- Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs lead the way despite the scoring system: They are the two best running back prospects of the past five seasons and are safer bets to thrive than most of the quarterback class.
- Three quarterbacks in the top five: The three first-round quarterbacks round out the top five. While quarterbacks are very valuable in superflex leagues, there is no guarantee they will be the long-term answer for their franchises.
- Plenty of late-round quarterback options: Fourteen quarterbacks were picked in total during the NFL draft with every team looking for the next Brock Purdy.
Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
With the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft, here is the most recent version of my dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings for superflex PPR leagues.
Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Friday, June 30
1. RB Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons (RB1, Round 1-Pick 8)
Landing in Atlanta was the best-case scenario for the top running back prospect in years.
- The Falcons were the only team to run the ball on more than half of their offensive plays last season, which included maintaining the run even when playing from behind.
- They ran 48.8% of the time while losing, which was 5 percentage points more than any other team.
- Those rates remained similar when Desmond Ridder took over as the team’s starting quarterback.
- The Falcons' depth was a talented Tyler Allgeier and a 32-year-old Cordarrelle Patterson. Allgeier can allow Robinson to rest at times, but that shouldn’t stop Robinson from seeing 20 touches per game.
- He will be running behind some of the best interior linemen in the league. Chris Lindstrom and Matt Hennessy are two of the five interior linemen to earn a 90.0-plus PFF run-blocking grade over the past two seasons.
- He should be an early first-round pick in redraft leagues — and the top option in single-quarterback dynasty drafts, rookie or not.
2. QB Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts (QB1, 1-4)
Richardson leads all quarterbacks on this list thanks to his rushing ability.
- Each of the top six quarterbacks last season ran for at least 250 yards.
- Five of the 10 quarterbacks to average 18.4 fantasy points per game or better gained at least 700 rushing yards.
- Richardson was clearly the best runner of the class, both on tape and through combine measurables.
- He will benefit from having Shane Steichen as his head coach.
- Steichen was most recently the Philadelphia Eagles‘ offensive coordinator during Jalen Hurts’ breakout seasons.
- Steichen was also the offensive coordinator for Justin Herbert in his rookie season where he finished at QB9.
- There is no guarantee Richardson hits the same heights as past rushing quarterbacks, but his odds are the highest among the 2023 signal-callers.
3. RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions (RB2, 1-12)
Gibbs landed with a Lions team that will love to utilize him, but he might not receive goal-line touches.
- The past five running backs picked in the top 12 of the NFL draft played a minimum of 550 offensive snaps during their rookie seasons. A team picking a running back that early will have them at the top of the depth chart.
- Gibbs replaces D’Andre Swift, who was the best receiving running back of the 2020 class. Gibbs was the top such player of this 2023 class, and he will take Swift’s role completely.
- There is still a decent chance David Montgomery will maintain fantasy value. He’s the biggest running back of the three and is most similarly built to Jamaal Williams.
- Williams was consistently scoring touchdowns from the one- or two-yard line in 2022, leading to 17 touchdowns.
- This might prevent Gibbs from being a consistent top-10 fantasy running back week in and week out, but he can still be a top-20 running back.
- Both Williams and Swift finished among the top 20 fantasy running backs in five separate weeks last season and have two games in the past two seasons where both finished in the top five.
- That pairing will be Gibbs and Montgomery this season, and the offense could be even better than the 2022 version.
- Gibbs could have been the 1.1 dynasty rookie pick in most seasons but falls to second only because Robinson was also in the class.
4. QB Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers (QB2, 1-1)
Young was the first overall pick in the NFL draft, but he might not be set up for immediate fantasy success.
- The former Alabama quarterback gained a 90.0-plus PFF passing grade in each of the past two seasons.
- Someone picked first overall is expected to be the long-term answer at quarterback. In superflex leagues, Young could be a long-term starter.
- It could be difficult for him to ever have a great fantasy season.
- Young never recorded a PFF rushing grade above 70.0 for a season in college, and he gained 10 or fewer rushing yards in over half of his games.
- Joe Burrow and Kirk Cousins are prime examples of quarterbacks who were successful for fantasy managers last season despite not running often.
- Those quarterbacks benefited from elite wide receivers, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, leading their teams, with great secondary options in Tee Higgins and T.J. Hockenson.
- Those types of weapons aren’t currently on the Panthers' roster.
- Carolina completely retooled its skill players, adding Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark Jr. and Hayden Hurst in free agency.
- They also drafted Jonathan Mingo in the second round while retaining former second-round pick Terrace Marshall Jr.
- All of them would be OK third receiving options for a team, but none of them are long-term solutions at the position.
- Thielen and Hurst are the players Carolina invested most in, but they will be 33 and 30 years old, respectively, by the start of the season.
- It’s certainly possible Carolina can find Pro Bowl-caliber receivers for Young at some point, but there’s no guarantee they do.
5. QB C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (QB3, 1-2)
Stroud is in a similar situation to Young — where he’s expected to be a long-term starter but lacks the rushing production or receivers to be anything more than a respectable starter.
- Stroud surpassed 20 rushing yards only twice in the past two seasons. In comparison, Anthony Richardson went over that mark in all but one game last year.
- Houston similarly brought in several free-agent skill players, including Dalton Schultz and Andrew Beck at tight end, Robert Woods, Noah Brown, Steven Sims at wide receiver, and Devin Singletary and Mike Boone at running back.
- They are all solid role players who bring something to the table, but there is no clear-cut top receiver on the team. None of these players would be the second-best receiving option on most teams.
- The most likely scenario is that Stroud’s passing talent is enough for him to be a starter in superflex leagues for a number of seasons. With improvements at wide receiver over his career, he could be an asset to fantasy managers.
- He could also follow in the footsteps of other recent second-overall picks and not be a starter in the league for long, including Zach Wilson, Mitch Trubisky, Carson Wentz and Marcus Mariota.
6. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks (WR1, 1-20)
Smith-Njigba is the most talented wide receiver in the draft class but didn’t necessarily land in the best situation — at least, not at the moment.
- Smith-Njigba beats out the other first-round receivers simply because of the gap in talent.
- The Seahawks have a long tradition of utilizing slot receivers under Pete Carroll, from Golden Tate to Doug Baldwin to Tyler Lockett.
- One problem for Smith-Njigba is the wide receivers ahead of him. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are two of the 18 wide receivers in the NFL to earn a receiving grade above 83.0 over the past two seasons.
- Metcalf is under contract until 2025, and Seattle will likely want to sign him to another contract after that.
- Lockett is also under contract until 2025, but he will be 31 years old by the middle of the season.
- Seattle could potentially move on from him after the 2023 season, but 2024 might be more realistic if Lockett keeps playing well.
- Seattle’s quarterback situation also isn’t as good as others. Geno Smith was an average starter last season, but he will be 33 years old by midseason and is clearly not the long-term solution.
- Smith-Njigba is the best option for a team wanting a wide receiver and can wait a few years before he becomes a fantasy starter.
7. WR Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings (WR2, 1-23)
There was a run of four wide receivers late in the first round, and Addison has the best opportunity to immediately produce for fantasy managers.
- 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 landed with the Baltimore Ravens, who were the sixth-run-heaviest team last season and are the run-heaviest team over the past five years.
- 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.
- Quarterback Kirk Cousins has achieved an 87.5 PFF offensive grade over the past two seasons combined, which ranks fifth among active quarterbacks.
- The Vikings went from a run-first team with Mike Zimmer to posting the fifth-highest pass rate (66.4%) under Kevin O’Connell in 2022.
- They might even pass more often during the 2023 season if they move on from star running back Dalvin Cook.
- Addison will never be the Vikings' top wide receiver as long as Jefferson is still on the roster, but a team can have two fantasy stars at the position.
- The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all produced two top-20 fantasy wide receivers last season.
- Addison is the best wide receiver option for someone looking for an immediate fantasy starter.
8. WR Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers (WR3, 1-21)
Johnston was the second wide receiver off the board, and he will get paired with one of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks.
- Justin Herbert’s 88.1 PFF offensive grade over the past two seasons ranks fourth best among active quarterbacks.
- Herbert is only 25 years old while Johnston is 21. If everything goes well, these two could be playing together for the next decade.
- Johnston is both the freakiest athlete in this wide receiver class and the best after the catch.
- This isn’t the best immediate landing spot for Johnston, as Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will likely hold onto the top positions on the depth chart.
- Allen recently turned 31 years old and is already in the top 40 all-time in receptions. He is still playing at a high level and is an asset in the short term, but he won’t be part of the Chargers’ long-term plans.
- Allen and Williams are both signed through the 2024 season, but both have cap numbers over $32 million. The Chargers could save more than $20 million by cutting either one of them — or $40 million by cutting both. Los Angeles currently has one of the worst cap situations in 2024, so releasing at least one of Allen or Williams after the season is very plausible.
- Johnston will still be worth a mid-round flier in fantasy drafts just in case he breaks out early, but his combination of talent and situation is arguably the best of the wide receiver class.
- He is the best option at wide receiver for a fantasy manager who doesn’t need a fantasy starter for 2023 but wants one for 2024.
9. RB Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks (RB3, 2-52)
Charbonnet lands with a team that loves running backs but used a second-round pick on one last season in Kenneth Walker III.
- The second-round rookie has the best vision in the class and is also the class' best short-yardage back.
- Seattle has been the home of several fantasy starters when a player has been given the opportunity.
- Kenneth Walker III was RB9 from Week 6 until the end of the season once he became the starter last season.
- Rashaad Penny was the top running back over the last six weeks of 2021 once he began seeing significant playing time, including four games with 130 or more yards and at least one touchdown.
- Chris Carson was a top-20 fantasy running back each season from 2018-2020.
- The problem is that Walker and Charbonnet will likely share the workload as long as both players are healthy.
- We could see an ugly three-man rotation to begin Charbonnet’s career, as Pete Carroll mentioned DeeJay Dallas pretty early when discussing his new running back room.
- This is similar to the running back rotation Seattle used to begin last season with Penny, Walker and Dallas.
- Charbonnet remains this high despite the competition because of his talent, and he is just one injury away from being a top-10 fantasy running back.
- Charbonnet ranked higher on our big board this season (50) than Walker did last season (55). There is certainly a chance Charbonnet becomes the starter at some point.
10. TE Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills (TE1, 1-25)
Kincaid was the clear top receiving tight end of the class and remains the top option despite questionable potential in his first season.
- Dawson Knox is coming off back-to-back top-10 seasons in terms of fantasy production, but this was largely due to playing in a high-scoring Bills offense led by quarterback Josh Allen.
- He produced a 63.7 PFF receiving grade over the past two seasons, which is the second lowest among tight ends with at least 750 routes in that time.
- His fantasy production has largely come from touchdowns, where his 15 are the third most among tight ends in the same span.
- The Bills just signed Knox to a four-year, $52 million contract extension with $31.2 million guaranteed before last season, so he and Kincaid will likely need to share the tight end room for a minimum of this season — and likely the next two.
- This means neither Kincaid nor Knox can be trusted as a fantasy starter unless Kincaid can win the starting job outright.
- While that is a big concern for the first season, he should eventually replace Knox long-term and be that yearly top-10 tight end that Knox was, if not better.
- No other tight end makes the top 12, but there are several options who were picked in the second round of the NFL draft and should be selected in the second round of dynasty drafts.