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2023 NFL Draft: Dynasty Strength by Position

We breakdown which positions and players are the strongest in this year’s NFL Draft for dynasty leagues.

Michael Mayer

Well, here we are.

Finally… it’s Draft Week! And I am sure you are all excited as I am to see where this year’s class lands as their NFL journeys begin.

Beginning Thursday night in Kansas City, we can put to rest all of the pre-draft projections and now begin to analyze how each player fits and what kind of success they can have in year one. But before we do that, I wanted to help prepare you for when the draft kicks off and familiarize yourself with each position as it relates to Dynasty and your respective rosters.

For this exercise, I will provide you with an overview of the positional strengths of this class, from a Dynasty perspective, ranked from strongest to weakest based on my evaluation. I want to give you analysis of the top prospects for each position and their projected fit at the next level through my own tape study. In particular, we will focus on the offensive skill positions, so it can help you gauge which rookies might be worth targeting and worthy of a draft pick for your upcoming rookie drafts.

Oh, one other thing… I plan to have this as an annual piece in the future for each class. Ok, no more talking. Let’s get right to it!

Tight Ends – Most impact potential

It’s a little ironic that the position viewed with the least importance has the most prospects for potential long-term impact this year. In the early part of the draft cycle, it occurred to me that this tight end class had about five to six potential players who could be a team’s TE1 in the NFL. That is the most we’ve seen in a long time, and this class has the chance to go down as one of the best in recent memory. Here’s an overview of the Top 10 (in no particular order), as a whole, broken down by a quick-hit role/projection:

Difference Maker: Michael Mayer

Mismatch Problem, Impact Player: Dalton Kincaid

Future TE1 Starters: Sam LaPorta; Tucker Kraft; Luke Musgrave

TE2 with upside: Luke Schoonmaker; Brenton Strange; Davis Allen

High Reward: Darnell Washington; Zack Kuntz

You might be surprised that I do not have Darnell Washington near the top of this list – but that is because I am not as high on him as the rest of the draft analysts and draft twitter are. Don’t get me wrong – I like his freakish athleticism and that he’s a physical specimen, but there are obvious limitations when it comes to his ceiling as a pass catcher and how he will be used that should not be ignored. He is a pro-ready blocker that will find an immediate role in 12 or 13 personnel… but will that also lead to targets through the air? That remains to be seen.

Running Backs – Have the most depth

There is some good depth in this running back class that if you are looking to replenish at the position, this could be the draft to do it. From a top asset to good bench depth, this class has it. There is a mix of size/speed, undersized but slippery open-field elusiveness, and burners. Some of these prospects will fall due to the nature of the position, but it is also possible that we see two go on day one. Here is how I see the entire group:

Difference Maker: Bijan Robinson; Jahmyr Gibbs

Future Starters: Zach Charbonnet; Tank Bigsby; Israel Abanikanda; Roschon Johnson

Lead Back In Committee: Tyjae Spears; Sean Tucker; Zach Evans; Devon Achane; Kendre Miller; Chase Brown; DeWayne McBride; Eric Gray

High Reward: Deuce Vaughn; Evan Hull

I think the biggest takeaway here amongst the running backs is the middle group that I considered as lead backs in a committee/rotation. It’s possible one or two of them emerge as more than such, but there’s plenty of depth with some of those day three backs that might find themselves playing a significant role in year one due to arriving in an uncertain situation. Spears, Brown, Achane, and Gray are the players I like the most out of that group that could contribute early. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t mind targeting any of those backs to see what happens.

DLF Dynasty Draft Coverage

Wide Receivers – Lacks star power at the top

A much different crop of receivers this year compared to the last three to four draft classes. This will sound redundant, but it’s true – this class is full of small guys. You can count on one hand the number of players with size, as most of them are 6 feet or less and sub-200 pounds. However, there are a lot of quality starters at the position that can develop into significant roles and be part of an offense’s future. Let’s take a look at this group and see where they stand:

Difference Maker: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Future Alpha WR1: Zay Flowers

WR2s w/ upside: Jordan Addison; Josh Downs; Quentin Johnston; Jalin Hyatt; Cedric Tillman; Tyler Scott; AT Perry

WR3s w/ starter potential: Marvin Mims; Rashee Rice; Trey Palmer; Jayden Reed; Jalen Cropper-Moreno; Parker Washington; Dontayvion Wicks

High Reward: Kayshon Boutte; Jonathan Mingo

High Risk: Andrei Iosivas; Nathaniel Dell; Michael Wilson

I see a lot of variance with this group. It’s very thin at the top, but the WR3 grouping and those with red flags may tell the whole story of this class. Also, I do believe one or two of those from the WR2 group will be better than expected and have early contributions. The bottom of this class feels like it could fizzle quickly. A lot will have to go right for them. If it does, we will all look back and say we were wrong! Lastly, I consider Mingo both high risk, high reward. The profile is super intriguing, but the tape doesn’t always match up.

Quarterbacks – A lot of question marks after the top tier

After Bryce Young and CJ Stroud – the two top quarterbacks in the 2023 class – there’s a whole lot of boom/bust potential. Young and Stroud appear to be the most pro-ready, hence why they have fluctuated between one and two… until now. The talk of Will Levis as the preferred QB2 off the board has gained steam, making it a real possibility that Stroud could be the one to fall. It is a huge gamble for whoever decides to make that decision, and it could make or break their tenure. It’s a lot of faith in measurables and testing compared to what the product on the field shows. But that’s why NFL decision-makers are paid a lot of money to have confidence in those evaluations. Let’s wrap up the last meaningful fantasy football position, which also appears to be the weakest:

Difference Maker: Bryce Young

Franchise QB1: CJ Stroud

Future Starter: Hendon Hooker

High Risk/Reward: Will Levis; Anthony Richardson

I focused solely on the top five here, as these guys project to have the most Dynasty value. I’d also give an honorable mention to Jake Haener, as I think he projects as a high-valued backup that can spot-start and get through a game. If you’re looking for a dart throw in the later rounds, Dorian Thompson-Robinson has the rushing upside that carries value in every format. Jaren Hall out of BYU is another name to consider along with DTR. This class will be dependent on how Levis and Richardson develop at the next level. If they hit, and Young, Stroud, and Hooker are what we expect them to be, it will not only strengthen the future of the position, but make it one of the top draft classes in recent memory.

This concludes my overview/analysis of the positional strengths for the 2023 draft class from a dynasty perspective. Hopefully, this should give you a baseline to work with post-draft and help prepare you for your upcoming rookie drafts.

Although, until that time, I hope you get a chance to enjoy the draft as a fan much like I do – and all the excitement it brings.

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2023 NFL Draft: Dynasty Strength by Position
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Benjamin Cunningham
5 months ago

I really like this sort of concise approach to rookie tiers/rankings. Would have liked about double the words to expand on the players you like and why, but otherwise a good change from the normal approach to rankings and mocks. Nice work.

5 months ago

Good format to visual some of the tiers, but might want to adjust the labels. “Future alpha wr1” is definitely not the right label for zay flowers, and what is really the difference between a difference between the terms “difference maker” and “impact player?”

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