Fantasy football truly is a year-round obsession. Best ball, rookie drafts, startups, and dynasty trades prove that – for the degenerates among us – there really is no offseason.
This is why I will not be giving my initial 2023 draft rankings a “way too early” label. It is never too early to start thinking about rankings with drafts taking place and dynasty trading windows back open. With that in mind, I present my initial 2023 rankings.
Rankings are meant to be a reflection of how I see player values heading into the start of the offseason. Like many of you, I already have begun drafting for 2023. The way I have players slotted is roughly where I have been taking them in early best-ball drafts, with players locked into relatively secure roles or impending free agents expected to command a lot of interest seeing bumps over players dealing with more uncertainty.
Rankings are sorted by position with additional commentary for players that I have significantly higher or lower than the early FantasyPros consensus rankings and best ball ADP (BestBall10’s). Rookies are not included as we are missing the most critical metrics, including landing spot, to properly slot them with veterans that have production history and established roles.
- Recent reports about Kyler Murray and his chances of being ready for the start of the 2023 season are becoming increasingly pessimistic. Despite this, he is still going off the board as the QB12 in early BB10 drafts. I am avoiding him at this price and have him as my QB21, six spots below consensus until I hear better news.
- Jared Goff was a mid-range QB1 in 2022, and it seems like no one cares. Goff has both a consensus ranking and an ADP of QB17, making him one of the best values at the position in early drafts.
- Having Tua Tagovailoa as my QB18 is probably my most controversial ranking, as I have him seven spots below consensus. I do tend to be risk-averse in early best ball, and his concussion history has me worried. I simply cannot draft him as a low-end QB1 if I am worried about him potentially missing a sizable percentage of the season if he were to be concussed again. I do understand his ceiling is massive, so you will have to weigh the risk/reward. I would be more likely to take him in a tournament or winner-take-all format than a 50/50 league.
|5||Kenneth Walker III||SEA||RB|
|9||Travis Etienne Jr.||JAC||RB|
|29||Brian Robinson Jr.||WAS||RB|
|46||Jeff Wilson Jr.||MIA||RB|
|64||Pierre Strong Jr.||NE||RB|
- Alvin Kamara had a disappointing 2022, finishing as the PPR RB19. He is a year older, playing for a team in transition, and is dealing with a legal issue that refuses to go away. His early ADP of RB12 is too high and seemingly based on name recognition trumping reality.
- Similar to Murray, Javonte Williams has an ADP and consensus ranking (both right at RB17) that is not reflective of his potential to miss the start of the season and produce less than he was prior to tearing ACL, PCL, and LCL. It will not be an easy road for Williams to return to form, and I am out on him in early drafts.
- Dameon Pierce was the RB15 through Week 14 despite playing on a Texans offense that featured few playmakers. There is some concern that Houston adds a pass-catching back in a deep draft, but it is just as likely that the Texans’ offense adds talent throughout, allowing Pierce to improve upon his strong rookie campaign with more goal-line opportunities. His ADP and ECR, in the 20s, seem too low.
- Leonard Fournette is a potential cut candidate, and if he does return to Tampa, there is no telling what the offense will look like and how many touches he will concede to Rachaad White. His early ADP of RB21 isn’t outlandish, but there is just too much uncertainty for me to take him at his cost.
- I am more likely to be loading up on rookies to fill out my collection of running backs, but if you are looking for a veteran to target late, there is growing buzz surrounding the potential for an increased role for Chargers RB Joshua Kelley next season. My concern is that they add to their running back room, but if Kelley makes it through free agency and the draft as the Chargers’ backup, his ADP will leap.
- I’m cheating since I do not actually have rookies in my rankings, but if you are doing early best ball, you need to be targeting running backs with strong receiving profiles. Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs have justifiably gone early, but backs like Sean Tucker, Devon Achane, and Tyjae Spears will never be priced lower than they are now.
|9||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||WR|
|25||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||WR|
|56||DJ Chark Jr.||DET||WR|
|64||Allen Robinson II||LAR||WR|
|80||John Metchie III||HOU||WR|
|81||Terrace Marshall Jr.||CAR||WR|
|87||Marvin Jones Jr.||JAC||WR|
- Keenan Allen has an early ADP of WR13, which is fair, but with his turning 31 in April and talk of him being a potential cut candidate, I have been fading him at his cost. Allen has always benefited from elite volume and QB play. If he sees a drop in targets, moves onto another team (and a likely QB downgrade), or struggles with injuries for a second season in a row, he will have a difficult time putting up numbers that justify his ADP.
- Treylon Burks had a disappointing, injury-plagued rookie season that has resulted in him being a strong value-play in early drafts. Both his ADP and ECR have him right at WR40, which is simply too low for a talented receiver locked into his team’s No. 1 role. It seems to me that he is priced at his floor.
- Michael Thomas has played three games in two seasons, is on a Saints team with no clear offensive identity, and turns 30 next month. His current ADP of WR44 is higher than Jahan Dotson, Jakobi Meyers, and every rookie receiver. I understand his historic production, but I cannot take him at his current cost, especially in 50/50 drafts.
- There is a pretty significant gap between Nico Collins’ ADP (WR68) and his ECR (WR55). With Brandin Cooks wanting out of Houston and a QB upgrade expected to be on tap, I have Collins much closer to his consensus ranking than his ADP. Even with the likely addition of veteran or rookie help, Collins should maintain a significant role and is an excellent target in the teens rounds of early best ball drafts as a sixth or seventh wide receiver.
|29||Irv Smith Jr.||MIN||TE|
- Zach Ertz turns 33 next season, is not a sure thing to be ready for Week 1, and is a potential cut candidate. He currently has both an ADP and ECR of TE14. I will not be having any shares of Ertz until his 2023 role becomes more clear.
- Even if Ertz remains a Cardinal and is able to take the field in Week 1, he will still have to contend with talented second-year tight end Trey McBride. McBride flashed enough in 2022 to earn a significant role next season, making him a value at his current ADP of TE23. I have him one spot above consensus as the TE18.
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