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5 Must-Have Wide Receivers (2023 Fantasy Football)

5 Must-Have Wide Receivers (2023 Fantasy Football)

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2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

5 Must Have Wide Receivers (2023)

The following is a list of five wide receivers whose potential upside elevates their fantasy values to must-have wide receivers.

Jahan Dotson (WR – WAS)

Dotson kicked off his rookie season on fire, scoring four touchdowns through the first weeks. However, a hamstring injury in Week 4 forced the former Penn State wideout to miss the next five weeks. Dotson was eased back into playing time until Week 13 when he caught five passes on nine targets for 54 yards and a score. He emerged from a Week-14 bye displaying his potential in a struggling Washington offense.

Dotson was the WR12 from Weeks 15-18, producing 16 catches on 26 targets for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He was one of the few bright spots in the Commanders’ offense while enduring a disappointing quarterback situation. Dotson exhibited his immense potential, and, with a more stable offense, his impressive ball skills will bring fantasy glory.

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

The inclusion of Higgins on this list seems obvious after he finished as the WR17 last season. Regardless, Higgins should see an upgrade to his fantasy value and production as we look into the 2023 season.

Higgins will be wearing another uniform next season as the WR1 on his new team. He has produced consecutive 74-catch, 1,000-yard seasons but has only scored a total of 13 touchdowns. It will be fascinating to see where Higgins ends up. Of course, his current numbers are formidable and desired, but what will his numbers look like as a WR1 in a pass-heavy offense? Here is one fantasy manager looking to acquire him in all of my dynasty leagues to reap the rewards.

Calvin Ridley (WR – JAC)

The Jacksonville Jaguars emerged from the disaster known as the Urban Meyer era to an unexpected playoff run this season. Coach Doug Pederson wanted to mentor quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He was able to elevate the young QB’s game back to the franchise player everyone expected after being a former number-one overall pick.

The Jaguars went on a shopping spree this past offseason and obtained weapons for Lawrence. Wideouts Christian Kirk and Zay Jones performed into a formidable receiving core along with fellow free-agent acquisition TE Evan Engram.

The Jaguars saw a golden opportunity to add another significant weapon during the season and acquired Ridley from the Atlanta Falcons. All indications are that he will be reinstated soon after being suspended for the entire 2022 season due to betting on NFL games.

Once available, Ridley instantly becomes the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver. He had a 1,000-yard season with nine touchdowns just two years ago. Lawrence has emerged as an elite quarterback, and, with Pederson calling plays, we should see Ridley add firepower to an explosive Jaguars offense. That makes Ridley a must-have wide receiver.

Jameson Williams (WR – DET)

We have yet to witness the complete version of Williams. He returned 11 months after tearing his ACL to produce a 41-yard touchdown on his first career catch. His only other touch this past season was a 40-yard run in Week 17.

The Lions utilized a cautious approach with Williams this past season. However, with a healthy offseason to fully acclimate into the Lions’ offense, we should see a significant increase in reps and fantasy production. His game-breaking ability is quite evident. Pairing Williams with elite wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown will raise the bar for quarterback Jared Goff and the entire Lions’ offense.

Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ)

Wilson is the front-runner to win Offensive Rookie of the Year after leading all rookie wide receivers with 1,103 receiving yards on 83 catches with four touchdowns. The emergence of this potential game-breaking wideout was even more impressive due to the lackluster play behind center for the Jets.

Whether it was Mike White, Zach Wilson or even Joe Flacco, the Jets’ offense struggled with poor quarterback play. Yes, White had his fifteen minutes and had a stretch of excellent production, but is he a flash in the pan? The Jets’ coaching staff and front office are not sold on White as the quarterback to lead the team deep into the playoffs. The rumors are rampant. Whether it’s Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr or Lamar Jackson, the team will have a new quarterback in 2023.

Fantasy managers must admire what Wilson accomplished with this underwhelming quarterback group. The former Ohio State Buckeye finished 19th in receptions and yards. He also finished second in avoided tackles. His yards per reception (13.3) tied for 22nd and he finished 14th with a 67.5 percent first down rate.

Wilson produced despite seeing a 91.5 targeted quarterback rating which ranked 43rd. The Jets were a bottom-five offense last season, but we will see a drastic improvement next season with RB Breece Hall returning and a new quarterback to lead the offense.

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to 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 by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.


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Dennis Sosic is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dennis, check out his archive and follow him @CALL_ME_SOS.

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