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Best fantasy football landing spots for 10 prospects in 2023 NFL Draft

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

The goal today is to provide both season-long and daily fantasy football players with the best landing spots for 10 prospects 2023 NFL Draft prospects. The perfect fantasy football landing spot requires clear-cut avenues to success unimpeded by redundant skill sets or playing-time blockers. Each prospect/team pairing was made by prioritizing schematic and playing-style compatibility while also keeping plausible real-life average-draft-position likelihood in mind.

QB Bryce Young, Alabama to the Seattle Seahawks (Pick No. 5)

  • Seattle coaxed a renaissance season out of 32-year-old journeyman Geno Smith (75.4 PFF passing grade), but he is not the long-term answer.
  • Young (91.3 PFF passing grade) carries a knapsack of intangibles and accolades including the 2021 Heisman Trophy.
  • Young excels on the move and would thrive in the run-pass-option scheme that Pete Carroll employed early in Wilson’s (88.5 PFF rookie-season passing grade) career.
  • Young’s 78.7 PFF on-the-move passing grade and 109.0 NCAA passer rating rank top three among 68 FBS quarterbacks with at least 75 on-the-move dropbacks. Both his 8.3 yards per pass attempt and 76.8% adjusted completion rate rank top five.
  • The 6-foot, 194-pound speedster ripped 11 explosive 10-plus-yard rushing plays on 34 attempts, and his 9.2 yards per rushing attempt ranked No. 2 among 160 FBS quarterbacks with at least 25 rushing attempts.
  • The table below ranks in parentheses Young’s 2022 passing data among 57 FBS quarterbacks with at least 400 dropbacks.
FBS Passing Data PFF Passing Grade Big-Time Throw % – Turnover-Worthy Play % aDot – Yards per Att. Adj. Comp. % – NFL Passer Rating
Bryce Young 91.3 (T-No. 1) 5.7% (No. 17) – 2.0% (No. 13) 10.0 (T-No. 12) – 8.8 (No. 7) 77.4% (No. 7) – 114.9 (No. 4)

QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State to the Las Vegas Raiders (Pick No. 7)

  • Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr (65.4 PFF passing grade) will be traded or released this offseason.
  • Stroud (89.0 PFF passing grade) is regarded as an NFL-ready distributor, operating in the old-school 6-foot-3, 215-pound-pocket-passer mold.
  • Stroud’s point-guard playing style can immediately mesh with Las Vegas’ veteran route runners.
  • The table below ranks in parentheses Stroud’s 2022 passing data among the 57 FBS quarterbacks with at least 400 dropbacks.
FBS Passing Data PFF Passing Grade Big-Time Throw % – Turnover-Worthy Play % aDot – Yards per Att. Adj. Comp. % – NFL Passer Rating Avg. Time To Throw
C.J. Stroud 89.0 (No. 8) 7.0% (No. 5) – 3.6% (No. 47) 10.7 (No. 4) – 9.4 (No. 1) 72.8% (No. 33) – 125.0 (No. 1) 2.92 (No. 48)

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State to the Philadelphia Eagles (Pick No. 10 via New Orleans Saints)

  • Speedy yet unproductive slot receiver Quez Watkins (55.7 PFF receiving grade, 0.83 yards per route run) is Philadelphia’s offensive weakness. He can be cut easily, saving Philadelphia $2,743,000 with just $42,415 in dead money next year.
  • Smith-Njigba (55.3 PFF receiving grade, 83.0% slot-receiving snap rate) is coming off an injury-ruined junior-year campaign.
  • If Smith-Njigba can pass his NFL scouting combine physical and return to his 2021 form, he would be a great option for general manager Howie Roseman.
  • The table below ranks in parentheses Smith-Njigba’s 2021 receiving data among the 103 FBS slot receivers with at least 200 slot-receiving snaps in 2021-2022.
NCAA Slot-WR Receiving Data PFF Slot-Receiving Grade Per Routes Run %: Targets – Yards Catch % – Contested Catch % aDot – Yards After Catch per Rec. Yards per Rec.  Explosive 15+-Yard Pass Plays Missed Tackles Forced Rec.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba 91.4 (No. 1) 29.2% (No. 9) – 3.87 (No. 1) 84.5% (No. 2) – 90.0% (No. 1) 9.3 (No. 55) – 7.5 (No. 13) 15.7 (No. 9) 38 (No. 2) 16 (T-No. 5)
  • Smith-Njigba’s outrageous efficiency and totals were accomplished while competing with teammates Garrett Wilson (84.5 PFF receiving grade in 2021) and Chris Olave (79.9 PFF receiving grade in 2021), the Nos. 10 and 11 2021 NFL Draft picks, respectively.

TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame to the New York Jets (Pick No. 12)

  • New York’s pass-catching corps features Batman-and-Robin wide receiver duo Garrett Wilson (85.9 PFF receiving grade) and Elijah Moore (58.1 PFF receiving grade) with do-it-all bell-cow Breece Hall (48.8 PFF receiving grade) in tow.
  • Starting tight end C.J. Uzomah (60.8 PFF receiving grade) has failed to eclipse 1.35 yards per route run in his eight-year career.
  • Mayer (91.6 PFF receiving grade) leaves school after three seasons, holding his alma mater’s total tight end receptions record (180) and 2022 consensus All-American honors.
  • The table below ranks in parentheses Mayer’s 2022 receiving data among 96 FBS tight ends with at least 200 receiving snaps.
NCAA TE Receiving Data PFF Receiving Grade Per Routes Run %: Targets – Yards Catch % – Contested Catch % aDot – Yards After Catch per Rec. Yards per Rec. Explosive 15+-Yard Pass Plays Missed Tackles Forced Rec.
Michael Mayer 91.6 (No. 2) 30.5% (No. 1) – 2.44 (No. 1) 66.3% (No. 60) – 65.4% (No. 18) 8.2 (T-No. 35) – 4.8 (No. 61) 12.1 (No. 36) 22 (No. 3)  12 (T-No. 6)

WR Zay Flowers, Boston College to the Los Angeles Chargers (Pick No. 22) 

  • Los Angeles features one of the most talented yet slow-footed pass-catching corps in the NFL.
  • PFF’s Mike Renner defined Flowers (76.1 PFF receiving grade) as a “movable weapon” with an “[unfair] combination of explosiveness and fluidity”.

  • Flowers’ jets consistently earned him between 6.3-7.4 yards after the catch per reception in his four-year college career.
  • His 6.5 yards after the catch per reception ranked No. 8 among 67 FBS wide receivers with at least 400 receiving snaps in 2022.
  • The 5-foot-10, 172-pound somewhat quelled size-related concerns via a 58.3% contested catch rate in 2022 — 13th-best among qualifying wide receivers — though the data point is known to be unstable. Flowers largely wins due to elite separation, so his contested-catch chops should be viewed as a perk.
  • Flowers impressively maintained a greater-than-1.97 yards per route run rate through his four-year college career.


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