Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2023 Rookie Rankings Retrospective

Tim Riordan

Before we flip the calendar to a new year, it’s already time to start thinking about the 2024 rookies in dynasty fantasy football! Last week, Dynasty League Football published our first rookie rankings for the 2024 season! But, before we can start calling the 2023 rookies “sophomores,” we have time to take a step back and analyze last year’s rankings, what went well, and what lessons we can apply to the 2024 NFL Draft Class.

Below is a snapshot of our 2023 1QB Rookie Rankings taken from early June, 2023.

Rank Player Name Avg Rank
1 Bijan Robinson 1
2 Jaxon Smith-Njigba 2.25
3 Jahmyr Gibbs 3.13
4 Jordan Addison 4
5 Quentin Johnston 5.38
6 Zay Flowers 5.38
7 Devon Achane 8.25
8 Dalton Kincaid 9.75
9 Zach Charbonnet 10
10 Anthony Richardson 11.5
11 Kendre Miller 12.75
12 Josh Downs 13.88
13 Michael Mayer 13.88
14 Marvin Mims 14.88
15 Rashee Rice 16.13
16 Bryce Young 17
17 Jonathan Mingo 17.63
18 CJ Stroud 18.63
19 Roschon Johnson 18.63
20 Sam LaPorta 18.88
21 Jalin Hyatt 19.88
22 Tyjae Spears 20.88
23 Cedric Tillman 23
24 Jayden Reed 23.13
25 Tank Bigsby 23.25
26 Luke Musgrave 25.25
27 Chase Brown 26.5
28 Tank Dell 29.5
29 Will Levis 31
30 Luke Schoonmaker 31.5
31 Israel Abanikanda 31.5
32 Tucker Kraft 33.88
33 Zach Evans 33.88
34 Tyler Scott 34.5
35 Darnell Washington 36.5
36 Kayshon Boutte 37.13
37 Michael Wilson 37.5
38 Hendon Hooker 40
39 DeWayne McBride 40.13
40 Deuce Vaughn 41
41 Eric Gray 41.88
42 Brenton Strange 42.38
43 Evan Hull 42.75
44 Charlie Jones 43
45 Sean Tucker 43.62
46 Dontayvion Wicks 44.37
47 AT Perry 45.5
48 Xavier Hutchinson 45.5
49 Tre Tucker 45.5
50 Parker Washington 45.75
51 Puka Nacua 45.88
52 Trey Palmer 47.5
53 Justin Shorter 48
54 Chris Rodriguez 48.13
55 Kenny McIntosh 48.38
56 Jake Haener 48.5
57 Deneric Prince 48.5
58 Andrei Iosivas 48.63
59 Keaton Mitchell 48.75
60 Dorian Thompson-Robinson 48.75


Jahmyr Gibbs (RB7; 16.3 PPG)

The Detroit Lions shocked the world when they took Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick. Dan Campbell must’ve been reading DLF, because we were all over Gibbs as the RB2 in this draft class from the very beginning.

Rookie Rankings in March had Gibbs as the third overall pick in 1-QB rookie drafts, and the second running back selected after Bijan Robinson. Gibbs has been so explosive in this Lions offense. Amongst all running backs with at least 100 attempts so far, he’s second to Jaylen Warren in YPC with 5.4 yards. He’s been dynamic in the receiving game as well, catching 45 balls for 288 yards. 45 catches is 6th amongst all running backs.

Gibbs benefitted from a mid-season David Montgomery injury, but he earned a large role in this offense from the jump. He’s a dynamic, home run hitter who looks like a young Alvin Kamara out there. An argument can be made that, going forward, Gibbs is the RB1 in dynasty from this draft class. Bijan Robinson had an impressive season as well, but he’s stuck in that frustrating Arthur Smith offensive scheme. But, Robinson has outscored Gibbs so far this season 189 to 179. Robinson also has a chance to be a non-sharer in a future iteration of this backfield, while Gibbs will likely always be in a timeshare. The DLF Rankings have Robinson at RB1 and Gibbs at RB4.

Jordan Addison (WR28; 13 PPG) & Zay Flowers (WR31; 12.5 PPG)

Jordan Addison and Zay Flowers were always at the top of Dynasty Rookie Rankings during last year’s draft season. There were flaws for both players, but DLF ranked them as the WR2 and WR4 respectively in the first run of rookie rankings last year. Out of the four first round wide receivers, Addison and Flowers have had the best season, both of them playing as number three wide receivers on fantasy teams this year, but flashing high-end WR2 upside going forward. Their rookie seasons have only been outdone by surprising studs Puka Nacua and Tank Dell so far.

We are seeing a changing of the guard at the wide receiver position. Where once, a 5’ 9”, 182 lbs wide receiver would never sniff the first round, we now see several undersized players succeed as first round picks. Zay Flowers especially epitomizes that trend. Speed and separation are valued more and more over the large, freakishly athletic wide receivers of the past. Zay Flowers’s game is all about separation and yards after catch. Flowers is third amongst wide receivers with at least 50 catches in average separation (3.5 Yards). He’s also first amongst all players with 7.7 yards of average cushion, per NFL Next Gen Stats. He’s only had one contested catch all season. It’s a different game, and undersized, speedy wide receivers like Zay Flowers and Jordan Addison can play much bigger than their size.


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