2023 fantasy football rookie dynasty/keeper rankings

Which rookies have the most long-term fantasy football value?

Looking for fantasy football rookie rankings for your dynasty or partial-keeper league? We have you covered.

Of course, injuries and radical personnel changes cannot be forecasted with much certainty. Variations in league settings and scoring formats notwithstanding, here are snapshot rankings depicting how the top rookies stack up for the long haul.

Dynasty fantasy football rankings by position

2023 NFL Draft: Day 3 fantasy football recap

Recapping all of the noteworthy fantasy football picks from Rounds 4-7.

StThe 2023 NFL Draft’s final day is here, bringing us Rounds 4-7. We’ll examine any noteworthy selections who may have a role in fantasy football.

Be sure to check out our Day 1 and Day 2 coverage for a better feel of how these rookies all fit into fantasy plans for the upcoming year and beyond.

Round 4 fantasy football reaction

2023 NFL Draft: Day 2 fantasy football recap

Live blogging all of the notable Day 2 fantasy football selections.

The 2023 NFL Draft brings us Day 2, comprising of the second and third rounds. It was a trade-filled opening day that included several fantasy-relevant picks. Follow along on the second day for all notable fantasy football reactions of the night.

Also see: DAY 1 | Day 3

Round 2 fantasy football reaction

2023 NFL Draft: Day 1 fantasy football recap

Live blogging the impact of each fantasy-relevant pick from Round 1.

The 2023 NFL Draft is finally upon us, and prospects are now rookies with NFL cities to call home. Follow along for real-time analysis of the opening round’s impact on fantasy football plans for 2023.

Fantasy draft season may not be close to hitting its crescendo, but hardcore gamers have been selecting players prior to the conclusion of the collegiate bowl season. It’s time to let the real fun begin!

Also see: Day 2 | Day 3

Round 1 fantasy football reaction

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Kayshon Boutte, Louisiana State

Kayshon Boutte has elite potential for a third or fourth round price.

Kayshon Boutte carries the same potential as he flashed back in high school when his senior season saw him post 47 catches for 1,005 yards with 15 touchdowns, and he ran for 874 yards and 12 more scores. He was ranked the No. 2 wideout in the nation when he signed with LSU.

Boutee was an immediate starter, thanks partly to Ja’Marr Chase opting out for 2020 in that COVID-impacted season. His calling card came in 2020 when he set an SEC record for receiving yards in a game when he caught 14 passes for 308 yards and three scores against Ole Miss. He earned Freshman All-American and SEC All-Freshman Team honors. His sophomore season was cut short after six games due to an ankle injury.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 195 pounds
40 time: 4.5 seconds

His junior season was uneven and less productive, and he originally planned to return for a fourth year but then opted to declare for the draft and skip their Citrus Bowl matchup with Purdue. Boutte flashed elite talent at times, but his lack of consistency will drop him back further in the draft.

Table: Kayshon Boutte NCAA stats (2020-22)

Year School Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Rush Yards TD
2020 LSU 10 45 735 16.3 5 0 0 0
2021 LSU 6 38 509 13.4 9 0 0 0
2022 LSU 11 48 538 11.2 2 1 41 0


  • Speed makes him a vertical threat
  • Strong run-after-catch ability
  • Shows up in critical games
  • Burst and quickness to create and maintain separation
  • Capable of a long-gainer on any play
  • Versatile playmaker that just needs the ball in his hands – can play outside or in the slot.
  • Tough player with quick feet that can work the middle
  • Elusive in space and can break arm tackles


  • Required two surgeries on his ankle
  • Route running not consistently sharp
  • Occasional concentration lapses lead to drops
  • Smaller catch radius
  • Needs to improve on contested catches

Fantasy outlook

Boutte was on the path for a big sophomore season before the ankle injury and wasn’t as effective the following year. He’s shown enough to merit an NFL team using one of their draft picks in the third or fourth round, and his potential suggests that he could be a steal. Boutte has all the measurables that are desired in a No. 1 wideout. Like any receiver, the offense and quarterback he is paired with will have a great impact, but he’s one to watch regardless of where he ends up.

He falls a bit in the draft with his previous ankle injury and needs to keep that as the exception. With only 131 receptions in college, he still has plenty of development left to explore and offers any NFL team an enticing package of skills and physical attributes. He won’t likely step into a No. 1 role on his new team this year, but in the right situation will become fantasy-relevant even as a rookie.

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Rashee Rice, SMU

Rashee Rice projects to become a No. 1 wideout for an NFL team.

Rashee Rice elected to remain in Texas and signed on with the SMU Mustangs, where he started his final three seasons and gained national attention with a monster senior year. Rice was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award and on the All-ACC First Team, and the AP All-American Second Team.

He led the Mustangs in receiving stats in each of his three seasons as a starter, increasing his production and value to the team. He dominated the receivers with 96 catches, while no one else had more than 37 receptions.

Height: 6-1
Weight: 204 pounds
40 time: 4.51 seconds

Rice is a big-bodied, capable receiver that could potentially sneak into the bottom of the first round but will likely be later. He’s been a very productive player and leaves for the NFL as more mature and experienced than most other rookie wideouts.

Table: Player NCAA stats (2019-22)

Year School Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Rush Yards TD
2019 SMU 8 25 403 16.1 1 1 0 0
2020 SMU 10 48 683 14.2 5 0 0 0
2021 SMU 12 64 670 10.5 9 0 0 0
2022 SMU 12 96 1355 14.1 10 0 0 0



  • Prototypical blend of height, weight and speed to be a No. 1 receiver
  • Tall frame and soft hands make for a huge catch radius
  • Helps out his quarterback when plays break down
  • Improved in each of his four seasons
  • Elite short-area burst helps with separation
  • Reliable possession receiver with run-after-catch ability
  • Capable in the slot or on the outside
  • Mature 23 year old with 233 career receptions.


  • Limited route tree while playing in spread offense
  • Boosted stats with a possession role but will face far better defenses in the NFL that won’t give him the short middle
  • Has enough speed but hasn’t been much of a deep threat
  • Occasional concentration drops

Fantasy outlook

Rice expects to be a Day 2 selection. He’s a dynamic athlete who checks plenty of boxes to become a primary wideout and a productive receiver with plenty of fantasy value. He’s been a high-volume weapon for the Mustangs for four years and can make a quarterback look even better working with him when plays break down.

His biggest limitation – which may only be temporary – is that he played a possession role with underneath routes in a spread offense. He’ll have to adjust to playing against a secondary that is not only faster, bigger, stronger, but also not as spread out all over the field. Rice has the speed and after-catch ability to find NFL success if only eventually, as he’ll have a learning curve.

Unlike so many of his fellow rookie wideouts, Rice combines enough weight and height to deal with press coverage and contested catches. He has the speed to break off a long gainer, but he can be used all over the field and succeed at all three levels of the defense.

If Rice reaches the second or third round, he’ll offer excellent value for any team looking to develop a new primary wide receiver or add a very capable No. 2 wideout that can be used in many roles. He’s been linked to potential suitors of the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens.

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah

Dalton Kincaid brings elite receiver skills to the tight end position

Dalton Kincaid only played one year of high school football since he focused on basketball. He became a walk-on with the University of San Diego for two years before transferring to Utah where he only had one catch in 2020 during their COVID-shortened season. He became one of two starters in 2021, logging 36 catches on a team that didn’t throw much.

Last season, Kincaid evolved into their primary receiver. He ended with a team-high 70 catches and eight scores to lead the receivers. He caught 16 passes for 234 yards and a score against the Trojans during the season, though he was later held to only four receptions in the otherwise high-scoring Pac 12 Conference Championship against USC.

Height: 6-4
Weight: 246 pounds
40 time: 4.71 seconds

Kincaid was All-Pac 12 last year and his pinnacle season in college has him in the running to become one of the first tight ends drafted – if not the first. He brings a resume that’s more impressive as a receiver than as a blocker. He’s a 23-year-old fifth-year season who never scored fewer than eight touchdowns in any season he started.

Table: Player NCAA stats (2020-22)

Year School Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Rush Yards TD
2018 San Diego 12 24 374 15.6 11 0 0 0
2019 San Diego 12 44 835 19.0 8 0 0 0
2020 Utah 1 1 14 14.0 0 0 0 0
2021 Utah 13 36 510 14.2 8 1 4 0
2022 Utah 12 70 890 12.7 8 0 0 0


  • Prototypical size and speed for a receiving tight end
  • Enough speed for vertical routes
  • Plays more like as a receiver than a tight end
  • Strong hands that catch and hold through contact
  • Elite burst for his size
  • Led the nation with 70 catches by a tight end in 2022
  • Hard to tackle by smaller defensive backs
  • No limit to the routes he can run – capable of catches in all three levels of the defense
  • Former basketball player like many elite tight ends


  • Needs improvement as a blocker on runs and passes
  • Played mostly from slot, has to adjust to physical NFL defenders at the line
  • Needs more aggression on contested catches at the next level

Fantasy Outlook

There is a chance that Kincaid becomes the first tight end drafted, which would net him a first or second-round pick. He’s an elite prospect as a receiving tight end, and his struggles at blocking mean he may not be an every-down player, at least until he proves not to be a liability.

His NFL team will take him to expand their passing game, and he is a mature player at 23 with four productive years in college. That should help speed his development and at least give him the potential to produce fantasy-relevant stats, even as a rookie. As a longer-term pick in a dynasty league, Kincaid is even more attractive.

He’ll most likely end up on one of the tight-end hungry teams of the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers or the Los Angeles Chargers.

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Josh Downs, North Carolina

Josh Downs may lack size, but he came up big for the Tarheels the last two years.

Josh Downs signed with the North Carolina Tarheels after a stellar career at his Georgia high school. He played mainly special teams that first season but included a 75-yard touchdown catch among his seven freshman receptions. He stepped up into the No. 2 role as a sophomore while playing with Sam Howell (now trying to become the Commanders’ quarterback this year). Downs signed with the Tar Heels in part because his uncle Dre Bly was a defensive coach there at the time.

Downs took over in 2021. He set the school record with 101 catches, besting Ryan Switzer‘s high of 96 receptions in 2016. No other receiver managed more than 31 catches for the Tar Heels that year. Their offense shifted from 2020 when Javonte Williams and Michael Carter shared the backfield. All facets of the offense regressed when that duo left in 2021 – except for Downs.

Height: 5-9
Weight: 171 pounds
40 time: 4.48 seconds

Playing with sophomore quarterback Drake Maye last year saw Downs again dominate the offense with 94 catches and a second 1,000-yard effort, more than double that of any other Tar Heel receiver. Downs was a first-team All-ACC receiver for each of his two seasons as a starter. He led the conference in catches in both years.

Table: Player NCAA stats (2020-22)

Year School Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Rush Yards TD
2020 North Carolina 4 7 119 17.0 3 1 (-3) 0
2021 North Carolina 13 101 1335 13.2 8 0 0 0
2022 North Carolina 11 94 1029 10.9 11 0 0 0


  • Highly productive primary receiver the last two years
  • Tough receiver that fights for the ball and wins contested catches
  • Start/stop and change of direction make him hard to cover man-to-man
  • Effective in space and with yards after the catch
  • Explosive burst from line when he has a free release
  • Special teams returner
  • Red Zone threat despite his size


  • Small frame concerns limit him to slot work
  • Occasional drops
  • May struggle with press coverage
  • Route running needs more precision
  • Lacks a large catch radius
  • Not an asset as a blocker

Fantasy outlook

Like so many other college stars that enter the NFL well below prototypical size, Downs is almost certainly limited to playing a slot role. He’s unlikely to handle press coverage as well, but has the burst and enough speed to make a difference when he gets downfield. He overtook Ryan Switzer’s records at North Carolina and draws some comparisons to him, though Downs is still 14 pounds less than Switzer at the same height.

Downs’ best outcome is to land on a team that heavily employs a slot receiver. He is capable of producing fantasy-relevant stats, but he’ll need the right situation to be a difference-maker. Slot receivers play an important role  in NFL offenses and can surprise such as Hunter Renfrow (2021 – 103 catches) and Christian Kirk (2022 – 84 catches).

Downs will likely be drafted on Day 2 but if he falls to Round 4, he’ll be a steal. He has the skill and speed to be a factor in the NFL if he can compensate for his lack of size – only two of the 50 combine wideouts were lighter than Downs. His special team abilities could show up as a rookie and help him get onto the field. He’s likely to need a year or so in the NFL before he can become a weekly fantasy option.

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Roschon Johnson, Texas

Roschon Johnson is the “other guy” from the Texas Longhorn backfield

Roschon Johnson was a quarterback.  At his high school in Port Neches, Texas, he set the school record with a career 7,710 passing yards and added 4,900 rushing yards. He committed to Texas and was moved to running back during his freshman season when team injuries caused a need for his rushing skills. He completed only one pass as a Longhorn, but served as a rushing and receiving option in the backfield for all four years.

Johnson split carries with Keaontay Ingram during that first year and remained second-best while playing alongside Bijan Robinson. The duo split carries with Robinson (86-703-4) slightly busier than Johnson (80-418-6) during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Robinson took a far bigger chunk for the last two years.

Johnson maintained the same sort of pace for all three seasons, typically rushing five to eight times in most matchups. When Robinson did not play in the 2021 season finale against Kansas State, Johnson rushed for 179 yards on 31 carries.

Height: 6-0
Weight: 219 pounds
40 time: 4.58 seconds

He ended with five 100-yard efforts over his 47 games for the Longhorns, but never more than one per year once Robinson showed up to dominate the workload. Johnson took advantage of his four years in Austin, graduating with a business management degree.

Table: Player NCAA stats (2019-22)

Year School Games Runs Yards Avg. TD Catch Yards TD
2019 Texas 13 123 649 5.3 7 23 158 1
2020 Texas 10 80 418 5.2 6 8 51 1
2021 Texas 12 96 569 5.9 5 11 83 0
2022 Texas 12 93 554 6.0 5 14 128 1


  • Good-sized power back that break tackles
  • Aggressive, decisive rusher that picks the right lanes
  • Tough and dependable
  • Great ball security – one fumble in four years
  • Quick feet for a big back
  • Solid pass protection and willing lead blocker
  • Special teams contributor
  • Not many miles on the odometer
  • Smart player that can learn quickly


  • Slower than most NFL backs
  • Lacks creativity
  • Minor receiving experience
  • Lacks elite burst

Fantasy outlook

Johnson is the “other guy” in the Texas backfield that was overshadowed by Bijan Robinson for the last three years, but offers plenty of skills and intangibles that will net him a role in the NFL. He’s been a selfless, coachable player that is a great team fit and it can be argued that his ceiling is unknown given the success of Robinson. He could have potentially helped his stock by transferring to a different team where he may have become their primary back.

Johnson is a big back that may lack some of the quickness to reach the corner and turn up the field. But he’s a solid addition to a backfield for short yardage, pass blocking, special teams, and inside runs.

He’ll be a Day 3 pick to a team looking to restock their backfield with solid contributors. As a very versatile utility player, he has much to offer any team. His fantasy value as a rookie is more likely to be minimal unless injuries open up opportunities, but Johnson holds future promise. He’s most likely to end up a part of a committee that can grow into fantasy-relevant production.

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Zach Evans, Mississippi

Zach Evans offers the potential to become a No. 1 back.

Zach Evans was considered one of the top running backs in 2019 after the Houston-native ran for 4,867 yards and 76 touchdowns over his final three years in high school. He originally signed a letter of intent with Georgia but then was released from that commitment and eventually became TCU’s first ever five-star recruit.

His two seasons at TCU saw success though not to the astronomic level of high school. He only ran 54 times as a freshman as a part of a four-man rotation for their backfield. In 2021, he assumed a larger role and rolled up four-straight 100-yard games before injuring his toe and missing the rest of the season after just six games.

In 2022, he transferred to Ole Miss, missing TCU’s Cinderella season, and splitting the backfield there with freshman phenom Quinshon Judkins who ran for 1,567 yards and 16 touchdowns on 274 rushes compared to Evans’ 144 runs for 936 yards. The Rebels’ backfield had platooned three average backs in 2021 when Evans decided to join them. Judkins surprised everyone, not the least Evans.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 202 pounds
40 time: 4.45 seconds

Evans’ chance to become the primary back in a promising backfield was cut short by Judkins’ monster season. Rather than spend his final year as the relief back for Judkins, Evans declared for the NFL draft. Unlike in high school, Evans never again played as the featured back in college, so his ceiling hasn’t been fully explored.

Table: Player NCAA stats (2020-22)

Year School Games Runs Yards Avg. TD Catch Yards TD
2020 TCU 9 54 415 7.7 4 8 62 0
2021 TCU 6 92 648 7.0 5 10 102 1
2022 Ole Miss 12 144 936 6.5 9 12 119 1



  • Smooth and natural runner
  • Has the jets to take it to the house when he breaks free
  •  Elite burst, explosive acceleration
  • Speed to get around the corner on sweeps
  • Fights for yardage, can absorb hits and keep running
  • Prototypical size for running back
  • Balance through contact a major plus
  • Sets up defenders to miss their tackle
  • Agility and power combine to reach second level and beyond
  • One of the top pure runners in this rookie class


  • Five fumbles on just 290 college carries
  • Minimal experience as a receiver
  • Lack of creativity when he runs
  • Ideally in a zone-heavy scheme
  • Pass protection needs further development

Fantasy outlook

Evans is a Day 2 prospect that should be within the first five or six running backs selected. He’s likely to be added to a team searching for rushing talent to add to a committee backfield though he has the potential to become a full-time back, even if his college resume denied him that role. He’s always been an effective rusher but will need to add more work as a receiver to become what the NFL looks for in a full-time or even a primary back.

His college experience wasn’t as great as his high school production suggested and his production was a function of the situations that he found at both of his colleges. The expectations for 2022 with the move to Ole Miss were high but he was eclipsed by the freshman Quinshon Judkins. That leaves Evans with an incomplete look at what he is capable of producing.

Evans timing has worked against him, so he’s harder to evaluate. That could mean that an NFL team gets a steal in the second or third round if he rises to what some believe his potential to be. He enters the NFL inside a deep and competitive running back class this year, so he’ll be somewhat overshadowed from the hype with Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs. That will make him a value pick in fantasy drafts.

Where he lands and the situation there always impacts any rookie, and Evans hasn’t been overly lucky with what happened around him in college. But he brings solid potential as a committee back, particularly working with one of reception-heavy backs who need help with relief carries and early down runs. His upside is still notable and while a risk, he could surprise on the right team.