2023 Fantasy Football Rankings After Preseason Week 2

Aug 22nd 2023

Hayden Winks

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!

2023 Fantasy Football Rankings

These are half PPR best ball rankings based on Underdog Fantasy scoring, and "2022 Finish" is based on fantasy points over replacement per game.

Preseason Week 2 Notes

QB2 Lamar Jackson has his entire skill group back on the field. I'm making an aggressive rankings change here, as his upside case is so obvious under a new play-caller. ... QB5 Justin Fields doesn't move because of screens. ... QB10 Anthony Richardson was named the Week 1 starter, as expected given their coaching comments all offseason. ... QB11 Daniel Jones looks improved again, and he now has the coaching staff and weapons to pass the ball a bit. He's my favorite non-elite QB in fantasy. ... QB19 Brock Purdy converted his Mickey Mouse dropbacks in his return to the field. Sam Darnold played pretty well with the twos (on fewer Mickey Mouse plays), while Trey Lance looks like a healthy scratch option with the threes. ... QB20 Kenny Pickett is way more "fun" as a player than you give him credit for. He throws on the run very well. Loved his back-shoulder TD here. Don't sleep on the 2nd-year breakout. ... QB23 Mac Jones moved the ball, thankfully seeing some increased RPO passes that take advantage of quick release and A-tier accuracy. That gives him a chance this year, though the RT spot looks iffy. ... QB25 C.J. Stroud looked infinitely more comfortable, throwing on time and getting his eyes to the right spot repeatedly. Stroud has had to move around the pocket more in preseason than he did in college. I think he has a chance to have a good 2nd-half of 2023. ... QB26 Bryce Young hasn't had a chance to make any plays behind an iffy OL with a very iffy starting WR trio. ... QB29 Sam Howell was named the Week 1 starter. He has to avoid turnovers with this conservative coaching staff. He has the weapons and scrambling ability to be viable in deep leagues. ... QB30 Desmond Ridder has some alphas at RB, WR, and TE. Their catch radiuses will come in handy, as Ridder continues to sail passes high.

RB6 Bijan Robinson played 12-of-17 1st-team snaps. That's encouraging and has me a bit worried as a Bijan Round 1 fader. ... RB9 Rhamondre Stevenson converted his goal-line opportunity, while Zeke was sidelined. That short-yardage narrative is way overblown. ... RB10 Jonathan Taylor is still on the PUP list. ... RB11 Joe Mixon beat the case. What's stopping him from a big fantasy year? ... RB12 Dameon Pierce didn't come off the field with the starters, playing on 3rd downs for the first time in his NFL career. He was already an upside RB2 without passing downs. He's my favorite pick in Round 5/6 right now. BUY. ... RB16 Miles Sanders (groin) is back practicing. ... RB17 Breece Hall (knee) is practicing, and RB25 Dalvin Cook (shoulder) will be joining him this week. It's a legit competition with a ton of talent on both sides. ... RB20 Najee Harris is playing on around 60% snaps this preseason. His full-time role is long gone with RB36 Jaylen Warren playing very well. Those in the Steelers' building call them "the two starters". Warren's long TD run won't slow down the hype. Of note, OC Matt Canada still says Harris is the unquestioned top dog. ... RB24 Isaiah Pacheco (shoulder) is practicing in full. His ADP climbing wouldn't be a surprise, even as a RB50 Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Round 18 stan. RB61 Jerick McKinnon is only playing on passing downs. ... RB26 D'Andre Swift getting the day off is a good sign for his Week 1 role. ... RB28 J.K. Dobbins is back from the worst contractual hold out of all time. ... RB29 James Cook isn't coming off the field with the starters. Will that last all year? Would that hold up when Damien Harris returns? Unsure. ... RB30 Javonte Williams started and played most of the early-down snaps, but he was subbed out on all 3rd-and-mediums and 3rd-and-longs by RB41 Samaje Perine. I think that'll continue.

... RB35 Jeff Wilson hasn't played this preseason, but he was the slight favorite for usage late last year and is making slightly more than RB40 Raheem Mostert. Both are going to handle most of the touches baring injury. RB63 De'Von Achane continues to be the worst click on Underdog Fantasy. He's returning kicks but is working as the RB5 before his lack of size may have contributed to a "week-to-week" shoulder injury. I think Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed have straight up out-played Achane in the two preseason games. ... RB38 Rashaad Penny had two strong runs before he had a minor ankle tweak. I think he'll be the No. 2 in Week 1, with RB49 Kenny Gainwell playing in 2-minute drills. I'm expecting a full-blown committee. ... RB42 Elijah Mitchell is due back to practice. ... RB45 Tank Bigsby played well in a showcase game, hitting the cutback lanes in outside zone. He's getting too steamed for my liking, with RB76 JaMycal Hasty a favorite to play on passing downs regardless. ... RB53 Tyjae Spears had a couple of nice runs, despite not having an ACL. ... RB60 Joshua Kelley started over RB68 Isaiah Spiller, but both played reasonably well as they compete for insurance duties. ... RB62 Kendre Miller started and made an elite diving catch on a wheel route. I still think he's buried well behind Alvin and Jamaal. ... RB71 Kyren Williams not playing this preseason solidifies his role as Akers' sidekick.

WR2 Cooper Kupp (hamstring) plans to practice this week. ... WR11 Calvin Ridley is now a 2nd-round pick on Underdog. ... WR20 Deebo Samuel looked explosive and was schemed up multiple touches. I believe in a bounceback season. ... WR21 Drake London is very good. ... WR24 Terry McLaurin (turf toe) is headed for imaging. I'll adjust the ranks later. In the meantime, we further confirm that WR36 Jahan Dotson is a dude. ... WR25 D.J. Moore housed a screen pass. I don't move rankings off that. ... WR26 Christian Watson faces harder target competition with how these young play-makers are playing in preseason. ... WR34 Jaxon Smith-Njigba would've scored a TD if he wasn't a mid athlete. There are pros and cons to his game. Way more pros. ... WR42 Rashod Bateman is back at practice. He's my favorite Ravens receiver to draft. ... WR47 Elijah Moore is getting schemed touches still. Is that a good or bad thing?

... WR51 Quentin Johnston is getting reps with the 2nd-team offense. He made some catches. They just happened to hit his chest every single time. It's a work in progress, which isn't a surprised based on his hit-and-miss TCU tape. .... WR52 Nico Collins and WR82 Robert Woods are the Texans' starters, with Noah Brown even starting over WR92 John Metchie. WR91 Tank Dell was out with soreness. I predict a rotation at Z/slot, while Collins plays most downs as the only true X. ... WR57 Skyy Moore and WR61 Marquez Valdes-Scantling are playing the most snaps in a heavy WR rotation in Kansas City. That's even without "No. 1" Kadarius Toney off the field. It'll be a mess, like last year. ... WR60 Isaiah Hodgins and WR65 Darius Slayton are solid late-round options, as the starting 2-WR set players. WR80 Jalin Hyatt sees some 1st-team snaps, but he's a vertical slot or flanker only. If he earned more playing time after a long TD, then I think that comes at the expense of the slot options and Slayton the most. Hodgins is a legit X. ... WR67 Jameson Williams (hamstring) is out for the preseason. It's WR79 Josh Reynolds SZN. ... WR69 Rondale Moore is a slot only player again. That doesn't necessarily mean we have to be on WR90 Michael Wilson as a rookie. ... WR77 Marvin Mims is a 3-WR set only player right now, and I think that holds up all year based on his in-development profile and size. ... WR78 Hunter Renfrow has had a good camp. ... WR85 Deonte Harty is playing over Khalil Shakir still. ... WR95 Kendrick Bourne is dusting all your WR104 Tyquan Thornton shares.

TE4 Darren Waller is screaming up draft boards. Rightfully so. He's being used as their WR1, even lining up in isolation in 3x1 sets. The Giants certainly have a plan for him. His injury history and age can rug pull what could be a beautiful thing. ... TE5 George Kittle has missed time with a similar groin injury as what he had last year. He's quietly 30 years old with a major injury history. He's a dog though. ... TE6 Kyle Pitts made a nice one-handed catch but did rotate in Arthur Smith's wacky personnel groupings. It's just nice to see him on the field after his knee surgery rehab lingered. ... TE12 Pat Freiermuth played more 12-personnel snaps this time, and more importantly, caught a long seam-stretching TD. He's good at football. ... TE14 Luke Musgrave didn't come off the field, saw more targets, and is impressing me as a blocker. Fade the Rookie TE Narrative. Watch the damn tape. ... TE16 Juwan Johnson was called the fantasy player to draft by New Orleans Football, whomsth I trust very much. Juwan is a WR-TE convert with production. I'm buying as Michael Thomas slowly gets his legs back underneath him. ... TE23 Hayden Hurst will be a full-time player. It just may not matter much. ... TE24 Chig Okonkwo played in 3-WR sets, but he predictably wasn't a full-time player because of size and the Titans' physicality in the run game. Okonkwo was a lot more fun without DeAndre Hopkins' target share, too. I'll fade sorting by YPRR. ... TE25 Greg Dulcich is in the same boat as Chig. His boat also has Chris Manhertz waiting to come aboard though. ... TE26 Michael Mayer has the most to overcome in his TE room among the rookies, but I do think he can run real routes. ... I don't remember TE27 Trey McBride ever making a play. TE36 Zach Ertz is coming back way ahead of predicted schedule.