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4 Players Who Deserve A Second Chance in 2023 (Fantasy Football)

Jan 19, 2023
4 Players Who Deserve A Second Chance in 2023 (Fantasy Football)

The 2022 fantasy football season is over, which means one thing: it’s time to start prepping for 2023. Sure, the NFL playoffs are happening, and you may be inclined to root for your favorite NFL team, play DFS or partake in a bit of responsible sports betting (head on over to BettingPros if you do), but let’s be honest with each other. The end of the fantasy football season is the time to celebrate your wins, lick your wounds from your losses, and take a look at what went what, what went wrong, and how you can get back to dominating again next season.

We asked a handful of experts to name a player who disappointed in 2022 but deserves a second chance in 2023. Here are their responses.

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Which player deserves a second chance in 2023 despite a disappointing 2022?

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
“Rookie quarterbacks are a bad bet for supporting viable fantasy WR production. That was my main argument against drafting Diontae Johnson in Rounds 4 & 5 in 2022, which turned out to be the correct approach. Johnson underwhelmed with Kenny Pickett all season, failing to top more than 65 receiving yards or a weekly finish better than WR37. But in the case of Johnson for 2023, I’d expect a major bounce back for Johnson with Pickett entering Year 2. Johnson’s ability to command targets – 28% target share and 137 targets (7th) in 2022 – suggests he is a prime candidate for positive regression in many facets. His combined downfield targets and red-zone targets were the most of any player not to score in 2022. Those trends don’t tend to carry over from year-to-year. Buy-low on Johnson. He was the WR15 in expected fantasy points per game.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Diontae Johnson ended the 2022 season as the WR40, averaging 8.2 half-point PPR fantasy points per game, his lowest average since his rookie year. However, he was extremely unlucky when it came to finding the end zone, scoring zero touchdowns after averaging 6.7 per season over the first three years of his career. Had he scored 6.7 touchdowns this year, Johnson would have averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game, finishing as the WR19 and ahead of Chris Olave, DJ Moore, and Chris Godwin. Remember, Miles Sanders was the RB45 in 2021 after failing to score a touchdown but rebounded in 2022, ending the year as the RB13 with a career-high 11 rushing touchdowns. Johnson will have all offseason to work on his chemistry with Kenny Pickett. He will bounce back next year and return to his stable WR2 play.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
“If Jonathan Taylor hadn’t been at the top of every draft board in August, he might not be my vote for Most Disappointing Player of 2022, but alas, we are here. Taylor only appeared in 11 games, suffering a battery of ankle injuries that eventually ended in a season-ending surgery. On a team filled with glaring issues, the Colts’ offensive line shone brightest. If Indianapolis can make some upgrades and the fantasy world crowns someone else as this year’s clear No. 1, Taylor, at age 24, becomes the frontrunner for Comeback Player of the Year in 2023.”
Kelly Kirby (FantasyPros)

Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS)
“I’m still not ready to throw in the towel on Antonio Gibson. After scoring double-digit touchdowns and rolling up more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons, Gibson ceded work to rookie Brian Robinson in 2022 and was shut down early with knee and ankle injuries. I’m still drawn to Gibson’s intoxicating blend of size (6-2, 220), speed (4.39) and pass-catching ability (he was a former college wide receiver at Memphis). Robinson isn’t good enough to keep Gibson off the field, and perhaps a new offensive coordinator will be more smitten with Gibson than recently fired OC Scott Turner was.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Elijah Moore (WR – NYJ)
“In his rookie season in 2021, Elijah Moore caught 43 of his 77 targets for 538 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games. More importantly, he finished the season strong, with at least eight targets in four of his last five games before a quad injury prematurely ended his season. The 2022 season could not have been weirder for Moore. He had to work with three different quarterbacks, and he became an afterthought in the offense behind standout rookie WR Garrett Wilson. The Jets are going to upgrade the QB position this offseason, one way or another. When they do, the entire offense, including Moore, should get a lift. As long as the price remains a late-round dart throw in 2023, I’ll probably be willing to take a gamble on Moore’s talent next season.”
Mike Maher (FantasyPros)

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

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