Welcome to the 2023 NFL fantasy football season. I'm taking our traditional fantasy rankings one step further and arranging them into tiers to help prepare you to dominate your drafts. Tiers give you a better idea of player values and will allow you to construct a more well-rounded roster.
Justin Jefferson has scored close to 1,000 fantasy points across his first three NFL seasons -- the most among wide receivers in history. Don't overthink this. ... Ja'Marr Chase might seem risky, with Joe Burrow missing training camp. Again. But if Burrow's camp absences didn't make a difference in the two previous years, I'm having a hard time being concerned about that now. ... There are a lot of nerdy Tyreek Hill stats from last year. I mean, there is one about points per route run. But let me keep it simple: He had 140-plus receiving yards in six games, tied for the most in a season in the Super Bowl era. ... You're not wrong. Cooper Kupp's nine-game season was disappointing. But in the contests he did play in, Kupp averaged 22.4 fantasy points, which actually led fantasy football. As for the hamstring injury that forced Kupp to leave practice recently, we are in an obvious wait-and-see situation. I'm not tracking how many preseason games he appears in, but missing practice for an extended period of time would be absolutely worrisome.
A lot of you fear regression for CeeDee Lamb, who is coming off a 107-reception campaign, because the Cowboys want to run the ball more. But they were already sixth in rushing attempts last season. The Cowboys are going to throw plenty to their WR1. ... Davante Adams accounted for 50 percent of the Raiders' touchdown receptions last year. And let's be honest: Jimmy Garoppolo can support a WR1 when he's healthy. ... I love Garrett Wilson as a candidate to take another leap this year. I still shake my head at people being so dismissive of Aaron Rodgers' arrival in New York. ARRIVAL. Pun intended. ... Stefon Diggs had nine games with at least 20 fantasy points last season, tied for the league lead. ... Amon-Ra St. Brown averaged less than 17 fantasy points per game in 2022, but that number could increase if he gets more red-zone opportunities. ... A.J. Brown has 35 receiving touchdowns since being drafted in 2019, tied for the fifth-most in the league among wide receivers. ... Chris Olave had four games with at least 12 targets, the most by a rookie receiver in a season since 2014. I look for a huge breakout coming in Year 2, especially now that Derek Carr is under center and Alvin Kamara has been suspended for the team's first three games. Olave should see a boost in production with Kamara out, so much so that I've moved him up to Tier 2.
Drake London saw his production increase last season when the Falcons turned to Desmond Ridder at QB. London averaged more than 13 fantasy points per game with Ridder, which isn't amazing -- but let them cook. ... Former Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley is playing for the first time since 2021, but with Trevor Lawrence as his QB, he can't ask for a better situation ... unlike Marquise Brown, given that Kyler Murray is expected to miss a chunk of the season. Still, I love the target opportunity here. ... Brandon Aiyuk led the 49ers in targets (114), receptions (78) and receiving yards (1,015) last year.
Christian Kirk had the most targets from the slot last season with 97. ... Diontae Johnson's 147 targets and 86 receptions are the most in a single season without a touchdown in NFL history. The concept of regression to the mean suggests he's going to score a touchdown this year. I mean, he has to, right?! I know it's never that simple. But the Steelers should be better. Kenny Pickett should be better.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba has joined a team that already featured studs DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but if you're worried about how he'll carve out a role, remember that his best season at Ohio State came in 2021, when he played with Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Marvin Harrison Jr. ... Skyy Moore is anticipated to be the slot receiver for Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs, replacing JuJu Smith-Schuster. ... Jakobi Meyers has detailed knowledge of Josh McDaniels' offense, having excelled in New England when McDaniels was the Patriots offensive coordinator. ... Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken has been raving about rookie Zay Flowers.
The Carolina receivers intrigue me, so I have both Adam Thielen and DJ Chark in this tier. Chark has looked good in camp so far, but Thielen feels like the touchdown guy to me. ... Who is getting the targets for the Giants behind Saquon Barkley and Darren Waller? Jalin Hyatt is a receiver I loved coming out of the draft.
Allen Robinson has seen lot of work in the slot during Steelers camp, and he's worth a stash for me if he can get a high volume of targets. But it'll be tough with Diontae Johnson and George Pickens on the perimeters. ... Puka Nacua is a player I love drafting very late. The Rams are such an interesting team to me, and there really isn't an established No. 2 behind Cooper Kupp. But keep this between us; I don't want other people snagging him too early.