It's valuable to analyze all of the information (and misinformation) from preseason action. We apply the context and tape that moves the needle on our YouTube channel every week, but I'll also update my 2023 fantasy football rankings after each preseason week. We can use these rankings in $15M Best Ball Mania or in the $1M Puppy (only $5 to enter). This promo link will match your first deposit up to one hundred dollars. Good luck!
These are half PPR best ball rankings based on Underdog Fantasy scoring, and "2022 Finish" is based on fantasy points over replacement per game.
QB7 Justin Fields was dropped in my rankings after what was a horrific Preseason Week 3. The timing of the offense, the accuracy, and the play-design was worse than what I was hoping for going into year three. If we remove Fields' 3 55+ yard TD runs from last year, he only averaged 15.5 fantasy points per game. He doesn't look as good as Jalen Hurts, not close (yet). ... It's very obvious to see how much Calvin Ridley being a true top receiver will help QB8 Trevor Lawrence throw downfield. ... QB9 Deshaun Watson has reportedly struggled to get into a rhythm in training camp, and his preseason seemed disjointed. It was at least good to see his athleticism bounce back in some runs. ... QB10 Anthony Richardson is the least accurate starting NFL quarterback. He's also the hardest to tackle. This will be a chaotic season, one fueled by an elite offensive pace. They were snapping the ball quickly in the preseason. That's a win. ... QB19 Kenny Pickett won the QB offseason. Camp reports have been nothing but positive. His preseason has been filled with TDs only. Don't sleep on his creativity and more-than-functional arm talent. His weakness was reading defenses. That can improve over time. ... QB23 Mac Jones had a much better camp under legit OC Bill O'Brien, who has installed much-needed RPOs. Those helped Jones throw for a million yards at Alabama. They fit is elite accuracy and quick delivery. ... QB25 C.J. Stroud had two decent games after the Preseason Week 1 disaster. He's my favorite for the best passing production as a rookie. ... QB26 Bryce Young is making some plays, but man, this offense stinks. The receivers can't get open (they're so slow aside from Mingo), and the potential start LT is getting beat repeatedly. I wouldn't be surprised if the RB was a focal point in the offense to save Bryce from taking a beating. ... The Cardinals keep trading players for draft picks, and just traded for system-knower Josh Dobbs to run their offense. None of this is a good sign for QB30 Kyler Murray's 2023 production. He's on the PUP list (out at least 4 games), with a real chance of not playing at all this year.
RB7 Josh Jacobs negotiated a $2M raise. He was the RB4 last year and not much has changed this year. ... I fear RB10 Jonathan Taylor will open the season on PUP list (out 4 games) if he doesn't get traded. He wants long-term money. The hope is that he's traded before the season. ... RB12 Dameon Pierce has played on 89% of the preseason snaps, actually playing on passing downs. He already had RB15 fantasy usage in the league's worst offense last year. I'm happy to be really high on him. ... RB16 Miles Sanders (groin) returned to practice. The Panthers' weakness at WR/TE mean there's a need for a bunch of Sanders' touches. ... RB20 Najee Harris converted a goal-line TD, and the coaching staff defended him after more Jaylen Warren plays. He could luck into a bunch of TDs if this offense takes a big leap, which I think is fairly likely. ... RB22 James Conner gets a knock down for me, going from check-down-king Colt McCoy to dual-threat Josh Dobbs as the starting QB. ... RB25 Isiah Pacheco (shoulder) played in Preseason Week 3, but post-hype sleeper RB52 Clyde Edwards-Helaire did start. Hmmmmm. ... RB29 James Cook was the most-steamed fantasy back this training camp, until big dog Damien Harris returned to the lineup to vulture the 190-pounder at the goal line. If that holds, Cook is stuck on the RB2/3 border. ... RB34 Khalil Herbert remains the Bears' starter, which could mean RB57 D'Onta Foreman gets moved. RB49 Roschon Johnson is mixing in with starters as the passing-down back. He can pass protect. ... RB45 Tank Bigsby is mixing in with the starters, but he did fumble his carry from the 6-yard line. The next series, RB14 Travis Etienne converted a 2-yard line TD. Bigsby is mostly insurance, which is fine if his price doesn't keep skyrocketing. ... RB58 Jerome Ford now competes with ex-Patriot Pierre Strong after a trade. ... RB64 Rico Dowdle, who hasn't been drafted often in BBM4, looks like the favorite to be Tony Pollard's sidekick. Malik Davis just isn't good enough.
WR8 Garrett Wilson and Rodgers seem to be on the same page. In fact, Rodgers is throwing him balls after pre-snap audibles. I have him ahead of Lamb and Amon-Ra. ... WR22 Diontae Johnson is one of my highest-drafted players. He's dominating targets and air yards in a much-improved offense. The usage will be there. ... That was a pretty quiet camp from WR24 Christian Watson, who was a big-play machine last offseason. ... WR38 Michael Pittman will have to work hard for his catches this year, but at least the offense is playing with elite pace. While we're here, WR73 Alec Pierce has created approximately zero (0) separation all preseason. ... WR40 Jaxon Smith-Njigba (wrist) isn't going on PUP, meaning the Seahawks are hopeful he returns before Week 4. That's better than the worst-case scenario. I believe he misses the first two or three games. ... WR44 Treylon Burks (knee) returned to limited practice. He could be back by Week 1. Buy the dip. ... WR53 Allen Lazard benefits from Corey Davis's retirement. Randall Cobb is somehow starting in the slot, with Mecole Hardman mixing in. ... WR48 Kadarius Toney (knee) could be back by Week 1. He has the most theoretical upside, as the rest of the Chiefs' receivers rotate. ... WR56 Quentin Johnston is on the 2022 Treylon Burks path of not having an early-season role and maybe needing an entire year to work on his underdeveloped skills. Joshua Palmer has rested with the starters all preseason, while Johnston has played well into the second quarter with the backups. ... WR64 Adam Thielen will get targets, but it's been an iffy preseason to watch. His speed is shot. ...
TE12 Dalton Kincaid ran a route on 71% of the Preseason Week 3 dropbacks with the starters, while being subbed out on plenty of runs. He can't block at a starter-level. The Bills will still make him a defacto slot WR at times, so fringe TE1/2 production is a fine projection. His option routes have been fun to watch. ... TE13 Luke Musgrave is an almost every down player. That's so rare for a rookie going into the year, and he's flashed some legit upside. If there's a rookie TE that breaks narratives, I like Musgrave the best. He could be top-8 in routes. ... TE16 Dalton Schultz is paid like a full-time player, but he was in more of a rotation than expected this preseason, mostly only playing in 11-personnel. It's a new system, one that asks a lot from their TEs as a blocker (see: George Kittle). That's not necessarily Schultz's game, so maybe his playing time is worse than let on. I moved him down a few spots. ... TE17 Tyler Conklin will have a solid role attached to Aaron Rodgers. If there's a rando TE that scores 8 TDs, Conklin could be it. ... TE26 Michael Mayer hasn't received much buzz publicly, but leaping Austin Hooper isn't a tall task over time. He was a very good receiving prospect.