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Welcome to the 2023 NFL season! As we kick off the year, there are a few things we can learn as we head into Week 1 to help us improve our fantasy football knowledge.
First, we can pay attention to how the new rookies perform. There are several talented rookies entering the league this year, and we'll want to see how they adjust to the NFL level and, more importantly, how they are utilized by their respective teams. We have an idea of how some rookies will perform, but there is always that feeling of uncertainty until we witness their success at the next level. Here is a list of the top fantasy rookies to look out for as we enter the season.
Rookies ranked by position for fantasy purposes
- Anthony Richardson, IND - Dual-threat quarterbacks always rank higher than non-rushing quarterbacks. Richardson may be a little light on experience, but he makes up for it with athleticism and playmaking skills.
- Bryce Young, CAR - Young has the rare ability to process the field well, especially for a rookie. His receiving corps may be lacking at this point in his career with the Panthers, but he could make up for it with accuracy, precision, and making the right decisions.
- C.J. Stroud, HOU - The Texans have an uphill battle, but Stroud has the ability to move the ball effectively and accurately. He has a decent corps of weapons around him, but like Bryce Young, there will be periods of success and moments of growing pains.
- Bijan Robinson, ATL - The Falcons elected to spend their 8th overall pick on a running back, which may not be a trend that we will continue to see. Running back success in the NFL has recently been more about the system rather than the player. Adding an elite running back to that equation is usually a win. Robinson was the most sought-after running back in this class, and Atlanta pounced on him. Case history suggests he'll see immediate success, but there is always that level of uncertainty.
- Jahmyr Gibbs, DET - Like Atlanta, Detroit spent a high pick (12th overall) on Gibbs, which was a surprise to many on draft day. Gibbs has elite athleticism, and he fits the mold of what Detroit thought they were getting from D'Andre Swift. He has the potential to be a Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara-esque type of player who thrives as a receiver but can also produce as a rusher. He did not see many carries inside the 10-yard line at Alabama. We'll see if that rings true with Detroit. Either way, Gibbs is expected to be a productive fantasy running back.
- Zach Charbonnet, SEA - The Seahawks shocked many after selecting Charbonnet in the second round of the NFL draft, especially after spending a high pick on running back Ken Walker III in the 2022 draft. Charbonnet is a versatile back who is capable of being the best back on the team. The only problem is that the Seahawks already have an answer at running back. The two-headed backfield may still prove fantasy relevance for both backs, but it does cancel out a high ceiling for both unless an injury opens the door for one to thrive.
- Tank Bigsby, JAC - The Jaguars selected Bigsby to be a counter-punch to their already impressive back in Travis Etienne. How Doug Pederson will utilize both backs is yet to be seen, but the expectation is that it will be a committee approach, with both backs getting a fair share of carries. This backfield battle will be heavily watched early in the season.
- Roschon Johnson, CHI - The Bears' leading rusher could be Justin Fields. After him, there is a line of talent waiting to contribute that includes the rookie Johnson, along with Khalil Herbert and D'Onta Foreman. I don't necessarily see any back standing out with 15+ carry potential. I see various backs having success with limited action. Eight carries a game, and a score may be what we see from one member of this trio, and it could vary from week to week. Until we get more clarity on the Bears offense, this is a situation with potential that is worth monitoring.
- Kendre Miller, NO - The Saints will be without Alvin Kamara for the first three weeks of the season (suspension), and that leaves Jamaal Williams and the rookie Miller to fill the void. Miller has undergone rehab for an MCL tear back in December, and now he's dealing with a hamstring injury. He may not be available for Week 1, and if he is, he'll be used sparingly. Once Kamara returns, the volume of carries for Miller could dwindle. He may be a better fantasy option in 2024, but his situation bears monitoring.
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