Fantasy football rookie rankings 2023: Top 50 dynasty rookies

Texas running back Bijan Robinson is the best player fantasy managers want in the 2023 NFL Draft. After that, Sportsnaut’s newest fantasy football rankings 2024 will take you through all the players you’ll want to target in dynasty, first-year player drafts and standards drafts.

Robinson is a generational talent. The projected best rookie running back in fantasy football next year, he is the top prospect at his position since Saquon Barkley. As a result, he will likely be a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and in standard fantasy drafts this year.

Related: Unlock Fantasy Sports Success! Get FREE Insights & Tips From Dr. Roto and His Team Of Big-Money Fantasy Winners!

Beyond Robinson, the class becomes more uncertain. C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson headline the 2023 QB rankings, but quarterbacks are rarely worth first-round picks in rookie drafts. Meanwhile, this year’s receiver prospects are divisive and there isn’t a Ja’Marr Chase in the group. One bright side of the 2023 rookie dynasty rankings, though, is it’s unusually deep at tight end.

Let’s dive into our 2023 fantasy football rookie rankings.

Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings 2023: Dynasty draft board

1.Bijan RobinsonRB1ATL21
2.Jaxon Smith-NjigbaWR1SEA21
3.Jahmyr GibbsRB2DET21
4.Quentin JohnstonWR2LAC21
5.Jordan AddisonWR3MIN21
6.Zay FlowersWR4BAL22
7.Anthony RichardsonQB1JAX20
8.Dalton KincaidTE1BUF23
9.Zach CharbonnetRB3SEA22
10.Kendre MillerRB4NO21
11.Tyjae SpearsRB5TEN22
12.Josh DownsWR5IND22
13.Michael MayerTE2LV22
14.Devon AchaneRB6MIA21
15.Bryce YoungQB2CAR22
16.Tank BigsbyRB7JAX23
17.C.J. StroudQB3HOU21
18.Zach EvansRB8LAR22
19.Sam LaPortaTE3DET22
20.Will LevisQB4TEN24
21.Roschon JohnsonRB9CHI22
22.Rashee RiceWR6KC23
23.Luke MusgraveTE4GB23
24.Cedric TillmanWR7CLE23
25.Jonathan MingoWR8CAR22
26.Jalin HyattWR9NYG22
27.Darnell WashingtonTE5PIT22
28.Nathaniel DellWR10HOU23
29.Marvin MimsWR11DEN23
30.A.T. PerryWR12NO23
31.DeWayne McBrideRB10MIN22
32.Kayshon BoutteWR13NE21
33.Tyler ScottWR14CHI21
34.Israel AbanikandaRB11NYJ20
35.Hendon HookerQB5DET25
36.Parker WashingtonWR15JAX21
37.Chase BrownRB12CIN22
38.Kenny McIntoshRB13SEA23
39.Sean TuckerRB14TB21
40.Bryce Ford-WheatonWR16NYG23
41.Jayden ReedWR17GB23
42.Eric GrayRB14NYG23
43.Andrei IosivasWR18CIN22
44.Trey PalmerWR19TB22
45.Luke SchoonmakerTE6DAL22
46.Keaton MitchellRB15BAL21
47.Zack KuntzTE7NYJ24
48.Mohamed IbrahimRB16DET25
49.Tucker KraftTE8GB24
50.Deuce VaughnRB17DAL25
Ages for fantasy football rookie rankings as of Week 1, 2023 NFL season

Before diving into our rookie rankings by position, we’ll note that the top-50 rankings and dynasty rookie positional draft board will be updated after Rounds 1, 3 and 7. Statistics used are via Pro Football Focus, ESPN and RAS.football.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft prospect rankings

2023 fantasy football rookie rankings – Quarterbacks

Syndication: USA TODAY

1. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson is easily the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy football rookie rankings from our perspective. In terms of pure tools, he matches Josh Allen and brings superior athleticism to the table. While Richardson might not be on the same athletic tier as Lamar Jackson, the former NFL MVP is 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds compared to Richardson’s 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds.

Related: Anthony Richardson scouting report

If you’re taking Jackson in yor 2023 rookie fantasy draft, it’s important to understand he might not start more than a few games this fall. The lower-body mechanics need work and Richardson’s penchant for inaccuracy needs correcting. With that said, no quarterback in this class touches his fantasy upside. Look at what the likes of Jackson, Allen, Jalen Hurts, Daniel Jones and Justin Fields did for fantasy managers with their dual-threat ability. That’s why Richardson is in his own tier as a quarterback in our 2023 fantasy rookie rankings.

I love the fit for Richardson with head coach Shane Steichen. Look at what Steichen did with Jalen Hurts last season in Philadelphia, now imagine a quarterback with even more athleticism and a stronger arm. Richardson isn’t polished and he might not be the best rookie quarterback next season, but he’s the only player at this position who could become a superstar for fantasy managers.

2. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

If fantasy managers want immediate production from their rookie quarterback, put Bryce Young atop your rookie dynasty rankings at the position. He is the most polished passer in the 2023 NFL Draft, instantly ready to start in Week 1 and play at an above-average level.

Related: Bryce Young scouting report

Young isn’t an elite athlete nor will he have one of the strongest arms in the NFL. However, he could rush for 200-plus yards in a season, complete a high percentage of his passes and post a solid TD-INT ratio. Landing spot absolutely matters and you must factor in the long-term durability risk with a 200-pound quarterback, but Young can be a great quarterback.

The Carolina Panthers are a quality landing spot from Young. For one thing, the rookie quarterback will greatly benefit from playing behind a solid offensive line with reliable veteran receivers (DJ Chark, Adam Thielen) who know how to create separation and make themselves an easy target for the quarterback. Plus, getting coached up by Frank Reich, Jim Caldwell and Josh McCown is the perfect trio to help maximize Young’s talent. While I still wouldn’t spend a first-round pick in rookie dynasty drafts on Young, he’ll be a quality starting quarterback.

3. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

There’s a lingering question with former Ohio State star C.J. Stroud that puts him as the fourth-best quarterback in our fantasy football rookie rankings. He showed very little on the ground in the Buckeyes’ offense, finishing with 136 net rushing yards in 26 games. If Stroud isn’t going to clear 100-plus rushing yards, it drastically lowers his fantasy ceiling.

Related: C.J. Stroud scouting report

However, there are two reasons to be optimistic. Stroud ran for a 48-yard touchdown in his first game at Ohio State and he put his athleticism – 34 net rushing yards – on full display vs Georgia. Second, the lack of rushing production might be an impact of Ohio State’s system, as demonstrated by Justin Fields never posting a 500-yard season in college then delivering 1,143 rushing yards in 15 NFL games last year. If Stroud turns out to be a better athlete than expected, he is just as appealing as Young in rookie dynasty rankings.

With the Houston Texans, Stroud won’t have the same caliber of offensive weapons as Stroud and that would be a detriment in his rookie season. However, he’s the most accurate quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft and he will prove at the next level that he’s a much better athlete than we saw at Ohio State. Stroud doesn’t offer an elite fantasy ceiling, but he can be an above-average starter for a decade-plus.

4. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

Will Levis played through injuries in 2022 and was surrounded by one of the worst supporting casts in the SEC. It clouds his evaluation and production, but there’s no denying he has the strongest arm in the draft class. He offers enough athleticism that when paired with his size – 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds – makes him a decent threat to run for first downs. However, poor decision-making, some volatile inaccuracy and a poor track record versus NFL-caliber talent raise signififant questions. Ultimately, Levis is a wild card with less upside than Richardson but a higher floor than Hooker.

Related: Will Levis scouting report

After not hearing his name called in Round 1, Levis came off the board early in Round 2. The Tennessee Titans offensive line is a work in progress and there are not a ton of weapons outside of Treylon Burks, but Levis won’t need to start right away. He does offer a high ceiling, but don’t expect fantasy contributions in 2023.

5. Hendon Hooker, Detroit Lions

If Hendon Hooker didn’t suffer an ACL tear in November, he lands above Levis in our rookie dynasty rankings. The knee surgery and Hooker’s age (26 years old in 2024) knock him down the board, but his fantasy upside is appealing. If Hooker becomes a starting quarterback in 2024, he can rush for 400-plus yards a season with a handful of rushing touchdowns. Factor that in with his quality passing skills and you’ve got a potential top-12 fantasy quarterback at his peak. It’s even better that he landed in Detroit, providing him with a great offensive line and outstanding pass-catching threats. However, Hooker won’t see the field in 2023.

Related: Hendon Hooker scouting report

Fantasy football RB rankings 2023 – Best running backs for 2023, dynasty

NFL: Combine

1. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

Amid the yearly debate surrounding the value of running backs in the NFL, Bijan Robinston stands out as the exception to the increasingly-popular rule. The talk about Robinson being the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley is legitimate. What separates the two is that Barkley is much more of a home-run hitter, offering extreme highs but with more valleys of non-explosive runs. That’s simply not the case with Barkley.

Related: Bijan Robinson scouting report

Robinson is an outstanding three-down back, meaning he’ll deliver high-end value through both his volume of touches and efficiency. In terms of the workload he already received in college, Robinson handled 599 touches in college with 557 touches in high school. Putting that into perspective, Derrick Henry had 2,024 touches (619 in college, 1,397 in high school) before entering the NFL. Fantasy managers might not get as many explosive runs from Robinson as Barkley provides, but he should be far more consistent and can eventually become RB1 in fantasy.

Fantasy football managers with Tyler Allgeier are weeping right now, with his value wiped out after a 1,000-yard season. Bijan Robinson landed with the ideal coach, as Arthur Smith will build his entire offense around the rookie running back. Given the Falcons ran the ball on 55.3 percent of their plays last season – second in the NFL – this is a good spot for his fantasy value.

2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions

Jahmyr Gibbs isn’t Alvin Kamara. There are undeniable similarities between their games and Kamara’s skills as an offensive weapon offer a glimpse into what Gibbs can do for the NFL team that drafts him. The 5-foot-9 running back is a dynamic pass-catcher out of the backfield, just get the football in his hands and you’ll see the explosiveness and elusiveness.

Related: Jahmyr Gibbs scouting report

Considering Gibbs’ Relative Athletic Score (8.06), better comparisons might be Jahvid Best (8.06 RAS), who had 1,719 scrimmage yards in 22 games before his career was ended early by concussions. An even more apt comparison is CJ Spiller (2 seasons with 1,100-plus scrimmage yards) in a more modern offense.

It’s stunning to see the Detroit Lions use the 12th pick on Gibbs, it raises questions about the organization’s philosophy and allocation of resources. However, he’s a phenomenal offensive weapon who can be one of the team’s most targeted players in the passing game and deliver some home-run plays on the ground. He will be splitting touches with David Montgomery, capping his ceiling.

3. Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks

It’s understandable why many are so high on former UCLA and Michigan running back Zach Charbonnet. He was extremely productive at two marquee programs, shows excellent patience in the backfield, offers excellent size (6-foot, 214 lbs) and runs with purpose. Considering how much UCLA trusted him as a receiver last year, it’s reasonable to project a three-down role for Charbonnet.

Related: Zach Charbonnet scouting report

What lands him a distant third in our fantasy football rookie RB rankings is the combination of limited breakaway speed, a concerning 3-cone time (7.16 seconds) – suggests he lacks great change-of-direction and cutting – and a heavy workload in high school and college (1,268 touches). After being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, Charbonnet dropped even further in our final fantasy football rookie rankings.

4. Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints

Former TCU running back Kendre Miller doesn’t bring any skills that jump off the table, he is simply a well-rounded runner. Standing at 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, Miller offers NFL-caliber vision and takes advantage of it quickly with his early burst. The ceiling will be limited because he can’t really be trusted on passing downs and he also won’t rip off a lot of 20-plus yard runs. However, a running back who is effective with his touches can be a 1B in the NFL, carving out low-end RB2 value in his best seasons.

Related: Fastest players in 2023 NFL Draft

Kendre Miller could ultimately be the third-best running back from this class. Alvin Kamara is facing a lengthy suspension and Jamaal Williams was signed to be part of a committee. THe Miller-Williams combo will be exciting to open the season and it will likely be a sign of things to come in the future.

5. Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans

Tulane running back Tyjae Spears might not be the biggest name in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he could be viewed as one of the best picks from fantasy football rookie drats a few years from now. The dream is that a team uses him like Austin Ekeler, taking advantage of his explosiveness as both a rusher and receiving back. Spears delivers excellent vision and offers impressive contact balance for a 5-foot-10 back with a thinner frame, too.

Related: NFL stadium rankings

Be patient with Spears. The Titans likely aren’t trading Derrick Henry this season and they will ride him in the last year of his contract. It will likely mean fewer touches for Spears, but he absolutely looks like the Titans’ starting running back of the future. In the short-term, he’ll be the receiving back for Tennessee’s offense.

6. Devon Achane, Miami Dolphins

Devon Achane is one of the fastest players in the 2023 NFL Draft. Coming with a background in track, Achane (5-foot-8) is surprisingly adept at fighting through contact and staying upright after hits for someone who weighs under 190 pounds. The size will likely prevent him from becoming a featured back in the NFL, but his limited workload in college (434 touches) and home-run ability suggest he can have a long, successful career.

Related: Devon Achane scouting report

Miami offers a lot of appeal for Achane. If he can carve out a significant role, the vision and home-run ability could make him one of the most productive rookie running backs in 2023. However, the Dolphins re-signed Jeff Wilson jr and Raheem Mostert for a reason. We still like Achane long-term, but the landing spot makes him more risk/reward.

7. Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars

The quickest past to relevance in fantasy football for a running back is through touchdowns. Auburn Tigers star Tank Bigsby – 4.56-second 40-yard dash – offers the combination of size, power and athleticism to be extremely effective inside the 20-yard line. He had one of the highest yards after contact per attempt (4.16) in the 2023 NFL Draft class.

There should be a clear path to an important role in an NFL backfield next season for Bigsby, especially if he lands in the right spot. He can be a short-yardage and goal-line back who offers more juice and elusiveness than you’d come to expect from someone receiving that usage. If Bigsby can improve as a pass-catcher, he becomes a three-down player.

Jacksonville isn’t a terrible landing spot for Bigsby. Consider that in 2022, Travis Etienne had 10 carries inside the opponent’s 5-yard line and finished with just 5 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Bigsby can be the goal-line back in the Jaguars’ offense, meaning a lot of opportunities in a high-scoring offense.

8. Zach Evans, Los Angeles Rams

Zach Evans, the former 5-star recruit, offers some intriguing upside. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry in college, provides the sustained speed to deliver 40-plus yard runs and he shows an impressive ability to fight his way through first contact. There is a higher ceiling for him than we saw in college, but Evans will need to improve his pass protection, vision and receiving skills to reach his ultimate potential. If everything goes right, he’s a high-end RB2 in fantasy football but the downside is a borderline FLEX play.

Related: 2023 NFL offense rankings

9. Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears

Roschon Johnson is one of our favorites in the rookie dynasty rankings. Playing behind Bijan Robinson at Texas, he only received 448 touches in college but he turned those into 2,610 yards and 26 touchdowns. Furthermore, he forced 42 missed tackles (PFF) last season and averaged a higher yards after contact average (4.28) than Robinson (4.17). Put all of that in a 219-pound frame and you’ve got a running back who could become a bell cow player in the NFL.

There isn’t anyone on the Chicago Bears depth chart who could stand in the way of Johnson becoming the starter. D’Onta Foreman only received a short-term deal and Khalil Herbert clearly can’t carve out a major role. Keep tabs on Johnson, he could. thrive in Chicago and the fit is enticing based on what the Bears are building.

10. DeWayne McBride, Minnesota Vikings

While UAB players don’t typically attract a ton of attention, running back DeWayne McBride put himself on the national radar (3,113 scrimmage yards, 32 touchdowns over the last two years). He won’t be a pass-catching threat in the NFL, but he offers pop, balance and vision as a runner. Ticketed for a two-down role, McBride will be a high-end FLEX play if he hits his ceiling.

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2023 fantasy football rookie rankings – Wide Receivers

Syndication: USA TODAY

1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks

Jaxon Smith-Njigba might only be a slot receiver, but he is the best pass-catcher in the 2023 NFL Draft. He missed a majority of the 2022 season with injuries, but played like a No 1 receiver as a sophomore in 2021. He is a crispy route runner and a savvy player, knowing how to manipulate defensive backs in space to create separation. Think of Amon-Ra St. Brown and Chris Godwin as examples of how a slot receiver can still dominate on a yearly basis and quickly ascend up dynasty rankings.

Related: Jaxon Smith-Njigba scouting report

Rumors connected Smith-Njigba to Seattle for weeks and now it becomes reality. He fits the offense perfectly, stepping into the slot with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett surrounding him. While Smith-Njigba won’t have the highest target share among rookies, he lands in an elite offense with a great quarterback. Plus, the defensive focus on Metcalf and Lockett will open up all the space Smith-Njigba needs in the middle of the field.

2. Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers

Quentin Johnston is a better pick for those who want to take a risk. Measuring at 6-foot-3, there aren’t many players of any size who can match Johnston’s explosiveness in the open field. At times, it feels slightly reminiscent of Julio Jones in space. With the positives acknowledged, it’s also crucial to note that Johnston really struggles with drops in college (11.8 percent) and his production was wildly inconsistent at TCU. Playing with a legitimate quarterback will certainly help matters, but Johnston does carry some risk for fantasy managers.

We have our first shake-up as a result of landing spots in the 2023 NFL Draft. Johnston jumps ahead of Jordan Addison because of the ideal quarterback situation. While Keenan Allen and Mike Williams might be Justin Herbert’s preferred targets in 2023, Allen is gone next year and Williams is a flawed receiver. Johnston will have a fair share of drops, especially in his rookie season, but he can be groomed into taking over as the Chargers’ No. 1 receiver long-term.

3. Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings

While Jordan Addison ranks below Quentin Johnston on our draft board, fantasy football rookie rankings are sometimes different. Addison is the best route-runner in the 2023 NFL Draft, projecting as a go-to slot option like Smith-Njigba. The knocks on Addison are his limited athleticism and some issues with drops, but he’s an outstanding bet to rack up 80-plus receptions and 1,000 receiving yards each season during a lengthy career.

Related: Jordan Addison scouting report

Perfect. Addison is going to feast as Minnesota’s No. 2 receiver, winning with crisp route-running to toast cornerbacks in one-on-one coverage. Kirk Cousins will target him early and often, providing a high target share that should make him one of the best fantasy rookies in 2023. If you’re playing to win now, take Addison over Smith-Njigba and Johnston.

4. Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

Zay Flowers – 5-foot-9 – doesn’t check off the boxes for prototypical size at wide receiver. However, he’s a first-round talent because teams recognize electricity when they see it. There is no perfect NFL comparison for Flowers, but his outstanding speed and rare separation ability will help him become a dynamic weapon immediately at the next level. Operating from the slot, there should be a nice volume of targets for Flowers and the juice he brings on the field means plenty of high-end WR2 seasons to come for fantasy managers.

Related: Zay Flowers scouting report

We love the landing spot for Zay Flowers. With Odell Beckham Jr. coming off his second ACL tear and Rashod Bateman proving to be injury-prone, Flowers can make an immediate impact in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson will throw it a lot more next season in Todd Monken’s offense and there should be a lot of looks funneled toward Flowers. Given his elusiveness and YAC ability, he could post multiple 100-yard games in his rookie year.

5. Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts

Josh Downs, like so many of his peers in our 2023 fantasy football rookie rankings, is pegged as a slot receiver. The 5-foot-9 wideout is so effective because he uses his feet like a 10-year veteran when it comes to creating distance from a defensive back. In terms of his role in an offense, think of an effectively-used Curist Samuel with a good quarterback. Ultimately, that likely makes Downs a FLEX/WR3 with the possibility of a season or two delivering low-end WR2 production. One thing is for certain, he complements the Colts’ offense and receiving corps perfectly.

Related: Josh Downs scouting report

6. Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs

As we dive further into the bottom half of our 2023 fantasy rookie rankings, it all becomes about traits. Rashee Rice – 6-foot-1 – recorded an outstanding 9.53 RAS, earning elite marks in explosiveness and nearly reaching that threshold for his speed. Rice can attack defenses in a variety of ways (18 deep catches and 33 screen catches last season) and his athleticism becomes even more enticing because of his huge wingspan. Those are the reasons to believe in his upside, but Rice must also improve a lot as a route-runner. With that said, playing in Andy Reid’s offense with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback skyrockets Rice’s upside.

Related: 2023 NFL defense rankings

7. Cedric Tillman, Cleveland Browns

Jalin Hyatt was the most productive pass-catcher in the Tennessee Volunteers’ offense, but Cedric Tillman might have a brighter future in the NFL. He offers excellent size (6-foot-3, 213 pounds) and tested very well athletically at the NFL Combine (8.66 RAS). He won’t create nearly as many highlights as Hyatt, but Tillman is far more well-rounded as a wide receiver. We’ll take the player who can be a red-zone weapon and move the chains over the risk-reward play.

8. Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers

Jonathan Mingo will have an opportunity to build immediate chemistry with Bryce Young in rookie minicamp, which could be a springboard for a long-term connection. Mingo is an excellent athlete, especially for his size (6-foot-2), resulting in a stellar 9.97 Relative Athletic Score. With Adam Thielen age, there will be an opportunity for Mingo to become Young’s favorite target early.

9. Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants

Jalin Hyatt, the reigning Fred Biletnikoff Award winner, certainly offers upside. Measuring in at 6 feet, he ran one of the fastest 40 times at the NFL Combine and his elite composite speed grade captures what he does well. Our biggest reason for knocking Hyatt down the dynasty rookie rankings is that he struggles with more physical cornerbacks and so many of his explosive plays came because Tennessee’s scheme provided him with a free release. He’s an outstanding vertical threat with some similarities to DeSean Jackson, but a lot of his game needs work and there are safer options to bet on.

Related: Jalin Hyatt scouting report

10. Nathaniel Dell, Houston Texans

Rounding out the top 10 in our fantasy rookie WR rankings is one of the smallest players in the 2023 NFL Draft. Nathaniel “Tank” Dell measured at 50foot-8 and 165 pounds at the NFL Combine. The slight frame and below-average size immediately restrict his role at the next level. However, he’s quick and elusive with the football in his hands. Fantasy managers are likely looking at a WR3 in Dell’s best years.

Sleepers: Jayden Reed (Green Bay Packers), A.T. Perry (Wake Forest)

11. Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos

12. A.T. Perry, New Orleans Saints

13. Kayshon Boutte, New England Patriots

Once a five-star recruit and the second-ranked receiver in 2020, Kayshon Boutte looked like an emerging star in 2021. After posting 509 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in six games, though, everything fell apart last fall. Drops, below-average athleticism and inconsistency are all significant red flags but the size-speed combo and pedigree are intriguing. Ultimately, Boutte’s upside is a high-end WR2, but it’s far more likely that he is never fantasy relevant.

Dynasty rookie rankings -Tight Ends

NCAA Football: PAC-12 Football Championship-Southern California at Utah

1. Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills

Michael Mayer is the best tight end in the 2023 NFL Draft, but Dalton Kincaid belongs atop the fantasy football rookie rankings. No one would confuse him for Travis Kelce, but Kincaid is one of the best pass-catchers in the entire class at both tight end and wide receiver. The 6-foot-4 offensive weapon excels at creating separation in all areas of the field and is a very capable YAC threat. While poor blocking might slightly reduce his snaps in his rookie season, there is top-five upside at a position that is dangerously thin in fantasy.

Related: Dalton Kincaid scouting report

Buffalo might have just found its secondary receiving threat to partner up with Stefon Diggs. While wide receiver remains a need for the Bills, some NFL scouts viewed Kincaid as the best pass-catching threat in the entire 2023 draft class. He’s a YAC threat who excels at creating separation in the short and intermediate areas of the field. Quite frankly, Kincaid could be a top-7 fantasy tight end this year.

2. Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders

If you’re looking for a great athlete at tight end, Michael Mayer isn’t what you’re seeking. He didn’t test well at the NFL Combine, earning just a 7.66 Relative Athletic Score. With that said, the 6-foot-4 tight end is the only player at his position who is instantly ready to be an every-down starter in the NFL. Coaches will love him for his blocking and quarterbacks will target him in the red zone and on third downs because of his size, crisp route-running, instincts and ability to make contested catches. Mayer can be a top-10 fantasy tight end in his rookie year if he lands in the right spot.

Related: Michael Mayer scouting report

A lack of athlete athleticism pushed Mayer below Kincaid and Sam LaPorta in t he draft results, but he is still second in our rankings. While the Raiders are a bit crowded at tight end, Mayer can immediately become the starter because of his well-rounded skill set. He’s drawn some NFL comparisons to Mark Andrews and while he won’t approach that ceiling in 2023, it’s a reachable long-term mark.

3. Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions

Sam LaPorta was the only good thing about the Iowa Hawkeyes offense last season. Coming from ‘Tight End U’, LaPorta lacks the prototypical size (6-foot-3, 245 pounds) for his position. What he lacks in his frame, he makes up for with elite athleticism (9.01 RAS). He might need two seasons before he truly blossoms as an offensive weapon, but the RAS comparisons to George Kittle and Evan Engram capture why he is one of the most appealing mid-round targets in rookie drafts. Landing in the Lions’ offense, LaPorta is a fantastic fit and play-caller Ben Johnson will maximize LaPorta’s athleticism and YAC skills.

Related: Sam LaPorta scouting report

4. Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers

Luke Musgrave hasn’t played a lot of football in recent years due to injuries and the COVID-shortened 2020 season. When he is on the field, though, it’s easy to fall in love with this tight end prototype. He offers outstanding size (6-foot-6) and matches it with outstanding athleticism (9.78 RAS). He could become the next version of Mike Gesicki, which should be enticing to fantasy managers as long as he avoids landing with a team who relies heavily on tight ends for blocking.

It was a bit surprising to see Green Bay draft Musgrave over Darnell Washington, but they landed a future offensive weapon for Jordan Love. Musgrave isn’t the crispest route runner and will need some time to become more than just a vertical receiving threat, but he’s a high-upside pick and young quarterbacks love tight ends. Musgrave isn’t a better run blocker than Washington, but his willingness to do it and his higher ceiling as a YAC threat might’ve pushed him over Washington.

5. Darnell Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers

If you’re going to draft Darnell Washington, don’t expect him to make an immediate fantasy impact as a rookie. Washington’s best skill right now is his blocking, which will get him on the field early. He was underutilized at Georgia as a pass-catcher and there is some rawness in his game in that regard. However, Washington’s 6-foot-6 frame can make him practically unstoppable in the red zone and his athleticism (4.64 40-yard dash), demonstrates why he offers Pro Bowl upside.

Related: Dynasty NFL rankings

6. Tucker Kraft, Green Bay Packers

Related: 2023 NFL QB rankings

8. Luke Schoonmaker, Dallas Cowboys

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