Before the start of the NFL season, we asked nine analysts to share their wildest fantasy football prediction for 2023. Which one will come true?
Aaron Rodgers has no problem busting an elite target — the Rodgers-to-Davante Adams show was beautiful to watch — and Wilson somehow posted a season-high 1,103 yards despite poor quarterback -game. Wilson gets a lot of the layup goals, the stuff the defense really can’t take away, and Rodgers excels at throws into the space around the goal line, especially those nice, back shoulder throws that make us happy. Wilson’s price rose steadily as the foraging season progressed, but just wait until you see how expensive it is next year. We’re ready to take off. — Scott Pianowski
Stevenson has what it takes to finish as a top running back. To achieve this advantage, an RB must possess the fantasy cheat codes: elite passing game usage and a solid red zone role. Stevenson earned a strong target share of 17.3% in 2022, fourth among RBs, and his 230-pound frame gives him the ideal size for red zone work.
The New England signing of Ezekiel Elliott is noteworthy, but doesn’t ruin Stevenson’s advantage. Elliott signed for just $1.1 million in guaranteed money. This is similar to what Boston Scott and D’Onta Foreman were paid as backup to their squads. Expect Elliott to act largely as direct backup to Stevenson. — Sal Vetri
Dobbins has a career high of 5.9 YPC and is finally injury free. He has the clear lead over a Baltimore offense expected to score one of the most points this season, yet he is not called up as a top-15 RB. Dobbins is also expected to get a lot more passes this season, so he’s poised to finish as a top five fantasy back if health cooperates.
Etienne comes in concerned about his passing ability and because he’s a newcomer with a cool name. But Etienne had 45 touchdowns more than Tank Bigsby in college. who does not have the same perspective. As part of an onslaught led by MVP candidate Trevor Lawrence with the addition of Calvin Ridley, Etienne’s range of results this season includes best overall fantasy back. — Dalton DelDon
Sam Howell is a top 10 fantasy quarterback
I feel like I’ve made this case repeatedly over the past two months, so I’m not sure if it’s in bold anymore. Howell certainly has the quick edge needed to emerge as a weekly fantasy starter; he rushed for over 800 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final collegiate season. This season, he’s spearheading an Eric Bieniemy attack full of playmakers. Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin are an almost unfair receiving tandem, and Antonio Gibson has many unrealized advantages as a pass-catching back. As long as Howell stays sane, he will be a playable fantasy option. — Andy Behrens
Ja’Marr Chase reaches 2K yards and completes WR1
Chase is about to give Cooper Kupp 2021 a bang for the buck. The Bengals put their all into the passing game and quarterback Joe Burrow finished seventh in the league with 610 team pass attempts in 2022. Chase is healthy and going to rock this season. His routes per game (43.2) and goals (11.2) begin to tell the story of his elite use and how Burrow-to-Chase is the centerpiece of the Bengals’ offense. If Chase can replicate that goal percentage, he will finish with a total of 190, which is six more than Justin Jefferson’s total last season and one less than Kupp’s tally in his historic season. With Chase getting more work in the slot last season (23%), he’s getting plenty of short to medium passes that he can turn into longer wins with his great YAC ability.
Chase and Jefferson have spoken openly about navigating the first 2,000-yard receiving season. To get there, Chase will need to catch about 140 balls and average 14 yards per reception, which shouldn’t be a problem for someone who averaged 18 yards in his breakout rookie season. I’ll mention it here: Chase becomes the first 2K receiver in NFL history. And fantasy analysts who voted Chase 1.01 will celebrate doing something right. — George Martin
James Cook finishes as top-12 back
Cook’s ADP continued to rise throughout the foraging season and we are about to find out why. He dominated 79% of starters understand in the pre-season — a pretty strong indication of how the Bills will use him as an average workhorse in his second NFL season.
Devin Singletary’s departure not only frees up more carries, but also crucial pass game work. Singletary saw at least 50 goals in each of his past three seasons with the Bills, and when you combine that with Cook’s 30-plus in Year 1, you see a serious advantage for the current RB22. Don’t forget that passcatcher Nyheim Hines is out this season.
Let’s say Cook gets 75 of last season’s 112 available goals. Only six RBs saw at least 75 targets; four of those crew finished in the top 12 in fantasy. Couple that with the Bills that Dalton Kincaid is added to perform more 12-person sets (2 TEs, 2 WRs), and Cook will rack up enough scrimmage yards and receptions to crack the top 12 RBs this year. — Dan Titus
Drake London clears 1,200 yards
There is some hesitation in the fantasy world about diving into the Falcons’ onslaught. It’s not founded. Atlanta ranked 11th in offensive success rate last season, despite questionable quarterback play and an overall lack of offensive depth. Arthur Smith is a good coach, and it’s a virtual slot the Falcons throw the ball more often in 2023. While the fantasy community is fretting about Kyle Pitts’ role or even whispering some fear that Bijan Robinson might break up with Tyler Allgeier, you know that one player whose status has never been questioned? Drake London, because he proved last year that he is their best player.
Last year’s goal share and goals per route in London were in the top five of all passcatchers. He ran out as the team’s X receiver and opened at an extremely fast pace. Everything about how he played as a newcomer screams buy. All we need from his quarterback this season is to be functional. Desmond Ridder has a better chance for that than Marcus Mariota last season. I’m all in to the tune of a massive breakout. A 1,200-yard campaign would have put London eighth among wide receivers last year. That’s the kind of season I expect. — Matt Harmon
Nick Chubb finishes as the overall RB1
Browns RB Nick Chubb is no stranger to fantasy football production, but heading into Year 6 of his NFL career, he’s still chasing his first finish as the overall RB1. Chubb has a chance to see more opportunities than ever this season following Kareem Hunt’s departure into free agency. In Hunt’s four seasons with the team, he averaged 4.2 goals per game, and coming out of training camp in preseason, the story circulated that Chubb would see his fair share of those goals.
Chubb is having his best season yet, with 1,764 yards from scrimmage (second in his career) and a career-high 13 touchdowns. Don’t be surprised to see Chubb surpass the over 65 targets this season to help him reach that RB1 finish. — Kate Magdziuk
Juwan Johnson will be a tight top-10
I want to predict that Johnson will be a top-five TE, but that feels aggressive, even for an article with bold predictions. Instead, I predict that Johnson, who will open the season in more than 50% of the Yahoo leagues with waivers, will quickly become someone to start for most of his fantasy teams. New Saints QB Derek Carr knows a thing or two about throwing talented tight ends, as he was the author of a few seasons of Darren Waller’s 1,100 yards. And aside from Chris Olave, the Saints’ passing offense is full of questions, as veterans Michael Thomas (609 total yards received from 2020 to ’23), Alvin Kamara (suspended for weeks 1-3) and Rashid Shaheed (not drafted, 488 yards). 2022). There is a chance for Johnson to become a primary goal earner and double the 42 catches he scored a season ago. — Fred Zinkie