My 2023 fantasy football rankings are here, but just because I'm higher or lower on a player versus ADP doesn't mean I'm always drafting or fading them. That's because I want to correlate my teams when things fall into my laps. It's also because I have general strategies for each position. With that said, this is a player takes program and I will keep them coming.
While we're here, I wanted to rant on "player exposure".
It's not +EV (or -EV) to be over- or under-weight on players. It's just risk preference. If the players you like go off this year, it was +EV to draft them. If they don't, then it was bad.
For the most part I like to stay in 20-40% range for the players I like the most.
The only thing that is -EV with being too high on a player is it means you're very likely reaching on that player ahead of ADP, which is a -EV strategy most of the time. It's just hard to get a player 50% of the time unless you're drafting them well ahead of ADP.
The only times I'll get that high on a player is 1) early in the offseason and 2) with the latest-round players. You'll see a few of them below.
He's been a top-5 overall player in two straight years, yet has an ADP of 11.4 right now. Will that repeat? Likely no, but he has just as high of odds to be a top-5 pick as anyone not inside the top-5.
A top-5 overall player last year, Jacobs goes in Round 3. I don't get it.
A "better in best ball" king, Williams sits in a bit of a Round 4 WR Dead Zone right now next to Christian Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and D.J. Moore, all of whomst I think are overdrafted. I also draft Williams in hopes of getting Justin Herbert in the following round. If I don't get one of the true Elite QB1s, then I want to aim for Herbert, Lawrence, or Watson in this range. That means prioritizing their WRs in Round 4.
He's starting to creep up in ADP, and rightfully so. There's risk with Mixon of course, but the most likely outcome is he has at least the role he had last year when he was a volatile RB1/2. He should be a Round 3/4 pick and likely gets there eventually, so I'm riding his ADP up. Mixon could even be better than he was last year, as Samaje Perine played legit snaps and saw 4.9 expected TDs himself. Mixon is on the list to lead the NFL in scores. Rare for someone like that to be available where Mixon is now.
I just think he's pretty good, and Jacoby Brissett is probably the best QB he's ever played with. Other WRs in this range are being dragged up for stacking purposes, and I'm fine with adding McLaurin as a one off in Round 5.
I don't like the WRs around him. Michael Pittman could struggle with Anthony Richardson and JSN goes too early versus projections for him. Godwin also would get a boost if he's traded (likely to a contender) or if Mike Evans is traded in the final year of his deal. More importantly, I like the RBs in Round 2 and 3, but I refuse to leave drafts without 3-5 WRs by Round 7-8, meaning I dip my WR toes into this Round 4-7 range constantly.
As you can see in this range, I'm hammering WRs after scooping up some RB value in Rounds 2-3 or after grabbing an elite QB. Aiyuk doesn't really move the needle for me, but the Niners could pass a bit more if Brock Purdy does in fact start. Aiyuk beats this ADP if Deebo or Kittle miss time.
Justin Jefferson led the NFL in routes. Adam Thielen was second. Addison is a perfect complement to Jefferson, who will give Addison the single coverage he needs to win. Addison will certainly go higher in August. It's time to buy.
He won't fully regress to the NFL mean because he's not that great, but DJ is an all time positive regression candidate in 2023. It's not just TDs. It's his deep targets, too. We should expect Kenny Pickett to play better in his second season, especially with an improved OL. I also don't mind adding Pickett as my QB2 on elite QB builds, so Pickens and Johnson are nice additions in this range for correlation purposes.
This is what I wrote in Ranking The 2022 WR Class Heading Into Year Two: "Underrated. Dotson projected as a vertical slot, but he showcased outside talent as a rookie. He is long for his size, and his impressive ball tracking downfield allows him to play even bigger. In fact, he caught 61% of his contested targets (that's very good). Because of his slot background, Dotson also has great feel to work underneath, over the middle, and in zone coverage. He's fluid in all phases, including against press man coverage in the red zone. The only thing missing before he takes another step is more schemed up looks. Ex-OC Scott Turner used Curtis Samuel in this schemed-slot role, but Dotson would also shine here if given more opportunities (26% slot and a higher-than-expected 15.4 average depth of target). Without schemed looks, some of his advanced numbers, like targets per route run (0.15) and yards per route run (1.4), will suffer. Having the ghost of Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke also ruined his numeric consistency. The only buyer beware is an unrealistic TD rate. Dotson scored +3.7 more times than expected, the 4th highest of all WRs."
He's a 220-pound RB on a 2-year, $12M guaranteed contract. Montgomery is likely set up for a majority of Detroit's goal line snaps, plus can handle a full bellcow workload if Jahmyr Gibbs gets hurt (199 pounds) or just isn't good as a rookie. I'll be drafting more Montgomery for the rest of the offseason now that his ADP has settled in as the RB28. As a reminder, D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams were both top-20 fantasy RBs last year.
Cleveland has more upside than given credit for, and I like Moore's chance of meaningful snaps as a slot and potentially as a No. 2 receiver next to Amari Cooper in 2-TE sets. He'll battle with Donovan Peoples-Jones and Cedric Tillman for that responsibility. Both were drafted well after Moore in recent classes.
I've liked the RB values more than the WR values at similar ADPs throughout the draft, so when Boyd's at the top of the queue, I've been in need of WRs. Boyd offers real contingent value if either Ja'Marr Chase or Tee Higgins were to miss time. I'm also not drafting the WRs around him often (Odell Beckham, Allen Lazard, Jakobi Meyers, Darnell Mooney).
I think D'Andre Swift is overrated and could slide into a fancy version of the yawn-able Kenny Gainwell role. Meanwhile, Penny arguably fits best into the Miles Sanders role, yet Swift goes 43 picks earlier.
There's a chance he has a few usable weeks in blowout wins or thanks to random TDs, but Mitchell also has 100 yards per game upside if 27-year-old Christian McCaffrey were to miss some time. He's the top insurance RB in fantasy right now with only Ty Davis-Price (who was worse than Trey Sermon!) behind him.
I don't like the Elite TE costs, so Schultz is often my TE1 now that his ADP is in Round 10/11. He goes 50 picks after Darren Waller for example. Schultz should dominate target share in similar ways, and I like the Texans odds of beating current offensive projections because their OL is top-10 and I think C.J. Stroud is better than the market's opinions of him. Drafting Schultz also sets me up to stack the Texans, who are all being drafted well into the double digit rounds. I'm fine with Stroud as my QB2 on Elite QB teams, which I have prioritized.
This will sound fun until DeAndre Hopkins makes his way onto the Chiefs' roster in June. Rice, for now, is a rookie dart throw attached to Mahomes. I won't be chasing him up the boards any further. My bags are packed.
See the Dalton Schultz blurb from above. The only other thing to note is Collins' size and downfield ability sticks out versus the rest of this horrendous WR depth chart.
He's likely a contingent-only RB behind Bijan Robinson, but Allgeier showed RB2/3 value in a bad offense as a rookie. The Falcons likely score more in 2023, so if Robinson were to miss time I'd be ranking him as a solid RB2; Allgeier averaged 120 total yards in his four games after his Post-Bye Rookie Bump. There's also a chance Allgeier can have a few spike weeks with Atlanta ranking 8th in RB fantasy usage last year. He goes 25 picks after Elijah Mitchell, who is a similar usage profile (and who I also like at cost).
I don't necessarily want Everett this much, but he's a fine Late Round TE pick and fits into all of these Chargers stacks I've been drafting.
The offense should be better in 2023, and he improved his yards per carry to 4.9 in his second season. Most importantly, Carolina's No. 3 RB is ex-UDFA scat back Raheem Blackshear. If something happens to Miles Sanders, Hubbard comfortably projects as their lead back and as a fantasy FLEX option. He's one of the latest-drafted RBs to be his team's clear No. 2 RB.
He's Nick Chubb's projected backup with only special-teamer Demetric Felton behind him. Ford's ADP will climb as soon as Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, and Kareem Hunt find landing spots. The Browns are reportedly high on Ford, however, so the odds one of them signs in Cleveland is likely exaggerated. Ford also goes late enough (ADP: 194) where we should assume he's not being drafted every time. There's some drafted rate uniqueness here.
The second-year TE mixed in as a rookie and showed some starter traits on tape. Ferguson is pretty fluid and can handle his own as a blocker. He'll compete with 24-year-old 2nd-round rookie Luke Schoonmaker, who profiled as a blocking type. I like Ferguson's odds of leading the Cowboys in routes. That's been enough for Dalton Schultz to have some upside.
I'm on Late Round TE (again). I wrote about why here, but with Musgrave in particular, I like his every-down skillset and the fact that he's competing with another rookie for snaps this year. I also fall into Jordan Love as my QB2 because he's stackable late in the draft. Musgrave also only gets drafted under 25% of the time based on his 213.4 ADP. I like to add on a largely undrafted TE in Round 18.
He's a largely undrafted TE in Round 18 who is also the 2nd-highest paid TE in the entire league. Henry will be in a near every-down role, even with slot TE Mike Gesicki in town (on a very small contract). Henry is a bet against Matt Patricia as an OC.