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Fantasy Football: Top 5 breakout wide receivers, including Drake London and Jahan Dotson

2MAE2M5 Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Drake London among the elite 2022 rookies: Potentially being overlooked, London posted some promising numbers with the Atlanta Falcons last season to close out the year.
  • Jahan Dotson set to emerge: The Washington Commanders‘ 2022 first-round pick is primed to take over the No. 2 receiving role in what should be a more fantasy-friendly offense.
  • The Green Bay Packers‘ new WR1 in 2023: Christian Watson is ready to deliver on high expectations for his sophomore season in Green Bay.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Each season, there are players that take their game to another level and significantly improve their fantasy production along the way. For the wide receiver position, targets and talent are the best recipe for success. After encouraging rookie seasons, there are five sophomore wide receivers who should be set to produce at a higher rate for fantasy in 2023.

Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave aren't included because they arguably already broke out as rookies, finishing inside the top-24 at their position on the year.

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Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

London was the first wide receiver drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft — a draft that produced three receivers who earned receiving grades above 80.0, which hasn’t been done since PFF started grading in 2006 (min. 100 receiving snaps). London, along with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, all hit that 80.0-plus receiving grade mark, which is promising, as there is a track record leading to increased fantasy success, dating back to 2015.

Since the 2015 NFL season (not including last year), there have been nine rookie wide receivers that earned an 80.0 receiving grade in their first season (min. 100 receiving snaps), and of those nine, seven (77.8%) went on to improve their fantasy production per game in Year 2. The average increase in points per game for those seven players was 3.3 points per game, creating an average above 15 points per game in Year 2, which figures to be high-end WR2 production on a weekly basis.

With London averaging just 10.5 PPR points per game as a rookie — the lowest of the other three 80.0-plus graded rookie receivers — he has a chance for a significant production boost in Year 2. The average second-year production from such receivers is 15.3 points per game, up from 14.0 in Year 1, which none of the three accomplished in 2022. While they should all be in for better seasons in 2023, London stands out as the best value of the three, as he has far and away the lowest ADP of the group. He earned the highest target rate of the three when on the field (27.2%) and has a potentially better quarterback situation this season after ranking 91st among 118 qualifying receivers in catchable target rate (68.4%), London has a great shot to build on his impressive rookie season. 

Drake London splits with two different quarterbacks in 2022:
Weeks PPR PPG Targets/game Catchable target rate YPRR
1-13 9.6 6.1 65.8% 1.72
15-18 14.6 8.8 74.3% 3.03

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders


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