Dynasty League Football


John Hogue: Dynasty Fantasy Football Superflex Rankings Explained

A behind the scene look at ranking methodology and individual rankings vs the consensus.

Russell Wilson

Welcome to another installment in our new series of articles where DLF rankers not only explain their dynasty fantasy football rankings, but also include a number of the 2023 rookie draft pick selections so you can see how we each, individually, value those dynasty rookie picks in comparison to players as if it were a dynasty fantasy football startup draft.

Be sure to catch all of the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Explained series.

DLF has always offered our readers multiple sets of dynasty fantasy football rankings from different experts to provide a broad view of player rankings. With many different strategies for building a successful dynasty team, no single set of rankings could possibly meet the needs of every coach. Instead, we’ve long subscribed to the idea of our experts providing their own individual rankings, ultimately giving our readers the opportunity to gravitate to a particular expert who closely matches their own style of ranking or, perhaps, instead choosing to use an average ranking across all experts. Valuation variability between players in the rankings can often be large but that variability can provide opportunity as well. Our DLF expert rankers should always be able to explain why they are higher, or lower, on a particular player.

While explaining our rankings will provide greater insight alone, we are also including a number of 2023 rookie draft selections interspersed with the players so you can get a better idea of how each of our rankers values those selections when compared to existing veteran players. As would be expected, you will find a great degree of variability in the valuation of these picks as well depending on the style of the ranker. Each draft class has its own quality and depth and, depending on how the ranker values that quality and depth, individual rookie selections will appear earlier or later on the list.

A note about the tables. The Rank column indicates this ranker’s personal rankings. The AVG column indicates the consensus rankings value at the time these rankings were created. The “+/-” column indicates how much higher or lower the ranker is to the consensus average.

Each week we will provide rankings for 120 players and 2023 rookie draft picks, alternating between 1QB and Superflex rankings. For a deeper list of rankings, please visit our consensus dynasty fantasy football rankings.


There’s a massive problem for dynasty players, particularly you student-of-the-game types.

You study Average Draft Position, you compare your personal rankings to those of your favorite analysts, and you use all of the amazing tools available at DLF. You use the Trade Finder to get a sense of a player’s trade value, you enter trade proposals into the Trade Analyzer to see how close it is compared to market values.

They’re incredibly useful tools, with unique inputs that set them apart. But here’s the problem: everything we’re examining is at least partially based on Average Draft Position (ADP). The reality is, there’s startup value, and there’s trade value. Two different things, we just really don’t have a way to differentiate between them. It’s like gravity; we know it’s there, but we can’t see it.

Average Draft Position is cosmically linked to trade value, as the most natural way for us to think about an individual player’s value is to look at when he was drafted. Player A was drafted ahead of Players B, C, and D, so he must be more valuable, right?

The problem is, player values change immediately after the startup draft, and settle into a completely different market for the remainder of the life of the league. Valuing a player in year five of your dynasty league based on where he would be drafted in a startup completely ignores all of the context of your league over the last five seasons.

Quarterbacks are the most obvious example of this; when you are making a pick in the second round of your superflex startup, approximately 10 QBs have been drafted (give or take, depending on the season and the strength of the position top-to-bottom). It is extremely easy to say “there are still 22 starting NFL QBs available, I can draft one later… and right now I can take my favorite receiver!”

Then, when the startup is over, a whole new reality sets in. One of your two QBs loses his job in Year One of the dynasty league, and you realize that there are no startable QBs available to you. None on waivers, and there is no other startup… the only option is to acquire a QB in a trade. You start sending offers, only to find out that no one can afford to trade a QB without getting one in return, lest they end up in the exact same situation as you.

The point is, scarcity sets in after the startup and it drastically alters the player values in your league. By the same token, an abundance at a given position will also alter player values; the fact that there are roughly 20 WRs with top-five upside devalues your WR1 because there are cheaper options with just as much scoring potential.

My endeavor in my Superflex Top 250 rankings is to identify player values outside of the startup draft, as if the startup doesn’t even exist, because at this point in the life of your dynasty league, it doesn’t. Average Draft Position is an important tool when mapping out your startup strategy, but it has zero bearing on my rankings. The world needs – YOU need – player values based on their outlook for the future, factoring in the strength and demand of the position, and above all else, when they aren’t available to you beyond a trade. In other words, their trade value in Year 1+N of the dynasty league. So when you see that I’m MUCH higher than consensus on just about every QB, it’s due to the scarcity of the position and the difficulty in acquiring them outside of the startup. I’m generally higher on RBs and lower on WRs for the same basic reason: RBs are hard to find, WRs are not.

I also tier my rankings, because the reality of trade values is that sometimes they’re dead even, or at least close to it. And if two players have the exact same value, if a trade would be a lateral move, then why do it? In the startup draft, we have to split hairs and decide between every single player. But outside the startup, you don’t need to make a decision between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen when we know they are virtually identical from floor to ceiling.

Rankings: 1 - 24

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
110Patrick MahomesQBKC27
220Josh AllenQBBUF26
352Justin HerbertQBLAC24
440Joe BurrowQBCIN26
5105Trevor LawrenceQBJAC23
6115Dak PrescottQBDAL29
73-4Jalen HurtsQBPHI24
82023 Rookie 1.01
9189Kyler MurrayQBARI25
10155Justin FieldsQBCHI23
113221Deshaun WatsonQBCLE27
122023 Rookie 1.02
136-7Justin JeffersonWRMIN23
148-6Ja'Marr ChaseWRCIN22
15161Jonathan TaylorRBIND24
16171Christian McCaffreyRBSF26
17247Saquon BarkleyRBNYG25
183618Travis KelceTEKC33
192023 Rookie 1.03
2012-8Tua TagovailoaQBMIA24
21298Travis EtienneRBJAC24
22220Kenneth WalkerRBSEA22
235027Rhamondre StevensonRBNE24
247-17Lamar JacksonQBBAL26

Tier One is Mahomes and Allen, and Tier Two is Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow. To me, this means there is virtually no difference between Mahomes and Allen, or Herbert and Burrow. Tier Three is the next three QBs, and Tier Four starts with rookie pick 1.01 and ends with Jonathan Taylor. Tier Five ends with my #24 overall, Lamar Jackson.

So when explaining my top 24, where do I start? Here’s the thing: I know you either 1) have a lot of questions, or 2) just absolutely hate these rankings and don’t care about the rationale. Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are too low, Saquon Barkley is too high. And why the hate for Jackson!?

Each individual ranking is a domino, continuing the chain. If I would trade Jefferson to fix my QB position long-term, I would obviously trade Chase as well. But those two young WRs are foundational for several more years, and as much as I would like to leverage the scarcity of RBs, I can’t imagine giving up the long term stability of those elite WRs for an RB like Christian McCaffrey, with so little career expectancy and fantasy viability remaining. And although I am willing to pay a premium to “fix” my QB position, I don’t believe that Lamar Jackson fixes the position for me. He’s very inconsistent and has an unsustainable playing style. I’ll be right back to patching the QB hole in a year or two.

If some of the player rankings caused you to raise an eyebrow, the rookie pick rankings sent your eyebrow crashing through your hairline. It was a strange realization for me as well, as I generally don’t value rookie picks highly and, in fact, get annoyed at the overinflation of pick values by the dynasty community. But here we are, with 2023 rookie picks 1.01 AND 1.02 ranked ahead of Jefferson and Chase, and 1.01 ranked ahead of startup first rounders Kyler Murray and Justin Fields. For the explanation, look no further than QBs three, four, and five in my rankings.

Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Trevor Lawrence were all drafted very high in their respective draft classes, and came into the league as pocket passers with mobility. Two more of those are on their way to the NFL in Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud (I wrote about Young HERE and Stroud HERE). Add in the fact that a team that doesn’t need QB help can use that early pick on the best RB prospect since Barkley – Bijan Robinson – and the options at the top of this class are nothing less than transformative. And they’re young, which makes them elite.

There is still a little room for rookie pick 1.03 to move up a little as well, but I currently have it ranked below some of the more foundational players – Jefferson/Chase, McCaffrey, even Travis Kelce – because it represents the end of a tier. Either Robinson, Young, or Stroud will be available at 1.03, but you won’t have a choice among them. You will be stuck with whoever is remaining, which devalues the pick for me.

Rankings: 25 - 48

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
25316Cooper KuppWRLAR29
264014Nick ChubbRBCLE27
2714-13CeeDee LambWRDAL23
2823-5Stefon DiggsWRBUF29
299-20AJ BrownWRPHI25
3026-4Davante AdamsWRLV30
3113-18Jaylen WaddleWRMIA24
3219-13Tyreek HillWRMIA28
33396D'Andre SwiftRBDET24
345925JK DobbinsRBBAL24
3527-8Breece HallRBNYJ21
367236Aaron RodgersQBGB39
379154Russell WilsonQBDEN34
387436Kirk CousinsQBMIN34
398243Jared GoffQBDET28
40477Josh JacobsRBLV24
41498Najee HarrisRBPIT24
428947Geno SmithQBSEA32
4320-23Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET23
4433-11Tee HigginsWRCIN24
4537-8Austin EkelerRBLAC27
4635-11Mark AndrewsTEBAL27
476619Dameon PierceRBHOU22
48480Joe MixonRBCIN26

See what I mean about QB and RB scarcity!? Man oh man, it dried up out of nowhere! The RBs you find in this range are fine, but you don’t feel particularly comfortable with them as your RB1. Nick Chubb is my RB7, and his age is already becoming a concern. D’Andre Swift gets a bad rap after Jamaal Williams just vultured 17 TDs while Swift battled injuries, and JK Dobbins just finished the obligatory second year of rehab from an ACL injury, so those guys are pretty sneaky. But in terms of trade value… you won’t even have to give up the players in this tier to acquire one of them, but this is the value I expect them to achieve within the next year.

Speaking of tiers, there is only one tier break in this range. Cooper Kupp through JK Dobbins makes Tier Six, and Tier Seven runs beyond #48 overall.

I want to love Breece Hall, and I want you to love him too. But as I mentioned with Dobbins, the typical timeline for an RB to return to peak performance is two seasons after a torn ACL. Hall is wrapping up Year One, so I expect him to be in and out of the lineup with compensatory injuries in 2023, and lacking explosiveness when he does play. All the while, his consensus value drops until you’re able to get him at a massive discount. Just don’t expect much in 2023, and watch him rise in these rankings as he puts in his time rehabbing.

And then we get back to the QBs. I can’t quit Aaron Rodgers; he’s old, he’s a weirdo, and he’s the most unlikable player in the NFL (who isn’t playing QB for the Cleveland Browns, anyways). But he’s coming back in 2023 – albeit with a new team – and he’s going to have better receiving weapons than he had in 2022. All we really need is job security, but the best pure passer in the game finally throwing to varsity-level pass catchers is an added bonus. Jared Goff and Kirk Cousins are in this range as well, for the same basic reasons: job security and elite weapons. Russell Wilson makes it into the top 48 as well, even after a dismal first season in Denver, because he has uber-job security as a new seven-year contract kicks in this year, guaranteeing his role for a minimum of four seasons. He looked great in the final two games (so, after HC Nathaniel Hackett was fired), he has good weapons, and the WR corps gets an upgrade with Tim Patrick returning from injury. But even more than that, it’s just his job security.

I don’t have any of the rookie picks ranked in this range; it’s a steep drop-off from the top three to the rest of this class. Landing spots and draft capital for players like RB Jahmyr Gibbs and WRs Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison, and Kayshon Boutte will change this a little, creating another tier just outside the top three. But without the knowledge of where these players will land, I’d rather get the solid floor of these 24 established veterans.

Rankings: 49 - 72

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
4945-4Dalvin CookRBMIN27
5028-22DK MetcalfWRSEA25
5141-10Michael PittmanWRIND25
52586Diontae JohnsonWRPIT26
5342-11DeVonta SmithWRPHI24
5430-24Deebo SamuelWRSF27
552023 Rookie 1.04
5621-35Garrett WilsonWRNYJ22
572023 Rookie 1.05
582023 Rookie 1.06
592023 Rookie 1.07
6034-26Drake LondonWRATL21
6143-18Chris GodwinWRTB26
6225-37Chris OlaveWRNO22
6360-3Marquise BrownWRARI25
649430Daniel JonesQBNYG25
658621Mac JonesQBNE24
6646-20DJ MooreWRCAR25
6738-29Kyle PittsTEATL22
682023 Rookie 1.08
692023 Rookie 1.09
702023 Rookie 1.10
7156-15Derrick HenryRBTEN29
7253-19Aaron JonesRBGB28

And the rookie picks finally take over!

Once Tier Seven ends with Dalvin Cook and Tier Eight begins with DK Metcalf, and once the top 15 WRs are gone – meaning, the guys with obvious top-five upside – rookie pick 1.04 comes into play. Garrett Wilson was my favorite WR in the 2022 draft class, and he’s one of three rookies in the running for Rookie of the Year honors, but I never felt like 2022 would be a better class than 2023 at any position… and I stand by that now. I don’t know for sure which WR will rise to the top of the class, between landing spot and draft capital, but I firmly believe that at least one of them will walk into more favorable projections than Wilson. These guys are closer to Ja’Marr Chase than Garrett Wilson in terms of raw talent.

Not only that, but we could also see at least one QB and at least one RB sneak into the conversation, making 1.04 an enviable spot with so many options. QBs Will Levis and Anthony Richardson could both go early in the first round, and that draft capital gives them invaluable job security.

And of course, let’s not forget about the strength of this rookie class, the RBs. Jahmyr Gibbs is the consensus RB2, but the right landing spot(s) could launch Zach Evans, Sean Tucker, Devon Achane, Zach Charbonnet, and/or Tank Bigsby into the conversation at 1.04. Chances are, at least one of those WRs, QBs or RBs will surpass Garrett Wilson in superflex value by the time the NFL Draft closes.

That deep list of rookies should provide multiple elite options, but just to hedge for the worst-case scenario, I ranked Wilson ahead of 1.05. But picks 1.05, 1.06, and 1.07 all represent more upside – at more scarce positions – than any other WR from the 2022 rookie class. They are in the same tier as Drake London and Chris Olave, but all that really means is you can transfer some WR depth to a position of need pretty easily, even if you can’t get within reach of the top three picks.

Tier Eight wraps up the elite upside studs and long-term anchors, leaving room for rookie picks 1.08, 1.09, and 1.10 as we target youth over the temporarily high floor of Derrick Henry. There are actually no less than 12 incoming rookies outside the top three with the potential to make up Henry’s scoring (Levis and Richardson at QB; Gibbs, Evans, Tucker, Achane, Charbonnet, and Bigsby at RB; and WRs Smith-Njigba, Addison, Boutte, Quentin Johnston, and one could make the argument for Zay Flowers, Josh Downs, and Jalin Hyatt as well). So putting just the top 10 picks ahead of him is actually quite generous.

As I’m sure you noticed, I’m insanely low on Kyle Pitts (as well as several WRs, but we addressed that earlier; scarcity is the key). One thing to keep in mind is that our dynasty rankings do not include a Tight End Premium, so TE is at its lowest possible value as a blanket statement. Pitts is still my TE3, I just don’t believe that rostering the third best TE is more important than rostering the 16th-best RB or the 22nd best WR. Tight end is ultimately the easiest position to overcome an advantage, because the only real advantage is Travis Kelce. Thirty-three year-old Travis Kelce. If you don’t have Kelce, you’re living the exact same life with Pitts as you are with Evan Engram or Dalton Schultz.

Rankings: 73 - 96

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
73763DeAndre HopkinsWRARI30
7410026Kenny PickettQBPIT24
7563-12Rashod BatemanWRBAL23
7673-3Brandon AiyukWRSF24
7764-13George KittleTESF29
789012Matthew StaffordQBLAR34
7962-17Trey LanceQBSF22
8077-3Miles SandersRBPHI25
8110423Cam AkersRBLAR23
8255-27Amari CooperWRCLE28
8312845Brock PurdyQBSF23
8467-17Mike EvansWRTB29
8569-16JuJu Smith-SchusterWRKC26
8661-25Jameson WilliamsWRDET21
8757-30George PickensWRPIT21
882023 Rookie 1.11
8910112Brian RobinsonRBWAS23
9054-36Alvin KamaraRBNO27
9171-20Tony PollardRBDAL25
9280-12AJ DillonRBGB24
9310714Khalil HerbertRBCHI24
9444-50Treylon BurksWRTEN22
9575-20Keenan AllenWRLAC30
9665-31Christian WatsonWRGB23

Tier Nine finally ends with George Kittle, and another large tier starts with Matthew Stafford.

Brock Purdy jumps off the page. I’m almost 50 spots higher on 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant than the consensus, because I think he’s an NFL starter in a VERY good offense. An offense that improved dramatically once he took over, by the way, scoring 30+ points in six of his first seven starts after breaking 30 just three times in their first 11 games. Oh, and they won eight straight games. Oh, and they made the NFC Championship.

Can we talk about real football for a minute?

As you read this, you already know which teams have reached the Super Bowl. Do NOT spoil it for me! Because as I write this in late January, we’re still several days away from the conference championships. I don’t know how Brock Purdy performed, and I don’t know if he is still undefeated as a starter with one game left to play. But my curiosity index is pretty low; I think he has earned the starting job regardless.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Trey Lance still has a chance to be a very good starter for someone. And maybe he stays in San Francisco and casts a shadow over Purdy, eventually taking over if/when Purdy struggles. But this 49ers offense as currently constructed is better with Purdy than Lance. That isn’t news to Kyle Shanahan or John Lynch, either.

With this collection of talent on the offensive side of the ball, the offense should not run through the QB, especially when the QB has the propensity to take off and run, rather than throwing the ball to one of the many All-Pros who are open and ready to make a play. This offense should run through Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, with Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle as the next two priorities. Purdy unlocks the entire offense with good decision-making, calmness in the pocket, and accurate passing. He guided this team to the Super Bowl (or close to it) by using the weapons at his disposal, not by putting the entire operation on his shoulders and playing streetball.

And before you “draft capital!” me, let’s talk about how NFL teams actually view draft capital. The 49ers traded up to the third overall pick in 2021 and used it on a QB. Then they used the absolute last draft pick in 2022 on a QB. And they came away with a Super Bowl caliber QB in return for the two draft picks they used. Does it matter which pick rendered the franchise QB? Not to them, it doesn’t. They get to close their eyes and pretend they drafted Purdy third overall in 2023 and Lance with the last pick in 2022.

Anyways, I do have Lance ranked a little higher because I think he would provide significantly more fantasy scoring upside if both players are NFL starters. But I ranked Purdy as QB23 because I do believe that he has earned the starting job in San Francisco.

Rookie Pick 1.11 comes in right behind WR30 George Pickens, and ahead of players with a lot of question marks and asterisks. Some need to survive the NFL Draft, some need a change of scenery, and some need to get healthy and prove that they can stay healthy before I would prioritize them over a choice among third tier rookies.

Rankings: 97 - 120

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
9711720Tom BradyQBTB45
9852-46Javonte WilliamsRBDEN22
9978-21Jahan DotsonWRWAS22
10051-49Jerry JeudyWRDEN23
10170-31Courtland SuttonWRDEN27
1022023 Rookie 1.12
10315653Sam HowellQBWAS22
10411612Ryan TannehillQBTEN34
10511813Jimmy GaroppoloQBSF31
10688-18Derek CarrQBLV31
10768-39Terry McLaurinWRWAS27
10814739Cordarrelle PattersonRBATL31
10916960Jerick McKinnonRBKC30
11013828Tyler AllgeierRBATL22
11199-12Tyler LockettWRSEA30
1121142Isiah PachecoRBKC23
11396-17Darnell MooneyWRCHI25
11484-30Rachaad WhiteRBTB24
11593-22Dallas GoedertTEPHI28
11681-35Christian KirkWRJAC26
11792-25Calvin RidleyWRJAC28
1182023 Rookie 2.01
1192023 Rookie 2.01
1202023 Rookie 2.02

Tier 10 closes with Javonte Williams, and our last tier break occurs right after Calvin Ridley.

My long-standing belief is that every NFL starting QB should be worth a first round rookie pick, because you won’t find a starting QB in the second round of your rookie draft. If Levis and Richardson are drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, they will go in the first round of your superflex rookie draft as well, because they will be starting NFL QBs and, thus, superflex-worthy.

I ranked Rookie Pick 1.12 just ahead of bridge starters Sam Howell, Ryan Tannehill, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Derek Carr on the off-chance that Levis or Richardson is available with the pick, or if one of the rookies is drafted onto the same team as one of these veterans and is the impending starter. But they’re in the same tier, meaning I still view it as a lateral move. People hate that. “A lateral move” from 1.12 to Sam Howell? Or Ryan Tannehill? It isn’t fun, but when the pick is on the clock, you’ll be glad that you already have QBs because the rookie class will be fresh out of starting QBs.

I had to feel pretty confident that the QB would be a starter somewhere to give them equal value to 1.12, which explains why we only made it to QB28. Sam Darnold has a chance to start for Carolina if they don’t draft a QB early, and I think Gardner Minshew is one of the 32 best QBs in the league, including the incoming rookies. But there is no reason to believe that either of those players earning starting jobs is the most likely scenario at this point. If free agency and trading changes any of that, a rankings update will follow close behind.

Finally, we reached a point where I felt that most of the remaining players were worth any second round rookie pick, up to about 2.06. There are plenty of players who would deserve consideration over an early second rounder, including T.J. Hockenson and Kadarius Toney. But the theme of the day has been scarcity, and if a position isn’t scarce, it won’t be a priority to me.

I wish you could have seen my “Slightly Better Than Streaming TE… Maybe?” tier. It’s a thing of beauty. Tight Ends 6-21, all in a tier together, because that’s how I view the position. There’s also a tier comprised entirely of QBs who have an outside shot to start this season – guys like Minshew, Baker Mayfield, and even Desmond Ridder.

Between the contrarian approach to ranking – trying to capture that elusive post-startup value, the tiered rankings, the unique specified tiers, the write-ups on every QB and some non-QBs, and the identified 2023 sleepers, you might not agree with these rankings very often, but you will still enjoy reading them. So check out my full SuperFlex Top 250 Rankings, and you can also check in on my Cornerstone Top 50.

Let me know why exactly you hate them.

And while you’re at it, stay sexy… and superflexy!

Be sure to check out our complete Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
John Hogue: Dynasty Fantasy Football Superflex Rankings Explained
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Andy Cook
3 months ago

You like the top 3 rookie WRs this year more or equal to Wilson and London?!?

Ed Geis
Reply to  Andy Cook
3 months ago

He said you’d hate the rankings. I agree with you, though, that Wilson proved something. In my opinion, London is in a situation where I don’t see much difference in rerolling the die with one of the top three incoming rookies. But differences of opinion are what make each league’s individual draft interesting.

David Adessa
Reply to  Ed Geis
3 months ago

Yeah as soon as I saw Lamar Jackson at 24 behind Stevenson I gave up. This is terrible.

Nathaniel Broughton
3 months ago

I love your style John!

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