Check out DFS Army’s preview of the top-5 rookies for dynasty fantasy football in 2023.
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Bijan Robinson, RB (Texas)
One of the most talented and dynamic players in this draft, Robinson has impressed scouts with explosive runs and his ability to miss tackles. His career at Texas was nothing short of impressive. Robinson finished with 6.4 yards per touch, 15 total touchdowns, 221 touches and 1,422 total yards from scrimmage during his sophomore year; his junior season increased to 6.8 yards per touch, 20 touchdowns, 277 touches and 1,894 total yards.
Robinson has good size, speed and balance, which allows him to be a dynamic threat via rushing and receiving. Robinson is also a dependable pass blocker, making him a potential three-down back in the NFL. His footwork and vision are also valuable to his game as he loves quick cuts and finding the right gaps in the defense.
Robinson is projected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft due to his impressive skill set. He will likely be the first dynasty player off the board in 2023 drafts since he can rack up points via the ground and through the air.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR (Ohio State)
While his final season at Ohio State was injury plagued, Smith-Njigba still profiles as an elite receiver prospect for the NFL. In 2021, he finished with 9 touchdowns, an average of 16.9 Yards per reception, 95 receptions and 1,606 receiving yards during his sophomore campaign. This lone season seems to be enough for NFL executives, although not without hesitation surrounding his health after sitting most of 2022.
His intangibles feature a great combination of size (6’1”, 196 lbs.), speed and athleticism. He is an elite route runner and can catch almost any ball, making him a reliable target for any NFL quarterback. Smith-Njigba is smart too. His football IQ empowers him to read defenses and run effective option routes. The 6-foot-1 receiver has been an effective run blocker at the college level too.
Overall, he has the potential to be an impact player in the NFL and is expected to be a first-round draft pick. Dynasty managers should also look to select him in the early portions of the first round. Smith-Njigba could have an immediate fantasy impact on his new NFL team.
Jordan Addison, WR (USC)
Over three seasons at the FBS level, Addison finished his time in college with a decorated career, even winning the 2021 Fred Biletnikoff Award as the country’s best receiver. 2022 saw Addison leave the University of Pittsburgh for USC where he finished his junior season with eight touchdowns, 59 receptions and 875 receiving yards. While it did not live up to his sophomore year of 18 touchdowns, 100 receptions and 1,593 receiving yards, Addison still profiles as an elite NFL prospect following his junior season.
The Biletnikoff-winner possesses strong hands and runs routes effectively to find open space. He also uses his exceptional speed and quickness to find separation and create big plays. But Addison could be seen as undersized at the NFL level. In his defense, Addison makes up for his 5-foot-11 and 173-pound frame with his agility and elusiveness, making him a difficult player to defend against. Consider these reservations minor.
Addison is expect to be a high draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. For dynasty players expect him to go off the board as early as the 1.03, he does have a chance to fall a little due to other players around this draft spot. Nevertheless, he is a top-three rookie receiver to target heading into your dynasty draft.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB (Alabama)
In his three seasons across Georgia Tech and Alabama, Gibbs saw is numbers improve each season. His final collegient season, with Alabama, Gibbs maintained 6.1 yards per carry and scored 10 touchdowns on 195 touches across 1,370 all purpose yards.
At 5’11” and 200 pounds, Gibbs boasts impressive speed and quickness, making him a dynamic threat both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. However he may have difficulties being an every-down back due to his size. He has a rare ability to make defenders miss with his elusiveness and his strong lower body allows him to break tackles, gain extra yardage and even turn up field. Gibbs has shown versatility in his ability to contribute on special teams as a returner and has a strong work ethic that will undoubtedly make him a valuable asset to any NFL team.
Gibbs is a top-30 player in this year’s NFL draft but due to the lower value of running backs, he may get selected at the end of round one or on day two. Dynasty managers will likely see him come off as the second RB in rookie fantasy drafts. Look to grab him around pick 1.03 or 1.04.
Quentin Johnson, WR (TCU)
Following his first two seasons at TCU, Johnson really broke out in his junior campaign and is viewed as a top WR in this draft class. He finished 2022 with six touchdowns, 60 receptions and 1,069.
With exceptional size, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 210 pounds, Johnson has an advantage over most defensive backs he’ll face in the NFL. He’s a proven and reliable pass-catcher, displaying strong hands and the ability to make contested catches. His impressive speed and athleticism allows him to create separation from defenders and make plays after the catch too. However, some scouts have raised concerns about his route-running and consistency, so improvement in those areas will be important for him to succeed at the next level.
Johnson has the potential to become a starting receiver for an NFL team with his physical tools and playmaking ability. After J. Smith-Njigba, both Johnson and J. Addison could easily be the WR2 or WR3 off the board. Dynasty managers may see Johnson selected as early as 1.03 in rookie drafts.