After what feels like an eternity, we are now through three rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. We no longer need to speculate on landing spots or draft capital and the value of our coveted rookie picks are quickly taking final shape. At DLF, this is our busiest time of year. Over the coming days, our team will be busy churning out written, audio, and video content, updating our dynasty rankings and rookie rankings, and updating our annual Rookie Draft Guide. A majority of your dynasty rookie drafts will kick off in the coming days, so it’s important to absorb and process the information the NFL Draft provides us. With the final piece of the evaluation puzzle in place (draft capital) I’ve recruited some of DLF’s brightest minds with their thoughts on the draft.
1) Does Will Levis finally being drafted at the top of the second round rescue his first-round rookie pick capital in superflex leagues?
DaddysHomeFF – There will be a huge tier starting at around 1.10 that I could see him being a part of. However, with plenty of RBs set to go today, I could see him sliding to the early second. We have a long way to go, but I think he’ll fall somewhere between 1.10 and 2.04 to me. Tennessee is not a very enticing spot from my perspective so I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather swing for a potential starting running back over Levis.
Kev White – Process play is yes, back end of round one in rookie drafts based on just missing out on round one draft capital. He’ll have an opportunity to start, no matter how bad a prospect Levis is, there will be an opportunity to flip for a similar amount in the future if you time it right.
Eric Flynn – He’ll be a first-round rookie draft pick. The range might be interesting based on the NFL landing spots at other skill positions. Anywhere from 1.08 to 1.12.
Addison Hayes – I think he has to be a first round pick given the draft capital and landing spots to all the other skill players on Day 2. I don’t think you can make good arguments for taking Charbonnet or a Round 3 running back over Levis in the first, maybe Kendre Miller or Devon Achane for the landing spots. I also don’t think any receivers drafted in the second round were worth that draft capital and then we go to third-round Jalin Hyatt, Cedric Tillman, and Josh Downs. Are we taking tight ends over Levis? You know the more I talk this out, the depth of this class just got really gross if it’s forcing us to take Levis at the back of the first.
Brandon Haye – For me, I will not pick him until the very end of the first round. I didn’t believe in him before the draft and his falling out of the first round confirmed my beliefs. I am fine missing out on him if he hits.
John Hesterman – Given the draft capital and the team situation, Levis has late first/early second-round appeal. The Titans know their time with Ryan Tannehill is coming to a close. Levis is similar enough as a prospect for the Titans to have little deviation from their playbook and preferred playstyle. The path to fantasy relevance is not a long winding road with Levis. For a QB-needy dynasty team, he is tempting in the late first/early second-round range.
2) Who is the TE1 and did the draft affect your rankings?
DaddysHomeFF – My TE1 was Michael Mayer and now I’ve moved off him to Dalton Kincaid. The combination of draft capital and landing spot has made me flip the two. That said, this is a wasteland position and it gets even worse when you depend on rookie tight-end production. So I guess my answer is Kincaid but it doesn’t really matter long term. They’re all kind of mediocre.
Kev White – Dalton Kincaid and stayed the same, I don’t think you can have anyone over Kincaid in rookie TE rankings.
Eric Flynn – The TE1 is Dalton Kincaid and yes it did affect my rankings. I had no TE ranked personally previously. I’ll be drafting the cheapest of the day two guys and be happy to have a chip and a chair in the future TE stakes.
Addison Hayes – Dalton Kincaid is my rookie TE1 and he was in a tier with Mayer before the NFL Draft, so I just moved Kincaid to the top of the list with his first-round draft capital and amazing landing spot in Buffalo. After Kincaid, I think you have another tier of Mayer and LaPorta with good landing spots for each of them, but then after that, I don’t know if anyone is really worth grabbing with Musgrave and Kraft both going to Green Bay and Darnell Washington tumbling down the board. But going back to the original question – it’s Dalton Kincaid and I’m very excited about his future.
Brandon Haye – While I do love the landing spot for dynasty, for the time being, Kincaid still has to contend with Knox. So I love Sam Laporta on the Lions. Many did not see him play since the Iowa offense was so bad but he was the only productive receiver really and still made plays.
John Hesterman – Dalton Kincaid lands in the most fantasy-friendly offense and usurps the previously assumed TE1 in Michael Mayer. Kincaid has a skillset that is accommodating to the Bills offense and despite the learning curve of the position as a whole, he seems fairly pro-ready and capable of absorbing the playbook. The draft capital paired with the landing spot bumps Kincaid over Mayer, who currently is battling, in my mind at least, with Sam LaPorta who also lands in a favorable offense with needs at the position. The biggest draft mover, in my mind, was the tumbling of Darnell Washington in terms of draft capital. Green Bay’s approach of “if one tight end is good, two must be better” draft strategy is odd.
3) Which, if any, of the Day 2 wide receivers can turn into better dynasty assets than the wide receivers drafted on Day 1?
DaddysHomeFF – Josh Downs (jk, lol). None of them.
Kev White – Marvin Mims. It’s a long shot with him going outside of the top 40 picks – but the profile is solid, round two draft capital and the first player drafted in the Sean Payton regime. Small chance.
Eric Flynn – None. Need more words than that? Not one, by no means, not any, in no way!
Addison Hayes – Lol.
Brandon Haye – I may be a little biased since I have talked up Jayden Reed for about a year but I think he could be the explosive playmaker opposite Christian Watson. He will be ahead of Romeo Doubs and early on could outproduce Quentin Johnston and JSN based on a crowded WR room.
John Hesterman – If there is anyone who has a shot to be bigger than his draft capital, it feels like Marvin Mims is the dark-horse candidate. While his path to relevance may only be paved with the Broncos trading out one of their receivers to achieve it, it remains a longshot that is at least plausible.
4) Why is Seattle like this?
DaddysHomeFF – Pete Carroll has hated the fans ever since he didn’t hand off to Marshawn Lynch in the Super Bowl and we didn’t shut up about it for like six years. He has now found another way to hurt us, by killing our fantasy rosters. Now I’ll sit here crying while I look at all my Walker and Lockett shares. You win Pete! You win!
Kev White – One of several strange RB selections, alongside the Lions and Jaguars. The best-case scenario is a Nick Chubb / Kareem Hunt tandem, albeit with excellent WR weapons. It’s a head-scratcher.
Eric Flynn – Pete Carroll is all about establishing the run and ruining your fantasy football hopes. Everyone in Seattle wants to be in a grunge band right? Taking suggestions for what this Seahawks band name is.
Addison Hayes –
Brandon Haye – I was not high on Charbonnet but this kills his value and moves Kenneth Walker’s value down. I could see a 60/40 or 65/35 split. I always thought Charbonnet would be in a two-back system because of his lack of lateral quickness and athleticism.
John Hesterman – Habitual open-mouth gum chewers should always be viewed with suspicion. I have no idea why a team that identifies as a run-first, then run-again offense would add a second back with substantial draft capital that occupies a similar skill set. This move only serves to cannibalize the potential value of both backs and I have no explanation as to what they were thinking or how anyone got an entire room of people who football for a living to agree that the Charbonnet pick was the right selection.
5) Who is the RB3 of this class, does one exist?
DaddysHomeFF – Whoever the hell Cincy or Miami drafts at this point. This round will make or break the early second-round rookie picks this year. This has been such a mess but the third round could turn it all around with someone like Devon Achane to Miami or Kendre Miller to Cincy. We’re hurting but we’re not dead yet! (And there it is, Achane to Miami makes him the RB3)
Kev White – Devon Achane. All I wanted was day two draft capital, the landing spot is a bonus. Charbonnet would have been the obvious choice if not for landing behind a top-five dynasty RB in Kenneth Walker. Devon Achane is going to be a low-touch, high-efficiency, and explosive fantasy performer. He could end up being an 80% version of Jahmyr Gibbs.
Eric Flynn – Devon Achane got the RB landing spot people have been talking about for two years and the water is mighty fine there rather than Seattle, where Charbonnet landed in hot Walker. I don’t mind the Tyjae Spears landing spot either, to be honest, and I probably fall on his side.
Addison Hayes – I am both elated and discouraged that Kendre Miller has become my RB3 in this class, rising from my pre-draft RB5. I’m happy because I love Miller. I think he’s a very underrated back who can be used as a two-down workhorse or a three-down bellcow if needed. I am discouraged because of how we got to this point where Miller is now my RB3. Zach Charbonnet’s value disintegrated before our eyes by going to Seattle, and the only other running backs drafted on Day 2 were Devon Achane, Tyjae Spears, and Tank Bigsby. I wouldn’t blame anyone for having Achane at RB3 for the landing spot in Miami, but I had Miller ahead of Achane pre-draft and I like the Saints landing spot about as much as Miami, so Miller stays ahead, but I can’t really rationalize any other back ahead of those two.
Brandon Haye – I was not as big on him predraft as another but I think Kendre Miller is my RB3 as he could have an instant impact as a feature back especially if Kamara is suspended.
John Hesterman – At the risk of being all echo chamber, Devon Achane’s landing in Miami offers a slight bump above Kendre Miller for me. In a vacuum, Miller may be the correct long-term choice, but he has a pesky, and as of now, undecided Alvin Kamara issue ahead of him. Miami is a team built on speed and Achane can absolutely fly. I like both and they’re close for me.
6) Through 3 rounds is it safe to call the 2023 rookie class underwhelming compared to the hype?
DaddysHomeFF – Nah, it’s still a really solid, deep class with a good amount of high-end talent. We saw 2 RBs get top-15 draft capital and four WRs go in the first round. People may have done a little too far on the hype but are extremely over-correcting now which will ultimately make these rookies value picks. I am loving this class and this draft and can’t wait to make some of these picks. Lots of fantasy production coming from this group!
Kev White – Yes it is. Outside of Gibbs, it was unders on everything. Charbonnet and Bigsby are stuck behind young, talented bell cow RBs. I think it’s strong at the top, but getting to the end of round one and early round two and it gets murky. Plenty of good dart throw opportunities but nothing of great confidence.
Eric Flynn – It’s underwhelming if you compare it to the hype this time last year. It’s certainly not as bad as people have been making out during the off-season and I’m looking forward to rookie drafts to see how it all shakes out.
Addison Hayes – I think there are two ways to look at this:
1) Yes, it’s underwhelming now after we’ve spent a better part of a year and a half hyping this year as the next great rookie class, and now that we’re here about to make these picks, the depth has dried up quickly and it’s not the class we expected. But also
2) The only reason it’s underwhelming is that the NFL Draft really wrecked the values of these players due to certain landing spots and draft capital, which could mean we are now undervaluing this class and should still be expecting quality players to come out of it, even after the top group of guys. I think there’s a bit of truth in both, but sitting in it now as it’s all fresh, it really does feel like an underwhelming class.
Brandon Haye – Yes in a sense. It was being overhyped because a couple of players did not meet their ceiling. However, I think there are a lot of good players who can be fantasy relevant. It does lack the elite talent but in 2022 we said it was a bad draft class and it turned out to be really good. So we will have to see how the players produce this year.
John Hesterman – As of right now, yes. This class feels overly underwhelming in direct comparison to recent classes and how quickly the studs made their presence known. It’s a deep class from a running back and a tight-end mode of thinking. And there could be some positive surprises, but as of right now, yes. It does not seem like a bad class, just underwhelming from a comparative standpoint.
7) Biggest veteran winner?
DaddysHomeFF – As it stands right now, it’s Joe Mixon and Tony Pollard. I expected both teams to add at the running back position and neither has led both to be RB1s again this year. It’s amazing how bad the running back landing spots have been overall (exceptions being Bijan, Gibbs, and Achane). But these vets are still standing despite all the smoke around potential competition coming in.
Kev White – Tony Pollard. He was at a big risk of losing a large chunk of work (particularly in the red zone to a potential star like Bijan Robinson, Zach Charbonnet, or Tank Bigsby), and avoided the danger so far. His value will rise but could be a good time to sell on the back of injury and age (26 today), happy birthday Tony.
Eric Flynn – The RB veterans in situ, who were it seems dead men walking not so mighty long ago, have dodged bullets left right, and center. Geno Smith is probably smiling away to himself too.
Addison Hayes – I just want to collectively say “starting veteran running backs” have been the winners of the NFL Draft so far, minus the guys affected in the 1st round, but basically, everyone else has come out as huge winners. If you’ve held on to Dalvin Cook – winner – Joe Mixon – winner – Dameon Pierce – winner – Rhamondre Stevenson – winner – James Conner – winner – Tony Pollard – winner, and on and on and on. This running back class had the potential to do some serious damage to a lot of veterans we value highly, but almost all of them have come out clean. Even the teams that drafted a running back on Day 2, I’m not really concerned about most of them. Tyjae Spears does nothing to Derrick Henry’s value other than just confirm he’s aging and won’t be the guy forever. Tank Bigsby does nothing to my value on Travis Etienne. Even Kendre Miller, who I love in New Orleans, I don’t think massively affects Alvin Kamara’s value outside of all the other concerns we have for him already (age, suspension, etc). So if you’ve been rostering a bunch of running backs coming into the draft, chances are that most, if not all of them, came out pretty unscathed.
Brandon Haye – James Conner and Marquise Brown for the Arizona Cardinals. They both will be the top guy at their position this year as long as Hopkins gets traded. With or without Kyler Murray they will have to lead in production.
John Hesterman – Rhamondre Stevenson and Dameon Pierce are the first names that come to mind, and honestly, both are slightly surprising. But the odd man out I’ll bring up is Desmond Ridder. At this moment, it seems like the Falcons are building on some already good offensive pieces by adding the RB1 of this class with Bijan Robinson. For them not to chase a quarterback gives the surface glance of at least giving him an opportunity for development.