UPDATE: The draft is over! That means we have a much better idea of where some of these players stand as far as possible playing time to start their careers. We saw Devon Achane, Tyjae Spears, and Jonathon Mingo all land in good spots for their fantasy value. While some players I like will need to play the long game for work. I don’t expect a huge impact by rookies this season other than the obvious, but there is room for these guys to grow and work their way into better spots and that’s what drafting dynasty teams is all about.
The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is firmly in the books and it is time to start looking at the rookies for dynasty fantasy football purposes. The first thing to know is that draft capital is a good indicator for how many chances a player will get. If Anthony Richardson were drafted in the third round, he wouldn’t be as high as he is on this list, but going fourth overall, well he’s my No. 2 overall player and QB1.
This isn’t a great year for talent in the draft, so we are looking for upside and Richardson is brimming with upside to go along with plenty of downside as well. But, we have seen a blueprint for a quarterback that can play and be effective without throwing the ball a lot in Lamar Jackson. Jackson was a better thrower coming out of college, but John Harbaugh brought him along slowly and was successful early in his career. And now he’s the highest paid player in the league.
For dynasty I prefer wide receivers and dynamic quarterbacks with upside, but this year you can’t skip the two first round running backs, Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs. Robinson landed in run-heavy Atlanta, while Gibbs ended up with a surprisingly good offense in Detroit. Robinson is the no-doubt No. 1 pick based on his likely production from Day 1. Wide receivers will have longer careers on average, but Robinson is the cream of the crop in this draft.
Predicting how these wide receivers will do is tough. There isn’t one that feels like a lock to be great, which was seen by how far they fell in the draft. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is my favorite of the group and I see him getting open over the middle his whole career, but he did land in a tough spot in Seattle in the short term. But, he should have a long career and circumstances change.
We still have a lot of offensive players whose landing spots and draft capital are going to move them up and down these rankings. We still have a lot of draft left!
2023 rookie dynasty rankings