2023 Fantasy Football Rookie-Only Rankings: Top 40 rookies for PPR, Superflex, and tight end premium leagues

It’s not uncommon to see coaches and players openly express their distaste for Fantasy Football. But you know what they say about sticks and stones. What really hurts is action, and Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks chose violence against 2023 rookie drafts.

Carroll’s Seahawks took WR1 Jaxon Smith-Njigba to join DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in Seattle. Last year this team threw a combined 75 passes to all wide receivers not names Metcalf or Lockett. Then they took Zach Charbonnet and said they’ll play both Charbonnet and Kenneth Walker in the backfield – two RB1s killed with one pick. Smith-Njigba and Charbonnet are both still in my initial top 12 in the top 40 below, but they’re both ranked lower than they were pre-draft. Dynasty is about a lot more than next year, but that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore next year either.

The following rankings are for one-QB PPR leagues. I gave some thoughts about the top 25 players. Scroll to the bottom of the article for a spreadsheet with my Superflex, non-PPR, and tight end premium top 40s.

I’ll have more on the top 40 in Tuesday morning’s Dynasty Download newsletter. Subscribe here:

1. Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

If this was a tiers article, this tier would be called the island, because Robinson is all alone as a prospect. He landed in an offense that had one of the best run-blocking units in the league with a coach who regularly produces 500-rush-attempt seasons. Robinson is outstanding as a rusher and a receiver, even succeeding while lined up as a slot. Robinson is RB1 overall, not just in the rookie class and the No. 3 player in one-QB Dynasty leagues, We’re even considering him in Round 1 of redraft leagues. Dan Schneier evaluated Robinson’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

2. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Detroit Lions

One of the most shocking picks of the drafts was when the Lions took Gibbs with the 12th pick of the draft. With D’Andre Swift traded to Philadelphia, Gibbs will take over a role that has top-10 upside per game whenever he’s healthy. Gibbs has a better receiving profile than Swift and just as much big play ability. Gibbs is a top-10 running back in Dynasty and a Round 2 pick in start-ups. If Gibbs earns Swift’s role right away and stays healthy, he could join Robinson in providing RB1 production as a rookie. Dave Richard evaluated Gibbs’ game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

3. Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Addison leapfrogs Smith-Njigba in my rankings because of landing spot, but that’s not a big adjustment as I had Addison as WR2 before the draft. His route-running is special and his production profile is spectacular. The fact that he weighs less than 180 pounds does hurt his floor, but I’m not sure matters to his ceiling. Addison should have no trouble getting open with the coverage Justin Jefferson draws and there’s plenty of volume in Minnesota’s pass-heavy attack to support two start Fantasy wide receivers. Dan evaluated Addison’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

4. Anthony Richardson, QB, Indianapolis Colts

The fact that Richardson is in the top five tells you a little bit about the strength of the class, a little more about how I feel about the landing spots, and a lot about the upside of Anthony Richardson. If he wins the job by Week 1, I expect him to be a top-12 QB in 2023. He has the same coach that just developed Jalen Hurts, who was allowed to run the ball 10 times per game the past two seasons. If Richardson is even passable as a passer, he has top-five upside with that type of rush volume. He’s already a top-10 QB for me in Dynasty. Dave evaluated Richardson’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

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5. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Smith-Njigba was my favorite receiver before the draft and I still think he has a chance to be a top-12 WR in the league. First. he needs Lockett to decline. If that starts this year, we could see a second-half surge from JSN that makes me regret dropping him behind Addison. For now, he’s a top-25 Dynasty WR with the upside to move into the top 12 if he outplays Lockett as a rookie. Dave evaluated Smith-Njigba’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

6. Quentin Johnston, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Johnston got the Round 1 draft capital that we were hoping for and he got tied to Justin Herbert, which may be even more valuable. Like Smith-Njigba, I worry about Year 1 volume, but Johnston’s long-term QB situation looks better than anyone in the top 12. That’s not the only way he sticks out on this list, nobody else can match his size/speed combo. Johnston comes in around WR30 in the Dynasty rankings, but like JSN he could move up quickly if he earns targets with his competition. Dan evaluated Johnston’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

7. Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Flowers was one spot ahead of Johnston in my pre-draft rankings but even with Lamar Jackson signed and Todd Monken calling plays, I’m still not sure this is my favorite landing spot. Even if they pass more, they aren’t going to throw like the Chargers, and I’d expect Mark Andrews to remain WR1 in this offense much like Travis Kelce in Kansas City. Flowers is a Dynasty WR3 and just barely a Round 1 pick in Superflex leagues. Dan evaluated Flowers’ game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

8. Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers

Young has the skills to be a great NFL QB, but like Addison there are questions about his size, in fact, Young’s questions are probably bigger. No pun intended. The connection to Frank Reich gives Young a boost, and I believe he will run more in the NFL than he did in college. If that’s true, he could be a Fantasy starter as soon as this year, but you should probably view him as a backup in 2023 who could take over for your starter in 2024. Dave evaluated Young’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

9. C.J. Stroud, QB Houston Texans

I would buy that Stroud may be slightly more attractive strictly as a passer. I am considerably more worried about his landing spots than Young’s and especially the weapons he has around him. Stroud enters 2023 with Nico Collins, Robert Woods, John Metchie, and Tank Dell as his top receivers. I wouldn’t expect much more than low-end QB2 play from him this year. Both Young and Stroud are borderline QB1s in Dynasty for now. Dave evaluated Stroud’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

10. Zach Charbonnet, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Most backfields are a committee, but it’s especially perilous to be drafted right behind a Round 2 pick who just had a very good rookie year. I believe Charbonnet may be better than Walker on both short yardage and on passing downs, which could eventually make him a top-20 back, but for now he’s a No. 3 with upside but very little 2023 floor. Thanks, Pete. Dan evaluated Charbonnet’s game film and wrote up a complete scouting report here.

11. Devon Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins

Achane was a Round 2 rookie pick before he landed in Miami to compete with Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. He’s blazing fast and fits perfectly into the Dolphins run scheme. I expect Mostert and Wilson to begin camp with the veteran’s edge, but as long as Achane can stay healthy and learn his assignments he should have no trouble taking the job.

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12. Jonathan Mingo, WR, Carolina Panthers

Mingo rounds out the top 12 as one the biggest risers thanks to his Round 2 draft capital and target opportunity in Carolina. He has the potential to be the best rookie WR in 2023 if everything goes right. He’s probably the last player you could say that about, which makes it a nice place for a round break.

13. Israel Abanikanda, RB, New York Jets

It seems most people are downgrading Abanikanda after he joined the Breece Hall in New York. While I get that, I’m not sure it crushes his value. New offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has preferred a two-back set in the past, and Abanikanda has the big-play upside to make a splash on 30% of the touches. With Breece Hall coming off an ACL injury, it’s even possible we get to start the rookie early in the season. He won’t even turn 21 until October, so there is plenty of time for him to find a lead role.

14. Tyjae Spears, RB, Tennessee Titans

Spears was a top-12 pick before the draft but takes a slight step back after landing behind Derrick Henry in Tennessee. It was revealed during the draft process that he doesn’t have an ACL and may make him a one-contract back. That isn’t as a big a deal for a running back who might start Year 1, but a wasted rookie year combined with a shortened horizon makes Spears no better than a Round 2 pick.

15. Marvin Mims, WR, Denver Broncos

Mims was my WR5 coming into the draft and was only passed by Mingo who got more draft capital and a quicker path to targets. Still, I’m pretty excited about Sean Payton trading up into Round 2 to get Mims and will vault the rookie into my top 12 if Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy is traded.

16. Josh Downs, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Long-term, this could be a pretty fantastic landing spot. If Anthony Richardson hits, Downs could absolutely develop into his No. 1 wide receiver. But his value is dinged a little by how dire things look for the Colts passing game in 2023. It could really hurt Downs’ development if they’re running the ball 550 times and the targets he receivers aren’t accurate.

17. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Buffalo Bills

I’m the low guy on Kincaid and the rest of the tight ends in this class, I believe. While the Buffalo landing spot is intriguing, it’s only intriguing if the Bills change their offensive philosophy or if Kincaid plays full time as slot receiver. Dawson Knox is inked to a significant deal and I don’t think he’s going away. My advice on Kincaid and the other rookie TEs is to set a reminder on your phone to trade for them in October of 2024.

18. Kendre Miller, RB, New Orleans Saints

Miller could have a role as early as Week 1, depending on how the Alvin Kamara legal problems shake out. And even if Kamara plays 17 games this year, both he and Jamaal Williams will be 28 when we get to Week 1, so Miller shouldn’t have to wait all that long. He produced 1,515 yards from scrimmage with 17 touchdowns last year, but he has some work to do to prove he can play on passing downs, much less earn Kamara volume.

19. Michael Wilson, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Wilson flew under my radar a little pre-draft because he’s an older player without a great production profile. But he’s one of the few big receivers in this class and he was taken on Day 2 by a Cardinals team that is trying to jettison DeAndre Hopkins. If that actually happens, Wilson could start opposite Marquise Brown with Rondale Moore or Greg Dortch in the slot. Worst case, he learns under Hopkins for a year.

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20. Jalin Hyatt, WR, New York Giants

Hyatt somehow just won the Biletnikoff Award and is still a bit of an unknown. That’s because Tennessee’s scheme both helped create the separation and production while also preventing Hyatt from showing the depth of his route tree or an ability to beat press coverage. What we know is that he has top-end speed and big-play ability that is lacking from this Giants’ offense.

21. Michael Mayer, TE, Las Vegas Raiders22. Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions

I go back and forth between Mayer and LaPorta. For the last three years, Mayer has been viewed as the better prospect but they were both so hampered by their college offenses that it is hard to know for sure. LaPorta was drafted first and goes to a team with more immediate opportunity. I’d expect Mayer to be drafted earlier than this in most rookie drafts, but LaPorta may last until Round 3 in some drafts. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if LaPorta is the better Fantasy option over the next three years.

23. Jayden Reed, WR, Green Bay Packers

Reed fits in nicely alongside Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in Green Bay. Expect a lot of slot snaps and perhaps some gimmick plays as well. He’s also a strong candidate to return kicks for the Packers. Both Watson and Doubs missed time last year, so Reed could have an opportunity to be more than a No. 3 receiver. Don’t be surprised if he holds on to a larger role if he gets the chance.

24. Nathanial Dell, WR, Houston Texans

Dell is just 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, both of which are glaring red flags for an NFL receiver. He produced 2,727 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns over his last two seasons at Houston. He joins a Texans team with a brand new rookie QB and nothing close to a No. 1 wide receiver. His target competition in his first year will be Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and fellow draftee Xavier Hutchinson. There’s no reason he can’t lead this team in targets.

25. Tank Bigsby, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

A best-case scenario for Bigsby is that he becomes the thunder to Travis Etienne’s lightning in Jacksonville. He has the skillset to do it. That could produce an outlier season like what we got from Jamaal Williams in 2022, but more likely it will be an A.J. Dillon-like role that makes Bigsby a flex. Bigsby will have plenty of competition for the role, with Snoop Conner and D’Ernest Johnson both vying for the same role. And there’s no guarantee Etienne is giving up as much work as Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams did last year.

Rest of the top 40

26. Zach Evans, RB, Los Angeles Rams27. Roschon Johnson, RB, Chicago Bears28. Eric Gray, RB, New York Giants29. Will Levis, QB, Tennessee Titans30. Cedric Tillman, WR, Cleveland Browns31. Darnell Washington, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers32. Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Dallas Cowboys33. Sean Tucker, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers34. Luke Musgrave, TE, Green Bay Packers35. Deuce Vaughn, RB, Dallas Cowboys36. Chase Brown, RB, Cinicnnati Bengals37. Hendon Hooker, QB, Detroit Lions38. Kayshon Boutte, WR, New England Patriots39. Rashee Rice, WR, Kansas City, Chiefs40. Parker Washington, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

The spreadsheet below is color coded by tier for PPR rookie-only drafts. The far left numbers are my pre-draft rankings, followed by PPR, Non-PPR, Superflex, and Tight End Premium rankings:

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