Editor’s Note: These 2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings are a starting point for your dynasty rookie draft. Make sure you’re ready for your draft by checking out our 2023 Rookie Draft Guide, which is now fully updated with post-draft profiles for all your favorite prospects, our current Dynasty Rookie Rankings and our convenient Rookie Draft Cheat Sheets coming soon. Looking to move or acquire some of those picks? Make sure you take a look at our Dynasty Trade Analyzer and import your leagues to get maximum value. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football draft preparation.
Every draft has its own uniqueness. This year’s version promised one generational running back, some wide receivers with really big upside, a deeper-than-normal tight end class and some very unique quarterback talent.
As always, there are going to be some tough choices in dynasty drafts and we’ll be here all off-season to help you make the best moves possible. Let’s dig into these early 2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings and start breaking them down.
The tiers and commentary I’ll make on this post are my own, comprised of my own opinions. The rankings are based on our consensus rookie rankings. To me, tier one consists of one player, regardless of the format you’re in.
1.01 = Bijan Robinson, RB ATL
There are very few years where a non-quarterback would sit on top of both the 1QB and Superflex rookie rankings, and even fewer where that spot would be held by a running back. Still, that’s where we are with Bijan Robinson, who is the undisputed 1.01 this season. Robinson improved every year at Texas and finished 2022 with 1,580 rushing yards (6.1 yards per carry), 19 catches, 314 receiving yards, and 20 total touchdowns. While you’d like to see more receiving prowess, he has an undeniable skill set and is simply the best running back prospect we’ve seen since Saquon Barkley.
Robinson ended up being selected by the Falcons with the eighth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s rare to see a running back taken in the top ten these days but he’s good enough to break conventional wisdom. In fact, the Falcons reportedly are considering having him play the slot at times as well, showing what they think of his versatility. He will immediately become the focal point of the Atlanta offense and instantly becomes a top ten running back in dynasty leagues. Tyler Allgeier will now become a solid change of pace back as Robinson is in line for a monster workload as the Falcons build around Desmond Ridder, who they failed to replace in the draft.
Simply put, Bijan is in a class of his own.
This tier consists of five players – four receivers and one running back. The running back is the near-undisputed RB2 in the class but there is destined to be great debate in terms of the draft order for the four wide receivers taken back-to-back-to-back-to back(is that the right number of backs?) in the 2023 NFL Draft.
1.02 = Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR SEA
Dynasty managers tend to have short memories and those who have forgotten how good Smith-Njigba was two years ago simply need to be reminded. Last year was a lost season as he battled through injuries, featuring him posting just five catches for 43 scoreless yards in his final year at Ohio State. However, this is the same player who recorded 95 catches for 1,606 receiving yards and nine scores in 2021. Remember, that was also the same year he set the Rose Bowl record with a 15/347/3 day. There are concerns about the soft tissue injuries he’s dealt with over the past year, but Smith-Njigba has true WR1 superstar potential.
Smith-Njigba was the first receiver selected, going at #20 overall to Seattle. His selection started the run of four with the rest of the receivers on this tier. They will be forever linked in the NFL and dynasty rookie draft history as a result. Smith-Njigba is currently at the top as many who know Ohio State football believe he’s better than both Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. If that’s the case, this is a steal late in round one. Smith-Njigba is going to create a monster duo with All-World receiver DK Metcalf when Tyler Lockett moves on. He could be brought along slowly behind Lockett but the upside is real here. Seattle is a run-first team but they also don’t shy away from taking chances in the passing game.
1.03 = Jahmyr Gibbs, RB DET
For those who miss out on Bijan Robinson this year, Gibbs is a nice consolation prize. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket transferred to Alabama last year and it proved to be a solid decision. He posted 926 rushing yards on just 151 attempts (6.1 yards per carry), caught 44 passes for another 444 yards and scored a total of ten touchdowns. His combine proved his skill set was legit as he posted a 4.36 40-yard dash and showed well in each of the drills. While he may not be a true RB1 for a team, Gibbs reminds many of Alvin Kamara and he could serve as a dual-threat weapon. He’s fast, explosive, and dynamic,
The Detroit Lions pulled the stunner of the draft when they took Gibbs with the 12th overall pick, then traded D’Andre Swift to the Eagles the next day. This was the draft’s first real stunner as many expected Gibbs to be a late first round pick at best. Detroit lost Jamaal Williams to the Saints in the off-season and apparently fell in love with Gibbs during the pre-draft process. His workload won’t be as big as some hoped, at least early in his career as he cedes carries to David Montgomery. Still, the talent is off the charts and Gibbs should be used early and often in what looks to be a totally revamped offense.
1.04 = Jordan Addison, WR MIN
Addison posted a monster 2021 with Pittsburgh as he teamed up with Kenny Pickett to post 100 catches for 1,593 yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns. After transferring to USC last year, his numbers took a dip as he posted just a 59/875/8 line. Still, we’ve seen the talent and while he needs to develop more strength, the skill set is there for Addison to be very valuable asset in dynasty leagues.
Addison will now slot opposite Justin Jefferson with the Vikings. There were better landing spots as he has little chance of achieving WR1 numbers in the presence of Jefferson. Still, we saw Adam Thielen be a fantasy weapon in this spot for a number of years. Addison will have to compete with KJ Osborn and others for wide receiver targets but he looks like a solid first rounder in rookie drafts. Make no mistake, this kid can play football.
1.05 = Quentin Johnston, WR LAC
Johnston improved in each of his three years at TCU, culminating in a 60/1,069/6 season last year, leading the Horned Frogs all the way to the National title game. Scouts loved his height, weight and speed combination as Johnston may check all the boxes better than any other receiver in this class. However, his hands could be a bit of a concern and while he could excel with Justin Herbert, he does need to improve his physicality as well. Johnston seems like a high ceiling, high floor prospect who could be seen as more of a super-safe WR2 in dynasty leagues more than an elite WR1, despite going to Los Angeles.
Dynasty managers will need to be patient as he will slot behind both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams for the foreseeable future. Johnston looks like a bit of a luxury pick at this point but dynasty managers will take it as he’ll be tied long-term to Herbert. There’s real long-term upside here with him and he has the looks of a mid-first round pick in the dynasty rookie drafts as one of the safer picks of the year.
1.06 = Zay Flowers, WR BAL
An elite-level athlete, Flowers projects as a serious slot dynamo in the NFL and many had him as their overall WR1 in the class. The former Boston College Eagle improved every season, highlighted by a 78/1,077/12 Senior campaign. While he lacks the size likely needed to be a true outside threat, he has the ability to slip through press coverage, explode through routes and simply has an ability to find soft spots and get open. Flowers is going to be a great addition in the slot for the Ravens and has the looks of a PPR dynamo.
Flowers could end up being the best of the four receivers in this tier as he looks the part of a dominant slot receiver at worst. Things could start slowly for Flowers with the presence of OBJ, but that’s short-lived. There will be much debate between the four wideouts but Flowers is a solid choice in the middle of round one of rookie drafts, especially now that Lamar Jackson is in the fold long-term. This honestly just looks like a year where you pick your favorite of the four and live with your choice as there isn’t much separation between any of them.
And now the fun begins. While not set in stone, the top six seem to have established themselves as the best of the 2023 class, at least in terms of 1QB leagues. However, the draft is far from over after six as this tier features some high-caliber dynasty prospects.
1.07 = Devon Achane, RB MIA
Achane could very well be the biggest wild card in both the NFL and rookie drafts this Spring, even after being taken by Miami. He’s blessed with amazing speed (he posted a 4.32 40 at the combine) and rushed for over 1,100 yards in the SEC last year for Texas A&M. However, he’s just 5’8 and 188 pounds, leaving many to wonder just how he’ll hold up physically in the NFL. Miami could very likely limit his touches (especially with Raheem Moster and Jeff Wilson still in the fold) but he has the ability to take any play and make it an explosive one.
Miami currently has a veteran-laden (and injury prone) depth chart that includes with Wilson, Mostert, Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. Achane is undersized but also very fast and productive in the Nation’s best conference. There is risk involved with him as the depth chart is in flux but a late first in rookie drafts is likely going to at least give you a solid chance at a good dynasty runner. He’s just not a sure-thing and that keeps him pretty far away from tier two.
1.08 = Zach Charbonnet, RB SEA
After finding playing time very difficult to come by at Michigan, Charbonnet thrived at UCLA the past two years, posting nearly 2,500 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. He also posted over 60 catches, proving he wasn’t simply one-dimensional. While he isn’t the quickest running back in the draft and far from an elite level talent like Robinson or Gibbs, Charbonnet’s has the skills to be a three-down workhorse, a role his body is totally suited for.
Many will look at this pick by Seattle as a shocker but the Seahawks have a storied history of drafting running backs early and often. There were rumors of Seattle’s interest in Charbonnet over the past few weeks and those look to have been spot on. The Seahawks simply love competition at every position and had little behind Kenneth Walker. This pick is going to be better in reality than it is in fantasy as Charbonnet will likely eat into Walker’s workload enough to move him down in the rankings. At the same time, there’s no starting path for Charbonnet, who will likely slip down into the late first round of rookie drafts now.
1.09 = Dalton Kincaid, TE BUF
Kincaid is a fluid athlete who had production to match as he posted 70 catches for 890 receiving yards and nine scores for the Utes last season. The Bills obviously loved him as they took him in the first round, ahead of Michael Mayer and a host of others. He needs to work on his run blocking, but dynasty managers won’t care much as that’s not exactly a statistic they care about. There have been many comparisons to Zach Ertz with Kincaid and if those ring true, he looks like a solid option, likely in the late first round of upcoming rookie drafts. Kincaid will compete with Dawson Knox for snaps in the Bills offense and while his career could start slowly, he has TE1 upside. Still, it’s going to be tough to trust him as an elite level prospect, even with Buffalo. The question is pretty easy – is he good enough to be a truly elite fantasy performer?
1.10 = Josh Downs, WR IND
If college production is the metric you use the most when determining which rookie you select each season, Downs could be your guy. After a quiet Freshman season, Downs recorded a ridiculous 195 catches the past two seasons at North Carolina, scoring 19 touchdowns in the process. While far from a physically dominant player and a likely liability in the run blocking department, Downs looks like one of the best all-purpose players in this draft and could even bring some special teams value with him to the NFL. Kadarius Toney has been mentioned by several outlets as a worthy comparison.
Downs was a hot prospect going into the NFL Draft but he slid all the way down to the end of round three, finally being taken by the Indianapolis Colts. Downs was a top ten rookie going into the draft and is going to have a hard time keeping that spot with the draft capital (or lack thereof) used on him. The fact this entire class seems thin will help him, though. Regardless, this looks like a solid landing spot for a highly productive player who looks NFL ready. His upside is tied to that of Anthony Richardson but Downs looks like a solid pick.
1.11 = Anthony Richardson, QB IND
With a ceiling as high as the Empire State Building and a floor lower than the depths of hell, we find quarterback Anthony Richardson of the Florida Gators and the Indianapolis Colts. The true wild card of the NFL Draft, Richardson has the upside of Michael Vick and the floor of well, you can name any bust you want. The Colts took the chance on Richardson, leaning on long-term upside and surprised many by taking him ahead of more seasoned signal callers. The scary thing is they want him to start next season, despite not giving him ample time to work on his mechanics, throwing accuracy and decision making. Make no mistake, though. Richardson is an athlete who can run, throw, and dominate any practice. Richardson set the NFL Combine on fire and made even the casual fan tune in to watch the “underwear olympics,”
Richardson is one of the most polarizing quarterback prospects we’ve ever seen, though it’s possible he sits behind Gardner Minshew to start the season. New Head Coach Shane Steichen was able to work miracles with Jalen Hurts and will try to do the same now in Indy. Richardson will be a top five pick in superflex leagues with many people taking him at the 1.02, taking the chance on his elite athleticism. In conventional formats, he looks like a late first-rounder.
Spoiler alert! This tier will continue into round two, which we’ll bring you later this week.
1.12 = Kendre Miller, RB NO
Miller and the aforementioned Quentin Johnston proved to be the 1-2 punch TCU needed this past season to make a run all the way to the National Championship game. While his 1,399 rushing yards, and 17 touchdowns look great on paper, there are also some concerns about Miller, most notably his lack of consistent explosiveness. At 6’0 and 220 pounds, he has the bulk and size to be a dependable running back at the next level, but few expect him to be a player a team can honestly build around, especially since he lacks a lot of third down value. However, the New Orleans Saints took him in the third round and while they still have Alvin Kamara and the newly signed Jamaal Williams, they also likely lack a true long-term option at running back. Kamara is likely to be suspended, so Miller could carve out early playing time to prove himself as well. He’s looking like a sneaky good dart throw late in round one or early in round two.
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