The first wave of free agency is in the books, the scouting combine is officially behind us, and the 2023 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and with it comes a plethora of rookie drafts for your dynasty leagues.
The 2023 draft class has been hyped for a few years now as a class that was set to feature premier options across several skill positions that could help fill out your fantasy rosters. It’s tough for any draft class to live up to a hype train of that caliber, but this class still has excellent depth at the wide receiver and running back positions to go along with four quarterbacks who should be first-round NFL Draft picks and substantial depth at tight end.
Leading up to your rookie draft, you’ll have to consider a few factors; the first is assessing where you are slated to pick currently and who you expect to be available at that selection. From there, you can decide whether it would behoove you to move up, get aggressive, or slide back and accumulate additional draft capital. When plotting those moves around your draft board, these are a handful of draft picks that make sense to target from a strategy perspective.
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- Latest Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft
Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Target (2023 Fantasy Football)
1.02 – First Round, Second Selection, Second Overall
In most rookie drafts, you’ll see Texas running back Bijan Robinson be the first player selected for a good reason. While the phrase is tossed around too willingly, Robinson could be a generational running back prospect. That means the cost to acquire the first overall pick will be even higher than most other seasons. The second overall pick, however, could be a little more flexible. While fantasy managers will primarily have Robinson penciled in as their top player, there will be a difference in opinion of who the second-best player in this class is, whether that’s one of the top-rated quarterbacks or another electric pass-catching running back in Jahmyr Gibbs. If the second overall pick is attainable and you have firm conviction over a specific player, it’s worth exploring trade talks.
1.06 – First Round, Sixth Selection, Sixth Overall
The sixth overall selection in the first round is a real pivot point in the draft. You’re guaranteed a top option across three different positions. You’ll have one of the two running backs mentioned above, Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (viewed mainly as the top wide receiver in the class), or one of the top three quarterbacks in the class (Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, and Florida’s Anthony Richardson) there for the taking. It’s also a logical spot to potentially trade back one more selection if the fantasy manager currently in control of the seventh overall selection is quarterback-needy and you are not. They might be interested in coming up one spot to guarantee one of the top players for their roster, while you can slide back one spot and add another later pick.
2.01 – Second Round, First Selection, 13th Overall
After the first six or seven picks in the first round, we hit a noticeable tier break. Several good options will still be available, but the value differs significantly from the first half of round one. Since so many of these players in the latter half of round one and the early portion of round two will be valued similarly, the smart play is to target early second-round draft capital. You’ll pay a steeper price to trade back into the first round than you will to trade up in the second round. The top of round two could be the sweet spot for several wide receivers, such as North Carolina’s Josh Downs, Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims, or Boston College’s Zay Flowers depending on how the first round shakes out. It will likely also be where another running back run starts, and you could probably have your pick of the litter after the first three options (presumably Robinson, Gibbs, and UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet) come off the board in the first round.
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