Dynasty League Football


Peter Howard: Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Explained

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

Kyle Pitts

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.


Dynasty is about replacing the startup draft, not “beating” it. We all enjoy the startup, it’s the most addictive part of fantasy football, but the difference between Dynasty and every other fantasy format is that we only get one and then you have to find ways to change, modify, and fix your team on your own.

In that way, rankings are, in a way, specifically contrary to dynasty. A trade can be good or bad based on your team’s situation. A startup pick can be good or bad relative to your other startup picks. Because we can’t re-draft we have to be more cautious and more accurate with how long-term value and more sensitive to variance over upside.

In superflex, the most obvious case of this is at the quarterback position. After the draft – where most dynasty play happens – it’s difficult to trade away a player at the position without getting one back in return. The position is slower to develop in the NFL and tends to come in “waves” in rookie drafts –some years we get only Jameis Winston, and some years we get Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Jalen Hurts all together – and also they tend to have longer careers by a significant margin.

In superflex dynasty, we must be unreasonably interested in ranking quarterbacks higher.

There are several other things I’ve come to find useful when making rankings based on common – in my opinion – logic errors we can count on others making regularly. I try to take advantage of these things at every opportunity.

  • Dynasty players like age, and forget to value players on good career age arcs.
  • People have a hard time thinking long-term about injuries.
  • Everyone wants to be the highest on a “sleeper.”
  • It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong.

Although I think many of these are all a product of the same thing. Here are some examples from last year ADP in DLF superflex a year ago:

That’s not to say we can predict the future. But, if we may be able to exploit our league-mates’ tendencies to get excited about things that might happen, but don’t happen as often as they think. We can find things that are more likely or less likely to happen on average and therefore find places to add value or points to our team without a draft.

That’s roughly, what I try to look for when I’m ranking. I think the average does a good job and I don’t think my projections or profiles know more than anyone else. But I can find edges when hopes, dreams, and wishful thinking are making another bet bigger than they should.

Rankings: 1 - 24

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
121Josh AllenQBBUF26
21-1Patrick MahomesQBKC27
330Jalen HurtsQBPHI24
440Joe BurrowQBCIN26
550Justin HerbertQBLAC24
682Lamar JacksonQBBAL26
76-1Justin JeffersonWRMIN23
87-1Ja'Marr ChaseWRCIN22
9101Trevor LawrenceQBJAC23
10188Kyler MurrayQBARI25
112023 Rookie 1.01
12120Dak PrescottQBDAL29
13152Justin FieldsQBCHI23
14162Tua TagovailoaQBMIA24
159-6AJ BrownWRPHI25
16204Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET23
1711-6Jaylen WaddleWRMIA24
1813-5CeeDee LambWRDAL23
1914-5Jonathan TaylorRBIND24
20211Garrett WilsonWRNYJ22
21265Chris OlaveWRNO22
223311Tee HigginsWRCIN24
233815Kyle PittsTEATL22
242023 Rookie 1.02

Tiers are important and help provide more context in ranking. For me, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are in an entirely different value category from anyone else. It’s not just the projection, or the age, or the likelihood that both will be dominant for years to come, it’s also that barely anyone thinks differently. That’s not common. This makes the one difference between me and the average significant here. I rank Josh Allen first.

I can’t claim to be the biggest Josh Allen truther in the world, but I can claim to be one of the many he convinced after his rookie year. His elevation into, well, what he is now, was less likely. By default, I still find myself ranking Patrick Mahomes first overall sometimes, and must correct it. Mahomes may have more Super Bowls, which is awesome, but Josh Allen has produced more fantasy points. At this point, the consensus of Mahomes over Allen feels like bitter grapes, and some “supposed” risk is based on Allen’s rushing numbers. I think it’s time we let go of the former (admitting you were wrong is hard!) and I’m yet to be convinced of the latter. If you’ll add to Allen to get Mahomes, I’ll happily trade.

My second tier is everyone from Jalen Hurts to Kyler Murray. These are rare-level producers at a very early stage of their careers. Interestingly the average let me have Lamar Jackson as eight overall and still be “high” on him. Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are awesome quarterbacks, but again, if someone will add to Lamar Jackson to get either, I’m game.

I think dynasty players’ difficulty in thinking three years down the road (at the only position that makes sense to do so!) lowers some rushing quarterbacks’ value. I have a similar ranking difference for the same reason as Kyler Murray. You won’t get to start him till probably late next year. But then what? He should be good again. Never underrate modern medicine or dynasty managers’ inability to remember how much they liked a player three months ago, for good reasons.

The 1.01 is the first rookie pick in my ranks in its tier. It’s a very particular rank so it deserves it. For a start, that’s a running back, probably, even in superflex. I remember what happened after Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley’s rookie season. I’ve looked into Bijan Robinson as well as I can before the draft and I expect similar things. Ultimately I think this rank will look low to most dynasty managers by this time next year. At worst, it’s the best younger quarterback in this year’s draft and there are two in this class who could easily be in this range themselves by next January.

Everyone from Dak Prescott to Ceedee Lamb occupies the next tier. My AJ Brown rank is below average here purely because I tend to focus on proven quarterbacks early. The quarterbacks live at the top of most of my tiers.

Amon Ra-St Brown has ranked four spots below my rank on average and I will work to maintain that gap if he rises. It can be hard to admit you’re wrong, I didn’t have him ranked high enough this time last year (but higher than most!). I think whatever he had to prove he proved in year one, and year two the team proved it wasn’t going to devalue him because of his draft capital.

Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Tee Higgins, and Kyle Pitts round out this tier. Both sophomores easily had better rookie seasons than average and you can never really miss the opportunity to value them above others early.

There’s some uncertainty about Tee Higgins’s future on the Bengals right now, and again I think dynasty managers might be overvaluing our chances of finding a 24-year-old who is this good suddenly being valued less because they don’t know the color of the jersey he’ll wear next year.

Kyle Pitts’s rank is because I never want to miss an opportunity to value a good young player 15 spots higher, right now, but 17 spots below where he was drafted this time last year. His rank last year was good reasons and his performance on the field has been good. I think it’s time to like Pitts over average before everyone remembers the whole point is he’ll be playing for the next five years at least.

I round out the top 24 with the 1.02 and 1.03 rookie picks. Right now, we expect those to be the two best younger quarterback prospects in 2023 and both are expected to have high draft capital. It’s a gamble but one I’m willing to take when picks can become other trades, not just rookies. From here we start to find the best players have diminishing value returns because of age, positional value, or likely production ceilings.

Rankings: 25 - 48

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
252023 Rookie 1.03
2617-9Christian McCaffreyRBSF26
2724-3Saquon BarkleyRBNYG26
2825-3Breece HallRBNYJ21
29323Cooper KuppWRLAR29
3019-11Tyreek HillWRMIA28
3123-8Stefon DiggsWRBUF29
3228-4DK MetcalfWRSEA25
3330-3Deebo SamuelWRSF27
3427-7Davante AdamsWRLV30
3522-13Kenneth WalkerRBSEA22
3629-7Travis EtienneRBJAC24
3731-6Deshaun WatsonQBCLE27
3835-3Travis KelceTEKC33
3937-2Mark AndrewsTEBAL27
406121Trey LanceQBSF22
41410DeVonta SmithWRPHI24
4234-8Drake LondonWRATL21
43441Treylon BurksWRTEN22
442023 Rookie 1.04
452023 Rookie 1.05
4643-3Chris GodwinWRTB26
4742-5Michael PittmanWRIND25
4846-2DJ MooreWRCAR25

Okay, so let me be clear, I like these running backs! If you are winning or starting a roster next week, you should value them a lot higher than this. But, in a vacuum, running backs are due more risk at all times. We are expecting more incoming talent over the next few years particularly so the ranks are more likely to be inaccurate a year out than normal.

For a generic ranking, running backs should be undervalued, because most of the best moves are going to be fading them for the upper longevity of wide receiver, or the upside value potential of younger players. Before you get mad at it, consider that I don’t make the rules, or force you and “the average” to be so scatterbrained at valuing running backs year to year. Or consider how easy it is to trade the RB6 (this time last year) Joe Mixon, or the RB5, Javonte Williams, or the RB7 Alvin Kamara, and so on.

The Cooper Kupp to Travis Kelce tier offers a difference-making top-level fantasy producer at a decent value, although there is now diminishing value return in the future. All these players will and should be ranked higher if you are thinking about 2023. But we don’t get to re-draft, we have to trade. The fact Cooper Kupp shows higher in my ranks than Stefon Diggs or Tyreek Hill tells the story. An injury, or one mediocre season, and the value turnaround hits quickly.

Again, if we’re in season and I’m trying to win, I’ll try to trade for older high-value wide receivers or running backs at a higher value. But on a team that’s not winning, or in the off-season, outside of rookie fever, I find few reasons to value older players everyone will be “selling” in a few months because they think no one will see them coming.

Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. The tight end position is easier than you think. Unless you have a young sophomore, a tight end who is trading for a late first-round pick or less, just like the top two guys and let everyone else guess who the “next” Travis Kelce is – because we normally get it wrong, or don’t like how it’s going and end up backing it up for a while (Travis Kelce’s early career injury, or discussing Pitts touchdown regression for two years).

Trey Lance‘s rank is because while I enjoyed Brock Purdy’s season as much as anyone, I can’t think of a way dynasty players fail to get more hyped this off-season for Lance. One news blurb, one trade, one reminder of what he did for the few games he started in his rookie season. We have less to go on than rookie quarterbacks right now!

DeVonta Smith is good, 24 years old, and was (as should have been expected) still both of those things with AJ Brown on the field. Drake London was as impressive in his rookie season as Olave and Wilson based on his volume rates, integration in the offense, and performance statistics. For some reason, probably those early season points, Treylon Burks gets ranked ten spots lower on average but the same is truer for him.

I expect the 1.04 and 1.05 to be the top two wide receivers from this year’s draft. Both are easily equal (if not superior) college prospects to the hits from 2022. While this is breaking my own rules in ranks rookie profiles are a point of pride for me and if I’m going to believe in the magic and rainbows of a player’s future potential – rather than a more realistic “most taeks miss” approach – I’ll do it in the rookie draft. A boat is a boat but there could be anything inside a rookie pick, maybe nothing, but maybe they could be boats! (It’s a Family Guy reference)

Rankings: 49 - 72

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
4947-2Najee HarrisRBPIT24
5036-14Austin EkelerRBLAC27
5139-12D'Andre SwiftRBDET24
5240-12Nick ChubbRBCLE27
532023 Rookie 1.06
546612Mike EvansWRTB29
55550Amari CooperWRCLE28
56648Marquise BrownWRARI25
57592Diontae JohnsonWRPIT26
58635Christian WatsonWRGB23
597112Brandon AiyukWRSF24
60622George KittleTESF29
6156-5George PickensWRPIT21
627412Kirk CousinsQBMIN34
63729Aaron RodgersQBGB39
64651Rashod BatemanWRBAL23
6545-20Josh JacobsRBLV24
6652-14Javonte WilliamsRBDEN22
6760-7Jameson WilliamsWRDET21
6853-15Aaron JonesRBGB28
6954-15Alvin KamaraRBNO27
709424Dallas GoedertTEPHI28
712023 Rookie 1.07
722023 Rookie 1.08

Chris Godwin, Michael Pittman, and DJ Moore have a lower range of outcomes, just based on when and how often wide receivers elevate into the top 12 in their careers than wide receivers I have ranked above them. However, they offer great value and better certainty than many.

So, Kenneth Walker and Travis Etienne are the two (popular) young running backs who have done well recently. I think both have top-12 production in their future, but I think they are being overvalued because of the lack of good young running backs in the league right now. In general, I’m going to try and find another dynasty manager who is scared, concerned, or just biased against the older running backs they are rostering to work out a better deal.

I expect new top 12 running backs to emerge every year but especially in the slump of NFL draft picks that have been made and hit in the last few years. I don’t think either Walker or Etienne has the likely expectation of Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkley at any point, making them more replaceable than their current value allows for. Najee Harris is probably the only running back under 25 who I think is a good value right now.

Austin Ekeler is just always going to offer muted trade appeal because of his draft capital, or lack of it. That can stick in a lot of dynasty players’ minds in my experience, especially at 27 years old. Again, running back is about points, for me, otherwise, on average, I lean towards other positions or value upside.

D’Andre Swift is starting to feel like the Charlie Brown Football scene, and I’m starting to think about playing Lucy for a change. I believe in the player and his role’s path to production (see Austin Ekeler but younger) but I typically don’t want to take any risk at running back if I can help it. I think the 1.06 is the second running back in this year’s draft.

Something to consider in this range is that a draft class has not produced two wide receivers with two top-12 PPR seasons since 2015. That’s not because we have not had good wide receivers, it’s because wide receivers play for a long time and many wide receivers from previous draft classes have been occupying those spots. Moving forward I think the 2019-2021 draft classes will continue to hit that kind of ceiling. In other words, those players have a lot left to offer but are less “hyped” than younger players or rookies.

I say all that to point out that Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Marquise Brown, and Diontae Johnson are all players you will be starting for years. Or at least we should expect that. Same for Brandon Aiyuk and Rashod Bateman (who was injured but doing very well before that on a limited offense – an offense we should have expected to be limited in the passing game).

Christian Watson, I like him, but I think his production was overly usage sensitive. What does that mean? Well not to get too nerdy but I think he was more schemed than Treylon Burks and Drake London. That’s not bad, nor do I think it means he won’t do well. I just think has had more high variance and low consistency in his range of outcomes. I can’t imagine a way George Pickens’ situation drastically improves and right now he’s valued similarly to the other sophomores who also had a great rookie season.

Hey, look, I’m starting to get interested in running backs! Too late for most drafts, but I think this off-season their value will be muted with rookies on the way and landing spots up in the air. Not to mention Javonte Williams’s injury and the potential for the NFL Draft to bring suddenly uncertainty to their situations. This is also why I rank a group of rookie picks I expect to be a fairly interesting group of running backs from the 2023 class.

Rankings: 73 - 96

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
732023 Rookie 1.09
749319Calvin RidleyWRJAC28
7550-25Rhamondre StevensonRBNE24
769014Russell WilsonQBDEN34
7757-20Derrick HenryRBTEN29
7849-29Joe MixonRBCIN26
7958-21JK DobbinsRBBAL24
809111Geno SmithQBSEA32
81898Derek CarrQBLV31
829210Matthew StaffordQBLAR35
8351-32Jerry JeudyWRDEN23
84840Mac JonesQBNE24
85883Elijah MooreWRNYJ22
86959Pat FreiermuthTEPIT24
8786-1TJ HockensonTEMIN25
8810012Tyler LockettWRSEA30
8910516Rondale MooreWRARI22
9078-12DeAndre HopkinsWRARI30
9175-16Keenan AllenWRLAC30
9270-22JuJu Smith-SchusterWRKC26
9367-26Terry McLaurinWRWAS27
9477-17Miles SandersRBPHI25
9573-22Tony PollardRBDAL25
9683-13Rachaad WhiteRBTB24

Speaking of wide receivers with two or more top 12 seasons, Calvin Ridley – the only player at the position from the 2018 class with a top 12 season – was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Should he return to the NFL he would immediately be the best wide receiver on that team and with a young talented quarterback. Think about that now, before everyone starts ranking him in the top 24 in redraft and content starts telling everyone what a “sleeper” he is.

After that, we enter another section of me drastically undervaluing running backs because of the time of year and the extra risk. With no immediate risk of needing to start a roster, I would rather slow-play the position – look for trades into interesting draft picks or future draft picks for the older players closer to the season and after the NFL draft.

Beyond that, I like valuing the middle class of tight ends right now. I think it’s been long enough that the middle class at the position were consistent starters, if not the elite-level producers of Kelce and Andrews (and potentially Pitts), that dynasty has just become used to undervaluing them.

If Pat Freiermuth and TJ Hockenson can provide Antonio Gates or Jason Witten level points for a few years I think this would be a steal in dynasty. I think both Rondale Moore and Elijah Moore still have top 24 starter upside, but both ideas are based on shortened – or wildly context-driven – analysis. Still, they are young enough that I think the value upside is decent here and they don’t have the overvalued rankings of dynatsy “sleepers” that I try to avoid.

I have Keenan Allen and Deandre Hopkins so low because I honestly think their value isn’t there in trades. The points should be there in 2023 but it’s the off seasons and I don’t want to value players in one ideal situation where one year of points is particularly important in dynasty. Ranking them higher feels like it would justify all the “sell now” articles that will be written next off-season even though neither will bring a first-round pick in return right now.

Rankings: 97 - 120

RankAVG+ / -NamePosTeamAge
9781-16Christian KirkWRJAC26
9876-22Jahan DotsonWRWAS22
9912728Michael ThomasWRNO29
10096-4Darnell MooneyWRCHI25
10148-53Dalvin CookRBMIN27
10269-33Courtland SuttonWRDEN27
10311411Isiah PachecoRBKC23
10411814Jakobi MeyersWRNE26
10585-20Gabriel DavisWRBUF23
1061060Kadarius ToneyWRKC24
1072023 Rookie 1.10
1082023 Rookie 1.11
1092023 Rookie 1.12
1102023 Rookie 2.01
1112023 Rookie 2.01
11297-15Wan'Dale RobinsonWRNYG22
113101-12Brian RobinsonRBWAS23
11482-32Jared GoffQBDET28
11599-16Kenny PickettQBPIT24
11668-48Dameon PierceRBHOU22
11714023Evan EngramTEJAC28
118113-5Dalton SchultzTEDAL26
119115-4David NjokuTECLE26
12087-33Daniel JonesQBNYG25

If there are older wide receivers that are potential values in dynasty it’s Calvin Ridley and Michael Thomas. Sometimes believing talent hasn’t washed away in the absence of fantasy news pays off at his current rank I think a top 12-season return is worth betting on.

Isiah Pacheco just looks undervalued as based on his rookie seasons, draft capital never scares me.

Gabriel Davis and Jakobi Meyers are two ideal flex wide receivers with completely different weekly upsides. But only one of them is being valued 15 spots below this point, however, and Meyers is on a one-year contract in a weak free agency year.

I, so far, expect a solid tier of prospects between 1.10 and 2.01. There will probably be more nuance to the tier after the NFL Draft. But this is the kind of range I’d use to trade in or out of aging or lower ceiling of players I have ranked here, if possible.

Wan’Dale Robinson only had one good game but his overall usage in his rookie seasons looks good. Consider him the potential Rondale Moore – injury excused – sleeper I’m willing to believe in, but 14 spots too high on average.

Next, we hit a plethora of underrated, but hard-to-trade, quarterbacks. I often overvalue the second tier but when it comes to the mediocre, bare minimum starter I find myself wondering who is going to give me more in trade than I can draft or trade for directly at the same value. That’s probably unfair to Kenny Pickett, but it’s where my rank comes from. I try not to value age as much as players on good career production arcs and he doesn’t fit the bill.

The most notable players to round out this group are Evan Engram – following similar logic of undervaluing the middle class of starters in dynasty right now – and Trey McBride – which is just a bet on my rookie profile of him and the fact the position develops more slowly in the NFL as a rule. Also, I just enjoy Jamaal Williams as a player and while his touchdown production greatly exaggerated his fantasy relevance this year I also think he is talented and occupying a role that leads to heavy touchdown usage.

Okay, that about wraps it up. Working through this exercise I’ve changed my mind constantly and I could talk forever about each rank. But I just don’t want to make this article any longer than it has to be, since you’ve been a trooper to make it even this far in. So, don’t be afraid to ask me about them in the comments below or on Twitter anytime.

Thanks for checking this out, and good luck finding values in your dynasty league.

Be sure to check out our complete Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
Peter Howard
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Peter Howard: Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Explained
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Cy Guy
3 months ago

I never comment on these but I have to say I love this write up. The level of detail is awesome, and the analysis top notch. If I happen to disagree with a ranking, I can look at the explanation to see WHY and either adjust my own ranking or factor the reason into these. Thank you, love content like this.

3 months ago

All I saw was go buy Deshaun Watson

Larry Gunn
3 months ago

Thanks Peter! I appreciate this series.

Pacheco…. I love this heart. I was really impressed with his improvement during the season (Bieniemy?)…but with CEH and McKinnon likely moving on, not to mention the running back depth in free agency and the draft, doesn’t the future seem somewhat murky for him?

3 months ago

Super helpful article to read and reflect upon my own thought processes, biases, and values. Thank you for the time put in and the level of detail shared!
One specific thing that caught my eye was how low Jerry Jeudy is for you. Any particular reason?

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