Some fantasy football dynasty teams don’t need an entire season to know if they should be jockeying for the first overall pick in next year’s rookie draft. Making an honest assessment of ones team is critical in building a dynasty.
So why not take a look into the future? Get some names rattling around the old noggin to understand who to look for on Saturdays and to get a good look at these players before the underwear olympics.
Here’s my way-too-early big board for this incoming class of rookies. I’ve got my top players at each position for 2023 fantasy football.
1. Bryce Young, Alabama
Young is a quarterback with a quick release and a ton of poise at the position. He doesn’t have the size that C.J. Stroud has, but Young is more like a slightly taller Kyler Murray and he scoots like him, too. He can absolutely rip the ball downfield both off platform and on.
Hit 'Em with the Spin Cycle! @_bryce_young
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) September 17, 2022
2. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
Stroud has a big arm and can put the ball anywhere on the field. He’s got great size for a QB and can cover a lot of ground with his long strides. He’s had a lot of help the past two seasons in the forms of Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Despite that, he keeps his eyes downfield when working through his progressions. The difference between Young and Stroud may just come down to situation.
3. Cam Ward, Washington State
4. Anthony Richardson, Florida
5. Will Levis, Kentucky
1. Bijan Robinson, Texas
Robinson is a powerful back, who has really good hands coming out of the backfield. The most complete back in this year’s crop of prospects, Robinson is a capable pass blocker and adept route runner for a running back. He’s even lined up in the slot for Texas. If Robinson isn’t the first pick your dynasty rookie drafts, someone else really exploded. He might be the closest player as a prospect to Saquon Barkley as we’ve had.
Bijan Robinson is the reincarnation of Saquon Barkley. pic.twitter.com/0qJQ2ruudi
— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) September 16, 2022
2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Gibbs wants to give Robinson a run for his money as the top back off the board, and anyone selecting him surely won’t be disappointed. He’s got great balance and breakaway speed that will make him a problem for opposing defenses. Alabama uses Gibbs all over the formation as his versatility makes him a fun weapon.
3. Tank Bigsby, Auburn
Ironically, Tank is more of an agile runner than a bruiser. Bigsby is a shifty runner who can cut sharply before exploding. However, Bigsby can easily break through arm tackles and push his way to the second level of the defense. With open field in front of him, Bigsby can run away for explosive plays.
4. Zach Evans, Ole Miss
5. Zach Charbonnet, UCLA
1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
JSN was often overshadowed by former first-round picks Olave and Wilson. But like Ja’Marr Chase at LSU with Justin Jefferson and Terrace Marshall, Smith-Njigba may be the better prospect than the two receivers drafted from the school in the season prior. He set the Big Ten receiving record in 2021 with 1,606 yards and will just turn 21 before the NFL draft in 2023.
Smith-Njigba is a technician when running his routes. He’s not an elite burner, so he’s not pulling away from anyone on the field, but he creates good separation with elite spatial awareness and continuing to work after the play breaks down. In a league where zone looks and Cover 2-high defenses are taking over the league, a player like JSN can be a salve to an anemic offense.
2. Kayshon Boutte, LSU
If you’re attempting to wrap up Boutte after he’s got the ball in his hands, you better have the right angle. Kayshon Boutte is a speedy wideout who can catch the ball away from his body well. He’s a legitimate deep threat, but that doesn’t prevent him from operating at other levels of the field. He can stretch the field vertically and horizontally. Like Justin Jefferson, Boutte plays much bigger on the field and can line up in the slot and outside as the X.
Kayshon Boutte really employs a “less is more” approach to his route running. He just knows how to get open in the most efficient way possible.
He’s extremely effective manipulating defenders with his head and body! pic.twitter.com/LodHVrySpw
— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) June 19, 2022
3. Jordan Addison, USC
Fully in the camp that Jordan Addison helped make Kenny Pickett a first-round QB this past year and it’s easy to see why. After transferring to USC from Pitt, Addison immediately showed against Stanford how agile of a player he is and how well he can take the top off of a defense. His feet are so very quick and his cuts sharp. Operating in the slot can make him a very distracting jet sweep/motion player for any offense. However, he does have a slight frame and will need to pack on more weight to withstand the rigors of a full NFL season and to withstand press coverage.
4. Quentin Johnston, TCU
5. Josh Downs, UNC
6. Jermaine Burton, Alabama
7. Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
8. Dontay Demus Jr., Maryland
9. A.T. Perry, Wake Forest
10. Parker Washington, Penn State
1. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
2. Jaheim Bell, South Carolina
3. Tucker Kraft, SDSU