s targets, at a reasonable target depth. If the Bears increase their pass attempts by 50 percent, then Moore would see just more than eight targets per game. That would translate to 140 targets over 17 games, giving Moore some chance at a top-12 finish.
The Bears will need a borderline historic pass attempts turnaround for Moore to be a fantasy difference-maker, so he’s not currently someone I’m drafting much of in Round 5.
59. Chris Godwin — WR, Buccaneers
Only six players averaged more targets per game than Chris Godwin last season (9.5), a year when Godwin was expected to ease back in from his late 2021 ACL tear. He looks like the clear top target earner in Tampa Bay, but Tom Brady’s league-high pass attempts muddy Godwin’s good, but not great, peripherals. Godwin’s 21.8 percent target share at an average depth of 5.8 yards is strikingly similar to, if not worse than, Robert Woods’ 20.7 percent target share at an average depth of 8.3 yards.
The switch from Brady to Baker Mayfield is a downgrade, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are unlikely to throw a historic amount in 2023. Godwin should see a slight uptick in his target share and target depth another year removed from the ACL tear, and he’s a tough player to pin down for fantasy football. The advanced metrics suggest he’s a fantasy WR3 type in an average offense, but with all the moving parts in this offense, it’s tough to bet against the guy who practically beat science in his return to game action last year.
60. Terry McLaurin — WR, Commanders (Fade)
Terry McLaurin saw his overall role decrease from 2021 to 2022, with dips in target share (24.4 percent to 22.7 percent), targets per route run (23.7 percent to 21.9 percent) and aDOT (13.2 to 12.8). Jahan Dotson flashed during his abbreviated rookie campaign and should present stiffer target competition heading into Year 2.
The Washington Commanders don’t have a solid answer at quarterback, where last year’s fifth-round pick Sam Howell won the battle with veteran journeyman Jacoby Brissett for the starting job. McLaurin has a solid floor, with at least 120 targets, 77 receptions and 1,053 yards each of the past three years, but it’s difficult to see a strong ceiling for him in 2023.
61. Tyler Lockett — WR, Seahawks
Tyler Lockett has averaged at least 13.9 fantasy points per game for the past five seasons, a number that would have landed him WR19 last season … as his floor. His situation has changed drastically though, and he’s expected to move out wide for the majority of his routes now that slot monster Jaxon Smith-Njigba was drafted in Round 1.
Lockett had a 28.3 percent target share in the slot last year, but that dropped to 21.3 percent when out wide. He’s still a respectable talent outside, but there’s a reason Lockett’s ADP is significantly lower this year compared to where his recent fantasy finishes were. It’s a crowded Seahawks receiving room, and while the nearly 31-year-old Lockett should be fine for fantasy, the ceiling and floor are lower than in 2022.
62. Mike Evans — WR, Buccaneers
After nine consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, the streak should end in 2023 unless Mike Evans’ role changes. Evans had a slightly lower target share than Godwin in 2022, though Godwin’s recent return from the ACL injury suggests he’ll be better in 2023. Meanwhile, Evans turns 30 in late August, so he’s not at a stage of his career where he likely improves.
Evans profiled like Courtland Sutton last year, so there’s a chance this is his cliff year. It’s hard to bet against someone with Evans’ track record, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he finds a way to produce with Mayfield. But for the first time in his career, there’s a real chance Evans is a low-end fantasy WR3 for the entire season and not startable in many leagues.
63. Christian Kirk — WR, Jaguars
Christian Kirk had a true breakout in 2022, setting career highs in every major category and finishing as a high-end fantasy WR2. Newcomer Calvin Ridley is most likely the new top option in this passing game, and I’d expect Kirk to finish closer to his 2021 output rather than his 2022 campaign.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have an ascending pass game, but Kirk barely edged out Zay Jones last year in targets per game (7.8 to 7.6). In early preseason action, Kirk also appears to be ceding two-receiver sets to Ridley and Jones. Kirk should have a solid weekly floor as the starting slot receiver in this offense, but it’s hard to see the ceiling for him unless Ridley or Jones goes down due to injury.
64. Joe Burrow — QB, Bengals (Fade)
Many will gawk at Joe Burrow being ranked below Herbert, but there’s a method to it all. Burrow’s career-high 22.9 fantasy points per game from 2022 were the same as Herbert’s rookie year and were below Herbert’s Year 2 fantasy output. Burrow is also nursing a calf strain, which could have an impact on his rushing. While the Los Angeles Chargers have been top-three in pass attempts each of the past two years, the Cincinnati Bengals ranked 20th in 2021 and seventh in 2022.
Burrow has thrown for at least 34 passing touchdowns in back-to-back seasons, and he’s a fairly safe bet for 4,500 yards and 30 or more touchdowns. However, his rushing should take a slight hit because of his calf injury, and Burrow operated the eighth-slowest offense last year. He likely takes a small step back from last season and finishes as a mid-to-low-end QB1 for fantasy football.
If you already have Ja’Marr Chase on your roster, prioritize Burrow. Otherwise, he’s best left on your opponents’ rosters this coming season.
65. D’Andre Swift — RB, Eagles (Target)
While many view D’Andre Swift changing teams as a positive because he’s on the Eagles — the team that led the NFL in rushing touchdowns by a considerable margin — I’m concerned the Lions gave up on him.
Talented players changing teams isn’t usually a positive for their fantasy outlook. Detroit was clearly tired of Swift’s injuries and inconsistent play. Still, Swift delivered spike weeks with three games above 21 PPR fantasy points in 2022.
Turning back toward the trade, there’s a lot to like for Swift in Philadelphia. Running back competition is minimal. The oft-injured Rashaad Penny, pass-catching backup Kenneth Gainwell, undersized Boston Scott, and 49ers flameout Trey Sermon comprise the remainder of this backfield.
Jalen Hurts has never targeted running backs at a high rate, but someone with Swift’s talent likely will shift that calculus, at least slightly. Swift always mixed in for goal-line carries and red zone targets in Detroit, so there’s significant scoring upside for him in an Eagles offense that scored 32 rushing touchdowns in 2022 — eight more than any other team. The Eagles have a great offensive line, allowing Swift to remain efficient on the ground and demonstrate his big-play abilities.
Swift is tough to project, as he could find himself in a timeshare that lacks target volume. There’s also a real possibility he gets 200 carries and 45 receptions on the NFL’s top-scoring offense. He’s a risky but tantalizing pick in the middle rounds.
66. J.K. Dobbins — RB, Ravens
J.K. Dobbins missed all of the 2021 season after tearing nearly every ligament in his knee. His 2022 season reflected this major injury, as he only received 92 carries across eight games, visibly limping during multiple breakaway runs.
Still, he managed 5.7 yards per carry. Dobbins is among the NFL’s most talented pure runners. While he’s never been given high rushing volume, he’s demonstrated an ability to be hyper-efficient on his touches and should be healthier in 2022.
New offensive coordinator Todd Monken has a history of pass-heavy schemes that involve the running back in the passing game. If healthy, there’s a real shot for Dobbins to get two or three receptions per game, along with 15 efficient carries each week.
He could be a poor man’s Nick Chubb tied to Lamar Jackson. Dobbins was a player I wanted to bet on, but there are still some overall volume concerns in both the running and receiving game.
67. Jonathan Taylor — RB, Colts
September 1st Update: Details continue to emerge about this situation that paint a picture of incompetence by the Colts’ front office. Taylor will miss at least the first four games of the 2023 season, already didn’t project like a high-end fantasy RB1 because of his quarterback situation and is on shaky ground with ownership. He often free-falls to Round 7 or Round 8 in recent fantasy draft rooms, and I’d be comfortable pulling the trigger in the middle of Round 6.
August 29 Update: Taylor is likely starting the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) for the first four games of the season, and he won’t be traded. This locks him into an underwhelming Colts offense, with a mobile quarterback in Richardson who probably targets the running back position minimally.
While Jonathan Taylor has demanded a trade, it’s hard to picture which team would take on the final year of his rookie contract and give up draft capital. The assumption remains that Taylor will stay with the Indianapolis Colts.
All Taylor analysis should start with new quarterback Anthony Richardson rather than the back’s injury-riddled 2022 campaign. Taylor is not unique; most backs have injury concerns when they’re getting 20 touches per game.
With Richardson, a highly mobile quarterback, there will be far fewer checkdowns to running backs because he’ll scramble for 5 yards instead.
Think of 2022 Miles Sanders as the parallel. He was given 15 highly efficient carries per game, with almost nothing in the receiving game. Sanders finished with 11 rushing TDs, and averaged just 12.2 half-PPR points per game, finishing as the RB16.
Taylor should get closer to 18-20 carries, which makes it difficult to project anything more than 15-16 points per game. With minimal pass-game usage and Richardson vulturing a few at the goal line, Taylor looks like a late second-round pick in fantasy football.
68. Deshaun Watson — QB, Browns (Target)
Deshaun Watson topped 21 fantasy points per game in each of his first four seasons before taking 18 months off football (primarily due to suspension) and then struggling in his return. There’s a slight chance six games of football (several of which were affected by inclement weather) are indicative of the rest of Watson’s career. Much more likely is they were natural growing pains after not playing in 2021 and then not practicing with the Cleveland Browns during last offseason.
For 2023, Watson has an entire offseason to prepare, and he is getting valuable reps with his teammates. The Browns have an elite offensive line and a deep collection of surrounding skill players: RB Nick Chubb, WR Amari Cooper, WR Elijah Moore, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and TE David Njoku. While Watson performed poorly last season, he still showed a propensity to run, and his six carries per game were right in line with his career numbers.
The humanitarian in me does not like Watson, but for fantasy football, Watson is entirely mispriced given his upside. He was a perennial top-five fantasy quarterback during his first four years in the league, and he is the latest quarterback in drafts who can realistically finish as the overall fantasy QB1.
If your aim is purely floor, take Joe Burrow instead. However, you need to finish first place in your fantasy league to win all the money, and Watson profiles as a potential league winner for 2023.
69. Kyle Pitts — TE, Falcons
After putting up the most rookie receiving yards (1,026 in 2021) from a tight end in more than 50 years, Kyle Pitts took a step back in 2022. His receiving yards per game dropped by nearly half (60.4 in 2021 to 35.6 in 2022). The main culprits were quarterback Marcus Mariota and an extremely run-heavy Falcons offense.
Quarterback Desmond Ridder, the team’s third-round selection last season, does not inspire much confidence in the passing game. Along with the team’s puzzling selection of running back Bijan Robinson at eighth overall in the 2023 Draft, the Falcons look like they’ll once again be among the run-heaviest teams in the NFL.
I wouldn’t shame any drafter for avoiding this bleak pass-game situation for one more season. However, should Ridder take a step forward in Year 2, or should anything happen to wide receiver Drake London, Pitts catapults into elite tight end territory.
The Falcons quietly tied with the Giants for the 15th most points scored last year, so Pitts’ touchdown upside can be realized if the team trusts the passing game more in the red zone. Ridder has never played an NFL game with Pitts before, and while London is most likely the No. 1 target earner, it’s not a stretch for Pitts to become that top option.
70. George Kittle — TE, 49ers (Fade)
George Kittle’s 2022 season represented his fewest receptions per game (4.0) since his rookie season in 2017. His 51 receiving yards per game was also by far the lowest since his rookie season, too. However, after averaging four touchdowns per season from 2017 to 2021, Kittle caught 11 touchdowns in 2022, keeping his fantasy production afloat.
He was generally the team’s fourth pass-game option on offense behind Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and Christian McCaffrey. Despite Kittle’s pure talent, he’s arguably in the worst situation for difference-making fantasy success among my top-10 fantasy tight end options.
71. James Conner — RB, Cardinals
The Cardinals have a problematic offensive line, and Murray won’t return until midseason at the earliest. This offense will struggle to score touchdowns and matriculate the ball downfield.
Fortunately for Conner, he should see ample opportunities in the passing game, and his pure usage could very well be top 10 at the position. Conner might not be a starting option early in the season, but when Murray returns, I’ll be interested in this fast-paced offense that will be routinely playing from behind.
Conner’s career-high 55 receptions from 2018 are within play for 2023, and he managed 46 receptions through 13 games last season.
Conner is 28, and there will be injury concerns each season, but he could surge late in the season and become a key piece for those winning fantasy championships. He is also one of the few running backs where I’m comfortable projecting heavy volume.
72. Alexander Mattison — RB, Vikings (Fade)
Dalvin Cook’s declining efficiency is often noted when discussing Alexander Mattison. That is funny considering Mattison has averaged 3.7 and 3.8 yards per carry in the past two seasons, while Cook was at 4.7 and 4.4 during the same stretch.
Mattison is a career backup who has a shot to “start” for a solid Vikings offense. However, there’s a real chance the team signs someone, and Mattison is not a particularly good talent in his own right. Most likely, he is the 1A in a gross committee.
Many point to the fantasy points he’s scored whenever Cook has been hurt, but that sample is slanted heavily in his favor. Mattison has reached a 50 percent snap share in five career games. Three of those games were against the Lions, and four of those five were against defenses that gave up a top-three amount of fantasy points to running backs.
He definitely has fantasy potential if he’s the team’s workhorse, but that’s too thin of a possibility to rank him as a Round 5 fantasy pick.
73. Jordan Addison — WR, Vikings (Target)
Jordan Addison is an undersized receiver taken in Round 1 by the Vikings in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was college football’s best receiver in 2021, with 100 receptions and 1,593 yards in 14 games for Pitt. He then transferred to USC as a junior in 2022, and, while his production dropped, he still led the team with 80 yards per game (second-best on the team was 56).
Think of him as a less athletic version of DeVonta Smith or a slightly smaller Calvin Ridley. He steps into Adam Thielen’s 107 vacated targets in Minnesota, and there’s a chance he passes Hockenson for second fiddle behind Justin Jefferson. He has the most clear path to triple-digit targets among all of the first-round rookies.
74. Quentin Johnston — WR, Chargers (Target)
Quentin Johnston has a tantalizing combination of a downfield route tree with truly elite yards-after-the-catch (YAC) ability. Generally, players operating closer to the line of scrimmage like Deebo Samuel are the better YAC guys, so Johnston has a special skill set for both the NFL and fantasy football.
While he’s on a crowded Chargers depth chart, this team currently projects to lead the NFL in pass attempts, and both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have struggled with injuries in recent seasons. Johnston may start the year behind Josh Palmer, but he should be starting by October in arguably the best situation for receiver fantasy points.
75. Jaxon Smith-Njigba — WR, Seahawks (Target)
The first receiver taken in the recent draft, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a slot-only player who is dangerous after the catch. His historic sophomore season at Ohio State is slightly misleading, given that Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave didn’t suit up for his 347-yard explosion against Utah. Still, he out-paced those two when he was younger and less experienced. Outside of that 2021 season, he had fewer than 50 yards total in his other two years, partially due to injuries.
There’s a real chance he’s off the field when the Seahawks are in two receiver sets, but if he surpasses Lockett on the target pecking order, he could have some version of the Amon-Ra St. Brown rookie season. He shouldn’t be going much earlier than Jordan Addison and Quentin Johnston in drafts, but you shouldn’t fade an elite slot talent on one of the NFL’s better passing offenses.
76. Gabe Davis — WR, Bills
Gabe Davis’ high ankle sprain in 2022 sapped some explosiveness and hurt his production. Still, his 18 percent target share at one of the NFL’s highest aDOTs (15.3 yards) was impressive, and a marked improvement from his 11 percent target share on a 12.9 aDOT from 2021. Davis probably shouldn’t have gone in Round 4 of fantasy drafts last year, but with the improvements we saw in 2022, he shouldn’t be falling to Round 8 this year.
There’s still no true challenger for his routes on the outside in Buffalo, and the high-volume deep threat for Josh Allen is a decent pick in those middle rounds of drafts.
77. Jahan Dotson — WR, Commanders
Jahan Dotson dealt with injuries throughout his rookie season but was still a starting wide receiver anytime he was healthy. He caught a touchdown once every five passes, a rate that will surely decline over a full season, but we saw some target-earning potential down the stretch.
During the final five games of 2022, Dotson had the same number of targets as Terry McLaurin despite running routes farther downfield. There’s an outside chance he emerges as the top option in this pass game, but he’s most likely a very good No. 2 in a below-average pass attack.
78. Javonte Williams — RB, Broncos
September 1st Update: Williams is on track to play in Week 1, and the Broncos’ depth chart at the position is really just him and Samaje Perine. I still prefer Perine at cost, but I can’t deny how much Williams’ stock has improved the past few weeks.
Javonte Williams averaged 12 carries and 19 receiving yards per game in each of his first two seasons. In college, he was also a committee back, sharing work with Michael Carter (now a Jets’ backup) at North Carolina.
The 2022 knee injury Williams’ suffered a week into the season was similar to the one J.K. Dobbins suffered during the 2021 preseason. We all remember how frustrating Dobbins was last year.
Given Williams’ workload baseline already wasn’t high, it’s tough to see how he’s highly fantasy-relevant in 2023. Sean Payton, the Broncos’ new coach, has a history of creating offenses that get the best playmakers the ball in space.
While that may be Williams in 2024, it’s probably still a year too early to bet on his comeback.
Ensure you’re subscribed to The 33rd Team Podcast Network on Apple or Spotify. We have hosted recent guests like Evan Silva and JJ Zachariason, and you’ll also hear Alex Caruso, Jordan Vanek, Ben Wolby, Hilow, and Ian Miller on the network talking fantasy, betting, DFS, and dynasty. Last week, we had NFL insider Ari Meirov on the podcast, discussing all the news from around the league that fantasy managers needed to know.
Tier 6: Final Upside Picks in the Middle Rounds
79. Miles Sanders — RB, Panthers (Fade)
Miles Sanders is a flawed but exciting player. His pass-blocking deficiencies will always put an artificial cap on his receiving workload, but the speedy back is one of the NFL’s better pure runners.
Last season, he had a career-high 15 carries per game, turning that into 1,269 rushing yards (5.0 YPC) and 11 rushing touchdowns. However, even on the Eagles’ offense, with a top offensive line and Hurts in front of him, Sanders was still just the RB21 per game in PPR leagues (12.7 PPR per game).
Carolina invested a decent amount of money into him, and its offensive line is solid, but this team is in Bryce Young’s hands. It’s tough to see Carolina expanding Sanders’ pass game workload if that results in Young taking unnecessary hits from defenders.
It’s likely Sanders gets a similar workload to last season but experiences a slight dip in efficiency and touchdowns.
80. Dallas Goedert — TE, Eagles
Only Kelce averaged more receiving yards per game at the tight end position than Dallas Goedert in 2022. Unfortunately, Goedert’s 5.8 targets per game ranked just 10th at the position, and he had to rely on an unsustainable 80 percent catch rate. He should be efficient in this Eagles offense, but he’s clearly behind A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith for targets. The addition of running back D’Andre Swift could pull more targets away from Goedert.
He’s a top talent on a top offense, but he’ll have a hard time producing difference-making fantasy stats without an injury to one of the two elite receivers. Think of Goedert as a high-floor option due to his talent and the Eagles’ offense, but recognize his the ceiling is capped without an injury to Brown or Smith.
81. Trevor Lawrence — QB, Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence broke out in a major way last season, doubling his touchdown rate (2.0 to 4.3 percent) while halving his interception rate (2.8 to 1.4 percent). His rushing dipped slightly, but he still ran for 291 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. As laid out in this article earlier in the week, Lawrence’s 18 fantasy points per game could have easily been 19.7.
With Calvin Ridley now in the fold in Jacksonville, Lawrence should take another step forward in the passing department, and he has a chance to replicate Joe Burrow’s 2022 season, where he finished as the QB4 in points per game.
82. Cam Akers — RB, Rams
September 1st Update: I have become increasingly concerned with the Rams’ team situation, and I’m growing less interested in drafting a running back — behind a patchwork offensive line — who won’t catch many passes during the regular season.
For those familiar with my work, it was no secret I was high on Cam Akers coming out of college. An Achilles tear derailed his career, but at the end of last season, he looked like he was finally turning the corner.
Akers played at least 70 percent of the running back snaps in five of six games from Week 13 onward, averaging 17 carries, 85 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards and a touchdown per game during that period. His 17.7 PPR points per game during that stretch were fifth most, and while he’s unlikely to hold up to that much volume in 2023, it’s a glimpse into his upside.
The Rams’ offensive line remains in tough shape but should be better than last year. Additionally, Matthew Stafford is healthy again, which elevates the entirety of the offense. The running back room has no major competition. Undersized pass-catcher Kyren Williams and seventh-round rookie Zach Evans are Akers’ main competition.
If this were nearly any other running back, he’d be going in Round 4 or 5 of fantasy drafts. Because it’s Akers, who has a long track record of letting down fantasy managers, it’s OK to exercise caution. Still, he shouldn’t fall outside the first six rounds of fantasy drafts.
83. Skyy Moore — WR, Chiefs (Target)
JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 78 passes for 933 yards as Mahomes’ primary slot receiver in 2022. Skyy Moore, in a limited rookie sample, was targeted at a higher rate than Smith-Schuster, slightly further down the field.
Coming from Western Michigan, it makes sense why Moore took a while to acclimate to the NFL game. All training camp reports are that Moore is taking all the first team slot reps, so a slightly better version of Smith-Schuster’s 2022 season is in play for the talented second-year player.
There’s role fragility here, and a healthy Kadarius Toney could eat into those slot snaps. However, we want upside at this stage of drafts, and Moore is a sneaky candidate for 80 receptions and 1,000 yards — with obvious touchdown upside given the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense.
84. James Cook – RB, Bills (Fade)
James Cook is less than 200 pounds, so he’ll need to rely on big plays in the passing game to deliver fantasy value. As a rookie, his target share was just a shade under six percent, which was outside the top 45 at running back.
However, his targets per route run were an elite 30.2 percent, behind only Breece Hall, Ekeler, De’Andre Swift and McCaffrey. In 2023, I’d expect Cook’s target share to rise while his efficiency falls. Josh Allen has never targeted running backs heavily, and Cook will likely fall behind Allen, Damien Harris and Latavius Murray in the goal-line-carry pecking order.
If Cook isn’t getting heavy pass game usage and isn’t getting goal-line carries, it’s tough to see this archetype hitting. The reason Cook isn’t farther down the rankings is his Round 2 draft capital, along with the fact that he plays in a high-scoring Bills offense.
85. Zay Flowers — WR, Ravens (Target)
Zay Flowers is undersized and shifty, and his solid numbers at Boston College were suppressed by atrocious quarterback play. The Baltimore Ravens took him in Round 1 of the draft, and he has a chance to rise above Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham Jr. on the depth chart. TE Mark Andrews is the top target in this offense, and even with the switch to pass-centric offensive coordinator Todd Monken, this is still a passing offense led by Lamar Jackson.
Volume could be a concern with an elite tight end and three talented wideouts all vying for reps. Bateman was incredibly efficient in limited action last year, and Bateman’s prospect profile was better than Flowers’. However, Bateman is currently not healthy enough to practice, so this could be another injury-riddled season for him.
Beckham looked like his old self to start the Super Bowl against the Bengals before he suffered another ACL tear. He didn’t play in 2022 and is nearly 31. There’s a good chance Beckham is an efficient player who only runs 70 percent of the routes each game for preservation.
Flowers is the rookie, but in many ways, he has the fewest question marks among this group. Assuming the Ravens throw more like they did during the 2021 season, one of the three receivers should be a consistent fantasy asset like Marquise Brown was in that 2021 season alongside Andrews.
No depth chart order among these three would surprise me, but my current full season lean is Flowers, then Bateman, then Beckham.
86. George Pickens — WR, Steelers (Fade)
Per route, both Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth received a target about 50 percent more often than George Pickens in 2022. Pickens was running routes much further downfield, but that discrepancy is still alarming.
Like Chris Godwin, there were questions about Pickens being able to start the year because he’d been rehabbing an ACL tear. Another year removed and entering the second season of his NFL career, Pickens should take some reasonable steps forward. Still, it’s tough to draft the likely third option in an offense run by Kenny Pickett in Round 6 or 7 of fantasy drafts.
87. Treylon Burks — WR, Titans
Treylon Burks struggled with conditioning and injuries as a rookie, and the Titans brought in veteran DeAndre Hopkins for the next two seasons, relegating Burks to the WR2 role in this offense. Ryan Tannehill did support fantasy-relevant seasons for both A.J. Brown and Corey Davis in 2020, but that was also three years ago and before the Titans had a crumbling offensive line.
If Burks plays outside and runs a route tree focusing on posts and crossers, the patchwork offensive line could be a real detriment to his fantasy production. He flashed as a rookie, and Hopkins is a heightened injury risk at this stage of his career. Burks likely does just enough to give you flex points each week, but without a Hopkins injury or an another 30–touchdown pass season from Tannehill, it’s hard to envision Burks giving you truly difference-making fantasy production.
His sprained LCL (knee) is a mild concern, but he should be ready for Week 1 or Week 2.
88. Dalvin Cook — RB, Jets
While Dalvin Cook signing with the Jets is exciting for football, it’s a nightmare for fantasy managers. Cook should immediately cede the majority of the backfield touches to Breece Hall when the latter is fully healthy.
I’d think of Hall like Aaron Jones and Cook like A.J. Dillon when both Hall and Cook are healthy. Unless Hall experiences a setback, Cook is nothing more than a fringe fantasy starter once October hits and Hall is up to speed.
89. Isiah Pacheco – RB, Chiefs (Fade)
Isiah Pacheco is a feel-good story from 2022; the seventh-round rookie forced his way into more and more playing time with Kansas City.
He has elite long speed, and he could earn more work in his second NFL season on both the ground and through the passing game. His biggest hurdle currently is 31-year-old Jerick McKinnon. Pacheco has an outside chance at a workhorse role in the NFL’s best offense.
Last season, Pacheco’s poor pass-blocking was evident, but there’s a chance the noted hard worker can improve upon this aspect of his game during the offseason.
Pacheco earned significant playing time from Week 10 onward, and during that nine-game stretch, he was on pace for 238 carries, 1,196 rushing yards, 221 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in a 17-game season.
His fantasy points during that stretch were 11.7 per game, good for 26th at the position, so there’s definitely some projection needed to turn him into an every-week fantasy starter. A bet on Pacheco is a bet on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense, along with a step forward in playing time in his second season.
90. Khalil Herbert — RB, Bears
Despite getting drafted in Round 6 two years ago, Khalil Herbert flashed as a rookie and in Year 2. He adds little as a pass-catcher but is one of the best runners in the NFL.
He has routinely forced his way into the mix — even when David Montgomery was healthy — and Herbert finished with 731 rushing yards despite only starting two games due to injury.
In the two games where he topped a 50 percent snap share in Montgomery’s absence, Herbert finished with at least 20 touches and 101 total yards in each of them. There is still minimal competition for carries in Chicago. I’m anticipating 15 efficient carries per game with occasional receiving work.
He’s likely touchdown-dependent, but the Bears’ offense should be much-improved this season.
91. Elijah Moore — WR, Browns (Target)
Elijah Moore averaged 20 fantasy points per game the final five games of his rookie season before suffering an injury and not returning. Then the Jets drafted Garrett Wilson in the first round of the 2022 Draft and Moore took a firm backseat. Part of Moore’s sophomore season struggles can be explained by poor quarterback play, and part can be attributed to Moore’s negative comments about Zach Wilson’s passing abilities.
Still, we don’t often see a player flash as a rookie then completely fall off a cliff in Year 2.
Moore is now in Cleveland, and if Deshaun Watson returns to form and Moore’s rookie year is more indicative of his future than the 2022 season was, we are looking at an absolute steal by ADP. However, a lot needs to go right for that to happen, so Moore’s Round 8/9 ADP is a nice balance of 2022’s floor with the upside from his rookie year.
He’s a player I can see myself starting each week, so I’ve taken the gamble on him more often than most at his current price tag.
92. Rashod Bateman — WR, Ravens
Tier 7: Later Round Picks
93. Evan Engram — TE, Jaguars
Evan Engram took a while to acclimate to the Jaguars’ offense last year and averaged just 32 receiving yards per game in his first 12 games. That jumped to 76 receiving yards per game in his last five games, which is a 1,292-yard pace in 17 games. He was rewarded for his late-season surge with an offseason extension.
Engram should provide solid fantasy points as the third option behind Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk. Like Dallas Goedert, Engram could explode should the top wideouts get injured. The Jaguars’ offense should be higher volume than the Eagles’. Engram’s ranking behind Goedert is primarily due to Goedert’s better track record of efficient receiving production.
Our podcast network is on Apple and Spotify, and we have several FREE episodes each week, breaking down fantasy, betting and DFS. Our podcast talent includes Ryan Reynolds, Alex Caruso, Jordan Vanek, Mark Garcia (Hilow), Ben Wolby and Ian Miller.
94. Geno Smith – QB, Seahawks (Target)
Geno Smith was the most surprising breakout QB of 2022. Per game, he finished 10th in passing yards, sixth in passing touchdowns, eighth in rushing yards and eighth in fantasy points at the position. The Seattle Seahawks added WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba in Round 1 of the NFL Draft and RB Zach Charbonnet in Round 2.
The Seahawks are loaded with talent surrounding Smith, and both offensive tackles performed admirably as rookies. We should expect improvements to the offensive line, which benefits a quarterback such as Smith who is “pressure sensitive” according to Ryan Reynolds.
95. Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Dolphins (Target)
If we remove the game where Tua Tagovailoa left early against the Bengals due to a concussion, only Patrick Mahomes threw for more passing yards per game in 2022. Adding on, only Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow threw more touchdowns per game if we remove that abbreviated start against Cincinnati.
Tagovailoa would probably go near Trevor Lawrence in fantasy drafts if it weren’t for health concerns. Tagovailoa is the latest pick in fantasy drafts who can lead the league in most major passing categories.
96. Pat Freiermuth — TE, Steelers (Target)
Pat Freiermuth was a touchdown-dependent fantasy option as a rookie before emerging as a legitimate receiving threat in Year 2. His two touchdowns from 2022 mask the borderline elite target-earning profile he flashed last season. He was targeted on 23.4 percent of his routes last year, barely behind Diontae Johnson (24.2 percent) and well ahead of George Pickens (15.2 percent).
Freiermuth needs second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett to take a step forward, and that appears likely, given the Steelers’ investments in improving the offensive line. Freiermuth’s ceiling is easy to see; he demonstrated his touchdown ceiling as a rookie (seven TDs in 2021) and his target-earning ceiling in 2022.
97. Zach Charbonnet — RB, Seahawks (Target)
Zach Charbonnet is a big, moderately athletic back who put up strong numbers at UCLA before the Seahawks drafted him in Round 2. He’s a threat to Walker’s goal-line work and is the favorite for the pass-catching role in this offense.
It’s tough to see him being consistently fantasy-relevant outside of an injury to Kenneth Walker — Walker’s nagging groin injury could plague him in-season, but there’s a slim chance Charbonnet scores more fantasy points even if both remain healthy.
Should Walker go down with an injury, Charbonnet would easily command at least 15 carries and three receptions per game in a top-scoring offense, placing him in the RB1 fantasy conversation. For now, think of him as the perfect running back for your fantasy bench, one who you can probably spot-start in a pinch.
98. Samaje Perine — RB, Broncos
Javonte Williams’ injury opens a path for Samaje Perine to be the Broncos’ workhorse back early in 2023. Perine had three heavy-usage games last year and put up 30.2, 19.3 and 21.5 PPR points in each of them.
He was targeted seven times in two of those games and had at least four receptions in all of them. Perine’s 240-pound frame also puts him in the mix for goal-line carries.
As mentioned earlier, Williams has never averaged more than 12 carries or 19 receiving yards per game in his two NFL seasons. So even when Perine returns from injury, he is likely a flex play. During the first few weeks of the season, Perine should be a top-20 option at the position.
99. Raheem Mostert — RB, Dolphins (Target)
September 1st Update: With Jeff Wilson heading to the Injured Reserve, Mostert is in line to be the Dolphins’ starting runner for at least the first four weeks of the season. I’d anticipate him getting 12-18 carries per game with a couple targets sprinkled in.
Mostert is a health risk, though so is Wilson. While Mostert probably won’t be fantasy-relevant early in the season, an injury to De’Von Achane or Wilson would make Mostert a weekly RB2 play.
100. Brian Robinson – RB, Commanders (Target)
Brian Robinson was shot in an attempted carjacking last preseason, missed the first four games and then averaged 17 carries per game (sixth-best in the NFL) upon returning for the next 12 games.
He was inefficient by yards per carry but graded out well as a rusher. His rushing workload likely decreases with a new coaching staff; Eric Bieniemy came over from the Chiefs to be Washington’s new offensive coordinator.
However, there is real bell cow upside with the second-year runner. Robinson handled high volume as a rookie and was a surprisingly competent pass-catcher in college (35 receptions at Alabama in 2021). If Antonio Gibson goes down with an injury, Robinson could be James Conner—like for fantasy football, getting a filthy amount of inefficient touches on a bad offense, which ultimately pays off in fantasy because of volume.
101. Antonio Gibson — RB, Commanders
Last season, Antonio Gibson took a backseat to Brian Robinson down the stretch. While Gibson is a more dynamic athlete with a stronger pass-catching background, it’s tough to rank him over the guy who severely out-touched Gibson during Robinson’s rookie season.
Robinson had 50 percent more total touches per game when they overlapped, although Gibson had about three times as much receiving work.
There’s a chance Gibson’s workload decreases further because Robinson will be entering Year 2 and likely won’t be dealing with a preseason gunshot wound again. However, with a new offensive coordinator, there’s some chance Gibson becomes the preferred back in Washington.
Gibson’s 14 fantasy points per game from 2020 and 2021 is the upside if Robinson gets hurt, but rookie bruiser Chris Rodriguez could also slide into most of Robinson’s touches should that become the case.
102. Jamaal Williams — RB, Saints (Target)
During the three games Alvin Kamara is suspended, Jamaal Williams should be starter material in fantasy football. Even when Kamara is active, Williams is probably ahead of rookie Kendre Miller. Williams is the type of player who rarely makes mistakes, and coaches love him.
Even before his breakout 2022 campaign, where he had more than 1,000 rushing yards and led the league in rushing touchdowns, Williams averaged 160 touches and 741 total yards in his first five seasons (2017-21).
The Saints have a strong offensive line, and Williams’ long track record of production suggests he’s likely to be flex-viable for much of the 2023 season.
103. Courtland Sutton – WR, Broncos (Fade)
Sutton probably holds off TE Greg Dulcich and rookie WR Marvin Mims for the No. 2 receiver role in Denver, but it’s hard to get on board with a player who looks a lot like Gabe Davis — with stiffer target competition on a worse passing offense.
Sutton is a quality spot starter, but he most likely alternates between your bench and flex spot. Other players in his range have a better high-end range of outcomes.
104. Michael Thomas — WR, Saints (Target)
Michael Thomas practically needs his own tier because there is no other player like him. He set the NFL record with 149 receptions in 2019 (9.3 per game) but has played just 10 games in the three seasons since. In that limited action from 2020-22, he’s been on pace for 131 targets, 95 receptions, 1,035 yards and five touchdowns over a 17-game season.
Thomas averaged 17 fantasy points per game in three games last year, though three touchdowns receiving definitely helped. Chris Olave should be ahead of him for targets from Derek Carr, but Carr is an accurate quarterback who should be a plus for Thomas. A healthy Thomas is most likely in your weekly starting lineup, but his past three seasons also can’t be ignored.
At the very least, draft Thomas to start him in Week 1 against a Titans team that allowed the most passing yards per game to opponents last year. He shouldn’t be on all your teams, but it’s hard not to push the button on him in Round 9 or 10 when he’s still shown fantasy WR2 ability anytime he’s healthy.
105. Brandin Cooks — WR, Cowboys
Brandin Cooks has shades of Allen Robinson, as Cooks had a major down season and also switched teams around his age-30 season. However, Cooks still managed a 20.7 percent target share in 2022. He’s certainly behind CeeDee Lamb on the Cowboys’ depth chart, but Cooks should still be fantasy relevant in 2023 if he’s the team’s No. 2 target.
The Cowboys have generally played at a fast pace, and they no longer have RB Ezekiel Elliott. Cooks could either earn 120 targets in a great offense or show last year was the early signal of age-related decline. He’s not a player I’m clamoring to draft, but he has a long track record of WR2 production. Most likely, Cooks is someone you can start as a WR3 type, but that’s not helping you win your league.
106. Daniel Jones — QB, Giants
Daniel Jones scored the ninth-most fantasy points per game (18.5) last year despite playing with arguably the worst wide receiver group in the league. His 708 rushing yards and seven rushing scores buoyed his fantasy production, and he was much more involved as a runner than ever before — his 7.5 carries per game were well above his previous career-high of 5.6.
Jones’ pass-game struggles can be largely attributed to the Giants’ terrible receiving core, and his league-low 5.8 air yards per pass attempt are a reflection on this situation, not just on Jones’ own struggles as a passer. Positively, his five interceptions were the fewest among starting quarterbacks, and his team added TE Darren Waller, along with a lot of wide receiver depth.
His rushing should come down, but if Jones can progress as a passer in Year 2 with Brian Daboll at the helm, Jones can sneak towards 20 fantasy points per game.
Tier 8: Last Players With Standalone Upside
107. Zay Jones — WR, Jaguars
There’s a chance Jones performs similarly to last season, but Calvin Ridley and Kirk most likely cut into Jones’ targets more than anyone did last season.
108. Michael Pittman – WR, Colts (Fade)
The Colts threw the eighth-most passes in the NFL last year, and Michael Pittman was a low-end WR2 who wasn’t an exciting player to start each week. Now, rookie QB Anthony Richardson is in the fold, and his 53.8 percent completion rate in his one college season as a starter is terrifying. Richardson has a cannon for an arm and the innate ability to avoid sacks and extend plays. However, this team should fall near the league bottom in pass attempts.
If Pittman could barely get it done in fantasy last year, he’s a bad bet to produce this season with a rookie passer.
109. Jameson Williams — WR, Lions
Jameson Williams is a versatile field stretcher with potential for a better version of the Gabe Davis role. Williams is blazing fast, and his 1,572-yard junior year at Alabama showcases his potential.
However, he’s suspended for the first six games of 2022, and he came along more slowly than expected as a rookie last year. Reports of immaturity during training camp also aren’t doing him any favors, but his skill set complements Amon-Ra St. Brown well, and the Lions’ elite offensive line should be a positive for a downfield threat like Williams.
He could be arbitrage Davis when he returns, but Williams might clog your bench for six weeks and then be a rotational player with Marvin Jones on the outside. The range of outcomes here is vast, but the path is still there for WR2 fantasy production.
Fortunately for Williams, his preseason hamstring injury should be fully healed by the time Week 7 rolls around, though it will cost him valuable preseason reps.
110. Tyler Higbee — TE, Rams (Target)
Tyler Higbee averaged 7.2 targets per game in nine games with Matthew Stafford last season. Only Kelce, Mark Andrews and Hockenson averaged more than 7.2 targets per game in 2022. After Kupp, Higbee looks like the clear No. 2 pass-game option.
Because the Rams have a bottom-tier pass defense, the offense will have to throw often to keep pace and try to win games. Higbee is the sneakiest fantasy option for 2023, and the path is there for him to finish top-5 at the position in targets.
111. David Njoku — TE, Browns
David Njoku put together a stellar 2022 campaign, averaging 10 PPR fantasy points per game (TE8) on the back of an 18.6 percent target share (TE11). The Browns added wide receiver Elijah Moore this offseason, still have field stretcher Donovan Peoples-Jones and drafted wide receiver Cedric Tillman in the third round of the most recent draft.
I’m expecting Njoku’s share of the passing pie to drop in 2023 because the upside case is narrow: Deshaun Watson returns to form and Moore’s second season is more indicative of his NFL path than his sublime rookie season. Njoku looks like more of a floor play than a ceiling play. He’s a fine option toward the end of fantasy drafts because Njoku pairs well with a young, upside tight end like Dulcich or Dalton Kincaid.
112. Dalton Kincaid — TE, Bills (Target)
In July, I outlined why Dalton Kincaid is uniquely positioned for a potential ceiling outcome for rookie tight ends. The article is worth reading in full, but Kincaid should operate frequently in the slot for Buffalo, where tight ends more easily score fantasy points.
Kincaid plays on a great offense and has first-round draft capital. Like most rookies, there’s a good chance he does little for fantasy football; however, at the end of drafts, investing in the Bills’ potential slot receiver who is tight end–eligible passes the sniff test to me.
113. Rashaad Penny — RB, Eagles
If we knew Rashaad Penny would play 17 games, he’d be ranked much higher. He’s one of the NFL’s best pure runners, and the Eagles’ offensive line is a wrecking crew that should open wide lanes for his home run speed.
D’Andre Swift should see all the pass-catching work; Penny has never reached 10 receptions in a season. But I’d expect Penny to receive at least half the goal-line touches when healthy, so double-digit touchdowns are on the table. His ceiling is a better version of Miles Sanders from last year, while the floor is Penny receiving seven to 12 carries per game and being touchdown-dependent.
Of course, health needs to continually get brought up with Penny because he’s topped 85 carries just once in a season (he had 119 in 2021). Still, his 5.7 career yards per carry demonstrates his elite ability to break off big runs.
114. De’Von Achane — RB, Dolphins (Target)
September 1st Update: With Jeff Wilson heading to the Injured Reserve, Achane should have a major role from the get-go. The rookie should play a complementary role to Raheem Mostert, and Achane having five to 10 carries, along with three to six targets per game, is well within reason. The speedster will probably be inconsistent early with his fantasy returns, but Miami is an offense to invest in.
Hines had 85 carries and 63 receptions in his first year. Achane’s 190-pound frame is unlikely to support any type of workhorse role on the ground. However, he averaged more than 20 touches in college, so there’s potential for 150 carries and 85 targets in 2023, making him an every-week fantasy starter.
115. A.J. Dillon — RB, Packers (Fade)
I do not understand the excitement surrounding A.J. Dillon. He’s never topped 11 carries or two receptions per game, and the Packers offense should be low-scoring. He’s never reached 11 PPR points per game, which is needed to crack the top 30 for fantasy.
There is some contingent upside should Aaron Jones get injured, but we can say that about nearly every secondary runner in each backfield. Most likely, Dillon is a touchdown-dependent option who should receive most of the team’s precious few goal-line carries.
116. Odell Beckham Jr. — WR, Ravens
117. Allen Lazard — WR, Jets
Allen Lazard was the only guy for the Packers for half the season before rookie Christian Watson finally took off. While Lazard didn’t reach some of his loftier projections, he had a respectable 21 percent target share and 1.91 yards per route run, higher than every Packer not named Watson.
With the Jets, he remains tethered to Aaron Rodgers but should take a clear back seat to superstar Garrett Wilson. Lazard should be a bye week fill-in, and there’s some chance he combines with Wilson to vacuum up half the team’s targets. Think of Lazard as a stable flex play with touchdown upside and an outside chance at having a better version of his 2022 season should Wilson get injured.
118. Nico Collins — WR, Texans
Nico Collins only played in 10 games last year due to injury, but he took a major step forward in his ability to command targets. Collins had an identical 25 percent targets per route run rate to DeVonta Smith, though Collins did it at a higher aDOT (11.2 compared to 9.8).
The Texans are starved for playmakers, and Collins appears the one likeliest to emerge for rookie QB C.J. Stroud. Collins is probably held back by quarterback play, but his team has a great offensive line, which could help a receiver like Collins who takes more time during his routes to gain separation.
119. Jaylen Warren – RB, Steelers (Target)
Jaylen Warren, an undrafted rookie, totaled 105 touches for 593 yards last year, stealing more work from Najee Harris than nearly anyone expected. Warren is a direct backup who could occasionally deliver double-digit fantasy points when Harris is active.
More likely, he’s a clear backup with an all-purpose skillset. The Steelers’ offense should be much improved from last season, so Warren has RB2-type upside if Harris misses time.
Tier 9: Filling Out Your Fantasy Bench
120. Damien Harris — RB, Bills
Damien Harris is a bruising back with 202 carries and 15 rushing scores in 2021. He’s dealt with injuries throughout his career, but he’s been efficient when called upon. James Cook is at least 20 pounds lighter, and Latavius Murray is probably behind Harris for early down work and goal-line carries.
Harris has the potential to replicate his 2021 season should the Bills ease up on Josh Allen’s goal-line runs. Because of the slight possibility Murray plays ahead of Harris and because Bills runners haven’t scored many fantasy points alongside Allen, the currently injured Harris is not a player I’ve drafted much of recently.
121. Jerick McKinnon — RB, Chiefs
Jerick McKinnon took advantage of Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s injury and ineffectiveness, along with Isiah Pacheco’s poor pass blocking. McKinnon was the main pass-catcher in the Chiefs’ backfield, and his nine scores through the air are tied for the most by a back in the modern era.
He should once again see a few carries per game, along with several receptions most weeks, though his touchdowns should decrease a lot. Still, McKinnon warrants getting drafted after three games with more than 22 fantasy points and at least eight fantasy points in 10 of his 17 games.
He’s a weekly flex play and a good candidate to outperform touchdown expectations each year because of Patrick Mahomes, but six or seven scores are more likely for McKinnon in 2023.
If Pacheco gets injured, McKinnon becomes an every-week top-20 fantasy option. His ranking would be slightly higher were he not already 31 years old.
122. Ezekiel Elliott — RB, Patriots
123. Leonard Fournette — RB, Unsigned
Leonard Fournette’s 14.2 PPR points per game were 13th best among running backs last season. Only Austin Ekeler and Christian McCaffrey had more than his 73 receptions. Unfortunately, Fournette was largely a product of Tom Brady.
Fournette isn’t on a team right now, and he’s 28, but it’s tough to see him falling out of the league after 262 touches for 1,191 total yards last season. Nearly any landing spot will cause his ADP to spike. He’s consistently been a player whose talent level the NFL is higher on than are fantasy managers.
124. Dak Prescott — QB, Cowboys
Dak Prescott has struggled with injuries, missing significant time in both 2020 and 2022. In his last two complete seasons, he averaged 292 passing yards per game. His supporting cast is strong, with a rock-solid offensive line, a good trio of receivers — CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup — and Tony Pollard in the backfield. The worry with Prescott is the loss of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore — now with the Chargers — because Moore had a history of fast-paced, high-scoring offenses that pushed the ball downfield.
Prescott could slot in next to Tua Tagovailoa if you think Mike McCarthy will be an above-average play caller. Most likely, Prescott’s QB13 fantasy finish per game repeats itself in 2023.
125. Elijah Mitchell — RB, 49ers (Target)
After exploding for 1,100 total yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, Elijah Mitchell dealt with injuries and and a trade that brought Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco last year, so Mitchell finished with only 286 total yards.
Mitchell looks like the backup on a potent 49ers offense, and McCaffrey likely cedes five to 10 carries each week to Mitchell. Should McCaffrey miss time, Mitchell could be right back to his 2021 ways when he averaged 15.0 PPR points per game, 16th best at the position.
126. Tyler Allgeier – RB, Falcons (Target)
Allgeier is certainly the breather back now, though the Falcons’ run-heavy offense could potentially yield eight to 12 weekly touches for Allgeier after Robinson gets his 20 touches.
Allgeier is most likely a premium handcuff, who we saw succeed as a starter in 2022. However, given the Falcons’ premium offensive line and run-heavy game plans, there’s some chance Allgeier is flex-viable regardless of Robinson’s health.
127. Tank Bigsby — RB, Jaguars (Target)
While Bigsby isn’t going to push Etienne for too many reps, there’s still room for Bigsby to get some base work. There’s almost no chance Bigsby is fantasy-relevant while Etienne is healthy, but Bigsby’s all-purpose skill set should put him in the RB2 conversation if Etienne goes down.
128. Greg Dulcich — TE, Broncos
Greg Dulcich dealt with injuries during his rookie year, and the Broncos had a nonfunctioning offense, scoring the fewest points in the NFL last year. Still, he put up a 17.3 percent target share as a rookie on an average depth of target (aDOT) of 11.2 yards downfield via The Edge.
Kyle Pitts was the only tight end to put up a higher target share on a higher aDOT. Put another way, only Pitts (34.5 percent), Mark Andrews (33.6 percent) and Travis Kelce (23.9 percent) received a higher portion of their team’s air yards when active than Dulcich (21.8 percent).
Should the Broncos’ offense take a step forward under new coach Sean Payton, Dulcich would be one of the main beneficiaries. He is currently behind Jerry Jeudy on the receiving depth chart but could usurp Courtland Sutton this season.
129. Anthony Richardson — QB, Colts (Fade)
Anthony Richardson completed fewer than 54 percent of his passes at Florida in 2022 and is unlikely to have much success through the air as a rookie. Rookie quarterbacks struggle to score fantasy points historically, and it’s tough to see Richardson putting up much more in the passing department than Fields did last season. Positively, as a runner, Richardson is a more athletic Cam Newton, so there’s some chance he gives you 800 yards and double-digit scores on the ground.
130. Kenny Gainwell — RB, Eagles
Kenny Gainwell probably doesn’t have a major role on Sundays anytime D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny are healthy, but Gainwell’s speed and pass-catching ability make him an intriguing late-round pick. Neither player ahead of him on the depth chart has been the poster child for health, so Gainwell has two outs to seeing increased playing time in one of the NFL’s best offenses.
131. Roschon Johnson — RB, Bears
As a freshman at Texas in 2019, Roschon Johnson carried the ball 123 times and had 23 receptions. Then, he sat behind Bijan Robinson for the next three seasons. Johnson’s the best pass-catching back on the Bears’ roster, so he should see the field earlier than most rookies taken in the fourth round.
There’s a chance he takes on an enhanced rushing load, too, especially if something were to happen to Khalil Herbert. There shouldn’t be too many running back targets from Justin Fields, but that skill set should help Johnson be active on game days and continually audition for increased involvement in the offense.
132. Jakobi Meyers — WR, Raiders
Jakobi Meyers consistently put up mid-20s target shares in Patriots offenses without any true playmakers. In Las Vegas, Meyers will take a clear backseat to Davante Adams, though it’s worth noting that Meyers will be reuniting with coach Josh McDaniels, the Patriots’ former offensive coordinator in 2020-21.
The Raiders have a difficult schedule and a weak defense, so this team may throw enough for Meyers to be a weekly WR3 play alongside Adams. Most likely, he needs an Adams injury to be a worthwhile start each week.
133. Tyler Boyd — WR, Bengals
Tyler Boyd is a handcuff receiver and becomes a fantasy WR2-type should anything happen to Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins. Think of Boyd as a bench stash similar to a backup running back, only he has two injury outs to work with.
134. Kadarius Toney — WR, Chiefs
Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling appear to be the Chiefs’ starters in two receiver sets. Kadarius Toney will mix in some, as well, but he was injured returning a punt. Expect Toney to be used in a gadget role and on special teams. Valdes-Scantling is a pure field stretcher who shouldn’t handle more than four or five targets per game.
Rashee Rice is in the mix after those three, competing with Justin Watson, Richie James and Justyn Ross to be active on game days. Rice deserves the benefit of the doubt given his Round 2 draft capital, and none of the receivers ahead of him are insurmountable obstacles. Be patient if you draft Rice, because he could deliver down the stretch, but he’s most likely giving you zeroes for the first month or two.
135. Marvin Mims — WR, Broncos (Target)
Marvin Mims is a small, speedy receiver who was hyper productive at Oklahoma despite never being a full-time player. He may be DeSean Jackson down the line, but Denver’s most recent second-round draft pick is probably just a better K.J. Hamler as a rookie.
Russell Wilson throws a great deep ball, and Mims should have a few top-20 fantasy weeks this year. He may not have enough consistency in 2023, but there’s a path for him to trail only Jerry Jeudy on a targets-per-game level by November.
136. Rashee Rice — WR, Chiefs
137. Jared Goff — QB, Lions
Jared Goff was fifth in the NFL with 29 passing touchdowns last year, and his passing yardage ranked sixth. Jamaal Williams led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns, so there’s some meat on the bone for Goff to increase his already-high passing touchdown numbers. The Lions scored the fifth-most points in the NFL last year and look like a better overall offense for 2023.
RB Jahmyr Gibbs is an elite pass-catching back, Jameson Williams will slot in as the WR2 after a six-game suspension, and rookie TE Sam LaPorta has comparable speed to Travis Kelce. Then we get to superstar receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. Goff has an aggressive coaching staff calling sharp plays and is in one of the best overall situations in all of football. He offers nothing as a runner, but he can crack the top-12 with passing stats. Think of him as the perfect QB2 in Superflex formats.
138. Russell Wilson — QB, Broncos
Russell Wilson deserves a mulligan for last season. Before getting to his own struggles, it’s important to acknowledge:
- Coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired midseason for poor clock management and lack of leadership. Now the team is coached by Sean Payton, who orchestrated the Drew Brees offenses in New Orleans.
- The Denver Broncos’ offensive line was below average. They fortified this unit in free agency.
- WR Jerry Jeudy missed parts of five games due to injury.
- WR Courtland Sutton missed parts of three games due to injury.
- TE Greg Dulcich missed seven games to injury.
- RB Javonte Williams tore his ACL in Week 4.
The team won’t have WR Tim Patrick again, but they do inject speedy Round 2 rookie WR Marvin Mims, whose vertical skill set matches up well with Wilson’s deep balls. Wilson was one of the NFL’s most consistent quarterbacks of the past decade prior to 2022, and he should get back on track in 2023. His path to being a top-12 QB involves his sneaky rushing ability and his long history of efficient passing seasons (at least 31 passing touchdowns in five of six years from 2015-20 before a 25-6 TD-INT ratio in 2021).
139. Dalton Schultz — TE, Texans
No tight end’s fantasy production has been more propped up by the state of the offense than Dalton Schultz in Dallas the past few seasons. Now he leaves Dak Prescott and the NFL’s No. 1 and No. 4 scoring offense of the past two seasons, respectively, to play for a Texans team devoid of receiving talent.
Catching passes from rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud inspires little confidence in the touchdown department, but the volume could be there. I expect Nico Collins or Robert Woods to lead the team in targets, but it wouldn’t be all too surprising if Schultz ended up being the top option there.
I outlined in-depth why being the No. 1 or No. 2 pass-game option is important for tight end fantasy points, and that’s the one reason for optimism with Schultz this season.
140. Jonathan Mingo — WR (Target)
Jonathan Mingo was taken in the second round by the Carolina Panthers, and it’s unclear how the targets shake out in this offense. Mingo may emerge as the No. 1 option for talented rookie Bryce Young, or Mingo could remain buried on the depth chart all year as a rotational player.
He’s a physical specimen, but he’s probably a year away from fantasy relevance after first topping 400 receiving yards as a senior at Ole Miss in 2022.
141. Jayden Reed — WR, Packers (Target)
Reed probably emerges as the team’s WR2 behind Christian Watson, but unless Jordan Love is better than advertised, Reed will hang out on your fantasy bench or waivers.
142. Chuba Hubbard —RB, Panthers (Target)
Former top prospect Chuba Hubbard was once again effective in a change-of-pace role in 2022. He now has at least 600 total yards in back-to-back seasons to begin his career. While Miles Sanders is atop the Panthers’ depth chart, he’s been a major injury risk his entire career and has passing-game limitations.
When Sanders is healthy, Hubbard should see eight to 12 touches per game. If anything happens to Sanders, I’d expect 10-15 carries and two to three receptions per game behind a strong offensive line. He’s a great ZeroRB target who should provide something each week, even with Sanders active.
143. Devin Singletary — RB, Texans
The Bills did not appear eager to re-sign Devin Singletary after four seasons, so the Texans landed him for relative pennies (a one-year, $2.75 million deal). He’s small, slow and an underwhelming pass-catcher.
Fortunately for him, the Texans have a great offensive line, and Dameon Pierce is still unproven. C.J. Stroud is not particularly mobile, and the wide receiver room is probably the NFL’s worst, so there could be ample checkdown opportunities whenever Singletary is on the field.
144. Joshua Kelley — RB, Chargers
Joshua Kelley had twice as many touches as any other Chargers backup last year. He’s competent in all phases, and if Ekeler gets injured, Kelley could be in line for 15 touches per game in one of the NFL’s best offenses.
The reason he’s not ranked higher is due to the Chargers possibly bringing in a veteran runner, and Isaiah Spiller is still trying to usurp Kelley for backup duties.
Make sure you’re following Josh Larky on Twitter, and join our FREE Discord to chat fantasy football all offseason. In season, we’ll be dropping player prop bets each week, along with DFS showdown AMAs and start-sit help.
Tier 10: Pure Dart Throws
145. Chris Evans — RB, Rams
Perine topped 19 PPR fantasy points in every game with at least 15 touches last season. Perine is now in Denver, and Chris Evans is looking more and more like the pass-catching back and general handcuff to Mixon.
146. Zack Moss — RB, Colts
Zack Moss ended last year as the Colts starter, with at least 65 rushing yards in his final four games. While he averaged more than 17 carries per game during that span, he only saw five total targets, catching four of them for 12 yards. He’s a touchdown-dependent fantasy option to begin the 2023 NFL season, while Taylor is on the PUP list. There’s still a chance veteran Deon Jackson or rookie Evan Hull take on this role, so Moss’ ranking may be lower than expected, to factor in that uncertainty.
147. Latavius Murray — RB, Bills (Target)
Damien Harris is currently out because of an injury, and Latavius Murray is one of the NFL’s more reliable veteran backs. He’s reached 160 touches and 700 total yards in seven of his past eight seasons, and he has the most complete skill set among all Bills running backs.
He quietly averaged 12 fantasy points per game for the Broncos last year and could have a similar role this year alongside James Cook.
148. Tyjae Spears — RB, Titans
Tyjae Spears is almost certainly a pure handcuff behind Derrick Henry. Fortunately for Spears, Henry is 29 and running behind the NFL’s worst offensive line. While run blocking should negatively affect Spears, too, it could create more injury opportunities for him to at least see the field more.
He’s small, but he has an all-purpose skill set and could become a top-24 back in relief of Henry.
149. Ty Chandler — RB, Vikings
Ty Chandler currently looks like the Vikings’ RB2 behind Alexander Mattison. Chandler flashed his speed and pass-catching ability early in the preseason, and he offers a much more dynamic skill set than Mattison does.
Unless the Vikings sign a veteran such as Kareem Hunt, Chandler should be in line for eight to 12 touches on Sundays, as well as a heavier workload should something happen to Mattison.
150. Gerald Everett — TE, Chargers
Gerald Everett is buried behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, Quentin Johnston and possibly Josh Palmer. However, Everett is a plus athlete for the position and is coming off career-highs in targets (87), receptions (58), yards (555) and touchdowns (four).
A bet on Everett is a bet on a Chargers offense that could lead the league in passing yards and touchdowns. Everett is a sneaky candidate for high-end touchdown production in 2023.
151. Sam LaPorta — TE, Lions
Sam LaPorta crested 650 receiving yards in each of his final two seasons at Iowa and then blazed at the NFL Combine (a 4.59 40-yard time, faster than Travis Kelce). Amon-Ra St. Brown is the primary slot option in Detroit, and rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs, WR Jameson Williams and reliable veteran WR Marvin Jones should all be ahead of LaPorta for targets in his first year. He’s playing on the fifth-best scoring offense of 2022, so LaPorta has a chance to buck the trend of underwhelming rookie tight ends.
152. Kirk Cousins — QB, Vikings
Kirk Cousins tied with Jared Goff for fifth in touchdown passes last season with 29, and Cousins was fourth in the NFL with 4,547 passing yards. The Vikings replaced aging veteran Adam Thielen with Round 1 WR Jordan Addison in the recent draft and will now have a full season from T.J. Hockenson.
The pieces are in place for a massive season from Cousins as a passer, but Minnesota’s defense should take enough of a step forward in 2023 to negate most of these changes. Brian Flores is the new defensive coordinator, and he should improve a pass defense that allowed the second-most yards per game in 2022.
153. Jerome Ford — RB, Browns
Jerome Ford is 220 pounds and was taken in the fifth round by the Browns in the 2022 Draft. He never saw the field aside from special teams responsibilities, but with Kareem Hunt gone, Ford looks like the direct backup to Nick Chubb.
Ford totaled 220 receiving yards in his final collegiate season at Cincinnati, and any back with size and pass-catching ability can smash in fantasy football given the opportunity. The Browns could bring in another veteran for competition, but right now, Ford is the entrenched backup in what should be an improved Browns offense.
154. Tyler Conklin — TE, Jets (Target)
Tyler Conklin quietly received 87 targets in each of the past two seasons, with at least 58 receptions and 552 yards in each campaign. Three receiving touchdowns in back-to-back seasons capped his fantasy points, but now Rodgers is in town, so the scoring potential for every Jets pass-catcher has been elevated.
Conklin is the darkest horse to sneak into overall TE6 or TE7 territory because 63 receptions, 700 yards and eight touchdowns are on the menu.
155. Juwan Johnson — TE, Saints
Juwan Johnson is a converted wide receiver with an elite 4.58 40-yard time for the tight end position. He earned major playing time last season and turned a 14 percent target share into 508 yards and seven touchdowns. The target share and yardage need to increase for him to be consistently fantasy-relevant, but growth can happen in his second year as a starter.
Carr is most likely a quarterback upgrade from Andy Dalton, and Carr had a penchant for targeting another athletic tight end in Darren Waller. Johnson most likely misses the cut for the top-12 scoring tight ends, but he’s a worthy dart throw at the end of drafts.
156. Clyde Edwards-Helaire — RB, Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire started 2022 strong before injuries took him out for the second half of the season. He now appears to be behind Isiah Pacheco for base work and Jerick McKinnon for pass-game involvement. Fortunately, this also provides two injury outs for Edwards-Helaire to see the field more. Because of the high-scoring Chiefs offense, an injury to either Pacheco or McKinnon should thrust Edwards-Helaire into at least flex territory.
157. Zamir White — RB, Raiders
Josh Jacobs had the fifth-most touches last year (393) among all running backs over the past decade. Jacobs is also currently holding out, most likely due to frustrations surrounding that outrageous workload.
Zamir White is a big, fast, straight-line runner who could provide the occasional chunk gain on offense. He’s not the pass-catcher Jacobs is, but White could still see close to 20 carries per game if Jacobs continues to hold out or goes down with an injury. Think of White as if a poor man’s J.K. Dobbins or Khalil Herbert were thrust into the Raiders’ starting running back role.
158. Chigoziem Okonkwo — TE, Titans
My interest in Chigoziem Okonkwo died a fairly swift death once DeAndre Hopkins signed with the Titans. Okonkwo was on my radar as a breakout tight end candidate after posting elite efficiency during his rookie season – 2.88 yards per route run (first) and targeted on 29.5 percent of his routes (second).
There’s still potential for him to succeed as the third option in a Ryan Tannehill offense — see Jonnu Smith’s eight-touchdown 2020 season — but the speedy (4.52 40-yard time), Year 2 tight end will probably need to be on the pure end of some touchdown variance.
159. Keaontay Ingram — RB, Cardinals
Keaontay Ingram is the only semireliable option behind James Conner in the Cardinals’ backfield. Ingram is nearly 220 pounds, and he caught at least 22 passes in three of his four college seasons. The second-year player has the type of skill set that produces fantasy points based on usage, so even if touchdowns are hard to come by in Arizona, Ingram could still give you around 12 fantasy points from carries and targets should the oft-injured Conner miss time.
160. Myles Gaskin — RB, Vikings
Longtime Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin was recently signed by the Vikings after being cut by Miami. In 2020, he had five games with at least 16 carries and five receptions in four games. In 2021, he had a career-high 173 carries, along with 49 receptions. He didn’t play much in 2022, ceding work to Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson.
It’s unclear how the Vikings view the undersize back, but to Gaskin’s credit, his 2020 and 2021 seasons produced 972 and 846 total yards, respectively. Alexander Mattison has never reached 720 yards in any of his four seasons, so technically, Gaskin has the most experience with a major NFL workload in this backfield.
Gaskin has a solid chance to emerge as the team’s No. 2 back early in the season, and there’s an outside shot he surpasses Mattison on the depth chart by midseason.