Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football: Breakout wide receivers for 2023 drafts

2MAE0AX Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London, right, reacts with teammate tight end Kyle Pitts after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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These breakout players are those who have an ADP between 48 and 120  on ESPN who I have ranked notably higher than their ADP, and they have a good chance of producing the best season of their career. For help on draft strategy, rankings or for more details about other players, check out the rest of my summer content below. For rankings with better filtering along with auction values, check out our draft rankings page.

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Drake London, Atlanta Falcons (ADP: 84.4, From ESPN)

London was a constant target for Atlanta, and he could build on a strong end to his 2022 season.

  • London was the eighth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. 
  • He was the clear top wide receiver on the Falcons' depth chart by the team’s first preseason game in 2022. 
  • He made an immediate impact with 16 catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns over his first three games.
  • Atlanta then stopped throwing the ball as much, leading to nine straight games with 40 receiving yards or less.
  • Desmond Ridder started the last four games of the 2022 season, leading to the Falcons passing more. London was WR18 during that time despite not scoring a touchdown.
  • Atlanta also had a noticeable uptick in passing plays after the switch to Riddler.
  • That is very promising for this season with Ridder still at quarterback, but those big games to end the season also came at a time when Kyle Pitts was injured, and Bijan Robinson wasn’t on the roster yet.
  • On the bright side, Atlanta’s other starting wide receivers are slated to be Mack Hollins and KhaDarel Hodge, who shouldn’t be taking many targets away from London.
  • London achieved an 83.2 PFF offensive grade, which was the best among the rookie class with at least 800 offensive snaps but also the second-best for a rookie over the past five seasons, just behind Justin Jefferson and just ahead of Ja’Marr Chase.
  • The only thing that will hold London back is passing volume, but if he takes a step forward, Atlanta will have no choice but to get him the ball more often.

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (ADP: 102.9)

Dotson is entering his second season with the Commanders after being a touchdown machine as a rookie.

  • The first-round rookie won the starting job before the team’s first preseason game.
  • He scored four touchdowns in the team’s first four games.
  • Dotson missed the following five games due to injuries and was eased back into action for the following three.
  • He averaged 68.8 receiving yards per game in the Commanders' last five outings, including another three touchdowns in that stretch.
  • The wide receiver and tight end room look nearly identical to last season, with the only changes being the additions of Byron Pringle and undrafted rookie Mitchell Tinsley to the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart.
  • It was clear in Washington’s preseason games that he will continue to be one of the two outside wide receivers, playing a high percentage of the team's offensive snaps.
  • Obviously, you can’t take too much out of preseason performance, but he was already back to scoring touchdowns in the Commanders' first preseason game.
  • He also caught five passes for 76 yards in one half during their second preseason game.
  • The offense should be more pass-heavy this season.
  • The main concern is his quarterback Sam Howell, and how well he’s played given his lack of NFL experience. At the very least, Howell is a big fan of Dotson.
  • His teammate Terry McLaurin has been missing practice with a toe injury and might not play Week 1. This shouldn’t impact where you’re picking Dotson but could make it easier to put him in your starting lineup Week 1.

Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings (ADP: 110.1)

Addison is the most likely rookie wide receiver to become a fantasy starter in 2023.

  • Our draft guide said he “has one of the higher floors among the receivers in the draft class due to his route-running chops and all-around athleticism.”
  • We’ve seen that this August already as he’s thrived in training camp and was the highest-graded wide receiver among those with at least 10 routes run in the first half.
  • He should outperform the other rookies in fantasy production this season because Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Quentin Johnston landed with teams where they are stuck as the third receiver on the depth chart for at least their rookie season.
  • Zay Flowers joined the Baltimore Ravens, who historically have been more run-heavy, and while they are expected to pass the ball more, it’s hard to picture them among the most pass-heavy teams.
  • Minnesota moved on from the 32-year-old Adam Thielen, who spent the past seven seasons as a starting receiver.
  • Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn will remain starters in three-receiver sets with Addison joining the lineup.
  • Addison should be able to jump Osborn on the depth chart to be the team’s No. 2 wide receiver.
  • At least two first-round wide receivers have finished among the top-25 fantasy receivers as rookies in each of the last three seasons. It’s very possible Addison helps continue that streak this year.
  • We can’t take too much stock in preseason performance, but his 84.7 PFF receiving grade was top-five for wide receivers in the first half with at least 10 routes run. He was behind Diontae Johnson, Romeo Doubs, George Pickens and Calvin Ridley.



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