2023 Top 50 Dynasty Rookie Rankings and Notes

May 10th 2023

Hayden Winks

These are post-draft opinions and post-draft model projections, specifically looking at NFL production for the first four years. I have more in-depth blurbs and stats in the linked columns, plus have all-22 highlights and film breakdowns littered across YouTube. That's where the good stuff is. This is more of a column on landing spots.

It's impossible to do blanket rookie rankings, so let's assume these are generally for half PPR superflex leagues, where these promo links are breaking up tiers.

1. RB1 Bijan Robinson (ATL)

My pre-draft write up and video on Bijan are here. Clearly very good, Robinson will disappoint if he's not an annual top-10 fantasy RB with coach Arthur Smith, who's offense finished 8th in RB fantasy usage last year. Even 4th-round rookie Tyler Allgeier averaged 4.9 yards per carry behind an underrated OL. The only downside to this is QB uncertainty, where 3rd-rounder Desmond Ridder could be the guy for 2023 and beyond. He's a 99th percentile prospect in my model, with close comps to Melvin Gordon, Darren McFadden, Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, and Marshawn Lynch.

2. QB1 Anthony Richardson (IND)

My pre-draft write up and video on AR are here. The fit in Indianapolis is quite ideal, as GM Chris Ballard is solid and the coaching staff was put in place for a dual-threat QB. Coach Shane Steichen is a young, innovative play-caller who maximized Jalen Hurts in Philly with a game-breaking short-yardage rushing package that fits Richardson perfectly. His QB coach has experience with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton, too. The OL is overrated but functional, aside from the tackle spots. The skill players are fine, but Indianapolis has their future draft picks and plays in a relatively weak division with decent weather galore. He's an 83rd percentile QB prospect in my model, which doesn't account for his fantasy rushing appeal enough.

Also check the date...

3. QB2 CJ Stroud (HOU)

My pre-draft write up and video on Stroud are here. He enters the league with high-end accuracy and a potentially underrated amount of rushing. There was never a need to scramble in Ohio State's stud offense, but Stroud did flash when Georgia's defense swarmed. The Texans offense lacks skill talent. It does not lack OL talent, however, with 2 1st-round OTs, a 1st-round OG, a 2nd-round rookie C, and solid veteran OG Shaq Mason. 35-year-old OC Bobby Slowik is inexperienced but learned under Kyle Shanahan with a degree in PFF. With WRs certainly coming in 2024, Stroud is in an underrated good spot. He's an 85th percentile QB prospect in my model.

4. QB3 Bryce Young (CAR)

My pre-draft write up and video on Young are here. He was exceptional in college, so the only true debate is if his play-making will translate as windows tighten and defenders get bigger. Young can scramble a bit, but his size likely keeps that ceiling near league average, so he has to be very good inside the pocket. The Panthers coaching staff and OL are built for that. The weapons are definitely a work in progress, and it'll be harder to add to the group without 1st-rounders for the next couple seasons. I understand why others love him, but I don't match the excitement entirely. He's an 85th percentile QB prospect in my model.

5. WR1 Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA)

My pre-draft write up and video on JSN are here. He's a very good prospect in general, but his uncontrollable flaws (athleticism and slot background) caused a minor draft slide. Seattle has a fun offense. It's just a crowded one. DK Metcalf isn't going anywhere for awhile, and Tyler Lockett likely has 2 more years before his contract is movable. If either miss time, JSN will be unlocked. Until then, JSN is likely a 3-WR set starter only, capping his median projection. Smith-Njigba's value should be higher in 2025 and beyond, unfortunately when Geno Smith's contract is up. This was a mediocre dynasty landing spot. JSN is a 94th percentile prospect in my model.

6. WR2 Jordan Addison (MIN)

My pre-draft write up and video on Addison are here. He doesn't have the athleticism and size of the typical top-24 fantasy WR. That doesn't mean he can't get close to that, however, as his body control, ball tracking, and YAC vision don't show up in Combine drills. Playing alongside Justin Jefferson is a neutral thing, as long as Addison is good enough to draw more targets than highly-paid TE T.J. Hockenson. Kirk Cousins easily could be in the final year with Minnesota, however, and they may not be in position to draft a QB of the future early in 2024 if they win too many games this year. That's my biggest worry right now. Addison is an 89th percentile prospect in my model.

7. RB2 Jahmyr Gibbs (DET)

My pre-draft write up and video on Gibbs are here. He went much earlier than expected, and the Lions are built to last on offense, given their investments at OL and skill talent. The question is: How much work can he handle as a 199-pounder? The closest comps per my model are Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush, Jahvid Best, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Felix Jones. They averaged 345, 187, 170, 148, and 140 touches per year on their rookie deals, often dealing with injuries. To break into the top-15, Gibbs will have to out-touch his comps. If not, Gibbs is a solid fantasy RB2 when healthy, especially in PPR. Unfortunately, David Montgomery is paid handsomely by Detroit for at least the next 2 years and profiles as the goal-line back. Gibbs is a 94th percentile prospect per my model.

8. WR3 Quentin Johnston (LAC)

My pre-draft write up and video on Johnston are here. I wasn't impressed by his college tape, but it's hard to argue with this landing spot. He'll be attached to Justin Herbert for a very long time, and either Mike Williams or Keenan Allen will likely be released for cap purposes next offseason. 28-year-old Austin Ekeler will also likely move on or see a role downsize. If Johnston can trust his hands better with development as a 21-year-old prospect, then he can be the downfield threat the Chargers have lacked with Herbert. He just might not see the field as much as we'd like as a rookie with Joshua Palmer also around. Johnston is a 93rd percentile prospect per my model.

9. TE1 Dalton Kincaid (BUF)

My video on Kincaid is here. Dawson Knox -- more of a traditional inline player -- will be around for the next 2-3 seasons based on his contract, which could cause frustrations for both players unless Kincaid is actually viewed as a slot receiver. That trope is often overstated, but I could see Kincaid's YAC and zone skills as being the exception to the rule. His size and injury history were the only blemishes on his profile. Even if there are growing pains alongside Knox, Kincaid's ceiling will be unleashed post-Knox, which aligns with when TEs start breaking out. Josh Allen isn't going anywhere, and Stefon Diggs is quietly 30 years old already. Kincaid is a 94th percentile prospect per my model.

10. RB3 Zach Charbonnet (SEA)

My pre-draft write up and video on Charbonnet are here. I'm so tilted. The haters, of which there were many, were wrong when he went 52nd overall. The haters, of which there were many, may back into being right due to landing spot. 2nd-year 2nd-rounder Kenneth Walker can run the rock, while Charbonnet may be viewed as the change-of-pace and passing-down back. With a ton of target competition, I don't see RB receptions being massive in this offense, so Charbonnet is more-or-less a fancy insurance option right now. The great thing is he has a 3-down profile attached to a stud offense if Walker misses time or tilts this coaching staff with a home-run style. Charbonnet is an 87th percentile prospect per my model. He's quite boom-bust, when I thought he'd be a layup top-20 fantasy RB pre-draft.

11. WR4 Zay Flowers (BAL)

My pre-draft write up and video on Flowers are here. The landing spot is just fine. Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews are under contract for at least the next 2 seasons, while Odell Beckham is on a 1-year deal. Being attached to Lamar Jackson is a slight win, especially with new OC Todd Monken establishing a more pass-heavy offense. The real thing that will move the needs is this: Flowers needs to establish himself as a non-slot only player to be fantasy relevant. He was able to do that at Boston College, but he's extremely small for a boundary player. Overall, Flowers is an 82nd percentile prospect in my model, which makes him the 5th-worst WR prospect drafted in Round 1 since 2005.

12. WR5 Jonathan Mingo (CAR)

My pre-draft write up and video on Mingo are here. The production stinks, but did a broken foot in Week 4 of his junior season hide a decent profile? Possibly! Mingo at the very least has the size (6'2/220), 84th percentile adjusted SPARQ athleticism, and landing spot to give him a ceiling, even if the floor is uncomfortably low. Bryce Young should be an average in-pocket passer throughout their rookie contracts, and the pass-catching competition is non-existent. 33-year-old Adam Thielen is around for the next 2 years. D.J. Chark is around for just 2023. More importantly, neither are very good and the Panthers are without 1st-round picks for the next drafts. Mingo is in complete control of his situation right now. He's a 73rd percentile prospect per my model.

13. WR6 Rashee Rice (KC)

He went earlier than expected, and more importantly, because Patrick Mahomes likes him. Rice isn't a perfect prospect (senior out of SMU), but he is big enough to play outside, has 73rd percentile adjusted athleticism, and faces very little competition in the NFL's best offense. Travis Kelce will be around for at least 2 more years as a 34- and 35-year old, while Kadarius Toney (3rd round trade value), Skyy Moore (2nd rounder), and MVS (2024 cut candidate) compete for WR snaps. Rice could take on the JuJu Smith-Schuster do-everything role as a rookie if things go well, which is enough to dream about his ceiling. He's a 72nd percentile prospect per my model.

14. TE2 Michael Mayer (LV)

My video on Mayer is here. He had the best adjusted production of any TE since at least 2005, but Mayer slid into early Round 2 because he was a 39th percentile adjusted SPARQ athlete. Most elite fantasy TEs are more athletic, but the landing spot is decent. Assuming he's not fired, coach Josh McDaniels has been pro-TE for a decade as a play-caller, and Mayer was moved around the formation at pro-style Notre Dame. Davante Adams will be around for at least the next 2 seasons but at least is 31 years old already. Until the Raiders find a real QB, it's hard to be confident with Mayer's long-term value. He is a 97th percentile prospect per my model. That's gas.

15. TE3 Luke Musgrave (GB)

We didn't get to a video on Musgrave pre-draft, but I'm a silent fan of his. He didn't have a major receiving profile because of injuries, so his hype is relatively low. He did have an insane 3.2 yards per route run in a 2-game sample, however, which wasn't a surprise to niche NFL Draft streets. He's an 88th percentile adjusted SPARQ athlete with 85th percentile height and 55th percentile weight, meaning he can stay on the field in 1-TE sets while sliding into the slot or out wide in 2-TE sets. That's fantasy gold. His primary competition short- and long-term is a 3rd-round rookie (Tyler Kraft) who has similar size and athleticism to the Beaver. Musgrave needs Jordan Love to be average to truly break out, but we should assume the Packers' skill group will always consist of Day 2 and Day 3 prospects rather than true alphas. That gives Musgrave a path to a ceiling. He's a 77th percentile prospect per my model, with a major asterisk due to his 2022 injury.

16. TE4 Sam LaPorta (DET)

He had an 88th percentile adjusted production profile, highlighted by a 99th percentile yards per team pass attempt among drafted TEs. At Iowa, LaPorta was moved around the formation to take advantage of his 87th percentile forty and 88th percentile three cone. If he's not a decent pass-catcher on a per-route basis, it'd be a surprise, especially in this fun Lions offense. The primary issue is physicality and size (10th percentile height and 19th percentile weight). Is that enough for no-namers like Brock Wright to steal meaningful snaps? It's possible. He's a 91st percentile prospect per my model, but I acknowledge a wider range of outcomes here because he's on the fringe of every-down size thresholds, especially for a head coach like Dan Campbell.

17. RB4 Kendre Miller (NO)

My pre-draft write up and video on Kendre are here. I'm a fan of Miller's profile in general, and the long-term landing spot could be alright. The issue is early-contract competition. Alvin Kamara faces somewhere around a 6-game suspension in 2023, but he re-signed a contract that'll keep him in New Orleans for the next 2 years most likely. Gyration King Jamaal Williams will be goal-line vulturing for at least the next 2 years, as will Wild Cat Queen Taysom Hill. Will the Saints OL and Derek Carr be in the same shape 3 years from now? Perhaps. I was bummed by the landing spot, however, even though I want to bet on his profile in general. Miller is a 80th percentile prospect per my model.

18. WR7 Jalin Hyatt (NYG)

My pre-draft write up and video on Hyatt are here. He's not for everyone because of that Volunteer offense, but Hyatt was bailed out in Round 3 by a nice New York landing spot. He'll be used as a downfield threat out of the slot or Z spot, where there's almost zero competition. Ex-6th-rounder Isaiah Hodgins (1-year, $830k) and ex-5th-rounder Darius Slayton (2-year, $12M) are the Giants primary boundary receivers, neither signed long-term. Hyatt has the athleticism (91st percentile) and production profile (98th percentile) to beat out a bad depth chart, at least until real competition is added. He is an 87th percentile prospect per my model. I realize that's way higher than the NFL believes it should be, given the context of his college offense.

19. WR8 Marvin Mims (DEN)

My pre-draft write up and video on Mims are here. We like to be overweight on Power 5 early declares, so it's easy to like Mims after being drafted Round 2 in a trade up. Because of a reliance on option routes in an unique Oklahoma offense, I view Mims as a developmental prospect. That aligns with the long-term commitments to the current Broncos WRs: Jerry Jeudy is unsigned beyond 2024, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick are cut candidates in 2024, and KJ Hamler is in his final year. Things will open up in 2 years, right when coach Sean Payton has to make a real Russell Wilson decision. Mims is a 78th percentile prospect per my model.

20. RB5 Devon Achane (MIA)

My pre-draft write up and video on Achane are here. There was always going to be volume concerns on his 188-pound frame (2nd percentile weight), but the Dolphins were the perfect landing spot. I compared him to Raheem Mostert, who has had RB2-3 weeks as an explosive one-cut runner in this zone scheme. Both Mostert and Jeff Wilson aren't long-term assets in Miami, so Achane's primary competition will likely come from a bigger RB currently not on the roster. I'll keep my expectations in check knowing someone else will steal touches here. Achane is a 67th percentile prospect per my model.

21. QB4 Will Levis (TEN)

My pre-draft write up and video on Levis are here. In short, I never thought he was good, so I wasn't surprised to see him fall out of Round 1. He will get a chance to start, possibly for a large chunk of his rookie season if contract-year Ryan Tannehill is traded, released, or benched. The problem is Levis needs development inside the pocket, and the Titans offense is arguably the worst in the NFL. The OL and pass-catcher group are insulting, enough to where the Titans could play themselves into one of the elite QB prospects next year. Levis is a 65th percentile QB prospect in my model.

22. WR9 Cedric Tillman (CLE)

My pre-draft write up and video on Tillman are here. Falling to Round 3 wasn't ideal, but the landing spot is alright long-term. Deshaun Watson isn't going anywhere for 4 years most likely, and while Donovan Peoples-Jones is an interesting player himself, the fact is he's in a contract year with inconsistent production. Tillman will compete with DPJ for X-WR duties, while Amari Cooper (Z) and Elijah Moore (slot) round out the depth chart. The latter 2 are under contract for 2 more seasons. Tillman is a 64th percentile prospect per my model, capable of playing in fantasy valuable 2-WR sets.

23. RB6 Tank Bigsby (JAX)

My pre-draft write up on Bigsby is here. Aside from a perfect name, there's nothing sexy about this profile. He just has NFL size, Round 3 draft capital, and will be attached to Trevor Lawrence for years. Etienne is a home run hitter, while Bigbsy can bang between the tackles and arguably bring more pass protection to the backfield. He'll be an insurance only option most likely, but this class is weak and I'll take my chances here. Bigsby is 58th percentile prospect per my model.

24. RB7 Roschon Johnson (CHI)

My pre-draft write up and video on Roschon are here. The landing spot is fine. On one hand, Khalil Herbert and D'Onta Foreman are mediocre talents without much investment. On the other hand, Johnson could be attached to a dual-threat QB who will steal goal-line opportunities and check down to his RBs less than others. That led to Chicago ranking 30th in RB fantasy usage last year. The coaching staff has already said they want a committee approach, one they used with David Montgomery and Herbert last year. The ceiling is likely capped with Johnson, who is a 53rd percentile prospect. I liked his tape more than that.

25. RB8 Tyjae Spears (TEN)

My pre-draft write up and video on Spears are here. I was surprised to see him get drafted Round 3 after reports surfaced that he doesn't have an ACL following two tears in the same knee. The worry is primarily long term, which leaves Spears' projection largely based around what he does before 2026. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry may get traded before his rookie season is over, as both aren't under contract in 2024. Spears will compete for starting duties next offseason, but Tennessee will have one of the worst offenses for the foreseeable future and this GM comes from San Francisco, home of the fantasy RB rug pull. Spears is a 68th percentile prospect per my model, with just 6th percentile adjusted SPARQ athleticism due to his 15th percentile weight and 12th percentile three cone.

26. WR10 Jayden Reed (GB)

I haven't watched Reed yet to be totally honest. He certainly has some fans -- most notably the Packers -- but his general profile was mediocre. Because he's a 23-year-old non-early declare, Reed had 7th percentile adjusted production on 31st percentile PPR points per game. He may be a slot only player, too, because he has 19th percentile size. His path to 3-WR snaps is obvious in Green Bay after Round 2 draft capital, but Jordan Love likely doesn't keep 3-4 pass-catchers alive in fantasy land beyond the most sicko of PPR leagues. Reed is a 47th percentile prospect.

27. WR11 Josh Downs (IND)

My pre-draft write up and video on Downs are here. Limited by his petite frame, Downs is likely a 3-WR set only player, especially with Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce under contract for years. It's hard for low aDOT slot-only types to be fantasy relevant, especially in this Anthony Richardson offense. There's a chance AR puts a hole through Downs chest on a checkdown. Downs is a 70th percentile prospect.

28. RB9 DeWayne McBride (MIN)

My pre-draft write up and video on McBride are here. It's unclear if he fell because of injury, fumble concerns, or a non-existent receiving profile. That's terrifying, but I thought he had NFL starting level size, speed, and rushing production as an early declare. The Round 6 draft capital is only somewhat bailed out by a fine landing spot. Dalvin Cook is in the final year of his deal (and could be traded/released this offseason still), while Alexander Mattison is on a 2-year, $7M contract. McBride is a 32nd percentile prospect.

29. RB10 Zach Evans (LAR)

My pre-draft write up on Evans is here. There was some speculation that Evans could fall for some off-field concerns, which partially led him to transferring out of TCU in 2021. The Round 6 draft capital is even further than I expected, but the landing spot is pretty solid in terms of openness. Cam Akers has had a bumpy ride with coach Sean McVay, and he's in the final year of his rookie contract. 6th-rounder Kyren Williams missed most of his rookie year last year and is viewed as a passing-down specialist. If Evans can ball, there's a path to rookie year playing time. He is a 26th percentile prospect, though some of that is unrelated to his actual talent.

30. RB11 Chase Brown (CIN)

My pre-draft write up on Brown is here. His age and this Round 5 draft capital are a horrific combination, but the landing spot couldn't be better for Brown. Joe Mixon is likely in his final season with the Bengals, and the rest of the RB depth chart consists of 5th-year re-signee Trayveon Williams (55 NFL touches) and special teamer Chris Evans. Despite some holes in his profile, Brown at least checks size and athletic thresholds. He's a 41st percentile prospect with better upside odds than others in this mediocre bucket.

31. QB5 Hendon Hooker (DET)

My pre-draft write up and video on Hooker are here. The age and his ACL caused him to slide into Round 3, but he was at least bailed out by an elite landing spot. Jared Goff doesn't have many guarantees on his contract, while the rest of the skill players are largely on rookie deals. If Goff misses time for any reason, Hooker should have some fantasy appeal. He runs and throws downfield at much higher rates than Goff, who was a borderline fantasy QB1 with stud OC Ben Johnson in 2022. Hooker is an 73rd percentile QB prospect in my model.

32. TE5 Luke Schoonmaker (DAL)

Drafted earlier than expected, Schoonmaker will battle 2022 4th-rounder Jake Ferguson for playing time as a rookie. Ferguson is the better receiving prospect, while Schoonmaker profiles better as a blocker out of pro-style Michigan. Still, Schoonmaker has the 87th percentile adjusted SPARQ athleticism we typically look for in TE prospects, and he'll be attached to Dak Prescott for a long time. The 24-year-old rookie part scares me deeply, but he's a nice sleeper if you will. Schoonmaker is a 72nd percentile prospect.

33. WR12 Nathaniel Dell (HOU)

I know this WR class was small, but Dell is on the extreme at 5'8/165, and for a small receiver, his 4.49 forty underwhelms. He is a slot-only prospect who dominated underneath at Houston, where he'll ironically be playing in the pros. Dell will face competition from John Metchie and Robert Woods in the slot as a rookie, which isn't insurmountable if he has any skills. If he wasn't attached to CJ Stroud, whomst I'm high on, then I'd have close to no interest in half PPR. Expect some gadget work. He's a 57th percentile prospect.

34. WR13 Charlie Jones (CIN)

Already 24 years old with a slot only profile, Jones isn't the typical prospect I land on, but this class stinks and Jones' landing spot is as good as it gets. He will be an insurance only play as a rookie, but both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are in contract seasons. Cincy won't be able to retain both most likely, potentially allowing Jones to slide into Joe Burrow 3-WR sets. There are only a few QBs capable of keeping 3 WRs in the fantasy mix. Burrow is one, especially with zero investment long-term at TE and RB. Jones is a volatile 27th percentile prospect. He had 90th percentile PPR points per game on a mid-Purdue team last year, while his adjusted SPARQ athleticism is in the 41st percentile due to a small frame (5'11/175).

35. WR14 Tyler Scott (CHI)

My pre-draft write up on Scott is here. Very young with years of development needed, it wasn't a major surprise to see Scott fall to Round 4. The Bears will likely be below-average in passing stats for the foreseeable future, so Scott has to parlay a bunch of things to be fantasy relevant, especially with D.J. Moore under contract through 2025. Scott's 4.37 speed could come in handy if contract-year Darnell Mooney isn't retained after 2023, however. He's a 61st percentile prospect.

36. RB12 Eric Gray (NYG)

23-year-old 5th rounders typically don't fare well, but Gray at least lands in a somewhat functional offense with little competition behind franchise tagged Saquon Barkley, who is still trying to negotiate a long-term deal. Gray has NFL size, comes from Oklahoma, and is a 36th percentile prospect. He'll battle contract year Matt Breida as a rookie.

37. RB13 Evan Hull (IND)

At Northwestern, Null had 98th percentile receiving yards per game among drafted RBs since 2005. That gives him some upside as a Jonathan Taylor complement, just with a limited ceiling now that he's attached to a dual-threat QB on a rookie deal. Hull competes with contract year Zack Moss and scat back Deon Jackson in Indy. He's a 31st percentile prospect.

38. RB14 Israel Abanikanda (NYJ)

With former 4th rounder Michael Carter under contract for two more years and Zonovan Knight hanging around, Abanikanda's path to rookie snaps likely comes via special teams where his straight line speed can be showcased. He's a 70th percentile prospect per my model because he's a 20-year-old Power 5 early declare with NFL size and athleticism. I just never thought he looked good on tape. Our video is here.

39. TE6 Darnell Washington (PIT) - Knee swelling caused Round 3 slide. Blocker only.

40. TE7 Brenton Strange (JAX) - Blocker type but attached to Lawrence long-term.

41. TE8 Tucker Kraft (GB) - Checks size/athleticism boxes, but behind Musgrave.

42. TE9 Zack Kuntz (NYJ) - Freak athlete but behind 2 high-paid TEs.

43. RB15 Sean Tucker (TB) - UDFA due to heart issue. TB is weak at RB.

44. RB16 Deuce Vaughn (DAL) - Smallest RB ever, drafted by his own dad.

45. RB17 Keaton Mitchell (BAL) - Undersized UDFA with a fun highlight tape.

46. RB18 Deneric Prince (KC) - NFL size, but bad Tulsa numbers. UDFA.

47. WR15 Michael Wilson (ARI) - Buried behind Nuk, Hollywood as a rookie.

48. WR16 Kayshon Boutte (NE) - Non-football reasons caused poor 2022, draft slide.

49. QB6 Stetson Bennett (LAR) - 56th percentile prospect behind old, injured Stafford.

50. QB7 Dorian Thompson-Robinson (CLE) - 55th percentile prospect with rushing.