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Fantasy Football: Breakouts and sleepers for each position in 2023

2MAWFE2 Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Indianapolis Colts QB Anthony Richardson (80.3 PFF grade): He is the perfect player to replicate Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts’ (88.2 PFF grade) successes under Shane Steichen.

Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks (74.1 PFF grade): He is ready to produce as a points-per-reception WR2.

Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins (75.7 PFF grade): He will thrive in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s fast-paced offense.

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

This piece offers fantasy football managers one breakout candidate and sleeper at each offensive position for the 2023 NFL season. Breakout candidates are defined by position-specific annual fantasy finishes: quarterbacks and tight ends who have yet to produce a top-five fantasy football season, along with wide receivers and running backs who have not yet finished inside the top 24.

Sleeper candidates are defined as players currently going outside ESPN’S top 150 players in average draft position.

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Indianapolis rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson (80.3 PFF grade) will soar to QB1 stardom on the wings of new head coach and former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. Steichen’s former mentee, quarterback Jalen Hurts (88.2 PFF grade), was one of the five highest-graded quarterbacks to also average more than 20.0 PPR points per game in 2022.

All five elite QB1s finished top eight in total rushing attempts, with Hurts leading the way at 202. His 32 green-zone rushing attempts trailed only Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (45 attempts, 75.6 PFF rushing grade) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (33 attempts, 81.9 PFF rushing grade).

Hurts’ 170 regular-season play-action dropbacks were tied for No. 5 overall.

Fantasy managers should expect Steichen to feature the historically athletic 6-foot-4, 244-pound Richardson as both a passer and rusher, playing behind Sam Monson’s No. 10-ranked offensive line. Early comments from both the front office and ownership indicate Richardson has a shot to start in Week 1 over veteran backup Gardner Minshew (56.5 PFF passing grade).

The table below ranks in parentheses:

  • Richardson’s gunslinging 2022 passing data among 52 Power Five quarterbacks with at least 300 dropbacks
  • Richardson's 2022 play-action data among Power Five quarterbacks with at least 100 play-action dropbacks
Anthony Richardson
PFF Passing Grade 70.7 (T-No. 38)
Big-Time-Throw % – Turnover-Worthy % 5.5% (No. 19) – 3.3% (T-No. 31)
aDot – Past Sticks % 11.5 (No. 3) – 49.1% (No. 8)
YPA – Play-Action YPA 7.7 (No. 26) – 10.7 (No. 5)
Sacks 13 (No. 8)

The table below ranks in parentheses:

Richardson’s 2022 rushing data among 42 Power Five quarterbacks with at least 50 rushing attempts

Anthony Richardson
PFF Rushing Grade 84.8 (No. 2)
YPC – YAC/Att. 7.3 (No. 5) – 3.6 (No. 7)
Missed Tackles Forced – MTF/Att. 39 (No. 3) – 0.40 (No. 2)
10-Plus-Yd. Att. 19 (T-No. 19)
1st Down+TD % 41.2% (No. 6)

Richardson is a perfect fit for Steichen’s dynamic, dual-threat quarterback role.



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