Below are the 20 most important risers and fallers in my top 160 fantasy football cheat sheet. Click here for a free, downloadable, color-coded PDF to bring as your draft companion.
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Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers
Deshaun Watson fell slightly in the rankings, as camp reports about his processing speed and decision-making have been fairly mixed. He’s still a player I’m actively targeting in drafts, but it’s important to temper expectations slightly if he’s consistently struggling.
Tank Bigsby has gotten more work than I’m comfortable seeing in short-yardage situations, such as third-and-1, during the preseason. I’m still confident Travis Etienne is the Jaguars’ lead back, but his touchdown upside decreases if Bigsby siphons even a third of the goal-line touches.
A trade could increase Jonathan Taylor’s overall fantasy value because QB Anthony Richardson’s mobility neutralizes his receiving usage. However, Taylor’s relationship with the Colts is tenuous. The slight downgrade is due to overall uncertainty and the fact that the Colts cannot find a trade partner.
Their relationship is already fractured, and I don’t like drafting players who have a volatile relationship with the team’s front office.
August 29 Update: Taylor will start 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.
Drafting Harris is a bet on volume and health after last year’s Lisfranc (foot) injury, but Warren appears competent enough to command 30 percent or more of the backfield touches.
Breece Hall’s ADP continues to drop. Even though I view him as having a better version of the Aaron Jones role alongside Aaron Rodgers, I don’t want to be too far ahead of the market. Hall often goes in late Round 4 or early Round 5, so I moved him into the early fourth round. This allows you to target him more intelligently.
Dameon Pierce has looked like a workhorse in the preseason. Devin Singletary wasn’t highly regarded in Buffalo or the team would have offered him a contract larger than the one-year, $2.75 million deal the Texans gave him. Pierce could have a top-10 role among running backs in 2023.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still haven’t added any actual backfield competition, setting Rachaad White up for a heavy workload. He’ll keep moving up the Cheat Sheet every few days so long as Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Sean Tucker and Chase Edmonds are the backup options.
James Cook has seen strong usage in the preseason. The undersized back without a truly special pass-catching skill set remains on my fade list, but he does move up the ranks slightly. Damien Harris’ questionable health certainly doesn’t hurt Cook’s case.
Rookie De’Von Achane suffered an AC joint sprain and will miss out on valuable preseason reps.
Samaje 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 Joe Mixon.
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.
The timeline for Jerry Jeudy’s return from a hamstring injury is unclear, but he probably won’t be ready until late September. While his per-game projection doesn’t change much, there’s the added risk of in-season re-injury in addition to however many games he initially misses.
Terry McLaurin is dealing with turf toe. While it might not keep him out of Week 1, he drops a few spots in the rankings in case of complications.
Christian Kirk was the Jacksonville Jaguars’ best receiver last year. While it was concerning Zay Jones was ahead of him in two receiver sets during the recent preseason game, there’s no need to push the panic button.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba recently underwent surgery on his wrist that could keep him out early in September. He doesn’t fall far because he was always going to be a bench stash, but fellow rookies Jordan Addison and Quentin Johnston now leapfrog him in the rankings.
Jeudy’s hamstring injury elevates Courtland Sutton, who might be Denver’s No.1 receiver to start the season.
In the recent preseason game, Jones started ahead of Kirk in two-receiver sets.
Jameson Williams’ hamstring injury will keep him out of the remainder of the preseason. These early reps were important for Williams to make an impression because he’s already suspended for the team’s first six games.
With Kadarius Toney nursing a knee injury, Rashee Rice has been third on the team in preseason snaps with the starters, behind only Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. These valuable reps could help Rice carve out a meaningful role earlier in the season.
All Denver pass-catchers were slightly elevated when Jeudy hurt his hamstring. The second-round rookie should see significant playing time in Week 1, with Tim Patrick (Achilles) also on the shelf.
Adam Trautman playing more snaps with the starters than Greg Dulcich has in the preseason is concerning. He didn’t fall too far, though, because Jeudy’s hamstring injury has an unknown timetable and could lead to more playing time for all pass-catchers.