Fantasy Football 2023: Rookie WR rankings for Dynasty, plus analytical profiles, five-tool grades and more
The 2022 rookie wide receiver class was my favorite class I've ever analyzed. From top to bottom, the 2022 class was weird in the best way possible.
Outside of Garrett Wilson, every receiver's analytic profile brought its own unique set of red flags and question marks. With more digging, I was able to find the necessary context to answer most questions. There was data that offers possible explanations for Drake London's underwhelming metrics during his first two CFB seasons, just as there was data that helped to alleviate route tree concerns for Treylon Burks and disappointing Year 3 rates from Chris Olave.
In breaking down the 2022 WR class, I examined route tree analysis data heading into the season that illuminated how Skyy Moore might struggle to adjust to the NFL game and highlighted Drake London as a technician with target hog potential. I also recapped the performance of all the rookie receivers earlier this spring, and the data implies a potentially special top range of outcomes for Christian Watson, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Drake London after their first pro seasons.
We're not here to discuss the 2022 rookie receivers, though!
Below, you'll find a general and then analytical primer on the 2023 NFL Draft receiver class, followed by my Dynasty rookie receiver rankings and my prospect evaluation grades based on five different factors. You'll be able to find links to every article related to this series in that section, but they'll also be available here as each article is published.
- Grades by tool: Peripherals | Route Readiness | Volume Potential | Explosiveness | Yardage Creation
- Receiver profiles: Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Quentin Johnston | Jordan Addison | Zay Flowers | Jonathan Mingo | Jayden Reed | Josh Downs | Rashee Rice | Marvin Mims | Nathaniel "Tank" Dell
2023 NFL Draft wide receiver primer
The 2023 class doesn't offer nearly as many exciting top-end WR prospects. But it's not unheard of for middling WR prospects to become top-end assets at the NFL level on occasion.
This year's WR class reminds me of the group that we got in 2019. N'Keal Harry and Marquise Brown were expected to be Round 1 selections, but neither was viewed as a can't-miss prospect. The most productive receivers from the 2019 class weren't selected in Round 1. A.J. Brown (Round 2), DK Metcalf (Round 2), Deebo Samuel (Round 2), and Terry McLaurin (Round 3) turned into Fantasy stars, but each had question marks surrounding their draft profile.
Could we see something similar from the 2023 class? While there do not appear to be any can't-miss prospects outside of Jaxon Smith-Njigba in this class, the 2023 class is still full of potentially high-level contributors. Some of these players are likely going to be looked back upon as massive steals, similar to Brown, Metcalf, Samuel, and McLaurin from the 2019 class.
Frequently compared to Brown and Samuel, Jonathan Mingo may bring the most raw upside in the class but had the worst production profile among the 20 receivers that I evaluated. Meanwhile, Jordan Addison, Josh Downs, and Nathaniel "Tank" Dell each were remarkably productive, but NFL teams may see them as slot specialists who will never be regular contributors in two-receiver sets. Zay Flowers potentially presents similar "slot-only" concerns and a less impressive production profile, and yet he was expected by most to be the second receiver off the board behind Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
It's a weird class, to say the least.
How does a Stefon Diggs-like prospect in Round 2 sound?
A.T. Perry out of Wake Forest is another late-round prospect whose game could translate in a big way in the right NFL offense -- I discussed him and the rest of the rookie WR class on Fantasy Football Today's Dynasty podcast.
To gain a deeper understanding of each of these intriguing WR prospects and how they may succeed at the NFL level, read on. I have been learning all that I can about these players over the past six weeks and am excited to share my discoveries with you!
So who are the the receivers best suited to their new offenses? And which rookies might have a rough landing in the pros? ... Join SportsLine here to see Jacob Gibbs' analysis of the top rookie wide receivers, all from one of the nation's most accurate experts as graded by FantasyPros!
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